Autumn Orange

I associate pumpkins with halloween…BUT pumpkin pie?  Now that’s Thanksgiving!  I am now in the midst of farmland and every other mile is another farm stand, they all still offer the pumpkins.  Grabbed this shot last weekend as I was exploring.  I must admit, while most of my cooking/baking is from scratch, pumpkin pie is one of those things that I buy frozen and “bake” in my oven  🙂



Long Island north shore farms

Long Island north shore farms

Sunrise on a cold autumn morning

Trying to make time to get out with the camera, with still so much to do to finish off the new home I have to force myself to get out even if for only a few hours.  Last week I was at the Babylon docks to watch the sunrise and it was so nice to have a cloud free morning.  It was a bit chilly but so beautiful.

I will admit this photo has an enhancement.  I was contacted by Jane about a week ago offering a barter, she would provide me with a few free overlays if I would try them and then share them.  Good deal to me 🙂  I chose the Light Ray’s collection, thought it would be fun.   the image below was enhanced using  What do you think?  Would love to hear feedback

Taken from the Babylon docks on a cold autumn morning,

Taken from the Babylon docks on a cold autumn morning,

The Journey has ended

It’s been a 5 month journey.   We decided, well I desired and my hubby agreed, to move back to NY.  We had been in Texas for 10 years and I longed for home.  Last April the journey began with listing our TX home, packing, planning and waiting.  I won’t bore you with the details but we are finally settled into our new home on the north shore of Long Island NY.  I just love it, surrounded by trees, vineyards and farms, 5 minute walk to  the water and only  miles from any store you could possible need.

Those of you that follow this blog know I’ve been hooked on photographing birds for 3 years now.   Well I am in heaven…our home is surrounded by big old oak tress and all kinds of new species for me.  We are going on our third week in our new home and today I pulled out the camera to see if I could remember how to shoot 🙂 I put out thistle, suet and sunflower seeds last week in feeders and have been greeted by the locals!!! The goldfinches have discovered the thistle and I believe they will be too fat to fly soon!


Younger male goldfinch



White Breasted Nuthatch






I will eventually leave my yard,  but until then I am so enjoying all the birds that visit daily!

JVA continued

I am making the audio track to this post as optional…but it does have a special meaning.  James, aka Pop Pop was born and raised in Brooklyn and this song always brings a smile to my face and makes me imagine him as a boy…

So without getting in the bush and tangle of my family tree and Ohhhh all those attached, let’s keep it simple.    I spent a few years of my youth with a family…amoungst them was Peter Xeller….fast forward many many years and we reconnected, thru Facebook.   Fast forward a few more years and I met Dan Xeller, his son and a photographer…met him thru Facebook …thru his father that I reconnected with thru facebook….you get the drift…

And where am I going with all this? and how in the world does it relate to the title of this blog????   I’m getting there.  So let’s flash back (yeah they do it on TV all the time)   Last year I wrote a few blogs about a very special man in my life, James V Antizzo,  he was a Public Relations photographer that worked for  the “Aviation News” which at the time was located at Kennedy Airport, well actually at the time it was call Idlewild Airport, but I digress….

Anyway before I loose you all, Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Dan Xeller for the first time, which after only communicating on Facebook, is really quite thrilling!!!   Besides meeting him and his lovely wife and his son  Johann, he had a gift for me.   Somewhere in the years of family collections he had ended up with many of Jim’s (aka POP POP) photographs and he presented them to me, in archival sleeves over a glass of iced tea at the beach house that I grew up in….  What a thrill!!  I don’t know if he and his dad appreciated how much that meant to me.  It’s been nine months since that special gift was presented and since then I have really not had the time to focus and  devote to identifying many of the photos and scanning all the care that  goes into sharing until now….I thought it about time, well long overdue…

So what is to follow for the next few blogs is a collection of photos of celebrities of the time…the 1950’s.  Many of you will have no idea of who these folks are, many of you will…I hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane….I thank the photographer James V Antizzo and the present photographer Dan Xeller for making this possible  Thank you both

Cary Grant


Yule Brynner


Sophia Loren


Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor 6/4/1958

Gene Kelly

Donald O’Connor


If you have not gone back to view my previous blogs on JVA,  you will notice that most of the photos have TWA Icon somewhere in the photo….that was free advertizing back in the good ole days  🙂


More to come….


Mona’s Garden






I love gardening, it is my escape and therapy …but a northerner trying to make a  garden in Texas has been frustrating .   The long warm season, the very hot summers and all kinds of other issues have turned my green thumb very brown.   I do go “home” at least once a year, sometimes more, and when I do I so enjoy the spring season in the NE.    My BFF in NY..and her husband, I know he does a lot of the work too, have the most beautiful gardens.  When I visited last summer I captured many photos but this is one of my favorite.

Quogue Wildlife Refuge

It’s been months since I’ve had any “me” time…work, a wedding, commitments, fundraising etc….I’m finally able to have some  time to do what I am passionate about…photography.  I had my annual summer visit to NY last August and yes I am just now able to start looking at the photo’s I took 4 months ago.  My thoughtful DIL Noelle made it a point to set some time aside to take me to Quogue Wildlife Refuge,  a 300 acre non-profit nature preserve that was founded in 1934 and is home to diverse wildlife. The outdoor wildlife complex houses permanently injured wildlife that require human care to survive including a bobcat, owls, falcons, a bald eagle, foxes and other native NY animals.   This beautiful bald eagle arrived at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in 1988, making him over 30 years old.  Unfortunately a gunshot wound resulted in the amputation of his left wing, leaving him unable to fly.


Avon 39 NYC

On October 15th and 16th I participated in my first AVON 39 Walk for Breast Cancer. Those that follow me know I’ve been walking in the Susan G Komen Dallas walk for 6 years now, but this year I decided it was time to walk in my home state :).  I will also be walking in the 3 day 60 mile next week, but for now I’d like to share the NY experience.

First and most important, the 3,500 NY walkers raised $8.7 million dollars to crush breast cancer!!!!!!!

I think the whole idea of walking multiple breast cancer walks came last year during the SGK Dallas walk, Tim being the friendly one :), got to talking to Tina who walks multiple walks each year, she is from Dan Diego and was walking in Dallas, She had said she would be walking in NY and of course we said we would too!  My BFF of 50+ years had said she would walk with us in Dallas once she retired, HOWEVER since the walk was in NY, Mona agreed to join us. Meggie who also lives in the DFW area also joined in, so the five of us made the decision and before we knew it the time had arrived.

Tim and I flew in from Dallas on Friday morning…I made Tim get up at 4am to catch a 6am flight from DFW to LGA  hehe 🙂  I am an early bird…he is NOT  :).  Friday night was spend finishing off our “costumes” and adding all the names of who we walk for to our shirts.  That list is way too long!!!!…which is why we continue to walk!

Another 3am morning on Saturday to get to the city in time for opening ceremonies .  We started downtown at pier 84 and walked our way north along the Hudson River did a U Turn and headed south on our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.  Born and raised in NY and NEVER walked the Brooklyn Bridge, something I’d always wanted to do, just never did.  Gosh what a beautiful view!


Around Mile #2

Around Mile #2

That’s Mona, Tim and Meggie walking along the river, very cold breezes were coming off of it!


Mona, Tina,Tim and Meggie….yup still cold along that river!


Mile 3 (Tina, Meggie, Tim, Mona and me)

Along the way we had a stalker…well we knew who he was, BFF’s hubby 🙂  Mac met up with us around mile 3,



Always something to see along the way….



at Lincoln center .


and then at the bridge… and a few more bridge shots  with my I-phone



Manhattan Bridge view from the Brooklyn Bridge

BB2downtown skyline

View of the city from the Brooklyn side


Half way point day one

OH did I mention we made the NY news 🙂

Saturday night was spent on Randall’s Island in …yup, little pink tents! They fed us well and provided hot showers.  It was early October so wasn’t anticipating the temps to drop to 30 degress…BRRRR  but we managed to keep cozy in the sleeping bags.

Sunday morning was beautiful and had actually warmed up a bit. Not really sure where this energy burst came from….12088585_10205037517839126_1191427959005170522_n but before heading out had to pack up the bags and the tents…

Sunday’s route took us along the north end of Central Park and down along the west side and back down to our starting point at the piers.


Walker Stalker Vans….





We made it!!!!

See you all next year!!!!

Photos are from Mac…thank you, Meggie, thank you and my new and still trying to figure out IPhone…

The NY AVON 39 walk provides resources to so many breast cancer patients in NY and around the country as well as research programs to provide resoursed to make the most progress possible to obliterate breast cancer

She cried

Paula Raffone Pucciarelli's photo.

I wonder what she thought
As she stood there, strong and tall.
She couldn’t turn away,
She was forced to watch it all.

Did she long to offer comfort
As her country bled?
With her arm forever frozen
High above her head.

She could not shield her eyes
She could not hide her face
She just stared across the water
Keeping Freedom’s place.

The smell of smoke and terror
Somehow reduced her size
So small within the harbor
But still we recognized…

How dignified and beautiful
On a day so many died
I wonder what she thought,
And I know she must have cried.