Friday, November 27, 2020

Wearing a Face Mask with Eyeglasses - Fogging No More

 Sadly, many people come up with all sorts of reasons not to wear masks, including that their glasses fog. Of course, I’ve been masked up since mid-March, whenever I’m around other people outdoors and, of course, indoors when I go shopping. (No indoor dining or bars for me.) But, I’ve had to (unsuccessfully) deal with major lens fogging. Eyeglasses fog because the warm exhaled air migrates through gaps in the mask. I’ve tried everything to de-fog my eyeglasses, from applying liquid soap, shaving cream, an anti-fog spray, and so forth. I ordered more than half a dozen different sorts of masks that fit my face differently. Nothing worked. That is, until the manufacturer of Cabeau Tape sent me a sample to test. Now, this sounded like no way would it work.

It’s pre-cut small pieces of medical-grade tape that you stick around your nose, under your eye and in front of your ears to “seal” the gaps in your mask. The first time I tried it, it didn’t work. The fogging persisted. But, then I was more diligent in how I applied the tape under my eye and nose area. Success. Fogging be gone! And the tape was comfortable, easy to apply, and adequate stickiness so that it did not lift off from my cloth mask.

Here’s a video that helped me figure out how to efficiently use the tape. I found that using a mirror assures that you properly applied the tape to “seal” any gaps.

I’m so happy with this product that I just ordered two more rolls of tape.










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Sunday, November 22, 2020

New Collection: Any-Occasion Photo and Art Greeting Cards

 


After so many months of social distancing, giving an any-occasion greeting card with your personal message may be more important than ever before. I’m introducing my new collection of photo and art cards.

Each of my more than 2 dozen different any-occasion notecards (they’re blank inside) features one of my nature/landscape photos or paintings from my around-the-world travels. They are in limited supply — some images only have a quantity of 1 or 2 available so why not make it a surprise gift not knowing which image you’ll receive — and can be purchased singly or as a set of 5 or 12 different images, or as the entire collection. The note cards can be purchased here. 

















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Sunday, November 15, 2020

My Short Comedy Film

 I’m so excited to share my short comedy film, “Such A Deal,” that I co-wrote. 








“Having just arrived in NYC, a mishap leaves Grace without a place to stay for the weekend. Finding a temporary room in a pinch, only to find out that it’s not the “charming tiny room she expected it to be.”



Everything about the making of this film was magical, from start to finish! I feel amazingly lucky to have worked with such a cadre of creative, supportive and inspiring people. 


It’s streaming here.


🎭

Starring: @ebonyobsidian

Co-starring: @damianemcee


Addt’l cast: @clifftycent

@danceasaur


✍️ 🎬

Story by: @jcreaturetravel

Written by: @jcreaturetravel/@dionnafilm

Directed by: @dionnafilm

Produced by: @kenziemcheather

Casting: @angeliea


🎥

1st AD: @sarahakinsey

DP: @barbieleungdp

AC: @jgowesky

Stedicam: @eddielebron

Gaffer: @mdlcsquared

Sound Recordist: @mariyachuli

HMU: @softglam.py

Set Photography: @shimel_photo


🎼 🎞️

Score: @cathjoymusic

Color Correction: @neptunepost

Post Sound: @oddly_enough_productions



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Sunday, November 8, 2020

A Creative and Comfy Inn in Connecticut

A stay at the Homestead Bed and Breakfast, a family-owned inn in Madison, Connecticut, couldn’t be more comfortable and comforting, especially in these stress-filled days of the pandemic. During my recent stay, I was swaddled in a large, white-on-white guest room with nothing but views of nature. It’s what my soul required.


The public spaces are able to meld the vintage (an array of vintage cameras, typewriters, stereoscopes and other objects) with the whimsical. I’m a big fan of this playful display.


There are so many artistic surprises at this inn. I found this table and wee gourd on my patio.




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Saturday, October 31, 2020

A Quiet, Scenic Corner of Connecticut

Madison is one of my favorite Connecticut towns for its slo-mo vibe, scrumptious French bistro, sweeping waterfront views and nature-based activities. On my recent visit, I sought the enveloping peace at Hammonasset Beach State Park.


Even in moody weather, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Connecticut is inspiring. This expansive salt marsh is one of the park’s many eco treasures.





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Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island

 In these days of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to find time to get away for a mental health vacation. Most importantly, the destination should be COVID conscious, provide some much needed pampering while also offering access to nature and outdoor adventures that calm the spirit. This is my latest for Forbes on the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island. 





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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Nature-Based Adventures in Rhode Island

Many travelers associated Rhode Island solely with summer fun and, especially, with a visit to Block Island. But there’s so much more to experience in this the smallest state in the U.S. With hundreds of miles of coastline and myriad state parks in the interior, Rhode Island is a year-round delight. Here are some photos from my most recent travels there. 


After the skies cleared one stormy morning in Weekapaug, Rhode Island, I strolled along the waterfront and found the silence to be stunning and comforting.




Solitary hiking along the DuVal Trail system in Rhode Island gave me an opportunity to feel an intimate connection with nature, whether it’s the enchanting tree tunnels, the colorful thickets of mountain laurel, or the fields of glacial boulders that are clustered in the shade of black oak and white pine trees.


 

At the Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, RHode Island, I had numerous opportunities to connect with nature, including kayaking on this placid salt water pond. 





As I strolled along the barrier beach steps away from the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, I was enwrapped by a sense of the serene and the scenic.



While roaming along the coastline of Rhode Island’s Weekapaug area, I explored the wee lanes that wiggled through the serene neighborhood.



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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Travel Photography - Sea + Sky Landscapes

 After asking what’s my favorite destination —I love every place I visit for different reasons — most people want to know why I travel all over the world. Aside from my keen interest in learning about other cultures, there are myriad psychological benefits to traveling, including learning to be present centered, and developing resilience, skills that are especially useful in these days of the pandemic. Below are a few of my landscape photos from my round the world travels.


Traveling far afield — where the unknown resides around any corner — offers opportunities for resilience.




During these turbulent and challenging times, I strive for a sense of serenity, even if it lasts for only a moment.



Watching the ever changing shapes of clouds and the placid movement of the waters is a balm for the soul.



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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Travel Photography - Pastoral + Mountainous Landscapes

 Whether I travel to far-afield locales or domestically, I often gravitate to non-urban environs. These are a few of my photographs that focus on some of my favorite subjects: sky, mountains and trees.


I derive a sense of comfort from nature.




Trails that thread through mountainous terrain into cozy villages and hamlets offer so many possibilities.




Unlike when I’m in most urban environs, when I’m traveling in the mountains, moody weather makes for a joyful experience.




The trees breathed energy into this bucolic scene that I wandered into.



Trees dominate my thoughts.



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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Watercolors + Collages from My Travels - Part 3


For me, writing, painting and taking photographs are a way to still the mind and remain present centered, even when the world is in turmoil. My art work - whether watercolors or collage - reflects the creative process, my travels and, especially, my love affair with nature. 

Sometimes creative ideas rush into my mind like a gust of wind.


2020 has conjured up a mix of extreme emotions.


Eyeing the world and loving all its differences.


Inspired by my many trips to Portugal where I visited medieval hilltop villages.


When the night is the darkest is when some of my most creative ideas bloom.


 

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Watercolors - Scenes from New Mexico

As a travel writer and a photographer, I’m particularly fond of the American Southwest. The colors in the nature scape as well as in the man made structures and art galleries are what I gravitate to.

Below are two of my watercolors.

All of my photographs and paintings are available for sale as prints. Contact me through this website for inquiries.

A Santa Fe scene from an original by Bill Sortino.



Journeys on the road from Chama, New Mexico - from an original by Kay Harvey.


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Saturday, September 5, 2020

Photos - Travels in Rhinebeck, NY


Originally settled in the 17th century, the historic village of Rhinebeck in New York’s Hudson Valley is a beauty. Wander its streets to explore the various architectural styles, from Gothic Revival to Queen Anne, while shopping, browsing or sampling the farm-to-table cuisine.




Named for the many authors, including Washington Irving, who are said to have strolled this scenic property set along the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, NY, Poets’ Walk Park (including this grand gazebo) can’t help but engender inspiration for all who walk the trails through field and forest.





Though Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, NY often attracts those whose sole desire is to climb the 80-foot-high fire tower for its panoramic Hudson Valley views, I prefer exploring the network of trails that course pass ponds and through dense woodland.




In Ferncliff Forest, the 80-foot-high fire tower attracts those who desire dramatic views of the Hudson Valley. But, for me, ambling through the woodlands offers the intimacy with nature that I crave.




Expansive Ferncliff Forest offers several idyllic picnic spots like this one beside a small pond.



Along the network of trails lacing idyllic Poets’ Walk Park in Rhinebeck, NY, shady expanses deep in woodland quickly turn to sun-splashed fields and meadows.


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