Archive for category Holidays

>White Winter


I was really excited for the snowstorm today. I woke up at 6:30 am and was euphoric when I looked outside the window. Everything was covered in thick sheet of snow and it was still snowing heavily.  I could not wait to take a scenic drive around and photograph this winter wonderland. But when I went outside to shovel out my car, I stopped dead in my tracks, figuratively and literally. My car was completely buried except for the windshield wipers that were barely sticking out from underneath the snow.  With just a small snow brush in hand and no shovel, I realized I stood no chance at getting out especially since the the plow truck dumped a three-foot pile of snow behind my car.  Determined, I decided to take that scenic drive on foot. So, I walked a mile and a half and back, stopping to take photos at a nearby farm and the Dinosaur State Park.  Not the photos I had in mind but I didn’t want my efforts to go unseen. So, here they are …
The red arrow is pointing to my car buried somewhere underneath the snow.
Neighbors desnowing their cars.
My snow-covered neighborhood.
Maya, the Siberian Husky is in her element when it snows.
She loves to jump in the snowbanks and catch snowballs with her teeth.
Watching her owners desnowing their car.
The roads were empty except for an occasional plow truck.
A snow-covered house along Gilbert Street in Rocky Hill.
A herd of cows walking towards me, mooo-ing.
Farm truck.
Dinosaur State Park’s dome snowed in.
I thought this little bird has frozen to death as he sat motionless in the snow but it turns out he was just chilling.

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>Christmas 2010


Since I’ve been unfortunately ill for the Christmas holiday I’ve not taken many photos of the celebrations. At least, nothing worth sharing. And the worst part of it all, I missed out on the amazing Wigilia dishes due to lack of appetite. So, here’s my lame Christmas-related post instead.
I overhead this on the radio:
One in ten gifts received under the tree will be broken by the New Year.
More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.
Seven in ten dogs will receive a gift on Christmas from their owner.
Misiu taking his fifth nap of the day, few days before Christmas. (He’s awfully lazy this time of year.)

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>It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas …

>Preparations for Christmas Eve supper (Wigilia) are underway at the Szymanska household. There are twelve traditional Polish dishes to be made by Friday and four sets of hands diligently working together. First on the list are uszka, (meaning “little ears” in Polish) small dumplings filled with mushrooms and served with red borscht.

The company of my sisters and mom as we sit around the table preparing the food makes this one of my favorite times during the holidays.

Making a list and checking it twice. (A list of 12 dishes is always at hand.)
Mom and Viola making uszka; spreading the mushroom stuffing on each square of dough.
Then the dough is closed at opposite corners to create little ears.
(An army of little ears are waiting to be boiled.)
Things always come out better with my lucky apron on.
Also made is Bigos (stew of cabbage and meat) with kielbasa and plums. Here, it’s being cooked the second time over. It will hit the stove one more time (for total of three times) before it reaches it’s wonderful Wigilia flavor.
And of course, a homemade piernik (gingerbread) is a must during the Christmas holiday.

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>Fireworks at Stanley Quarter Park

>The city of New Britain sponsored its 16th annual Great American Boom celebration and fireworks show on Sunday at Stanley Quarter Park.

The festival that began at 5 p.m. included many childrens’ activities like the inflatable gladiator duel. The opponenets equiped with helmets and padded pugil sticks try to knock each other off the base.

Crowds gathered at the Stanley Quarter Park patiently waiting for the fireworks to start any minute.

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>Twins+ Pool = Fun

>So let me explain what’s happening in the photo below.

First off, it’s a very hot Sunday afternoon and Viola (left) and I are cooling off our bums in like 2 inches of water in a kiddie pool. I set my camera on a 10-second self-timer and rush to the pool to take a nice photo with my twin sister.  We sit all smiles as the beeping, yellow light on the camera counts down to take the photo.  We wait composed and just as the shutter is about to fire, Viola splashes me with a bucket of cold water.  All while mainting a nice face to the camera.  So evil, that twin sister, Viola!

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>Here are just a few random photos from the holidays.

A live Christmas tree at parents’ house on Christmas Eve (Wigilia).
As a family tradition, we always, always unwrapp presents on Christmas Eve after the Wigilia supper. As a kid, I’ve always questioned… when did Santa Claus have time to bring all these gifts?

Opening gifts on Christmas morning, because Santa came in the overnight hours of Christmas Eve just makes more sense. But when you’re a kid, you believe anything your parents tell you; that Santa came in while you briefly took your eyes off the Christmas tree; and the explanation for parents being caught arranging the gifts was that Santa was in a rush and threw them under the door. Geez, I think I will adopt the idea of opening gifts on Christmas morning. It just seems like less scheming on parents’ part.

A traditional Polish dish eaten only once a year at Wigilia. Kutia is a sweet grain pudding made of wheat grain, poppy seeds, and walnuts.

Beet barszcz with dumplings is the first dish in the traditional twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper.

Duck a l’Orange

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>Happy Halloween


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>Birthday Cake

>These are my Birthday cupcakes by Andy. Yummy!

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>First Mother’s Day

>Sunday was a first Mother’s Day celebration for Viola, a new mom of three months. Don’t you agree she looks like a proud and happy mommy?

Cute little Oliver gets a pass for now … but next year he better save up and shower his mommy with the best gift he can afford!

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>Smingus Dyngus

>Smingus Dingus (Splash Monday) is a Polish tradition of pouring water on people on Easter Monday. It is considered to bring good health and fortune to all splashed. The greatest victory is catching someone in bed, unconsciously awaiting their watery surprise. Since I didn’t get the pleasure of doing that to Rob this morning, I’ve planned the attack for later afternoon. I’ve obtained a water pistol from Walmart (I must have looked silly to the cashier as it was the only item I was purchasing). I looked like I was on a mission to rob a bank with that thing. After getting home, I filled it with cold water and gave it a few test shots into the wall. Works like a charm. Then, I planted myself behind the entrance door, gun in hand awaiting Rob’s return home. I wish I could have taken a picture of his shocked, water-dripping-off-nose face. And the more annoyed he got with me for continiously spraying him with water, the funnier it got for me 🙂 I think payback is coming…

Here is the loaded weapon (leaking water from from all directions, that’s what you get for a $1)

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