There is no explanation as to why I photograph these items. Last year it was the Inflatable Turkeys and then a new one today- Frankenstein. I hear they are expensive. I guess I just don’t understand how they have caught on. Surely the grandchildren would love a yard full of inflatables. They remind me of those plastic clown punching bags you’d bop in the nose and it would fall over and right itself, still smiling. They seem to be getting larger!
You see images of these stacks often. This one from the parking lot by the movie theatre. All that is left of the US Steel Homestead Works- a dozen smokeless stacks.
You feel fortunate when you receive an invitation to dine in someone’s home. It doesn’t happen that often these days. Sharing a meal and conversation is the best. But when your new neighbors entertain their parents who are visiting Pittsburgh from Spain and the mother cooks for the meal, you are really lucky. The menu was fish balls! Albondigas de Pescado ( I hope I spelled it correctly). Delicious! Rice and green salad, a crusty bread, Spanish wine, followed by pie with whipped cream. Oh my. You wish your grade school Spanish was more than two sentences. And a house next door that has sat empty for at least five years, no lights on all this time, has new life and new friends and it feels good to be home.
Saturday night, Steve and I’d eaten dinner and I was working on some photo project and he said, Do you want to go to the Italian Festival? So we did. The neighborhood of Bloomfield hosts Little Italy Days (the 9th year according to the banner behind the band) Wish I had the playlist to post.Let’s just say I knew them all. “I Saw Her Standing There.” (’60’s music as well) . The band played straight with not even a breath between numbers and they closed the evening with Donna Summer’s “Last Dance”. Finesse Band website for more info. Turns out they have opened for Earth Wind and Fire and Chicago. Anyway, after a few numbers the young dancers made there way to the space up by the main stage but they started out behind the barricade down the street. Their energy and enthusiasm added a lot to the crowd’s enjoyment.
I was knitting a shawl in the Spokane airport after a nice vacation with my brother and sister. A lovely couple from Indiana sat next to me as we waited for planes and we struck up a conversation. They had just visited their grandchildren and their daughter and son-in-law were opening a business in Lolo Montana. A coffee business- And proud Dad gave me a card. Which of course I didn’t find until a month later. And so I ordered a couple of pounds of beans for Erika as it is her birthday coming up and she enjoys fresh coffee. I got the nicest note and a box with coffee beans for me from firstname.lastname@example.org , thanking me for my gift purchase. Her parents had told her about meeting me in the airport. So today the blog is a thank you to Amy for her thoughtful gift of delicious coffee from Montana. Click here for website. Have you heard of Moose Drool, Trout Slayer, Smoke Jumper and Praying Monk?
If you read the blog comments you might have read Bernie’s name. He passed in his sleep on Saturday night, his sister wrote to tell me, asked me to let David know. Bern was my brother David’s best friend growing up in Morris Plains NJ in the ’60’s. Bonnie said we brought a lot of smiles to him lately as he did us. We are going to miss his sense of humor and generous heart. He especially liked the Sept 3rd post so I am posting a butterfly for Bern today as final arrangements are made in Kalamazoo.
Love and Sympathy to the Gruizinga family, Ruthie
By the information booth at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. From the archives.
You are driving up a ramp and you look to the right. You sit in bumper to bumper traffic. See the arc of the West End Bridge You see the tops of statues that stand along a wall for Hunt Stained Glass Studios. I had to research who the statues belonged to and thank goodness for Google Street view.
Christina Murdock was awarded the 2006 Sara Henderson Hay Prize from The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, and her writing has been published in The 10th Floor Review, Collision, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Voices from the Attic and Pittsburgh CityPaper. She died in April just one week before her 30th birthday and is survived by her husband, Terry, and daughter, Sophia. A tribute reading of her work will be held at 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Kresge Theater, Carlow University. Free and open to the public. Sales of her book, Burying the Body,($12.95) will benefit a scholarship fund for her daughter. Sponsored by Madwomen in the Attic, a creative writing group for women @ Carlow University. If you would like to order a book let me know.
Formerly a German Dance Hall. There is always an art exhibit, portrait (Mon) and Figure Drawing(Th) classes and expert framing. PANZAgallery 115 Sedgwick Street Millvale Pa 15209 412.821.0959 email@example.com Wed.Thurs.Fri.10-5 Sat10-3 Click here to see Mark Panza’s photographs.
After I had baked the layers and let them cool, I knew I’d frost them before heading out to the Steelers game at Cj’s. Set a table on the front porch to photograph the effort while I waited for Steve to come home to go to the game. The occasion? Happy Birthday Roberta!
I was the passenger. Steve the driver. This car pulled up to the red light. I have noticed cars lately. It isn’t that old a model or anything but was immaculate! We went for a couple of pizza slices in Bloomfield after traipsing around Penn and Smallman St.
Grada Mosaics artist Adalgisa Bosonetto and her husband in their booth at the Fair in the Park. When I first walked in it was just the Dad. He was measuring the photo size in the frames for me. I bought two colorful mosaic picture frames. When Mom returned to the booth I suggested I take their family photo and Sebastian gave me a nice smile as I shot it. Seeing this young family made me feel happy!
From Allegheny General Hospital parking garage yesterday.
The people, of course but you have to check out this spread! You read a book. Or two. Discuss. Some people just hate the books chosen, and others love them. Tonight it was James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. You read things you might not have picked. We didn’t meet all summer. Tonight it was at Joan’s- everything from her garden. Heirloom tomatoes on homemade focaccia crust and a spinach golden raisin pine nut one. Oatmeal Crispies and a flavorful small watermelon. Oh yes, the books. Sergio by Samantha Power and everyone had thumbs down for Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
For Birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing. My mother would put the saucepan into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle. And as I remember it she added a dash of vanilla extract. My dad would pour milk over a slice and eat it with a spoon. Cake and frosting recipes below photo.
Happy Day Cake
2½ cups sifted cake flour
1½ cups sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.
This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
- hot water, optional
In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.