Remember the garlic our brother sent from Okanogan WA? Well, today our friends S and C from FL were in town and schools were closed due to Rosh Hashanah and Mary made us a delicious lunch. Forty Clove Garlic Chicken! There are a ton of different recipes online but she used 4 large chicken breasts with bone-in and then cut them in half. Rice and steamed green beans with a touch of butter. And her balsamic fruit salad. It was delicious. We finished the lunch with a scoop of Jeni’s Salty Caramel ice cream (made in Columbus OH but bought in Whole Foods) and a Gingersnap.
I was driving to Columbus OH from Conneaut Lake one August and took some back roads. I wish I could remember how I came to be on the other side of this outdoor statuary which was for sale. Perhaps a stop at a gas station. You might remember the story of how I retrieved a Mary statue standing out on the curb in our neighborhood. It just didn’t seem right for the trash. Then a nice woman who was doing some gardening for me, took the Mary statue home to her house to paint her since she was so weathered. The master gardener also a puppeteer had the urge to restore her since she was so beat up looking. Turns out she was plastic and hard to paint but she is in my side garden now, looking bright and renewed. I actually hope she weathers a bit. I did call her Our Lady of the Weeds but my sister is here and made the side garden really lovely so I will have to rename her. I am intrigued by private grottos and garden statuary. You may remember Mary in the Springtime or Mary in the Snow. Sometimes the placement of Mary statues in Pittsburgh is a real juxtaposition. Stuck in odd spots. No matter where I see the Mary statues, they look peaceful to me.
Photographed at the Kenny Chesney concert a few years ago. A friend of Mark’s gave us tickets to go and it was really an all day affair. We took the boat across the Allegheny River to the Stadium. I will admit at the time I did not even know who Kenny Chesney was or any of the songs he sang. I know, I know, hard to believe but true. It was amazing to watch the concert goers stand, sway and sing at the top of their lungs to every song he sang. There were a ton of warm up bands and Kenny arrived when it was getting dark and what an entrance. They knew them all. Every word!
So all this talk of football season and this photo came to mind and I am starting to wonder if I have posted it already cause I like the patient standing formation of the people waiting to get their hotdogs. And the cowboy hats in our city for the evening!
Tenth Street Bridge in Fall light on Monday morning on the way to school. You can see the Liberty Bridge behind the Tenth Street Bridge. Bridges and their construction fascinate me. This morning shot from the Birmingham Bridge (I pulled over and stopped with the flashers in the bike lane and there was almost no traffic) But the reflection in the Monongahela River is what made me stop. The river mirror-like this morning, so still. October is my favorite month to shoot and I am going to make a point of leaving for work earlier so I can catch the Autumn Dawn. How great it would have been if the trees had changed colors already but they are just beginning. And V I think I see Prospect Middle School up there on the left top of Mt. Washington (33 years of fortunate students) !!! Oh my.
Oh why didn’t I bring the 70-200 lens this weekend? And even if I had, who could have switched it if it were in the camera bag and not on the camera body? Looked out the window to see how the weather was and what a surprise! This hawk was sitting out on top of the swingset and as I slid the glass door open, trying to be so quiet, I was sure he would fly away. I got two shots off and his head moved and he flapped twice and was gone in a flash. Looked up Ohio hawks online and this one seems to be an immature Cooper’s Hawk. He was definitely looking for breakfast. He heard the shutter on the camera, turned his head and was gone.
And that was the planned post for Monday, already set up to go.
Then I get a comment from Joanne in Nebraska (Sunday’s Hot Air Balloons) and a special request for the five lasagnas pic so here they are and a link to the Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe by Giada Di Laurentis, 3rd from the left. We omitted the nutmeg from the Butternut Squash recipe- why? we didn’t have any. Aunt Mary cooked all five with some assembly assistance by Anna and Michael. The lasagnas were accompanied by Garlic Bread and salad and fresh fruit. Here is the ground sausage and meat recipe- omitted the sugar and the fennel seeds from this recipe. The four veg lasagnas were the most popular! Anna wrote labels for each one. Many guests tried a sampler of a few of them. Butternut Squash was a favorite.
Having received not one but two Versatile Blogger Awards in the last two days I know I should be writing seven things about myself and sending the invitation on to fellow bloggers…..but I am short on blog time as I am with the family in Ohio this weekend.
The pre-wedding festivities have begun. My sister made FIVE kinds of lasagne- Butternut Squash, 4 Cheese, Ground Sausage and Meat, Zucchini & Eggplant, and a Spinach Lasagne. The shower was fun. And Saturday night my sister and I watched the kids while the young women went out to dinner and then to the Big Bang Piano Bar for the bachelorette party. Bridesmaid Jenny in from Chicago had heart shaped measuring spoons for everyone to take home and Bridesmaid Celeste had bags of “sweet things”. Matron of Honor Erika hostessed at her home and it was a great celebration. My SIL2B picked up the cake at Cake Dot’s this morning. Everyone enjoyed Aunt Mary’s efforts in the kitchen. She flew in from NYC on Tuesday to begin preparations.
Photo-of-the-day from the archives. Omak WA.
Photo Credit: Matthew S. McGrath
Porec, Istria, Croatia. Summer 2008. While visiting Matthew we drove to Istria from Zagreb and had many adventures. I bought the large pink doily and some of the little pieces for the women in my knitting group from the same timeframe. I declared her Master Craftswoman of Crochet and not sure if there are various levels but was thinking along the lines of say, Master Gardener. But then Master could sound masculine so added the Craftswoman part. Another post I will show you her kitchen that I photographed. She invited us in. I wish I had purchased a few more items when there. Photographed by Matthew S. McGrath. (I was in the original photograph but I cropped myself out!)
We were talking outside as I had just photographed an item (stay tuned) in my neighbors’ driveway and as I was heading home. We were still chatting and I started to photograph a little grasshopper sitting on top of one of their daisies (might be a different species but similar in appearance).
The conversation went like this-
J said- Look at the spider-
R- what spider?
J-the big spider-
R-where is it?
J-the big black and yellow spider—– right there under the flower
R I don’t see it.
R———- OH MY- I see it now -that spider is ENORMOUS-
Steve I might need a new glasses prescription. How did I miss this giant spider? It is considered harmless to humans according to the information on this type of spider but I would not want it crawling on me. Click here for more info on the
Argiope aurantia commonly known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider-
Tuesday night I uploaded the final card of wedding photos from the weekend and found this image. It was Jesse’s idea. I think it’s really creative. The Juniata River was high and was rushing by. This river is well known for the fabulous trout fishing. But the groom had the idea with the fishing pole and hook, and his bride, Lauren, landed her groom. Honestly, to me it looks as if Jesse is standing in the river! They were a lot of fun. Photos on the track, in the dugout, on the mound, by the scoreboard- it was a fun shoot! And ALL their idea. But the fishing rod and line were all Jesse and I think he came up with a most creative shot for me to catch as he got caught. I asked on Sunday at brunch if it would be okay to blog the fishing shot but then got taken with the bridal party in the dugout. Found this one Tuesday night and hope they don’t mind my posting them again! Way to go Jesse, and I know there has never ever been so beautiful a fisherbride ( what is the female for fisherman?)
Wenatchee, WA. This photo is now hanging over my bed as of last week. Not sure how my dreams will be affected. I like the colors. Full name is EZ’s Burger Deluxe on Wenatchee Ave. I was visiting my brother in Okanogan, WA. Shot it from the parking lot across the street.
Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. A relaxed bridal party shot on campus, Saturday’s wedding. Both bride and groom are alumni, as are some of the attendants, too. The groom played baseball and football and the bride a serious runner (just signed on to run the Boston Marathon again, oh my)
“Throw my hands up and (Shout!)”
SHOUT- Originally recorded by the Isley Brothers in 1959- Here Nancy and friend Eric kick up their heels at Lauren and Jesse’s wedding in Alexandria, PA. It was fun to catch them mid-air.
(I know, the woman’s legs under Eric confuse the photo but I liked the effort and energy of their enthusiastic dancing)
A flash in the dark. I try to use available light most times and avoid flash. Uncle Matty in from Zagreb with an armful of two nephews and a niece. Jack, Anna and Michael. Maura Clare looking on from the front porch steps at La and James’ home.
I chose this one for the weekly photo challenge because I thought the faces expressed the most emotion, even if the light of the flash wasn’t the best light on them.
It is an amazing skill Uncle Frank has- refurbishing old cars. Did you see his 1933 Buick?
The car he is working on now is a year younger than me! He’s got the engine in now. I am fascinated by the ability to do such work. Watch for future updates as he takes this baby on the road.
And the interior is from a Cadillac. I wouldn’t know where to begin. It is going to be a beauty! Shot in his West Mifflin garage.
If you have followed me in the winter you might have seen the pink toilet in the snow. I saw that one on the way to school. This one not quite as dramatic and a different season but the view is directly from the school parking lot and the art room. You know how people’s garbage fascinates me!
Another little project I started a few years back. This one is in Seaside Florida. Not a WordPress challenge, but my own. I love the table and two chairs.
How something feels. Or looks like it feels. That’s what I teach the kids at school as texture is one of the art elements. Sometimes we rub a crayon on paper to capture texture, like the bottom of our shoes. Perused the WPC posts for inspiration and a lot of ancient stone walls, Roman ruins were possibilities from the archives. Murphy the airedale’s coat came to mind. I was in the Croatian files last night and found something from the Zagreb Fish Market. Then saw the breakfast roll. Remembering how Matthew went to the bakery and brought it back. Difficult to edit myself this late evening. Decided to add the poll today as I would for the Keep or Pitch blog (on temporary hiatus) Cast a vote- which photo exemplifies the Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured ?
A beautiful day, filled with love and joy. Surrounded by family and friends, Vicky and Justin exchanged vows at St. Sebastian’s. Almost a decade of loving one another and now they are married. The rain held off and the sun shone down upon them! It is fun to be a guest AND the photographer. They gave me their gracious permission to put up a wedding photo for today’s post. She wore her mother’s gown which she had altered. Just a lovely day of being together and celebrating their marriage. xxooxx I wish them every happiness, always! The food was delicious(mushroom risotto, grouper stuffed with spinach, stuffed eggplant, roast zucchini and yellow squash and onion medley and the cookie table another post for another day.
When I teach students how to put markers away I teach them the order of the spectrum. Kindergarteners can do it! We sing a little song, red orange yellow green blue purple a few times and they line them all up in the boxes. I say, “Don’t forget the brown and black. SNAP THE CAPS!” And a box of eight markers is in pretty good shape for the next class.
Anyway, the paints were lined up in order on the counter and when I came upstairs after the buses left, I saw the sunlight coming through the jars of glitter paint we’d used earlier. I have no idea how we received a box of glitter paint but we did. The colors were brilliant and I got excited as I rushed to get my camera. Here’s what I could catch.
WILD turkeys but they seem fairly domesticated and brave ( or not too bright?). There are a lot of them in the area (remember my first day of school post with the family of turkeys on the sidewalk.)
Wednesday’s mail brought a box with holes punched in it. I knew no one was shipping a guinea pig to me.
The postmark was Okanogan WA- It was a box of Chesnok Red (originally from From Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia) David had packed it in gray egg carton parts, They arrived in perfect shape.
When I spoke to David on the phone he was hoping that Mary and I would cook with it for Laura’s Bridal Shower in Columbus. We’re making lasagne. He told me it’s Hardneck garlic (can’t braid it, Greg- you can see Greg braid his garlic harvest here)
This particular type is supposed to be great baking garlic. I shared some with my neighbor as he is a great cook.
David told me about the organic farm where he got the original seeds to plant years ago. Filaree Garlic Farm. They have photos and descriptions of the different types of garlic and you can get a catalog. Planting season is real soon. Last week of September, first week of October for Okanogan’s zone.
I sat on my side porch and photographed the beautiful purple striped skins. Thought about our brother David and we’ll be thinking of him as we cook and eat this wonderful harvest.
Going back to school has been an adjustment. The weather changed and is cool and damp. Donned a sweatshirt and even put the hood up (thanks Laura for leaving your Marquette hoodie in the drawer) Tonight my friend brought over a pot of Marcella Hazan’s Spaghetti Meat Sauce. Carrots and onions, some wine, cream, fresh tomatoes (I will have to ask for the specific recipe if anyone would like it) Steve brought some salad and a crusty loaf of Italian. J brought the cheese to grate over the pasta. The pasta was the thickest I had ever seen and just delicious. It went well with the thick meaty sauce. We had a nice meal together and good conversation, some laughs and though I was tired from teaching, the dinner was satisfying and appreciated. A real spirit lifter! Thanks J!