Friday night in Laura and James’ living room, I was telling them what the weekly photo challenge was.
Laura said, “I have pumpkins on the front porch and Christmas decorations in a box.” So I went out onto the front porch but when I saw the neighbor’s Christmas lights and a mini-bus drove by, I knew I had the shot for the Change of Seasons challenge.
Change of Seasons. And the temperature is 50 degrees making it feel like a Spring evening.
After school let out, I drove down to Homestead from Carrick. Judith and Daniel extended a warm welcome and we caught up. I hadn’t been there in awhile but was so glad I went.
I had my Christmas list and wanted to support my Independent Kitchen Store.
First, I ordered the 4 cheese pasta bake with a side of sautéed spinach at the Tin Front Cafe. where I sat at the old Chioda’s bar. The restaurant is vegetarian. A lovely Spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and asiago cheese shavings, a slice of crusty bread.
Yum. I heard about the up and coming new restaurants coming to the avenue in Homestead. Judith showed me the special honor in the Pittsburgh Magazine. Her son, Daniel Valentine, was recognized for his work to rebuild and revitalize Homestead and was chosen as a winner in the Forty Under Forty awards.
“Winners were chosen based on their passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.”
You might remember I blogged a visit to both places when Laura visited Pittsburgh.
Supporting independents! Scroll down and see the specials on USA Pans- Bakeware manufactured in Ambridge PA!
Buy three (any shape) and get a free jelly roll pan. (I love jelly roll.) Everyone needs a new cookie sheet!
I can’t say what I bought as that would be a spoiler. You can call Judith 1-800-862-6639 and she’ll ship out in time for the holidays.
All- Clad is manufactured in Canonsburg PA, just down the road from Pittsburgh.
Judith has a Holiday Special on an All-Clad 3 quart lidded saute pan for just 99$! WOW! I love cooking with my All-Clad pans.
This is the store where I bought my Nespresso machine before the display was so high speed.
I hear George Clooney is advertising them on TV in France, oui?
Check out the elegant and classy Museum of Modern Art flower vase. Understated and stunning.
Love the quirky clocks! A 3 cup steamed pudding mold. The Twoolies and the Riviera Bags are one of a kind gifts.
Shop YOUR Independent Store today. Now to gift wrap everything………………..
Trolls have a really bad name these days. The internet troll is the first to come up with a google search. UGH. The word conjures visions of creeps on the internet doing extremely negative things.
But there was a time when the word trolls meant little plastic doll with crazy hair sticking up and beady eyes-
and before that they were written about in Norse Mythology and Scandinavian Folklore.
The trolls of the rubbery type, a protruding belly with navel, glassy eyes and colorful hair were around when I was in grade school in the late 60′s.
Did a search for the origin of the troll dolls and they were created in 1959 by a Danish man, Thomas Dam. They are also called Dam dolls.
Chicago John noticed the Christmas troll, dressed as a caroler, on my Sunday breakfast table. The wikipedia post says that some people collect THOUSANDS of them. No kidding. I have a few of the Christmas ones that have been around for years and I brought them out for the grandkids who had fun with them last summer.
When I was with the family in Virginia over the Thanksgiving Holiday, my son’s in-laws had this pair of Pilgrim Trolls on the mantle. They made me laugh when I saw them.
I did turn these two so they were looking at the camera cause initially they just had eyes for one another. (scroll down)
Sounds like they are having a bit of a comeback these days with a new generation. Any troll collectors out there?
As I entered the building I looked back.
Saw the reflection of dawn in the high school windows. Lifted my phone up and shot the scene.
The holly bush outside provide a few branches. Photo by iPhone.
I have 3 Christmas plates in the Naif pattern but they made it feel festive.
Menu was scrambled eggs with a bit of extra sharp Cabot cheddar, toast. Coffee and orange juice. The tangerines looked beautiful but the taste was a bit disappointing.
Nothing fancy, simple but good. And the individual butter dishes from my elegant friend J in Omaha. They inspire me to entertain.
Saturday morning I went to a wonderful poetry reading at Calvary Episcopal Church on Shady Avenue (in Pittsburgh). It was a grand crowd of friends, fellow poets and family. Jan Beatty gave a marvelous introduction and then Liane read poems from her book. They had to get extra chairs! Afterwards there was lots of hot coffee and croissants, raspberries and blueberries and other delicious pastries. Her grandson helped sell the books and make change.
Liane Ellison Norman’s new poetry book is Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems.
On Monday December 3rd, one of her poems will be read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. How cool is that?
Here’s the link so you can listen to the reading of Tree by Liane Ellison Norman.
This week’s challenge is reflections and to see more responses to the challenge, click here
Field trip today with high school students, exploring Slippery Rock Univeresity. The weather was almost like early Spring if you can believe it.
At lunch the kids were thrilled with the fare in the Boozel Dining Hall. Especially the desserts. Jim the baker was gracious and allowed me to photograph him and his cupcakes but I was shooting into the window light so he allowed me to take another. His coworker said he is already famous. He told me he comes from England, or at least his forbears did. It was crowded and loud and we had to catch the bus back to school. I wish I had gotten more info, how he became a baker and how long he has worked at the university. Thanks Jim!
What a great day the students had, touring and visiting the library and a dorm room and trying out the climbing rock wall and pool, eating in the dining hall.
First photo taken with the iPhone.
And the middle portrait shot with Canon 5D with a 24-70mm L lens, available light,no flash ISO 400 f /4 shutter 100
Final cupcakes photo with the Canon 5D as well. When you compare the first and third cupcakes you know you need your camera at all times.