"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Airedale Terrier

Henry the Airedale Watches a Movie and Thinks About What to do with his Xmas Gift

One more dog post. There’s been a lot of dogs watching TV on my blog this season. And it’s been kids and dogs while I’m on vacation which is fast coming to a close.

We’ve all missed Murphy, the gentleman Airedale, who passed last Spring.  Such a well mannered fellow, and loved dearly.

Erika keeps asking me when I am going to knit Henry a sweater.

He’s still a pup, exuberant and finding his place in the pack, making his way into our hearts with his humorous antics.  He’s trying to figure things out.

He certainly likes being with his family where the activity is happening.  And did he ever relish his new bone.  (Laura asked if it came from a Wooly Mammoth.)

The handy iPhone camera, pulled out of a pocket. catches a moment without my leaving the family room seat or putting down my knitting.

There will be tomorrow to speak of the last post of the old year, bring in the new year- making resolutions or not.

Watching PollyannaHenry and Michael on the family room floor.

taking the bone outside

Hmmmmm I wonder if I could bury this outside.

Airedale and His Bone

Please let me out with this giant bone.

henry and the doll

And Henry eyes Maura’s horse

And then eyes me!

Henry Eyes the Horse

A p.s. to today’s blog
Henry’s breakfast Time for grandma to go home

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Henry the Airedale Knocks on Door to Get Back Inside

Knock knock knock.   What is that noise?

 

Can’t say I blame him wanting to be sure I heard him as it was still snowing outside.

 

Henry knocks on the door

Airedale in the SNow

Once he was in  and dried off, I got a quick photo by the tree

Henry and the Airedale


Back Sleeper and the Rule of Thirds via Anna

Are you a back, side or stomach sleeper?  Anna texted me and sent this photo and said the lion is lying the same way as Henry (Airedale Terrier)          Maura (almost 5) her sister, asked her other grandma if this is how she sleeps!

See the different positions and suggestions at the Mayo Clinic site about sleeping positions. Back sleeping is supposedly good for back pain relief but not so great for snorers.

Photographed by guest blogger, granddaughter Anna (10) , at the Columbus Zoo Wednesday afternoon.  It’s always fun for me when my family contributes to the blog effort.

Last week I was teaching the HS photography students about the Rule of Thirds and even made a grid on a transparency so they could see the  lines splitting up the picture frame , get the idea.  Information on how they could compose the strongest photograph by knowing about this concept of composition.

The Rule of Thirds  comes to mind immediately when I look at Anna’s photo.  And she wasn’t even in the class.

 

Lion Sleeping on his Back

 

 

So went to check out The Lion Sleeps Tonight, original by Solomon Linda 1939 but covered by many famous singers and groups

Wimoweh  

 

 


Happy Golden Birthday Anna- Ten Years Old on 10/10

Double digits.  Oh my!

I remember the day I became a grandmother. (along with FF Marlene) What a lovely day.  The day you were born.

Two grandmothers

 

 

Now your dad is taking photos of you learning to play the cello and sending them to me on the phone.

 

 

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Photographing you has always been fun. Documenting your growing up!  Here’s a little slideshow to celebrate YOU!

lots of love,  Your grandma- FF Ruthie

p.s.   There are hundreds, probably thousands of photographs of you in my archives. When you were born I bought my first digital SLR camera! It was hard to choose  for the birthday post.

Anna almost ten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AnnaonMurphyBW

Here are some of my favorites.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Maybe you remember Anna celebrating her birthday on 10-10-10, doing the Hula Hoop

 


Happy 8th Birthday Michael!

Proud of the fact he was born in Florida, he’s a Gator fan.  (And that’s not easy given he lives in Buckeye country)

He loves to wear the orange and blue!   Build lego.  Learning to strategize in Chess.

When he swings, I worry he goes too high, just even with the very top of the swing set.

He assures me he’s fine.  He studies bugs in the grass, wonders about things.

Likes airplanes in a book. Tin-Tin.  He’s always finding Waldo!

His palate is expansive-he devours little yellow tomatoes with zest. Loves his family.

I was fortunate to be in Florida the day he was born.  Happy Birthday Michael.  Enjoy 8 !.

I love you.  Grandma

Michael on the slide


The Art of Raising a Puppy

 

The Art of Raising a Puppy

My son Mark, my grandson Jack and Henry the 3 month old Airedale Terrier, not paying any attention to me.

 Reviews of the book The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete click here. Mark and Erika did a beautiful job training Murphy.

 

Ooops  Jack jumped off and Henry noticed me.

Henry the Airedale

 

 


Jumping into Year Five of Blogging

Dear Blog Readers,

Just after midnight, WordPress notified me of the blog’s anniversary.  Four years.

So today’s post is the beginning of year five! 

The  blogging effort got off to a slow start, I didn’t exactly  know what to post and wondered if anyone would look at the posts, let alone follow the blog.

There were spaces between days of blogging.

I’d taken a Purposeful Blogging class with photographer John Craig at the Silver Eye Center for Photography and at the end of the class, I wasn’t sure what my purpose was but I plunged in anyway. A photo. A thought.  Something  My first post was just a photograph of  my grandson Michael in “time out” and the family dog Murphy the Airedale, waiting for him to get out of the corner. You can see the very first post by clicking here.  Michael’s  going to be 8 next month. And Murphy passed this Spring.

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement, your taking time to look at my photographs and leave some good words now and again, for clicking the “like”  button and for understanding my not being the best replier. Being part of the WordPress Blogging Community has added much to my life.

Grateful for family, friends, fellow bloggers, guest bloggers, readers and followers.  xxooxx Ruth

Jumping in the Pool

Anna jumps in the pool to get on her mark for the back stroke heat.


Henry the 3 Month Old Airedale Puppy

Many people have a favorite dog breed.  In the list of the top ten most popular breeds in the USA, the top three are Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. Forget the ranking, Airedales are tradition in my DIL’s family.

Henry, the 3 Month Old Airedale Puppy, is the newest member of the family.  He is exuberant and happy with all the care and attention he is receiving from everyone.  You’ve seen glimpses of him in a few posts.

Henry hails from Michigan (Aberdeen Airedales) and has already been in West Virginia and Virginia and resides in Ohio. He was really good on the seven hour ride to  Virginia!  Both ways so that racks up 14 hours in the van.

Mark was telling me about the Presidents who have had Airedales –  Scott Brown of Cerebral Caffeine blog wrote “After The Great War (World War I), the Airedales’ popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and, in America, also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned Airedales.”

Although Airedales are not in the top ten most popular breeds in 2013, he is one popular little guy in the family.

 

Henry the Airedale Puppy

Can you see how big his paws are?

learning to maneuver the stairs

Learning to go down the stairs

Henry in introduced to his cousin Penny the Golden Doodle.

Golden Doodle and Airedale

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Puppy Portrait

Henry in the grass

Each of the kids sat on Dad’s lap to help steer.

My DIL Erika took this one on her iPhone as Mark held Henry the Navigator at  Smith Mountain Lake Virginia

(Mark asked me if I remembered Toonces?)

Henry the Navigator

photo credit to Erika, guest contributor

Henry and his new family.

Henry and the Kids

Maura, Anna holding Henry, Michael and Jack in Hardy, Virginia.


Boy’s Best Friend

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.

Michael talks to 3 month old Henry, (the Airedale Terrier puppy) on the boat.

Henry wore a life jacket and did a bit of doggy paddle with the family but was glad to get out of the water and shake off.

Henry is losing his black puppy hair on his face and as Mark said today, he is looking more “Airedaley”.

Boy's Best Friend


Okay Can You See?

We’re celebrating the Fourth of July in Virginia.  I’m grateful for another birthday.

When I was Maura’s age I used to think all the fireworks were just for me on my birthday.  Ha!

Not sure if there will be fireworks to celebrate the fourth as there’s rain and more rain.

My granddaughter Maura (4) sings the Star Spangled Banner with a slight alteration of the opening lyrics.

“Okay, can you see?” or more like  “O-O-O-Okay can you see”

The title for this post could also be  How to Photograph Four Kids at a Time.  I’ve had a lot of practice.  It’s not impossible but to get ALL four with their best expression is not an easy task.               Add the new puppy Henry to the effort.

I’ve used the -get ‘em in action method- quite a few times.  On the playground, the backyard, the hula hoop, the swing, the bicycle.  Anything so they aren’t conscious of Grandma’s lens.

The sitting around all in a row or even staggered grouping and looking at my lens with the old CHEEEEESE doesn’t work for me.  Or them  Not that I haven’t tried.    Canon 70-200mm L series lens   ISO 100  f/2.8  1/125   I’m up on the front porch.

 

On Your Mark

On Your Mark-

And they're off

And they’re off-


all the way down to the tree

 

headed back to the finish

 

 

uh oh I see his derriere

Uh oh not that view of Henry.  Henry, turn around.

 

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Oh Henry, turn around.   Nah, too posed looking.   ACTION!

 

 

running towards home

 

Maura, Anna, Michael and Jack and Henry

 

 

watch the puppy

 

Here they come.

Anna calls to Henry to join them.

 

 

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He’s getting it now

 

 

 

 

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A moment of childhood captured.

 

 

Maura doesn’t like coming in last.  Henry is watching the cows in the field next door.

Henry and Maura watch the cows


Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

This week’s challenge is companionable

Synonyms for companionable

Synonyms from Merriam Webster online
amicablebonhomousbuddy-buddychummycollegial,friendlycomradelycordialgenialhail-fellowhail-fellow-well-metheartymatey [chiefly British],neighborlypalsypalsy-walsy [slang], warm,warmhearted

Flat Ruthie is participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge on Cardboardmetravels blog, too.  


Pyramid of LED Lights on the Gulf Tower, Change with the Weather

Dear Blog Readers,  

Thank you for the thoughtful expressions of sympathy, your comments and emails yesterday, on the passing of Murphy the Airedale.  

It means a lot to the whole family to read such an outpouring of love, care and concern.  Your words offer comfort and understanding.   xxoo Ruth

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

For years the Gulf Tower Building ( built in 1930) had a beacon that displayed the weather- red lights for fair  or blue lights for precipitation

Now The Gulf Tower has a fancy installation of programmed LED lights that change with the holidays, sporting events and  special occasions but still tell the weather at five minutes before the hour. The combination of lights can produce any color.

Designed by Cindy Limauro,  professor of lighting design at Carnegie Mellon University and husband, Christopher Popowich, partners in C&C Lighting LLC.

Read more: at the Post Gazette article with a chart telling how to”read” the lights.

From the Train Station

This  photo was taken  from my car window while waiting or my sister to buy her train ticket back to NYC at the AMTRAK station downtown.

 


Murphy the Airedale- A Family’s Best Friend

Murphy Joseph McGrath.  Murphy passed today. He just turned 11. He was patient, loving, loyal, humorous and adored by everyone.  What a personality!

It is a very sad day for the family.

If you’ve been following the blog you’ve seen his photograph many times.  I swear he smiled for the camera.

He was one of the first posts on the blog, Murphy Waits for Michael.

So many of you expressed sympathy recently on the passing of Erika’s parents Italian Greyhound, Cleo.  It’s been a hard month.

Today’s tribute is for Mark and Erika’s, Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura’s dear sweet boy- Murphy!

When Mark and Erika brought each of the babies home from the hospital, Murphy was there to welcome them into the family.  Murphy was a pup before M & E got  married.  He was a loving and well loved member of the family. ( Erika would get mad at me if I called him “dog”)

There are no words to describe the sadness, the missing.  You may remember the photos from his  Tenth Birthday post last year.

Anna is nine now but here she is just home from Mercy Hospital

anna murphy baby

Murphy Christmas

Fall Murph

Virginai

Christmas Murph

family

in the van

Murph in the snow

Anna and Murph

Steelers family

boys with murph

murph and anna

murph xmas

Murphy’s favorite tree in Virginia.  He represented for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful.  Murph under the tree in Virginia

Murph on stairs

Photographed by Erika

maura and murph

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In Hardy Virginiamurph and kids

Rest in Peace Murphy

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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

The suggestion of the WordPress Photo Challenge is to select 12 pictures to sum up the year.  As I looked through the folders from this year’s collection and started to pull a few here and there, I remembered what an Art Professor’s comment when he went through my portfolio.  “Hmmmm.  Peopled or unpeopled?”  I was really mixing it up.  You know how I love to find the unexpected- reflection, expression or scene.

Photograph what I am eating or where I am at the moment. When I look at this collection I am grateful for a patient and loving family who allows me to capture them in pictures.  Like Matthew said at his college graduation, ” This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”

But my 2012 Pictures are Peopled! I read how some bloggers went to see which images received the most hits and then they would pick from those but some of my biggest hits aren’t from 2012.  So this posting is to honor my grown up children’s Pop, who passed last month.  As Matthew said to him, “look at all your descendants” when he showed him the photo of them gathered on the stairs.

You’ve seen some of these before if you follow the blog.  Thanks for looking and clicking the “like” button or writing a comment this year.

Looking forward to 2013.   Happy New Year!

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Mark and Erika celebrated their ten year anniversary last August.

 

 

 

steve and the dachshundsIMG_2904IMG_2932 IMG_8983 IMG_9179IMG_9622WEdding Couple Arch

family (3)matthew with family


Porch Light, Moon Light

Murphy sat on the back porch before bed. When I went to let him in, I saw a popcorn looking sky from  the moon and the glow of the porch motion light- on and off, on and off- as he turned his head.  The deck wood looked red.

No time to get a remote cable and eliminate camera shake.

A deep breath as I propped the camera against the edge of the sliding glass door.  Depressed the shutter button while I held my  breath.  No worries that WordPress forgot to issue their weekly photo challenge.


“It’s Annoying Now, But Later You’re Glad”

Laura’s 29th birthday.  She says it is her FIRST 29th birthday.  The family gathers on the front porch because most of them are nearby.

This year I didn’t run around and get in the photograph. Just wanted them.  I’ll put it on the fridge.  Look at it until we’re all together again. In the middle of winter I’ll glance at this August evening, celebrating Laura’s birthday and be glad I have the picture.

Not too many people really want their photo taken. Maybe a few.  The family allows me to photograph them one more time.

They’re gracious and they love me and they know it’s what I like to do.

They probably wonder when I’ll get tired of wanting to photograph them but they don’t complain. Much.  Photographing them while they ignore me is easier.

Of course, I want the shot where everyone is with me and looking pleasant on this occasion.  Ha. Erika says to me, “Good luck with that!”

I get it the best I can.

Don’t want to drag it out too long, make it quick, Just SHOOT!

Thanks family.  Matthew is the one who said to his friends at his college graduation ” This is what my mom does.  It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”

Penny the Golden Doodle with Lala and James on their front porch.

And Maura and Murphy pose for Mark. Caught them from the side as he got them to look at his phone.


Flag Spinning Skills Take Practice

Here we are in Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s front yard.  Murphy resting in the grass.

Abigail was a flower girl in Mark and Erika’s wedding almost exactly ten years ago and now she is going into high school.  Here she is demonstrating how to spin a flag- there are butterflies and figure eights and she has to do it left handed and right handed and toss it in the air and catch it. Anna and Maura were watching and I know I couldn’t do it.  Even with practice.  Her silk flag flowing in synchronized motion will add a lot to the half time show come fall.


Cool Pool and Walk Around the Neighborhood at Sunset

High 80s and no thunderstorms in sight. The pool was practically empty!

We got home for a late supper.  Took a walk/ride around the neighborhood.  You can see glimpses of the setting sun.

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Inside seems simple enough. Until you start to read all the definitions and think about the multi-meanings

Cut and pasted from Your Dictionary - the dictionary you can understand

noun

  1. the part lying within; inner side, surface, or part; interior
  2. the part closest to something specified or implied, as the part of a sidewalk closest to the buildings
  3. INFORMAL the internal organs of the body, as the stomach and intestines

adjective

  1. on or in the inside; internal
  2. of or suited for the inside
  3. working or used indoors; indoor
  4. ☆ known only to insiders; secret or private: the inside story
  5. BASEBALL passing between home plate and the batter

adverb

  1. on or to the inside; within
  2. indoors

 in or to the inside or inner part of

within the limits of: inside an hour

Murphy inside the van looking outside.

Cool enough on Friday to take Murphy to the Post Office so I could mail something.  He WAS in the back seat.  Moved himself up to the passenger seat  while Maura and I were inside and wouldn’t budge for the short trip home.  Yes, I worried about air bag deployment and the seat belt dinging alarm sound the whole way.  We made it. He does have a harness that attaches to a seat belt for car trips.

We were safe inside the house as Mark held the iPad showing the violent storm while I shot the rain and blowing trees outside. This is the storm where Laura and James lost power for 5 days and Marlene and Donald( Roanoke VA) lost it for 8.

Maura waits inside looking outside for the guests.

Here is the inside of the ceramic fruit bowl Mary gave me when I visited her at Easter time.

The Jesus statue contained inside the clear box was photographed on this trip.

Old fashioned hats in Bedford Springs Resort display with the stairway banisters reflected

Challenge- How to show what one is feeling inside?

Check out fellow bloggers posts.  Get the inside scoop.

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For My Son on Father’s Day

Last year my Father’s Day post was honoring my father and this year I am honoring my son who is a wonderful father (along with Erika their wonderful mom)  to the four children pictured-  Anna, Michael, Jack (John) and Maura.

Murphy is an important part of clan so while I watched the kids tonight and we were playing in the back yard I tried to get a shot of each of them for the Father’s Day post, the 1000th post!

Happy Father’s Day Mark!.  love, Mom

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Anna, Her Best Friend, A Special Day

Just before we left for the church, Anna stood with Murphy.

He was sad he didn’t get to go in the car for a ride.

Friends and family gathered in to celebrate Anna making her First Holy Communion at St. Patrick’s, Columbus OH

I’m a proud grandma.

Just before going into the church to line up. Quiet contemplation


Guest Bed Where I’m Sleeping – Just About Full

Anna was in her own bed as she has an early swim meet, leaving the house by 6:30 AM

A busy picture. So busy I -

transformed it to black and white due to the wild colors, stripes, patterns and conflicting light. Caught with the iPhone without a flash, just a snippet of the fun I enjoy with the grandchildren when I visit. Now the boys say they want a campout with grandma but I think it is my iPod touch they want to use to watch a cartoon.  We’re in the basement guest room. Maura(3) looks around and says,”There are no windows.” That’s true, not in this room.  Hope no one wakes up at 3 AM and is missing his or her own bed.

 

 


Murphy the Airedale Terrier’s Tenth Birthday

You’ve seen him many times on the blog.  His endearing personality and stuffed animal appearance make him a satisfying (and willing) subject to photograph. He wants to be in the pictures with the family.  I know some readers are not “dog people” but Murphy is an important member of the family and I know they will enjoy telling him he is “on the blog”!

The recent Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful, featured Murph under a shade tree in Hardy, VA and he was on earlier today, being patient as Anna and Maura put sock monkeys on his back.

I didn’t give him proper recognition for his TENTH birthday which is TODAY!  January 24th!!

My sister sent the hat and bone from NYC and I photographed him on Saturday with his birthday treat.

I said,” Whatcha doin’ Murph?” and he stopped gnawing and looked up at me, so tolerant of old Grandma and her camera lens, frequently pointed in his direction.

An early post before Midnight so it is ON the day, not belated. Happy Birthday Murphy.

 


Slow Shutter and the Pink Sock Monkeys

When Anna was a baby I made her a sock monkey out of a pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks, just as I had done for her father when he was little.  The sock monkey didn’t get much playtime and I didn’t make anymore for the other three grandchildren. At Christmas I noticed Anna using the sock monkey like a puppet with the other kids at breakfast. Everyone was laughing and she was enjoying playing with her(it is a girl and her name is Mrs. Sock Monkey)  She asked me if I could make her a pink sock monkey.  I said I didn’t know how I could because I didn’t know at the time you could buy PINK red heel socks.

Last weekend when I visited, the old sock monkey had not only a bed made from a Costco box, covered in  blanket but there was a small basket added as a bunk with a junior sized sock monkey wrapped up in a hand knitted dishrag  (the sock monkey was one of Murphy the Airedale’s former toys!- every dog needs a sock monkey).

And to Anna and Maura’s surprise, I showed up with two pairs of PINK red heel socks I found online.  Laura brought over her portable sewing machine and I sat at the kitchen table stitching up the legs and arms.  Anna helped stuff the limbs.  The girls were really excited to watch the socks turn into monkeys. I embroidered the eyes and nostrils with some variegated cotton yarn I had as a knitting project.

The next morning as they were waiting to go to church, I had them open the front door to get some available light for a photo of them with their monkeys. Strawberry and Blueberry are their names. Blueberry has blue eyes like Maura and that’s how they can tell them apart.  I used a 1/5 shutter speed -handheld -which is really not a good idea.  Too much camera shake.

The snow in the night added some reflected light but the winter morning was fairly gray.  Murphy decided to come and see what was happening outside and Anna thought he would make a good horse for the monkeys. Murphy didn’t even mind.   He remained undisturbed even though Maura was squealing excitedly.  Then Anna wrote sock monkey on the condensation inside the storm door glass.   I love that all the fancy toys are ignored and the homemade bed out of box and a couple of pairs of socks, transformed into monkeys, delighted the girls.   I told Anna how Aunt Mary and I went to the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois.

Murphy isn't even paying attention to a couple of riders!

Maura watches Anna make the sock monkey wave!

I remember writing on windows. The condensation invites it!


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