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.
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 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
Photographed by Erika
Rest in Peace Murphy
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- the part lying within; inner side, surface, or part; interior
- the part closest to something specified or implied, as the part of a sidewalk closest to the buildings
- INFORMAL the internal organs of the body, as the stomach and intestines
- on or in the inside; internal
- of or suited for the inside
- working or used indoors; indoor
- ☆ known only to insiders; secret or private: the inside story
- BASEBALL passing between home plate and the batter
- on or to the inside; within
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 the Airedale. Again. I was sifting through files and saw him looking at me. This was shot at Thanksgiving time in Hardy, Virginia. The day we were attempting the Christmas card photo with the kids all in red.
Photographed during a family visit to Hardy, Virginia. Labor Day Weekend 2006. I like the green and warmth in this photo as it is white, cold and gray in Pittsburgh today.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful Click here to view fellow bloggers responses to the weekly photo challenge. Their links are in the comments section. A wide variety of photographs.
Murphy the Airedale Terrier is an important part of the McGrath family. Here’s his birthday party 3 1/2 years ago in the kitchen.
In this photo, Erika is expecting Maura Clare- who just turned 3 after Laura and James’ wedding in November. No more jumpy seats in the house these days.
I was trying to decide if Laura had already met James when this celebration shot was taken.
Murphy didn’t get to eat one of his cupcakes but we all did. Well, that was AFTER we sang Happy Birthday. Seriously. The kids loved it!
It was a happy celebration and the excitement level was high, even though it was just before bedtime. Creating family rituals and traditions makes for happy memories later.
You might not believe me but Murphy not only poses, he smiles for the camera! That night grandson Michael hid from the lens, though.
Weekly challenge links to other blogger’s responses to the challenge are here
Anna is eight years old today. I remember going to the hospital in the dark, and then watching the sunrise over the Monongahela River from the window. Then I went to school after she as born and everyone was so happy for our family. It was a happy day. Here is a portrait of her with Murphy the Airedale when she was one. It hangs in her bedroom.
And a recent photograph of Anna and Murphy….
The artist of the painting , Alison Zapata, is a new mother herself and paints wonderful pet portraits. Her website is here
Wednesday night was the swim banquet and I came home in one car with Jack and Maura. Jack opened the door and Murphy came out to greet us. Such excitement and welcoming greetings. He had been to the groomer’s earlier in the day. He was so happy to see us come home. Erika told me that he was feeling left out since I don’t photograph him like I used to. I asked her how she knew. She said he had texted her.
So there he was sitting so nicely on the driveway and the sun was setting and I had my camera from the swim banquet right there and I called him and he looked right at me.
He is a sweet dog. I know everyone has their breeds they are loyal to and Rob has his OPD’s as his favorite breed( other peoples’ dogs) Murphy adores his family and they adore him. He is affectionate and patient and likes to be near people. I don’t have my own dog but enjoy Murphy when I visit. Sometimes he comes to stay at my house when the family goes on vacation.
Since the temperature was 99 degrees plus humidity factor today and it felt like 110 I’m sure it felt good to have his hair cut.
As far as photographs go this is not my best as he looks like a bit like a cardboard cutout against the concrete but I think it captures his personality. Don’t think I have a future in pet portraits.
There are reasons people have dogs