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


Maura Clare Celebrates #7

Maura Clare born November 17, 2008.  Celebrating her seventh birthday today.

Maura Clare is Seven





Happy 7th Birthday Maura Clare.  Thanks to FF Marlene for the Last Pic as Six.

I thought about adding a couple of  your selfies that keep showing up on my phone!!)

Love from your Grandma Ruthie

A Dozen Years of Love

Lucky us!   Happy Twelfth Birthday Anna Catherine!

One October morning before dawn, you made me and Marlene happy grandmothers.

Loved by your family and friends, your loving heart and kind spirit come out in your eyes.

21768696150_c310a73680_kAnna holds her cousin Charlie- Sunday Oct 4th.


Twelve years flew by!   Love you lots, Anna.  Happy Birthday.   FF Ruthie

Hula Hooper Anna video from five years ago. 





Olaf and the Unicorn

Maura’s unicorn horn was from the Clintonville Music and Art Festival.

Found Message at the Playground

Beneath Your Feet is the weekly photo challenge

Signage, written in chalk.  No one else around don’t know who wrote it on the pavement in from of the bench.

Sunday evening, we were at the playground with my two youngest grandchildren.  My sister Mary  is the one who pointed it out.

Of course, I had my cell phone to capture and share!  Didn’t walk on it. Just wondered who felt compelled to write it.

Hang up and parent sign


Your Happiest Birthday Yet

For my daughter Laura, on her birthday. Your happiest birthday yet.

Born in Eschenbach, Germany

Here we are on Argonne Avenue in Grafenwoehr and in my Pittsburgh driveway almost 32 years later.

img_0384_19710268854_o Happy mother with happy baby makes a very happy birthday!


Aunt Mary meets Charles


James holding Charles, Laura and Aunt Mary as she meets him for the first time.

  • *driveway photo courtesy of my neighbor Joaquin

Sock Monkey Brothers

It’s been awhile since I’ve stitched up a sock monkey. The classic.

One for new baby grandson in Ohio and one for a friend of my sister in New York City.  The pairs of socks have been in the house a long time. Once I stitched on the faces, they seem to look at me and smile.

Both Anna and Jack have set up a crew of sock monkeys, told them to smile and photographed them. This evening I placed the newly completed monkeys on the couch in my living room. And took their picture

Very cooperative!

One of the smiles needs a bit of straightening out, I see upon examining the image.  Ooops.

And yes, my sister and I visited the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois when we were visiting relatives.  (The relatives live in Rockford, not the museum)



sock monkey duoSock monkey duo, going in different directions, more than 500 miles apart.


Here are some old sock monkey photos from previous blogs.

When I was a kid (c. 1958)my family lived in the city of Newark NJ. there was a Youth Consultation Service behind our house on Broad Street.  At least a dozen girls lived there and each girl had a handmade sock monkey.  My mom thought sock monkeys weren’t appealing but I always wanted one. Some people think they are ugly, others think they’re cute. These two have a bit of scrap flannel from the sock monkey pillowcases I stitched for the grandchildren for Christmas.  Going with a theme, here. That will be another post.

I don’t think I owned one until I stitched on in 1976.

The first sock monkey I ever made was for my son Mark (39),father to the grandchildren in the photos above. He name it the Doonie Monkey and it was stuffed with old stockings.  I use fiberfill now. And for some unknown reason, I never added a tail on his monkey.  He resides with the grandchildren in Ohio, too.
I’ve make pink and blue and purple monkeys but my favorite is the classic.

If you would like to make a sock monkey, there’s a terrific youtube tutorial by Professor Pincushion on how to make the classic monkey. I don’t add the ears or buttons on mine.

Swing Like a Pendulum Over the Tree Tops

And at a high speed!

Yes, it’s a thrill ride. Watching it from the ground with a 70-200 lens, you’re mesmerized.

You wonder why a person would want to get buckled in and subject oneself to the sensation.











Actually they look serene.

I would be screaming,  I know.


Here’s a youtube post of the ride in action so you can get a better idea.


Phantom’s Revenge at the Red Light

After I drove Jack and Maura to Aunt Linda’s and Uncle Frank’s  (where I got to sample cookies for the wedding cookie table tomorrow) I pulled into the Kennywood Parking Lot drive at the bottom of their hill.

I marvel at roller coaster design, engineering, construction and  contemplate the desire of those who ride,

ed the clouds and the people headed up to the first drop.

Phantom Revenge at the Red Light

Showing the final shot first. The clouds looked threatening for sure..









Phantom Revenge


Anticipation 1

Anticipation-  I  watched and listened to the riders scream.



Super Stress Relief 

Maura found the potholder looms in the guest room night stand this evening. I’d rummaged around for them when I’d visit but could not find them.  What a happy find tonight. 

Anna and her friend got right to work. Maura needed some help. I use knitting needles or pencils through the loop ends as I approach the finish. Keep it from popping off prematurely. Then a crochet hook to bind off. 

Weaving these provides major stress relief for me. Over under over under. Under over under over- The repetition. 

Reminds me of childhood, too. 

I like them especially  for hot pot lids

when I want to peek inside. 


4 Cosmic Hula Hoops from Cambridge OHIO

I stopped at Exit 178- Cambridge and popped into the K-Mart to get a phone cord charger.

Saw these Cosmic Hula Hoops and bought 4 for the grandkids as I was on my way.  Had a repeat light writing blog in mind as I drove the rest of the way to Columbus.

So four hula hoops, with blinking lights, plus four grandchildren willing to experiment with light equals a fun night photography effort

They helped Grandma capture a different kind of light writing in the backyard when it got dark outside.

I’d say the first day of retirement was a good one!

We used lightning sticks before which might have been easier to maneuver but not as bright.

hula hoop lights jack and michael watch annaMichael and Jack watch Anna and her hula hoop skills.

hula hoop jack in middle

All four at once.  They were already in their jammies.

If you want to learn to hula hoop you can click here 

A few individual efforts and the group

We will try another night.



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