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
My friend Ellen sent me an email about the Knit the Bridge project. You know how we Pittsburghers feel about our bridges.
The Knit the Bridge project is a YARN BOMB thing planned for the Andy Warhol Bridge and is an outreach project for Fiberart International 2013 Knitting Communities together one bridge at a time
We even got together with another friend and knit a bit one evening. Well, not much. We were catching up on one another’s lives now that we don’t teach in the same school anymore. I was reluctant to commit to knit for the project as I had so many projects started. I thought I would knit one 17×17 inch square to help out. It has to be in acrylic yarn and bright colors are desired. I even went to the Red White and Blue Secondhand shop looking for donated yarn to purchase. No luck. The knit or crochet pieces/panels are due June first. There are directions and suggestions for the knit and/or crochet panels at the Knit the Bridge (wordpress blog) and all kinds of information if you want to consider participating. You can mail me your knit pieces and I will turn them in at a drop off point. Of course I plan to photograph the bridge when it is KNIT!
Now I have signed up to knit an entire panel. I’m just starting. It will be 72″ x 34″. Oh my. They need almost 600 panels!
What have I done? I bought some yarn and started my granddaughter Anna (9) on a square 17×17. Then Maura (4) wanted to sit on my lap and learn how to knit so I started her off and amazingly she seemed to “get it” right away. Both granddaughters are left handed so I didn’t know how to do it any differently from how I already knit.
Just got in from visiting the family in Ohio this weekend and so took a quick pic of the bag of yarn to knit in the foyer after I unpacked the car. I put the phone camera down into the bag of yarn and the hall light on the desk illuminated it through the white plastic bag.
Some crazy colors that should show up nicely.
I like to do plain knitting, back and forth, back and forth, watch it grow.
It calms me, sucks out my anxiety. I am going to be very peaceful and relaxed when it ‘s complete
with all that knitting required!
In this age of devices and flat screen tv, the kids marvel at my friend V’s typewriter. She said remembers how she used to type her college term papers on it in the early 70′s.
Michael (7) was fascinated with Tin-Tin and inspired by the typewriter he saw in the movie. He asked if I could bring one out to Ohio. V had given this to Laura when L was in high school. I had it in the hall closet. Michael typed the name of each member of the family and the others were mesmerized.
How do you feel about spiders?
Found under the kids’ sandbox when cleaned out on Sunday. Not sure if it is a biting spider or not. I had no idea there were so many types of spiders in the world.
Looked at some photos online but started to feel confused. Hope someone can tell what kind of a spider he is and if we should worry he is making his home underneath the sandbox.
Anyone have a clue?
I remember reading the kids a book when they were little -Be Nice To Spiders.
How about this department store for ambience? Hospitality?
Von Maur Department Store in Columbus, Ohio at Polaris Mall. This is Donald, my son’s father-in-law waiting in a comfortable chair by the fireplace in the shoe department. I was shopping too and saw him sitting there and had to photograph him in this elegant setting.
A few weeks before, Anna had told me that a Giant Sock Monkey was on sale at Von Maur. (What’s a grandmother for?) Making sock monkeys for all the grandchildren had kept me busy but this one was giant.
My sister and I drove out from NYC the day before. Early Friday morning we went and and picked up the Giant Sock Monkey and had taken it to the car as a surprise for later. He’d been in the Customer Service Department where they said they were feeding him bananas daily. A couple of weeks ago, I’d called from Pittsburgh and ordered him by phone and asked them to save him for pick up at Easter time. There was a thank you note from the sales associate Taylor attached to the huge package. thanking me for my purchase. The Customer Service at Von Maur is excellent.
Anyway, Anna wanted to show me something in the Children’s Department but when we got to the spot, whatever she wanted to show me was GONE. Little did she know that the Giant Sock Monkey was already wearing a seat belt in my back seat. It was a fun day.
Anna set up the sock monkey clan in the family room and photographed them. The most cooperative subjects you would wish for. A couple sock monkeys must have been hiding but collecting four grandchildren’s monkeys is the challenging part. Trying to get the real family for a group shot is much more difficulty. I get a kick out of the kids trying out their photography skills. Anna(9) photographed this one with the iPad. Thanks Anna for the guest blog.
When we lived in Germany, we’d get Pussywillow with fuzzy gray shapes along the branch and hang wooden eggs and rabbit ornaments to make an Easter Tree.
Add MediaI’d never seen Black Pussywillows until Wednesday night at my friend J’s home. I was to take a photograph over to her and the evening turned into an impromptu supper. My crazy part is I went over without the picture I was to take. J followed me back to my house after we ate and got the photograph to take back to her own home but she didn’t seem to mind.
A great blog post about this unusual looking plant is here. The Latin name (Salix gracilistylus ‘Melanostachys’)
I can’t remember the name/type of ceramic vase holding the branches. (Taken with the iPhone)
Street photography isn’t my thing. Funny to say that after posting loads of NYC city street photos the last week but I mean being a true street photographer is not my genre. Photographing people unaware hasn’t really appealed to me and I felt awkward or intrusive. But in an hours time walking down Fifth Avenue I took 165 photos of people on their cell phones. A lot of them while crossing the street without looking. It wasn’t a plan and I made a little movie of the photos but the end result was monotonous and boring. Even though I got it down to a minute thirty three seconds it was a snoozer. You can determine if the ones I have chosen to illustrate my experience produce boredom in the viewer.
In a couple of the photos you can see three or four people on phones at once.
This is not going to be an ongoing effort to capture people using technology in public. The good thing is it allowed me to get more comfortable on the sidewalk photographing people. Of course, it wasn’t a fair playing field as they were definitely distracted and ignoring me which is how I was able to lift the camera to my eye and take their picture.
How have cell phones affected the way we live? Our human interaction?
Sixteen in dog years is getting up there. 112. But no matter if a faithful dog is old or ill, she is going to be sorely missed. She was well loved and cared for but she got sick and just couldn’t get better.
Cleo and her sister Xena, who passed on before, came as tiny puppies many Christmases ago to live with Donald and Marlene, my daughter-in-law’s parents. I heard the story that they were about the size of mice. Cleo and Xena traveled to visit the family every visit. And they would greet us eagerly when we all drove down to Virginia for Labor Day or Thanksgiving or Memorial Day weekends.
Italian Greyhounds grace many an oil painting or tapestry in the world’s museums. This special dog, Cleo,was a much loved member of the family. It’s a sad day.
Sympathy and love to you Marlene and Donald. I know you will miss her terribly.
Xena and Cleo, sisters, in happier days
Another gallery from NYC trip over Spring Break.
Remember the 25,000 dollar Pyramid Game Show? A category is on the card and your partner lists all the things that are in that category. Things that Have Wheels? Things that you ride? Things that help you get around.
Usually the blog is in “real time” but I ‘m back in Pittsburgh as of Sunday night. Still have some New York photos to post even though I am not there.
Food slideshow. What my sister and I consumed last week when I visited her during my Spring Break.
The challenge came out Friday but this day is Saturday night til Sunday night- Easter! Not an ordinary day.
Woman on Cell Phone Carrying a Tulip
The Biggest Box of Chocolates I’ve Seen
Godiva Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Rockefeller Center Chocolates
Plantings About to Bloom on Fifth Avenue
Unusual Flavors at Gourmet Garage
Balloons and Toys
Somewhere I read that alliteration should be avoided.
A rule somewhere. For writing or blogging but I can’t find the source with the rule about not using it, so here is the puppeteer on a break.
The kid on the scooter is looking at the puppeteer as if to ask what time is the next show? Central Park.
Prometheus at Rockefeller Center , Bringing Man the Gift of Fire.
And my friend R alerted me – March 30th is National Pencil Day. The date the patent for the pencil with the eraser on the end was granted in the year 1858.
Thank you Hymen Lipman!
I gathered up what pencils I could find and added the new box of Cedar Pointes I had in my computer bag. I love to write in pencil on a yellow legal pad. I’ve never liked mechanical pencils although I know some who swear by them. On March 30th we’re to write with a pencil but that will make blogging a challenge.
Five facts about pencils excerpted from this site
- A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words
- A single wooden pencil or draw a line that is 35 miles long.
- Pencils can write under water.
- John Steinbeck was an obsessive pencil user and is said to have used as many as 60 pencils a day. His novel East of Eden took more than 300 pencils to write.
- Henry David Thoreau penciled Walden Pond. After all, his father was a pencil manufacturer
- The last time I blogged about pencils was two years ago New Years when Anna sharpened every pencil in the house
We walked through Strawberry Fields and saw the Imagine mosaic. A man sat on a bench playing the guitar. We wondered why he wasn’t strumming a Beatles tune. We walked over the to the Frick Collection and saw the Piero della Francesca in America , no photography allowed.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art
you could stand around all day and take photos of people being photographed with Vincent Van Gogh’s self portrait.
The scaffolding on St.Patrick’s Cathedral will be in place for three to four years.
Lit a candle in St. Patrick’s.
Mercury at Rockefeller Center
Prayers for Peace. I read the sign and took the photo. After I crossed the street I realized just how many ribbons there were on the fence surrounding the church.
We walked down Fifth Avenue from 72nd St to 10th St
Mary and I stood at Washington Square in the late afternoon sun for long shadows.
Corey is filming his cousin Michael and his brother Justin is resting up for his ride. Watched this effort for awhile. They used to skateboard. I talked to them and asked if I could put them on the blog.
And now it is Justin’s turn
E Rossi Co doesn’t have any pictures of the new pope yet, but are expecting delivery soon.
Seems everyone is on some sort of device.
The hair color (above) matches the shoes on the man below!
And a Fiat 500 but not sure what year? Anyone??
Bleecker Street West Village
On a cell phone while making a delivery.
Good thing it isn’t the Sunday Times
We took the subway to Brooklyn and walked to Jane’s Carousel. Click the name to read all about how it was lovingly restored by artist Jane Walentas
This is the lead horse. (I asked.) I’d shown the students a photo of the carousel during Hurricane Sandy and because of the flooding, a stereo is providing the music until the original can be repaired. There was a birthday party happening while we were there. I talked to a Grandpa on the bench next to us after we rode. He said he would love to own a carousel.
Mary and I rode the Carousel, she took a horse that went up and down and I chose one that was stationary so I could snap some photos.
The horse that Mary rode.
View of man flying a kite under the Brooklyn Bridge, photographed from the Carousel.
And then something fun happened. Mary and I were eating at a picnic table, hot cross buns and bananas. A photographer was sneaking a photo of us with a periscope lens. Ha! Turns out it was a Photographer and Model Collaborative Meetup Event happening right by the Carousel at one in the afternoon.
Here is a photo of some of the photographers who gathered to shoot the models.
I see a couple of photographers hiding behind their cameras. Rather take the shot than be in it, maybe?
Meet Marlena from Poland. A model.
And check out Marlena’s shoes
The photographer who is smiling, sporting the red pants, is the one who took a nice photo of my sister and me under the Brooklyn Bridge when I asked if he would mind. That was before we knew there was a meet-up of photographers! Thanks for photographing us together.
Thought it would be fun to be in the shot with my sister.
We met this New Jersey photographer as we waited in line for the rest room.
This couple is photographing themselves. No photographer needed.
And then Mary and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan.
Here is Jane’s Carousel view from the Brooklyn Bridge towards the Manhattan Bridge.
First time I’d heard of Dumbo, Brooklyn (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass- Acronym)
This week’s challenge is just that- a challenge. How could I capture the future in a photograph NOW?
I’m going with this portion of the challenge….. “Anything that involves the present and a hint of the future all in one frame.”
Freedom Tower, New York City. Under construction. 1 World Trade Center. We walked farther downtown and the gusts of wind went up to 35 mph according to the weather. Sunshine and chill.
Daytime view and nighttime view of Freedom Tower.
And when I looked at the shot I took from my sister’s apartment window, I saw a stream of light come down from the clouds.
Other bloggers interpretations to check out here
Francine in Retirement from Pittsburgh with O Death Where is thy Sting? and a photograph of a Pittsburgh cemetery
Even though the weather is NOT cooperating, we won’t speak of
w#&*#r, cause it is SPRING!!! (Dear Groundhog Phil, You were wrong wrong wrong)
March 20 was Mr. Rogers’ 85 anniversary of his birth and Pittsburghers were sporting sweaters to remember him. And sweaters were just what everyone needed in the city- Yesterday AND today! Not sure about the sneakers.
When I looked out and saw
snow coming down I was glad I’d baked apples in the oven to warm the kitchen.
After supper the family called on Face Time and I got to participate in Jack’s birthday and the other grandma (and Pap) were on another iPad FaceTime so we saw each other watch the birthday boy open his gifts. It got pretty wild when Matty called in on SKYPE from Croatia onto his brothers device He joined in the fun and we all watched as Jack opened up the No Stress Chess his Uncle Matthew had sent to him. It was a deviceful family event this evening as Jack turned 6 today.
Helps to have all these communication possibilities available when you live out of town.
The wooden rabbits are from Germany when we lived there. I took them to school and some of the students arranged them to take pictures, make a card. And I saw them set up on a wooden stool at the front of the classroom and I took a quick photo myself as they were looking at me as I got ready to go home.
You can see the pull down screen behind them. They look Spring-like to me!!! (Just don’t look out the window.)
Now We Are Six
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be Six now
for ever and ever.