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

Posts tagged “birthday

Happy Birthday to my DIL

You’ve seen her featured on the blog if you’re a follower.

This blog sends lots of love from your MIL on your special day! Erika is a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, friend and DIL and a beautiful person, inside and out.  She ‘s really good to me and I’m so fortunate.  That whole “in-law relationship” can be tricky, eh Erika?  I try to be a good one, too.

(You watch, she’s going to let me know that Henry and Josie, the Airedales, would have liked their photos on the blog today, too!)

at Lala's Wedding


Happy Day or 1-2-3-4 Cake?

 If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you might remember the photos and recipes.On several occasions, I’ve posted our  “go to” birthday cake recipes.
 My sister got me the one Swan’s Down vintage cake pan in Omak, Washington when were visiting our brother one summer.
I did mail a birthday card to my sister.  (Unusual for me that it wasn’t belated)
In my family, we’d try to get it in the octave, as my mom would call it.  Enjoy your day!

Happy Day Cake Recipe-

For Birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle. And as I remember it she added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a slice and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Happy Birthday to my sister Mary who gave me the vintage pan

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional


In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.


p.s. Last year I mailed an actual cake but this year it will be virtual

and another connection was the post when my friend J sent me a cupcake tree to Ohio when I was visiting

Double Digits Today! Happy Birthday Michael

Michael Joseph is 10!

Likes LEGO®, Star Wars, Tin Tin, chess, swim team, dogs (especially Airedales). He’s kind, loving and creative.  He likes to laugh and make others laugh. He has a serious side.  I remember the day he was born in Florida, a decade ago. He’s a Gators fan.

Michael and Murphy were the first posted photo on the blog 6 years ago.


Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 1.26.58 AM 
With new cousin Charlie and sister Anna

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

A Bear and My Brother in Hank’s Market, Twisp WA

Went back to my Okanogan album of 2007 and found this photo of my brother shopping in Hank’s Market in Twisp WA.  How about that wildlife?

Happy Flag Day Birthday David.

xxoo love from your sister Ruth

Hank's Market in Twisp WA

Eight is Great!

March 21st is grandson John Patrick’s 8th birthday.

Where does the time go?  Happy Birthday Jack!


FF Ruthie

Jack is 8 and Henry

Jack and Henry

Jack Swimming

Jack at  swim meet last summer 2014

Jack at the Carnegie Museum of Art Sculpture Garden last summer 2014Tom and Jerry at Pittsburgh

Sneaking a cookie from cousin Vicci’s wedding cookie table. (Aunt Linda’s curtain veils weren’t enough)

JAck and the Cookie Table

Tulips in the Sun

Last week I borrowed Erika’s pink tulips in Ohio and put the vase outside in the snow to photograph the contrast.

Perhaps you saw that post.

My sister is the one who said, “Buy Spring flowers like the Germans did when you lived in Germany” and I took her advice.

This morning I went to the market to get some fresh produce and a bunch of tulips was 4.99 which I thought was well worth it. They’re from Virginia.

What a different feeling a bouquet of Spring tulips can bring to your spirit.

“We lost an hour of winter”, Mary told me when we set the clocks forward.

This afternoon the sun came in through the dining room window but it didn’t hit the table so I put the vase on the floor to catch the light.

Hope for Imminent Spring could be another title.


p.s. My sister wrote an early email after she saw the Tulips in the Sun post to ask me   “did you remember to put the 3 pennies in the water?  It make the tulips last longer. Hint from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.”

Tulips in the sun

and Happy Monday Birthday to my dear friend V. xxoo

Remembering Jennifer Sara, Born February 26, 1982- Passed February 28, 1986

We had some fun neighbors on Lowe Street in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The Army Housing had eight units and they lived on the end and we were in the middle. I can’t remember a single movie we saw together but we sure laughed a lot. Years later when we lived in Germany the whole family came to visit us and we have a video of that occasion.

My friend Sally found out she was expecting her son Jonathan when Mark was just a baby in 1976.  Jonathan is headed back from his Army assignment in Korea and I know Sally is glad.

And somewhere in my house, I still have the cute birth announcement for their dear baby girl Jennifer, born February 26,1982.

Thirty three years ago.

This post is to honor and remember little red-haired Jennifer and all those who love her. xxooxx

porcelain angel

Happy Birthday to My Favorite SIL

Have a great birthday!

Have a wonderful  birthday!  Love, Ruthie your MIL

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Installation -NYC- via Joe and Jack- Guest Blog Photos

You remember the Father/Son blog followers and dear friends who guest blogged the scenes from Central Park in Fall and Winter?

Here is what dad Jack wrote

“Joey’s office is near Rockefeller Center. He sent these pictures of the Christmas Tree as it arrived. He said that some branches are removed making it bare in spots. They reattach the original branches and add branches from other trees. Who would have known? Not me for sure. I was impressed by the scaffolding and all. It is different so I thought you would enjoy it. I will send the finished product if Joe sends it to me. “



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