On the church steps of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Polish Hill Pittsburgh PA.
My son Mark and his bride Erika and Anna, Maura, Michael and Jack, on the church steps.
Storybook Forest- Idlewild Park , Ligonier, PA. Nestled in a dark green forest…..
Aunt Linda talked to a worker who said the Old Woman in the Shoe was not at home in her shoe was because she had to fill in and be Mother Goose in the late afternoon.
But to the kids, this was Mother Goose, no questions asked.
The family came to Grandma’s house today.
The highlight of my summer!
And Anna likes to check things out around the place. We found a tarnished, dented silver rattle of her father’s from 1976. It was badly tarnished.
I asked her if she’d like to learn how to remove the tarnish, talked about oxidation, and how to polish silver. We found a few old baby cups that were up high on a kitchen shelf and seemed a bit fuzzy. We got a ramekin and she poured the baking soda in and then the littlest bit of water to make a nice paste. I found an old washcloth to rub the metal. We added an apron for her and she polished away.
I have lots more tarnished silver if she wants to dig in.
And here is what she said to me as she polished away…..
“Your dad would like that I am doing this.”
and I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes and thought, she is exactly right.
Anna at the sink with her father’s old rattle after she polished it! WIsh we had taken the BEFORE shot with the old iPhone first!
Baby cups on my mom’s old hammered aluminum tray, awaiting polishing.
Another photo essay today. An iPhone essay.
My friend J sent a huge styrofoam chest filled with fancy steaks, filets, chicken breasts, some gourmet franks and burgers, too. It arrived today.
Going to be a birthday grill out but Mark’s mind started thinking……… memories of science class?
Mark carried the package to the basement. We put the food in the upright freezer and then he proceeded to entertain and teach the four kids about the properties of dry ice and how it could be used for special effects on stage or movies. He was careful and warned them about how you couldn’t touch it and why it was doing what it did as he poured water of different temperatures onto it. It was quite a show and much appreciated by all.
Well, Maura(4) hung back. Said she didn’t like it.
Solid Carbon Dioxide- dry ice
Thanks Joanne for the lovely present. Who knew the packing material to preserve the food inside would become a blog today!
All the precautions on the bag. I am sure most people just dispose of it. But maybe not.
The Girls at the Boy Scouts of America Booth- Eyeing Mobile Ropes Course
Michael and Maura eye Goldie and Tiger
We didn’t play any games but these goldfish were foisted on us by a girl who won them. Sadly, both are deceased already(the first within 24 hours) despite the investment in an aquarium with filter and lights and pretty gravel and conditioning the water etc etc.
The Railroad Display
Petting a calf. The calf was a prize in a drawing. No, we did NOT enter the drawing.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
All seven kids on the inflatable chair at the State Farm Booth. And obviously had them pose for this shot.
Tough challenge this week. For me, at least.
I didn’t want to post a painting from the Metropolitan Museum from my archives or someone else’s idea.
There have been a lot of creative and unusual masterpieces posted by fellow bloggers . And although there’s plenty of grandchildren artwork where I’m vacationing, how could I chose a single piece from one of the four?
In Ohio, there are no majestic tall ships with light on their sails like Frizz in Germany or Colline’s intricate handmade ship models, or Francine’s stunning views of the Grand Canyon or Meg’s post of Capri. Or Madhu’s edible masterpiece.
There are so many others to see and even a brand new grandchild for Gilly
So keeping it simple. Very simple
One more photo from the Ohio State Fair to meet theWeekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece.
Look, an egg!
Four grandchildren in the backyard
+Four White Lightning Sticks with strobe effect (@$5)
+Grandma’s camera on bulb setting, propped on the garden fence.
+Energy and Enthusiasm for the experiment
= ________________________ FUN!
We started out slowly, sitting down on the lawn.
I suggested a little more movement. I’d say they complied on both of these shots.
Michael, Maura, Anna and Jack with their White Lightning Sticks in the Backyard
The final one, directed by Anna, Circles all around. She staggered her siblings so no one hit one another. It started to get buggy. We’ll try again another night.
When the kids visit their grandparents in Virginia, they love to feed the horses next door carrots and apples. Marlene must have had ten pounds of carrots for our stay! The neighbors are generous with allowing all the children to visit the animals at the barn, too. You might remember the pigs. The grass was so high from all the rain in was hard to see the bare feet!
The fence where we took Christmas card pics last Thanksgiving.
Maura feeds the mini horse a carrot.
Not sure what Michael is communicating to the horses or they to him……
The next morning, saying good bye. Horses keeping cool in the shade of the woods.
and the much used but almost always successful running grandchildren shot.
They really respond to on your mark, get set, GO. Must be all that swim team practice and meets!
The four of them are making my summer vacation a lively one!
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”.
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.
It’s gardening season finally. Planting grass seed. Thinking about what vegetables to plant. James and Laura were preparing their garden and found this Old School original Fisher-Price Little People® girl. Wooden head. Wooden body.
I think she got transferred from my son and his wife’s house to my daughter and her husband’s house. Not by a bird but a grandchild. Will have to check and see if the same girl is living in two homes.
Awhile ago I did a post on the various generations of the Little People® I’d come across at the family’s house in Columbus.
No worries about choking hazard when these were manufactured. And here’s the crazy part. I discovered a site that identifies the Little People®.
From what I could determine she’s from late 60s early 70s. On the site she is listed as Occupation: Girl.
I think they are a match!
Here are the three generations from the October 2011 post
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.
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.
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.
Here are two views of the grandchildren watching”the box” while sitting in a box. A portion of one was in the Lost in the Details yesterday.
Thanks to a wonderful fellow blogger, S - Another Day in Paradise - who wrote this comment on yesterday’s Weekly Photo Challenge and inspired today’s post. ( she is originally from England, now South Africa and Florida)
*“Wonderful selection of photos, Ruth. I absolutely love the “Watching TV in a box.” In England, the TV is often called “The box,” so you could have titled it “Watching the box in a box.”
Never used nowadays lately but had to look it up to be sure I spelled it correctly.
While in Ohio this past weekend, I was helping sort through some toys in the playroom. Matchbox cars here, a duffel bag of puppets, strollers and baby dolls and a whole tub of action figures like Batman and Star Wars light sabers. A box of wooden blocks.
The grandchildren are growing up and many of the younger toys aren’t being played with and room needs to be made for new ventures.
These Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were gifts from Great Aunt Bobbie when Anna(9) was born. They looked exactly the same way they have smiled at me for all these years. No change in expression. Just grinning. They looked almost brand new.
I took them upstairs and set them up in my father’s old oak rocker which is now in Mark’s office. They didn’t object to being photographed. I started thinking about rag dolls and how they aren’t trendy and I wondered if people are still buying them. These are lovingly handmade in Kansas City and I think of them as classics. Nostalgia sets in. (more…)
Sunday afternoon, Michael, 7, asked me if I would photograph his LEGO® vehicle and put it on the blog.
Now how can any grandma resist that invitation? Michael loves to create, construct and play with LEGO®. We just don’t like stepping on them.
(I pronounced him the “master” LEGO® builder although there might be an official designation with a credential he’d have to earn from LEGO® U)
The close-up of the vehicle. In the background? When I looked at the photo on the computer screen I noticed my father’s rocking chair in my son Mark’s office.
Here is the first photo, when Michael called down to me and asked me if I would photograph his STAR WARS LEGO® vehicle and put it on the blog.
I said, sure.
Then he came down the stairs and put on the finishing touches so I could shoot it. It tickles me how the grandchildren know all about the blog.
Friday night, four year old Maura told me I could bring my computer to her room and blog before bed. (That’s Maura on the bottom right with a hockey stick, climbing up the stairs.)
I’m sure there’s a great story behind the placement of this molded plastic creature, dangling from a wire frame atop a building!
You might remember, depending on how long you have been following the blog, that my friend Sally said that things come in threes.
There was the steed left by a cowboy in an Arlington neighborhood alley, just like the one Chicago John rode as a kid.
And here is the latest one I caught yesterday as I sat in traffic in East Liberty and happened to see it up on the roof.
“Found” rocking horses or rocking horse heads in the city are a theme without my even realizing. Maybe someone is going around the city and placing them for me to find!
Here are the aforementioned horse sightings in the city cause let’s face it- who has time to return to old blogposts?
Trolls have a really bad name these days. The internet troll is the first to come up with a google search. UGH. The word conjures visions of creeps on the internet doing extremely negative things.
But there was a time when the word trolls meant little plastic doll with crazy hair sticking up and beady eyes-
and before that they were written about in Norse Mythology and Scandinavian Folklore.
The trolls of the rubbery type, a protruding belly with navel, glassy eyes and colorful hair were around when I was in grade school in the late 60′s.
Did a search for the origin of the troll dolls and they were created in 1959 by a Danish man, Thomas Dam. They are also called Dam dolls.
Chicago John noticed the Christmas troll, dressed as a caroler, on my Sunday breakfast table. The wikipedia post says that some people collect THOUSANDS of them. No kidding. I have a few of the Christmas ones that have been around for years and I brought them out for the grandkids who had fun with them last summer.
When I was with the family in Virginia over the Thanksgiving Holiday, my son’s in-laws had this pair of Pilgrim Trolls on the mantle. They made me laugh when I saw them.
I did turn these two so they were looking at the camera cause initially they just had eyes for one another. (scroll down)
Sounds like they are having a bit of a comeback these days with a new generation. Any troll collectors out there?
Saturday morning I went to a wonderful poetry reading at Calvary Episcopal Church on Shady Avenue (in Pittsburgh). It was a grand crowd of friends, fellow poets and family. Jan Beatty gave a marvelous introduction and then Liane read poems from her book. They had to get extra chairs! Afterwards there was lots of hot coffee and croissants, raspberries and blueberries and other delicious pastries. Her grandson helped sell the books and make change.
Liane Ellison Norman’s new poetry book is Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems.
On Monday December 3rd, one of her poems will be read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. How cool is that?
Here’s the link so you can listen to the reading of Tree by Liane Ellison Norman.
There are only so many places to hide in a hotel room. Maura was counting while Jack found a spot. Kids never seem to tire of this game.
There is even a Hide-and-Seek page with info about the game on Wikipedia
Happy Birthday Matthew. Remember when we pulled off Interstate 80 on the way to NYC last August?
Here you are last summer in front of your first home in Clarion PA. The house we brought you to from the hospital, 32 years ago.
Of course I didn’t send a card, just like last year! So this is my birthday wish for you. A day filled with love!
You sure give all of us a lot of love. (Matthew’s the one who says about my photographing people, It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad)
Thinking of you today and everyday.