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

Posts tagged “family

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


Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

Boundaries.  Some people have none.

The creator of the challenge Ben Huberman says,”This week, let’s explore the creative potential of limits, borders, and dividers of all types.”

Here are a few visible from the archives


swim lanes 2

Keeping in her lane at the swim meet.


turtle soup sign

Finding the turtle soup sign. Taken by Anna.  I was driving.

Ninth Street Bridge

Ninth Street Bridge. Allegheny River. The night before the Pickle Festival.




hospital nurseryAfter the swim meet. Anna and Michael ooking through the nursery glass window, watching their first first cousin, Charlie.


swim lanes 3 Maura (r) dives off the block into her lane.

forbes field wall

Forbes Field Wall where Pittsburgh Pirate Bill Mazeroski hit his famous homerun to win the 1960 World Series.



Henry Love

Anna snuggles with Henry the Airedale (2)

Change: Weekly Photo Challenge

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Change.”

One minute you have babies, then toddlers and teenagers, young adults. Before you can catch a breath, they are all grown up and gone and have families of their own




image 2015image2014

Aunt Georgeann Brought Cupcakes from Regent Square

Four of the grandchildren are visiting for the weekend, along with their parents. Saturday night we had dinner and guests. Aunt Georgeann came to see how they’d grown. She arrived with a big pink box.


She knew there was almond, lemon, red velvet, and a carrot cake with the sliver of candied ginger, plus two chocolate with espresso frosting.  A dozen sweet cakes.We needed a key but came up with a solution.

She’d stopped off in Regent Square at Vanilla Pastry Studio Molly gave me this birthday gift of a  Rooster Harkerware piece just yesterday.

Aunt Georgeann cut them in half so the kids could decide what they wanted to eat. It was fun to try the different flavors. 


You can see everyone enjoyed the treat! 

I took one of the leftovers and put it on a cupcake stand Joanne gave me years ago.

Practicing my food photography.

 I wanted to show the big pink box!

Broccoli and Red Peppers

from our brother David’s garden- Okanogan WA-

Sent this morning from my sister Mary. I’m wishing I were there with them. 


Olaf and the Unicorn

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

Puppy Love

Josie the Airedale and granddaughter Anna

 On the move.  What big paws you have…  
Light in all four eyes 

  Henry (2) plays with her.  He likes to keep watch on the front yard, too.  

Breakfast for Dinner After Swim Practice

Whole Foods in Upper Arlington.

Farm Breakfast is five bucks.

Kids eat free on Wednesday with an adult eating.  Good deal!

(Michael’s book is either the American Revolution or the Civil War.)  IMG_5397Feeling connected to family in Ohio tonight.

Old Grandma got almost everyone to cooperate for a quick pic as they sat down.

Missing a few family members but because of retirement, I can be with family  on a Wednesday night, right in the middle of the week!


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


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