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

Posts tagged “family

The Big Lebowski Inspired Hostess Gift

This is Julia.

She went to Marquette with my son Mark in the mid-nineties.

Coincidentally, Mark and Julia saw each other years later at an Ohio swim meet where their daughters were swimming.

Sunday evening Julia and Rick and their family came over to Mark and Erika’s home for hamburgers on the grill.

Each family has four kids so they were laughing about meeting Freshman year, whoever thought they’d be eating together with their four kids apiece.

 

Wine Charms Lebowski

 

Julia brought these Wine Charms that spelled out LEBOWSKI as she’d seen some of Mark’s photos of the 13th Annual Lebowski fest he had just attended with my first cousin Jim.

She makes all different kinds of charms and you can check out her Charms Kool Page


LEBOWSKI  wine charms

 

Photographed by Mark

 

 

 

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Mark in Louisville at the  13th Annual Big Lebowski Festival

 

 

Best Group Costumes- The EaglesScreen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.05.57 PM

 

Photos by Mark

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.07.23 PMCostume winners photographed by Mark

 

 

 

 

Donny’s Ashes Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.18.20 PM

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Cousin Jim on the right and Liam O’Brien in Middle.   John is on the left/ photographed by Mark

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Summer Lovin’ weekly theme by Krista. I love summer.   School starts back August 19th. Savoring every moment.

 

A mixture of the farm in Ohio and the beach in St. George Island Florida

sunrise dogwalk

Sunrise dogwalk at St. George Island Florida.   I don’t know these people but I liked their silhouettes and  reflections in the  tidal pool.

 

 

 

summer swing

Kim, Anna, Laura and James laughing with Penny.

 

michael Henry

Michael and Henry in summer rain.  It almost looks as if Michael is riding Henry.

maura smoreMaura eats a s’more

 

 

smore making

Learning the art of s’more making

 

 

 

jumping and the corn

Jumping by the corn.  Maddie, Laura and Anna.

 

 

in the corn (1)

Mark and Jack and Michael walking into the corn for the experience of it.

 

 

 

family on stumpFamily posing with the stump, well actually the giant log that never was growing out of the ground.

 

 

 

beach panorama

Summer by the ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Photographer’s Eye – Guest Blog from Croatia

My son Matthew writes from Zagreb, Croatia………………

Vedrana and I spent the day touring her hometown of Rijeka, snapping shot after shot, trying to come up with something worthy of a guest post on mom’s blog.  

We raced up to the Fortress of Trsat to catch the “golden hour” and found these fabulous dragons, eager to pose for us.

I took ten pictures, trying to get just the right one and this was the best I could do.

Sunny Dragon                  Photographed by Matthew

Sunny Dragon            Photographed by Matthew

Vedrana took just one:

Dragon Silhouette Photo by Vedrana

Dragon Silhouette                   Photographed by Vedrana

When I saw the stunning photograph she had created I threw up my hands, recognizing that my novice attempts had been outclassed in every way.  

Clearly, the photographer’s eye does not run in the family.  

In one, last, desperate attempt to capture something beautiful, I took this one-

Vedrana Photographed by Matthew

Vedrana
Photographed by Matthew

And finally I was satisfied with the results.

Matthew

 


Eclectic Collection of Color from Monday

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Swim Meet Monday afternoon into the evening and night.

Ohio State University.

Just the older two swam in the meet.

michael swim dive

Michael diving off blocks

Duck

Coach Jeff inspires his team by wearing a duck suit

mascot

The duck mascot takes a break on the Lifeguard chair

t shirtHadn’t really thought about it. Good shirt for a swimmer

orange

Promoting team spirit ( not our team but loved the hair)

watching the coaches swimWatching the coaches relay

red in puddleRed light in the puddled.  The magic of wet pavement.

after the swim meetAunt Lala came.  Daddy’s car was in the other direction.  The magic of wet pavement.  It was pretty dark but shot with the 70-200 lens.

basketball

Wet basketball court Ohio State University

Color Car WashWe drove by the car wash on the way home Erika slowed down the van so I could get a quick shot.


Henry Watched Me Photograph Penny with Lala and James

Laura and James were leaving after Sunday dinner at Mark and Erika’s.

I said, “Grab Penny and I’ll take your photo” as the sun was setting and it was such a nice light.

And when I looked on the computer screen, there was Henry the Airedale, peering out of the storm door.

I can’t read his mind but there are several captions possible.

 

Laura James and Penny and Henry 2

Penny was watching the neighbor instead of me.

 

 


Dog Action and Kids Laughing in the Back Seat

We had a nice time at North Star for dinner and Jeni’s Ice Cream for dessert. Then we went back to Laura and James’ and the kids played with Penny in the backyard.

Soccer.

 

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Penny made a good catch

soccer dog

 

 

soccer dog 2

 

 

Then we went to pick up Anna at a birthday party and while I was waiting in the van at sunset, I put the camera between the seats and caught them looking at a funny clip of a video Laura had posted of a kid who wasn’t thrilled about going to Disneyland.

 

kids

 

 

 

laughing in the back seat


St. George Island Sunset on the Bay Side by Guest Blogger Rob

This week I’m staying with friends at St. George Island Florida.  It’s very beautiful here.

I’m shooting family photos, watching the sunrise, enjoying the ocean. Having a nice vacation.

Some family members and I’ve had  good photography conversations and thanks to my friend’s BIL, Rob, I’ve learned about Floridian landscape photographers (Clyde Butcher) whom I’d not known before.

I’ve been told of a good location to shoot the sunrise and  shown the sea turtle nests marked by PVC pipe on the pristine beaches.

Rob lost some Hawaiian sunset photos on a hard drive, and I can relate to that experience, how it feels to lose precious files. He even had the green flash in one of his Hawaiian photographs and it can’t be retrieved.  Lost!

Tonight after a delicious spinach manicotti supper, Rob asked if it would be all right and could he try my Canon camera (he uses a Nikon) to shoot the sunset on the Bay Side. He knew a good spot to go. The time was just right.

I agreed. He wasn’t familiar with the camera’s settings but he does know the island .  I’d shot the sunrise this morning and was going to pass on the sunset  I’ve been reading tips on how to shoot at the beach with the water and sand, the sun. Tonight I was yawning and just tired out!

Here are the results of his experimenting with my Canon 50D with the 18-200 lens.  I told him, next trip we’ll try some filters and see how the sun looks.

Niece Erin, (maker of the manicotti) was the one who said Rob could be guest blogger.  I was able to catch him as they were pulling out of the drive.

Later my friend and I took the card and reader  down to the other end of the island for him to select the one he liked best.  Hard to choose. So I’ve decided to show the series os sunset photographs Rob took this Monday evening July 7, 2014.  Thanks for being guest blogger, Rob.

Which shot do you like the best?

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That is cloud, not vegetation on the sun.

 

 


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And this last one is one I liked a lot.

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Independence Day Birthday

Set alarm about 3:30 AM to catch a 6:25 flight to Nashville, connecting four hours later to Panama City FL.

 

 

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“Oh beautiful for spacious skies”

 

 

Saw these flag pants at the airport20140704-233333-84813002.jpg

 

Knitting a horizontal ribbed cowl  and two eggs over easy with toast and potatoes, coffee and juice.

 

 

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Self portrait     St. George Island on the Gulf Coast

 

 

The closest fireworks I have ever seen.  The beach had a number of colorful displays.

 

 

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Marlene sent a video of the family singing Happy Birthday  and I was missing being with them  but

Erin baked a beautiful birthday cake, it some candles and my friend’s family sanga again. Very nice.

 

birthday cake

 

Thanks for all the nice birthday greetings and wishes.

Fourth of July Birthday is fun.   Then the Daily Post said, how do you celebrate July Fourth and I had already posted this one showing my actual birthday cake.

Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s Your Party

 

 


Early July 4th Celebration at The Lakes in Ohio

When we arrived, Erika suggested taking a photo of the place empty and then later after it filled up. Sounded like a good idea to me.

So here is what The Lakes Fourth of July celebration looked like Sunday night- June 29th.

beginning

The beginning

 

middle

 

 

preparing fireworks at the Lakes

Preparing the fireworks across the lake

 

reflection

Flags and crowd reflection

 

teenagers

Parade of teenagers

 

 

reflectionsThe Kids loved all the inflatable activities

 

family viewing

 

 

 

fireworks 2

The smell of gunpowder lingered in the humid air

 

 

 

 

 

michael

 

During the fireworks- Michael on the right looks up at the sky filled with fireworks

 

fireworks at the Lakes

Lots of teenagers in clumps, enjoying the festivities

 

 

 

 

July FireworksThe fireworks are over.  A large light came on.  Everyone was packing and cleaning up.  Getting to the car and out of the parking lot.  Home in about 15 minutes after this shot!

 

 

end of the night


Running Home for Supper

Maura running home 7 (1)Maura was playing at a friend’s house.  Erika asked if I would watch for her to run across the lawn and help her cross the street to home.

I had the camera already as I was photographing Mark grilling trout on a cedar plank.  The late afternoon light was perfect.

Maura was running running running.

Old Grandma photographed her but Maura didn’t think anything of it and ignored my shooting.

 

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Pressing the Shutter- Too Soon, Too Late and Just Right

Practicing at the Intersquad Swim Meet at Ohio State Thursday night. Here is the process.  Why it is important to practice.

 

Too Early- Not off the blocks yet

too early2

 

 

Ooops, missed it.  Too late, Not just off the blocks but IN the water

too late

 

 

 

 

And then a couple where I felt I hit the mark better. Anticipating when the swimmers would be OFF the blocks but NOT IN the water yet

better

 

 

 

 

better3

Used the Canon 70-200 mm lens on the Canon 5D.  The one that was repaired a couple of weeks ago. It seems to be doing all right.

 

I felt I got some good action photography practice in as I watched the kids swim. Maura made it 100 meters Freestyle. That is a looong way for a 5 year old.

Maura completes 100 M freestyle

 

 

and by the parking garage in the late evening light

Swim Meet 2A quick pose for old Grandma. Thanks family. xxoo They are used to me by now.

 


Suitcase Race for Home and Then Off to a Baseball Game

After six days in Pittsburgh- they got out of the car,

retrieved their suitcases and headed up the hill.

They were happy to go to Grandma’s and happy to return home.

 

 

suitcase race for home

 

 

 

suitcase race for home 2Michael stops for a moment to get a better grip on his Playmobil catalog

 

 

suitcase race for home 3

Maura made it to the stoop first, Jack’s suitcase fell over. Michael was watching Jack.

The boys changed and we headed to the baseball field

Michael on the bench

Waiting on the bench

 

little league catcher

Jack as catcher

 

 

 

four grandkids

After the game, Anna set up this photo of the four of them when I said let’s get one of the four kids together.  Cheesy but fun!

Anna enjoyed her week as an “only child”.

 

 

 

 


John and Eugenia’s Wedding at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church

Eugenia and John ceremony2Shot from the choir loft     Eugenia and John crownsI was invited down to photograph the couple from the front, wearing the crowns     Eugenia and John altarThree times around the altar         Eugenia and John ceremony Jaxon checking out the rose petals       Eugenia and FatherA little out of order, Eugenia and her father come down the rose strewn aisle       Eugenia Bridal portrait. Eugenia and I taught together at Arlington.

 

 

 

 

 

wedding party Eugenia and John entrance Eugenia and John make an entrance       Eugenia and John outside A very happy day.


Vicci and Ben Pose with a Wedding Cookie

A beautiful and exciting day.

You’ve seen the posts this week leading up to the Wedding Cookie Tables. The baking. The cousins and aunts.  The kitchens and ingredients.

And the cookie table was overflowing with homemade cookies.  You should have seen the flock to take samples home in containers.

I asked Vicci and Ben if they would hold one of the cookies with their names and they were gracious and agreed.

 

Ben and Vicci

 

Congratulations Ben and Vicci    It was a fun wedding and everyone had a great time.

And the cookies were delicious.

 

 

 

 

 


Cookie Trays Await Saturday’s Wedding

Nice job Marlene!  (Mark’s MIL-and Erika’s mom) has been sending me the photos of the cookie baking and today all the sisters got together and “trayed” the cookies.  I had never  “tray” in a verb form until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Marlene is Godmother of the Bride.

If you’ve been following the blog this week, you’ve watched the progress and everyone pitching in to help.

Here is what they did today and took them to the hall. The hall where the wedding reception will be held tomorrow June 7th.

The Alphabet Stamp cookies are from that well known kitchenware store but I see alphabet letters are available in other locations online so no commercial plug.

We used them at Laura and James wedding and also for Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding.  It is fun to change the little letters to spell out their names.  (Well, not that much fun, they are tiny.) But so satisfying to have them as part of the cookie table display.

 

Thanks Marlene for the photos for today’s post about the cookie baking this week in preparation for the big day….

I added the last one of the biscotti I baked after school yesterday.  Will bring it to the wedding tomorrow.  xxoo Ruthie

 

p.s.  My dear friend Donna commented on the cookie table blog, remembering the cookie tables she put together for her son John and his bride Angie’s wedding which was five years ago.    Click here to see her beautiful and delicious baking


Getting Ready for a Couple of Houseguests

 

My DIL called last night and asked if the boys could stay at Grandma’s house this weekend when the family comes in town for the big wedding.

Since their sisters are flower girl and junior bridesmaid the others will be very busy.

I’ve pulled out the PLAYMOBIL and LEGO and the little indoor tent. Stocking some of their favorite things to eat. Gearing up for company.

Tomorrow at school three classes taking finals  and then I have to read and grade them but at 2:44, I’ll be out the school door and headed to pick up my two grandsons for the weekend at my house. Very exciting.

 

Jack and Michael

Jack and MIchael share a chair while building LEGO®

 


Baking Wedding Cookies in all the Family Kitchens

Forget about the number in the series of the wedding cookies posts.

It’s an all out family effort!

These photos just in (thank you Marlene)  from multiple sources and family members baking cookies for Vicci and Ben’s Wedding this Saturday.

Everyone in Pittsburgh is baking. -including cousin Jaclyn’s St. Bernard Floyd in his Steeler’s apron and oven mitt

What’s your favorite cookie?

Will be sure to photograph the wedding cookie tables and post.  If you live in another part of the world, be sure to read about Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table Traditions in this article by Amy Rosen   In Pittsburgh, the wedding cookie table is a peculiar and wonderful local tradition

or this one in the New York Times  In Pittsburgh, It’s ‘I Do’ and Pass the Cookies by Ron Lieber

 

 

 


While Waiting for Wedding Cookies Post #2

To the bakers of the wedding cookies  for Vicci and Ben  

‘Twas Three Days Before the Wedding

 

While aunties and cousins are baking all day,

Kennywood’s open- people scream while at play

 

Upstreet the neighbors, childhood friends, drop in to chat.

They help eat misshapen rejects, reminisce and laugh.

 

Praline grahams, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip

Coconut macaroons all lovingly dipped.

 

Nut horns, peanut blossoms, dough rolled out, shaped and cut.

Almond, vanilla, sticks of butter, chopped nuts.

 

Ladylocks, pinwheels, and sugar cookies in a heart,

snowballs , biscotti and pecan tassie tarts.

 

Cookie tables laden, all homemade sweet treats

Pittsburgh baking traditions cannot be beat.

 

(Marlene is gathering the photos of Wednesday’s Cookie Baking from various members of the family.  Stay tuned)

 

Taken after I left the cookie bakers on Monday evening

 

steel phantom2

 

 

 

steel phantom

 


Wedding Cookie Production Begins- Part 1

Monday night I got a preview of the beginning of wedding cookie production but today Marlene sent me this cookie dough still life photo she took Tuesday.

She said she knew I would like it.  Nice photo Marlene.Thanks for sending it tonight for the blog.

photo 1

 

Marlene sent these photos she took today also

 

 

Here are a few I took Monday evening as they were just gearing up.

 

 

 

I took the portraits through the screens using my 70-200mm Canon L Series lens.

 

aunt linda

Aunt Linda

 

 

Aunt Marlene
marlene

Stay tuned for more baking for Vicci and Ben’s wedding


What I Saw on my Son’s Bookshelf in his Office

First Communion Weekend in my son Mark’s home office I saw his old Baby Jake from 1976.

I believed little boys should have a doll to love and care for when they were growing up. Preparing for fatherhood.

Now he has his own family of four, but it touched me when I saw his old doll Jake on the bookshelf. Jake has a soft body that has been recovered and filled with fluff, his rubbery arms surgically reattached by me.

You might have seen Mark’s 38th birthday post from Monday.

 

There is something about a toy or a doll with a face.

One that’s been well loved.

If you want to see a doll well loved, his wife Erika’s childhood doll (now named Baby Doll) adopted by their daughter Anna-  really illustrates LOVE! (click the blue link)

 

 

 

old rubber doll from 1976 with home sewn clothes I made for him

old rubber doll from 1976 with home sewn clothes I made for him


Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves Evoke Memories

A bolt of lightning knocked out the internet so blogging from my phone
Rhubarb says Spring to me.
When the three kids were younger, we’d pile in the car and drive 7 hours to New York City to visit my sister. I’d park in the lot by the pier on the Hudson and we’d make our way up the five floor walk-up to her apartment. Everyone would be asleep on the floor camping out and in the early morning, Aunt Mary would walk to Zito’s Bakery on Bleecker Street, come home with warm loaves. She’d have the butter out and a jar of her homemade strawberry rhubarb preserves. She’d slice the bread on a wooden board. That’s what the kids woke up to – warm bread and butter and strawberry rhubarb preserves-

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Berenice Abbott took this photo of Zito’s in 1937.

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Today I went to the Farmer’s market on the South Side and bought two bunches of rhubarb and fresh picked strawberries. I was trying to remember the method and chopped the stalks in one inch pieces, put them into a large enamel kettle and sprinkled with sugar to sit.

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Added the strawberries and cooked it down. I wish it wasn’t so late and I could have called for the recipe. Just did it from memory.

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The loaf from the Farmers Market on the bread board, a gift from my sister.

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Postcard stamp on the back of Zito’s card a dime. I pulled it out of the frame tonight. Read what you wrote.

Before Matthew was born and he’s 33!

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Kids grown up and gone but tonight as I taste the strawberry rhubarb preserves, I remember.

P.S. And to answer your question Mary, on the card-
I did get that assistantship and that’s how I was able to get hired at Pittsburgh Public Schools in 1989!

P.P.S. Zito’s is gone now.


They Say It’s Your Birthday

Dear Mark,

Seems like just yesterday (May 26, 1976) you arrived at Ireland Army Hospital – Fort Knox, Kentucky.

You were born exactly two years to the day from my graduation from college. 

And suddenly, in a blink, it’s 38 years later!

I am proud of you and the wonderful man you have become. WOW. You have a beautiful family.

With love and gratitude on your birthday,

Your Mom

and of course I should have included the best present ever  

Been on a bit of a Beatles kick lately….


Stone Manor in Middletown Maryland Setting for a Super Wedding

If you follow the blog for a time, you notice my friend,  the top commenter, Sue Reinfeld.

Her daughter was married in a beautiful ceremony Sunday afternoon at Stone Manor in  Middletown ,  Maryland.

Steve and I were  glad we could share in the happy celebration. We left for home (Pittsburgh) as the sun was setting.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

Last Monday night at the Art for Change auction I bid and won a very cool work of art by photographer Scott Roller-

this is what I see when I come out of an upstairs room now.

Subway Face.  A poster  in the subway, peeling off the wall.

It is a compelling gaze.  Not sure who it was to begin with but you keep looking at it and wonder.

The deteriorated shape of the poster really adds to the mood and make it original.  Click on Scott’s name and see his 66 Shots series from a trip on Route 66.

He prints, mats and frames his photographs.  Works of art!

Subway Face (1)

SUBWAY FACE   1/10    Scott Roller

 

 

Pittsburgh Photo Fair

Welcome to the Pittsburgh Photo Fair at the Carnegie Museum of Art.     What a terrific venue.  Still on for Sunday (5-18-14) from 12-5 if you are in the city

 

 

 

Carnegie Museum of Art

The Cathedral of Learning in the reflection at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

 

Anna helps decorate her brother Michael’s First Communion Cake.

A work of art!      She wrote his name on it.  A chocolate pound cake- (gluten free) with vanilla buttercream icing.   Thanks to Aunt Mary for helping piece adequate parchment paper into the cross shaped pan so there were no cracks when it was extricated from the pan.

Anna decorates Michael's cake


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