Happy Father’s Day!
I’m a proud mom! Here is my son Mark who is a wonderful father to Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura. (Excellent Mom Erika, too)
Bringing Maura home November 2008
No matter the season…………….
Sledding with Jack
PNC Park Pittsburgh PA
(and if you are new to following the blog you might enjoy this Father’s Day Tribute to my father) (more…)
The challenge for the week is curves. Tour bus above in the National Park with all the waterfalls- Plitvice National Park – Croatia-
No guard rails on this curve!
I knew I had some back seat driver photos from my visit to Croatia and I was able to find a few. Fasten Your Seat Belt!
Roof Tiles in Istria
Light at the end of the curvy tunnel- Croatia Car Trip
On Brijuni – Tito’s Personal State Summer Residence
Zagreb Fountain- the water a straight line but the curve of the back caught my eye
And Back in the States Kennywood Amusement Park a few years back
Anna on the whip in Kiddieland Kennywood Amusement Park
Curved Carousel Horse
Pap puts Anna into the car on the curve at Kennywood – Is this the Turnpike?
Log Flume Ride Kennywood
My sister Mary sent me these photos she took on her phone in NYC.
She texted the year- 1949. a very good year!
A Chevrolet Ambulance. Looked up definition for the word Chevrolet and found Louis Chevrolet ”a Swiss Born American Race Car Driver of French Descent”
I’ve been saving the photos to post for our brother David’s birthday today, also Flag Day. (You might remember how bad I am at sending out a card in time.)
Happy Birthday David. Thinking of you and hoping you have a wonderful day.
Love from your sisters,
Ruth and Mary
Last week I emptied the dryer at my son and DIL’s. Thought I’d help out, fold a load.
When I cleaned out the lint trap, I found a tri-layered catch of fresh dryer lint. The striation helped out by the load of new white towels.
I put the dryer lint on the counter above the garbage and saw the face of a sock monkey.
“Erika”, I said, “let me save the dryer lint and show the kids in the morning, It’s striped and looks like a sock monkey.”
Hmmmm. I decided to take a pic on the phone instead and throw it in the trash cause I didn’t think she was seeing the face and she hadn’t been to the dryer lint art show at the Duds ‘N Suds Laundromat on Centre Ave here in Pittsburgh, a few years ago. I took some friends and it was a memorable and quirky event. The laundromat had that detergent, steamy scent. The people and scenes were all made from none other than DRYER LINT! You know how different loads offer different colors, frequently gray but sometimes a lovely hue, depending on the clothes or sheets.
What I should have done is send the batch of lint to the artist Cheryl Capezutti and she could have created a winged creature or a tiny figure. She finds art in the everyday.
My lint screen here at home in Pittsburgh isn’t as interesting a shape, either. Erika’s is a half moon and mine is a flat, broad screen.
A couple of years ago I was going to photograph junk drawers. It looks like it has already been done on the google search. There are some incredible junk drawers in the image search already.
There’s even an article about Make Over Your Junk Drawer from overwhelmed to organized
My DIL Erika consented that I could blog hers but that was awhile back so hope she is still in agreement.
After all, this is probably the kind of situation that gives a MIL a bad name.
I blogged my own junk on my old Keep or Pitch blog but never proceeded with the project.
I’m thinking about returning to the project, even though there are a lot of photos out there already.
Just read an article about self-assignment for your photography practice and I was thinking about some of the ideas I’ve been considering.
One thing, no two junk drawers would be the same.
So you do keep a junk drawer in your home? Maybe readers could send photos of their own junk drawers and we could have a collection of photos from around the world. Maybe they are only in the USA.
If I came to photograph it, would you keep it “as is” or feel compelled to tidy it up first?
Just thinking about junk drawers. Cleaning up. Being tidy. Wondering how little pieces gather in a spot, collect.
If you followed my Keep or Pitch blog,you’ve seen these already. Seems only fair to post some of my own accumulated junk.
no room for a junk drawer? A little copper dish will do.
June 2, 1973. Swissvale Pennsylvania. Happy 40th Anniversary Marlene and Donald.
Marlene and Donald’s daughter Erika is married to my son Mark and we share the grandchildren- Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura. Last year I posted the church they were married in , Madonna del Castello, and all of a sudden a whole year has flown by.
Here’s a photo of the family at Laura and James’ wedding November 2011. V’s idea to find a photo of you and the grandchildren, 40 years after your wedding day. Send me a wedding photo and I will add it to the post. I should have taken a photo of one when we visited Memorial Day weekend or taken a new photo of the two of you with the grandchildren.
(I was going to post my friend Donna’s wedding cake topper from the same era but the bride’s hair was brunette in the photo and Marlene is blonde)
Marlene and Donald with their daughter Erika, my son Mark, and the grandchildren. Columbus OH
My DIL bought Non-GMO Organic popcorn in the bulk section of Whole Foods for $2 a pound.
The family hasn’t eaten popcorn on family movie night for more than a year. Since my mom hailed from Illinois we had popcorn when I was growing up- apples and milk on Sunday nights. At Christmas my parents gave bags of strawberry popcorn kernels grown in Durand, Illinois and it was so tender and good.
I know popcorn isn’t the snack food of choice for many and isn’t eaten or popular in some places.
My sister missed the popcorn gene and doesn’t care for it and I don’t remember my dad eating it except when my mom coated it with molasses syrup cooked up until it spun a thread. (not very often) I know I don’t care for microwave popcorn. Have to make it on the stovetop.
Tonight while visiting the family, I made the first batch for the grandkids, opening the brown paper bag and finding a variety of colors and sizes of popcorn kernels.
It was so inviting. My phone was handy.
Tried to catch it popping but didn’t get past the second kernel exploding. I used a larger pan than I would at my own home, more like a pasta pot.
the second kernel burst. then it was get that lid on quick!
Look at the variety of colors. No butter on it to make it that yellow. Just plain.
Maura age 4 1/2 photographed Grandma, using the phone as I took the popcorn off the stove.
What I used to cook the popcorn. A generous tablespoon melted on medium high heat. About 3/4 c of popcorn. I stirred the kernels with a wooden spatula so it wouldn’t burn.
It was a fun time and the house smelled fragrant. Only one out of four grandchildren wanted salt on it! I thought that was interesting.
With what snack do you like to treat yourself??
Hardy, Virginia (near Roanoke) weekend at the other Grandparents’ home.
Grandkids and their cousin on the move.
Grandma has to be fast with the camera – lens and shutter, barely time to check focus. Everyone growing up before my eyes.
On my way home from Hardy VA, I stopped at the Coal Miner’s Memorial and Heritage Park in Quinwood, West Virginia, built where the old company store used to stand according to this site.
The names read like poetry. There are names chiseled on both sides of the stone markers.
The day was overcast and chilly, more like football weather instead of the end of May.
I was thinking about the sign on Bleecker Street, NYC, advertising coal oven pizza and wondered where they get coal for their ovens.
My son Mark photographed the Marine Corps War Memorial when the family visited Arlington Cemetery a few weeks ago. (The memorial is in Arlington VA, not in the actual cemetery)
When he showed me this photo today, I asked if he’d guest blog it for Memorial Day and he agreed. Mark was in the USMC for six years.
We went for a walk this morning and there’s a little white clapboard church about 1/2 mile up the road. Behind it was a small graveyard.
The third photo I took early Sunday in a rural cemetery by a headstone that had a flag in front of it.
This is the reflection (taken with a 70-200 Canon Lens L Series)
I read a moving article in the Roanoke Times (by Dan Casey) about the last of four brothers who served in WWII who tells the story of the other three who have gone on before.
This post is to remember all the men and women from every branch of the Armed Forces on Memorial Day 2013.
Photographed by Guest Blogger Mark, ( I loved the sun shining through the flag)
The VFW were outside the local Kroger
To read the poem In Flanders Fields written by Lt Col. John McCrae, MD, hailing from Canadian Army WWI click here and see the original copy handwritten in a page of notepaper.
Ireland Army Hospital.
The family has gathered in to Erika’s parents to celebrate Mark’s birthday. You were a bicentennial baby and my father’s mother knit you a red ,white and blue afghan.
This afternoon we went to the farm next door to see how the pigs are growing. We were playing with the runt named P.P. and watching her root in the mud. No truffles found, though.
Mark and his sons Michael and Jack were walking back home. Of course I had the fixed lens (50mm) on the camera. I almost missed them though. Erika asked me “Did you get it?” We saw the three of them at the top of the hill at the same time. The next frame they’re in total sunlight and it isn’t as strong.
Happy Birthday Mark. I searched the card racks for the right words but the card writers this year didn’t capture what I wanted to say.
When I see you grown up, loving your own beautiful family, my heart is full.
I love you. Ma
In my email this morning-
A hail storm broke out in Zagreb today and my friend Maja captured it with her iPhone from her 9th floor office. She was a little bit reluctant to be blogged, but she had this to say about the picture : “It looked so great and it made me so happy that I wanted to share it.”
And it reminded me of the sentence from the film “American Beauty” – “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.”
I think that quote is a great motto for us to live by. You and your blog do a great job reminding us all of the beauty that surrounds us every moment of every day, so I knew what to do with Maja’s picture right away!
Thank you Maja for sharing your beautiful photograph of the hailstorm from the ninth floor window and thanks Matty, too.
They call it challenge for a reason. Escape. Or trying to.
Escape defined : Break free from confinement or control (School is out June 17th)
Need to get away. Get out. Break free.
Attempted escape. Some of mine seem like “trapped” or “escape is necessary” . It makes me consider posting a photograph of our jail that they built along the Monongahela River, spoiling the scenic view. Escape from reality. A fire escape?
Me in the mail chute at the City County Building today when we took down the art show.
Fencing so the Cheetahs Can’t Escape!
Kayaks on the Allegheny River Photographed from the Roberto Clemente Bridge
Fence and Branch at the Softball Game
Did you ever feel like you can’t escape when you are in the middle of the car wash?
Take the keys and lock her up! Little sister tries to escape
A hopeful escape from reality and the rat race. I guess I need to buy a ticket. Oh well.
The Book Loft- Columbus Ohio. Reading is a terrific escape!
at Kennywood Amusement Park
Ready for the get away
A Couple of Fire Escapes ( I was shooting the Bitter End, I think)
Central Park Pastorale
See others bloggers escapes-
Down on the farm in Virginia. Mar said it was dark in the barn. Thanks for a fun guest blog. We don’t see this in the city!
Lots of new life appearing at your neighbor’s farm.
Springtime action in corrals and pens and barn.
See proud future Dad. His “wife” is sitting on 17 eggs. (Not sure if Turkeys mate for life like other species you hear about. hmmmm)
Future Thanksgiving Dinner?
Future Dad Turkey
Future Mom sitting on 17 eggs!
Waiting for baby horses- another blog, another day
Click on Video below -A little dark in the barn. That is if you want to see 13 new piglets scramble at feeding time.
Yesterday Sue commented on the new tulip tree being planted in front of my house. She told how her father had the city plant trees up and down her street, thirty five years ago, and how they were a memorial to him. He was featured on the blog for a Veteran’s Day post- Martin H. Cooper.
Today I was driving by her street on my way home from the Waterfront. Took two cell shots of his trees. Thanks Sue for your good words on the blog.
Late Sunday afternoon, I drove across the river to shop for dinner ingredients and some fruit for lunches this week. The larder was looking a bit sparse. It was either go shop or eat another grilled cheese and/or egg sandwich. M and I had just talked on the phone, earlier in the day about wanting a real meal. She was thinking Thanksgiving like. I opted for meat and potatoes.
At the meat counter I asked the butcher for two petite steaks (on sale). Not too big. It’s funny about meat. Sometimes it actually turns me and I can’t even think about eating it, and other times I am actually craving a serving. It was one of those days of wanting it. Not thinking about it having a face.
Came home and sautéed an organic yellow onion in some Amish butter and then sliced up a box of fresh mushrooms. Baby Romaine salad with Steve’s favorite brown Clamato tomato( I swear they look chocolate) and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Garlic smashed Russets.
After I plated the food, I used the phone to capture the dinner. Feeling ready for the start of a new week, fortified.
It was MIXED BAG (vinyl) in my dorm room in the early seventies. Over and over. Richie Havens sang Dylan better than Bob.
Here’s an email in response to the one I wrote in December.
Subject: A Message of Gratitude
Last Christmas Matthew was back from Croatia and we were sitting in Mark and Erika’s living room in Ohio, remembering the first Richie Havens concert I forced him to go to as a teenager. We saw him together years later in New York City at the Knitting Factory, too. Matthew and Aunt Mary braved a Connecticut snowstorm to see him together and sat right under him.
Thank you so much for taking the time to send along such kind thoughts. I will make sure Richie sees your email.
Best wishes for 2013!
Stormy Forest Productions, NYC
Sent: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm
Subject: Message of Gratitude
This is a message for Mr. Havens as I sit with my 32 yo son tonight (home from Croatia where he lives) listening together to RH on youtube. When Matthew was 14 I forced him to go listen to a Richie Havens concert in Pittsburgh Pa at the Carnegie Music Hall. Oh he was mad cause who wants to go anywhere with their mother at that point of their life? We waited in the corridor afterwards and met Mr. Havens and my son said he emanated positive energy right out of himself into him. Matthew saw him in concert at least six times after that and he said tonight that Richie Havens was able to communicate to his soul. We saw him together at the Knitting Factory years later. So powerful and I wanted to express gratitude for his musical gifts and these wonderful loving memories we share of listening to Mr Havens music and energy. Xxoo Ruth Hendricks
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!
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.
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
The challenge came out Friday but this day is Saturday night til Sunday night- Easter! Not an ordinary day.
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.)