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.
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.
Stuffed grape leaves, and fancy cheeses. Goat cheese and fig jam on bruschetta. Green grapes. Some bubbly to toast. M and D brought the most drinkable wine. A secret in the carafe, a blind test. Carlo Rossi. No kidding. Beat out the pricey Portuguese wine. What do we know?
Dates and nuts in a chocolate South African pudding recipe, topped with whiskey whipped cream, created by his wife Janice. Happy Birthday to Peter. Live music at a party makes the evening rhyme. Marc on harmonica and Peter and Doug on guitar. Kim sang a number with the lyrics on her cell phone.
A fun surprise party. Well done, J.
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.
When we lived in Germany, we’d get Pussywillow with fuzzy gray shapes along the branch and hang wooden eggs and rabbit ornaments to make an Easter Tree.
Add MediaI’d never seen Black Pussywillows until Wednesday night at my friend J’s home. I was to take a photograph over to her and the evening turned into an impromptu supper. My crazy part is I went over without the picture I was to take. J followed me back to my house after we ate and got the photograph to take back to her own home but she didn’t seem to mind.
A great blog post about this unusual looking plant is here. The Latin name (Salix gracilistylus ‘Melanostachys’)
I can’t remember the name/type of ceramic vase holding the branches. (Taken with the iPhone)
So I got home from my weekend in Ohio, Sunday night with no chance to photograph the neighborhood for the weekly photo challenge as it was dark outside. Changing the clocks didn’t help me with enough light by the time I pulled in the driveway
-but in my inbox I found a message from my son Matthew who lives in Zagreb, Croatia (9 years already!)
The subject of his email: Guest blog The dilemma of what to post? SOLVED!
—————————————————————————————————————————–Dear Ma, Yesterday I spent the evening with the Kaplowitz family. My dear friend Joe Kaplowitz is pretty much the only American I know over here and he invited me over for an American-style chocolate cake. Not only is he a brilliant jazz musician but he is quite an accomplished baker to boot! His beautiful wife Lela is a marvelous singer and they recently came out with a big-band album of original compositions called With Every Breath that you can hear (and buy!) here After enjoying a generously-sized hunk of cake chased by a glass of milk, Joe, Lela, their daughter Lucija and I played a cut-throat game of Name That Tune. Lucija is also a budding musician, so as you might imagine the competition was pretty stiff. Then we headed to the parlor for a concert. Joe and Lucija, who plays the violin, teamed up for a set of traditional Croatian melodies played over some soulful blues piano. Perhaps I was witnessing the concept for the next album being born. Joe’s cake was so tasty that I plan to go back over tomorrow for another sliver. In keeping with the spirit of the blog, will get the recipe tomorrow and send it to you! Love, Matthew p.s. Here is the recipe, just in from Zagreb this morning
A friend invited me for a winter supper after school today. A nice invitation as the week was winding down. It was refreshing and delicious.
Doesn’t it always taste better when someone prepares food, sets a table and serves it to you?
Vegetable Soup with Pesto. Bread and Olive Oil. Spring Mix, Tomatoes and Olives with Oil & Vinegar.
Pumpkin Bread and Fruit
Paynes Prairie Preserve in Micanopy Florida. Photographed by my friend Kristin F.as she took a walk on Christmas Day.
(Just five feet away from these guys! Yikes)
Such a contrast to the frozen white world of Pennsylvania and Ohio. She says Jan 1st temp is 73 degrees! And I am trying to not fall in my driveway as I unload the suitcase and bags from my Winter Holiday in Ohio, prepare to return to school in the early AM. Thanks Kristin.
And here is an article explaining the most popular and the second most popular way to spell- Hanukkah or Chanukah? The Festival of Light.
Tuesday- the fourth night.
I was invited for potato latkes and the lighting of the Hanukkah candles at my friend’s house. We taught together these past 6 years until I moved to the high school this year. The first photo is her beautiful Menorah on the mantle. Her kids are grown up and out of town, too. She and her husband and I sat by there fire and then she lit the fourth candle. It gets dark so early now as we approach the shortest day of the year. The warmth of the fire and the glow from the colorful candles was lovely.
After we ate the latkes(served with sour cream and or applesauce) Ann lit the fourth candle.
We left for an adventure, traipsing around Squirrel Hill, Murray Avenue and Forbes. Up and down trying to decide where we should eat! At least it wasn’t raining. We had a nice evening, catching up on our families and school and mutual friends. When we walked by the Giant Eagle supermarket and a young man asked if we were Jewish and she said, yes and he asked if she had candles. Then we saw the table set up in front of the market with another young man cooking latkes on a griddle. They had applesauce available and their organization had a big sign on the Menorah. They told me they were “spreading light in the world.” I asked if it would be okay to blog them and they gathered to gather for a group shot. Pulled out the cell phone camera. Yep, my camera was back by Ann’s house in the back trunk of the car.
Thanks Ann for including me in the candle lighting and for taking me on a good healthy walk around the neighborhood to find the best dinner.
Sunday morning. Breakfast at Joan’s. A cadre of colorful windup toys in her kitchen… I asked if I could photograph them. I can’t remember a specific windup toy I had as a child but these all felt familiar and provided a relaxing and fun time as she wound them up and they executed their motion while I tried to photograph them.
Guess they are making a big comeback. I am going to get some for
me the grandkids so I they can play with these adorable windup toys.
A guest blog by Mark and Erika and a special nod to a dear family friend!
My son Mark has been wanting to photograph this sign for years.
When you’re driving on the turnpike, it’s fairly impossible. This weekend as they headed to a Chicago wedding, with Erika driving and an iPhone camera, he was able to capture this special road sign for his good friend’s father who bears the same name.
Although Mr. Wozniak doesn’t write comments on the blog itself, I receive the loveliest of emails in response to many of the daily photos as they trigger a memory or story from his growing up.
and since we are talking Polish heritage (see info on the Jacob Wozniak from Indiana who was a wagon painter here)
Erika sent a photo of the wedding dinner from the Polish wedding they attended in Chicago this weekend while I watched the grandchildren. They said is was delicious and served Family Style.
St. Stanislaus Kostka
Making hearts with hands.
We’re working on decorations for the Spring concert next week, drawing friends.
The theme is friendship. I’ll make a photo for each student in this third grade and thought that maybe notecards would be nice, too. Several were absent today so it was easier to fit everyone in.
How they helped me out this afternoon after the weekly photo challenge was posted: Hands. We had a lot of fun. I told them the problem of creating a heart with all of their hands. This is how they experimented with me.
They were very excited to help and try to accomplish the objective. Working together and all being part of something was a good exercise in friendship. The only part I was directing was reminding them to not let their heads get in the way so I could see their hands from the chair where I was standing. All students were engaged in learning.
My college friend took the train into Grand Central and met my sister and me in Bryant Park today. We walked to the Museum of Modern Art, saw the Cindy Sherman Show and Eugene Atget Show.
Joyce is an adventuresome street photographer, capturing all sorts of people in the city. This worker was happy to oblige. I photographed her photographing him. We had a fun time at the MOMA Sculpture Garden, dueling photographers.
Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.
You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees. The shortest day of light. Winter officially here.
Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon. It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.
Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene
Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.
A faithful blog reader in Virgina, C, (and best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year. The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.
I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered. Finding the joy of winter. My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it. i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street. I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.
Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.
……..meaning she thought I might be in Ohio visiting the family but I said ” I am running errands (returning containers that held delicious cookies for the cookie table) in Swissvale and then across the Monongahela to West Mifflin, dropping something off at Aunt Linda’s…” and she invited me to drop by since I was close to her home in Edgewood. And when I got there, this is what was awaiting my arrival. Two colorful plates of a variety of fruit and some smoked gouda cheese triangles. Mmmmmmm. Lucky me. We got a chance to catch up and exchange a few school stories and relive Laura and James’ wedding weekend. The fruit was refreshing and delicious. It was a relaxing and unexpected treat. Good to have good friends!
A winning combination. A friend and neighbor asked me over tonight. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks. It was good to catch up. Hear about what we’ve been up to and the places we have gone. I read that article asking Do You Bore People? so I tried to not talk about the computer crash and the necessity of a new hard drive but it was difficult cause she missed my data loss experience. But enough on that already- AND look what her husband picked up on his way home! Lovely custard and fruit-topped tarts with a mug of hot tea to accompany the tart. It is good to have friends, especially in this beginning season of darkness and cold.