Steve and I drove across the Highland Park Bridge to Joan’s for dinner. You’ve seen Joan’s spools of thread and checking out where she used to teach.
Since I went out of town on my birthday, we made a plan for when I would be back in town and when we could get together
Joan made James Beard’s recipe for Lahma bi Ajeen. The fresh tomatoes, cucumber and peppers,Baba Ganoush, Hummus, Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill from her garden, and wonderful olives.
The Lahma bi Ajeen recipe from Beard on Bread cookbook (A well used page)
Buttermilk Pound Cake from World of Baking by Delores Casella topped with fresh rhubarb sauce. Rhubarb from Joan’s garden- we ate outside.
Thanks for a nice dinner and good conversation, Joan. Everything was delicious
Joan inside her doorway keeping the dogs inside.
Flag Day! June 14th.
Started in the year 1895. For history click here
AND it’s my brother’s birthday! Happy Birthday David.
Carolee (David’s wife) sent these photos of my brother David, standing by the enormous elderberry plants.
I’ve been saving them all week to post on his birthday. Thanks for sending the photos Carolee.
Happy Birthday from Pittsburgh- American Flag and the PPG building tonight. love, Ruth
Joan has an array of thread colors and some are silky and some are shimmery.
So many different types of thread.
She makes beautiful fiber art,
and draws in ink.
Watch for her Female Martyr Series this summer.
You’ve seen Joan looking at Larimer School where she used to teach Art.
Even her pincushions are interesting.
An older photo of the thread collection
and Joan on her back porch. Her garden is so interesting. Will have to do a photo tour.
Joan grows the best rhubarb and puts up delicious apricot preserves.
Spring is a welcome season.
Especially after the long hard winter months.
I found it difficult to make my entry unique
so am just going with the theme in general- green shoots, blossoms and leaves and the old apple tree’s flowers.
Baseball is Spring -
Baseballs at the High School game.
Apple blossoms on my tree in the backyard
Full leaf trees and the red bud blooming.
New shoots push up through the old leaves and dirt
Outdoors without coats on deck in Ohio, after swinging on the swings.
A few years ago this Mary statue was a curbside alert through the neighborhood listserve so I walked up to Winterton St. to save her from the trash.
She was peeling paint and looking a bit worn. Somehow it didn’t seem right to have her picked up by the garbage truck. So I put her in my side “garden” and called her Our Lady of the Weeds (due to my lack of gardening effort)
About the same time I hired a friend of a friend to come and do some master gardening, get rid of the weeds, plant something decent. And the skilled gardener took the Mary statue home with her and she was gone a couple of months. The gardener is an excellent puppeteer and brightened up the statue with new paint. In fact, when she was returned it took awhile to get used to her brightness and revitalization.
Then my neighbor restored the bird bath bowl my father gave me when I bought the house.
One day I came home and the Mary statue was perched in the now repaired bird bath.
It’s been a team effort to get me spiffed up around here.
This Spring I’ll take a new photo with the plantings and green surrounding her.
This weekend I watched Maura (almost 4) while her family went to a swim meet with her brothers and sister. She saw me outside and asked, “Granma, Why are you in the bushes?” When she came over to see what I was doing, she said she liked the Fairy Godmother. One shot of each on the iPhone and then she and I played. I’d been sorting toys in the playroom. Saw the toadstool and went and got the two figurines.
Today’s photos? Just for fun. The fungus was enormous. And I had just been reading an article telling of the two cousins Frances and Elsie photographs with the Cottlingley Fairies. (1917)
Thanks to Annette who wrote and said that “ the blog is a daily vitamin for the creative soul.”
I saw this plant in my daughter-in-law’s garden last weekend.
The sunflower’s petals gone, the flower head heavy and bent over with the spiraling pattern of seeds- Fibonnaci numbers((0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, … etc, each number is the sum of the two numbers before it) found in nature. My mother was always talking about Fibonnaci.
A mathematical miracle AND a squirrel’s delight.
Not sure how much a squirrel would need to store for the long winter but this one sunflower’s seeds looks like a good start.
Not many independent booksellers left in my city of Pittsburgh.
If you come to Columbus, Ohio you must visit this bookstore. In fact, plan a trip to Columbus so you can go to this bookstore.
Thirty-two rooms of books!
I spent most of time in the children’s section but you could lose yourself for hours in any one of the sections- travel, cookbooks, business, art, mystery, fiction, bestsellers, biography, magazines…..
My DIL’s friend, Christina, recommended it as I had some time in the city after dropping my granddaughter and her daughter off for Writing Camp at the Thurber House, but that is another whole post.
Laura and I had lunch at the Brown Bag Deli and after I took her back to work, I followed her directions and found the Book Loft. The number 631 was the same number as my parents home so that was fun.
It is an Independent Bookstore and here is their link- The Book Loft of German Village
My big purchase of the day was 4 Advent Calendars from Germany which reminded me of growing up and when we lived in Germany, too. I got an iced coffee at Cup O Joe next door. The building is pre Civil War and there is more info about it on their website. Left in time to drive back to pick up the girls from camp and they were so excited after taking a field trip to the Topiary Park Garden.
Summer vacation is in full swing!
A neighbor’s display in his yard. Each flag has a metal marker of a different war. Too many wars.
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.
I was driving to Columbus OH from Conneaut Lake one August and took some back roads. I wish I could remember how I came to be on the other side of this outdoor statuary which was for sale. Perhaps a stop at a gas station. You might remember the story of how I retrieved a Mary statue standing out on the curb in our neighborhood. It just didn’t seem right for the trash. Then a nice woman who was doing some gardening for me, took the Mary statue home to her house to paint her since she was so weathered. The master gardener also a puppeteer had the urge to restore her since she was so beat up looking. Turns out she was plastic and hard to paint but she is in my side garden now, looking bright and renewed. I actually hope she weathers a bit. I did call her Our Lady of the Weeds but my sister is here and made the side garden really lovely so I will have to rename her. I am intrigued by private grottos and garden statuary. You may remember Mary in the Springtime or Mary in the Snow. Sometimes the placement of Mary statues in Pittsburgh is a real juxtaposition. Stuck in odd spots. No matter where I see the Mary statues, they look peaceful to me.
We were talking outside as I had just photographed an item (stay tuned) in my neighbors’ driveway and as I was heading home. We were still chatting and I started to photograph a little grasshopper sitting on top of one of their daisies (might be a different species but similar in appearance).
The conversation went like this-
J said- Look at the spider-
R- what spider?
J-the big spider-
R-where is it?
J-the big black and yellow spider—– right there under the flower
R I don’t see it.
R———- OH MY- I see it now -that spider is ENORMOUS-
Steve I might need a new glasses prescription. How did I miss this giant spider? It is considered harmless to humans according to the information on this type of spider but I would not want it crawling on me. Click here for more info on the
Argiope aurantia commonly known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider-
Wednesday’s mail brought a box with holes punched in it. I knew no one was shipping a guinea pig to me.
The postmark was Okanogan WA- It was a box of Chesnok Red (originally from From Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia) David had packed it in gray egg carton parts, They arrived in perfect shape.
When I spoke to David on the phone he was hoping that Mary and I would cook with it for Laura’s Bridal Shower in Columbus. We’re making lasagne. He told me it’s Hardneck garlic (can’t braid it, Greg- you can see Greg braid his garlic harvest here)
This particular type is supposed to be great baking garlic. I shared some with my neighbor as he is a great cook.
David told me about the organic farm where he got the original seeds to plant years ago. Filaree Garlic Farm. They have photos and descriptions of the different types of garlic and you can get a catalog. Planting season is real soon. Last week of September, first week of October for Okanogan’s zone.
I sat on my side porch and photographed the beautiful purple striped skins. Thought about our brother David and we’ll be thinking of him as we cook and eat this wonderful harvest.
My friend J cooked a bday dinner for me the other night and I was checking out her garden. Everything so lush and green. Stunning lilies blooming. J shows me what is a weed and what is not. When she splits her perennials I will plant them in my garden. The plants might not be too happy about the move to my place, though. Her clothesline jumped out at me and I thought of sheets hung on the line and how quickly things dry in the summer. The refreshing scent of the sunshine. I didn’t stay late enough but when it gets dark she has a fish pond and glass orb that lights up so have to plan a return trip. J is an excellent cook, too as you can see by the dinner on the table below. A nice summer evening. Thanks J.
I can see myself photographing the lawn ball, in the lawn ball’s reflection. When I “googled” origin of the Lawn Ball it insisted I was asking about Lawn Bowls and Lawn Bowling. Not.
Maybe I don’t have the correct terminology for this yard art, garden ornamentation, lawn decor. There must be something about them that draws me in. I’ve been thinking about who made the first lawn ball and how the idea came to him ( or her). Placed on a pedestal, watching the clouds roll by on the curved surface.
Amy writes it is a Gazing Ball Going to look it up. See her comment below for the lnk.
also called a Yard Globe or a Gazing Globe
Adding to Nature’s Beauty
a center piece
placed on a pedestal.
I stare at it
Wonder how it came to be.
Fill their stalks with honeyed sap
Drawn from Earth’s prolific lap.”
– Bayard Taylor 1825-1875 Buried in Kennett Square PA
The weight of the raindrops
bent the Pansy’s face to the ground.
Petals like velvet.
“The pansy gets its name from the French word pensée meaning ‘thought’.”
-quote from Pansyflowers.com
The forsythia is in bloom
If you read the blog comments you might have read Bernie’s name. He passed in his sleep on Saturday night, his sister wrote to tell me, asked me to let David know. Bern was my brother David’s best friend growing up in Morris Plains NJ in the ’60’s. Bonnie said we brought a lot of smiles to him lately as he did us. We are going to miss his sense of humor and generous heart. He especially liked the Sept 3rd post so I am posting a butterfly for Bern today as final arrangements are made in Kalamazoo.
Love and Sympathy to the Gruizinga family, Ruthie
The people, of course but you have to check out this spread! You read a book. Or two. Discuss. Some people just hate the books chosen, and others love them. Tonight it was James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. You read things you might not have picked. We didn’t meet all summer. Tonight it was at Joan’s- everything from her garden. Heirloom tomatoes on homemade focaccia crust and a spinach golden raisin pine nut one. Oatmeal Crispies and a flavorful small watermelon. Oh yes, the books. Sergio by Samantha Power and everyone had thumbs down for Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
Mary told me about Monarch migration this summer. I photographed (shot didn’t sound correct) this Monarch in a planter at OSU stadium. Tonight I emailed several pleas for plant identification and Master Gardener Liz R was the first to respond, THANKS Liz. Today is Marlene’s(Mark’s MIL) birthday(having cake at Aunt Linda’s tonight). September 3rd, 1912 was my mother’s birthday, born in Durand Illinois, now passed a decade ago. My mother loved butterflies and always planted a beautiful garden, including buddleia to attract the butterflies. The pentas seem to be doing just that. Hummingbirds love them according to what I read. Lots of parentheses in this post.
Garden Goddess Sculpture by Charlie Holden, Master Puppeteer (contact info here) installed in Joan’s garden. Scroll down for entire body view.
Charlie makes birdhouses out of tree parts and I gave one to the grandchildren for Christmas last year. A bird family moved in this Spring.
National Geographic photographers do this much better but thought I would try. The hummingbirds dart around really fast. We sat in chairs outside and David called it watching Hummingbird TV. A great show.
I Dug Up the Iris
in Dorothy’s garden
to plant in the soaked
soil of mine, memorial
to her each spring
when they’ll open
and flourishes, purple
or blue with speckled
throats. They’ll rise
out of rhizomes
sprawling at soil’s
surface like the joints
of my old hands
anchoring the tall
stalks and frilly petals.
in the brief breath
of cool I dug shallow
trenches for this legacy,
this pantry of pollens
the bees prospect,
insects with lives
beyond what the mere
Liane Ellison Norman, a Madwoman in the Attic, has published two books of poetry, The Duration of Grief and Keep (www.smokeandmirrorspress.com). She has published poems in 5AM, Kestrel, North American Review, Grasslimb, Rune, Voices from the Attic anthologies and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Her poem “What There’d Been” won the Wisteria Prize in 2006 from Paper Journey Press.