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.
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
Photographed by Mark
Mark in Louisville at the 13th Annual Big Lebowski Festival
Photos by Mark
Cousin Jim on the right and Liam O’Brien in Middle. John is on the left/ photographed by Mark
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.
Vedrana took just one:
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-
And finally I was satisfied with the results.
Something called the Century Plant is going to qualify as a relic today.
My friend Kristin had been sending me photos of the Agave Americana (known as the Century Plant) as it was growing in her family’s front yard on
St. George Island. When I went down for vacation I got to see it first hand. I couldn’t believe how tall it had grown.
It is definitely at least twenty + feet tall!
It was preparing to be in full bloom- and then it will die. I saw some other Century Plants on the island in different stages of their life cycle.
Kristin sent me these photos on the phone and said, “Wait until you come and see it in person.” She wasn’t kidding. I took some photos of it too.
How it starts. The mother plant sends out “pups”
I used a flash at sunset and it makes the buds look interesting.
A shot at night
Someone else’s Century Plant fell over.
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?
That is cloud, not vegetation on the sun.
And this last one is one I liked a lot.
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
My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School
Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk. It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me. I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven. I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates. We followed each other to junior and senior high school. Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again. At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand. Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.
The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik, our physical education and health teacher. Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion. She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning. Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher. She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China. Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!
Allen School closed in 1961. The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School. However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place. On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that. Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward. Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them. Oh, I almost forgot! Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System! I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle. “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.
(Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the striped shirt!)
The family was on vacation in Michigan this week.
My son Mark photographed Anna sitting on the Montgomery City Bus, in the very seat in which Rosa Parks was arrested, Dec 1, 1955.
The Rosa Parks Bus is in The Henry Ford in Dearborn Michigan. The exhibit is titled With Liberty and Justice for All.
(Anna sitting in the seat on the Rosa Parks Bus, photographed by her father, Mark )
Rosa Parks is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit Michigan. Here is the Wikipedia link to the “First Lady of Civil Rights”
Today I had a nice surprise in my inbox from my son Matthew.
He sent beautiful photographs of Zadar, Croatia photographed by Maja.
Thank you Maja.
Perfect for a guest blog today. What a stunning blue sky!
The Adriatic Sea.
St. Donatus Church and the Roman Forum in Zadar
Boats in the Harbor
Looks like Spring is here!
Waves on the sea wall catching the sunlight.
There are lots of ways to mark the passage of time. You rip the calendar pages off and suddenly a whole year has passed!
When I was at school, I saw there was a missed call and a voicemail from my DIL Erika.
Later when I didn’t have students I listened on the phone’s speaker.
The message was a
howling/animal crying and then my granddaughter Anna(10) saying, “Henry, stop it. That’s enough. ” Then some more doggy crying and Anna saying, ” Aww Henry don’t feel bad.”
When Erika got on the phone when I called back, she said that Henry ran to the computer first thing this morning and was sad he wasn’t featured on the blog today, celebrating his first birthday.
So Anna took some photos and I PROMISED Hnery would be on the blog before the end of the day. Forgetful Grandma!
The thoughtful breeder, Diana McKenna, remembered and sent a card via email and E forwarded it to me. Screen shot below.
Here is the photo of the family getting ready to take Henry back to Ohio from Michigan. Thanks Diana.
Erika sent a photo of the birthday Airedale biscuits she baked for Henry’s first bday. I’ll have to get the recipe.
One year old today. Anna took these photographs and sent them through her Mother’s phone to me.
Henry loves to hide bones. Big ones!
Thanks Anna for the photos. Nice job.
Out for a little walk along the boardwalk at Turkey Creek . . . bright sunny day was perfect for “reflections.”
Thanks Shuey. It’s a great shot!
Here is the photograph he took of their reflections.
Here’s today’s guest blog-
This afternoon I received this photo from blog follower Jack. His son Joe took this “Central Park- South East corner…there is a small pond that is iced over and covered with snow…it looks really peaceful”
I wrote to Joe (who also follows the blog and he was happy to contribute today’s post- Thanks Joe!)
He gave me permission to share his picture. And thanks Jack for sending Joe’s Central Park Snow Scene.
It’s a Guest Blog today. This gallery could be a good writing prompt, too. You know there’s a story. Probably more than one story.
And you know when someone sends me photos and they say they saw something and it made them think of me and the blog, it’s a nice feeling. Marlene (Erika’s mother and Mark’s MIL) wrote from Hardy, Virgina with the accompanying photos she took on a walk with Donald.
Glad you had your cell phone along on your walk, Mar.
“We saw this fireplace chimney in the woods so we ventured up the hill. There was a stone outline of where the old homestead was. There were a bunch of mason jars all over so we figured kids with moonshine would sit around the fireplace and drink. Way behind the chimney we saw another old house. So we walked through the leaves to the other house.”
“After checking out the side of the house I walked around to the front door and there I saw the front door was padlocked.
It was so funny because the exterior wall was missing on the side.”
Thanks Marlene for the gallery of the old Homestead in Virginia,
When I posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Window Saturday night, within an hour’s time, I received an email from my good friend J in Omaha.
Attached to the email were photographs of interesting windows from her recent retirement European holiday.
I emailed back before midnight and invited her to guest blog. She sent a few more.
Since January first and the wordpress monkeys’ report telling me that I had 80,000 fewer viewers in 2013 than in 2012, I’ve been thinking about the purpose of my blog and reflecting on why this occurred. The decrease in viewers was astounding to me. It had been increasing, building, growing. And then it plummeted? Hmmmmm.
My blog followers numbers have increased. Doesn’t make sense. Thought maybe my posts mundane, not exotic enough, or the writing sparse or the writing boring or people just tired of seeing a pic of what I ate for dinner on a Tuesday when it was cold outside? People are rushed, stressed and don’t have time to look at the photographs? Not sure.
But hearing from my friend J in response to the gallery of windows photographs I posted, or receiving via email the Barred Owl from Shuey (which was #4 in the lineup for most viewed post this past year even though it was from 2012) or knowing that my son Mark sent Mt. Vernon photos he took of the kids after he looked at my post of him standing in front of Washington’s home all those years ago- and that was at 3:30 AM he was looking and sending current photos. It felt good.
Responding to photographs. It’s about dialogue, communication. I am always talking to the high school students about the purposes of photography. What makes a good photograph.
Maybe you wrote a comment after feeling something upon viewing an image. Or emailed me a story of a memory a photograph triggered (thanks Jack)
After all, I want people to look at the photographs I take or I wouldn’t bother to upload them and share. Didn’t my friend V just say that about why people post on FB?
They want a response!
I’m seeking some connection to others. Making sense of my life. Honing my eye. Seeing what is right in front of me in my world. Individual yet universal experience.
Most of the people I hear from via email don’t have their own blogs.
Cousin Paul sent a photo of his house in the moonlight, Rob sent a photo of a glass of wine on a table in an excellent composition and Bill sent the completed crossword. Okay, now who am I forgetting?
Matthew sent the pics from the Museum of Broken Relationships from Zagreb and Laura the photo of the Longaberger Basket Offices shaped like a basket and my sister Mary, I can always count on her to see something interesting. When I visit her in NYC she has lots of ideas about where to go and find things to photograph. Here’s one she sent of NYC signage.
The grandchildren have taken turns and want to be guest blogger as has my DIL Erika for Windsor the Rescue Horse- Anna with the pickup full of mannequin legs, Michael shooting into the sun at breakfast , Jack setting up the sock monkeys and telling them to smile, Maura with her drawing,
I’ll l add more guest bloggers links in future posts but I’m grateful the blog has created a forum for exchange with one another!
Here are J’s wonderful windows she sent in response to the challenge. Thanks J.
Arles, France – chandelier in window
Arles – peeking through the window to the sewing room of La Poule Blanche. The proprietor made everything she sold in her shop, and I bought an apron, of course.- J
Erika sent me these two pictures of Jack this evening. She said that Jack gave me permission to blog them!
His front tooth was hanging on by a thread for the longest time and Jack kept wiggling it all Christmas break. You kept thinking it would come out but even when he’d twist it, it didn’t!
It gave you the shudders, right down your spine, watching him manipulate it. I thought I’d witness it coming out in person but didn’t happen. Until tonight! A milestone.
Sure gives a different smile! Thanks Erika and Mark. He looks pretty excited about it’s coming out.
Growing up at a rapid rate!
Have you chosen a word for this year’s theme yet? Mine is gratitude.
This afternoon I drove home alone to Pittsburgh after a nice vacation in Ohio with my family. Two hundred miles can feel long and lonesome after all the activity with the family. If you’ve been following along you saw that the girls and I went to Laura and James and had a nice New Year’s Day celebration with the rest of the family.
On my way home I spoke with my dear friend J in Omaha. She told me about hostess gifts she passed out to her Fondue Party guests on New Year’s Eve. Here is what she gave them ( a semi-guest blog, J?)
Picture a quart Mason Jar (thanks John Landis Mason 1832-1902) wrapped with a fancy bow.
Inside J put a paper with instructions.
Starting January first. write good things down on little pieces of paper and put them into the jar. Could be a goal accomplished, something good, a happy moment, a thought. Then on Dec 31st, 2014, reread all the good things you wrote on all the little pieces of paper that you deposited throughout the year.
Right now this jar in my kitchen is filled with homemade Chex Mix (thanks Laura)
But starting when it’s empty, we’re going to fill it with good notes. Lots of them. Kind of like Three Daily Delights by my number one commenter this year, Stef.
Thanks for the good idea J. It’s a wonderful way to start a new year.
And a p.s. from J this morning A photo of her gratitude jars all lined up plus the original instructions from her niece.
guest blog via Marlene
Jack needs two front teeth. One on the top and one on the bottom! The remaining top front tooth is dangling by a thread and turns 90 degrees on occasion as he works at it with his tongue. Ugh!
The other grandma, Froo Froo Marlene, took this shot with Henry the Airedale in his Santa hat.
Here is the history of the 1944 song
A fun series to receive on the phone from my son Mark.
Looks like a depth of field exercise, too.
This is a “leaf bug” or katydid. A relative of the grasshopper and also called a bush-cricket in some parts of the world. Looks like such an interesting creature and is the perfection of camouflage.
Thanks Mark for sharing your Katydid and Kids study. love you. Mom
Can you see him/her?
Can you see him/her? Probably snacking on the foliage.
Michael’s Lego man stands in the red light from the sun and he photographs it with my phone.
I got my camera to catch him photographing the scene.
One thing that occurs in the family is the grandchildren try their hand at photography, too. One of Michael’s photos from the iPhone!
At least a year ago, my friend Connie W. from Florida, sent a newspaper article from an Ocala paper about the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb Croatia. Connie must have read it and thought of Matthew, my son who lives there. I asked him one time about it and then another time and we didn’t talk about it or mention it for along while. Then I said I hope he could take Flat Ruthie there as I thought it would be an interesting place to visit. Then Flat Ruthie went missing. And besides Flat Ruthie hasn’t really had any relationships to break up that I’m aware of………….
Today in my email I received photographs of his visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships. Here is what Matthew wrote:
My Blog-following friends- Sasha, Ana Maria and Tanja asked if I had taken Flat Ruthie to the Museum of Broken Relationships. I hadn’t. So we decided to go together and take some pics for the Blog. Flat Ruthie was too busy exploring the remote reaches of my desk drawers, so she opted not to join us this time. I bought a Bad Memories Eraser for Mom at the gift shop, but a few hours later ran into a friend who needed it more. Her boyfriend has gone to NYC to play the drums.
I wonder what she’ll donate to the museum: a pair of scuffed sticks or an abandoned ride cymbal? Hopefully, she’ll update us when she decides – Matthew
It isn’t just the objects. It is the stories behind the objects.
Tanja, Sasha, Ana at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb
At the gift shop
I am so happy you all encouraged MAtthew to go to the museum!!!
I am not sure to whom the credit should go to for the photo of Matthew at the entrance. Let me know and I can edit the post.
Photo credit to Sasha, Tanja or Ana Maria- Thank you
Photographed by Anna (9+) with the iPhone. When I am staying with the family ( since I am out of school for the summer), I get help documenting-
“for the blog”.
You might remember Anna found the pick up truck full of mannequin legs last winter and captured the scene with her mom’s iPhone.
I like that she changed up her angle on the second shot and found the unfortunate figure beneath the plane at the bottom of the sink
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
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.
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.