Everyone is happy that Matthew is visiting from Zagreb. He’s either playing the guitar or the piano, telling big brother-little brother stories to his nephews as they fall off to sleep or trying to beat Mark’s Father-in-Law Donald at 360XBox College Football. He helps wash the dishes and keeps us laughing and entertained.
Here are some Matthew moments for the blog followers in Croatia, wondering why he isn’t on the blog!
I hope to get a photo with him before he leaves. We’ll see. It feels good to have everyone together, even for a short time.
Singing the Christmas Blues – Erika’s Mom Marlene on the floor by the tree
Christmas morning. He likes his new hat, fresh off the needles.
When we were working on the Awkward Photos
And Matthew wasn’t keen on being the main feature of the blog. So here is one more photo of the grandchildren on Christmas Eve to share the post.
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.
Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments and emails of sympathy in response to yesterday’s tribute for Theresa.
Sharing your kind, caring words and blessings meant a lot to the whole family at this difficult time. Thank you.
The Weekly Photo Challenge
The theme this week seemed the most cryptic to me to decipher. I looked at the excellent example by Christopher Martin and read about how to go deeper into the scene. What to do when you are actually photographing. How to go “beyond the obvious”.
I didn’t go out and shoot specifically for the challenge but looked at what I had in my archives and tried to look into the photograph to see a whole new photograph within the image. Showing both photographs seemed the way to go so as to compare but I have decided to try to go with the challenge as intended, instead of justifying my edits.
One thing I learned- I photograph the obvious and need to consider the photograph hidden within the one that presents itself. We’ll see how it goes in the weeks to come. Intentional lost in the details photographs instead of edited ones I have already taken. I will look for the picture within the picture as I shoot.
My theme might have ended up being “Crop in the Details” as I try to not crop my images. Once I read about not cropping in an article Henri Cartier-Bresson.
So by looking for the “lost” part of the challenge I definitely “found” some new photographs.
Viewers can judge if the choices I made for the challenge are successful or not.
Saturday night, Christopher Mark Jones accompanied by David Hart on Mandolin.Expert musicians played two sets to an appreciative audience. Their music made the house come alive.
Laura and James came in from Columbus to help host. I couldn’t have done it without them. We made a Gourd Tree on the cupcake stand my friend Joanne sent last birthday. I baked a New York Cheesecake, the kind with no crust where you start at 500 degrees then turn it down to 225 and let it bake undisturbed into the night after you turn the oven off.
L said it was the best house concert she had ever attended! Everyone seemed to be in agreement that it was a wonderful concert and lively evening. Friends and neighbors joined in singing a few choruses with the sing along portion and the house lent itself with a warm, welcoming spirit and ambience.
They left their umbrellas at the door. The threat of five days of rain with Sandy coming up the East Coast didn’t prevent anyone from coming.
It was a lovely, musical event. Thanks to Christopher and David! The candles provided a warm glow.
If you want to hear some good music in Pittsburgh this Friday night, head down to the Club Cafe on South 12th Street for the Early Show.
Christopher Mark Jones– Songwriter will be performing with the band. You might remember two of his tracks from his Heartland Variations CD were featured in the poet bio I filmed- Michael Wurster: CIty Books Session.
Christopher’s new CD Suburban 2-Step will be released in Spring 2012.
Eve Goodman will be performing with John Caldwell, too.
You can listen to some samples here and also see another photograph I shot of Christopher. Tickets are $10 at the door. Show is 7-9 PM.
Saturday morning I drove down to the Strip District of the city to purchase items for the cookie table for the wedding. Ingredients; pistachios, hazelnuts, almond paste, Portuguese Pignoli Nuts, anise seed,fig jam, and some doilies for the cookie trays. Stopped by the Steeler Nation T-shirt display and told the proprietor his shirts were being worn in Zagreb. I bought them last year. We struck up a conversation and before you know it, Mr. Lenny Moran opened his a guitar case and showed me where Tom Petty had signed it T.P. and then had a well-worn leaflet autographed by Muhammed Ali. Turns out Lenny is a songwriter as well as a Steeler Nation T-shirt entrepreneur. If you’re from Pittsburgh you might have heard his Rock’n the Igloo! Check out his burghnationtees. He had a tablet with wireless capability and I was able to show him the post of the Steelers slide show where he was featured last January. Lenny had placed Steelers folding chairs to save a parking spot for a couple of nuns who came and set up a table to sell Advent wreaths. It was a nice morning. He graciously consented (I hadn’t asked last January) to be on the blog. Thanks Mr. Lenny Moran.
Note to SELF:
Carry good camera at all times
Carry good camera at all times
All iPhone once again.
Saturday night. Where we ended up after driving around the city, and dinner out with James (my SIL2B) and my sister Mary in from NYC to visit the family in Columbus. Mark and Erika had gone out and had a sitter so we went out, too. Cocoa and coffee, lemon poppyseed cake and finger-picking acoustic music we enjoyed so much that Mary bought 2 CD’s, one for Matthew in Croatia and one for James, who picked this spot to round out our evening together. Scottie’s Coffee and Tea House was a welcoming venue and the live music was a bonus. Shohei Toyoda played well to an appreciative crowd, lots of energy and enthusiasm and lively music. Great sound. Played some of his own compositions and they were quite good. I asked him if I could blog him during the break and he agreed.
Sitting with family
sipping a hot drink.
Listening to live music.
Makes for a satisfying
Aspinwall Beans “N” Cream was the scene last Saturday. Cool decor, lots of record album covers and posters and photos and Beatles memorabilia adorn the walls of the coffee house. Fun to watch a lava lamp in the corner. Peter added an expertly played instrumental combining three classic jig and reel tunes, complete with an occasional foot tap that made one want to get up and dance along to the beat. Peter invited harmonica player Marc Reisman to join him onstage for a few numbers and the two paired nicely. Peter will open for singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines, whom the Chicago Tribune calls “extraordinary and timeless,” at Club Cafe on Feb. 26 at 7 pm. Check out Peter King website and see the photos I shot for his latest CD cover. For tickets write to firstname.lastname@example.org ($13 in advance). If you live locally, Peter teaches guitar lessons privately and at Chatam University. You can contact him and sign up now to learn to play away the winter blues.