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.
One more dog post. There’s been a lot of dogs watching TV on my blog this season. And it’s been kids and dogs while I’m on vacation which is fast coming to a close.
We’ve all missed Murphy, the gentleman Airedale, who passed last Spring. Such a well mannered fellow, and loved dearly.
Erika keeps asking me when I am going to knit Henry a sweater.
He’s still a pup, exuberant and finding his place in the pack, making his way into our hearts with his humorous antics. He’s trying to figure things out.
He certainly likes being with his family where the activity is happening. And did he ever relish his new bone. (Laura asked if it came from a Wooly Mammoth.)
The handy iPhone camera, pulled out of a pocket. catches a moment without my leaving the family room seat or putting down my knitting.
There will be tomorrow to speak of the last post of the old year, bring in the new year- making resolutions or not.
Hmmmmm I wonder if I could bury this outside.
Please let me out with this giant bone.
And Henry eyes Maura’s horse
And then eyes me!
A p.s. to today’s blog
Henry’s breakfast Time for grandma to go home
Spring weather and sixty one degrees.
Winter weather and 30 degrees. The wind kicked up
A significant drop.
We were headed out to see the Nutcracker Sunday afternoon. The car window offered this view.
Summer vacation’s a wonderful break from the school year.
Have to report back to school two weeks from tomorrow 8-20.
It’s difficult to see summer come to a close. Even the weather seems tinged with fall.
Trying to keep the blog in “real time” and needed a Pittsburgh photo to post tonight. I shot this when Steve and I went on the Ducky Tour.
The Pirates are playing the Marlins at PNC Park tomorrow night. And tickets are in hot demand these days! GO BUCS!
This mannequin sports PIRATES ink. I’d never seen a tattooed mannequin before this one. Shot through the store window at Station Square.
When I saw the theme for this week on Sonel Corner’s blog, I knew I had to post a response. If you click on the link to her blog you’ll see a wide variety of families from a musical instrument family to a family of Plovers and also a family of Vervet Monkeys.
I took this photo of my family over the 4th of July weekend when we were with Erika’s parents at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia.
Then converted it into black and white for the challenge. Certain shots seem to look better in Black and White. This one has minimal white.
ISO 100 f 7.1 1/400 with Canon 70-200 L series lens on a Canon 5D MarkII
Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
Michael talks to 3 month old Henry, (the Airedale Terrier puppy) on the boat.
Henry wore a life jacket and did a bit of doggy paddle with the family but was glad to get out of the water and shake off.
Henry is losing his black puppy hair on his face and as Mark said today, he is looking more “Airedaley”.
Don’t know the people who paid an extra $15 to be pulled up high on a cable and released. It sure looks high!
Summer coming to a close.
Officially summer on the calendar but nothing like Back-to-School to bring it to a close. Summer vacation has been wonderful. Relaxing and lots of time with the family. Reading a book, flipping through a magazine, lazing about on the hammock, getting things done or not. Fresh sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. Summer’s grand.
Then school started with meetings and room set up and although it was a short week of actual teaching(2 days), the back to school feeling is in earnest and a new cycle has begun
A bit hot and muggy tonight from the rain, I can’t hear the cicadas but the change of season is impending. The earlier sunsets. Something about the feel of the air. Today we saw swarms of students shopping for wastebaskets and bedding, eating ice cream as they crossed the street. The city has a different feel since they’ve returned to campuses.
I converted both images to black and white to unify them for the thought of swimming in summer and then a different pool, just drained for the season. You get ideas. Some work. Some don’t.
Swimming at Aunt Linda’s neighbor’s pool-
St. Basils on Brownsville Road in the background. Phillips Park Pool in Carrick. Shot at the Corn Festival.
Lots of people enjoy the satisfaction of popping bubble wrap. Even the virtual kind. On one listing for a computer game it’s called the ultimate time waster. There are apps with popping bubble wrap games. Some people find it a stress reliever and like hearing the pop. Lately I have been receiving packages with a different kind of plastic with air trapped inside and they aren’t nearly as fun, just half heartedly filled with air and don’t make a good POP! More of a fizzle.
You don’t have to explain the rules to this activity. Here’s Maura on Aunt Linda’s back porch, concentrating on the task. A detailed post of various methods of popping bubble wrap has been published over at 1000 Awesome Things( #840) so check it out here. There’s a photo of someone jumping on a big sheet of it! And there are various size bubbles.
Maura was popping the bubbles one at a time and it was fascinating to watch her take her time. It seems a skill that’s a natural one. Pick it up. Squeeze. Pop!
and Jack has found another use for bubble wrap
Laura’s 29th birthday. She says it is her FIRST 29th birthday. The family gathers on the front porch because most of them are nearby.
This year I didn’t run around and get in the photograph. Just wanted them. I’ll put it on the fridge. Look at it until we’re all together again. In the middle of winter I’ll glance at this August evening, celebrating Laura’s birthday and be glad I have the picture.
Not too many people really want their photo taken. Maybe a few. The family allows me to photograph them one more time.
They’re gracious and they love me and they know it’s what I like to do.
They probably wonder when I’ll get tired of wanting to photograph them but they don’t complain. Much. Photographing them while they ignore me is easier.
Of course, I want the shot where everyone is with me and looking pleasant on this occasion. Ha. Erika says to me, “Good luck with that!”
I get it the best I can.
Don’t want to drag it out too long, make it quick, Just SHOOT!
Thanks family. Matthew is the one who said to his friends at his college graduation ” This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”
Penny the Golden Doodle with Lala and James on their front porch.
And Maura and Murphy pose for Mark. Caught them from the side as he got them to look at his phone.
Back and forth, as a pendulum.
Spin round and round simultaneously. Not to mention the height. Oh my.
I shot this angle at dusk.
No, I did not ride it but was fascinated by the long lines of people waiting to get onto it and be scared out of their minds. The screams rated high in decibels.
We were in Kiddie Land at Kennywood Amusement Park in West Mifflin, PA. There were several rides my granddaughter Anna couldn’t ride with her brothers and sisters because she’s grown too tall.
She squeaked by into this one.
Here are fellow bloggers posts for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth.
August first, just after sunset. West Mifflin, PA. Kennywood Amusement Park. Just driving by. Got out of the van and waited for the cars filled with riders to come into the frame.
If you are in town (Pittsburgh), hope you will stop in to Tula Organic Salon and Spa and see my photographs which will be displayed all of August.
The opening is Tuesday July 31st at 7PM. 2629 Murray Avenue- a few doors up from the old Poli’s restaurant.
I think some of the evites went directly to spam. You can see the work whenever the salon is open.
You’ve seen part of this photo- the header on the blog. I am titling it POSTCARD. The rest of the images will be online soon so out-of-towers and bloggers can view the show on the computer. Looking forward to seeing some of you Tuesday evening.
Practice stop-motion shots. Anticipate the action.
Try to feel the timing.
Press the shutter at the right time, once, instead of fifty times. Hopeful.
Sometimes the stop-motion looks frozen to me, perhaps too still. Wonder if it needs a little blur to show the movement.
As you read about my shooting where you are, these are examples of how you can be on vacation and work on your skills, simultaneously.
Have fun doing it, too!
Chef at the next table- House of Japan
Jack trying to beat the ball to first base.
And jumping off the board into the pool. Looks like a cut-and-paste figure.
What I discovered is I shoot a lot of red.
I blurred my eyes to spot purple in the archives.
Yes, I made the rainbow jello to photograph. It took 5 hours. I got the recipe from my daughter Laura who found it on the web here
The one pictured is not spiked and no one ate it either. It is still in my freezer to slice and photograph with light coming through the jello like stained glass.
Purple views, white balance setting askew but it works for the challenge.
A compendium of purple.
and the cake is by Aubrey’s Bakery in Steubenville Ohio for Justin and Vicky’s wedding
Bubble Blowing Champ, Model Railroad Men, Pickle the Mini-Dachshund, Sheep and a Storm at the State Fair
This is what the sky looked like as we made our way down the midway to the van.
Then the rain started. We’d been at the Ohio State Fair about two hours. The photos are not enhanced, that’s the color of the sky!
A deluge. The view from the van shows the lightning. Shortly after four in the afternoon. It got dark as night. When we got home, the power was out so we
went to eat dinner at House of Japan. Thanks to the Kroger booth people at the fair for sheltering me and the kids while Erika ran and got the van and the nice State Trooper who guided us to the van as the wind blew and the rain fell. No hail today, thank goodness. We got pretty wet and it came up fast but all is well.
The first photo of the fair is a small combo at the entrance gate playing Life is a Cabaret. They were good musicians and set the mood.
As we listened to the music we saw this gentleman approach the exit.
His name is John and he blew an eleven inch bubble to win the bubble gum machine and the trophy. He was a good sport and allowed me to photograph him.
The nice woman with the mini-dachshund, Pickle ( 1 yr), let the children pet the sheep and Michael had fun feeding one. Thanks Carrie.
William , originally from Wheeling, was one of the men running the Model Railroad display.
And that is Dave in the PETA shirt in the Sheep Pavilion.
I asked one of the men how they judge the sheep in the competition. He said, they’re choosing the ones who will look best on the table. Some of you know that two out of my three kids are veg, but the one said to me, “Ma, ask that man if you can photograph his shirt!”
Thanks for graciously allowing me to post your photos on the blog today. It was good to talk with everyone we met.
High 80s and no thunderstorms in sight. The pool was practically empty!
We got home for a late supper. Took a walk/ride around the neighborhood. You can see glimpses of the setting sun.
A rainy day. Columbus Ohio. Shot through glass, across the Scioto river from COSI (Center of Science and Industry) A tad underexposed for the trees looking at it now.
The Art Deco building on the left in LeVeque Tower, a half foot taller than Washington Monument. Detail of tower below.
A different city skyline from my usual Pittsburgh photographs.
And butter! Erika, Anna, Maura and I ate out one Friday night at The Lakes. Good etiquette training, too. The “boys” were at a Cleveland Indians game.
I wanted to use the word cul-de-sac on the blog ever since I’ve been visiting the family. Just don’t write or use that word in my daily life in the city. Nice for safe bike riding after supper.
Three out of four took a break to greet the neighbor’s lovely dog, Misty. We sat in the driveway and watched until the sun went down and it was time to come in and get ready for bed. Although it was a hot day, the evening temp dropped and it was a perfect summer evening.