Maura Clare Celebrates #7

Maura Clare born November 17, 2008.  Celebrating her seventh birthday today.

Maura Clare is Seven





Happy 7th Birthday Maura Clare.  Thanks to FF Marlene for the Last Pic as Six.

I thought about adding a couple of  your selfies that keep showing up on my phone!!)

Love from your Grandma Ruthie

Okay Can You See?

We’re celebrating the Fourth of July in Virginia.  I’m grateful for another birthday.

When I was Maura’s age I used to think all the fireworks were just for me on my birthday.  Ha!

Not sure if there will be fireworks to celebrate the fourth as there’s rain and more rain.

My granddaughter Maura (4) sings the Star Spangled Banner with a slight alteration of the opening lyrics.

“Okay, can you see?” or more like  “O-O-O-Okay can you see”

The title for this post could also be  How to Photograph Four Kids at a Time.  I’ve had a lot of practice.  It’s not impossible but to get ALL four with their best expression is not an easy task.               Add the new puppy Henry to the effort.

I’ve used the -get ’em in action method- quite a few times.  On the playground, the backyard, the hula hoop, the swing, the bicycle.  Anything so they aren’t conscious of Grandma’s lens.

The sitting around all in a row or even staggered grouping and looking at my lens with the old CHEEEEESE doesn’t work for me.  Or them  Not that I haven’t tried.    Canon 70-200mm L series lens   ISO 100  f/2.8  1/125   I’m up on the front porch.


On Your Mark

On Your Mark-

And they're off

And they’re off-

all the way down to the tree


headed back to the finish



uh oh I see his derriere

Uh oh not that view of Henry.  Henry, turn around.



Oh Henry, turn around.   Nah, too posed looking.   ACTION!



running towards home


Maura, Anna, Michael and Jack and Henry



watch the puppy


Here they come.

Anna calls to Henry to join them.





He’s getting it now







A moment of childhood captured.



Maura doesn’t like coming in last.  Henry is watching the cows in the field next door.

Henry and Maura watch the cows

I Forgot to Mail Your Card, Mary

It was a nice one, too.  I bought it at the fancy card store in Shadyside a while back to be sure I had it in plenty of time.

You remember the store behind our old house on Howe Street?   That one.

Buying cards and not mailing them in a timely fashion seems to be something I do often. Once I swore I would never send a late card again.

I brought the birthday card to New York City when we visited last month.  I thought about writing it and giving it to you then. It was still in my bag tonight.

Nah, I thought, I’ll save it-  mail it to arrive closer to the special day.  A much better plan. Now you’re on your way to visit our brother in Okanogan.  Your mail’s on hold.  And I didn’t get it in the mailbox yet.

Here’s what I do.  I’ll think of someone, know their birthday is coming,  buy a card, misplace it, or drive the card around for a time, til it’s ripe?  I am not sure why I do this.  I read a whole bunch of sisters cards, too, looking for the right sentiment.  Some of them all sappy but this one was succinct and to the point.  It’s even printed on recycled paper and Made in the U.S. A.  Here’s a photo of the beautiful card I meant to send in time.

 “I’m grateful we’re sisters.”

Happy Birthday Mary.  You are an excellent sister, aunt, and friend.  Thanks for always being there and listening and for putting up with  me during my bratty years.  (I think they are done)  Love you with all my heart and am grateful for all the love you give to all of us. Have a happy birthday celebration with David.xxoo

You might remember the post my sister’s kitchen- 20 for dinner? no problem!.  How she always finds cool and quirky things for me to photograph when I visit her in NYC where she’s lived about 48 years.  The kids and I’d drive from Pittsburgh and camp out with her in the apartment.  When we’d wake up, there’d be fresh warm Zito’s bread and homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves and fresh butter.

Your first trip to visit us in Germany.  Laura is four months old, Mark 7 and Matthew just turned 3.

You with Laura after the wedding last November.  Thanks for all you did to make it happen so beautifully.

Here is a colorized baby photo of you with Mom. New Haven, CT

I turned it into an art project years ago and added the border. Sorry.

Water Tower Message Completed

It was a wonderful milestone birthday celebration and there are photos of sparklers and candles and fireworks seen from the backyard. They are still in the camera.

The cake Laura baked, Erika’s garden eggplant, Mark grilling shrimp, the kids enjoying Grandma’s birthday party, the card they made for me- waiting on the flash card til tomorrow.  Below is the breakfast of a special raisin loaf (avert your eyes, Greg) that Marlene (Erika’s mom) brought up from Roanoke.  You might remember we were supposed to go to VA for the fourth celebration but they lost power in the violent storm almost a week ago and still don’t’ have it back.

And a crazy couple of shots from a sweltering parade July 4th AM.  They are in the camera on the flash card and not uploaded tonight.  But I wanted to return to this scene on Tuesday to photograph the sign on the water tower I had photographed on Monday..

No longer just d-e-l-a-w .  You might have seen the partially painted message on Tuesday’s post d-e-l-a-w-

I offered to return the library items and took Murphy for a ride, cranked up the AC and left the rear window open a crack for that rush of air he likes to feel on his nose.

Pulled over right after the railroad track and got out and took three shots.  How those men were able to paint in this extreme heat I can’t imagine.

I didn’t know this area was considered a playground but it is complete and here is the photo of it.

And isn’t this handy?  A drive through library return?  I ‘ve never seen one where you drive through. In the city they have large metal depositories outside the library but nothing this convenient.  A smart design.