At Sixes and Sevens?

“Sabina’s opening monologue from Thornton Wilder’s 1942 Pulitzer Prize winning play The Skin of Our Teeth: “The whole world’s at sixes and sevens, and why the house hasn’t fallen down about our ears long ago is a miracle to me” – Wikipedia

Today I’m sixty seven. That number seemed to come up quickly!   Sixty seven isn’t exactly at sixes and sevens -which is defined as “a state of confusion or disarray”- but the phrase certainly came to mind when I thought of my new age for the year.  I looked up the origin and meaning of the phrase and you can click the blue phrase for more details.

In light of a recent conversation I was asked, “what would your seventy seven year old self write in a letter as advice to heed now?”

Hmmmm, I didn’t start writing the actual letter yet but here’s a start-

Dear 67 year old Ruth,

What can I tell you from the vantage point and wisdom of 77 years of age?

Are you living your life to the absolute fullest every single day? Come on, be honest.

Tell me how are you coming along with your practice of that Golden Rule? Be kind. 

Are you making a point to learn from past mistakes or are you repeating them? What did you learn today? You can still increase your vocabulary.

Be sure to become less judgmental, less critical and always choose to take that elusive high road. Difficult, isn’t it? It will be no easier when you’re 77 years old. Trust me. To whine and complain is tiresome and unattractive. Don’t do it.

Work on your listening skills. Hear what others are saying. Ouch. 

You know you should really commit to doing serious physical exercise, eat more dark leafy greens, drink lots of water and by the way, what’s with all that cheese? Take good care of yourself and avoid the sun.

Be sure to clear out all those possessions you’ve accumulated all these years so your grown up kids aren’t burdened later. Just remember- no one wants your  stuff.  

Becoming 67 today doesn’t mean you’re at sixes and sevens for the year.  

Anyway have a good birthday-and be grateful you have one. 

Love ❤️.

Multiply it to the nth power.

                            My baby cup.

 

An Unexpected Birthday Gift

My former photography teacher, Germaine Watkins, laser engraved this personal wineglass for my birthday. You might have seen last week’s blog about his Haiti Photographs. He is one of the portraits of the People at Work.

He brought the personalized gift last night to my photography show. He etched fireworks for my July 4th birthday, loops of yarn for my knitting, my name and birthdate and a little cross to represent my being a PK. Sweet. Thanks Germaine. What a nice surprise.

Germaine Watkins show link below and the photo of Haiti’s countryside that I bought which is now hanging in my dining room.

https://rutheh.com/2018/06/30/pittsburghs-spring-garden-neighborhood-summer-evening/

July 4th Celebration

Good to be alive at sixty-five.

Happy Medicare card to me.  I can get that free bus pass now.

My sister and I are in Columbus OH on the big birthday eve after our family gatherings and driving over 1700 miles.

Laura and James hosting a July 4th birthday celebration for me tomorrow.

Here’s a photo collage with some of my favorite things- my family, pignoli, fireworks, coffee ice cream, raspberries, Zeke’s coffee, reading books,  teapots, knitting and sock monkeys. Oh yes, a few shots of me throughout the years.

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Oh say can you see

Maura watched the rockets red glare-

A fireworks show at The Lakes.

Fireworks fit the theme Transient perfectly.

My brother and sister and I drove 484 miles from Rockford Illinois to Columbus Ohio. Plenty of time until it got dark enough.

Patriotic Sock Yarn and Red, White and Blue Party Items

My friend Joanne sent me red, white and blue birthday party napkins, cupcake papers, glow bracelets, tiny fairie lights, and some fun hand-dyed sock yarn– labeled You’re a Grand Old Flag. Self striping.   You know how I’ve been into sock knitting this year. 

My being born (is that proper English?)on the Fourth of July inspires her selections. You might remember the cupcake tree she sent one year?  That post has the 1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe .

How about those Red white and blue chocolate covered Sunflower seeds? Where do you find this stuff? 

I’m back in Ohio and the kids are coming over to celebrate Monday. We will put the items to good use.

Thanks J. It’s going to be a happy birthday party. Can’t wait to knit the socks. And wear them! 



The Story of the Flag Dishes

My friend J found these dishes in a kitchen consignment store in Omaha-The Pot and Ladle.

J had them  packed and moved with her when she relocated to Florida.

And then she wrapped them in bubble wrap and  packed them herself in about eight boxes and shipped them to me in Pittsburgh.

When your birthday is the Fourth of July, people see red white and blue and think of you.

Last night I had house guests so got up and baked blueberry muffins with a container of greek yogurt (vanilla) and used one of the American Colonial plates (designed by Warren Kimble in 1997) When I looked up Warren Kimble it said he is “the best known living American Folk Artist”

(noticed I used the red, white and blue potholder I wove a few years ago)

Funnel Cake Stand with Fireworks

Arrived back in Columbus and went straight to the hospital to see new grandson Charlie. Mark and his family (with all four kids) came to visit too and filled up the hospital room fast.

Then on to the Fourth of July celebration at The Lakes.  The ground so wet the blankets felt pretty soggy. We’ve had a LOT of rain.Funnel Cake Stand Frenzy
Stacee Ray Funnel Cake

 

 

 

Ms. Stacee Roy keeps the hot funnel cakes cooking.  (Yes, that is two e’s in Stacee)

Son Cedric told me he’s the muscles of the operation. I’m sorry I didn’t photograph him for the blog.

 

Fireworks and Funnel Cake 2

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier I asked if I might photograph Mr. Ron Roy of Fun’l Frenzy as he cut the strawberries. Knew he would make a great portrait for the people at work series! Thank you Mr. Roy.

Ron Ray Funnel Cake

 

 

 

Fireworks and Funnel Cake

 

Funnel Cake Sign

 

 

 

Funnel Cake Stand

 

Experimenting with camera settings.

 

Fireworks and Funnel CakeRead more about the origin of Funnel Cake here

 

Early July 4th Celebration at The Lakes in Ohio

When we arrived, Erika suggested taking a photo of the place empty and then later after it filled up. Sounded like a good idea to me.

So here is what The Lakes Fourth of July celebration looked like Sunday night- June 29th.

beginning

The beginning

 

middle

 

 

preparing fireworks at the Lakes

Preparing the fireworks across the lake

 

reflection

Flags and crowd reflection

 

teenagers

Parade of teenagers

 

 

reflectionsThe Kids loved all the inflatable activities

 

family viewing

 

 

 

fireworks 2

The smell of gunpowder lingered in the humid air

 

 

 

 

 

michael

 

During the fireworks- Michael on the right looks up at the sky filled with fireworks

 

fireworks at the Lakes

Lots of teenagers in clumps, enjoying the festivities

 

 

 

 

July FireworksThe fireworks are over.  A large light came on.  Everyone was packing and cleaning up.  Getting to the car and out of the parking lot.  Home in about 15 minutes after this shot!

 

 

end of the night

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.

 

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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.

 

 

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He’s getting it now

 

 

 

 

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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