You always ask if there is anything you can do…….

A good friend passed early Wednesday morning. You always ask if there is anything you can do…..

E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33Cj and her daughter at Thanksgiving a few years ago.

She was a loving mother, a devoted sister,  an excellent teacher, a strong woman, a heartfelt writer and a steadfast partner.   An advocate for so many students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Inspiring thousands. A Madwoman writer at Carlow University. 

I  can picture her signing Go Tell it on the Mountain at a Christmas Choir Concert

Reading her poetry at Poe*Art, touching us with her words.

Playing music to motivate the scores of teachers who became students every summer in The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh.

Another friend who taught with her for a couple of years remembers her playing Rocky’s Theme to get the students geared up for testing.  The same friend said Cj always made lemonade when life handed her lemons.  So true.

Here is another song she’d play for her students and sign with them.

 

The plea for help with medical expenses is now compounded by the additional need for Funeral/Memorial costs.  If you’ve ever received a bill in the mail after someone has passed you’ll understand why I am getting this request out to the world.  Cj was always supportive of my blog efforts and an avid follower.  

No amount too small to help the family through this difficult time  Click to donate

Thank you.   E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33

 

Maura’s Guest Blog

Maura has wanted to be guest blogger for the longest time. Her brother Michael did the honors yesterday. Today, Friday, was her chance.

I handed her the Canon 6D and said “halfway down, then all the way.” Click Click Click. Here we are- We gathered on Laura’s front porch before pulling away from the curb. We almost forgot to snap a picture. Longtime friends mini-reunion in Columbus OH.

Charlie sure likes that garden owl.

I took this one of Maura holding Charlie. Cousins!

Tea Time at a Friend’s Table

Tea time at a friend’s table, Monday afternoon. A lovely respite, good conversation, catching up, topics- family and friends, the state of our world. A plate of chocolate filled cookies. A gracious hostess offering a cup of tea. We toasted and clinked our delicate teacups. To friendship.

Cheers!

Lights in the Darkness

Flickering candle flames are mesmerizing. It’s hard to avert your eyes.

They cast a flattering light.

The sound of the strike of a wooden match. Tapers on a dinner table. The evening’s about to begin.

Lighting votives in the alcove of a church offers comfort when there’s really nothing else one can do.

Skinny candles on birthday cakesthe smell of wax and smoke after you make your wish, blow them out.

Everyone’s getting those battery operated, remote control, waxy but not real flame candles these days. No carbon marks on paint behind picture frames. No danger of setting the house afire.

I’ve got a set on the mantel right now. Need a load of double AAs. Make them glow again.

The wavering lights of true flames, hypnotize me.

Create shadows on the walls.

Light up a winter night.

H.B.T.Y.

Baklava Ice Cream at Amel’s

A delicious lunch with a nice friend on Wednesday. Amel’s Restaurant describes itself “Homey Mediterranean & Middle Eastern eatery”

I had the Butternut Squash Tortellini with Sage Butter and Pine Nuts and an Amel’s Salad.

For dessert our server went into the kitchen and chopped up fresh baklava and mixed it with vanilla ice cream. Oh my. Honey syrup, walnuts and flaky phyllo and a smidgen of cinnamon perhaps?

So refreshing. We shared one order but I know I could have eaten it all by myself. Oink!

Two Tangy Lemon Bars

It’s buttery crumbly shortbread on the bottom layer and a tangy sour sweet lemon curd- like top. I love lemons.

I met a friend for breakfast and she brought me these two delicious lemon bars. She knows they’re a favorite of mine. They were leftover from her book group gathering.

It’s the kind of taste that makes a mouth water. I opened the foil package and took this quick shot on my car’s console before I pulled out of the diner parking lot.

I nibbled at the first, my mouth watering with pleasure and then eyed that second bar. I managed restraint, wrapped it up in the wrinkled foil and put it out of reach, avoiding the temptation to make it disappear.

Steve certainly enjoyed it at lunch, unaware how vulnerable it had been to my midwinter gluttony.

My mother always said “it’s better to have a hankering for more, than to regret you had too much.”

Here’s a Lemon Bar recipe I found online, a woman says they’re the best. The 50 year old recipe from Wisconsin.

https://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/best-lemon-bars/

Deep Cleaning Closet Yield

Found this newspaper page from June 17,1966 today. Our eighth grade class.

My Grandmother’s High School Class 1904 picture, too.

I’m tackling a closet which had a few random treasures in the miscellaneous.

What sensible person holds onto this stuff?

Happy Birthday to my Dear Longtime Friend with much love. I hope you’re reading the blog today.

(Seriously longtime. We were in Mrs. Stewart’s class when news broke of JFK’s assassination. I remember Miss McCarthy crying in the hall).

But I figure you prefer anonymity so you know who you are.

“We were so much older then, we’re younger than that now”

Happy Birthday to my Cherished Friend

My maternal grandmother, Charlotte Rowley- bottom right

And in my mother’s handwriting -the names of the 1904 Durand High School class, Durand Illinois. Mr. Greenough didn’t get a first name?