Winter Tree at the Playground

My granddaughter Anna (13) texted me this photo from Ohio, just after I returned to Pittsburgh. I’d  a week’s visit with both families. It was warm enough to play at the playground today. img_3251

I thought it a good composition

 

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Then she sent me the second photo and I could see some warm lights through the trees.

You might remember Anna’s photo  of the pick-up truck full of mannequin legs on a snowy highway.  From 4 years ago        Click to see Anna’s photo from 2012

Hopkins County Stew

My neighbor up the street made a vat of Hopkins County Chicken Stew.(recipe)

She served it at their New Year’s Eve Party Saturday night.

I sent a text to thank her for the nice time and she texted back and invited me to come up around 4, bring an empty container, fill up! I took up a quart jar but she had a couple of gallons.

Yum.

When I got there, I was in awe of the huge pot she made it in. She was in the midst of major clean up from the party.  Steve and I  ate the warm penne and sweet sausage she sent home along with some stew.  Thanks for sharing your leftovers.

I’d never even heard of Hopkins County Stew from Texas.

Turns out there’s a big festival in Sulphur Springs Texas  (the fourth Saturday of October) and here is an excerpt from their webpage

“The cooking competition began in 1969, but the roots of the dish date from the late 1800s, The county had approximately 100 schools back then and it became customary to celebrate the end of each school year with stew suppers that were cooked in iron pots over open hardwood fires. 

There were no recipes.  Families just brought what they had and threw it in the pot.  The meat most likely was squirrel, and typically the most dominant vegetables were potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes.

There is still no authentic recipe for Hopkins County Stew.  For the annual cook-off, contestants may use chicken or beef (no squirrel) and there are separate prizes for the best stew with each meat.”

Here is another link to a recipe   I will have to ask Susanne which one she used.  The ones listed above (potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes) are still the dominant ingredients.

 

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Henry the Airedale Took a Photo with my iPhone

Saturday morning I photographed the pancakes and put the iPhone on the table. Maura said, “what’s that camera noise?” Henry nuzzled the open camera app and captured the red tablecloth. Maybe a smudge of butter on it that drew him to the circle at the bottom of the screen.

Shades of Rothko? Definitely abstract.

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And here he is taking up most of the bed while I’m visiting for the weekend. 

 

The Art of Gift Wrap

Thursday, I was going to meet a new baby and wanted to take a gift.

Called around and found wooden milestone blocks/cubes and in the colors of the nursery!

A helpful man answered the phone and said there was one set at their store- Contemporary Concepts.

When I got there I took a look around. Found a couple of Christmas gifts to purchase, too. A very eclectic mix of gifts from elegant tableware to crazy socks .

Contemporary Concepts does mail order, too.

The colorfully printed Pittsburgh dish towels caught my eye for those who have moved away.  Lots of interesting toys and potential baby shower gifts, too. They feature cool Pittsburgh neighborhood t-shirts Neighbor Teaze designed by Julia DiNardo- an elementary school classmate of my son Matthew.

(I won’t go into how the store moved 6 months ago to the Trader Joe’s building, pretty close to my house-that’s another story. Of course, I drove to the old location in Squirrel Hill first. The new location has free parking)

But I finally arrived and was thrilled to find  the right present waiting. And in the colors of his nursery, too.  Yes, I said it twice cause it was a Serendipitous find!

 “Would you like it gift wrapped? “

Now the thought of complimentary gift wrap evokes nostalgia for customer service of yesteryear- and what a lovely touch.

Meet Abby.  She did the beautiful gift wrapping.

I asked her if she’d mind being included in my People at Work series And she agreed.

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So, what’s photo worthy today, anyway?

You see lots of bugs on the gas pump- they look like fireflies but with a red chevron..need to identify them later……img_0886

You see the trees reflected in the iPad surface as you sit on the front porch.img_0906

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You go get in the car and see a puddle with leaves. Puddle reflections are a favorite thing to capture.

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You see the shopping cart corral reflected in a parking lot.

 

The maple has finally turned yellow in about four days time. The leaves in the garage gutter need to be cleaned out.img_0957

You drive by the neighbors, put the car in reverse and put a blinker on, consider getting out of the car but don’t –

shoot the flaming ivy from the driver’s seat. Later you are filled with regret that you’ve gotten so lazy.

 

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You see a throne-like chair at the mall

for Santa Claus -you think it can’t be

it’s November 3rd.

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Halloween Sign on Highland Avenue

You can’t see the large spider and weblike barrier to the darkened house. Carloads of kids are brought along this avenue. I can only imagine how they stockpile treats.

The spooky wild Halloween house on the corner of Jackson was in full swing again this year. Eerie sounds and flashing strobe lights. Skeletons climbing trees.

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Me, Transmogrified

Transmogrify

the Weekly Photo Challenge. Nothing came to mind. Nothing in the archives.

“To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”

If you’re a Calvin and Hobbes fan you know all about the word already.

I didn’t know what it meant.

See before and after

Downloaded an App Face Goo and the after is on the right.

 

Local:What Feels Like Home

img_9880Jen H at WordPress has created the weekly Photo Challenge: Local.

What feels familiar, home. The places you know by heart. Local diner, local playground, local neighborhood, local church,local streets-I live in the city by a park.

I notice I shoot a lot of local coffee, too.

Here’s my iPhone local gallery.  Pittsburgh.

 

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