To the Moon and Back

Saturday afternoon we went down to the Heinz History Center to see the Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission  Exhibit with the actual capsule from Apollo 11 and a piece of the moon.  Charlie and Michael had fun trying to use the pincers to collect “moon rocks” and they got to experience what it was like inside the capsule. The amount of interactive parts in the exhibit were much appreciated and enthusiastically enjoyed. There were books you could write your memories in about where you were when the men landed on the moon, fifty years ago.  

D57E4E70-9635-4087-B704-CB8F63E5BFF5

img_891492B7AEF7-7220-4139-8A8F-95B2DCA9A156002044A7-6755-47C3-9D6F-169256B7CC8E

Attention Knitters: Tree of Life Afghan Project

Pittsburgh at Night

Although I took the above photo in July.  I read that our beautiful city is bathed in blue light tonight, remembering the eleven victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. The city is grateful to the first responders and everyone who gathered in to help.

Tonight there was an Interfaith Memorial Service.  There aren’t words to describe the emotions experienced in response to this horrific tragedy. Many friends and family around the globe have written or called to express sympathy and concern. Lighting candles, praying, keeping us in their hearts.

Attention Knitters

Reposted from Yarns by Design-  

“In the aftermath of the horrors at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh many of you are wondering how you can help.

Our instructor Vanessa has started a Tree of Life Afghan Project. Over the next several weeks, she will be knitting and collecting squares to assemble into an afghan (or 2, or 20) to give to the Tree of Life Synagogue.” 

click link for Tree of Life Pattern to knit a square “To make the square, I took one of the tree twins from Nikki Epstein’s Tree of Life Afghan and framed it in seed/moss stitch.  I will include the chart here and the pattern errata I encountered.  That said, feel free to do your own thing.  There are plenty of tree of life designs available on Ravelry.  Leaves, hearts, or expressions of the Jewish faith would also be lovely. If you are a beginning knitter, plain squares in a color that speaks to you would also be very welcome.  The only restrictions are the square size mentioned above and the yarn weight, so the afghan forms a consistent fabric.  Each square needs to be 9 in horizontally and 8.5 in vertically.  Check your gauge!

Yarns by Design, local knitting store, in Oakmont is sponsoring a Tree of Life Afghan Project  (Click for link to pattern)   It is posted in the Forum tab –  Yarns by Design Group on Ravelry.

Drop off  or mail to store
Yarns by Design 622 Allegheny River Blvd
Oakmont PA 15139

Local yarn store Yarns by Design  has generously agreed to host this effort and will be collecting squares and donating their time and experience to help assemble the afghans.  You are more than welcome to drop your squares off there, as well.

If you have any questions, please let me know; 
Attn: Vanessa 
instructors@yarnsbydesignpa.com

Oh, Hello Linens Truck

I was parked on Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

My phone in hand.

A truck pulled up to the red light alongside my car -and stopped. I felt a presence. Looked up and out the driver’s window.

Oh, hello there!

Light turned green. The chef appeared. The truck pulled away into the flow of traffic.

Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table Benefit

Western Pennsylvania is noted for the wonderful wedding cookie tables.  Some regions of the country have never heard of a wedding cookie table let alone experience and devour the cookies.  Today my good friends and I drove in the teeming rain, alongside swollen and rising creeks, over hill and dale on winding roads, to get to this lovely event. We are so happy we did!

THE PITTSBURGH WEDDING COOKIE TABLE BOOK BENEFIT
Sunday, September 9
1—3 PM Connoquenessing Country Club

We went to taste the varieties of dozens of cookies to help in the “creation of a cookie table book in this benefit for VOICE (Butler’s Victim Outreach Intervention Center), Young Writers of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project and Animal Friends.”
The three hosts were  “cookbook author Suzanne Martinson, of “The Fallingwater Cookbook” and retired food editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”( who graciously answered many questions and who has initiated many cookie tables in other states) “portrait photographer Linda Mitzel of Linda Mitzel Photography and journalist/WPWP teacher consultant Jane Miller of The RUFF Writers of New Sun Rising, a new family/school/ neighborhood writing project.”

We had a wonderful afternoon sampling cookies and sipping tea and coffee or lemonade.  Someone baked adorable doggy cookies in the shapes of bones and doghouses, using pumpkin and peanut butter. Now dog cookies aren’t the usual offering at a wedding but appreciated as a welcome home treat for Fido. There were white bakery boxes to fill with cookies to take home. (Thanks Deb)

Thanks to Suzanne, Linda and Jane, for hosting a wedding cookie table afternoon.

I baked Esther Maiolo’s Pignoli Cookies and Mrs. Scarano’s Italian Strip Cookies

Pita Breadmaking at Pitaland Guest Blog

A couple of dear friends flew from Florida to Pittsburgh to see my art show and attend the closing reception. They’d gone online at home and arranged to go on a walking food tour of the Pittsburgh neighborhood, Brookline.

Yesterday, Shuey sent me the photos and captions. They really enjoyed the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites tour. There are tours in other neighborhoods,the Strip District, Bloomfield and Shadyside. In fact, two were already booked up and so they chose Brookline.

Shuey made it easy for me by numbering the photos and text.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #1

I’m sending individual pics to tell the story of how pita bread is made.  First the secret recipe dough is made fresh, formed into a biscuit of dough and comes out here where it makes a left turn and heads into a machine that flattens it out.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #2

After it’s flattened into a super thin pancake it makes a few turns and heads into the oven.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #3

In the oven for 22 seconds at 1200 degrees.  They are so thin entering the oven that I couldn’t even see them until about half way through they just materialize out of thin air in a second . . . like magic!  Out of the oven they continue their journey cooling off.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #4

The cooled pita breads drop off the conveyer onto a table where they are manually deflated and stacked then handed off to another worker who bags them up for shipment to stores in 14 states.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #5

This is Joe Cuchines, owner of Pitaland and two of his employees.  He came to America with 1 dollar in his pocket and . . . he’ll tell his story best.  

Pitaland History

Thank you Shuey for such a great guest blog. I’m going to have to take the tour.

Shuey was a guest blogger with his fabulous Barred Owl Photo in 2012 https://rutheh.com/2012/03/12/barred-owl-niceville-florida-guest-post/

They’ve Got It Covered

They’ve got it covered….with Heinz History admission stickers. Wonder who peeled off the first one and stuck it on the pole?

By the way, Charlie opted to keep his sticker on his shirt. He did not add it to the collection.

More Family Came to Millvale to see the Show – Guest Blog

Thanks for all the good wishes in accomplishing nine years of blogging and starting year ten. I’ve posted 3,235 times which averages 359 times a year.

More family came to Millvale to see the People at Work show today which was really nice. They drove in from Virginia, Ohio and West Mifflin. We gathered back at my house for dinner.

And a photography classmate of mine came with his wife to Panza Gallery at the same time. Andrew Wagner and I took a few classes together at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. He’s a loyal blog follower, too, having photographed many similar subjects throughout his career- in FILM!

Andrew once said my blog was like a Kodak Carousel slide show and you never knew what the next slide would be. He offered to take a photo of the family at the gallery this afternoon and he took it on my camera so I have the photos right away. Thank you for coming and always being so supportive to me in my photography efforts.

Here are the photos Andrew took today.

Uncle Frank and Maura look at Vintage Car Restorer storyboard featuring Uncle Frank.

Photo credit to all three photos –Andrew Wagner