Friday, November 30, 2012

Midway (335/366)

So it began.  Mead Builders were back and this time it was to take my living room from the 70's to present day.  No more paneling.  No more painted fireplace.  Seven boxes of cultured stone and a few bags of mortar/stucco all waiting for work tomorrow.

It's so exciting to see the changes, even if all I have tonight is cluttered living room, a mortared fireplace and drywall/

Stay tuned to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time To Get Stoned! (334/366)

This is my living room.  The lovely painted fireplace (yuk!) and wonderful 1970's paneling.  I loved having a fireplace but I hated that it was painted.  I thought about stripping off the paint and bringing it back to the red brick it was but all I could imagine was a mess and a terrible smell.

As I was getting started on the renovations on my home's exterior, I invited my contractor, Dave into the house to ask a few questions.  One was what should I do with the fireplace?  He recommended "stoning" it with flat stone and after I got his quote, I was "all in".

So tomorrow he starts.  A lovely pallet of "caramel" colors for the stone, sandstone hearth and shelf, glass doors and that paneling finds its way OUT of my home!

I think I am going to put a bow on it when it's done.  This is all I want Santa to bring me...Ho Ho Ho!

Go to bed in your fireplace, you will sleep like a log.
~Ellen DeGeneres

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Full Moon (333/366)

So this is the 3rd in my moon series as tonight is the full moon!  I wish we had more trees in our yard so I think on the next time I will move to higher ground (and more wooded).

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.
~Irish Blessing

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trees (332/366)

The #FMSPhotoaday challenge today was Tree.  As I left for work the snow started to flurry and it was coming down quite nicely but it was not expected to stick (and thankfully it didn't).  This is the view from one of the corner offices on our floor.  Corner offices are reserved for those with a P or VP  before their name but I stole the view today.  Cedar Blvd in Mt. Lebanon looked very pretty at 8AM today.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees and then names the streets after them.
~Bill Vaughn

On a side note, the streets in this neighbor do bear Tree names but they left more than a few of them standing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Griswolds! (331/366)

Meet the Hussak's!  When we first moved here and saw what our neighbor's did for the Christmas Holidays, I was a wee bit blown away.  Then I realized our town does a decorating contest and the Hussak's were yearly winners of the Griswold Award.

Now when I drive by their house, it just make me smile.  I got to be friendly with Al and Theresa when our son's played baseball together.  I also grew to realize that this is big for Al and he just loves it!  That makes me smile when I think of all the fun he has doing this.  We passed by their home on Thanksgiving and Al and Hunter were both of the roof hanging lights!

I told him next year, he needs one of those systems that coordinates the lights to music.....I think that's next year's agenda!

Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination!
~Clark Griswold

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Time To Decorate (330/366)

Decorating the inside of the house is on hold until the fireplace is done but Daniel and I did get out to put our lawn decorations up.  The sleigh and reindeer were made by my father and I am so glad to be able to get them out after sprucing them up with a fresh coat of paint.  There should be two more reindeer but I seem to have lost or never got their bodies....LOL. I have legs, ears, tails and antlers but no bodies.  I guess Dan and I will be cutting out some new ones after the holiday so we will have 4 for next year.

We added Santa and tomorrow the spotlight will be up (it was tape up and was broken when we opened it tonight and another trip to Home Depot was NOT on my agenda.

It does make me smile to have a piece of my dad with me : )

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh No, It's SNOW! (329/366)

They predicted it and Mother Nature did not disappoint.  I woke up this morning to see a lovely dusting of snow.  That's just the right amount.  Enough to give me a few photo ops but not enough to cause any issues!  Now I know Daniel would have wanted more but I am good with it.  In fact, by the afternoon, despite flurries, nothing was left on the ground.

Getting an inch of snow is like winning $.10 in the lottery.
~Bill Watterson

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black (328/366)

It was another busy day spent getting things ready for the fireplace refurb next week.  Picked out a lovely sandstone mantel and matching hearth stone and I can't wait to have it all done and have a fire in it! The FMSPhotoaday challenge today was BLACK.  From my front porch, in the black of the night, this is all your see.  It's kind of appropriate since we are supposed to see our first round of the white stuff overnight.....O Joy!

A snowflake is Winter's butterfly!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving (327/366)

So many things that I am thankful for, so many that I know I would miss someone or something in the almost endless list.  We had a great day today.  I am happily tired but will soon enjoy a cup of coffee and a small slice of cheesecake and then call it a night.  

Each day I am thankful for:
Nights that turned into mornings
Friends that turned into family
Dreams that turned into reality
and likes that turned into love

And I am thankful for this most beautiful end to a wonderful day......

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waxing Gibbous (326/366)

I am taking advantage of the clear skies and the moon.  Today's phase is the Waxing Gibbous.  I am loving the detail in the moon and watching as it moves towards full.  I hope the weather cooperates as I would love to capture all the phases.

You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.
~Gary Allan

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Penthouse Sunset (325/366)

I am a creature of habit and tend to park in the same spot/floor every day.  However, if you chose to leave at lunch, be prepared to park in the penthouse.  Now in the Summer, that means a hot car but this time of year, I do get some wonderful views and sunsets.  Tonight was one of those nights!

Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we are looking through the gates of Heaven
~John Lubbock

Monday, November 19, 2012

Someone Awesome! (324/366)

Today was crazy and I knew what the #FMSPhotoaday challenge was but a good shot didn't hit me till I was in Zumba class and I realized that AWESOME is Nikki!

Nikki has been teaching us Zumba for almost 2 years now and it has been one of the best things I can do.  I love it so much that I now do it 3 days a week for an hour.  It's awesome exercise and despite the fact that I have ZERO rhythm and even less coordination, I have a blast and that's because of Nikki.

Thank you Nikki for giving up your free time to get us all moving!  You are the best!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mr. November (323/366)

Today was the start of a 6 week baseball season for Daniel, indoors!  We discovered the Bianco School of Baseball and they have an indoor (mini) field which allows the boys to get in their batting, field and pitching with training.

Dan had only one of 2 hits in the whole game and scored the only two runs as well.  It's going to be an interesting 6 weeks and it makes me smile to be enjoying some baseball again!

Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Waxing Cresent (322/366)

Today's special was an IR remote for my camera.  The moon has been looking fun the past few days and the skies have been clear so after Mass and a trip to Giant Eagle to get all our Thanksgiving goodies, Dan and I stopped up at Wilson Park to shoot the moon.

I did more shooting than Dan but the remote is golden!  I just love it and can't wait to experiment more with it.  I hope we have clear skies when the moon is full this month!

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon
Come to my window
I'll be home soon
~Melissa Etheridge

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alone (321/366)

A tiny frozen leaf all alone.  With all the wind blowing around I am amazed this little guy stayed put on the table.  When I came home tonight it was gone.

Sometimes it's just important to capture the moment even if you are late for work.....LOL

....and the leaves were telling secrets to the wind.
~Peter Mulvey

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The End Of The Day (320/366)

Today was much like the rest of the week.  Too much to do and busy cramming in everywhere I can. Five finally arrived as I headed to my car in the parking garage, I was greeted with this lovely sunset.  When you see beauty such as this, it's easy to wash away the rest of the day.

I saw a beautiful moon too that I was hoping to have some fun with the camera but when I got home from my 4 miles at the park and run to K-Mart for an emergency, must have for school tomorrow, white t-shirt, I could not find it.  The weather is supposed to be clear so hopefully some moon and camera fun!

Now it's time to end my day.....Good Night my friends, Good Night!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Do (319/366)

Today, in Future Land (Australia to those who don't know), my dear friend Jodie Dragonfly married her best friend, Andy Robinson.  I would have loved to have been there with them to share in this special moment, but it just wasn't to be.  However, thanks to modern technology, we got to spend the last few minutes of their single lives together.  I got to watch her do her makeup and listen to her get zipped up in all her finery and I got to snap the first picture.  Not to bad for an iPad shot but sometimes it's not the quality as much as it is capturing that first moment!  Now where the is the groom you ask? Well someone had to hold the laptop up so I could get the shot!  He knows his place <g>

Dear Jodie and Andy,

I so wish I could have been there to share in your special day.  Today is the first day of the rest of your lives and I hope it is just the first of many happy, happy moments in your life as husband and wife.  A long time ago, when the two of you first started this journey, I shared on of my favorite quotes in a post.  I think it deserves to be shared again:

You can separate two lovers by distance but you can never break the bridge
 that connect their hearts, no matter where they are in the world

So here's to you both.  I am so happy for you.  I can't wait to see all the pictures and videos but I am glad I got the fist picture!!

Love you!!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sometimes (318/366)

Sometimes, you just need something that makes you smile.  I love snowmen.  I collect them and this is a lovely gem that my son got for me for Christmas last year.  Personalized and everything.  I am looking forward to decorating my new fireplace and mantel this year with lots of my snowmen.

I love Kohl's because the afforded me a whole Snowman bathroom theme for the Winter and I love Hallmark for their Jolly in the John Snowman (more on that one later).

It was just one of those days where the motivation to take a picture was not there.  It happens and I am glad that on Day 317, there have not been many this year.

Snowmen are cool!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Leaf In The Night (317/366)

Well the beauty of the weekend is definitely gone.  The temps are dropping.  The wind kicked up so much this afternoon I expected to see Dorothy and some red shoes.  And I am so glad I do not have tickets to tonight's Steeler's Game.  What a mess and not a whole lot of interesting things to photograph during the day.

I did like(?) the look of the wet leaves on my driveway.  Of course my muscles are still screaming since it took Daniel and I four hours to clean up all the ones that were out there.  Ugh!

The fall of the leaf is a whisper to the living.
~Russian Proverb

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Night (316/366)

Just 50 days left in the year.  Hard to believe time has gone by this fast!  We had a gorgeous day today.  So beautiful was the weather that I was in a t-shirt and shorts while doing all our Fall yard and lawn clean up.  We also did some reindeer painting (pics to come later).

After a meeting I snuck up to Mt. Washington to play with my new tripod and the lights of downtown Pittsburgh.  I need a remote so that is on my Christmas list but I was happy with the results.

I often think that night is more alive and more richly covered than the day
~Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Final Bloom (315/366)

After a long afternoon of shopping and telling my kids NO to almost all their "Mom, I want this" statements, we got home and I had to go out and enjoy the warm(er) weather.  Sunshine and low 60's is not bad at all for Mid November.  Got some shots of the kids tossing the football around but my favorite was this "about to bloom" rose.  I am sure it's confused.  Frost one day, sunshine and warm the next.  I am pretty sure this is the last bloom we are going to see for quote some time.

True friendship is like a rose.  We can't realize it's beauty until it fades.

Friday, November 9, 2012

On The Fence (314/366)

Was up early enough today to go out and catch some more frost shots.  Daniel decided to join me and made crop circles in the frozen grass.  Gotta love his imagination.  I spent more time in my garden area and finally noticed the awesome frost dancing along the fence.  This wooden basket fence I share with my neighbor, while very old, will perk up in the spring with a paint face lift.  I love the character the old wood and stain have given it.

Mother Nature just added the finishing touches!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

B/W Frost (313/366)

While the last few mornings have been below freezing, I have been rewarded with lots of Frost Fun in my yard.  Today's subject was the Dogwood tree in my back yard.  This tree is the last tree to bloom in the spring and the last one to lose it's leaves.  This affords me some wonderful color in my yard and fun with the leaves like I had today.

Some leaves hang late, some fall
before the first frost-so goes
the tale of winter branches and old bones
~William Carlos Williams

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Colors In The Sky (312/366)

Cold and gray for most of the day but the drive home brought the most spectacular sunset.  Mother Nature works in mysterious ways and I am thankful that I get to see them and enjoy them whenever they occur.

The hardest arithmetic to learn is that which enables us to count our blessings.
~Eric Hoffer

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Before and After (311/366)

Because I kept the color scheme of our home basically the same, I wasn't sure the differences would be noticeable but I think the pictures show the transformation.  I am very pleased and now cannot wait to start work "inside" the house as the only stuff I want to have done outside is concrete work and well, have you priced concrete lately?

So a big "Thank You" goes out to Mead Builders of Green Tree, PA for going the extra mile in all they did to remake my home.  Installation Services did a great job on my new garage door too!

You are #1 in my book!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Webelos Wonderland (310/366)

It's that time of year.  In 2 weeks Pittsburgh has it's Light Up Night and kids from around the area create and display their Gingerbread Houses.  For our school kids, the 5th Grade participates in this event but this year, our Webelos I Den decided to join in.  I was pretty amazed and what a good job the boys had done in creating and decorating their Webelos Wonderland.

Now I am looking forward to heading downtown and checking the whole area out during the holidays, which is something I have never done.

So here's to the Webelos I den of Pack 202 for a job well done!

Naomi: Lily, you are not talking about muffins here, this is a gingerbread house from scratch, this is hard.  Remember childbirth?  This is harder.
~Quote from The Gingerbread House

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Run, Forrest, Run! (309/366)

I don't think I have dedicated one of these posts to anyone this year, but this one is for Chris Holder.  Chris who is a die-hard LSU Fan and Alumnus. Chris who has told me on more than one occasion that he has no idea what a blog is(he does).  Chris, who also happens to be my boss.

Well the NCAA game Saturday night was Alabama vs LSU and it ended up being a part of our meeting on Friday.  Now anyone who knows me knows my college football knowledge wouldn't even fill a thimble, but I made a point of watching here and there and keeping tabs on this game, just because : )

So today, Shannon decided to appropriately wear her Crimson Tide.....a la Forrest Gump.  We did a day trip in Tennessee while visiting my Mom this past summer and stopped in Gaitlinburg for dinner a Bubba Gump's.  I think I spent more on souvenirs than I did on dinner, but it was fun and I got to work it into the blog.  Gotta love it when a plan comes together!

So I guess it's wasn't the Tiger's night, but Mechell, how about them Bulldogs!!!

The kid might be the stupidest son of a bitch I've ever seen, but he sure is fast!
~Coach Bryant-Forrest Gump

Saturday, November 3, 2012

True Colors (308/366)

It was our bi-monthly trek to Costco today and their cut flowers are always so beautiful that I have to take out the iPhone and capture them.  Today was no exception.  When my kids were finally done with their lunch of "sample" tasting it was time to head out and past the flowers.  Since we were gray again today (and damn cold), I needed a little pick-me-up in the day!

True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
~Cyndi Lauper

Friday, November 2, 2012

Good Morning, Mister Sunshine (307/366)

So we were so spoiled last week.  Sunshine, almost 80F by the end of the week.  It was perfect.  Now for 7 days straight we have not seen the sun, until this morning.  It was brief, but I captured it this morning before heading to the office.

Good Morning Mister Sunshine
You brighten up my day
Come sit beside me in your way
~Bee Gees

Thursday, November 1, 2012

C Is For Carving (306/366)

#FMSPhotoaday is Something Starting with C.  Well since Trick or Treat has been moved this year to Saturday, we "Carved" late.  Between the unseasonably warm weather last week.  Hurricanes and head colds this week, we just took the plunge tonight and got our carving on!

Took it Old School and did Jack-O-Lanterns.  I think that even despite all the delays, we got some prime pumpkins to grace our porch on Saturday!

May Jack-O-Lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future's veil and show
What fate now holds for you