Sunday, January 31, 2016

Talking with Santa.....

Day 29/366

The first several hours of my day today were spent with Santa, Ed Santa.  Ed Santa is the regional scout (MI, OH, WV, PA, Western NY and Canada) for the Colorado Rockies.  Ed worked out a special baseball showcase with Matt Bianco, who owns the Bianco School of Baseball.  This is where Daniel does his Winter training.

Thanks to Ed and Matt, my son and about 29 other boys in 6th, 7th and 8th grade got to experience what a Baseball Showcase involves, how they work, what to expect, what the scouts look for, etc.  It was run just like it would if you were Showcasing for college or MLB scouts.

The boys now all have a baseline on which to build on.  From their raw speed in a 40 yard dash, pitching velocity, hitting power, infield and outfield defense.  It was a well rounded day and I think the boys all learned a lot from Santa.

I hope this is just the first of many scouts in Daniel's future!

The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a persons determination.
~Tommy Lasorda

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Baseball Bingo


It was a big day for our High School baseball team.  Their biggest fundraiser of the year, Coach Bag Bingo!  It was a full house for the 3rd year in a row and despite not winning anything, it's always a fun day!

More important than the Coach bags or the raffle items or the 50/50 is the time that the parents and boys get to spend together.  It's so important to be involved in our children's lives.  In the blink of an eye they go from Kindergarten to Graduation.  I could not imagine missing out on anything that my children do in those school years that seem to just fly by.  Scouts, marching band, baseball, basketball, flag football, I do my best to be there to enjoy every moment!

I think that is why I enjoy this event so much.  It's parents and children working together as a team with a common goal.  It could not happen without each and everyone doing their part.

A special show out to the Bingo Queen, Maureen Callas!  I am glad you started this event and I hope Coach Bag Bingo is still going strong when Daniel joins in 2018!

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive 
involvement of parents.
~Jane D. Hull

Friday, January 29, 2016

Into The Fire

Day 27/366

Sometimes no matter what the chaos around you is, there is a light that leads you to a path.  It might be a difficult path but it will take you in the direction you need to go.

The secret to change is not fighting the old but on building the new.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Day 26/366

Sometimes it's necessary to find an escape from the every day reality of life.  One of my escapes is being creative with my photography.  What started out as the simple sunset shot from the Trail View Circle becomes a fairly tale starry night.

Being creative is a necessary part of my life.  Whether is behind the camera, in front of the computer or somewhere in between, it has to happen.

Creative people do not see things merely for what they are; they seem them for what they can be!
~Julie Israel

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snowman Addicts United........

Day 25/366

Nothing beats a girls night out with a great friend.  Pineapple upside down martini's, pot roast nachos and great conversation!  Plus, my dear friend Mechell is celebrating her birthday this weekend and is a snowman addict like me!  So, I had to feed that addiction with the twin brother of my snowman!

Happy Birthday Mechell and thank you for a wonderful evening!

There is no distance to far between friends for friendship gives wings to the heart.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Last Lily......

Day 24/366

Even in death, there is beauty.  The last of the lilies in my birthday bouquet.  Their scent has faded but even as they breathe their last bit of life, they are beautiful.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
~Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, January 25, 2016

Working late...

Day 23/366

I try not to make it a habit but sometimes it is what it is.  In and out of the office with Shannon and the final removal of her braces made for a crazy day!

Although sometimes, the reward for a late night at the office, is the last of a stunning sunset.  And at least my office light was off and I was out of the building!

Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.
~Byron Dorgan

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Happy Trails.....

Day 22/366

Walking along the Wetlands Trail at Boyce Mayview Park today brought many a beautiful sight to capture with my camera.  A good workout came with it too, trudging through the snow covered trails.

I love the light you get from the early setting sun in the Winter.  Great shadows and light everywhere you turned.  It's going to hit 42F tomorrow so glad I got out for a bit to enjoy it.

Think outside....No box required.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Before The DeLorean.....

Day 21/366

Spent the day with the Scouts and friends at the Heinz History Center.  The Scouts were working on their Genealogy Merit Badge and the adults got to check out all the cool things the Center had to offer.

One of the last exhibits was the Stainless Steel Ford Deluxe Sedan.  This car was collaboration between Allegheny Ludlum and the Ford Motor Company in 1936.  Ford made six of these sedans in 1936 and there are still four in existence, one at the Heinz History Center.

This was part of a campaign to introduce the pubic to the new metal and all it's many uses.  Ford and Allegheny Ludlum collaborated in 1960 when two stainless steel Thunderbirds were built and again in 1967 when a Lincoln Convertible was built.

I never knew anything like this existed and it was quite an informative trip to the Heinz History Center and all four scouts earned their Merit Badges.

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
~Henry Ford

Friday, January 22, 2016

And Snow It Begins.....

Day 20/366

Winter Storm Jonas is upon us.  Thankfully, here in Pittsburgh, we are on the edge and only supposed to get 3"-5" overnight.  I hope that's all because there are things to do tomorrow.

For now, just a small square of quiet suburbia as the snow starts to fall.

Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.
~William Hamilton Gibson

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pens Win! Pens Win!

Day 19/366

It's not often you will find me at a hockey game.  Not because I don't enjoy it, because the best way to watch it is live, but mostly because I would need a mortgage payment to cover decent tickets, parking and food for all of us!

Tonight was a treat thank to my friend and colleague John.  He was in town and thought a game would be a good way to spend the night.  Captain Morgan Club and all!  Plus, the Penguins were playing the Flyers.  The Keystone State rivalry.  The first period was a bit ho-hum but the Pens came alive and took the Flyers 4-3.  It almost looked like OT in the last 30 seconds but the Pens held on for the win!

Had a bit of fun with the Roll World app.  Kind of the way I feel at a hockey game!

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where 
the puck is going to be ~ Wayne Gretzkey 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Deemer Dollars

Day 18/366

It's mid-term time in our home and my daughter took two of them today, Honors Trig & Pre-Calc and Honors Government and Economics.  I can remember taking those things and I don't envy my daughter but we all have to do it!

So tomorrow is CP Literature and her favorite class, CP Chemistry.  In her chemistry class, she can earn Deemer Dollars (that colorful spread in front of her face) for getting an A on a test, not using it because you did not do your homework and for being in class all week, each week.  So she has accumulated 23 Deemer Dollars, each one worth 2 points, that she can apply to her mid-term grade. Basically buying an A.  If it's offered, take it, that's my thought!

Regardless of the Deemer Dollars, she has 96 in the class and I am sure she will do well!

Here is her new favorite "bop"....take a listen....LOL

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Take Me To Church

Day 17/366

Mt. Lebanon Presbyterian Church.  The middle church of three beautiful churches in the area I work. St. Bernard's to it's right and Mt. Lebanon United Methodist to it's left.  I love the bare trees against the brickwork of the church tower.  It's a beautiful piece of architecture and dates back to 1929 when the stone Decorated Gothic Twin Towers were built.

Tonight, after our Scout meeting in the Methodist church, which is stunning in it's own right, I braved the cold to take a shot.  Churches are one of my favorite things to photograph, inside and out and I need to get to more of these beautiful building in our area.

Here's a little history on MLUP Church:

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen. Amen. Amen

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cosmic Snowman

Day 16/366

I might be slightly obsessed when it comes to snowmen.  My children feel I need an intervention but I tell them it could be worse, much worse!

I usually have at least one snowman left out all year, just a little reminder.

This guy sits on my hearth from Thanksgiving till the first day of Spring. Had a bit of coloring fun today with my snow buddy.  We are expecting our first "real" snow this weekend and I just wanted to celebrate a bit!

Advice from a Snow Man:
Be a jolly, happy soul.  Spend time outdoors.  Stay cool.  It's OK to be a little bottom heavy.  Avoid meltdowns.  Be well rounded.  Live well, life is short!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Bench-January

Day 15/366

Every day I drive past this house on Green Tree Road and notice this bench always has something to say.  Some pearls of wisdom to be shared with the drivers that pass it every day.

More than a time or two I thought about photographing the bench in the different seasons or when the sign changes, (and it does change) and I made sure today was that day.

As I parked in the Wallace Church parking lot and walked across the street, I happened upon the owner of the house and his dog.  He told me his wife Dena (sp?) has been putting the signs on the bench since her mother passed away.  He also told me that many people have sent them cards and gift cards and one person even bought them a sign for the bench.

Me, I just want to photograph it and I think I will make a calendar of it for 2017.  One for me and one for them.  I will make an effort on my photo shoot in February to get all their info for the blog because I just love that she chooses to put this little bright spot in everyone's day!

Never stop doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest
part of their hearts.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pictures of Lily

Day 14/366

The lilies in the beautiful birthday bouquet from Oz have blossomed and were just begging to be photographed.  I cannot wait for Spring and time to work on my garden.  Flowers of all kinds will always be my favorite models and I am looking forward to getting reacquainted in a few months!

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless, peacocks and lilies for instance.
~John Ruskin


Friday, January 15, 2016

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant....

Day 13/366

OK so Billy Joel won't be serenading tomorrow, but the food will be delicious, the desserts delectable and the service outstanding!  Troop 23 is hosting it's annual Spaghetti Dinner and it's one of our biggest Troop Events.  Dinner will be served from 4-8pm at the Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church on the West Liberty Ave. in Dormont, PA  Dine in or take out, either way, the food will be great!

With the parents manning the kitchen and the Scouts taking orders and serving meals, it's a wonderful night out for the family.  If you are in the area, we hope to see you there!

Thank you for supporting the Boy Scouts of Troop 23!

A bottle of red, a bottle of white
Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight
I'll meet you anytime you want
In our Italian Restaurant

~Billy Joel

Thursday, January 14, 2016

After 5pm.....

Day 12/366

Another one of those beautiful Winter sunsets.  Took the elevator to the top floor of the parking garage to capture these amazing clouds and sunset over Mt. Lebanon!

And since I am still blogging, I didn't win the Powerball.....better luck next time!

I can see the new horizon underneath the blazin' sky
I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher

~John Parr

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gotta Be In It.....

Day 11/366

To Win It!!!

Yes, the Powerball drawing tonight is an anticipated $1.5 billion.  Yes, that is BILLION,  After taxes, approximate take home is $850-900 million.  Thank you Pennsylvania as the state does not tax lottery winnings!

So I bought 11 chances.  Only takes one to win but I will be sharing it with +Jodie Robinson when we win!  Apparently Australia slacks in the lottery department and it never goes over $70 million.  Not that $70 million is anything to sneeze at!  After there was no winner on Saturday, I woke up Sunday to money in my Paypal so she could get in on all the lottery excitement!

So Jodie, your portion in Oz dollars is and approximate $576,000,000.  Give or take the current exchange rate and a few pennies!  I think we could both live pretty good on that.   Take care of charities or organizations we believe in and just have a basic blast!

Good Luck to EVERYONE!

It's true that money cannot buy happiness, but I'd cheer up much faster if I were outside, lounging poolside at my oceanfront mansion......

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Long Way Home.....

Day 10/366

As the wind howled, it blew snow hard and fast across the road.  She wished her sister would get here.  Her boots were more fashion than warmth.  Tramping through the drifting snow at 15F was not her idea of fun.  The first snow of the season was meant to be soft and beautiful and tonight was anything but.

As she moved closer to the stop sign at the corner, a pale green Jeep Cherokee came around the corner and slowed down.  She ran to the driver's side back door and she struggled to get it open.

Her long way home was going to take just a little longer.....

“The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.” — E.E. Cummings

Monday, January 11, 2016

Just For One Day

Day 9/366

Today we said Goodbye to David Bowie.  Musician, artist, entertainer, just to name a few.  He left us on January 10th, 2016 after an 18 month battle with that dreaded disease, Cancer.

Bowie has always been a favorite of mine. Countless songs run through my head but my favorite, Cat People (Putting Out The Fire) will always resonate deep within me.  Brings back memories from a time gone by.  Not to mention the song simple drips with animalistic passion. What Bowie song does that for you?

There is a starman waiting in the sky, he'd like to come and meet us,
but he thinks he'd blow our minds.
~David Bowie

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bubble Ball, Escher style.....

Day 8/366

Now that things are almost back to normal and the decorations are put away, things look a bit empty.
I got out two of my favorite Partylite holders called the Bubble Ball and lit them for some fragrance and ambiance.

These holders have to be close to twenty years old but a definite favorite.  Had a little fun with iColorama and the Escher presets.  It's good to be creative again!

He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.
~M.C. Escher

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday, in the park.....

Day 7/366

It's not quite the 4th of July, but 50F on January 9th is not too shabby.  Put my walking shoes on and got out for a nice 2 1/2 mile walk in my favorite walking spot, Green Tree Park.

Our local park is home to two Little League fields, T-Ball, Pony and Colt fields, roller hockey rink, soccer fields, playgrounds and a great walking track.  One of the best community facilities in the area.

Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For Saturday
Saturday in the park

~Chicago - Saturday, in the park.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Rose

Day 6/366

I knew the beautiful birthday bouquet would offer many a photo op.  One of the three yellow roses was opening itself up to me and my camera.

After a few fun processes through Distressed Fx and iColorama, this is the final result.  Quite pleased with the outcome.

At middle age, the soul should be opening like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage
~John Andrew Holmes

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Flowers From Oz

Day 5/366

You can't go wrong with flowers.  No matter what the occasion or just because, they are a beautiful sentiment.  Today I was blessed with a beautiful bouquet from my dear friend Jodie, her bacon fetish husband Andy, horse loving daughter Madi and George the cat.

When I opened the bouquet, the first part of the card I saw said George and my heart did a leap because I had no clue who George was and why would he be sending me flowers (well, yes, it is my birthday but really, I only know two George's and neither one have my address....LOL).

Then I took a good look at the card and drew a sigh of relief!  Birthday flowers from Oz!  What a wonderful surprise and it gives me beautiful colors to photograph over the next few gray days of the month!

Thank you Jodie, Andy, Madi and George....they are just beautiful!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Day 4/366

Motivation can hit you when you least expect it and from someone or something that you would have never thought possible,

I pondered another 365 Photo project but it wasn't until a fellow G+ Scavenger challenged us to join her that I made the leap.  On that same day, another fellow G+ friend/photographer was posting about his 2016 walking challenge and I knew it was time to get myself back in gear in that department.

So now my best friends are my trusty walking shoes.  They match NOTHING I own but you cannot miss me coming or going!  7+ miles logged since Sunday and my 2016 goal is 500 miles.  Once this weekend ends then the healthy eating program starts.

Thank you to +Erika Thornes and +Levi Moore for their "challenges" and motivation for 2016!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Day 3/366

Looking for a cookie tonight, my son says, "Look out for those raisin cookies Mom, they are poser chocolate chips".  I laughed as I knew they were not chocolate chips or raisins for that matter.  They were Mincemeat cookies and a definite favorite of mine.

My oven was being less than agreeable this baking season so my Mom was nice enough to bring 4 dozen "mom" baked cookies with her when she came to spend Christmas with us.  Shortbread, peanut butter, crunchy Christmas and mincemeat.  Mincemeat which she told my kids were raisin, just as she did to me and my brother and sister when we were young.

They can keep thinking they are "posers" because that just means there are more for me!

(Christmas Lenox compliments of Mom as well)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Winter Colors

Day 2/366

While most of our Winter months are cold and gray, Mother Nature does find it in her heart to share jewels such as this sunset.  It was a brisk 13F with the wind chill but worth every second to capture these colors.  I have always thought sunsets in the Winter months were more beautiful than their Summer siblings.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Nature's Mosaic

Day 1/366

Well it's been a while since I posted.  My photography has grown in so many ways and I pondered another 365 project.  Today, a fellow G+ Scavenger challenged her Facebook followers to do the same, so I figured, why not!

Today, despite the cold and my nasty head cold, I took to the walking trails of the Boyce Mayview Park.  I needed to move and I needed the fresh air.  Armed with only my iPhone 6S, I took to the trails to have some much needed quiet time.

It was interesting to see, that despite it being Winter, there was still a lot of green in the woods.  Of course, we were in the 60's until Christmas, which was almost ridiculous!

I found the inside of this fallen tree trunk had lots of color and a bit of the "white stuff".  What a treasure trove with all it's nooks and crannies.  I then played with the iColorama app while waiting for Daniel to finish up his Winter Baseball Training.

Pretty pleased with this piece of art thanks to Mother Nature.