Monday, February 29, 2016

Signs of Life


Out exploring my garden tonight and realizing I might need a whole week for clean-up after the lack of clean-up in the Fall.  I saw my daffodils starting to peek up and then I noticed signs of life from my Sedum Autumn Joy!

Spring cannot come soon enough.

Spring will come and so will happiness.  Hold on.  Life will get warmer.
~Anita Krizzan

Sunday, February 28, 2016

In the Sky Tonight


Living close to a fairly large city means stars are not what they would be if we were out in nature, away from all artificial light.

Feeling a bit more creative tonight, I wanted to see that star and it's golden light bathing the night it's it's beautiful light.

Sometimes, we are like stars.  We fall to make someone's wish come true.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mr. Blue Sky.......

Day 55/366

Brisk, sunny and a perfect day for a walk in the park.  My pace is up to 3 miles in about 49 minutes.  My time is improving and soon I will be back to 4 miles an hour,

Time to get myself in a shape other than round........LOL

Hey there Mr. Blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do,
Everybody smiles at you.

~Jeff Lynne-ELO

Friday, February 26, 2016


Day 54/366

Yes, not a diet ban either,  But apparently the Archdiocese of St. Louis is urging it's parishioners to boycott Girl Scouts cookies and the Girl Scouts altogether.

I am not an overly religious person, but this embarrasses me as a Catholic.

Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best.
~Juliette Gordon Low

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Out My Window

Day 53/366

Yesterday it was 60F+ and yes, today saw a 30deg drop in temperature and snow!  Thankfully no real accumulation but I bet tomorrow will be a bit slippery.

Didn't Phil say we were going to have an early Spring?

"I'm a groundhog, not a meteorologist"
~Groundhogs Day

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Blue Hour

Day 52/366

Today started out with pouring rain and almost 60F temps.  Blue skies and sunshine greeted us in the latter half of the day but only for a bit.  Before we had a chance to enjoy them, the rain was back along with lightning and thunder.  As the night turns into morning again, we are looking at snow.

I did like the look of the neighborhood in the Blue Hour through my rain drenched window.

I think Mother Nature is definitely having some mood swings!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On My Tab

Day 51/366

Some days you just have let go and unwind with good company. Thank goodness for good friends. 

Alcohol is the liquid version of Photoshop.....

Monday, February 22, 2016

Time To Reflect

Day 50/566

When life gets crazy, I find it's best to take some time alone to reflect on what is going on with me and around me so I can better understand where I need to go and how I need to get there.
It's not always the easiest thing but I do try to make time for it.

The reflection of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

That's a Damn Big Bunny


Had to deliver our Sarris Easter Candy orders today.  I think I gain wait just walking in that place. These lovely "little" bunnies will set you back $131.95/each.  OUCH!

The good news is that this fundraiser earns the Band, Middle School and all 3 Elementary Schools 35% profit.  Just a matter of leveraging our spend.  I love it when we can do the most good for the kids in our schools!

It's such a coincidence that the Easter Bunny brings my kids all the candy that I love!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Song of the African Savannah


Just a week ago, it was -11F and we were unable to go to the Zoo.  Today, a 70 degree turn in weather and almost all of Pittsburgh was at the Zoo.  Daniel, his friend and fellow Scout, Luke, ventured out into the beautiful weather to visit the Aquarium so they could complete a requirement for their upcoming Oceanography Merit Badge.

After the boys toured the Aquarium and took their notes, we had a little time to go see some of the exhibits in the Asian Forest and African Savannah sections of the Zoo.  We worked our way to the lions and for the first time in all my visits to the Zoo, they were vocal and active,  Two large males played and then serenaded everyone for about 10 mins.  It was an amazing sight and sound.

It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Monsters In Nature

Day 47/366

It warmed up to 61F today and most of the snow was gone by the time I got home.  I took a quick walk along my dormant butterfly garden and found what was left of this "Monster" plant.

I am so looking forward to getting my hands dirty again and getting the garden in tip top shape!

Behind every tree is a new monster.
~Todd Rundgren

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Age Gets Better With Wine

Day 46/366

The Internet told me it was National Drink Wine Day today and who am I to not believe it.  It was on the Internet, so it must be true!

And it was quite the day.....and wine was needed!

Wine...because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Favorite Day in February

Day 45/366

The most magical day in February.  The 18th.  Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training!
Baseball is right around the corner and I cannot wait!

My son showing off one of his many "grips".....

I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.
~Sandy Koufax

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scout-Second Class

Day 45/366

Today was his Board of Review and my son has earned Scout, Second Class.  Very proud of him and how seriously he takes Boy Scouts.  He is currently one of three Patrol Leaders in his Troop.  He has earned the Geneology and Game Design Merit Badges so far this year.  He is leading a group of scouts in his troop in the First Aid Merit Badge (Eagle required) with the help of an Assistant Scout Master/Merit Badge Counselor in their Troop and the Environmental Science and Oceanography Merit Badges are being worked one as well.

Daniel hopes to be Scout, First Class by the Court of Honor in June and Eagle Scout is his ultimate goal and I know he will do it.

I still remember the entire Boy Scout motto,  I don't remember the serial number of my gun in the army.  I don't remember the number of my locker in school.  But I remember that Boy Scout Code.
~Tommy Lasorda

Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day


And a few President's to help celebrate.

Here's to George, Abe and all of our Presidents!

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
~Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Bench - February


The second in my series of 12.  This is Dena's bench and for those of you not here last month, here is a little bit about her bench.

She changes the signs monthly and according to her husband Joe, she started doing this, not long after her mother passed away.  Since we had a holiday this month, I decided to wait until today for this month's shot.

Wonderful advise for everyone.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Follow your heart but take your brain with you.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Oh That Face........

Day 42/366

So today was supposed to be a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium so Daniel and a few of his Scout mates could complete a requirement for their Oceanography Merit Badge.

Woke up to 7F and -11F wind chill and yeah, the closed the Zoo today.  So homemade waffles and pork roll for breakfast and then grab some of you friends (and fellow Scouts) and go sledding!  This prompted me to bring the big camera out and go photograph some of their fun!  The best part is the faces they make while coming down the hill.  Oliver's expression won the photo of the day!

You have two choices when it snows; Shovel it or go sledding!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Remember When......

Day 41/366

I thought it would have been longer than the later part 2008 but according to, the US average for a gallon of gas has matched its low point from 7 1/2 years ago.

While there slight instant gratification at the pump, this is not good for business (most) and not good for the economy as a whole.  Do you remember what happened in 2009-2010?  I can tell you it was pretty and for me personally, pay cuts and drastic cost cutting.  None of which was ever recouped.

So when a bucket of KFC cost as much or more than a barrel of crude oil, things are not looking good!

Opportunities are everywhere.  The recession might be drawing to a close, but it's continuing legacy is employer's reliance on short terms staff.  There may be fewer jobs for life, but there are more jobs in a lifetime.
~Lucy Benington

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Day 40/366

A beautiful bit of Winter color outside my office,  Not much getting out and about with the weather and the workload but sometimes you just have to take the time.

Good nature could Winter foresee when she made the evergreen tree.
~Pepper Blair

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Self Portrait

Day 39/366

Feeding my creative muse tonight.

We all have our shadows.  They are dark and they follow us everywhere.
They would cease to exist without us.  We carry them like a burden, but we forget about the light.
~Chrissie Pinney

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Frozen Garden.......

Day 38/366

We woke up to a little more than a dusting of snow.  Just enough to make everything look pretty but not a total nightmare on the roads.

As I look at my frozen garden, I am already planning some much needed changes in the Spring months.  I hope Mother Nature allows for some nice weekends before baseball kicks into gear.

More snow in the forecast tonight and much chillier temps.  May have to break out the Winter coat again.

The snow must give way to the will of Spring.
~Pepper Blair

Monday, February 8, 2016

We Got Salt......

Day 37/366

Another "Winter Weather Advisory" in the forecast.  The kids are watching and hoping for a delay and me, well I would just like one good storm before this Winter calls it a day!

One thing I will say about snow and where I live, the Green Tree Borough Department of Public Works does a damn fine job with plowing and snow removal in our area.  They keep are streets salted and clear and they even make sure my walking track at the park is good to go.  And by the looks of this, are salt supplies are in good shape!

So my prediction?  A whole lotta nothing and some not so happy kids in the AM.

Snow Day: A day when God tells the teachers he still loves them and parents realize just how underpaid teachers really are....

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What's On The Menu.......

Day 36/366

Whether you are rooting for the Bronco's or the Panther's or just a football fan, there are a few things you can be sure of today.  The commercials will be great and the food, even better.

Super Bowl Sunday has always been a family event in our home with plenty of munchies.  I think we are all rooting for Denver this year.  I am a Peyton Manning fan so I hope he brings home his 2nd Super Bowl win.  Daniel and I did our walking (running) at the park and then hit up Giant Eagle for a plethora of goodies for tonight!

I've been training all football season to eat at a Super Bowl Party level......

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Walk At Sunset......

Day 35/366

Another beautiful day for a walk as I add miles to my 500 mile challenge for 2016.  Now this is just active miles I am keeping count of.  If my FitBit logs it as "active minutes" then I can count it in my challenge.

Best part about it, my son likes to join me.  He is contemplating going out for the Middle School Track Team and it trying to get his endurance up.  It's good quality time together too!

So today, I logged 2.55 miles which puts me at 35.73 miles year to date.  Not too shabby!

As we were leaving our local park, the sun set was screaming for a shot.

Walking is cheap, fun, safe and acceptable exercise.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The TBR List......


So at almost 16, my daughter, Shannon, has finally discovered a love for reading.  All through Elementary, Middle School and into Sophomore year of High School, reading for AR was one of those things we just could not meet eye to eye on.  It was a struggle every marking period.

Then, out of the blue last week she hands me Christmas money and wants me to order her a series of books.  They arrived on January 29th and I don't think she came up for air except to eat over the weekend.

When I was her age, reading was my escape.  I loved horror novels.  The more blood, guts and sex, the better.  I wanted as far away from a text book that I could get!

So here's to Shannon and her new found love of reading.  Whichever author spawned this new love, keep up the good work!

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man that does not read leads only one.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

This Is How I Roll.......

Day 33/366

By far, one of my favorite foods in all the world, sushi!  I also happen to work just down the block from one of the best sushi restaurants in Pittsburgh, Little Tokyo.  I also have, by far, some of the dearest colleagues who like to share the love of sushi, both in person and with gift cards!

Frank and John, you two are the best because even a great day, is made better with sushi for lunch!

Sushi is also a beautiful food that is lovely to photograph.  I believe the itamae is an artist.  Someone who spends years learning their craft to earn that title.  I have eaten and photographed some amazing sushi dishes over the year but my favorite combo is right here at home.  The Maki Combo Deluxe.....avocado roll, tuna roll and eel roll!  It's what's for lunch!

Making sushi is an art, and experience is everything.
~Nobu Matsuhisa

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It Was The Wine......

Day 32/366

Because some days need to end with a glass or three.

Sleep well my friends, sleep well!

I enjoy a glass of wine each night for it's health benefits.  The other glasses are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves....

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Captured Sunset

Day 31/366

Capturing the beauty of the sunset in an orb.  I wish I could keep it on a shelf for those gray, dreary nights when it seems the moon and stars will hide away forever.

It's almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.....

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sunset Floral....

Day 30/366

Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to get lost in a simple cell phone photo and see what it can become.  The sky, as I was leaving the office tonight was stunning but I am getting tired of the same old vantage point.  Being pressed for time, I took the shot and headed to a Middle School Scheduling night.

Once home, that beautiful sunset blossomed into a lovely piece of art.  I liked how a bit of deformity, ray, texture and a few other creative moments can create something totally new and different.

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.
~Maya Angelou