Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vintage Peony


Right on time. First of June and my Peony bush is just starting to blossom!  I look around the neighborhood and most of the others are in bloom or done. Makes me think there is a time delay on the flowers in my garden. 

A rose is a rose but a peony is a friend forever. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Bench - Memorial Day

Day 148/366

A double entry for May.  Sometimes Dena's bench has a lot to say.  We put up flags and we marched in parades, all in honor of those who gave their all so we could be free.

We remember your sacrifice, today and every day on this Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Feeding Time....


It's not often that I find my photo of the day before 9AM but I got lucky today.  I noticed a baby robin hanging out of the top of one of my patio chairs.  It was being quite vocal and looked unwilling to fly anywhere.  I walked by my patio door and kitchen window more than a few times with very little movement, just a lot of squawking.

Then I realized why all the noise.  Mom was busy getting breakfast and someone was hungry!  Took a few shot to get what I wanted but once again, Mother Nature does not disappoint!

Happiness is.....seeing a robin in your garden.

Saturday, May 28, 2016



Finally!  A weekend with no rain so we could play Week 4 (should be 8) of Dan's Flag Football season.  Never great attendance on a holiday weekend but the boys made the best of it and spent an hour having fun and sweating......LOL  The 12/13 Gold team brought home the win but the most important thing was the all the boys had a good time!

Either you run the day or the day runs you!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Intentional Blur


This time last year I was invited to be part of a mentorship on G+ in intentional blur photography.  I spent all my time up to that point wanting the perfect crisp, clear shot.  We all get a blurry shot now and then but try to intentionally do it, is not easy as one would think.

This year I have been invited to be a mentor to the new group taking this mentorship and I could not be happier getting back into my own blurry world!

Lesson 1 - Unfocused - I think I got it right.....welcome to my blurry garden!

"I don't always take blurry photos, but when I do, I do it intentionally!"

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Experimenting Take 1


One of my goals this baseball season is to catch the baseball in mid-flight from the pitcher to the catcher.  First part of the experiment was to just catch the ball and keep the pitcher in focus. It took 2 games and three pitchers but I got it.

Andrew has a nice delivery that was easy to follow with the camera.  The hard part was not letting the batter, catcher, umpire or the fence get in the way.

Next part of the challenge is to freeze the ball, in flight and in focus.  The second part will definitely be the more difficult of the two but I am up for the challenge.  The beauty of digital photography. Practice, practice and more practice till you get it right!

Oh, and after 8 innings and some unbelievable batting, we brought home the W!

Behind every great pitcher is a great catcher.  In this case, Andrew is both!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When I Am An Old Woman.....


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.  And a red hat that doesn't go.  And I will be just as vibrant and beautiful as this lovely iris from my yard.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised,
When suddenly I am old
and start to wear purple! 

~Jenny Joseph

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baseball is Life....The Rest is Details....


Three games today and three different outcomes, none of which was rain.  I watched almost 20 innings of baseball between KOHS, GAA Pony and our Buccos.  I could not console my son in his tie game (ran out of daylight) nor is there any amount of wisdom I could impart to our Golden Eagles but I did find this quote pretty much summed things up:

The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to overcome adversity and failure.

Here's to our Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles Baseball team.  There is another game to play.  You know what you have to do.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Trippin' at the Park


I took this because I liked the message on his t-shirt, "Maximize Human Flourishing". Then baseball practice went 30 mins longer than it was supposed to and I was killing time.  By the time we headed home, we were trippin' in the park.

Your "positivity ratio" is critical to living a flourishing life.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rain Delay


Well the weather today went from OK to bad to worse and there was only 1 inning of baseball played.  Gray skies, rain, downpours, hail and thunder.  Mother Nature was not sure what she wanted to dish out today so she threw it all at us.

So when you sit around for a few hours you look for something to shoot.....anything.

Rain delays remind us that to play this game is a privilege.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Green Apples


Took Shannon's phone in to get the screen repaired and walked out with a new phone.  Thumbs up goes to Apple for covering it under warranty since we were still under the 1 year window.  Restore is now in progress.

Why are iPhone chargers not called Apple Juice?
~teenage post #15716

Friday, May 20, 2016



Today, a fellow photographer shared a stunning color shot of a fallen Rhododendron.  Coming home from work I noticed my own Rhododendron bush was starting to bloom.

I am also helping with a Blur Mentorship over on Google+ and thought I would combine a bit of blur in my shot.  I normally love the purple of my Rhododendron but I have really enjoying the bit of black and white blur in the shot.

A rhododendron bud lavender tipped.  Soon a glory of blooms to clash with the cardinals and gladden the hummingbirds.
~Dave Beard

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Outdoor Advertising


Stuck in traffic tonight, for what reason I do not know but it was a mess.  Every time I come to this spot on the way home I chuckle at the Chipotle billboard.  Thanks to the stop and go traffic today (more stop than go) I was able to catch it on my cell.

Nicely done Chipotle, nicely done!.

Great advertising makes food taste better.  It makes cars run better.  It changes the perception of everything.
~George Lois   

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Along The Fence


What?  No baseball tonight?  Mother Nature brought on the rain overnight and into this morning which made for not-so-great field conditions tonight.  So with yet another cancellation, I came home, took a nap and then went to inspect my garden to see what's blooming this week.

Soon, the old wood fence will be gone.  It was here when we moved in and has been in a state of disrepair the whole time,  I am not sure how it withstands the wind and weather some days.  My new neighbor has dogs and is looking to put something new in.  I just hope it's at least a little photographic.  I am going to miss the character of this fence!

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness.  It teaches industry and thrift; above all, it teaches entire trust.
~Gertrude Jekyll

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stolen W


We knew tonight's game would be a good one.  KO against KO.  Both teams had not posted an L.  All these boys got to school together and have been playing with or against each other since instructional league.

Pregame speech by Coach Bo stated that our opponents were going to be aggressive base runners and the team laughed.....NO ONE was as aggressive as Coach Bo.  While we were down after the first 3 innings, it didn't stop us on the base paths.  Finally things opened up in the 4th and we took the lead in the 5th.

When you have your catcher stealing home, twice, I think we can almost classify that as psycho base stealing......but damn what a good game.  Up 11-8 going into the bottom of the 7th, 2 runs scored but we held it together and put another W in the books.

Looking forward to playing our KO counterparts again....best baseball so far this season!!

Progress always involves risk.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Holding Max at First.......


Game 4 of the KO Pony season and we were up against Bridgeville Red at home.  It was finally a nice day and we were ready to play ball.  Daniel's teammate (and classmate since Kindergarten) Max was at his 3rd at bat in the 4th inning.  He was 0-2 but his last at bat had a nicely hit ball that was just fielded a little better.  This at bat, he was ready and lined a nice single to right and had his first hit of  our young season!  Best part was his Mom had just parked and was walking up and go to see the whole thing.

All through coach pitch and kid pitch to Little League, Max was always there to play, no matter what and the quote below has always reminded me of him.  Nothing stopped him from playing and giving it his all.

Max went on to score that inning as the Ugly Dog Saloon brought home their fourth W.  It was a great game by all the boys but the game ball went to Max!

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.
~Babe Ruth

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beauty At All Stages


Beautiful to the end.  Last week's Gerber Daisy is reaching it's final stage and yet still sharing it's beauty.

Life is a succession of moments.  To live each one is to succeed.
~Carita Kent

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Never Gonna Give You Up......


Nothing like a little "rickrolling" with three of my favorite Senior girls at tonight's band banquet. We filled the banquet hall to it's limits, our Seniors were honored and everyone had a fantastic time!

And now...your ear worm for the evening....LOL

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

~Rick Astley

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sunrise Over Cleveland

Day 131/366

I was hoping there would be more photo ops today but Dan's game was postponed and I was so tired when I arrived home, the only thing I saw was the back of my eyelids.

I did manage to capture a bit of this morning's sunrise as I was getting ready for my last few hours of Hose Master University - Metal Expansion Joints 101.  The drama in the clouds gave way to a rather nice (but windy) day in Cleveland.  After my class it was a few brief meetings and on the road back to Pittsburgh.

A special "thank you" to Jeff for making my day with the best hug I have had in a long time!

Every sunrise is an invitation to brighten someone's day.
~Michelle E. Goodrich

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Terminal Tower


After dinner at XO tonight in the warehouse district of Cleveland, the walk back to the car yielded a nice shot of The Terminal Tower. 

The Terminal Tower was the 4th largest building in the world when it was dedicated, June 28,1930. It was the tallest building in Ohio until the Key Building was finished in 1991. 

Much like our Kopper's building with its weather beacon light, their Terminal Tower can light up for many events and holidays. 

Tonight's "Green" was in honor of the Cleveland Housing Network. 

There is nothing more poetic and terrible than the skyscrapers' battle with the heavens that cover them.             Federico  Garcia Lorca

Wednesday, May 11, 2016



Took a little stroll to check out the building next to me hotel. 

Love the atrium. I might have to try to get inside tomorrow and get a better shot of the garden orchestra. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



Today was Senior Recognition for the Keystone Oaks Baseball Team.  That meant Seniors played the whole game and got to pick their "out of position" positions.  Catcher's were pitching.  Pitcher's were catching and they seemed to be enjoying a little bit of creative baseball.

For the score keepers it was a bit ugly but it was a non-section game and it was all about the Seniors today.  Lots of interesting photo ops were had but I really wanted to showcase the whole group in today's photo and I think this just about summed it up.  Dirty, tired, hungry and smiling!

Best of luck to the Class of 2016!

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is.~Bob Feller

Monday, May 9, 2016

Some See a Weed


And some see a wish.  A fellow photographer recently shared her shot of a dandelion at it's life's end and said, this is the most beautiful part of a dandelion's life.  I would have to agree with her.

If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.
~Andrew Mason 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Bench - May


Happy Mother's Day.  Dena's bench speaks volumes with a few simple words.  I did call my Mom today.  We do not get to see each other on Mother's Day but when we do have time together, we make up for it!

"God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." — Rudyard Kipling

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Gerber Daisy


Venturing into the mall at South Hills Village today started out as a screen fix for Shannon's iPhone and ended with me treating her to Auntie Anne's so I could get this goodie bag with this lovely Gerber Daisy.

I wish I had the time and patience to grow these.  Daisies are one of my favorites as they always look as if they are wearing a smile, Gerber daisies look like they are laughing with the world!

The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air.
~Robert Burns

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day Blooms


My Azalea bush never fails to give me beauty for Mither's Day weekend. I hope everyone is enjoying similar beauty. 

Small deeds done are better than big deeds planned. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May Showers


Dogwood are in bloom and I love the bits of pink and white all about the neighborhood. Sometimes, even in the rain, you have to stop and photograph them too!

There are always flowers for those that want to see them.
~Henri Mattise

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Garden Surprise


I noticed a spot of purple in my garden as I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday. Today when I took the time to check it out, I found this lovely bloom. Not something I planted but tulips are a fav of mine and what a lovely color!

Mother Nature, thanks for the beautiful gift!

Monday, May 2, 2016

You Go Girl!


Over the weekend, a dear friend informed me that she needed a head shot done and quick.  She was nominated and won one of the Advanced Excellence in School Nursing Awards, through the Highmark, Foundation.  The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark, Inc that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health.

With our schedules as crazy as they are, we took a "free" thirty minute window to run out to the gardens near our borough building.  I would have preferred some sun but you have to strike while the iron is hot.

Maureen, congratulations on your latest accomplishment and I know there will be more in store for you!  I am glad I got to capture a tiny moment for you!

I could not be more pleased that a school nurse was recognized.
~Gail Buck

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Clover In The Rain.....


We paid a visit to Old Fort Erie today and while there were a lot of shots I could have chosen from, I was fond of this one the most.  At one point, as we exited the Officers Quarters, there were steps that lead up to a part of the fort fortified with canons.  The way was just at eye level and made for an interesting shot of the dew-covered clover.

The history lesson today was quite interesting.  I had not know just how much our neighbors to the North were part of our heritage as we are part of theirs.  The Battle of Fort Erie was one of the bloodiest of all the battles during the War of 1812.  I think it was excellent for our kids to hear a different perspective on things,

If a man who cannot count, finds a four leafed clover, is he lucky?
~Stanislaw Jerzy Lec