Thursday, June 30, 2016



This sums up my day. Going nowhere fast. From the debit card, to the bank, to trying to buy some photo editing software. Nothing was easy today and we won't talk about the 90 minute drive to get home (14 miles). 

I think I will just call it a day. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Welcome Back.......


When my son and I planted our butterfly garden 5 years ago, the phlox was one of the first flowers we planted.  Quickly I learned that while butterflies were attracted to the phlox, deer liked to eat them.  Even with all the construction in our neighborhood, we still have a lot of deer and it was a race to keep repellent on the plants with all the rain we have had.  Our brutal winters didn't help either.

I was thrilled to see two of the three plants come back this year.  The pretty purple was the first to bloom and I hope to see the pink one soon.  And since my neighbor gave me 8-12 more inches of yard with the new fence, I am hoping some of the phlox from my old neighbor pop up too!

If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, Spring would lose it's loveliness.
~St. Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Garden Take-Off


As the last round of my Europe Sage blooms are fading, the bumble bees are enjoying its final gifts of pollen.  It freaks my daughter out that I get this up close and personal with the bees but in reality, they are so consumed with their mission at hand, that the camera and me, yeah, we are nothing important.

The flower does not dream of the bee, it blossoms and the bee comes.
~Mark Nepo

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Bench - June


When the bench speaks, it pays to listen. Probably advice I should take as well. 

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are. 
~Max De Pree

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Night Baseball


Only thing better than a day at the ball park is Sunday Night Baseball. Dodgers vs. Pirates. Kershaw in the mound for the boys in blue and Chad Kuhl for the Bucco's, in his major league debute. No pressure going up against Kershaw??

With the first inning jitters gone and a few strike outs in his back pocket, it's bottom of the 2nd, 0-0. 

We did get to see our friends Jack and Janine McVay as Jack was honored as the season ticket holder of the day. 27 years!  Way to go Jack!!

Let's Go Bucs!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Waiting on the Butterflies


Out watering my garden tonight I noticed that both butterfly bushes are almost ready to bloom. With that comes many new visitors. Here's to capturing these  lovely butterflies with my camera.  

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings. 
~WE Johns

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brain Exercise


If the Scrabble board is out, you know Mom is here for a visit. Today's first game was not starting off well but it's always in good fun!  That and we are keeping our brains in shape!!

Like in life, sometimes you have to work with the tiles you have. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Addition


Latana, the newest member in my butterfly garden. I love the vibrance of the colors and how the tiny flowers form the larger bloom. 

Every flower that ever bloomed had to go through a lot of dirt to get there. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Make A Wish


It was the cake and candle of her choice and for some reason, she wanted her Periodic Table of Elements in the picture too. That's how we roll into 16 in the O'Brien household!

From 0-16 in 504,910,816 seconds!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fenced In or Out?


My new neighbor wanted to put up a new fence and the old fence, which was here before me, was on her property line. Since the old fence was in total disrepair and it was not costing me a dime, I told her to go for it. 

I lost a cone flower in the process but I hope it comes back. I also gained about 6 inches of garden all along the fence line. Of course that 6" is line with bricks and cinder block which need to be dug out, but that's a project for another day. 

The verdict is still out on whether we like the new fence.  It lacks the character of the old basket weave fence but I am sure it will grow on us.....

Good fences make good neighbors. 
~Robert Frost

Monday, June 20, 2016

Final Words


And so ends the season for the Ugly Dog Saloon. Some final words from the coach and off we went. I am sure there will be some more baseball this Summer, but for now, I welcome the lull in my schedule. 

Losing is essential to anyone's success. The more you lose, the more you want to win ~ Brett Hull

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Visitor in the Garden....


A long day of yard work but it was so needed.  Mentally and physically and let's not forget how beautiful the garden and yard look now!  Dan was my helper with weed pick-up, mulch hauling, planting and watering.  I could not do it without him.

As soon as I got the last of the mulch laid, a few butterflies started to visit.  I think they were waiting for the "home" improvements to get done.

This is a White Sulfur and he was one of a pair that spent a good part of the afternoon frequenting the plants in my butterfly garden.

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Celebration Time.......


This is Alexandra.  Graduate of the Class of 2016.  Girl Scout.  Friend.  She has been a part of our lives since my daughter joined Girl Scout Troop 50365 in 2008.  I had the pleasure of capturing her graduation portraits today.

We took some time to experiment with chalk, frames, mirrors and confetti.  I waited till the end of the day for this one so as not to leave a trace at our photo venues.  It's been such fun to watch Alex, my daughter and all their friends grow up into fine young adults and I wish them Alex nothing but the best in all her future endeavors.

Graduation is an exciting time.  It is both an ending and a beginning:  it's warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future.

Friday, June 17, 2016



Sometimes it takes all you have to get to Friday and by then, this is all you got. 


Thursday, June 16, 2016

To Have and To Hold


Had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bracker.   A beautiful venue on top of Mt, Washington at the LeMont, the couple shared this special day with their family and friends.  It was a very touching ceremony and I wish the newlyweds nothing but love and luck in their future together.

Where there is love, there is life.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Double Header


Last games of the regular season and it was a double header complete with a rain delay and a pizza delivery between games.  It's been a much different ride than we thought but a .545 winning percentage is respectable. Playoffs start next week. Here's to the Ugly Dog Saloon pulling off a few more miracles!!

It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Waxing Gibbous


We ran out of daylight in our baseball game tonight.  That will happen when the pitching for the opposing team is limited and you score 13 runs in an inning.  I was hoping to catch the moon when it was still low enough to see some detail.  Pleased with the results.

The sun loved the moon so much that he died every night to let her breathe.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Flower in Hiding.....


On my pre-game walk today, I discovered this hidden beauty tucked way back between the crown vetch and thistles.  Such beautiful wildflowers among the evil, wild weeds.  This is White Moth Mullein, a biennial weed that is invasive and has been declared a noxious weed by the state of Colorado.

I think it's still pretty!

A weed is but an unloved flower.
~Ella Wheeler

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Alone In My Garden


Quiet time in the yard today as the weather was too beautiful to not to.  My rose bush, despite my lack of attention for the last 10 years, continues to flourish and provide me wonderful photo ops.

The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Going For Six


Another hot day at Beggs-Snyder field but Flag Football happened for the 3rd week in a row,  Dan was going for the touchdown to put a finishing touch on another win for the Gold Team.  A good sports week in the O'Brien household as Daniel's baseball team went 3-1 for the week along with today's win.

It's not how you start, it's how you finish.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Delightful Daisy


A short mile walk before Daniel's game offered up some colorful wild flowers. Crown Vetch, Thistle and Daisies. The first two I can do without but I do love daisies. Such a happy flower, it's like a smile on a stem. 

I will go pick daisies and have a happy heart. 
~Kimber Annie Eggstrom

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The First and the Last


What a difference a year makes!  Now most kids do not end their last day of school in a tux but Shannon does.  Each year at graduation, the symphonic band performs all the music and as a member, Shannon has to dress the part.

We had to wake Dan up from a nap for today's shot......too much pool fun.

However, I could not be more proud of both kids.  Highest Honors from both and a great year all around.

Here's to my 8th grader and my High School Junior. can slow down anytime now!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Time For Me To Fly


I've been around for you
I've been up and down for you
But I just can't get any relief
I've swallowed my pride for you
I've lived and lied for you
But you still make me feel like a thief
You got me stealin' your love away
'Cause you never give it
Peeling the years away
And we can't relive it
I make you laugh
And you make me cry
I believe it's time for me to fly

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Across the Universe.....


Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Over the Rainbow...


Nothing better than an afternoon out of the office, watching baseball. Our KO Golden Eagles were playing the Bishop McCourt Crushers in the 1st round of the PIAA playoffs. 

Clouds, sun, rain, more sun and a double rainbow all while watching great baseball. Both teams can't win and our Golden Eagles fell short by one run. However, our Eagles should hold their heads high for an outstanding season and only the 2nd time in KO history have they gone to the state playoffs!

Life is full of unfair calls, bad plays and missed catches. You have to continue to step up to the plate, swing the bat, that's the only way you will hit a home run.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Angel Number 5


I don't often showcase the opposing teams player but today Albert Pujols was the man.  While not the player he was when he was in St. Louis, he is still dangerous.  Top of the 8th, one man on and Albert at the plate.  That's all that it took to take the lead and keep it.

Now, the photo is terribly over-exposed and that's what you get when the weather can't make up it's mind but it worked for me.

And it's baseball.  You win some and you lose some.  It's why we play 162!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Bittersweet Nightshade


Up and down the side lines of Dan's football game today, I caught this colorful weed just begging to be photographed.  The deep purple and yellow of the Bittersweet Nightshade provide a lovely contrast against the deep green of the surrounding foliage.  A lot of rain has given our area an "Emerald Forest" feel.

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Ladies Man


He may only be 2+ but the all the girls love him.  JR and Carrie, give it a decade and the girls will be beating down your door! 

And he requested to have his picture taken with his "ladies"....

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mt. Washington


When the week is stressful, nothing is better than an evening out with a dear friend. 

Mad Mex for dinner and then a drive up to Mt. Washington was very good for the soul. 
Mt. Washington is the tallest point in Pittsburgh and offers breathtaking views. Tonight we had a storm rolling in. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Watercolors


It's hard not to photograph the flowers in my yard every day.  To enjoy the color and beauty they add to even the crappiest of days.

Love is like a beautiful flower, which I may not touch, but who's fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.