Sunday, July 31, 2016

America Runs.....


It was a long day of travel and then home to unpack, do laundry and get ready for reality tomorrow.
The bright spot of the day was the breakfast stop at Dunkin Donuts.  Pork roll breakfast sandwich....who could ask for more.  A nice large coffee with cream and sugar and the day was started off right!

This was the only photo taken today, but it is a Jersey classic.......(I wish I was as skinny as my reflection.....)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Neapolitan Presepio


Finding this magnificent piece of art and meeting it's creators, R. Michael Palan and Karen Loccisano, was for me, by far, the best part of this Golden Glow convention.  I will admit having an affinity for miniatures and this presepio is absolutely stunning.  I learned a little bit of the Italian history behind it and some of the traditions that go into the characters in the scene.

The Holy family is always depicted in Roman ruins as Christianity was built on the fallen Roman Empire.  In this particular scene, Joseph's staff has lilies coming out of it.  Legend has it, before Joseph met Mary, all unmarried men in town had to throw their staffs to the ground.  Joseph's was the only one that had lilies sprout from the staff, naming him as the chosen one to be with Mary.

The Devil is another figure you often see in the Neapolitan presepio's.  As you can see he is chained up so he cannot get to the baby Jesus.  In the same photo is the caganer.  The caganer is often found in nativities of Catalonia.  This character is depicted taking a "poo".  As it was explained, this is the great equalizer as both kings and the poor all "poo".  Karen and Michael tried to keep this caganer discrete as this is an American replica.  I think he just just too cute with the roll of toilet paper next to him.

There is also found a sleeping shepherd who symbolizes man and how oblivious they are the world around them.  Here is the birth of Christ happening right before him and he is asleep instead.

Finally, in the last photo you see a tool box with nails, a crown of thorns and sign with the INRI inscription  This usually is with a gypsy who can foresee the future and the crucifixion of Christ. Michael and Karen have not completed the gypsy yet but that's the beauty of the presepio, it's never mean to be finished.

I cannot wait to see what future nativities Karen and Michael have in store.  I think I might have found my next collection....

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Oh J.O.Y.


Opening night of the Golden Glow's 36th convention had a pet contest and a hat contest.  I bypassed the pets for dinner but did to have a bit of fun with all those entered in the hat contest.  The theme of the convention is Christmas Around the World and the winners had to best  display the theme.  A lot of globes were bought and cut for this!

Our winners, however, were globe-less and just seemed to be having such fun!  They even sang for the judges (anything to get the W!).

Joy to the world!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Buttonwood Farms


While I came to Rye with Mom to attend the Golden Glow convention, there was also a side trip with a must do visit.  My dear friend Lois, who lives in Norwich, posted about the Sunflower Festival at Buttonwood Farms a few weeks ago.  A Sunflower Festival was on my photo bucket list and Griswold, CT was just a short 2 hour jaunt away.

We spent the day visiting the Norwich Marina, Indian Leap, the Slater Museum, scoping out painted fire hydrants in Greenville and the beautiful sunflowers in Griswold!  Lois was worried that the lack of rain would be an issue but Mother Nature (and the Buttonwood farmers) did not fail us! Everything was simply stunning!  It was so worth the drive and of course, a homemade ice cream treat when we were done.  Purple Cow was amazing and if you are ever in the area, it's worth a try!

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadow.  That's what sunflowers do.

Monday, July 25, 2016



Today we arrived in Rye, NY for Christmas-Con, or the annual convention of the Golden Glow of Christmas Past.  Mom has been asking me for years to come check it out and this is it.

Despite the 90+ deg heat and 100% humidity, thunderstorms and such, when you enter the Westchester Hilton, you are greeted by the warmth and glow of Christmas and this beautiful tree. This is the collection point for this conventions toy drive which will benefit Toys For Tots in the local area.

 I am sure more Christmas fun will be popping up in my blog over the next few days!

Merry Christmas (in 5 short months)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Just watch the sunset.....


After the beastly heat for the past few days, thunderstorms and humidity, the view from my front porch was just beautiful. 

Time to pack, get a good night's sleep and head out to Rye, NY with Mom tomorrow. 

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. 
~Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, July 23, 2016

That's Amore!


It's always good to see Francisco Cervelli in the line-up.  Always a great smile.  Great work behind the plate and who doesn't love his walk-up song!

It was a bit painful today though.  Our young pitcher, Glasnow, was having a tough time of it today and the first two innings took over an hour.  Thankfully we opened things up in the 5th with a 5 spot and held it from there.  Thankfully, at about the same time we started to score, it looked like rain and almost felt like it was cooling off ever so slightly.   We got the W and the Cubs and Cards lost so all in all, it was a good day!

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's Amore!
~Dean Martin

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bath Time......


The Wetlands room is my favorite in the National Aviary because is contains my favorite bird, the Inca Tern, better knows as the Mustache Bird.  I kept looking around and none were to be found, until I looked up.  Apparently we came in not long after feeding time and most of them were hanging out near the ceiling.

Patience and persistence (and lots of bird photos) and one came down to join in the rest of the fun. Before I knew it, he was in the water and taking a bath.  What a great moment to capture!

I am kind of glad it rained today.  We had a lot of great photo ops despite the weather!

You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

North Shore Celebrations!


A Bucco win. A beautiful night. Great company and a grand fireworks display!

A perfect Summer night.....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Full Moon


Well tonight's shot was supposed to be a beautiful full moon.  The "Buck" Moon as it's called.
At this hour, the moon was just not high enough and I was too tired to wait for it so I got a little creative.  I found a small spot between the trees and my Butterfly bush added a little something.

Some nights you have to work with what you got.

The moon is magic to the soul and light for the senses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pocono Sunset


Sometimes, you just have to stop and take the photo.  Dropping off Dan's friend Luke after Scouts, I noticed a stunning sunset happening.  We drove to an opening between the houses to find this stunning view.  I usually have issues getting the sun to look like something more than just a big orange blob but tonight, I got what I wanted.

I started out hoping to catch the full moon but I like this shot even better!

Enjoy the beauty of the sunset and enjoy Nature's farewell kiss for the night.

Monday, July 18, 2016



Love fresh fruit in the Summer and nothing is more delicious than Strawberry  Shortcake!

Life is short. Eat dessert first!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Backstop


Day 2 of the C.I.T Tournament was not kind to the KO team.  I think it was the 8AM game time that did us in, but some days are not yours.  The Greensburg Red Devils, despite their 2 losses yesterday came to play and brought their A game!  This may not have ended as we wanted but the boys had fun and it's always a good thing to play all these different teams.

I do want to give a shout out to our catcher, Andrew Boccichicco, who caught the entire tournament season for our team.  He had to handle a full array of pitchers and did an outstanding job in all 8 games.  Never a complaint, never asking to sit.  He came to play and play he did!

Well done Andrew, well done to you and the entire KO Team.  I had a lot of fun watching and photographing you all and looking forward to seeing where everyone goes in the upcoming years!

No baseball pitcher would be worth a darn without a catcher who could handle the hot fastball.
~Casey Stengel

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Going For Five!


C.I.T Tournament Baseball.  We started off a little slow against Bethel Park but ended on a strong note with us adding just a few runs to untie the game and Dan pitching the final inning.  We proceeded to game two and since Dan was warmed up, he went and pitched two more innings, keeping Blackhawk in check.

Then the ball was handed to Gino and what a great 5 innings he gave KO!  Boring baseball as his uncle called it!  This was the longest outing of the season by Gino and he did one hell of a job!  It was saother win and we now move on as the 3rd seed to play Greensburg at 8AM tomorrow.

Looking for another strong outing by our entire team.  Great day today KOGT!

That's how you win.  Pitching and defense.
~Derek Jeter

Friday, July 15, 2016

Time To Get Warped!


Warp Tour 2016.  Took the girls again and added a dose of Jake for good measure.  Spent most of my time out of the sun and heat and photographed the bands in the Pavilion,  Unfortunately on this tour, most of the "bigger bands" were at other stages (in the scorching sun and heat) and yeah, I don't do that anymore,

Ghost Town was one of the pleasant surprises on the Cyclops stage.  Thoroughly enjoyed this trio and had fun capturing then on stage, I was thrilled that I was able to take my camera in this year!

Go take a listen to them on their Face Book age.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

You're Killin' Me Smalls!


What a fun Girls Night Out. Movie Night at the ballpark!  The Sandlot was as great as ever and despite a 30 minute downpour, it was a fabulous night. The weather cleared and cooled off and we enjoyed a wonderful night out of the house!

You play ball like a girl!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Walk Along The Creek.....


Took a drive tonight to find the fields where Dan will be playing his tourney this weekend. Having never been to the C.I.T.  Baseball fields, it was a little bit of a challenge but we made it and now we will not be late on Saturday. 

The Chartiers Creek runs along the back side of Myers & Middleton Park. A nice little walk checking out the Wheat and James fields and then along the creek for a bit. 

Should be a good weekend of baseball!

Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Push me in the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me
~Talking Heads

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Bench - July


A place for everyone to take a moment, sit a spell and just breathe.  I love all the colorful bird houses, the flowers in bloom and most importantly, the statement.  Well done Dena, well done.

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.No one can find the rewind button, boys,So cradle your head in your hands,And breathe... Just breathe,~Anna Nalick

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's over.....Leave it on the field.....

Day 192/366

Our motley crew after the Championship game of the Bridgeville 14U tournement.  We went 4-1 and kept tonight close.  McGuffy just capitalized on a few mistakes and took the win 4-2.

But that's baseball.  Someone has to win and someone has to lose.  We leave it on the field and move on to the next challenge!


Losing a game is heartbreaking.  Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy.
~Joe Paterno

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Eagle Required....


On the path to Eagle is the Environmental Science merit badge.  As Patrol Leader, Dan picked this badge to work on along with anyone else in the troop who wanted to earn it.  Since the final track meet of the season coincided with a visit to the Green Tree Nature Center, Dan had to do make up work.  Thankfully we have a good connection with the counselor.

After a busy day, Dan continued to be productive and we ventured to the Nature Center with Coreen and fellow Scout Oliver to finish up the last details,  I even learned a few interesting facts about the Nature Center that I never know.  What a hidden gem we have right here in Green Tree.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
~John Muir

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Stopping By To Say Hello


Dragonfly sightings continue.  I remember as a little kid we called these sewing bugs and if you stood still too long they would sew your mouth shut....what did we know at that age?

Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.
~Robyn Nola

Friday, July 8, 2016

In The Pink....


My pink Phlox are about to bloom!  More color in the garden and I see a few of my cone flowers finally making their way back.  By the time I have a few days off there should be a lot of activity in the garden....more than just weeds that won't quit!

Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Just Keep Swimming....


I found her.  Hopping around a baseball field in Bridgeville, PA.  Take that Nemo!

When life gets you down, you know what you have to do?  Just keep swimming!
~Dory, Finding Nemo

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Today is brought to you by the letter O...


O is for ominous. The humidity of the day brought on the typical July thunderstorms we have come to know and love. 

I love thunderstorms. 
         Because sometimes Nature can't handle the pressure. 
Because sometimes the sky explodes. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Painting Flowers for You


When I wake up the dream isn't done. 
                      I want to see your face
                 and know I made it home. 

If nothing is true, what else can I do?
I am still painting flowers for you....

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America!


A time to celebrate the birthday of our country and to remember all those who served to keep us FREE.  We are far from perfect as a Nation but things could be a lot worse.

Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it ~ Thomas Paine

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Watercolor Sunset


It was gray most of the day and at a few points I thought it was going to rain but once again, we were blessed by Mother Nature.  What a beautiful array of colors tonight.

Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.
~Kristen Butler

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tonight's View


Halfway through this project. Some days it takes an effort to find something to shoot but you manage. Tonight's view from my chair as I finish editing wedding and Senior shots. Looks like a beautiful day tomorrow and after some garden work, off for some photos.

"Come to my window....."
~Melissa Etheridge

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where's The Corn???


They call it corn hole but where's the corn??  We had a small celebration at work today for the long holiday weekend.  Picnic lunch and a Corn Hole Tournament,  Back in the day we called this a bean bag toss, but when in Rome......

The truly best part of this event today was the great "one-liners" that just leaped out of the players lips.  "I need to get it up"-Jodi.  "Nothing but hole"-John.  "I have bag dust on my....."-Missy.

It was a hoot to say the least and a wonderful way to get the whole group together for some fun.  A great way to kick-off the long weekend!

Corn hole players do it on boards.....well, they do!