Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Odd Man Out


It's that time of year.  Most kids are playing soccer, football or cross country but mine, he loves his baseball.  This season we joined a different group of kids from CIT and Westwood.  I told Dan it's good to change things up now and again and it  keeps him "on the ball".  Good thing he makes friends easily and baseball is a great bonding agent.

Here's to hoping the rain stays away on game days and he and his new teammates have a lot of fun this season!

There might people that have more talent than you,
but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.
~Derek Jeter

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Standing Alone


As selfish as it sounded, she had to
focus on herself.  She kept trying
to find happiness in other people,
but realized it had to come from
within her.  Everyone wasn't meant 
to understand her solitude and
some felt slighted by her focus.
Then again, misery loved company
and she learned to love
being alone.

~R. Solo

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day of School


Why is it on the first day of school, I end up with more homework than my kids?


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Good Morning Sunshine

Day 238/366

Made a point to get up in time to watch the sun rise over Salt Fork Lake today. I was hoping the predicted rain would hold off and it did.  I drove toward Hosak's cave and was able to park and walk to one of the bridges over the lake.

I noticed  there was a fishing boat anchored in the lake.  I kept wondering who would anchor their boat and leave it there overnight.  Then a tickle became a coughing fit and apparently that woke up the fisherman.

What a beautiful way to end our wonderful weekend.  All of us had a fantastic time with this great group of young women!  As Chris said, we have taken them from juice boxes to coffee cups.

There was never a night or problem that could defeat a sunrise or hope~Bern Williams

Saturday, August 27, 2016



While the girls were getting fitted for horses and saddles, I took a quick walk about Dusty Acre's Farm,  Lots of fun things to photograph but the barn and the clouds kept capturing my attention.

It looked like rain but nothing came of it.  Mother Nature was just showing us who is boss!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Want S'mores?


What's a Girl Scout "glamping" weekend without s'mores???  We spent the day out on Salt Fork Lake on our pontoon boat and what a glorious day it was.  Then it was back to the cabins to clean up for dinner and when the sun went down, we built a fire.  Now mind you, even at 9pm it was almost 80F but oh the s'mores were so good!

Without Hershey's, it's just a marshmallow and a graham cracker!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Remains of the Day


Salt Fork State Park.  What a beautiful place and just a short 90 min drive from Pittsburgh.  This may be our first visit but it will not be the last.  The lodge itself is huge.  Indoor and outdoor pools, golf course, boating, beach, water's got a little bit of everything.

Three girl scout leaders tucked nicely in their cabin while our six girl scout are living it up in theirs.

This the view of the sunset from one of the cabins near ours.  Just stunning and the next time we visit, I want this cabin.

Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.
~Dr. Suess

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Colors in the Blue Hour


It was a rough day and I was thankful for it to come to end in such a beautiful way.  It made up for the fact that I spent all of it cooped up in my 8X8 office.  Just seeing bits and pieces of blue sky over the cubicles outside my office.

Tomorrow starts early but will end with a ton of fun and photographs as I head out with our Girl Scout Troop for a final fun weekend before school starts.  Number one goal is relaxation.  Then lots of fun with a great group of young women.

Colors are the smiles in nature~James Henry Lee Hunt

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hey Jude!


Got to band practice tonight in just enough time to hear the kids practicing Hey Jude, Sgt. Pepper and The End.  They are sounding good but I will be happy when the lyres are gone!  I can't tell who is who just yet as the band has grown since last year.  Makes me smile to see my daughter and her band mates filling the night with wonderful music!

Looking forward to seeing them in full uniform and ready to play for Senior Rec on 9/9/16.

Don't practice till you get it right, practice till you can't get it wrong!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Three Sisters

Day 232/366

Spent the sunset on Mt. Washington with my friend Carol.  She needed a couple shots for a photo contest and I was more than happy to oblige.  While waiting for the sun to go down, I took a few photos of the view, as it never gets old and there is always some detail I missed the last time.

This time, I was paying close attention to the "Three Sisters".  The Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson were built between 1924-1928 and are the only three identical side by side bridges in the world.

The three bridges are painted with the same iconic color, a shade referred to as Aztec Gold or Pittsburgh Yellow.  Recently there was a survey done allowing the county's residents to vote about changing the color of the bridges.  With 11K responses, 83% voted to keep the bridges yellow.
Trust me, in Pittsburgh, there are no other colors!

Bridges are perhaps the most invisible form of public architecture.
~Bruce Jackson

Sunday, August 21, 2016



Today was a catch-up day for all my past due, current and next assignment in my Flower Photography mentorship on G+.  This week's assignment was bokeh in the garden.  I always thought good bokeh meant that you had those circular bits in the background.  Little did I know was that bokeh was more than that.  Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.

It was hard to pick just a few for my assignment and even harder to pick only one for today's post.

I do have a love for bees....

"I'm sorry" said, quite humble
The buzzing, droning Bee.
"The noise is just my bumble,
and natural you see
And if I didn't buzz so,
I'm sure that you'll agree
I'd only be a big fly,
and not a Bumble Bee."

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Into The Night


Sorrow asked her to dance,
because Happiness didn't stand a chance. 
She never noticed Bliss waiting in the light, 
so she walked away with Sadness into the night. 
~Natalie Crow

Friday, August 19, 2016

Greetings From Green Tree


Today is World Photo Day.  This day marks the invention of photography and 177 years later, we can take pictures with our phones as well as a camera!

I thought it appropriate to shoot my little corner of the world as my photo of the day.  The Sheldon Ave side of Wilson Park.  It was a beautiful day that I had to spend the better part cooped up in my office, then a car and worse, school shopping at the mall.  As I was making my way home, I passed a grove of trees and just loved the sun coming through all the leaves.  Unfortunately not somewhere I could stop easily but I knew Wilson Park would give me a good view.  Mother Nature never disappoints.

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.
~Bruno Barbey

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Goodnight All!


Sometimes the best part of the day, is the last part of the day. 

This is also what you get after a 14 hour day and you feel like you have the creativity of a loaf of white bread. 

Yeah.....this is all I got. 

Wednesday, August 17, 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. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Just In Time For Poppin'


It's that time of year....Boy Scout Popcorn season. It comes right before everything explodes into pumpkin flavor!

Tonight Troop 23 had their own mini kick-off. Everyone got to try the different flavors and we are challenging the troop to have 100% participation!

And the key to remember, it's not about the popcorn, it's about the Scouts and helping all of them get to Summer Camp!

Let's go and sell boys!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Remember when.....


Then I said 
goodnight and
tucked you away
inside a place
called nostalgia, 
where you'll
always remain
somewhere between
my lungs that used
to breathe ocean
air, and my belly
the fluttered with hope. 
~Victoria Erickson

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tony's Got It


When we moved here, Parkway Center Mall was just a shell of its former self. There might have been a dozen stores open. 

10 years later, it's finally coming down. Hoping for a decent strip mall and they better not get rid of my favorite Giant Eagle. 

Anyone can admire creation. Only a barbarian sees the beauty in demolition. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Alfalfa In The Garden


As I move through the different assignments for my floral mentorship, I am finding all the great flowers all around my town.  Just behind our borough building is a wonderful area filled with a large variety of flowers.

As I was finishing up my shots for the third assignment, I walked past a small patch of blanket flowers and this lovely Alfalfa butterfly that had landed for a little lunch.  I hoped he was finding some relief in this intense heat and humidity we have had to endure for the last week or so.

The butterfly counts not months but moments and has time enough.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Double Vision


The weather has been the worst lately. The three H's, every day for what feels like forever!  We finally had some real rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning. I decided to stay a little longer at the office to let the storm pass. 

A little extra work and I was greeted by this double rainbow. Apparently it ended along the southbound lanes of 376. 

Rainbows return with a wish of sunshine. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Now You See Me


A lovely little wild flower bed blooms across from the parking lot entrance to my office.  For most of July into August, I would see a lovely blue flower smiling brightly in the morning.  One day I decided I would photograph this lovely specimen before I left for the day.  Surprise!  Now you do not see me as that lovely little flower was not there, or so it seemed.

So the next day as I pulled into work, there they were again, bright blue smiles saying "Good Morning" to me and then after work....poof!  They were gone,

On a road trip to Rye, NY with my Mom, I pointed out the pretty blue flowers and between her and I and Google, we determined that it was Chicory.  Surprising to my mother and what I already knew, was that Chicory flowered in the morning and by the afternoon, had vanished into the field.

In the shot below, you can see the upper bloom already closing.

Life wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in places people thought you never would.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016



Nothing beats a night game with our boys of Summer and this amazing view. Not sure where this season is taking us but it's always a good time!

Live life like a 3-1 count!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Going For Gold


My name is Samantha and I am an Olympic junkie!  Swimming, gymnastics and cycling are my favorite but I hope to catch some track and field too!

#teamusa #rio2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

You Made Me Blush.....


All those lovely folds, gentle curves and curls. Could Mother Nature have made anything more romantic the the rose?

Just remember in the Winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the Sun's love, becomes the rose. 
~Bette Midler  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Aperture Priority


So our next assignment in my mentorship is aperture blending.  As I was doing some shots to blend, this bumble bee decided to have his dinner in the garden.  So much for blending these but he did make a nice addition for what is now my photo of the day!

After a little searching of flower, bud and leaves, I believe this is a Japanese Thimbleweed.  When I go back to retake some more shots, I will make sure to confirm this.

A bee is an exquisite chemist.
~Royal Beekeeper to Charles II

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Here Comes The Sun....


I am participating in my 2nd mentorship on G+ and this one is photographing flowers.  Week 2 assignment is to spend time with flowers and photograph parts that not everyone sees or looks for.

Sunflowers are one of my favorites and lucky for me, after a quick and relatively painless dentist visit, I took a walk across the street to a neighborhood garden area which always has sunflowers. According to the woman at my dentist's office, her local Dormont neighbor does all the planting!

As beautiful as sunflowers are facing the lens, the back gives us amazing details and shooting just half of the flower gives the look of the sun rising (or setting).  I shot from the side as well and sepia toned it and loved the outcome but this, to me, just screams Summer.

Be your own sunshine!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pittsburgh CLO


South Pacific comes to the Benedum!  Shannon had her choice of two free tickets to several musicals and chose South Pacific. Bloody Mary was my favorite.  She's my kinda gal. 

It was wonderful despite the slight trauma and mini meltdown on the way there. And the beauty of the Bendedum never ceases to amaze me!!

"Some enchanted evening....."

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Flag Plaza


Tonight required a trip downtown to Flag Plaza, otherwise known as Scout Central for the Boy Scouts in the Pittsburgh area.  It was our popcorn kick-off and just by attending I earned our troop an additional 1% in profit.

One of the most beautiful features of Flag Plaza are the flags.  There are five, eighty foot flag poles that fly flags 24 hours a day.  There is always the living 50 star American Flag, the banner of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the crest of the city of Pittsburgh, the ensign of the Boy Scouts of America and an historic flag.  Tonight showed an historic flag of our ancestors and it's the flag of the United Dutch East Indies Company.  It makes for quite a site.

There is also an replica of the Liberty Bell complete with a history lesson that can be heard all the way to the Consol Energy Center.  I just had to push that button on the side.....

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not fly in a vacuum.
~Arthur C. Clarke

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tonight's Visitor


I was out doing a bit of garden inspection and I was greeted by this lovely visitor having his dinner on my butterfly bush.

I was so close (shooting with my phone) and he never budged.  Dinner was definitely more important than me!

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty!
~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

As The Day Ends.....


The colors of Summer.  Mother Nature is good. 

Every day is beautiful if you choose to see it. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Grandview Ave


High a top Mt. Washington, having dinner at my favorite restaurant, we watched as a typical Summer storm rolled in and then right out.

Coffee, some peach cobbler cheesecake and we managed to let the storm pass into a lovely sunset. 

The quarrels of lovers are like Summer storms. Everything is more beautiful when they have passed. 
~Suzanne Curchod