Friday, September 30, 2016

It's Good to be the Queen!


September, you were quite the month!  I was thankful for a night at home with my feet up, enjoying a cuppa,  Using my nice, new coffee cup from my co-worker in Eagan, MN.  Although he knows I would never use the word "darn", it's the thought that counts, right?  Damn right it is!

You don't need anyone to crown you to be the Queen.....but a coffee cup that says so doesn't hurt!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Keep Calm and Buy a Hoagie!


Today was hoagie day. Almost 1100 hoagies. A great fundraiser for our Marching band and our Boy Scout Troop and we always know what's for dinner on hoagie night!!

Fundraising is an essential part of having kids.  The more they become involved, the more you fundraise. 

The Band is headed to Disney so there are lots of funds needed and my ultimate goal is that every kid who wants to go, can go!

Fundraising is not about the money, it's about the people. 
~Larry C. Johnson

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fields of Gold


Sometimes the most beautiful place in your day is in the most unlikely spot.....right across from the ball field. 

We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016



So I walked into the ladies room at the office. (Yes it sounds like a bad joke but bear with me). We have a nice bureau with lotions, body mists and perfumes. 

Today, seeing this bottle sitting there took me back 25+ years to a much different time in my life. I didn't even think this was made anymore but a quick Google search proved I was wrong. 

I guess Calvin has passed the test of time. 

Between love and madness lies obsession.
~Calvin Klein

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lost Souls


Tonight's game was in Fairview Park. Every time we come here I plan on checking out the tiny cemetery but never quite get there. 

This evening I finally made my way over there before the game began. The Lost Souls of Fairview Cementery. Not far from the park stood the Mayview State Hospital's geriatric unit. 

Within the white picket fence are 27 unmarked graves scattered under the oak trees. All the markers look just like this with varying ribbons and Angels. 

What if ghosts observe us and think to themselves, what poor lost souls. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

City Reflections


Spent time on the North Shore this evening with KO Senior, Nicholas Callas.  We were finishing up his senior portraits and what a lovely evening we had.  Perfect weather and just gorgeous light as the sun was setting over the City of Bridges.

There is never a lack of photographic material in this town and we captured great shots tonight. From the fountain at the Point, graffiti at the Water Steps to getting a bit courageous on the Clemente Bridge, we could have shot for hours if the light held out.

Sunglasses are always a fun accessory in any photo shoot and this was no exception.  I love capturing the beautiful bridges and cityscapes of this great town and how fun it was to include them in Nick's shoot.

Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rocket Toss


Tonight was the last Band Festival of the 2016/2017 season.  We finished up at Mt. Lebanon High School and were joined by Allderdice, Steel Valley, Burgettstown and California University of Pennsylvania.  Our hosts also did special numbers with their color guard, drum line and front ensemble.  Another outstanding night of music in western PA.

As our own Golden Eagles have performed over the past few weeks at festivals and football games, this final medley of Hey Jude, Sargent Pepper's and The End have come to be my favorite.  The rocket toss by our color guard, Kaydeens and twirlers definitely "WOWs" the crowd!

I am still trying to find the perfect spot to shoot this but I had a good view tonight right on the 50 yard line and almost at the top of the stands.

(no instrumentalists were harmed during this toss)

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Golden Hour with our Golden Eagles


This sunset could not have been more perfect for tonight's game.  Gold for Child Cancer Awareness month and in honor of Joey Fabus.  In 2014 we all met Joey at a KO football game as he was in the middle of his fight with DIPG.  This is an inoperable brain tumor with zero chance of survival.

Joey lost his battle on January 21, 2015 surrounded by his family.  As the Golden Eagles were set to take the field they work special gold emblems on their helmets and gold laces on their cleats.  Child Cancer Awareness t-shirts were everywhere as we all remember that "no one fights alone".

For more info on Joey and how you can help with donations or volunteering, please visit

Let's Tackle Childhood Cancer!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Goodbye Summer....Hello Autumn


It's the first day of Fall.  If you were hoping for cooler weather, Mother Nature had other plans. When I left work today, it was almost 90F on the thermometer in my car and that was at 4:45pm.  But no matter what the temperature, the changes come whether we want them or not.  Soon enough we will be raking leaves instead of mowing the lawns.  Shorts traded for jeans and hoodies for t-shirts. Personally, I cannot wait!

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with Summer's best of weather and Autumn's best of cheer.
~H.H. Jackson

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Clean shirt, new shoes....,


365 days a year my son wears shorts, sneakers and a t-shirt. When the temps dip, he adds a hoodie (which he would also wear 365 if the weather permitted). 

Today was a field trip for his STEM class. Business casual was the required attired. This meant a drive to the outlets over the weekend and a final stop to Payless for dress shoes. 

Way too many $ later, (at least for a field trip) he's all set and looking sharp! 

Bonus too, today was picture day at school!

They come runnin' just as fast as they can.  'Cause every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.
~ZZ Top

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Be Prepared.....


September Court of Honor is always a big deal in Troop 23.  Our Scouts have worked hard at Summer camp earning an average of 4 merit badges.  We also had Scout working on a few Eagle required badges as our group within our Troop.  Environmental Science and First Aid badges will be appearing on quite a few sashes at upcoming meetings!

99 Merit Badges were earned and recognized this evening.  Could have been 104 but a few Scouts forgot to hand the blue cards over in time (oops!).

We had 7 different Scouts earn 8 different ranks as well.  Three Tenderfoot, one Second Class, three First Class and one Star.  We have an Eagle just about ready to fly as well!  So proud of all the Scout in Troop 23.

We also welcomed in our new Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and all our new Patrol Leaders.  2016-2017 is going to be an exciting year!

Do a good turn daily!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sometimes We Create


Sometimes I am an adventurer with my camera.  I go hunting to search for things I want to see and capture that particular moment.

Sometimes I am a visionary and I create what I want you to see.  Tonight I am the latter.  It was supposed to be a baseball game but the less than desirable weather last night made the field a giant mud puddle.  So when I got home, it was on to lesson 7 in my G+ Mentorship, double exposure.

This is one of the last cone flowers in my garden and I had a bit of fun blending the shots and addting some textures.  Reminds me of a warm summer day as the flowers in my garden just sway in the breeze.  In the coming months I will pull this out as our days grow shorter and cooler.

Let us dance in the sun wearing wildflowers in our hair....
~Susan Polis Shutz

St. Philip's


St. Philip's is one of the most beautiful churches in our area. As 8th grade is a sacrament year, we had to find Dan an alternate for CCD.  Tuesday's just didn't work for us and thankfully St. Philip's offers their CCD on Sunday's. 

This is not only perfect for Dan but it affords me the time to photograph this beautiful house of worship. 

Architecture should speak of its time and place but yearn for timelessness. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

It's KO, I'm With The Band!


Another busy day during Marching Band season.  Our Golden Eagles performed today at the Octoberfest in Green Tree (yes, we know it's only September) and tonight they are part of the Upper St. Clair band festival.

The other day, another band parent shared this and I could not have said it better:

K. So here's the big deal about high school marching band. Students spend hours upon hours working to perfect a show for perfomances that will last around 8 minutes. Each performance is a big deal. If someone has a bad 20 seconds, it can wreak havoc on the entire band. If someone is confused, or not quite sure of the next move, there is no opportunity to call time out and get clarification. The band gets 7-8 minutes to showcase what they've spent hundreds of hours working on. They don't get 4 quarters, 2 halves, or 9 innings- just a few minutes. If someone isn't feeling well, twists their ankle, or gets knocked on their rear, they can't call time-out and ask for a sub.The show must go on. After the performance is over, not one performer will have their name in the paper, or get special recognition for their outstanding individual performance. Band is a team activity and not one person is recognized publicly for their outstanding performance that week. Everyone works hard, day in and day out, for the team-the group, knowing that they will not be singled out for special recognition. All the work is done for the good of the group. That's extremely awesome. Hug a band kid, or at least give them a high 5 after their next performance. GO BAND!!!!

Jana Janzen Gorham (via Facebook)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Harvest Moon


Well, almost the Harvest Moon.  harvest moon occurs at a specific time of the year. The moon officially turns full when it reaches the spot opposite to the sun. The harvest moon happens on 13:59 Greenwich time on the Saturday nearest to the fall equinox, which is September 23rd.

Mother Nature looks to be bringing us a lot of rain this weekend so I thought I would do my best to catch the moon tonight.

And Fall, with her yeller Harvest moon and the hills growin' brown and golden under a sinking sun.
~Roy Bean

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Taking Care of Yourself


Some much needed "me" time tonight. Thanks to AJ Nails on Green Tree Rd, Green Tree, PA I had a lovely mani/pedi and it was 2 hours of pampering for me. 

It's important to make sure we take time for ourselves. If we don't, we will be no good to anyone else. 

So here's to AJ Nails!  Give them a try the next time you need some "me" time!

That's enough todaying for today. I'm done!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reality Check!


Our first college fair. Talk about a big dose of reality slapping you in the face!  How is it possible that I have a child looking at colleges?  

What was interesting is how we approached each college we talked to: How is your chemistry program?  Do you have a Marching Band?  Both are important to Shannon and one college singled themselves out by having a Marching Band Day for potential students. 

We will get to tour the school, Shannon will get to practice with the band and join them at half time on the field. 

Thiel College, your scored major points with that one!

See you on October 29th!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Out of this World


Some days I am not sure if I am out of my mind or out of this world.

It's useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one. 
~Terry Pratchett

Monday, September 12, 2016

You're OUT!


Another Fall ball game in the books.  What a beautiful evening we had as the humidity has finally packed it's bags and headed for parts unknown!  Dan got to play multiple positions tonight including right field, 3rd base, 2nd base, pitcher and short.  While at short he got to work on his tag play on a throw down.  As you can tell by Shane's reaction, we nailed him!

Life is too short to take fastballs down the middle.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Bench - September


Well, the bench once again gives great advice.  I missed a sign between July and now but I will double up as I am sure there will be more words of wisdom coming from Dena's bench.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Just Dance!


I just love marching bands.  I was never in the band in school but I loved to watch them at festivals, parades and football games. In 8th grade, Shannon decided to join the high school marching and I was once again reacquainted with my love of bands.

In the last four years, we have attended many a band festival with our Golden Eagle marching band and I am never more proud then when I watch my daughter and her band mates march out on to that field and perform.  Their talent and dedication never cease to amaze me.

My second favorite band to watch is Allderdice High School.  This small but mighty band represents the Pittsburgh Public School District and currently has 30 members(if I counted correctly tonight). They come to play and always have the fans moving and grooving in their seats!

Their dancers always never fail to make me smile.  Their fantastic moves, great rhythm and all around outstanding enthusiasm can't help but make you feel good.

Looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks at the Mt. Lebanon Band Festival.  Way to rock it Allerdice!

Friday, September 9, 2016



Tonight was my first Friday Night Lights of the season and it was awesome. What a great game by the KO Golden Eagles!
Both the football team and the band were outstanding on the field!

The best part of my Friday nights is catching the exact shot and what's better than a touch down!! (OK the band but I could not just choose one!) 

Now I am off to the Marching Band's Senior Rec night and many more photos to share tomorrow!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Play Ball!


It's Fall Ball time.  Scores don't "really" matter.  It's time to work on positions you don't normally play and practice more in those you do.  It's supposed to be fun and educational.

I remember in my last 366 project Daniel having a Fall Ball game against Bridgeville and loving their t-shirts so much, it became a photo in my project.

Fast forward 4 years and Dan is playing for Bridgeville.  I love their shirts this year too.  Great advice for any baseball player!

Here's to a fun season!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Experiment #2


So I broke out the glass, Rain-X and spray bottle again.  This time I did a little different positioning of the Gerber Daisy.  Further away from the glass so I could focus only on the droplets and the imagines in them.

I think next time I might just use the glycerin instead of a water/glycerin mix and an eye dropper to place the droplets where I want them.  I am pretty pleased with this version and I like the lighter colored flower over the dark ones.

For my G+ friends, this might be a good shot for Alien Abduction Friday.  They look like nano probes leaving the mother ship!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Class


Another stop on his path to Eagle, First Class Scout.  Tonight Daniel had his Board of Review and on September 20th will be recognized with 7 of his other troop mates for their rank advancements since the last Court of Honor in June. 

He will add to this, 7 new merit badges of which 3 are Eagle required. It's been a good couple of months. 

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

Monday, September 5, 2016



It was a picture perfect day here in Pittsburgh.  Clear blue skies. No humidity.  What a way to end the Summer!  So my photographic homework involved flowers and raindrops.  When the weather is beautiful, you bring your own a spray bottle!

I am practicing some new techniques like glycerin in water to give a more robust drop and Rain-X on glass then sprayed with water.  I tried this technique for the first time tonight but I definitely want to work on it more.  My ultimate goal is to get floral reflection in the drops.

Practice makes perfect!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Man Behind the Mask


Today kick-ed off my Senior Portrait season with a baseball photo shoot with Nicholas Callas.  Nick is a Senior at Keystone Oaks High School and a member of the KO Golden Eagle Varsity Baseball Team.  He is a pitcher and catcher and loves the game of baseball.

Nicholas wants to major in broadcast journalism and while he has not chose a college yet, he is running the KOSD Sports Network.  He will be broadcasting the Golden Eagle football games along with select boys and girls varsity soccer games.  Varsity basketball and wrestling will be coming during the Winter months.

You can follow along on at

I am looking forward to capturing some non-sport shots of Nicholas in the coming weeks, but for now, there is a bit of info about the man behind the mask!

A catcher and his body are like an outlaw and his horse, you have to ride that nag till it drops.
~Johnny Bench

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Brightest Crayon in the Box


This is Mike.  Mike is a checker at Giant Eagle in Green Tree.  Mike adds color to everyone's world when you enter his.  He has a smile for everyone.  He loves to play around with the kids.  He remembers your name and what's going on in your life.  He embodies the true meaning of good customer service.  Earlier this year, Giant Eagle recognized him as Outstanding Customer Service Team Member of 2016.

Mike makes a job I loathe to do, much more enjoyable.  Today, when I saw him dressed as a box of crayons, I asked him if he lost a bet.  However, he volunteered to wear the costume to help make shoppers aware of their Back to School Campaign.  This allows shoppers to donate $1 or more to the The Education Partnership that provides basic, core supplies for learning, to needy children in the Pittsburgh area.

Well done Mike, well done!

Sometimes you have to see people as a crayon.  They may not be your favorite color, but you need them to complete the picture.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Night Lights!


Yes these were my Friday Night Light's this week. While our Golden Eagles were off at Valley High School bringing home the win, there are those parents manning the concession stand as we rent out our field during our away games. 


Thursday, September 1, 2016



Sometimes it's just nice to hang out with the girls, eat some good food and play a little Bingo. 

At least this year I wasn't the last one to win!  A fun way to kick off the new year with the Green Tree Women's Civic Club. 

Here's a shout out to Luanne, Chris and Maureen for being my Bingo buddies tonight!

B-E-F-O-R-E not B4. We speak English here not Bingo!