Wednesday, December 29, 2010

sepia Scenes - Birthday Girls

And I do mean girls! A youthful pair, this being the ever lovely Patti, and our lovely daughter Allegra. The smiles are genuine - Sepia Scenes is a reason to celebrate. 

This being December 29, I offer a Happy Birthday to my favorite ladies! It is nice that they share the same birthday, a wonderful event.

Allegra when younger and asked for something, often had the ready response "in a minute", and this a result maybe of arriving a week late at 6:52 AM in 1988. She was so worth the wait, the best birthday gift a mom could receive. Patti, mom extraordinaire, entered the world in the 20th century. No further comment :)

We shall celebrate tomorrow at a restaurant, the four of us happy to celebrate both occasions on the same day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Homemade Yule

Ruby Tuesday arrives post-Christmas. I hope yours was as wonderful as ours has been, too.

’Tis still the season for greens and of course, ruby reds. A sea of wonderful red hues surrounds us.

Such as our tree. Not a real tree for us, as electricity and dry evergreens doesn’t seem the ideal mix. So a tree from Target will do. 

The rubies are in the garland and the red LED lights. And perhaps an ornament like bears and the M&M figure. Our style is simple decorations simply placed (a bit different from Grandpa’s tinsel laden tree of magnificence). But it is still a family thing to decorate together...

See more rubies, holiday or otherwise, at Mary’s fun meme.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Seasonal Sepia Yule

’Tis the season some scribe might note about the activities many engage in during this solstice. Such as decorating trees.

So for Mary’s Sepia Scenes, I chose to add an antique edit to a decorated tree in ann antique tone.

The tree seems ablaze as the colors of the lights and ornaments are muted into a sepia glow. Like my last week sepia post, in a season defined by red and green, sepia works quite well, too...

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all sepia sleuths!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Holiday

(This is a slightly edited re-post from last year. 
Yet the children's faces still have that magical look from Christmas morning that remains as innocent as ever...)

Ruby Tuesday this week continues my nostalgic look at Christmas. 

The Christmas holiday is arriving quickly, and since this is a holiday for kids of all ages, we go back to Christmas morning 1993, with Allegra (almost 5) and Cameron (just turned 3). 

Santa was generous that season, and rubies are all around. A Radio Flyer wagon, a bowling set, a 'tool' kit, Snow White and the Dwarfs offer plenty of red.
Their sleepers also have a bit of ruby in their patterns. Let us not forget the Mickey ornament on the tree either. The two of them are happy and excited. The perfect family holiday!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New year in advance to all participants of Mary's always fun Ruby Tuesday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Noel

Shadow Shot Sunday
by Tracy in Brisbane arrives just before Christmas. So my theme is now set!

Christmas seems the time for children, the younger the more special the time. This is son Cameron at age 4 in 1994, the B&W edit utilized to cut the flash glare of the print. 

The sleeper, with feet no less, signifies Christmas morn has arrived. When they (perhaps most of us) were little, the day arrives early and Santa’s gifts are amazingly set up and ready to check out. I remember this a part of a Hot Wheels car track, and perhaps Cam seems to have already figured its operation... 

The same year, later in the day and her grandmother’s house, Allegra is set for even more presents, generously given by grandparents (they have that knack, as we see here). I think the necklace was a present found in her stocking. 

Christmas is for children. They are at that great age (just turned 4 and almost 6) where there is a bit more magic to the season. See more seasonal shadows at Hey Harriet - and to all a good night! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Sepia Holiday

Sepia Scenes and Christmas can go together well.

This print is from 1975 and includes the seven siblings, an ex, a niece and a nephew. And not to forget a most wonderful family canine named Boris.

How does a monochrome work in a season of red and green hues? Well, this old color print is so faded that the grandeur of the decorated tree is as well. Yet, sepia can mute the damage of the print and better show off the features of a time when the oldest child was only 21. 

Thus, it is now a sepia memory on a holiday that never gets old...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - The Spirit(s) of Christmas Past

Parents have the most fun giving, and the children enjoy the receiving. As it should be!

So for Mary’s Ruby Tuesday, we travel back in time to Christmas Day, 1996. 

Allegra is four days shy of her eighth birthday, Cameron is aged 6. 
Allegra is pleased with her gifts including American Girl doll Kristin and of course, Barbie. 
Cameron was studiously opening a gift -  who remembers what. Naturally they have Christmas fashions that mirror the greens and reds of the season. Giving and receiving will never get tiring, no matter how large they may get... 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Sunny and Warm

Shadow Shot Sunday is an always fun meme hosted by Tracy in now warm Brisbane.

So thinking warm thoughts of warm days seems the only antidote to us in the northern tier of the USA (quite unlike the warm pre-summer days in beautiful Oz). 

So digital remembrances of a summer drive through New Haven in July, the day about 77°F / 23° C and of low humidity.

The architectural gem on the right is the Art & Architecture building housing  the Yale School of Architecture.

In our usual mode, I drive and Patti handles the camera. 

Our drive in the environs of Yale University on Chapel Street west, a typical look on a summer weekend late morning. 

Little traffic and few summer university students allow for leafy shadows.Pleasant weather on a scenic drive...

See so many more shadows at Aussie’s own Hey Harriet!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Bahamas 1978

Tisha’s Looking at the Sky on Friday  appears amidst those pre-Winter cold air temperatures. The sky was a lovely blue in CT today - the air mass was quite chilly. 

Yet when I found a certain series of prints from the past, I was ready to scan all. It is, I believe, from the year 1978, and it was a vacation at Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Taken by my parents, grandparents and Aunt Terry, it was a week of R&R for the then grown-ups (realizing of course that I am older now than my parents then) under a sunny and warm sky.

Naturally, the prints are fading and grainy, with a touch of tack holes - perhaps it was posted on a cork board. Yet only a quick edit was needed to see and almost feel the balmy Caribbean heavens with their puffy clouds sitting over the azure and turquoise water. Faded of not, I suppose that paradise looks pretty similar all over. And definitely warmer than New England these days...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Sandy Snow

Sepia Scenes surrounds the snowy sledding on a the son. 

This of course is from 2004, not recently. The resort is the modest hill in our back yard. Youth seems more resilient to the cold, the old-timers think warmer thoughts.

Such as a fine powdery off-white sepia sand found on beaches of the Atlantic seaboard from New Jersey to Florida. Which I imagined when I converted this into an antique edit. The setting sun seems warmer here, too. I await some slippery snow soon enough, but my memories of the beach remain just that...

See seasonal sepia (and even otherwise) at Mary’s meme :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - family Gathering


It is time again for Mary's excellent Ruby Tuesday. 

Today it is return a day in December 1975. It is the Christmas holiday break, and as the seven children were involved with college, high school, the military and such - going in all directions. 

The unique thing here is that this is one of the last times a photograph of all the kids together - plus a husband and the first two of sixteen grandchildren, too. (I am second from the left, with the longish 1970s hair)

Holidays are a great for families to be together if possible. This photograph shows that...See lots more RT at Mary's meme.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Colonial

Shadow Shot Sunday arrives this week, hosted by fun Brisbane artist Tracy. Unique shadows with a historic flair are the shadowy subjects.

Patti and I again visited the historic Humphreys house in Ansonia, CT. Built in 1698, it is a scant 1.5 miles (2.4 km) miles from home. The Derby Historical Society have a ramp that allows me and the ‘chair get to view the first floor.

Ordinary items that project shadow art includes a punched tin lantern, a storage chest, a barrel and a period radiant fireplace cooker with a subtle shadowy wire loop. Nothing of real style, all having the honest and functional look of the day...

Colonial cooking was going on at two of the fireplaces, all in cast iron pots with red-hot embers on the lids: turkey, black bread with freshly churned butter, squash pie and more. Naturally, blogs, memes and shadows were sought, point-and shoot in tow. On the interior, two shots were taken in Lady Humphreys Parlor. This family was well to do , but the interior was quite stark by today’s style. Yet, the tea set is set up at the table for a guest. What is sparse is enhance by the shadows to sneak in through the windows.

David Humphreys was quite an impressive figure, not only significant in military affairs but an accomplished entrepreneur as well. 

He was a colonel in the Continental Army who was aide de camp to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, a diplomat in the fledgling US and an industrialist - for instance, he introduced to America the prized soft Merino sheep and the first textile mill in the US for luxurious Merino wool.

Shadows and history work well together, and we thank the great Derby Historical society for the museum, tour, food and of course the shadows. See Hey Harriet for so many more!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Clear sailing sky

Looking at the Sky on Friday, by Tisha, is back! 

I guess that we all prefer a nice sky for special outdoor events. Like Allegra's graduation from the University of Hartford this past May. Granted this view was taken the day before, but the day of the event was under an equally spectacular sky. 

The sky was not as dramatic as when Patti captured her graduation day from high school. 

As always, such a day is quite special under any sky, but blue like this adds a fitting send off...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Impatience

Sepia Scenes, by Mary, takes me back in time...

I was too young to remember this, no doubt. However, a picture may tell a thousand words. In a scanning mode one day, there was a small B&W photo booklet with about ten pictures involving the family at this time, the time being late 1956 at the home of Grandpa/Grandma, 1645 Oregon Avenue in Steubenville. We travelled from Bayside, and I imagine the drive of 9-10 hours was probably almost as fun as the photo taking. 

L-R, mom, baby Claudia, Michele, dad and myself - pretty tired from a long (to an 18 month old) process. I enjoy looking at them now - but obviously didn’t care for the process back then...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The ayes, or is the eyes, have it.

As Ansonia is also known as the ‘Copper City’, it seems a bit ironic that Linus, being born in our small city, has copper eyes.  

Yet, as cats are able to see through us (or so it seems). His eyes here are expressive, but expressing what?

As per usual cat behavior, we wonder and wonder.

Without a doubt, just as he intended...


Another milestone, the NaBloPoMo for November is complete. 

Thirty posts in 30 days, which compels one per day. All for fun, as when this becomes a chore...well, nobody wants that! Since blogging is merely an avocation that I enjoy, it is a fun pursuit!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - State Street Skyline

Ruby Tuesday arrives for our weekly look at red, in large or small doses.

On a trip to Boston earlier, plenty of rubies were all about. Our hotel was in the heart of Boston’s Financial District along State Street. From wheelchair height, the skyline, while not as full as Manhattan, is quite impressive.

Not deep in a ruby hue, yet the variety of reds from roofs, brick and window surrounds appear under the nice blue Sunday sky. This is not the touristy part of the Hub, so Sunday morning there were few persons around, and the multitude of pubs with Irish names weren’t yet open. So photo meme hunters could fire away...

Ruby is all about, so visit Mary’s excellent meme to see plenty more!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rah, Rah

I found this picture, along with many other oldies, a couple of weeks ago. The year, I believe, is 1977. The place is a field outside Mayberry Village in East Hartford Connecticut. The subject being Pop Warner football. My brother, CP (Christopher Patrick), is the one with the shaggy hair.

(Yes, I know that just about all the players fit that description). I am guessing CP is number 60, but that my be nothing more than a guess...Happy memories!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Ohio Trip

Shadow Shot Sunday is back, courtesy of Brisbane blogger Tracy. Today, I am reverting bak to the past, a most excellent vacation to return to my college years.

The year was 1999, the place is the old steel mill town of Steubenville, Ohio (39 miles west of Pittsburgh), the college Franciscan University (B.S., Business, 1977).

For a reunion, I convinced the lovely Patti that a 10 hour ride west would be at least unique. I wouldn't say that she went kicking and screaming at the thought of a visit to my heritage in the old steel mill town, plus Weirton WV and of course, Pittsburgh. We loaded into the one-year old and still huge Ford E-150 and departed west.

It was really hot and humid during our visit, so the filtered sun took the blue sky away. Yet, shadows still occurred and the fall nicely on and about the stylish arcs of the college chapel. I like the boat that appears on the curvy steeple.

Naturally, the time ended and we began our 500 mile (805 Km) trek home. Here, the intrepid pilot (me) is charting our course east. We have exited the Fort Pitt Tunnel and are traversing the upper deck of the Fort Pitt Bridge, I-279 North through Pittsburgh.

At this point, we are crossing by Point State Park, in which the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the long Ohio River. We are passing by the old Three Rivers Stadium, then home to the (US football) Pittsburgh Steelers and baseball Pirates.

So, is a silhouette of the driver a shadow? The author thinks so :) It feels like the Alfred Hitchcock cameo in his films - the signature. If not, there is the bridge hardware that holds the supporting cables for shadows. The wing mirror has a shadowy reflection from where we were...

It was a fun time, although Patti is in disbelief that she was actually there! See shadows all around at the always fun Hey Harriet

Friday, November 26, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Autumnal

Looking at the Sky on Friday brings up the dark autumnal view of this season. 

This bold sky is typical of this season, the dark background perhaps a front that passed through allowing for the dark orange sunset to usher in the colder air that follows closely behind. 

Dark and cold say November perfectly. See more at Tisha’s meme!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for God’s blessings. To acknowledge that we have been provided for and additional blessings have come our way.

For me, it is a wonderful family. The four of us have been through great and trying times. Together...

Given that they are big now, they alway’s weren’t so. Like the first day of school in 1996, Allegra then in third grade, Cameron in first. We await the school bus together. Yes, a family is a wonderful thing as we celebrate together. Which never gets old...

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Rockies


Sepia Scenes is the meme that allows the past to shine in this soft monochrome.

Many viewers remember that I am in the process of scanning my past, especially Grandpa Ralph (I) and Grandma Agnes. I am guessing that the year is 1966, and the place is the Garden of the Gods outside Colorado Springs.

Grandpa was one who liked to have pictures taken in front of signs that proved that he indeed was there. Grandma looks elegant in that dress and floppy sun hat. Agnes considered herself a lady as she saw it, and dressed like one. See fine sepia in the past, or present, at this fun meme.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Boy 20

Happy 20th birthday Cameron! A kid with intelligence, wit and loyalty. Once a little baby (well, sort of)  from over 9 lb. (4.2 Kg) at birth to 220 (100 Kg). 

A quick study and an even faster mind. We salute you as we have from then to now, an all around good guy - and one of the few remaining! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Feeling stuffed?

(This is an edited repost from two years ago. Not to worry, tradition reigns on Thanksgiving since we make it the same way every year...)
Ruby Tuesday is just in time for turkey day.

The ingredients for a favorite of ours, stuffing, are shown above. The commercial bread stuffing is augmented with the following: Onion and celery for aromatic flavors, apple (Granny Smith) for a hint of sweetness, sausage (pork in our case, turkey a fine substitute), and butter. The apple cider is added to the mixture before baking for moistness. That's it! 

We don't stuff the bird with this, we add to the inside an apple, onion and celery for flavor before baking. I love the smell of onions, celery and apples cooking in butter on Thanksgiving morn. A wonderful aroma throughout the house. I should lose weight...but not this week!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Positive vs. Negative

In 1984, my sister in Denver had a black kitten named Jasmine. A fine looking feline, she sits proudly upon the fence that enclosed the patio of the apartment. Yet, I had tried a different effect, transforming the black kitty to white, giving the change from day to night. 

The edits occurred on out old Windows machine. I have yet to find an inexpensive, or even free web based edit software to the Macs we now use. So this post may get me to look harder for something to allow for the cool artistic edits like this...