Song-ography – It’s Not Easy Being Green

I found a new Sunday photo meme – Song-ography, interpreting a song prompt with pictures! I then realized that the hostess, Kath, is another Philly girl.
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This week’s song prompt is Kermit’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green”
“…It’s not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky…
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Green, I can’t wait until the world around me turns green.
This has been a long cold and WHITE winter.
“It’s not Easy Being Green”, obviously made me think of Kermit made me think of Disney (Disney Hollywood Studios to be exact) and Disney made me think of my favorite time of year, EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Expo. While all these photos aren’t just green….. there is a lot of green in them.
We had a couple “nice” days this week, I sure hope spring is around the corner and we soon start seeing the GREEN spring up all over here!

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Sundays in my City – Philadelphia

Unknown Mami
My daughter Tara and I love to take rides around our city, Philadelphia. Many times we really don’t even get out of the car, but there is always something new to see and photograph. I started calling my work from those trips as “through the car window”.
We’ve take three rides over the past two weeks… I know kind of crazy with these days of high gas prices, but we usually have a nice time talking. Tara has always loved our rides in the car, it is tie we have that is uninterrupted.
First off the Mario the Magnificent, the mascot of Drexel University. Mario is the creation of Eric Berg and can be found at 33rd and Market St. This ride was the first time I remember noticing Mario. That is what I love about our rides… I always find something I have not noticed before!

Next “stop” the “Paint Torch” by Claes Oldenburg at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This is found at Broad and Cherry Street.
Of course every city needs a giant CLOTHESPIN. This clothespin is another creation of Claes Oldenburg and is located at 1500 Market Street. This has been in place since 1976, the year of the bicentennial.
Next up is a mural. Philadelphia is covered with murals, many are part of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. I love is about my city. It is like being in a giant drive thru museum! 
This mural is called The Color of my Voice and is found at 2417 Ridge Avenue. To see a photo from an different perspective and to read all of the text you can go here. It also explains more about the design of this piece.
I hope you enjoyed our little drive through my city! 
Stop by again for more of my work!
Martha

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Saturday 9 – A Wee Bit of Irish

Ireland is where strange tales begin & happy endings are possible.
Charles Haughey


1) This song Unicorn, was recorded by The Irish Rovers. While it’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish, can you honestly claim Irish heritage?
I believe there is a wee bit of Irish in my blood. My Mom had a DNA test done for geneology, and his is showing about 20%, Irish and English heritage.

2) According to the 2000 Census, Massachusetts is the state with the largest percentage of residents of Irish descent. Have you ever been to The Bay State?  I have driven through MA, but I don’t think I have ever spent anytime in the state visiting. One of the only NE states I have not vacationed in.

3) Other than St. Patrick, what is Ireland famous for?  The Blarney Stone, four leaf clovers.

4) St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated the world over. They even watch marching bands and wave Irish flags on St. Patrick’s Day in Moscow. Does your town have a St. Patrick’s Day parade? My town does not, but Philadelphia, the closest city does have a parade.

5) “The wearing o’ the green” is one way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day? I don’t really own very much green and I have to work tomorrow. There is nothing in my work wardrobe that is green. I might polish my nails green though!

6) Have you ever had green beer? Not in a long time, but I remember a couple St Patrick’s Day when I was in college when we had huge parties with kegs of green beer!

7) Have you ever ordered a Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s? Yes. I had one just the other day and will probably get one to celebrate the day tomorrow since I won’t be drinking any green beer. I remember being in the hospital many years ago on St. Patrick’s Day and a friend brought me a shake, so they have always been a tradition.

8) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm? I don’t really have anyone thing that I consider a lucky charm. My daughter got her first tattoo a few weeks ago and it is a small four leaf clover on her inner wrist.

9) Speaking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious.  What brand of cereal is in your kitchen right now? We have Blueberry Mini Wheats, Cheerios, Kashi, Reeses cereal, All Bran….

Check out other Saturday 9er’s.

Love and Irish Coffees.

Martha

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Ruby Tuesday Too…..

Another great mural in Philly. This one is on Columbus Ave, near the waterfront. I took this one on our drive last Tuesday as well as my post from blog post from yesterday.

Stop by Ruby Tuesday Too for my great shots of red!

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Birthday, Babies and other Babbling!

Stacy

Yes, Stacy is back….. I needed somewhere to blog that random stuff that clogs my brain cells. I have been having trouble coming up with blog topics, so this is great!

I am so happy for Stacy and her family in their new state and home. Pennsylvania will miss you. I am glad we had the opportunity to met in person!

So what have I been up too?

Working, parenting, repeat, working parenting, repeat! I feel like I rarely do anything else.

In November I was promoted at work from the Senior Beauty advisor to a Shift Lead. I am one of three “key holders” in addition to the store manager. That just means that I have a key, and am responsible for the money handling and all lots of other management duties on my shift. On weekday day shifts 90% of the time the store manager is there as well. Evening shifts, I am the “boss” once the manager leaves.

I loved my beauty advisor job, and I was fortunate to not have to work evening shifts. With this position, I generally work two and sometimes three 2:30-10:30 shifts. I don’t much mind working evenings, but it is not a big hit at home…. even at 17 Tara likes having me at home with her.  When offered the promotion I felt I could not turn it down. It did mean a raise and for the most part the learning curve has not been too big.

Speaking  of 17, I am the mother of a SEVENTEEN year old. Her birthday was last Tuesday. This birthday more than her 16th has me realizing how much fast she is growing up. We are working on getting her driver’s permit, she originally had not showed an interest in driving so we are a year behind in the process. Isn’t she gorgeous? (Photo credit… Tara Kasper selfie!)

tara_selfie_3914                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So who has had enough of winter? We have had enough of the white stuff. It is strange this week to be able to see the ground! While not a lot for some places but I believe we are at the third snowiest winter with 15 storms. The Robin’s this year seemed to be very confused or decided to winter up north. I don’t ever recall seeing so may Robin’s when there was snow!

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Have you see any good movies lately? We don’t go to the movies as often as we used to. It is just so darned expensive. Tara and I went to see Non-Stop on Friday. My work schedule was really crazy, and I worked three evenings in a row, so we had a movie “date”. Even at a matinee, sharing one drink and pretzels. it cost $33. That is just crazy!  It was a good “edge of your seat” movie. While the ending was predictable, the story line to the reveal of the antagonist kept me guessing!

Oh, did I tell you, we have BABIES, TWINS. My nephew and his wife become the proud parents of Spencer Thomas and Avery Elizabeth 2 months ago today!  Avery is the first girl in our immediate family since Tara was born.

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Today (Tuesday) begins my weekend. I don’t need to be back at work until 2:30 on Thursday. Not sure what I will do with my time off. Tara has school work to do part of the day before we can go out and have fun.

Well, that’s it for this week!

Love Luck and Latte,

Martha

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Monday Mellow Yellow – Philadelphia Mural

This winter has been so gloomy and colorless with all the snow we have had, maybe a little Mellow Yellow Monday will help me out. I continue to struggle with blogging and photography which makes me sad. I hope to pull myself out of that slump and take blog worthy photographs more often. I find myself using the camera on my Galaxy S4 way more than my DSLR.

My daughter and I took a ride into Philadelphia on Tuesday. It was her birthday and she unlike many teens does not like a big fuss or party, and actually prefers spending the day with just me. She had been to a concert on Sunday, and the bands were playing at the same venue on Tuesday because of the bad weather, and we thought maybe we might seeing them hanging, we did not.

I never miss the opportunity when in Philly to capture, even if it is with my Galaxy a new mural or two!

As we drove up to the intersection where this house sat I was so happy! It just brightened the already gorgeous day!

This is only one side of the mural, but we took this from the car stopped at the intersection. You can see the entire mural and more about it here –  “It Has to Be From Here…Forgotten but Unshaken”

Stop by Monday Mellow Yellow and brighten your day.

I also found a new Wednesday “meme” The Gallery. This week’s theme happens to be Yellow too. So I’m going to link up to that as well!
Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery
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The Dash was too short

Dec 5 1949 – Mar 9 1969

It is sometimes said it is not so much your date of birth or the date of your passing that matters, but what you do with the dash in between. My brother Robin’s dash was cut way too short by the Vietnam War. A very unpopular war at home that greatly divided our country. He however left a lasting mark on all those who knew and loved him.

I don’t think in our history that our service men where ever treated so disrespectfully upon their return. No matter what conflict we are involved in our servicemen and women deserve nothing but respect for their service to our country. None I am certain return home unscathed in one way or another, if they are among those who return home to their families alive.

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the day my brother Robin was killed in Vietnam. Forty five years, I have a hard time believing that much time has passed. Sometimes I still feel like that eleven year old little sister, who was proud of her big brother the soldier. Robin was only 19.

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We have a box full of letters that Robin sent home from the time he arrived in basic training up until just two days before he was killed. I am thankful that my Mom has held onto the letters and photos he took all of these years. It really was all we had left. Robin was just out of high school like so many who enlisted or were drafted back then so he really had not accumulated many earthly things. I have read the letters from start to finish. The closer I got to the end of the pile the harder it was to continue. Unlike the end of a book, I knew the end of this story. Like any sudden unexpected death there was no real goodbye. These were the last lines of his letter, the final words

Well I’ve run out of stuff to say for now. Take care and tell everybody I said Hi.
Love,
Robin

I wonder what that final day was like. From the vague reports we received his squad was ambushed while they were out patrol. While Robin was “mortally” wounded he continued to give aid and encouragement to his men. Although Robin was the youngest, he was the Sergeant of the squad. From this information that we received I have to believe there were survivors of this ambush.

We never had any word from anyone that was with Robin that day. We have had contact over the years with Robin’s radio man who Rob had sent on R&R on that day. John contacted us shortly after he returned home and visited us on his honeymoon. We also visited with John and his family in Indiana on more than one summer vacation. The emails are not frequent but we so still keep in touch.

I can’t just speak of Robin on this day, as others in his squad lost their lives or had their lives forever changed that day. There were three other casualties from the ambush. Two, Ralph Mayers and John Petrie, were killed along with Robin, two others were taken prisoner, One Arthur Lindsey was found dead the next day. The other, Coy Tinsley was held captive until early November 1969. He had been wounded as well. While the VC had operated on his wounds it was not done under very sterile conditions.

I would give anything to speak to Mr. Tinsley. I would love to know what he remembers of his time with Robin. John had told us that he had only been with the squad a short time,

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Tara is working on a project for school, writing herself into her family history. They have to research 2-3 topics of world events somehow impacted her family. The teacher has suggested with Vietnam having impacted our family so directly, that she concentrate on just that one topic. This is a period in our country’s history that has not been covered well in my opinion in previous history classes. I hope she will come to understand why it is so important for us to continually remember Robin and all who served.

I will continue to tell Robin’s story as long as someone will listen!

I love you and miss you big brother!

Love laughs and lattes,

Martha

 

 

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Happy Birthday Tara

I am the mother of a 17 year old. I don’t know why but 17 seems so much more “grown up” than 16.

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4 MARCH 1997

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She has grown in so many ways this past year. In fact this time last year I wasn’t sure if we would survive. But we made it through and and hopefully 17 will go as well as the 2nd half of 16.

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ONE – 1998

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TWO – 1999

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FOUR – 2001

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FIVE – 2002

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SIX – 2003

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SEVEN – 2004

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EIGHT – 2005

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NINE – 2006

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TEN – 2007

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ELEVEN – 2008
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TWELVE – 2009

 

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FOURTEEN – 2011

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FIFTEEN – 2012

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SIXTEEN – 2013

So many changes. …I am excited to see where the future takes her. She will be doing it her way in her time!

I love you Tara!

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Family

(I posted this on Facebook as well, since I’m not sure how many of them read my blog! I wanted it to be part of my own piece of the interwebs!)

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~Gail Lumet Buckley

As times passes, and we lose family members, each time we have a gathering I feel it important to try and capture some of the moments.

We have been fortunate over the past year to have gathered together for happy times, a breakfast for Bill when he was in town for a visit, a shower and wedding for Kellie and Jason, and a holiday gathering at the home of Dean and Cindy.

At my Uncle Doug’s service today as we celebrated his life, 10 of 11 cousin’s were in attendance along along with our moms, spouses, children and grandchildren. It felt like a perfect time to capture such a moment! Only missing of the first cousins was my brother Bill who was unable to make the trip from Texas.

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Of course in our hearts and memories were all those who are no longer with us, Robin, Dad, Nana Miller, Uncle Ray and Aunt Dot, Uncle Ken and more.

After the immediate cousin photo, we gathered the three matriach’s of our families Aunt Marie (my Dad’s sister, Uncle Doug’s wife), my Mom, and Aunt Ruth (my Dad’s youngest sister), as well as spouses and children. A few were not in attendance or left before the photo was taken! All were in the photos in our hearts.

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I personally prefer to be on the back side of the camera, and I know many feel the same. I appreciate each and everyone who were willing to pose for the moment!

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What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot

The lighting was a challenge… just enough to not trigger the flash, it would have helped with some of the glare!

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Remembering My Dad

28 years ago today, my dad passed away.
This post is a tribute to a great man and father.
He was the one from whom I learned to love photography.
The collage is various pics of my dad throughout his life.
The other two photos, two of my favorites that he took during his life.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial. – My dad and mom. 12 lines from the bottom on the right side is my brother Robin Miller
Nova Scotia – possibly Peggy’s Cover 1973
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