Monday, December 24, 2012

holy last 5 months went by in a blink....


Joyful Merry Holiday Mayan Epoch Ending Solstice to ring in the Festivus of all Greetings!!!


I have nine more days off and will attempt to finish several blog posts about events that happened over the last five months. 

If I've been absent around as of late, it is because life has been being lived. So... that is a good thing. 


If I don't get around to finishing those posts it is because I am embracing my family and spending time with them, it is because I am napping and resting my self in preparation for the next 7 months of our lives, it is because I am out living... trying to make the most of what I've got to give and receive.

New York City, Thanksgiving 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012


waiting for people to move away or near. job offered. job declined. waiting on another job offer. the mad days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. returning from her future. between his birthday and mine. still posting Philly photos, while taking more in NYC. 

these days.... 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

coincidence that my daughter ended up in a high school named after him?

Barack Obama, yet to accept the nomination
Key Arena, Seattle, WA
February 8, 2008
The Voters Entrance at my daughter's middle school. 
Even though it was an absentee I wanted to get a picture of it going in to the box.  
Self Explanatory
Obama's reelection night, Pittsburgh, PA 11/6/12 .....  Madonna Concert @ Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 11/11/08

where I get it done in my district, Pittsburgh, PA November 2012
4 years later
since I was in the concert and all, I had to rely on texting updates.
Cause that is how she rolls. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

I need a Pittsburgh calendar...

that reminds me of things like...
  • Mr. Rogers Birthday
  • Steeler's Opening Game (although there is usually a week's notice on that one, I'm just not paying attention)
  • Light Up Night
but more importantly like... 

Our celebration was small, and admittedly a bit commercial (next year I will be prepared with legit Pittsburgh locally made pierogis; although in my defense, Mrs. T's were the first pierogis I ever had). 


I just like saying and eating pierogis.

I love that my grocery store actually has a sign for them, does yours? 

I remember the first time I had Mrs. T's.... on Capitol Hill in Seattle, over 17 years ago. 

of course with real bacon bits. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

there's an app for that...

I love this city, and I love that other people love this city... so much that there seems to be an explosion of apps for exactly those kind of people....

this is a translator for you non-yinzer speakin' types

I'm not sure - I have yet to download this one. 

and of course anything that involves photos - GOTTA LOVE THAT!  Below are  some of my examples...
Poppy and the Incline in the Twilight Zone

Dippy at Presque Isle

Poppy sure would love to get her hands on a Primanti Bros. sandwich

Monday, September 3, 2012

what with the who where the why? when?

in my head this was yesterday:
Manitou Springs High School Gradation (I'm next to the person in white with shades) 1992

in reality this was yesterday:
My cousin's high school graduation 2012

tomorrow is the first day of my daughter's yesterday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

five years and five days ago....

this happened:

it broke me in so many ways, but it also gave me an opportunity to fix things that I didn't even know were broken.

I am a better person for it!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

rooted down

I think it is safe to say that looking at the big picture of things... our move was a success. certainly there were a few fails (some even major), but mostly our life here is good and I can't foresee why it wouldn't remain that way. We have embraced Pittsburgh, and it has returned the love.

Our door remains open for those from away...

... but our hearts have taken root and we are here to stay.

We continue to experience new and exciting things in Pittsburgh, but are expanding our comfort zone; and booked a West Virginia zip-line adventure with some friends. Although we will mostly be focused on the kiddo during her coming senior year, I am sure we will have a few adventures of our own too. 

Thank you to everyone who has loved us and supported us through this; we couldn't have been successful without it. 


Friday, June 15, 2012

topsy turvy

too cool for school by foto fledgling
too cool for school, a photo by foto fledgling on Flickr.

17 years ago today I was walking around the oldest covered mall in america having very short and far apart contractions... WHOA!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

full circle moment

the in-laws, and extended family had their first gathering since the matriarch passed away (a few months ago). the sun was out, the sky was clear; it averaged 90 in the shade. kids played in the kiddy pool; babies slept, cried, or got passed from aunt to cousin, to sister, to mother.

there wasn't much to do but sit in the shade, and try to keep hydrated. and well... why not have a wine cooler?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Addendum to the Update:Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes....

thought I would provide some photographic evidence of the process discussed here and here:

getting finger printed
just a tiny portion of the judicial history of Allegheny County
Waiting for the Honorable Judge to arrive
after it is all said and done

Saturday, June 2, 2012

UPDATE: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes....

She waited a long time, I told her before I would even think about the process legally - she needed to sit with it for a year. It was difficult at first, some didn't understand why she would make that choice, or how I could let her make that choice. She endured confusion by her teachers, who were only going by the system loaded class list they were given, she tolerated friends and family occasionally stumbling over the name change. She accepted that she might have to explain the situation time and time again. Lastly she was patient with me and getting my butt in gear and having some extra funds to get the ball rolling to make it official.... and then just like that in less time than it takes to boil an egg - the judge decreed that going forward she would now legally be known as Lincoln Huntyr Griffin.

I couldn't be prouder of her. She has grown into one amazing, intelligent, compassionate and beautiful young lady.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

who knew...

airport love by foto fledgling
airport love, a photo by foto fledgling on Flickr.
... six yrs. ago (nearly to the day) when this photo was taken on our way home from a wedding here in Western PA that we would be living in the hub of Western PA three years on.

I certainly didn't; but I wouldn't change it for all the world.

Friday, May 18, 2012

joy #btwdpgh @bikepgh

The first year we lived in Pittsburgh it was all still too new for me to brave riding my bike; besides the commute was easily over 20 miles round trip (not my cup of tea EVER). I'm not sure what kept me from doing it the second year... but regardless I didn't participate. So I gotta admit I feel pretty pleased with myself for riding in to work on Bike to Work Day this year.

I LOVE riding my bicycle, when I was a kid growing up in the hills of Manitou I rode everywhere with this old 10-speed (what I wouldn't give to have that bike again). I commuted with some inconsistent consistency in Seattle over the last 12 years of my life there. Rode on the weekends along the popular Burke-Gilman trail. I even managed to participate in the STP (Seattle to Portland) Ride one year (THE HARDEST PHYSICAL activity I have ever undertaken. I would rather be pregnant before I would do that again, TRUTH). 

Anyhooo... point being I am fond of cycling, and the cycling community has oft provided new friends, and connections. I almost didn't ride this morning, I've had a nagging cough for weeks now and this week had run me a bit ragged... but I decided if not today then when. So I put on my attire, packed my pack, had my honey install a recently purchased iPhone mounting contraption on my handlebars (he even carried the bike up and out when he was done), and headed out. Even though I had trouble finding the advocacy/ swag tent, and I realized about a block from work that I fergot my bike lock... it was the best thing that happened all week. 

I must remember to do that more often. 

from A to B and back again
beginning & end

Friday, April 20, 2012

what's in box #3?

We still have boxes left in the in-laws garage from when we originally arrived; and recently my M.I.L. was kind enough to bring a few when she picked up the kid for Spring Break.

they were heavy and marked, so I had some idea of what was in there... but I wasn't positive. I suppose the Vanity Fair collection did not need to travel 2500+ miles and then sit for 2 1/2 years... but I was happy to have many of our photo albums/boxes. Lots of memories...


What is left of my old Vanity Fair collection (1995- 2010)


 inside (scrapbooks, photo boxes, Links childhood mirror...)

 yes, I packed a scrapbook yet to be done. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

not along the Lewis & Clarke Trail

Note: I started writing this post a while back, first in my head while I worked my way through the photos; then here. I started, stopped, changed directions with it a few times; had two separate posts going, deleted one, and now here we are. Four months later...

I arrived back in Seattle a little less then 1000 days since I drove away in a U-Haul with the huz, our dog, and all our stuff. I wasn't sure what to expect, the irony of that being I prepared an agenda. I actually always prepare an agenda (with wiggle room) for any trip longer then a week. Plus the mister was also traveling for work, so the agenda also served as contact information for the person staying back here with out girls. An agenda also gave me an opportunity to really make the best use of my time, I had planned two social events (one family friendly, the other not) into the 11 days I was there and planned to stay in strategic locations so as to reach the people I wanted to see with some ease.

The first item on my agenda was a haircut, which oddly enough caused me to come back into the city on the inbound lanes of the route we drove out in the U-Haul. The only reason that is remotely interesting, to me anyways, is because there are a few ways to drive into the city from the airport. Having traveled in and out of Sea-tac a considerable amount over 18 years I have very vivid memories of seeing the city from all those particular routes, and day or night if the lighting is right Seattle is a beautiful city to see. So it's odd that I took a very round about way in that I never would have when I lived there, and to boot the light wasn't right; but as I said to my friend who was driving me, "I'm not here to see the city, I just want to see friends, people. There are just a few special places I want to see."
When visiting friends I try to be considerate of work schedules, small children, and other obligations; ie. planning the trip around a three day weekend. I even scheduled some lunches at work sites, just to cover all my bases.

So I arrived, got my haircut, filled up on coffee (it is Seattle, after all), watched a beautiful sunset, had dinner with several dear friends (whom accumulatively I have known for longer than my lifetime); and settled into a Rabbit Hole for the weekend.

The next thing I know it's snowing... and honestly it didn't stop snowing or precipitating in some unusual fashion (frozen rain) for the next 8 days. At which point I promptly tossed the agenda and wandered the frozen urban tundra known as Seattle . 73.5% of the time I felt like a foreigner, who had read ALL the Traveler's Guides to Seattle. Unfortunately having snow the last several winters has still not prepared the area for that kind of weather. The city shuts down, most offices close, there is minimal bus service, and even if there were the streets aren't plowed enough. Thankfully there were kind souls who took me in, and sheltered me from the storm(s); a few even provided me with carriage to other destinations; which given the conditions of the roads was beyond gracious of them. At one point I ended up riding a luggage/sled combination, it was the only way to transport it.

While the trip wasn't what I had initially planned it to be, it was what it needed to be. Although there are a few people I wish I had spent more time with while I was there, the families and friends who I ended up being housebound with were exactly the right people I needed to be connecting with.

Just as Michael and I have been through ups and downs since moving to Pittsburgh, folks back in Seattle have faced their own challenges and had their own successes. It was hard for me to hear about these challenges and feel so far away, unable to be closer to those I hold dear.

I hope to return again during warmer days, and see those I hadn't seen this last time or spend more time with those I only saw briefly. But I hope all of my dear ones in the Pacific NW know that no matter the distance or the years, I am always here for you. A phone call, Skype/G chat, text, email, letter I am easily reachable and if you find your self in the Iron City you are always welcome in my home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

landscape of memories

landscape of memories by foto fledgling
landscape of memories, a photo by foto fledgling on Flickr.
Once upon a time there was a young woman named Rosemary Krebs growing up in Duquesne, PA. She was doing her thing (working at Kennywood, serving as an Army Nurse), when she met Robert Uhme, also doing his thing (Serving in WWII; working in one of the largest steel factories in the area). They fell in love and got married. They built a life. They had 8 children, who grew up and combined had 15 children who in turn have their own children (13) now.

Robert and Rosemary loved each other for 58 years; before he passed. She held fast to her family and Steelers for a decade or so longer. Until this past Easter Monday, April 9, 2012.

She was 91 years old and buried with Military Honors. She specifically requested that her granddaughters serve as her PallBearers, unless they were unable to do so; then the grandsons could help.

I truly wish I had known her longer, and been able to spend more time hearing her stories. But I am grateful for the moments we did have together; and honored that I was present with her family to celebrate her life.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis, TN 38148 ( ) or the Westmoreland County Food Bank, 100 Devonshire Drive, Delmont, PA 15626.

Monday, March 12, 2012

1/4 cup of crazy, 3/4 cup of love

due to circumstances of life I am very delayed in posting this....
Good Idea
My mom is my most favorite part of Christmas, and she has been kind enough come to visit us every year we have lived on the east coast (and mostly when we lived on the west coast); and since she also has mad skillz in the kitchen and since we just happened to recently acquire a stand-up freezer... I thought we might cook while she was visiting us over the holidays. And since my work is on winter recess the week between Christmas and New Years, I thought we might cook ALL week. Which meant food shopping at nearly every grocery store in the area for various ingredients at all times of day and night.

Ma and me after our visit to the Pittsburgh Public Market - totes awesome. 

The kicker... some of you readers will already know this, but for those of you who don't... I do NOT cook. Ok, I make good french toast, great mac&cheese (from a box, extra butter, everyone knows that right?) and last but not least I can make myself the perfect over hard egg, which really isn't that difficult - but f*c% if any restaurant can make one when ordered without "breaking the yolk"....

but for realz - I am mostly nervous about handling raw meat, my timing is always off: main dish ready before or after (exponentially) than side dishes. blah...blah...blah. and I always said, "I'll marry a man that cooks" or at least I thought it in my head even though I wasn't sure if I would ever get married. Although I did end up marrying a man who cooks, (and ladies I think you can relate to this) I think he is a bit burnt out on doing all the cooking...


... my 2012 resolution is to make one dinner once a week (preferably one that can be parsed out into dinner one night and some frozen for another night).

My mom knowing all this (and loving me anyways) arrived and did her best to teach me how to make things/ and she made some stuff that I know even if she showed me how a hundred times I would never figure it out; but mostly she showed me how to make stuff. We made lasagna (which I think I can probably make, once we run out, which might be awhile), with homemade marinara sauce (which I won't make); also with her assistance I made a chicken meal for the family.

Ma's homemade sauce

just liked the way these noodles looked

putting all the pieces of the puzzle together

  the chicken I made with her help

and three months in I am still actually making dinner at least once a week. I've even managed to make  two quiches (we ate one and froze the other), and together Michael and I made a Mexi-Rolle as we are calling it. My wonderful cook friend Monica (Shout Out) gave me the recipe (Holla if interested) and it looks gross as all get out when you are making it, but it is f-ing YUMMY!

I didn't know how much I heart onions, but they are so good in everything. 

Bacon, Mushrooms, and Onions for the Quiche. and I don't know about yours, but my real man eats quiche. 

doesn't look too good here, shredded chicken and soupy sauce, but SO good when it all comes together. 
So... feel free to leave a comment and I welcome suggestions and reciepies. Easy and able to Freeze.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

not exactly "round trip"

926 days from the start date to the end date, end date included
Or 2 years, 6 months, 12 days including the end date

Alternative time units

926 days can be converted to one of these units:
  • 80,006,400 seconds
  • 1,333,440 minutes
  • 22,224 hours
  • 132 weeks (rounded down)