Tuesday, September 30, 2014

More Is More

"My mother worshipped at the altar of the accessory." - Iris Apfel 

This is Iris Apfel.  I just discovered her.  And I think she's fabulous.  As of this writing, she's 93 years old.  She's a businesswoman, an interior designer, and clearly a fashion icon.  The glasses.  The accessories.  The color.  Read more about this amazing woman.
In 2013, MAC Cosmetics collaborated with her on her own collection.  This is the ad from that campaign.
I must have these bracelets and this red thing....sweater?  wrap?  Whatever.  I want it.
Even her apartment is fabulous.  
Look at these necklaces.
And this silvery blue hair.  I love it.
The fringed jacket.  Look at all those shoes!
All photos collected from the internet
I would love to be an old lady like this.

I better get started on my accessory collection.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Pick A Patch Of Dirt And Park Yourself On It

2012: The Heat Of The Road
2011: My Super Handsome Man
It All Started With Betty
Traffic Stopping Skyline
When You Are Proud To Be Told Your Roots Are Showing
Engulfed In Color
Fish And Loaves Of Bread Are Not The Only Things He Is Generous With
23 Things

Monday, September 29, 2014

One Of Millions

When we found ourselves in Wheeling, West Virginia for the weekend before my birthday, we immediately researched what there was to do in the area.  The closest destination was Pittsburgh, at an hour away, so that was put on the list, but I also wanted to find something else to do.  It's my favorite time of year, the leaves in the area are changing, and I wanted to explore.

Two hours east, in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, I found the place I wanted to visit:

Fallingwater was built between 1936 and 1939.  It was a home built over a waterfall to be used as a weekend retreat for department store owner Edgar Kaufmann, Sr., of Pittsburgh, and his family.  It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It gained national attention when it made the cover of Time magazine in 1938.

Kaufmann's Department Store (since acquired by Macy's) was a high end place to shop in the 1930s. The Kaufmann's entertained many friends at Fallingwater over the year. People spilling out from the large living room area, onto the cantilevered decks hovering over the Bear Run waterfall.

The plot of land available for the house was not large enough for what the Kaufmann's requested - separate bedrooms for them, a bedroom for their son, and a guest room - so Wright used the cantilevers to solve the problem.  The back of the house was anchored into the existing rock, allowing for the cantilevers to jut out over the water, creating the individual spaces they requested.

The large deck above the stairs that lead to the stream where Mrs. Kaufmann would often take her breakfast.  She'd head down and dangle her feet in the water while she ate.
This is the small hall leading to the front door.  It's a great place to get a close-up view of the stone - which was procured from an old rock quarry just west of the house's location. It was reopened specifically to get the stone needed for the house.
 The steps, just to the left of the front door, show the only two colors used for the house - a light ochre for the concrete, and Wright's signature color, Cherokee Red, for the steel.
Interior photography was not allowed in the house, so these next three photos are from two sites online.  The first one is the great room, which was beautiful with it's expansive slate floor and windows facing nature.  It was a large open floor plan with the living, dining, and entertaining are in the same space.  The desk to the left was my favorite piece of furniture. 

Everything in the house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is the only major Wright-designed house to open to the public with its furnishings, artwork, and setting intact.
The windows in the home have glass that has been mitered to created an invisible seam.  They offer no structural support at the corners when open, they're just there to bring the air and the sounds of the stream into the house.
The fireplace showcases the Cherokee Red steel that Wright liked to use, and the round kettle to the left can be swung over the fire to heat cider for large gatherings.  The stump in front is one of the American Chestnut trees that was wiped out by an Asian fungul blight, they used several of these trees to make end tables.  The only two left are the one here in the main house and one in the guest house.
These next two interior photos I took - they were featured on posters in the Visitor Center area in a display about the house, so I just took pictures of the pictures.

This is the "entertainment area" which features seating next to a stereo system.  The low floor cushions were inspired by Wright's trips to Japan.  The two banquettes against the windows in the living room area have the same couch style and hassocks in front of them.
This is the picture of the very tiny kitchen.  The small windows you see in the corner run along each floor of the house and can be opened individually to allow air to flow through the house or control the level of sound from the waterfall just below.
This pathway leads you to the other side of the house.  
As you walk down the path and turn around to look at the house, you can see the supports for the house embedded in the rock.  The cantilevered patio belongs to Mr. Kaufmann's bedroom.  I liked this patio better than the one from Mrs. Kaufmann's room because it had a better view of the water and it had shade from the trees.
This is the view of the front of the house.  You can't see it, but the guest house is nestled in the hillside behind it.
And then here is the famous view of the house, taken from the clearing across the Mill Run stream.  There wasn't as much water rushing through the stream and over the waterfalls as I've seen in other pictures, but it was an absolutely gorgeous day and the sunlight was streaming through the trees, illuminating the lush surroundings. 
I liked the house itself, especially the exterior shots that were taken with the interior lights on, but the concrete looks like the adobe of the houses out west, which I don't love at all, but which Wright was influenced by.  I also read that many people love the exterior of the house, but not the interior.  That they'd "never live there".

The main house is 5,330 square feet, but only 2,885 square feet of that is interior.  The remaining 2,445 square feet make up the terraces.  The rooms are very small, with just the essentials - bed, desk, wardrobe, bathroom.  The hallways are narrow.  And the interior is fairly dark and cave-like with all the rock.

Frank Lloyd Wright did this intentionally.  He believed people should be outside, and in this setting, even more so, and for that reason he built the rooms and interior spaces in such a way that it would push the occupants out of the house.

The Kaufmanns lived in the house until their deaths (Mrs. in 1952, Sr. in 1955), leaving the house to their only son, Edgar Kaufmann, jr.  He lived there until 1963 when he donated the house to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  He died in 1989 at 79 years old. 

Over five million people have visited the house since then.

I've known about this house, it seems, for all my life.  I remember seeing a photo of the living room when I was young and for some reason I remember a tree inside.  I couldn't find any pictures of that memory online, but I've always thought, I need to go there.  My brother visited it when he was studying architecture in college, and I remember feeling a little twinge of jealousy.  I'm so glad I finally had the opportunity to be one of the millions of visitors.

Smithsonian includes it on their list of
28 Places To See Before You Die.  I can cross that one off now - only 25 more places to go!

To learn more, visit the
Fallingwater website and the Wikipedia page

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I Walked In The Footsteps Of Richard Gere
2012: Flower Bar
2011: A Sign For Sore Eyes
A Primm Landscape
I Am A Kandee Addict
The Tiny Intersection Where The Colors Collide
Loved Shack
Holy Mother Of Pearl
The Starfish Effect

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sloths Are The New Kittens

In the last ten days we've done two loads.  Between those loads we went sightseeing in Pennsylvania, dined out in Pittsburgh, shopped in Wheeling, and slept late wherever the wheels stopped turning.

Next week we do our photo shoot for the 2015 Hangin' With Sloths calendar.

If you're not yet enamored with sloths, watch this video.  It was taken at a Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

"No, not that one.  Nope.  Nah.  Ahhh, that's the one I wanted.  Delicious."

Watch the video, you'll get it.

And if you do appreciate sloths, consider joining Slothville.

Or donate to the Sloth Sanctuary.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: In The Shadow Of Mount Olympus

2012: Toni And Her Sisters
2011: Paper Boy…And Girl
Breakfast Of Champions (And Truck Drivers)
Vegetarianism Brings On Extinction
It’s Beauty Is Just The Beginning
Eddie Relaxes In Style Friday
How To Tell Your Parents You Don’t Have A Roommate
Mangia! and You Just Know When You’ve Met “The One”

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Babies

Fall is my favorite season.  Followed by Winter.

Things happen in the Fall that don't happen any other time of the year.

Like my birthday.

And then three days after that, my brother's birthday.

One year and three days is the time between our births.

I'm the oldest.  And bossiest.

But he's cute.  And funny.  And smart.

And I love him to the moon and back.

So, Happy Birthday, Mikey.

And Fall...


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: We Are Family! I Got My Brother And Me!

2012: The Highlight Of My Life
Dream Big. Live Bigger.
Always Merry When Around My Brother
Living Outside The Touch Of Time
Girls And Their Boys
Living History
Company On The Prairie
Rack Eyes

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Towering Jewel

How appropriate for a building that houses a company that started as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG) to be covered with 19,750 pieces of glass.

The company has been based in downtown Pittsburgh since 1895 and this complex, consisting of six buildings with 231 spires, is the first thing you see when you look at the Pittsburgh skyline.

It's not the tallest building in downtown, but it's the only one that looks like a glass castle, which it sort of is since the buildings contain over one million square feet of clear reflective glass units manufactured by PPG.

It's no surprise the complex has been called the Crown Jewel of the Pittsburgh Skyline.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
2013: Port Townsend Honor System
2012: This I Love
2011: Wooden Shoes, Tulips, And Now This?
Universal AND Contagious
Ed Smiles With The Pasties Girl Friday
Who Needs A Man When You Have A Kindle??
Phone Calls And Fellatio
Color Ring
We Go All Out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If You're Inclined To See A Great View, This Is The Place To Go

The Duquesne (dew-kayn) Incline is a funicular that's located on the South Side of Pittsburgh and climbs slowly to the top of Mt. Washington, formerly known as "Coal Hill".
It was first opened to the public in 1877, about seven years after the one to its east, the Monongahela Incline.  The Monongahela is the oldest continuously operating funicular in the United States.

Pittsburgh's industry in the mid 1800s created a high demand for labor and attracted primarily German immigrants to the area.  Because the area near the rivers at the base of the mountain were used for the industrial area, the only place for the immigrants to live was up the hill.  Many of these immigrants would use the footpaths and steps to climb to their homes after working in the river valley all day.  You can imagine how old that hike would get after a while.

Since the Germans came from a country with Alpine regions that used what they called seilbahns, or aerial tramways, they suggested the cable car similar in design.  The first to be constructed was the Monongahela Incline, with others to follow.  At one time, there were fourteen working inclines in Pittsburgh.  

The Duquesne Incline was originally steam powered and built to carry cargo up and down the mountain, which included horses, wagons, and other light freight as well as foot passengers.  Prior to the incline, there were switchback trails that wound up the hill and were difficult to navigate with horses pulling loaded wagons.  

As roads started being built for the residents at the top of the hill, the funiculars were closed.  At the end of the sixties, only the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines remained, and are the two that are open today.  The Duquesne Incline is one of Pittsburgh's most popular tourist attractions.
At the bottom of the hill where you board the incline, is a small ticket office.  The clerk window and the wood surrounding it is beautiful.  Everything in the building smells old.
The rail cars were built by the J.G. Brill and Company of Philadelphia, and in 1962 when the incline was closed - possibly for good, until they got funding for the much needed repairs - the rail cars were completely refurbished, having been stripped of their paint to reveal the original wood.
You can see it here on the seat slats.  It's beautiful and the wood has been worn smooth from years of visitors sliding across it.
The track runs 794 feet up the mountain at a 30.5 degree grade to an elevation of 400 feet.  This is the view looking up the mountain through the screen window in the rail car.
The view toward the city of Pittsburgh is fantastic.  We had the car to ourselves on the way up.  Look how beautiful the interior of the car is.  So simple and so old-fashioned.
The cars travel at six miles per hour and pass each other very closely.  They're also surprisingly quiet considering they're on a track.  The pull up with the cables was extremely smooth and when you get to the top, you can visit the machine room where you'll see the original equipment, still used today, which includes the famous wooden gear teeth on the hoisting wheels.
Here is a view of the tracks looking down to the station located on Carson Street.  A round-trip ticket is only five dollars.  
The view from the top of Mt. Washington has been rated by USA Today's USA Weekend as the best urban vista (and the second most beautiful vista) in America.  In this photo you're looking at what's known as the "Golden Triangle", downtown Pittsburgh.  The river to your right is the Monongahela, the one you can't see on the left is the Allegheny, and in the middle (the left of the "point" in this photo) is where they come together to form the Ohio River. 
This is one of only a few inclines left in the country.  It's not all that exciting, it's not like some kind of amusement park ride, and there really isn't even anything to do at the top - a gift shop and incline museum (of sorts) in the building at the top, and a few upscale restaurants, like Altius, along Grandview Avenue - but I thought it was great.

A short ride up to be able to get this amazing view was well worth five bucks.

And I'd definitely do it again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: An Extremely Fishy Climate

2012: This I Love
2011: Wooden Shoes, Tulips, And Now This?
Universal AND Contagious
Ed Smiles With The Pasties Girl Friday
Who Needs A Man When You Have A Kindle??
Phone Calls And Fellatio
Color Ring
We Go All Out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekend Getaway

Yesterday we visited Fallingwater, the Kaufmann Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Here's a little Instagram teaser.  More photos to come.

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2013: Long Shadow In Kansas
2012: Spreading Joy, Pixie Style
2011: Coming Soon
2010: Feren Films Y’All Shouldn’t Miss
2009: This Guy Sucks
2008: Shine And Shine
2007: Eddie Hoots It Up Friday
2006: Eddie The Bird Whisperer
2005: Laundress

Saturday, September 20, 2014

V-8 Reflection

Today we made a little day trip to Mill Run, Pennsylvania.  On the way we came across a car show in a local football field. Ed came to a screeching halt and pulled into the lot.  I wasn't super-interested in the subject matter, but did take a few shots of a bunch of old cars.

So here's an Instagram shot of an old Ford pickup truck.

No, I don't know what kind it was.  Or what year it was.  See if you can figure it out yourself - here's a picture of the rest of it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Keeping H-116 Safe
2012: It’s Never Too Late For A Monday Meme
2011: Minatory Montana Morning
2010: Crafting A Way To Fill A Need
2009: The Other White Meat: Tropical Style
2008: Night Falls On The Fuel Island
2007: Wanderlust Checklist
2006: What Are Records??
2005: Hello, America!

Friday, September 19, 2014

To Me, You Are Perfect

I love Hugh Grant.

He's my favorite leading man in a romantic comedy.  I just watched Love Actually again, and decided that it's not only one of my favorite movies, it's one of my favorite Hugh Grant movies.  It is the ultimate romantic comedy.  And although I love his story line in the movie, it's hard to pick a favorite among the group of them, they're all so good.

This is one of my favorite scenes:

So, Love Actually holds the number one spot in the list of Hugh Grant movies I love.  

Here are the others.

2.  Notting Hill

3.  Two Weeks Notice

4.  Four Weddings and a Funeral

5.  Music and Lyrics

6.  Bridget Jones's Diary 

7.  Mickey Blue Eyes

8.  About a Boy

9.  Nine Months

10.  Did You Hear About the Morgans?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013:  View From A Kansas Rest Area
2012: I Hate New Blogger!!
2011: Come On In And Take A Seat
2010: Doctor Recommended For Sure Death
2009: Wardrobe Malfunction: Intentional And Uncensored
2008: Eddie Friday: Outlined
2007: Modern, Yet No So Much
2006: Why Higher Education Is Desperately Needed
2005: Does A Bear Shit In The Woods?