Saturday, December 16, 2017

Merry Christmas To Me

When you're shopping for Christmas gifts do you ever pick up a little something for you? I do. Somewhere while trolling the Interwebs, I came across this book, Medieval Cats by Kathleen Walker-Meikle. What could be better for a person who loves cats and Medieval manuscripts? So Merry Christmas to me.

 The book, published by the British Library in 2011, must have been a limited edition as I had to buy a used copy from Amazon. Not to worry, the copy is in excellent condition.The pages are printed on glossy stock, and all of the manuscripts and illuminations are reproduced in color.

In honor of Ink, "A large black cat and a mouse, with a mouse and a weasel below, accompany a bestiary text on each animal. England. mid-to late 13th centrury. (BL, Harley 3244, F. 49V)"

Don't want to spring for a book, but still want to see Medieval manuscripts? The British Library has been digitizing manuscripts from their collection. Pop on over and you can peruse to your heart's content. The site is a happy, little time waster for serious procrastination or study.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. I had a play day and out to lunch with my friend, Teague

2. Surprised by the package with the knitted mushroom from my tablemate .

3. Enjoyed the company of Master Beef and Grandmaster E at the annual December Black Belt dinner.

4. Started assembling Christmas cards to send out.

5. Only got a light dusting of snow so didn't have to cancel the appointment with the Young One's GI specialist.

How was your week?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

That he [ed: I think he's still talking about his Uncle Fred] had a great-aunt that owned an island in Italy. At the time I was old enough to ask questions. He said, "She lost her head.", when I asked him why we were poor. I said, "Oh, she let herself fall for a gigolo?" He stopped me, he said, "No, you don't understand. They had a war and she supported the losing side and they beheaded her." I asked him why no one sought to get revenge. He did not like my question. He also had an aunt that lived to be 106 years old. And an aunt in Chelsea.

Her name was Zia Florinda. She lived in Chelsea. She was an aunt on my father's side (your grandfather). She was a widow and lived with her son. Named Carline [ed: Dad, did you mean Carmine?] He was a carpenter and he worked for a contractor. He was single at the time that I used to visit my aunt. I was old enough to walk from East Boston to Chelsea. My father encouraged me to visit her. It was a good walk to get to her house. I would go over the Chelsea bridge. And at that place, were docked the old Donald McKay wind-driven, clipper ships. All stripped of their sails and valuable parts. They were an eye sore and eventually the city got rid of them by taking them one at a time on the 4th of July evening. Towing it down the harbor and setting it on fire. Its lower decks loaded with rubbish.

My father would ask me to visit her and I don't know whether she was an aunt on my grandfather's or grandmother's side. She was aged about the same age as his sister. She died  during WWII. I liked to go there as she would always have me eat there. Just me and she made gravy [ed: spaghetti sauce] that was out of this world. It was an old recipe and she never parted with it. In retrospect it could have been patented and would produce a fortune. She used to put some [ed: can't make out the word] and other things like herbs. The pasta was spaghetti, it had a taste of its own.

Her son was a laid back individual, he drank a little and this upset her. She would tell him not to come home drunk. Not to drink. She would lecture him and he would stand there and smile.

He was a handsome man and he supported his mother. Paid all the bills, etc. He married late in life after his mother died and lived in the North End with his wife and children.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

T Stands for Wreath

Time to decorate the wreath with the usual bits and bobs in the Christmas box. Some jingle bells, odd ornaments, red velvet ribbon just didn't seem exciting. Maybe it was a touch of sadness to only decorate one wreath as I used to make a wreath for my parents and my elderly neighbor, Prissy. But I blame this guy.

We had gone to the big, orange, box store to look at a lighted, 6 foot Nutcracker for outdoors. He was going to be a Christmas gift for Himself . The Nutcracker was magnificent, but looked a bit too delicate for New England winters, and his base was too wide to put him in our little, front porch. We did bring home his little brother for the front porch.

This guy takes the blame, too. I found him along with two of his brothers while puttering in Michael's for some cardstock for Christmas cards.The Nutcrackers were in a clearance bin, and I had a 20% off my entire purchase coupon. That's my story. Don't judge me.

With visions of Nutcrackers dancing in my head, nothing in the Christmas box fit. So against the frugal rule an expedition to WallyWorld to see what could be found.

I had ribbon, and white and silver snowflakes. In the cat toy aisle, I found the Rat King. A Barbie Fairy ornament would make a good Sugar Plum Fairy. There were ornaments shaped like wrapped candies. A child's tea set for the coffee and tea dances. Himself thought a wooden nutcracker emblazoned with his beloved Red Sox would make a good addition. Um, no. A doll for Clara, though she turned out to be not quite right. And since this is a T Day post, there's my cup of tea I sipped while I worked.

 The Young One and I liked the Nutcracker with the crooked smile, too, but his white uniform didn't really stand out.

The Rat King needed a crown. When the girlies were young teens, we found some princess rings in the party store, and we each got one. I had mine on a key chain with my old car keys. Perfect.

 I didn't realize Barbie's pose was so sassy and sexy as I was blinded by the butterfly wings.

Everything laid on the wreath and spaces were filled in with stars and ornaments from the Christmas box. Oh, I found Christmas tree earrings for Clara's Christmas tree.

 The mess that was left after all the moving, gluing, wiring, and cutting. If I had managed to score Robby the Robot, he would have cleaned up my mess. But Robby's not here with me . Deep sigh.

My tablemate, L, had sent me this little, knitted mushroom. That's the cosmic psychic connection I mentioned the other day. The little mushroom would be an homage to the tea dance from Disney's Fantasia. A perfect addition to the wreath.

The completed wreath festively hanging on the front door.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Happy Mail

On a snowy, Saturday afternoon, a box sat forlornly on the front steps. (Like it would have killed the mailman to take another step, open the porch door, and put the package in the porch)

The package was from my tablemate during the Reggie class. Last weekend, she mentioned she had a little something for me, but had forgotten it. 

Inside, a Christmas card with a lovely note. L is fond of lambs so they appear a lot in her artwork. In a tiny box was a set of kitty-face, button covers. So cute.

There was also another item which turned out to be a cosmic, psychic connection. You'll see that on Tuesday's post. 

L was the perfect tablemate. She was helpful, ready to lend an item or an ear, didn't mind the clutter on my end of the table, and she baked awesome cookies for snack time. I hope our paths cross again in another workshop.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The garden is covered in snow. During the storm, the cardinal was visiting the back birdfeeder. The sunroom window was covered with condensation and when I went to wipe off a spot to take a picture, the cardinal flew to his perch on Himself's twig.

Himself got a new toy. A movie projector that projects holiday movies on the window. There are 6 movies for Halloween and Christmas. The blurry red blobs are cardinals that help  a snowman get dressed with hat and mittens. After I snapped the image, we figured out how to focus the lens.


 Another new toy Himself got. Bells that line the walkway. They are on a motion sensor and will light and play a few Christmas carols. The motion detector must be pointed out to the street because every time a car goes by, the bells sing. They don't play if you're on the front walk and jumping and waving your arms. Ask me how I know this. Apologies for the sideways video, but someone forgets to turn the camera for video.

We got around 6 inches of snow. Looks like the plow murdered the mailbox again.

Some body was visiting the front birdfeeder.

The Japanese maple still hasn't dropped its leaves. Before the snow started Himself covered the laser camera with an orange bucket. (My idea.) So we'll be able to find and turn the laser light show on.


Path cleared to the front feeder. Then I had to stop taking pictures and get back to shoveling the front walk and clearing snow off the cars before the boss started yelling. 

Hope your garden is warmer than mine.