Monday, February 29, 2016

Why?

I always wondered why when it came time to choose a  day to keep the calendar in line with the Earth rotating around the sun, the day was put at the end of February. I mean, really, who thought it would be a great time to add a day at the end of Winter? I'm sure Antipodeans could complain, too. Who wants an extra day in the blistering heat? Why wasn't a day added in Spring or Fall when weather in both hemispheres would be mild?

While hunting around for Leap Day facts, I disccovered, Julius Caesar introduced the leap day to his Julian caldender in 45 BCE. Back then Leap Day was 24. February as February was the last month of the year. Now it makes sense.  Though I'd still prefer a day where everyone could enjoy nice, outdoor, or sun room weather.
Oh, and don't confuse Leap Day with Sadie Hawkins Day. They are two different holidays. Sadie Hawkins Day is 15. November.

So, Happy Leap Day!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Political Game - Part 2

Here are the answers to yesterday's Political Game

1. To play a card when another suit was led or a presidential candidate? - Trump

2. A Massachusetts, Michigan, or New York town or a presidential candidate? - Clinton

3. A shrub or a presidential candidate? - Bush

4. An Italian explorer who visited the Khan? Marco Rubio

5. A power tool or a presidential candidate? Sanders

6. 19th. century American scout or a presidential candidate? Carson

7. Vacation on a boat or ship or a presidential candidate? Cruz

How'd you do?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Political Game - Part 1

Himself was listening to the Loren and Wally Show on WROR on his morning commute. They played a game Presidential Candidate or Something Else.  Want to play?

1. To play a card when another suit was led or a presidential candidate?

2. A town in Massachusetts, Michigan, or New York or a presidential candidate?

3. A shrub or a presidential candidate?

4. Italian explorer who visited the Khan or a presidential candidate?

5. Power tool or a presidential candidate?

6. 19th. century American scout or a presidential candidate?

7. Vacation on a boat or ship or a presidential candidate?

Check back tomorrow for the answers.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Heard some chirping outside. Went to look out the front window hoping to spot a bluebird. Instead a female cardinal had stopped by. Cardinals always make me think of my folks. Hi, Ma!

2. Himself and I binged watched some Kung Fu starring David Carradine. I teased Himself that the black belt tests (4 so far) that he has taken were wimpy compared to Cain having to burn a tiger and a dragon on the insides of his arms.

3. Got my wish and saw a bluebird at the front feeder

4.Stopped to pick up a few things at Michael's. This week was a coupon for 20% off the entire purchase. Sale is my second favorite, four-letter word.

5. Yesterday, the sun was out for a bit, and the temperature in the sun room was 65 oF, I took my paints and went to work out in the sun room. Can you say Spring Fever?

How was your week?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Graceful Envelope Contest Stamps

These are the stamps I'm using for my contest entry. This year's theme is communication.

What stamps did you choose?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tea Time

From a jumble of boxes all different sizes to a neatly organized shelf. Found these perfectly sized (1.5 Qt) containers by Softworks. I can easily find a tea to suit my fancy. English Breakfast to start off the morning. Reliable Tetley. Tea Time, Cinnamon Stick, or Early Grey for a fancy afternoon or last cup in the evening. Chai for a cold day. Herbal and De-caf for Red, when she visits.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. I received an un-Valentine card. Really made me laugh and brightened my day, Robin. Thank you.

2. Himself burned me two CDs filled with Oldies tunes for Valentine's

3. Tempeatures were below bitterly cold, Himself was able to start and move my car. Thanks, Kid.

4. While running errands, I listened to one of the Oldies CDs. So nice to be able to listen to good music, no commercials, and no inane chatter from DJs or announcers.

5. Worked on my Graceful Envelope contest entry. I finally got a layout I'm happy with. It's already to be inked and colored. Contest deadline is 28. February.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday

I was a latch key kid. Only at the time, I didn't know that. We didn't have a word for it back then. Just my mother worked so I had my own key to let myself in the house after school. I got my own key when I was 7 years old. I'm sure the blue key isn't the original, but it was the key I carried the longest, and I still have on my keychain. Now it's just a silly, old, sentimental thing.

I wore the key on a keyring that I attached to the button hole of my uniform jumper when I was in parochial school. The rules were clear when I got home from school. I was to let myself in and lock the door and do my homework. No friends allowed in the house, and when I hit my teen years, the rule was ammended to NO BOYS in the house.

I remember 4 times when I was between the ages of 7 to 9 when I forgot my key and was locked out of the house.

On time. I went next door to get Himself to help me. He brought his kid brother, B. with him. My parents' house had a big, bow window in front with five panels divided into 15 small panes. The top two panes on either side opened up. We got a ladder and a screwdriver out of the garage. Himself  positioned the ladder, climbed up and was able to pry to the window open. B was little enough to be able to wriggle through the small window with a helpful boost. I seem to remember B went through the window head first and grabbed onto the wide windowsill before tumbling to the floor. Once inside, B unlocked the door for me.

Another time. B must not have been around and Himself and I were too big to go through the small window. Either that or the windows had been latched. My Dad had built a small, enclosed porch at the back of the house. You could gain entry to the porch by going through the garage. There was a flimsy door that had a dead bolt and a hook and eye lock. Usually the only one in use was the hook and eye. Again, with the trusty screwdriver, Himself was able to wedge the screwdriver between the door jamb to flip up the hook. He used the same technique with a bit more patience to push the lock bolt back with the screwdriver.

A third time. The only way to gain entry to the house was through the new, steel bulkhead. The new bulkhead had some sort of spring mechanism to open. I seem to recall we sprung the doors to open them. (My dad was not happy). Himself used the trusty screwdriver to open the cellar door so I could get in.

Breaking into my parents' house took 10 to 15 minutes.

A fourth time. This actually must have been the first time I got locked out of the house. I was 7 years old. It was a nice, sunny Fall day. I was wearing a navy blue light weight coat. No one was around so I sat on the front steps. I was home from school by 2:30 PM and Ma didn't get home from work until after 5 PM. Nothing to do but read and wait. It wasn't too bad until the sun went down. Then it got really cold. I was practically frozen to the steps when Ma got home.

Were you a latch key kid?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Padre Paolino

pens prophetic prose and poetry while precious putti placidly play peek-a-boo.

Got a story?


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Frosted Trees

A stunning collaboration between seasonal painter, Jack Frost, and Mother Nature is now on display in the Sun Room Gallery.

Frost's creation on glass of stylized, frozen trees is superimposed over the canvas of Mother Nature. For a fleeting moment, time is captured inside a snowglobe.

Don't miss your opportunity to see this ephermeral display before temperatures rise above freezing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. The Young One and I rented Tim Burton's 9 from YouTube, of all places. Did you know you can pay per view movies from YouTube for $4?

2. Classes were cancelled the night before the storm. Unheard of to cancel that early, but no complaints from me. Everyone was safe at home.

3. Ordered two (new to me) essential oils. They arrived earlier than expected. Ordered Young Living's Dragon Time and SclarEssence.

4. I drove through the snow. Ok, predicted snow squalls turned out to be flurries, but I still drove through them.

5. Predicted squalls didn't appear the day I had planned to have lunch and spend the afternoon with my friend, Teague. Usually, when we try to get together, there's a blizzard, or plague, or some other disaster. Not this time. Cold, but sunny.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday

After the holidays while on a grocery shopping trip with Himself, we stopped at a local market, Goretti's. I was excited to find on the markdown shelf, Torrone, an Italian nougat candy. I grew all nostalgic. My Grandma always had these treats for us for the holidays and special occasions.

The almond nougat came in different flavors, lemon, orange, and vanilla with an edible wafer top. I liked to try to peel the wafer off eat that first, and then the candy. The nougat was packaged in tiny boxes. Grandma's candies came from Italy so the packaging was printed in Italian.

The Ferrara nougat is made in New Jersey. I thought the kind Grandma got was a bigger portion, or maybe as a little kid, it just seemed like a big, chewy chunk of Heaven. The Ferrara nougat was just as delicious, and a happy memory of Grandma.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

School Cancellation Rant

Well-known fact: I don't like snow, and I especially don't like driving in it. Always relieved when school and businesses cancel because of snow. But waiting for all the Bishops, Catholics, Holies, and Saints to scroll by can be agonizing waiting to see your school come up on the scroll. Can we, please, shorten the list? Private and parochial schools. How about if your town cancels school, you tell students and their parents, your school is cancelled, too. No need to call in to the television and radio stations. That way, the rest of us won't die waiting for the Saints to go marching in.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Je Suis PrĂȘt

Started filling up the water buckets when the electricity came back on after the last storm. Now that I've gone through the ritual of filling the buckets, we won't have any problems.

Himself went out yesterday to get gas for the generator to keep the sump pump singing. We'll also be able to run the microwave and keep cell phones charged. Though because he went through this ritual, we won't have any problems. I'm not complaining.

The college made the close announcement early last night so we didn't have to set the alarm to get up early to milk the chickens. The Eldest is taking night classes and her college closed, too.  Everyone will be safe at home today.

I hope this Winter isn't a repeat of last Winter. We didn't get much snow until the end of January and then we had block buster storms every weekend in February until we racked up 9 feet of snow.

After this storm, I won't empty the water buckets until Winter is over. I'm ready.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Coloring Pages Stories

I've been having fun coloring the pages from the Bodleian Library coloring book. Coloring is very meditative, but I've also been making up stories about the pictures.


Top panel: Man in Green: He was with my wife, first. I demand satisfaction.
                  Man in Red: He was with my wife, first. I demand satisfaction.
                  Man Tied to Horse: Actually, gentleman, I was with the horse first.

Bottom Panel: Man in Red: I'm the leader. We go this way.
                        Man in Blue: I'm the leader. We go that way.
                        Man in Yellow: I need coffee. Look, there's a Dunkies!

What's your story?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Listen

National Kid has us covered when
the electricity goes out.
I wasn't prepared for the storm. Initial forecasts predicted 2 to 4 inches of snow for my area with 4 to 8 inches south and east. We were straddling the line. Still, the storm wasn't going to be a block buster though a nuisance as it would make the morning commute a mess.

We were up at 5 AM, to listen to no school reports. There were no classes at the college where Himself teaches, but the faculty had a professional day schedule. The professional days are part of their contract so attendance is mandatory. At 5:30 AM, we saw Himself's college scroll by. Hooray, a snow day! I went back to bed.

When I woke u a couple of hours later and looked out the window, it was snowing hard.There was already a good 4 inches of snow on the ground and snow was predicted all day. I wondered if I should fill up the water buckets just in case the electricity went out. Himself didn't think the storm would be bad. Yeah, it probably wouldn't be that bad and I ignored my gut feeling.

Shortly after I finished my cup of tea, the electricty went out. I was able to navigate the National Grid site to report the outage though the site was painfully slow as electrical service in other towns began to fail due to the heavy wet snow. Navigating the Internet on the cellphone was excrutiatingly slow, too, as Verizon service dropped from 4G to my grandma can run faster and she's been dead for 35 years.

I sent a text to Red who live in the next town west and south of me. She still had electricity and she was able to check the National Grid Outage Map. Electricity was expected to be back on by 1:30 PM. Not too bad. We don't have an alternate heat source (i.e. no fireplace or wood stove). The temperature in the house wouldn't drop that quickly. Food in the fridge would be ok, too, and if the electricity was out longer, food could be put on the porch. The only issue was going to be no water to flush the toilet.

I phoned Prissy just to make sure she was ok. She was fine though wished she had had a second cup of coffee. I told her we wouldn't have long to wait before the electricity came back on.

Kudos to National Grid for getting the electricity turned on an hour before the expected time. I heard later the outage was due to a tree limb taking power lines down somewhere on my road.

So, the moral of the story? Listen to your gut feeling. (Or don't listen to Himself (-; ). The weather dudes are talking about two more potential storms for Monday into Tuesday.  After the electricity came on, I had a second cup of tea, flushed the toilet, and filled up some water buckets. Just in case.


Friday, February 5, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Made it to Town Hall from an appointment in Wellesley before noon (Town Hall closes at noon on Fridays) to pay the taxes.

2. I "met" my fifth cousin on my father's side of the family through Ancestry.com

3. I'm enjoying the Bodleian Library's coloring book and the #surelysimplelettering fill-in challenge prompts on Instagram.

4. Found a free app, iWatermark, to add a watermark to photographs on the camera roll. Giving it a try before buying the app. So far, so good.

5. Passed the pizza dough recipe to The Eldest, and we made pizza together.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday

I wore shoes similiar to the picture on a trip to Minnesota for a Western Writers' Convention. Ok, it was for fan fic writers of the 60s television series, The Big Valley. The Young One had come with me because she reminded me as I was making travel plans, I had taken The Eldest to a calligraphy convention when The Eldest was 10 years old. The Young One was 16 years old and had never flown on an airplane. So I took my similar shoes and the Young One to Minnesota.

On the last day of our stay, a riverboat brunch cruise on the Mississippi had been arranged. The Young One and I were waiting to board with our group. A flock of elderly ladies approached us. (They were probably the same age I am now. What a difference in perspective a few years makes.)

This group of women suddenly swarmed around The Young One and me.  They were "oohing" and "aahing" over my shoes. I politely told the ladies what catalog I had found the shoes in when they asked.

Now, I don't have an Inner Child. A combination of  being from New England, a strict upbringing reinforced by parochial school produced my Inner Puritan. I am reserved by nature especially around strangers. I don't like hugs from strangers or other public displays of affection. So when the ladies reached down and began petting and fondling my shoes, my little Inner Puritan  looked liked:



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pace Matters by Nick Benson



A friend sent me a link to a Tedx talk by Nick Benson, owner of the John Stevens shop in Newport, RI. Mr. Benson is a 3rd generation stone carver. His message not only applicable to artists, but a good message for everyone. Enjoy.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Colouring Book Project.

The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is running a coloring, pardon me, colouring project for the first 5 days of February. Go here to download the free coloring book full of illustrations from their collection.

Print the book and have fun. The Library asks you share your drawings on Twitter from February 1 to February 5. Use the hashtag #ColorOurCollections and @bodleianlibs in your Tweet.

If the coloring book illustrations don't float your boat, the Library suggests you search their collection and print out illustrations that are more appealing to you.

I printed the coloring pages on Diploma Parchment, a lovely paper that takes ink and paint well.  I'm going to use this project as a personal challenge through the entire month.