Friday, May 26, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Played with new art supplies.

2. Late to the party, binge watched Game of Thrones. Just finished season 2. Five more seasons to go before the new season begins in July. C'mon HBO upload the rest of the series!

3. As part of a genealogy project, I was trying to remember an Italian nursery rhyme. I could only remember a word or two. After a lot of hunting, I found it online!

4. The lawn got mowed before another bout of rain. Though my beautiful dandelions and wishes are gone, the lawn no longer looks like a hayfield.

5. Didn't feel like cooking so I ordered Five Guys. Just needed that Little Bacon Cheeseburger lovin'

How was your week?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Ma's father, without a hat. Dad's father, tall gentleman
in the back.
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:

At this time The Depression was in and things began to get tough.

My father's factory shut down and he had to hustle and seek work, but the people who kept him busy did not buy custom made clothes on a regular basis as they were hit hard as well.

There were no more Saturday afternoons of card playing. His friends were lucky and kept working in other trades. In any event, he was hurt. They played at my Uncle Mike's house. He was married to my mother's sister.

Once my mother told him to forget the so called friends. He told her that what bothered him was that he just wanted them to invite him once. He would not accept because he couldn't afford to ante up to play. At least he would know that they cared about him. He then got chummy with the Arianese [ed: area in Italy], your mother's  people. Who had a reputation of being thick-headed.

In Europe at the time, they held to class. Royal, rich, middle class, and poor. Your grandparents were on the lower side of the Italian boot. Farm country. And not as well educated.

Italy is occupied by 22-23 different peoples. They were brought together by Garibaldi whose idea was to bring them under on person, The King.

They were able to come together and work together under a king. Yet, each national group maintained their own culture. And they seemed to have done well in their efforts, economic, industrial and performing arts. With an attitude of what you can do, I can do better. And they succeeded.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

T Stands for Errand Day

Two weeks ago, Himself had the day off from school as it was finals week, and he didn't have a final exam scheduled. (If you're new to the blog or just forgot, Himself is a chemistry professor and teaches at a community college just outside of Boston)

One of his errands was to renew his driver's license and car registration. A trip to the Registry of Motor Vehicles is never fun. The state closed several offices so trying to find an office that is conveniently located, has adequate parking, and short lines and wait time can be difficult. Himself had heard that if one is a AAA (American Automobile Association) member, you can do license and registration renewal at AAA offices.

With the amount of running around to be done and the potential for waiting in lines, fortification was needed. As it turned out, the AAA office is close to Friendly's Family Restaurant and Ice Cream. During the week, Friendy's offers 50% off your entire breakfast. You can't go wrong with that.

Himself was a good sport and patiently waited while I photographe our breakfast.
 We both ordered the Big Two-Do breakfast. Two eggs (we had them scrambled), 2 strips of bacon (me), 2 sausage (Himself) and we both had the French Toast. I had a cup of tea and since Himself doesn't like tea or coffee, he had a Coke (beverage of champions). By the time we got moving and out of the house, breakfast was really brunch.

After breakfast, we walked over to the AAA office. No one else was there to renew a license or registration, so the whole process was very quick. Himself had been thinking that keeping AAA membership for emergency road service was a waste of money. Most car dealers offered emergency roadside assistance for free. Himself decided that not waiting in line at the Registry was worth the price of membership.

The view from the office . Glad we didn't have to be there at night as the area wouldn't be well lit.

After AAA, Himself had to go pick up his CPAP machine which had been repaired. He uses the CPAP when he sleeps because he has sleep apnea. The office wasn't too far away from the restaurant and AAA, but it was in a desolate office park. There were tiny signs to direct you to the building, The building was locked up tighter than Fort Knox. One had to wait to be buzzed in and then forced to sit in a drab, dinky waiting area. It was a very creepy place.

 On the return trip home, I asked if we could stop at Michael's craft store at the mall. I was looking for a small, portable cutting board to use for teaching workshops. I have two cutting boards, but both are big and bulky.
Wandering through the store, I saw the removable tape Reggie wants us to use in class. While at Staples I had purchased 3 rolls, so was happy to see Michael's also carried the tape as Michael's is closer

There were several cutting boards to choose from, and I spent a few minutes debating which to buy.

I finally decided on one that was a bit more expensive than I wanted to spend, but it also doubled as a scoring board, and I had a coupon for 40% off. The scoring tool stored in a slot on the side of the cutting board and the board folded in half which would take up less space in the tool bag. 

After Micheal's, we stopped at Great Clips to get our haircut. The salon is two miles from the house and in the new shopping area (grocery store, 5 Guys Hamburgers, Starbuck's, nail salon, bank, dentist office) The hair salon was offering a $5.99 haircut special.

After our busy morning, it was time to go home to a well-deserved nap.

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, May 22, 2017

Knotwork Bookmarks

Saturday last was the final meeting for the calligraphy workshop at the Worcester Public Library. The class began with practicing letters before moving on to the make and take bookmark.

Greeting card from the week before.


More practice

And more practice

And more practice

The students made remarkable progress in such a short time.

The bookmark design was a simplified ring and ribbon knot designed by Mark van Stone and published in The Speedball Textbook. Each student worked on the same knot to get an idea how the knot was constructed.

When they finished the first bookmark, with the remaining time, they could work on constructing the knot as part of the letter.

I think everyone enjoyed the class. I know I did. If the students didn't learn anything else, they learned an appreciation for hand done work and how long it takes to create something whether it's a card, bookmark, knitting, crochet or other art/craft.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Potential wishes

New garden kite. An origami crane

Morning glories and moon flowers planted in Ink's garden

Behind Ink's garden. More morning glories and moon flowers along the trellis
Milkweed in the front row.
How does your garden grow?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Chinese Ideograms

One of the enjoyable benefits of teaching is I get to learn new things, too. A husband and wife duo in the library workshop are Chinese. The husband had learned Chinese calligraphy, and he showed me some ideograms. 

He showed me how to count and used Roman numerals to show similarities. The ideogram to the right of the Roman numeral 8 means Ten Thousand Years. It is used to wish a long life. Like Spock from Star Trek's "Live long and prosper."

Since we were making greeting cards, he wrote out I love you. He explained the middle symbol is the ideogram for heart. It looks like a heart, too.

Then he wrote the ideogram for Luck. He said in many Chinese businesses, you would see this symbol hung upside down. The reasoning is luck would be attracted and would stay bringing the business and owner good fortune. Similar to the idea a horseshoe is hung up like the letter "U". Luck runs out if a horseshoe is hung upside down.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Ben Dover doing the languidly homework was featured as Reggie's Pick of the Week. Too funny.

2. Himself is now the same age as me.

3. Enjoyed perfect sunroom weather. Planted the milkweed Red gave me. Milkweeds attract monarch butterflies.

4. Had a free energy audit done. We're thinking about putting in mini-split, ductless air conditioning, and heating units. MassSave offers a no interest loan, but to qualify, you have to have the energy audit done. The auditors also installed a new, programmable thermostat in the basement, and exchanged incandescent bulbs for new LEDs.

5. Art supplies from Dick Blick arrived a day early.

How was your week?

Thursday, May 18, 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:

Also, my sister, Olga, at this time was assigned to take Bobby outdoors. I would take the carriage down 3 flights of stairs and she would take him down. And in due course, she would bring him upstairs, and I would take the carriage upstairs.

Bobby was growing and putting on weight and one day she dropped him on the stairs. This upset mother. And I took over, I must have been 12 years old at the time. [ed: Bobby would have been 2 years old]. So I would take the carriage downstairs, put a milk bottle in my back pocket and take him down.

In Winter when it snowed, we would pile the snow against a fence and make a big mountain and then in the freeze we would create a door and clean the snow out and we would have an igloo so to speak. And it was well built some of the boys would go on the top which was flat and jump up and down to make the roof fall on those inside. It never happened in my year that we built this igloo.

In the Spring, we would play baseball. One Spring, I went to the play spot with the boys. I saw a ring and two boys were boxing with boxing gloves. Two brothers were encouraging their younger brother and when I got there he had already beaten 4 or 5 boys. I watched and he did the same two moves. The little I watched I saw the loser just throwing punches but they weren't trying to fend off the blows. No one else wanted to box this champ.

I was asked to fight. I didn't want to. But I was being teased about being a sissy and that did it. The older boys put the gloves on me. Gave me advice and told me to block, duck, etc. to avoid getting hit.

We touched gloves and stepped back. Now my opponent would get a surprise. In sports, I'm left-handed. He had been boxing right-handed boys. He was puzzled when I made my stance with my right on his left. He threw the first punch and I blocked it and him good with my right. Up to this time he had done well. I kept hitting him and his brothers coached him from the sideline to fall down. And as the count climbed up, would tell him to get up. This kid was the bully on that end of the street and all the boys were for me. I was beating him good. But then this was my first. He had been meeting all challenges and was tired, I think. He wasn't fast and he seemed slow.

Anyway, this first fight gave me a reputation. And I got into a number of fights, I didn't want to but I did not walk away from one.

One of the older boys was 20 years old and I was about 12 years old. Wanted to spar with his peers but they refused. He asked me to box with him and he said he wouldn't hit me.

I accepted and we boxed in his cellar. He would give me points and I was learning how to box. I learned a lot but he didn't learn anything from me as I had nothing to teach him.

And as I went along I also became quite a boxer. I got into a lot of to-dos. And the thing that got me going was when I got to take care of Bobby. Calling me sissy or mama's boy brought my fist in action and that put a stop to that.

There were other escapades and that was not what my mother and father expected. It seemed I was always getting into some trouble.

I spent a good part of an afternoon trying to beat up my best friend. He was taller than I was. At the time he was studying music, violin, and he was told that if he wanted a career not to injure his hands as violin required all fingers to be played. His reach was longer to so what he did was to put his palm on my forehead and keep me swinging in the air. He also had a protruding chest bone and hitting him there did him no harm. His name was Leonard (Leo) Rossitti.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

T Stands for Thoughtful

I was craving donuts/doughnuts. I haven't had a donut in a long time. Sunday morning, Himself ventured out to slay the donuts. He brought back a box of my favorite, Bavarian Cream. Because of Mother's Day, Dunkin' Donuts made some of their donuts heart-shaped. So cute and delicious. He also brought me a cup of Vanilla Chai tea. Himself is so thoughtful, and I am so grateful.

Today is also Himself's birthday. Happy Birthday, Kid!

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, May 15, 2017

Greeting Cards

Saturday last was the second day of the calligraphy workshop I taught at the Worcester Public Library. The students have been learning  Uncial or Celtic hand which was used across Europe from the 4th to the 9th centuries (CE) across Europe. The writing has been associated mostly with Ireland.

The first week, using calligraphy markers, students learned the basics of this calligraphic hand. On Saturday, they put their new found skill to work to create greeting cards. The library provided the supplies. I brought in bits and pieces of decorative papers for the students to use. (No, not generous. Helps clean out the stash.)

Learning to rule up plain paper

Following the exemplar


More practice

Decorating the front of the card


Front of card

Front of card
One thing I enjoy is seeing the different variations on the same theme. I think the students did a great job and had a wonderful time. I know I did.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Prezzie

My friend, Frauee, is a German teacher from Mason City, Iowa. (Home of  Meredith Wilson famous for The Music Man) Frauee's German 4 students designed a tee shirt for a fundraiser. (I think it was for a fundraiser) The students used the Bavarian coat of arms and the blue fusils (diamonds) mostly associated with Bavaria. Bavaria is where Frauee's heart lies. The students did a great job with their design.

I had tried to order a shirt but heard about the fundraiser too late to get my order in on time. Frauee told me if a second printing was done, she'd let me know. Of course, she didn't let me know, but sent me the shirt anyway. Yeah, she's very generous that way.

If the front is spectacular the back is even better. You got to have a name printed on the back of the shirt. What could be more perfect for a Little Princess? Danke sehr, Frauee. Das Hemd ist ausgezeichnet! Ich mag es sehr gern.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

So Big

Monday, May 8, Morning Glories (left) Moonflowers (right)
In one week's time, the morning glories and moonflowers have gotten so big. If the weather warms up and it stops raining, I'll be able to transplant the seedlings outside.

Saturday, May 13, Moonflowers (left) and Morning Glories (right)