Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Stuff in 2014

My colleague and friend, Sue Simpson has come up with a wonderful idea to focus on the good things that happen through the year instead of being bogged down by the negative. Sue proposed a Good Things jar. Every day, you write down on a slip of paper something good that happened that day no matter how big or small. Then you put the paper in the jar. On the last night of the year, you empty the jar and read all the wonderful things that happened. I like the idea, but I'm going to keep it as a journal.

I've been blogging since 2007 and am running out of ideas for The Friday Five. Since the blog layout got a makeover, it's time for a new twist for Friday. Starting this week look for Five Good Things That Happened This Week.

Here's to a productive, healthy, and happy 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Keep Art Alive

Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples
used with permission of Gemma Black 
This is a game from Facebook to keep art alive. Leave a comment and I will assign you an artist. It doesn't matter if you don't know their work; just Google them and choose an image of the piece you like most, and post it on your wall with this message. If the artist is alive and well, you may want to write and ask permission to use one of their pieces in your blog post or on Facebook.

My artist is my good friend and teacher, Gemma Black from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. You can visit Gemma at her blog or her website, and read about the Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What's Your Word?

From a Facebook friend, found this happy little time waster. The Oxford English Dictionary Birthday Word Generator. Find out what word entered the English language the year you were born.

1955, my word: artificial intelligence

1956: Himself's word: nitpick

1988: The Eldest's word: beatbox

1992: The Young One's word: poptastic

What's your word?

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Friday Five - A Cold

Himself brought a cold home at Halloween. It took me 6 weeks to get over it. He brought another cold home with him this week. Five things about this lousy cold.

1. The annoying stuffy nose. I keep trying to tell myself breathing isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

2. The slightly more annoying runny nose. With this much fluid loss, I should be losing a pound a day. At least, having a cold would be worth it.

3. Itchy, watery eyes. Wait. That actually might be an allergic reaction to Ink. He's been a cuddle bunny lately. It's a good thing he's cute.

4. Chapped lips from having to be a mouth breather.

5. The worse symptom of all is the fatigue. Even the smallest amount of effort wipes me out for the day. Ok, that's it for me. I'm going back to bed. Hope your day is more productive than mine.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Night Visitor

Christmas Eve, ten years ago. The Eldest was 16 and The Young One 12.

 A week or so  before Christmas I was downstairs playing on the computer. I don't remember where Himself was, perhaps he was teaching his night class. Suddenly, from the garage, there was a loud bang like one of the storage boxes falling to the floor. I was shaken, but did not stir. I do not venture into the garage where the spiders live.

When Himself came home I told him about the loud noise. Himself poked his nose in the garage as it is his domain. Nothing looked odd to him so he decided I must have heard a mouse. From time to time, I have heard mice scrabbling in a wall. It was not the same sound unless this was a giant mouse.

The next night, I'm sitting at the computer and Himself is watching television. Whump!

"That is not a mouse, unless, it's a giant mouse." I felt like Sylvester the cat trying to convince others about the giant mouse.

Himself agreed. The next morning he went to the hardware store and bought a trap. A humane trap like a cage. One way in, but not way out.  He baited the trap with some leftovers. When he checked the trap in the morning, the bait was gone, but no critter in the trap. This went on for a few more days until Christmas Eve late in the afternoon. A loud bang signaled the trap had been sprung.

Himself opened the door leading from the playroom to the garage.He called us all downstairs to see.

"Aw, he's cute," cooed the girlies.

Inside the trap, worse than a mouse was a giant, rat of  possum.

"Let's name him Chris!"

"We are not naming a rat, and we most certainly aren't going to keep it."

I called the town animal control only to be told they only take care of dogs or cats. I was told I would have to call the Department of Fish and Game. Fish and Game told me it was Christmas Eve, and they wouldn't be able to do anything until a day or two after Christmas.

"Listen. I have kids. The last thing I want for them to do is to come downstairs on Christmas morning to take a peek at the critter to find he chewed his paw off trying to get out." I might have sounded slightly hysterical.

"Okay. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you can take it out and let it go.  You can't drive it out of the area, because it might have a disease, but you could let it go on your property."

And so began the big expedition. I got the flash light. Himself got a golf club to tap on the back of the trap in case Chris was too scared to budge. We got dressed in winter jackets, mittens, gloves, boots. In the dark of night with much muffled laughter, shushing, and stumbling knee deep in snow, Himself carried the cage to the corner of the woods at the back of our property where The Leaf Lady's property adjoined ours.

I was hoping we would be inconspicuous, but there was a lot of laughter, and flash light beams bouncing all over the woods. No back door lights from The Leaf Lady's house illuminated the darkness. No one screaming, "What the hell is going on?!"  A good sign. Himself opened the trap, and Chris, petrified with fright, wouldn't budge. A gentle rap on the back of the trap and Chris bounded out of the trap, across The Leaf Lady's back yard to the woods on the opposite side.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Christmas Eve 1988. The Eldest's first Christmas at six months old. We had spent a long day with my family and the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes typical in Italian households.

I had decided when I had children, I didn't want them to have the kind of Christmas I had. Christmas Eve with my grandmother and aunt and her family (Ma's side). Christmas morning was hectic with opening of gifts, a rush to Mass and then back again to Grandma's and Auntie's for Christmas Day with side trips to visit Dad's two brothers  and sisters because they lived in the same area. Inevitably, there were tears among the cousins as tensions were high, toys got broken, and the crushing noise of screaming kids and adults.

I wanted a day where Himself and I could enjoy our home and children in peace and quiet. No running all over creation seeing relatives we saw once a week or more. Our home would be open to anyone who wanted to visit, but we were not budging out of the dollhouse.

I'm getting ready to put The Eldest down for the night. I'm also looking forward to my own long, Winter's nap. Himself has the video camera and wants to film the Christmas Eve tradition of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa. This was also not a tradition I grew up with.

I'm not sure if we didn't bother with milk and cookies because it wasn't part of our Italian heritage or because The Brother was six years my senior, the tradition was old hat. By the time I was seven years old, I had a healthy dose of a Christmas reality check so maybe we just didn't bother.

So pajamaed baby in my arms and a camera rolling in my face. Himself announces we have to put out milk and cookies for Santa. Ok. I'll be a good sport. I get a dish and put a couple of cookies on it. Go to the fridge, grab the gallon of milk, and pour a glass of milk. I'm looking foward to night, night Santa.

"Mama, you forgot something."

"What? There's milk and cookies." I couldn't quite keep the irritation out of my voice.

"You forgot the carrots."

"The carrots?"

"For the reindeer." Came the cheerful reply.

I'm tired. It's been a long day. I want to go to bed. Nevermind putting the baby to bed. I'm also not good at masking my feelings. Because I'm thinking carrots for the %#@$^&$* reindeer? You have got to be kidding. You got your milk, you got your damn cookies and, now, I have to prepare carrots for the &%%^$ reindeer?

Himself is really good at reading me.

"You don't have to cook the carrots."

With baby on hip I go to the fridge, take the bag of carrots, and plunk the bag next to the milk and cookies.

"Carrots. For the...[a pause] reindeer."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice Moon

Yeah, I know everyone takes a picture of the sun on the solstice, but it was cloudy and not out at 6:30 am. Here's to longer days. Is it July, yet?

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Friday Five - Christmas Cookies

This is baking weekend. Five cookies I'll be making for the holidays.

1. Gingerbread Men. Real ones, per The Young One, not the clay creations I made for the Waters Farm Christmas tree.

2. Thumbprint Cookies filled with raspberry preserves. These will be for The Doctor Who Christmas episode. The cookies are a quick and dirty variation of the 11th. Doctor's favorite Jammy Dodgers.

3. Ma's Butter Cookies, one of her signature recipes.

4. Emily's Italian Cookies which are too die for and way better than Ma's recipe. Sorry, Ma.

5. Cowboy Cookies. I have no idea why these oatmeal and butterscotch chip cookies are called Cowboy Cookies. I like the name but will be making them with regular chocolate chips.

Do you bake any special goodies for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Stockings

were hung by the piano with care,
Because there was no fireplace in the dollhouse.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It Is...

de vine. Traditional vine motif done on recent commission.

Gouache, Schminke Gold watercolor, Pigma pen on Diploma Parchment. (Not the crappy, mottled paper sold in pads in craft stores. This is a lovely to work on, cream colored 90 lb, hot press, watercolor paper which was used for diplomas.)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Graphite

Thursday it was cold, not frigid, but temps were in the high teen or low twenties. Typical Winter weather for New England. Imagine my surprise when I came home after running errands and my house key wouldn't fit into the lock.  The key wouldn't fit into the lock all the way. The shaft fit, but not up to the shoulder of the key. WTH? Was it cold enough to freeze the locks off the brass door knob? Fortunately, for me, The Eldest was enjoying her day off from work, heard me leaning on the doorbell, and opened the front door.

The night before I had complained to Himself that I had difficulty getting the front door to unlock. He said he would spray some liquid graphite into the lock, but with his five jobs and finals week approaching, the lock never got its serving of liquid graphite.

Before leaving the house on the following, cold day, I tried the key and it still wouldn't turn in the lock. Himself had said liquid graphite, but I had no idea where he kept it. It must be stored in the garage somewhere on his work bench, but I don't often venture into areas where spiders lurk.

I did find in my tool bag, the nub of a  woodless, graphite pencil. Rubbed the pencil on all over the shaft of the key and inserted it into the lock. It fit and turned smoothly. Oh my gawd, he was right! It worked. Himself is wicked smaht.  Good thing for me because the only one  home was Ink, but without thumbs, he wouldn't have been able to unlock the door from the inside.

The pencil is now resting on the window sill inside the front porch. Just in case.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Friday Five - Friday the 13th

1. Are you afraid of a black cat crossing your path? I can't be afraid because a black cat owns me, and he crosses my path at least a hundred times in a day.

2. If you spill salt, do you toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder to keep the devil at bay? Why doesn't anyone toss pepper over their shoulder?

3. Do you avoid walking under ladders? A very good thing to do.

4. Do you knock wood three times to bring luck or ward off evil? Guilty.

5. Are you friggatriskaidekaphobic? That is, have a fear of Friday the 13th? Well, you might want to stay home today.

Are you superstitious or just regular stitious?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

On The Drawing Board

today, illuminating the vine. Drawn with Pigma Micron .01

What are you up to?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Weather Update

Today's forecast: cold with a dusting of sugar snow.

What's out your back door?

Monday, December 9, 2013

On My Front Door

This year a little something different. Found the candy cane bow and then got the idea after seeing the candy cane wreath here.

The candy cane wreath is a bit fragile. Not sure how long it will last. Left the wrappers on just in case opening and closing the door causes stress fractions.

Thinking it might need a few more silver doo-dads around the outside. What do you think?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Prissy's Wreath

It's wreath making time. This year, the wreaths came from a Boy Scout fund raiser, and the wreaths came with a beautiful, red, velvet bow.  All I had to do was to hot glue some baubles, and voilá, a wreath for my elderly neighbor, Prissy.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pantone Color of the Year 2014

Pantone, the authority on color announced the color of the year for 2014. It's called Radiant Orchid.

Meh. Pretty, but not a color I would pick. Too bridesmaid-ish. What do you think of Radiant Orchid?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Friday Five - Thoughts on Casinos

Some thoughts on the recent proposals for building a resort-style casino in Massachusetts.

1.  A few towns in Massachusetts have been voting whether or not a casino can be built.  So far, the votes have been no one wants a casino in their town. I don't really get the gambling thing. It holds no attraction for me. I've only been to a casino once in my life. We went to the casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas on our honeymoon. At the time, I didn't really understand or play any of the games. Himself got me a roll of quarters so I could play the slot machines while he went to play a few hands of Black Jack. It didn't take long for me to lose all my quarters. Twenty-eight years later, it still bothers me I lost two weeks of laundry money.

2. The casino promises to pay the town where the casino is located a sum every year. Why should a budget be based on profits from gambling? Who is ultimately going to pay for increase in services for police, fire, schools, etc.? And doesn't the idea of a casino encourage addictive behaviors like gambling? Who pays in the end? I doubt it will be the casino.

3. The casinos promise there will be jobs for town residents. What kind of jobs? Initially, there will be construction jobs for the couple two or three years until the complex is built. What's left? Low paying jobs as chamber maids? restaurant waitstaff? Won't the corporation bring in their own management?

4. Casino advertisement emphasizes that having the casino in a town will promote local business. Where? Once inside the complex, the casino doesn't want you to leave. There are hotels, shows, restaurants, entertainment. You're not going to leave the complex to buy souvenirs at the local mall.

5. If a casino is built in a predominately residential community, what happens to property values? Will they decrease because no one wants a casino in their backyard?

Just thinking.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

On The Drawing Board

Today, I'll be working on a commission. One of the things I love about my job is helping to bring a poem or a quote to life.

What are you working on?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decorating the Blog For Christmas

I wish getting the house ready was just as easy. Have you put your decorations up, yet?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Don't Eat The Cookies

because they're not cookies. Last weekend, I helped Red to make some Christmas ornaments to decorate the Waters farm house for the upcoming Chain of Lights festival. We were talking about other Victorian era decorations to make. Gingerbread men was a thought, but because the house is old (built in 1759) and in the middle of woods and fields, little critters might be tempted to invade the house.

Over the weekend, I dug out the play dough recipe I used to make my girlies during my Earth mother phase. The clay is a variation of salt dough, and I added cinnamon for coloring. The "cookies" were baked in a slow oven for a couple of hours to speed drying time (and they made the house smell fabulous!) as they need to be delivered to Red on Wednesday. Cloves for eyes and buttons, and a fine point painty pen complete the details. The boys will just need a coat of spray sealer which will hopefully, keep any critters from taking a nibble.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday

Himself is an early riser so no surprise on Friday before 6 AM that he was up. As I forced one eye open, I noticed he was not only up, but dressed.

"Going shopping?" I teased.


I looked at Himself as if he had four heads. "Are you insane? What could you possibly need that you have to go out at 6 AM to get?"

"A new shower head."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Shower Head

Thanksgiving Day, the screen for the shower spigot was clogged. When Himself went to re-attach the shower head, the plastic coupling cracked and the shower head  leaked. We had saved the metal shower head that was installed when we first renovated the bathroom four years ago., but neither of us could remember where we had put it. I figured we'd have to be like pioneers and shower under the spigot. No biggie. Then Himself found the old shower head. Happiness was a shower head that blasted water to the other side of the shower stall.

While stirring the accursed carmel mixture, I heard TV news stating a store in New Hampshire had opened at 6 AM on Thanksgiving Day.

"That's deplorable", I said to Himself. "What could you possibly need at 6 AM on Thanksgiving Day?"

"A new shower head."

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Friday Five - Inner Betty

Every once in a while, I get the urge to get creative in the kitchen and get in touch with my inner Betty. I had half a can of evaporated milk left over because Himself bought a giant can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix instead of a can of pumpkin. The can of mix requires evaporated milk. So here I am a cup left over, so I decide to make carmels.

1. The ingredients are pretty simple. White sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract.

2. The recipe directions, found here, are pretty simple. Dissolve everything and boil until the mixture reaches 250o F. Oh, yeah, you need a candy thermometer.

3. The recipe doesn't tell you, it will take days for the mixture to reach this temperature. You will be standing in front of the stove stirring and stirring until your arm falls off. If you do this while preparing your holiday meal, stir until you are one hour past the time you would put your turkey in the oven. Fortunately, we were not hosting company, and my family doesn't care when they eat.

4. I didn't have the size pan noted in the recipe so I used a 9 in. x 13 in. pan. The yield is a million carmels which must be cut and wrapped in small pieces of wax paper. The carmels are sinfully delicious. Bet they would be good melted in a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

5. Would I make them again? Not for a very long time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Did you know that every 30 days it is necessary to clean the computer screen from the inside? Many people ignore this fact and do not know how. Manufacturers take advantage of this ignorance to increase their sales. My IT guy shared this and said feel free to share this utility with my contacts. To clean the screen from the inside, click here 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Major Deal

for fans of The Six Million Dollar Man starring Lee "He'll Always Be Heath To Me" Majors: the first three seasons at $12.99 each at Target. Sweet!

Keep an eye out for seasons 4 and 5 and let me know if you find them.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ear Worm

"Wheat Thingies",  altered book spread commemorating
 July 2006 road trip to Sunrise, Minnesota, birthplace of Richard Widmark, 
This morning, I woke up with an ear worm. I know where I got it, too. On Saturday, I brought some paper, ribbons, lace and stuff over to Red's. She's on the Waters' Farm Preservation Society Board. The farm will be one of the stops on the town's Chain of Lights Festival

Red is in charge of making decorations for the farmhouse built in 1759, and I told her I would help. So a few of us sat around her kitchen table making Victorian Cone Ornaments, snowflakes and paper chains.

Talk around the table turned to preserving agricultural history through song. That's when I started thinking of

Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow.
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow.
Do you, or I, or anyone know,
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Appointment with The Doctor

If you need me today better come and find me before 2:50 PM ET. I have a very important appointment with The Doctor for the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Friday Five - In Memoriam

2. September 1918 - 14. November 2013
A week ago Thursday evening, my Ma quietly passed away. She was 95 years old. Five things about Ma

1. She graduated from East Boston High School in 1935 at the age of 16. She was the shortest girl in the whole school and at school assemblies and functions she led the entire school into the auditorium.

2. There were only two ways of doing things. The wrong way and Ma's way. Even in your own home, Ma would tell you when it was time to clear the table and do the dishes. I have no doubt she's whipping Heaven into order.

3. When she was a kid, someone told her Chinese food was made with cat meat. She never ate Chinese food, and she wasn't fond of cats. She was also superstitious and would cringe when Ink would walk past her.

4. Ma cured a headache with a bowl of water and a tablespoon of olive oil. Italians will understand the ritual.

5. She loved her home and cooking and cleaning. She was an immaculate housekeeper.(I didn't inherit this gene). Curtains and bedspreads were changed twice a year with the Spring and Fall cleaning. The living room furniture was covered in plastic. She would go to bed early, right after supper after the kitchen was cleaned. She'd get up at 3am or 4am to do her housework before she left for work at 7 am. She would spend weeks and days before family celebrations cooking and cleaning (and also working in the factory). If she got tired when we had company over, she'd excuse herself and go to the bathroom to take a power nap. It was her little secret we weren't supposed to know.

Some of you know that in 2006, I became Ma's chauffeur and started a blog called Whine and Cheeze to find the funny in dealing with elderly parents and Old People's Disease (OPD). One of the places Ma loved to go was The Mahket and because some of you really enjoyed the Mahket stories, here are five of them. And yes, Little Debbies are involved. Enjoy!






Ma's obituary is here

Well, Ma, I miss having cups of tea with you (and Marie (my MIL)), I miss your ravioli, eggplant Parmigiana, and pizzelle (Italian waffle cookies). I even miss butting heads with you, but I don't miss the excursions to the Mahket. Givadien.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sometimes A Banana

I had a dream the other night. I tried to remember as much as I could, but as usually happens with dreams, one is left with a wispy fragment.

The dream started in a school or some sort of  building with rooms on either side of a long corridor. The corridor is well lit as are the rooms. There's a lot of activity going on. Apparently, I was supposed to teach a class, and I was looking for my room.

There's a location shift or else a huge chunk of dream I can't remember or having a dream about teaching a class, but not being able to find the classroom is boring. I'm outside a row of triple-decker houses like the kind my Auntie and Grandma lived in East Boston. My new blue car is parked in front of one of the houses though I don't recognize any of the houses and don't know anyone who lives there. My car is not parallel parked as you usually find in the city. My car is nosed in like you would park in a driveway. Course this might be because I can't parallel park to save my soul, and I avoid the task at all costs.

I'm standing on the passenger side of the car. The door is open, and I'm cleaning the dashboard. Only the dash is made of glass, and I can see the gleaming parts of the engine, wheels, curb, and street. I'm industriously cleaning the glass with a blue microfiber cloth. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice an older woman standing next to my car, in front of one of the houses. She is holding a large pot of chicken soup. She's the mother of one of my colleagues at the museum. He recently had emergency surgery and was home recovering (for real, not just in the dream). Holding her pot of chicken soup, his Ma calls his name. No answer. She calls again. And again no answer. So she calls louder and uses his given name. "Andrew!" He had once said his Ma was the only one to call him by his given name. He comes out of the house and takes the soup pot, and he an his mother go in the house. They do not notice me, and I pretend I'm not eavesdropping or notice them. I just continue cleaning the glass dashboard of my car.

Now comes the weird part. Actor, Lee Marvin, the villain in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance comes out of the house I'm parked in front of. Apparently, he was inside scrubbing the bathtub. A couple of people come out of the house after him. They are discussing what they should do for him. Someone says, "When someone does you a kindness, aren't you supposed to do a kindness back?" I recognize this line from The Little Princess starring Shirley Temple. Again, I'm invisible to Marvin and the other players. I'm just busy cleaning the glass dashboard.

That's all I can remember. I have no idea what any of it means other than sometimes, a banana is just a banana.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Labyrinth

When Himself and I dropped off my artwork for Light at the Golden Thread Gallery, the gallery director invited us to follow the path to the labyrinth.

The gallery is in the Holy Family Retreat Center. The center is nestled in woodlands. There are marked paths to wander for contemplation. Benches to sit and rest awhile and in the middle of the woods, a labyrinth to walk.

Unlike a maze which is design to trick and confuse a person, a labyrinth is designed to guide you to the center and to bring you back out. The labyrinth is symbolic of life with twists and turns. At the center of this labyrinth was a stone circle created by stone mason, Dan Sieracki. There is no mortar holding the stones together. Just their weight and position of a keystone.

The path was wide enough that Himself and I were able to walk the labyrinth side by each. The woods were eerily quiet and still beautiful even though most of the trees had lost their leaves. Under the influence of too many movies and an overactive imagination, I thought there should have been a flaming eye in the center of the stone circle.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


During the day, I'm apt to catch sight of certain numbers. It started with Himself telling me he sees 11:11 on digital clock faces. My number is 8:18 which happens to be our anniversary (and Robert Redford's birthday). Now, I see both his number and mine.

Are these significant numbers? Messages from the Universe or just coincidence?

Saturday, November 16, 2013


16. November 2013 to 4. January 2014

The Golden Thread Gallery
At Holy Family Retreat Center
303 Tunxis Road

 W.Hartford, CT 06107

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Friday Five - All is Lost

Teague and I went to see Robert Redford in All Is Lost. It's the story of a man sailing alone in the Indian Ocean when his sailboat has a collision with a shipping container.

1. This is a minimalist story. There is no back story as to who he is, why he's there, or about love interests or family.

2. Redford is amazing as he tells the story without much dialog. I would have been screaming colorful phrases  because that's how I roll when I get really upset.

3. The story is about spirit and ingenuity.

4. Hope is the driving force

5. There were lots of tight close-ups of Redford. I wish he had done this movie thirty or forty years ago when he was still drop dead gorgeous.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We Won

Bupkiss! Guess we won't be giving up our day jobs any time soon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Dad, age 23 yrs.
Military Service: 3. March 1942 - 25. December 1945

SEARCHLIGHT N.C.O.: Directed and supervised crew in operating searchlights utilized in detection and illumination of enemy aircraft or naval craft. May direct various crew chiefs by telephone, designating targets to be tracked and relaying information.on approaching aircraft. Has knowledge of Fighter Squadron searchlight tactics.
Served 26 months in the Pacific Theatre of Operations with
Battery B., 350 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Searchlight Battalion.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Recurring Dream Theme

Still from 9/ 2012 video showing SDO's view of the sun being
partially blocked by Earth. Credit: NASA/SDO 
I have a recurring dream theme. I dream of incredible sky and star vistas in gorgeous shades of blue. The dreamscapes rival the images from Hubble telescope. I don't have these dreams often usually when everything is going well, no stress, no worries. It's been quite some time since I've had one of these dreams.

This week I dreamt of a solar eclipse. It's the first time I've ever dreamt of an eclipse and most likely it was induced by the decongestants I was popping like candy. Not my usual glorious blues, the image was still beautiful in its fiery hues. Besides the eclipse, I have a hazy recollection of two giant figures holding on either side like supporters in a coat of arms. That's all I can remember. I should have written about it right after I woke up from the dream. Still things are going well, and life is good in spite of the nasty cold that won't let me go.

Do you have recurring dreams?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Friday Five

Five movies I want to see.

1. All is Lost with my hero, Robert Redford. Teague and I were supposed to go see it on its opening day, but I got whacked with a cold I can't seem to shake.

2. Thor, The Dark World. I like the action films from the Marvel pantheon and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is packaged nicely.

3. Captain Phillips, the story of the captain of an American cargo ship that was hijacked by pirates. I like Tom Hanks

4. Carrie the remake. The ending of the original film with Sissy Spacek in the title role scared the willies out of me when I saw it at the theater for the first time eons ago. The original was silly in places, but I had a crush on William Katt who played the young man who takes Carrie to the prom. Piper Laurie who played Carrie's whackjob of a mother in the original was magnificent. Not sure how Julianne Moore will measure up in that role.

5. Gravity. The trailer looked pretty good for this sci-fi adenture, but this film got so much hype I wonder if it's just lost in space.

Have you seen any of these movies?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Jury is In

The Candle, 8 in. x 10 in. acrylic on canvas
Tuesday, I wasn't feeling well, was moping around and then received word the piece I had submitted to The Golden Thread Gallery for their upcoming show, Light. was accepted into the show. Yup, i felt instantly better.

I chose to interpret a quote from Edith Wharton: "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. I let my wick burn out--- there yet remains to spread an answering surface to the flame that others kindle."

Entering juried shows is always such a gamble. So much to wonder about. Did I interpret the theme correctly? is my work edgy enough? Too edgy? Too traditional? Not traditional enough? And the list goes on and on.  For me, the biggest hurdle was entering. I'm trying to make more of an effort to put myself "out there." Being accepted is icing on the cake.

If you're in the area of W. Hartford, Connecticut, the show opens on  16. November 2013 and runs through 5. January 2014. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Land Line

I've been thinking of dumping my land line home phone in favor of my cellphone. As it is when I leave the house, I have the land line calls transferred to my cellphone. And the only reason I do this is to be in contact with the nursing home if a problem happens. Otherwise the only calls coming on the land line are telemarketers, or political candidates.  We'd save a little bit of money over the year which would be a plus.

Just curious. Do you still use a home phone land line or have you gone cellular?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Standard Time

Don't forget. Fall back to Standard Time. If you are in the USA, set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed tonight. (Unless you live in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and America Samoa. These states and protectorates do not observe daylight savings time and remain on Standard Time all year round)