Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Because The Brother is six years older than I am, my tastes were a little older than my peers. The Brother controlled the television, music, and games. In 1962, The Brother was in 8th grade, and I was in 2nd grade. Ben Hur (1959) starring Charlton Heston was playing in a theater in Boston. Because the movie was sub-titled A Tale of the Christ the nuns at the parochial school we attended wanted to see it. Personally, I think they wanted to ogle the the buff Charlton Heston.

The 7th and 8th graders got to go on a field trip to see the movie. The rest of the school got left behind. My eyes turned green, and my nose was bent out of joint at the unfairness of being too little.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


 While watching the half day long because of all the commericals Ten Commandments (I thought we had the movie on DVD, but we have the movie on VHS and no longer have a VHS player), I saw a trailer for a remake of Ben-Hur.

I love the 1959 version of Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston. He will always be Judah Ben-Hur to me. It's the version I grew up seeing and the version I can watch over and over.

For my dad, Judah Ben-Hur was Ramon Novarro who played the title role in the 1925 silent classic. I haven't seen this version.

The latest remake is slated to hit the movie screens sometime in August. Jack Huston plays Judah and Morgan Freeman has the role of Ilderim, the Sheik who owned the chariot and team of white horses Judah drives in the famous race (at least the 1959 version).

I'm not sure what another remake will add. Certainly, it will be hard to top the Heston Hur which garnered 11 Academy Awards: Best Motion Picture, Best Director (Wm. Wyler), Best Actor (Charlton Heston), Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith), Best Dramatic/Comedy Score, Best Sound Recording, Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design (Color), Best Film Editing, and Best Special Effects.

The movies are based on the novel, Ben-Hur, The Story of the Christ written by Lew Wallace in 1880.  Both the 1925 and 1959 versions included the sub-title The Story of the Christ. The sub-title doesn't seem to be included in the latest incarnation.

Perhaps, the producers want to leave out the  Christianity elements. I wonder what character arc Hur will go through if the Christian elements are left out? Judah experiences love, betrayal, revenge, redemption, and ultimatley forgiveness and these are mirrored, with the exception of revenge, in the historical Christ thread of the story. Not much of a story if the focus is solely on the revenge element and the chariot race (only 11 minutes of the 1959 film)

I've never read the book. Perhaps, it's time to see how faithfully my favorite version followed the novel.

Have you read the book?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Coming Soon

From blog buddy, Jean, from Pushing The Envelopes, I learned the United States Postal Service will be issuing a series of Star Trek stamps in honor of the iconic television show's 50th anniversary sometime this year.

Sadly, I couldn't find an issue date or a decent image of the stamps. I'll have to drop by my local post office to ask S. if she knows the date of issue.

While waiting for Scotty to beam you over to the so you can buy the stamps when they are available, you can read about the stamp design and see the other stamps that will be issued in 2016 here

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Little Bit of Heaven

Look what the Easter Bunny left me! A little bit of heaven. Black jelly beans and chocolate. Eaten together. Don't knock it until you have tried it. Mmmmmm

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hot Cross Buns

As is my tradition over Easter weekend, I baked a batch of Hot Cross Buns. As I was rolling out of bed, I heard Himself singing:

Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns
One a penny 
Two a penny
Hot cross buns

I was told you have to sing the song. Now I have an earworm for the day. You, too? (-;

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Started watching the Netflix series Marco Polo. I had watched and liked a spinoff episode with Himself called 100 Eyes about a Shaolin monk captured and held by Kublai Khan. Himself kept telling me I'd like the series. I just thought it was going to be gratuitious sex and gore. Hey Kid! Oh my gawd, you're right! Great series.

2. My teacher, mentor, and friend, Callinana called me from her snowbird Florida nest. We had a nice chat. Except I forgot to ask her when she'll be North so we can meet and have lunch.

3. Tuesday, I spent the day adulting with The Young One. She closed her bank account and opened new ones where she doesn't have to pay any usurious bank fees. She filled out forms for an internship she'll be doing. We tried to have our hair cut, but the wait at the salon was too long. Ordered roast beef subs for us and The Eldest in a buy and fly. After all that adulting, I took a looong nap and then watched Jackie Chan in Shaolin.

4. The nuisance snow we had at the beginning of the week is gone. Good riddance.

5. There was a museum function happening when I showed up for my class. The studio was locked, and I couldn't get in. The guard at the security desk told me there was a new policy where all unused rooms had to be locked when the museum was closed, but there were visitors about. The security person who could open the studio was on break. I thought I would have a long wait and couldn't set up the classroom before students arrived. The guard came right away to unlock the door. He was so polite and courteous. After unlocking the door, he asked if there was anything else I needed, or that he could do. Courtesy. Such a little thing, but it made my day.

How was your week?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Ma loved hats. She grew up in the era where women wore hats when they went out. This is the hat she had for Easter,  26. March 1967. I'm not sure she got to wear the ensemble for Easter that year as it was most likely too cold to wear the light coat.

This photograph was taken on my Confirmation Day, 1. May 1967. I thought Ma's hat looked more like a beehive. I drew Ma and her hat for the 2014 29 Faces Challenge.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Springtime in New England

Happy Spring! Fortunately, by the end of the week, this nuisance snow will be gone.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Storm Prep

Though the calender says it's Spring, Mother Nature is giving us one last snow storm to let us know she's in control. The weather dudes have been waffling on this storm as they can't seem to pin down the track. One hour, my area is in for a dusting to a couple of inches and then the next hour the forecast changes to 4 to 6 inches of snow. I never emptied the buckets of water from the last big storm so we're pretty much set for this nuisance storm. By the end of the week, temps will rise into the 50s, so however much snow we get, will melt quickly.

Himself: Do we need bread and milk?

Me: You bought milk yesterday, and there's still half a loaf of bread so we're all set there. We have enough salad fixins to get through tonight, but not for tomorrow. (Himself and I have been trying to do a better job of watching what we're eating)

Himself: Ok, I'll run down the road to pick up salad stuff.

Me:  Remember in the old days, besides bread and milk, storm prep used to include stocking up on cookies, chips, and chocolate?

Himself: I miss those days.

Me, too.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Little Princess Goes Slumming

Casey's Diner is a landmark in Natick. It's one of the oldest operating diners in Massachusetts. I grew up in Natick. I walked, rode my bike, drove by Casey's a million times, but never ate one of their famous hotdogs. I never ate there at all.

While on Spring Break, I asked Himself if we could go to lunch at Casey's. He was surprised I had never eaten there, but understood the reason. Not Our Food. That was my dad's phrase. The only place he liked to eat was Ma's home cooking. We rarely ate out at a restaurant, and never take out food. Well, not in the sense most people think of. We had take out food. When my grandma or aunties came to visit, they would bring bags of food. Home-made macaroni, bow cookies, pizzelle, sesame seed cookies , pastries from Mike's Bakery

The sunny, yellow diner with pretty flowers in window boxes is small. There's a sliding wooden, pocket door in the center and then you're standing at the lunch counter. There are a dozen or so stools to sit at. There's also an order window to place your order outside and go.

I'm not big on hotdogs, I prefer a good hamburger. I almost changed my mind and ordered a hamburger when I saw a beefy cheeseburger on the grill. There area also other sandwiches and an assortment of pies.

The hotdogs are steamed, just the way Himself likes them. Served on a soft, hotdog bun with condiments underneath the hotdog. Himself got the all-around which is yellow mustard, relish, and onions. I just got mustard and relish. The hotdogs are good. They have a natural casing which snaps when you take a bite.

It's not a typical Little Princess place to eat. Manly ambiance, no frills, place your order, eat, and get out. It's a popular destination and now I can say, I've eaten there. I also might have to go back to try a hamburger.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Paper Crane

Along with a gift for Master Beef, I needed a card. Tried some ideas with karate figures on the front and inside: Martial Artists don't die, they just lose their punch. Meh. Not to mention 65 years isn't a death sentence. Back to the drawing board.

I needed something simply stated. Thought of an origami crane. The crane is a symbol of good health, longevity, truth and fidelity. Perfect. Now, I sometimes have trouble telling left from right so wasn't sure I'd be able to fold a paper crane. After some searching on YouTube, I found easy to follow instructions to fold an origami crane. The instructions very clear, photography easy to see, no inane chatter or gawdawful music.

I glued the paper crane to the front of some Strathmore cardstock and simply wrote Happy Birthday inside.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Had a great time at Master Beef's birthday party. Tons of food: a Chinese buffet, sushi, sashimi, lots of goodies, and a champagne toast. Grandmaster E also gave out favors in cute red, Chinese food boxes filled with a pen, gumballs, and her out of this world Italian cookies.

2. Had fun with our Pi Day celebration. I love geek holidays. Food, fun, and no gifts

3. The Eldest and I had a Ruroni Kenshin marathon.

4. Art supplies arrived. New toys to play with

5. For St. Patrick's day, he, he Himself cooked the corned beef.

How was your week?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday

When I was in elementary school, 17. March, St. Patrick's Day meant a day off from school. I went to parochial school, and St. Patrick was the patron saint of the school. We had to go to the 8 AM Mass. The nuns would take attendance.

After Mass, as you left the church and walked by the Mother Superior, you had to say, "Top o'the morn' to you, Sister."

"And the rest of the day to yourself." she would reply.

That meant we were free for the rest of the day. We would go home by way of Sussenburger's Bakery for a doughnut and a cherry tonic (soda) until the bakery closed in the mid-1960s.

Two days later, on 19. March, we'd repeat the process minus the "Top o' the morn'." 19. March is the feast of St. Joseph. He was he patron saint of the order of nuns who taught at the school.

So, Top o' the morn' to you, and the rest of the day to yourself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Reminder

from the Quote book: For the laborer is worthy of his or her hire Luke 10:7

Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy Pi Day!

Since Himself has to teach karate tonight, we had our Pi Day celebration yesterday. This year, a change of pace from the usual chicken pot pie and fruit pie menu. The cook was craving pizza so that's what we had. For the piece de dessert, Boston Cream pie, technically not pie, but a cake. Still it's round and oh so tasty.

From my geekdom to yours, Happy Pi Day.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Master Gift

We were invited to a surprise birthday party for our friend, Master Beef. I wanted to mark the occasion, but what do you get a 65 year old man? Giving women gifts is so much easier, jewelry, candy, flowers, scented lotions, soaps, and perfumes. Lots of ideas.

But at our age, (I'm not that far behind Beef), what does one really need? If you don't have it, you don't want it, and if you want it, you can buy it yourself.  What to do?

Beef has a favorite saying. "Just for today, I will not worry." I worked the saying into a small (4 in. x 4 in.) acrylic spatter painting. The saying is written in green acrylic ink along the horizon line to look like grass in the distance. I chose the small size because I don't know much about his home decor. This way, the painting displayed on a small easel can be placed on a corner of a desk, table, or tucked into a drawer. (-;

I didn't have a gift box, so I ended up making one. I followed instructions for an origami stacking box found in The Michael's Book of Paper Crafts. Again, I wasn't sure if the scrap box had any manly type paper. As it happened, I found a 12 in. square of red and black paper. Both are perfect for Beef. He is a 6th degree Black Belt Master. Red is the color of the Master's gi top, and also the color of the stripes on his black belt. Six narrow, red ribbon "stripes" were glued onto the black belt for rank designation.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Show Your Age

Recently, I was asked whether I preferred Star Trek or Star Wars. I grew up with Star Trek so that is where my heart lies.

The person who asked was surprised when I told her I was 60. She thought I was close to her 48 years.

I'm not sure if it has something to do with a lack of maturity or WOW, you look great for an old woman.  :-D

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week

1. I won a 20 drop sample of an essential oil playing a game with an essential oil group I belong to on Facebook. I got to pick the oil I would like to try so chose Ylang Ylang

2. The Eldest doesn't like Italian sausage, but the rest of us do. Since she was going out with friends, I made sausage and gravy (pasta sauce for you non-Italians), rigatoni, and I baked Italian bread. A heavenly meal.

3. I took a play day and went to vist my friend, Teague. We went out to lunch and since the day was nice, we took a very long walk through Hopedale Parklands. Then we treated ourselves to a chocolate cake roll because we deserved it.

4. Wednesday we broke weather records as temps soared to 70 oF. I hope this means sun room season will be starting earlier this year.

5. Warm temps have made the crocus pop a month early. I found a clump on the edge of the driveway where I never planted crocus bulbs.

 How was your week?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday

I've mentioned I was a latch-key kid. At 7 years old, I had my own house key to let myself into the house afterschool because my mother worked. I was often alone for two or three hours during the afternoon before Ma came home from work.

When I was 10 years old, Ma and Dad must have decided I was old enough to stay home alone at night. I think it was a Friday night, and they must have decided they would go grocery shopping. The Brother was off with his friends so I'd be alone for a couple of hours. Didn't seem like a big deal.

I was watching a movie on television. I remember a scene where a man was sitting at an organ and playing music. Kind of creepy music, but nice. As I recall, the camera panned on the organist's hands, and then up his arms, and then when the music reached a crescendo, his face. Oh my gawd his FACE! And when I was watching television and scared, I planted my face in the carpet. Waited for the music to change or a commercial to come on. I turned the television off so fast and raced to my room to get of all things, a life-size walking doll for comfort. And then I telephoned next door to Himself's mother (my future mother-in-law)

My memory is hazy because I can't remember whether she came over to sit with me until my parents came home.

From the movie clip, you will know I was watching The Phantom of the Opera. I'm not sure what version, I'm guessing the 1926 silent movie. But, I can't find the scene I described. Memory is a funny thing.

All I know is The Phantom scared the willies out of me.

What was the first horror movie that frightened you?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Awesome Socks

When the girlies were in high school, they had to wear a uniform. However, they could express their personality or style through their socks. No one seemed to make a fuss if socks or tights were bright or outlandish instead of the somber uniform socks. I liked that idea. So, when I found socks at the intersection of art and fashion. I had to have them. Aren't they awesome?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Webpage Make-Over

Spring fever has bitten and the house is in the process of getting spruced up. Since iPage, the webhost where my webpage is parked, offered some new templates, I thought I'd give my webpage a new look, too.

Pop on over and tell me what you think CJ Kennedy

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Bucket List Meme

Saw this meme going around Facebook. Needed a weekend filler.

( X ) Shot a gun
( X ) Gone on a blind date
        Skipped school
        Watched someone die
( X ) Visited Canada
        Visited Hawaii
        Visited Cuba
 ( X ) Visited Europe
        Visited South America
        Visited Las Vegas a couple of times
        Visited Central America
        Visited Asia
        Visited Africa
 (X)   Visited Florida
         Visited Mexico
         Seen the Grand Canyon in person
         Flown in a helicopter
 ( X ) Served on a jury
 ( X ) Been lost LOTS of times
 ( X ) Traveled to the opposite side of the country
         Visited Washington, DC
 ( X ) Swam in the ocean
 ( X ) Cried yourself to sleep
 ( X ) Played cops and robbers
 ( X ) Played cowboys and Indians
         Recently colored with crayons
         Sang karaoke
         Sang a solo or duet in church
 ( X ) Paid for a meal with coins only
 ( X ) Made prank phone calls
 ( X ) Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose
 ( X ) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
 ( X ) Had children
 ( X ) Had a pet
         Been skinny-dipping
 ( X ) Been fishing
 ( X ) Been boating
         Been downhill skiing
         Been water skiing
         Been camping in a trailer/RV
 ( X ) Been camping in a tent
         Driven a motorcycle
         Been bungee-jumping
 ( X ) Gone to a drive-in movie
 ( X ) Done something that could have killed you
 ( X ) Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life
         Rode an elephant
         Rode a camel
 ( X ) Eaten just cookies, cake, or ice cream for dinner
         Been on TV
( X ) Stolen any traffic signs
( X ) Been in a car accident
        Been in the hospital in the past 24 months
( X ) Donated blood
        Gotten a speeding or other ticket in the past 12 months
( X ) Gotten a piercing
        Gotten a tattoo
( X ) Driven a manual transmission vehicle
( X ) Ever owned your own dream car
( X ) Been married
        Been divorced
( X ) Fell in love
( X ) Fell out of love
        Paid for a stranger's meal
        Driven over 100 mph
       Written a published book, story, or poem
       Eaten snails

Some of these things would be good to add to my bucket list. Like seeing the Grand Canyon or travelling to foreign shores. I can tell you divorce is not an option, and I will never go skinny dipping, not in this shape. I won't be trying to collect a speeding or other ticket. Bungee-jumping is also on the won't add this to my list.

What about you? How many of these have you done?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Graceful Envelope Entry

For better or worse, I mailed my Graceful Envelope entry on Thursday, a week ago. I thought the deadline was the last day of February. I was mistaken. Entries must be postmarked by 28. March 2016. There's still plenty of time to enter. This year's theme is Communication.

Now comes the hard part, the waiting. You're not notified if your envelope made it to the destination. Though I mailed a "diaper" for the 2000 contest, and it arrived in perfect condition.  I have faith in the USPS. Besides, S. at my local post office carefully hand-cancelled the four stamps I used. She's my good luck charm.

Judging takes place in April and contestants will be notified in June.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. I finished a project 2 weeks before the deadline.

2. An appointment was cancelled so I gained some time.

3. Found out I've been scheduled to teach during the Spring (April/May) session

4. Another teaching opportunity is in the works

5. Classes began this week, and I just have to say I love my job.

How was your week?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday

The battery in my everyday wristwatch died.  I've been wearing a wristwatch since I got my first when I was 7 years old, and I'm lost without one. While packing up for class, I had mumbled what am I going to do?  The Eldest simply stated use your phone. Easy for the young people. I just can't seem to get my head around that. Old dog, new tricks.

I decided to rummage through my jewelry box to see if my good watch, the one Himself gave me as a gift on our wedding day, was working. It's battery had run out, too. Then I found the little watch. The one I got for Christmas when I was 7 years old. It didn't run by battery. It was an old-time watch that had to be wound. I carefully pulled out the stem and gently wound it up. began ticking!

Of course, now my problem is I need a magnifying glass to see the tiny face.

Do you use a watch or a phone to tell the time?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Seasonal Tree

The decorations started out as a St. Patrick's Day and Easter tree, but things quickly got out of hand with all that is going on this March.

1st   Rabbit, rabbit. White rabbit. Because that's what you say on the first of the month. Meteorological Spring begins today. Hooray! Looks like March is coming in like a lamb. Hope it doesn't go out as a lion. And today is Super Tuesday. If you live in a state which holds the primary election today, get out and vote!

Both my classes at the museum are running. I'll be teaching calligraphy Wednesday nights and Thursday afternoons for the entire 5 weeks of the month.

9th There's a total solar eclipse taking place. You have to be in East Asia, South Asia and Australia in order to see it. But I bet it will have a full moon effect on the rest of us. Prepare for the crazies to come out of the woodwork

13th Spring Forward. Return to Daylight Savings Time.

13th - 19th. Himself and the Young One will be on Spring Break

14th Fly your Geek flag and celebrate Pi Day.

17th St. Patrick's Day and my dad's birthday. Dad would have been 97. Happy Birthday, Pal.

20th Vernal Equinox. Sun room weather can't be far behind.

27th Easter