Sunday, July 31, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1.  I'm enjoying the blue, gazing globe as an addition to the Zensical garden

2.  The Eldest made a delicious mushroom pilaf for Sunday dinner.

3. With the help of Val and her bird books,  I was able to identify the new bird that showed up at the feeder. A Ruby Throated Grosbeak

4. The Young One arrived home safe and sound after spending the week in Ohio and Colorado with her Young Man and his family.

5.  Enjoyed a quiet birthday watched Netflix, took a loooong nap, ate popsicles.

 How was your week?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday

We interupt Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks for this bit of nonsense.

I'm 61 and I have just realized I still have so many unanswered questions! 
I never found out who let the dogs out... the way to get to Sesame Street... why Dora doesn't just use Google Maps... why we don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"... why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed... why "abbreviated" is such a long word... why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons... why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections... and, why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts" where's that extra penny going to... why does The Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same tune... why did you just try to sing those two previous songs... and just what is Victoria's secret? 
Do you really think I am this witty ?? ... I actually stole this from a friend who stole it from a friend of her brother's girlfriend's Uncle's cousin's, baby mamma's Doctor...Now it is your turn to steal it from me... lol Enjoy the rest of your day! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘Œ xx p.s. copy and paste and don't forget to change your age! Hahahahahahahaha, needed a laugh today.

Just a little fun to celebrate my birthday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Creative Drill

Thought this looked interesting. Will give this a try later today.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Gazing Globe

Slowly, the Zensical garden is taking shape. Just when I was beginning to think the garden was more Zen (not necessarily a bad thing) than whimsical, Himself gave me an early birthday present. It's a gazing globe that sits in a holder suspended from a garden hook. The globe is blue (my favorite color) with a moon face and stars (a recurring dream theme I have) etched on it.  In certain light, the globe looks like it's floating. Perfect!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Good times at the annual Clan Gathering

2. Celebrated the Young One's birthday with dinner out and home-made lemon cake with blueberries.

3. Saw a new bird at the feeder. Black body, white markings on wings, white bars on wings, white underbelly and red or orange throat. no clue what kind of bird.

4. On the way home from class, saw the beautiful orangey-pink full moon floating in a cloudless, inky sky.  Full Thunder Moon or Full Hay Moon

5. My Cousin M sent me some family pictures I had never seen before. So thankful he shared these treasures.

How was your week?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Anyway one morning Achille went to work and took the ferry to Boston. As did a lot of East Bostonians. On this particular morning he happened to lay eyes on a girl and said to himself, that's for me. So he went around the ferry seeking someone that knew who she was. He had that person or some person who knew his background and went to that woman's house and spoke to the uncle that she lived with and his wife. Asked if he could bring his friend to introduce him to the family. Evidently, things went well. Evidently, Raffaelina or Fannie went for him. They married.

My mother was born in Italy on 28. August 1891 in a town, Grottaminarda, within the area of Naples to Euplio Mottola and I did not hear her mother's name. [ed: I think Dad must have forgotten because when I was young, my mother told me my paternal great-grandmother's name was Gaetana as when I was born my grandmother wanted Ma to name me after her mother. Gaetana Maccarone]

My grandfather was born in Siena, Italy. He was educated and was an employee of the Postal Service in Italy. He was transferred to the Grottaminarda area. His home before the transfer was in the upper area of the country. The people were well off and educated. They spoke the high Italian language. He was the Postmaster in my mother to be's area.

Uncle Mike (Mary and Clara [ed: Dad's first cousins. Uncle Mike was married to Raffaella's sister, Filomena] who lived in the Grottaminarda area knew him [ed: Euplio] and spoke highly of him. He [ed: Euplio] fell in love with a woman in the town [ed: Gaetana] and married her.

They had six children. My mother, Filomena, Lucia, Vincent, Luigi, and another daughter. Here again, I did not hear the name of the last child, my aunt.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tomato, Tomahto

On the first day of class, Himself tells his students to keep their cellphones off.

Himself: I don't mind if your cellphone is on, but your classmates will. Your phone will go off at the most important part of the lecture. What I do mind is your taste in music. So phones off.

Student: So what kind of music do you listen to?

Himself: Mostly 50s and 60s.

Student: Ah, Roots

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Natural Vegetable and Garden Spray

Himself made a natural vegetable and garden spray. It contains simple ingredients, no harsh chemicals, and seems to work.

As noted in the First Harvest post, most insects and critters don't like the smell and/or taste of peppermint.

He made two variations of the concoction. He didn't measure any of the ingredients.

1. Peppermint Soap and Jabenero Pepper Spray

You will need:

Recipe 1:
A spray bottle
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap (you can find this at Target in the natural soap and lotion aisle look for Burt's Bee's stuff. The Castile soap should be in the same aisle.)
1  bag of Jabenero pepper. (There were a couple 3 or 4 peppers in the bag)

The night before:

Chop peppers. Add to spray bottle.
Fill bottle with soap and water (50-50)

Spray the next morning.

Recipe 2 is the same as above. Omit peppers. Himself said he was too lazy to buy and chop more peppers.

Your yard and garden will smell minty fresh. The critters seem to stay away from the garden with or without the Jabenero peppers.Your mileage may vary.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

First Harvest

We got to the first crop of รผber delicious tomatoes before Timex.  Looks like the peppermint soap spray works as a deterrent for the critters.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. A hummingbird took a long peek through the sun room window

2. Watched the season finale of Outlander with Red.

3. Celebrated The Eldest's 28th birthday

4. While over Red's, watched a hawk enjoy a meal. Awesome, though not so much for whatever the hawk was munching.

5. Himself surprised me with flowers. (They were on sale)

How was your week?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

There are second cousins but I do not know them. I met them at wakes but that is all. They did not seem to want to keep in touch. It was an attitude that we were the poor cousins. They also lived in better places. Their parents were good to me. They treated me with extra consideration. But then I was what they called the heir apparent. At the time [ed: 1920s] there were not many people who lived to 65 years. Fathers died young and the eldest child had to give up his dreams and get a job to support the family.

When my aunt died they [ed: her children] decided that they would want to buried close to their mother so they bought graves to be side by side. I don't know if their children did the same.

My aunt brought her family up properly they [ed: her children] never sassed her. In fact, I witnessed an incdient where my cousin Joe was pestering her for some reason and she said "Do I need to get the rolling pin?" this was a broom stick that was sanded down to its wood and from use in rolling over pasta dough had a gold look. He persisted. She reached behind her, took that rolling pin and tapped him. Joe quickly knelt down on one knee, took her hand and kissed it.

It opened my eyes. A symbolic acknowledgement. Kissing the hand that feeds you.

For some reason, I jumped ahead.

Monday, July 11, 2016

How Does His Garden Grow?

The straw bale garden seems to be thriving. The lettuce failed, but tomato, cucumber, and green peppers seem to be thriving. Weeds are not a problem, though mushrooms grow out of the bales. Himself is not sure whether mushroom spores were in the bales or happened because of the fertilizer used.

The potted, cherry tomato plant is doing exceptionally well. There are a few tomatoes that will be ready to harvest by the end of the week. That is, if Timex doesn't get to them first.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dance of the Gypsy Moths

The Gypsy Moths have emerged after the catepillars munched on leaves of many trees. Lots of trees in the area are bare branched. There were so many catepillars having a picnic, it sometimes sounded like it was raining. You could hear the little critters munching and crunching.

This week you couldn't walk outside without being swarmed by brown and tan months. The males are busy fluttering around looking for love in all the spaces. The females don't fly very well.

Hopefully, a wet Spring will kill the catepillars off so the trees won't be decimated.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Annual visit at The Brother's. From his back deck, we can watch the fireworks. All the fun of the festivities without the crowds and traffic.

2. Himself finished the electrical work to get the fountain hooked up.

3. Gorgeous sun set. The camera couldn't capture the magic of the light. The woods looked like they were on fire.

4. Watched the birds enjoy the bird bath on a hot afternoon.

5. A tempest in a teapot blew over.

How was your week?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

My father, Joe, age 9
There was a time when  I was a go-between between the aunt and her brothers. I used to visit my aunt regularly as I grew up and in fact my father would send me to her with instructions. "Go visit my sister. If they are eating don't give them this message. Wait until they are through eating and then tell her that so and so died and that the family came to her husband's funeral."

I delivered that message long enough, so that when I was walking down the corridor she was at the door and would ask me, "Joe, who died?" I would at times answer no one, I'm visiting. She would say are you sure?

I loved her and I felt bad that she looked upon me as bad news. I stopped going. Not as I had done. In fact she told me that I should go to her house every Saturday. "And I will see that you go to the movies." She had four children working and after lunch she would address the four, "The children must go to the movies, how much change do you have?" Hands would quickly go into pockets or pocketbooks with change. She would pick what was needed from each son and daughter. And give the money to Cousin Joe and say this is for the movie and this amount is for candy. Cousins Joe, Fred, and I would take off. Her children were wonderful. They supported their mother and kept her off the welfare list  [ed: after her husband passed away]. Later when they were all working, they bought her a home in Revere.

Margaret made a very good marriage and her husband owned a restaurant with a bar and also with an attachment that was for weddings, banquets, etc.

Every Friday night before the movies were over there was a theater across the street, they would ask their customers that if they wanted drinks they should go into the bar because the movies would be over and the teenagers would be coming in for pizzas as this was their night and no liquor was allowed in the restaurant. The police were very much in favor of this. They knew where all the teenagers where and there would be no trouble on the streets.

My aunt died at 92 from a fall on the stairs at her house.

She must have had an extra sensory perception as it seemed that I went to visit and she would say "Joe, just the one I wanted to see. Tell your father to call his brothers and tell them that they were to come to dinner next Sunday. Your father is to come after dinner. He has a family and will eat with you. His brothers don't have a family."

This was a request that I was given on a rather red flag situation. Her brothers were in for a lecture. I would pass this along to my cousins and they would show up. It was one of those must attend to see what the two uncles had done.

I would get there after dinner and while her daugters cleared the table she would say Joe, you sit there, Fred, you there and you, Archie (nickname for my father) and then start her talk.

I remember one where she said I went to Mass at the North End on our saint day's Mass. And I met our relation who told me that you, Joe, were going with a 35 year old girl and that is not nice. [ed: the young woman was als a divorcee] You're degrading your family name. What would your father think? He was a wonderful man. He had a very good reputation, etc.

Then she turned to Uncle Fred and said you live close to him. You must have known what he was doing and you didn't do anything? She said you Archie live too far. Again to Uncle Fred. And at this point Uncle Joe began to get Uncle Fred out of this affair and he addressed her. She stopped. Turned to Uncle Joe "Parli?" Translation "Who gave your permission to talk?" My father was wise enough to keep quiet. Anyway she ordered Uncle Joe to dump her. She was not for him.

I also remembered I went to see Uncle Fred and Tootsie [ of Uncle Fred's sons] Uncle said, Tootsie, just the one I wanted to see. If you see your brother, Charlie, tell him that I need some electric work done upstairs and down in the cellar. I have etc.

Tootsie turned to me and said, "See, Joe? Here he is the big padrone [ed: master] but at his sister's house, he gets in the corner and cringes." Uncle said, She's the only sister we have here."

I went out with Tootsie when he left and I said to him, "When they run to their sister when she clls and she gives them a lecture for their short comings they have aquired a physical change. They came to America at 16 years old she brought them up into manhood. They do not see her as a sister. It's their mother talking to them. So to tell their sister to jump in the lake is unthinkable." [ed: Auntie Angelina was born in 1882. She was 5 years older than Uncle Joe, 7 years older than Dad's father, Archie, and 9 years older than Uncle Fred.]

Today they are gone except Manuel who stood up for me [ed: best man]. I haven't gone to visit him in years. I stopped. Revere seemed to get farther and farther for me. And I seemed to lose my way home at times. [ed: Manny passed away in 2015]

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Zen Garden Water Feature

The Zen garden is slowly taking shape. With leftover cinder blocks from the bench project, Himself fashioned a corner for the water feature.

While watching the anime, Ruroni Kenshin, I saw a bamboo fountain, a Shishi Odoshi. It's supposed to scare away deer, but that is not my intent. I was charmed by its rythym. Happily, I was able to find one.

It also required a 16 to 20 inch bowl. I saw a birdbath online at Home Depot, just the right size with a bas relief koi fish. Perfect.

Himself re-wired the pool outlet and got the fountain up and running.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July

4. July 1943
It's a quiet day today. Most holidays are since my folks passed away three years ago. I almost don't know what to do with myself, especially today. No cleaning frenzy or cooking on a grand scale preparing for a Holy Day of Obligation. ( Himself and the girlies don't care if the house is clean or meals are served on a paper plate. I'm not complaining by the way.)

Today, the Fourth of July, would have been my Ma and Dad's 73 wedding anniversary.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Dawn Patrol

Dawn was just breaking and the birds were singing. I was hot and couldn't sleep. Decided to get up and hang out in the sun room. There was a flash of red at the bird feeder. Apparently, the cardinal is the leader of the dawn patrol.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. My windchime has fallen apart from being out in the weather. I really liked it so decided to repair it. Got a new wood disk and some screw eyes. Looks good, but needs hurricane force winds to chime.

2. Enjoyed working in the yard even if my back and shoulders sang for a day or two afterwards.

3. I cleaned out the birdbath and filled it. Fun to watch the birds enjoying a sip and a dip.

4. The male cardinal made an appearance at the bird feeder. I hear the cardinals, but don't always seem them.

5. Now that the water issues seem to have been resolved. (Knock, knock, knock) Himself was able to connect the gooseneck faucet in the kitchen. After hunting around for the manufacturer, a YouTube video helped him resolve a connection problem. I didn't hear a single horse's patoot and Himself didn't need to make extra trips to Ray's hardware store.

How was your week?