Saturday, December 31, 2016

MMSA Ornament Exchange

Around Thanksgiving, my friend, A, pointed me towards a paper ornament exchange from the Mail Me Some Art blog. The exchange required participants to make 1 to 3 relatively, flat paper ornaments. However many you made, you would receive the same number in return. Easy enough and making three paper ornaments wasn't going to be time consuming as envelope exchanges where you would get a list of 7 to 12 participants.

I blogged earlier about the ornaments I made.

I received three lovely ornaments in return. Sadly, two of the participants didn't include any contact information. So I can't show the ornaments they made.

Rose kindly included her email address and gave me permission to post her work. She said she enjoys art journaling so her ornament is a mini journal. The little booklet when closed measures 3 inches by 4 1/4 inches. So precious. The cover is flocked paper. Reminds me of old-fashioned wallpaper and is soft to pet.

Inside cover and decorative page. The star has been stamped and embossed with gold embossing powder. The decorative paper looks flocked, but is not.

Inside pages have been rubber stamped. The angel has been delicately hand colored and edged with gold mica powder, I think. The angel sparkles in the light.

The back cover page with Rose's contact information blotted out. The booklet is sewn together with gold thread and a gold hang cord has been added so it can be displayed on the Christmas tree.

Thank you, Rose for the ornament. It makes a nice addition to my ornament collection.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were celebrated a day early because The Eldest had to work on Christmas Day.

1. Christmas Eve in a traditional Italian household is THE holiday. Called the Feast of the Seven Fishes and celebrated with various fish dishes. I hate most of the traditional fishes (eel, salted, dry cod), so I do a paired down version usually one fish dish. Himself requested home-made raviolis and he bought some nice shrimp for shrimp cocktail. Out shopping, I grabbed a tub of cocktail sauce. When we got home, Himself noticed the packaging said extra horseradish. He went out and bought a bottle of mild cocktail sauce. Less ajita. (heartburn) Ater dinner, we watched the original (cartoon) version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Just love Boris Karloff narrating the story. Later flipping through channels, found David Tennant hosting Shakespeare Live from the RSC.

2. The actual Christmas Day was a lazy day for us as we had done the Christmas thing the day before. So spent the day watching the Doctor Who marathon in anticipation of the Doctor Who Christmas special. The special was entertaining, but not as epic as 2015's special, The Husbands of River Song. I had also baked a batch of The Doctor's favorite Jammie Dodgers (shortbread with raspberry jam cookies) to enjoy while watching the speical.

3. Monday we enjoyed the Annual Clan Gathering with Himself's family. Good food and good company.

4. Wednesday Old People Day at the movie theater and discount at Uno's. Wanted to see Collateral Beauty but the show time had changed so we saw Manchester By The Sea. Meh.

5. Enjoyed some roasted chestnuts Himself bought just for me. (I'm the only one that likes them)

How was your week?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Age 19 or 20
To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passsed 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:

Anyway during this time period, I was making my mind up that I was going to quit school. All I had to do was wait until I was sixteen and I would not have to run from the truant officer.

March 17, 1935 I became 16 years old. April, May, and 26 days before the school term ended, I dropped out. It hurt my parents. I was just disgusted with everything. Jobs were scarce for you. Who ever ws in a position to hire would think twice to hire a child. At one time they would do so at 14 years old. The law had been changed and you had to be 16 before they would be able to hire. But it was usual to hire boys only for jobs that were for boys like running errands.

Where I could get a job was a big problem. There were none. The local stores just about made out. There was the First National stores. They sold coffee, butter, cannded good, eggs. This was the forefunner along with the A&P, a competitor, the beginning of the chain stores which would have their start after WWII. Their products were excellent compared to today. A 16 ounce can of coffee was a dollar. When it was brewed in the morning it gave off an aroma that woke one up. It tasted a hell of a lot better than what we get today.

Tonic [ed: soda] was wonderfully tasty. Every bottled goods or packaged, or canned made a statement. "made from all natural products."

I went to the Center and there Skip asked me if I would volunteer for the summer school, that he would be running for pre and kinder children. As long as they were trained [ed: toilet trained] I would have a lunch with the kids and teachers, dry dishes and maybe have to do a little bit of work.

The children would be checked every morning by a junior year med student. His father was a doctor and he was following in his father's footsteps.

The teachers were any where from [ed: college] sophomores to seniors. And who ever hired them knew how to pick them. Besides being knowledgeable, they were lookers. 35 of them. I had a nice time chasing them. It was the best summer of my life.

There was another boy that would help out after lunch. He didn't chase the teachers.

I recall this little girl coming into the room. It was a large room, the chairs and tables were not set up. Her shoelace came untied and some other kid told her she was going to get punished. I sat down and calmed her down as I was tying her shoe. I assured her that no one would touch her. I would not have anyone do that. She was the younger of two sisters and they both were beautiful. The staff and teachers marveled at their being dressed and looks.

I got that chore down and I got up. As I turned to get up, I saw Julie Dwight looking at me. She was the assistant to Kay Campana.

A day later, I was teasing Kay when she asked me if I loved Julie. I sure did but I was defensive. I thought I might be being set up. Julie was a beautiful girl. Older by 2 or 3 years. Nice background. Father was an engineeer. And she lived in Newton [ed: well-to-do suburb of Boston compared to East Boston]. Kay asked me more than once that morning. But I told her I could speak for myself and I got out of that situation.. Julie when I turned my eyes on her after tying the little girl's shoes, was looking at me with eyes that took me in. Had I walked over to her she would have wrapped her arms around me and said those three little words. I would have had a girlfriend (steady) I don't know what the outcome would have been. Besides, I did not have any pocket money. At the end of the summer I would receive $10 for helping out at the play school. A dollar a week.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

T Stands for Upside-Down Christmas Tree

Many years ago, while browsing through the holiday displays at the big box stores, we saw trendy, upside down Christmas trees. We really liked the idea and ran home to try it out. When we first moved to the house 31 years ago and to save us money, my parents gave us an artificial Christmas tree they weren't using anymore. The top of the tree would be perfect hung on the wall upside down. Himself drilled and braced the tree with picture wire so it wouldn't come down.

The upside down tree would make the perfect home for the fragile ornaments. It would keep the irreplaceable and breakable out of the way of curious, little hands and paws. Himself constructed a series of wire loops and bends to securely hang the ornaments. Since most of the tree is  above the reach of the hobbits (though we are quite tall as hobbits go), Himself's job is to decorate the tree.

The tree resides on the wall year round. During the rest of the year, the tree is decorated with picture ornaments of the girlies through the years. The picture ornaments were just too pretty and precious (especially the hand made ones done at school) to store away in a box for a year. At Christmas, the picture ornaments are moved to the big tree so Himself can hang the fragiles.

A few years ago, The Nephew, gave us a lovely, Lenox teapot. It's home is on the upside down tree.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang are 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.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

From: We To: Thee

I haven't made cards in a good 10 years or so. Not since I was taking care of elderly parents and had too much on my plate. This year, I decided I had time and I would make a few cards. Instead of planning this activity last Summer, I made the decision in November. Needed a simple, quick idea, but what to do. 

About this time, I started following the Mail Me Some Art blog and had participated in their paper ornament swap. Another swap came up for postcards made to look like presents. I wasn't participating in this swap, but the idea would work for me for Christmas cards. I had lots of holiday paper, stickers, ribbon, and card stock.

So From: We  To: Thee. Merry Christmas and a Happy Creative New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1..  Saw the cardinal pair at the bird feeder. Good ol' Ma and Dad. They always seem to show up when I need them the most.

2. Received 3 lovely, paper ornaments from the Mail Me Some Art Ornament Exchange.

3. Got to be the taste tester for the Young One as she made cookies and goodies for gifts for her friend and his family.

4. Received a thoughtful card from The Nephew's Wife, The Niece.

5. Himself and I tried the fruitcake I baked. It's filled with raisins, apricots, golden raisins, cherries, and walnuts. Amazing!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

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 passsed 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:

Although I enjoyed my activity at the Center, I was also at the point of frustration. My father insisted that I should go to Boston English High. He did not believe that East Boston High was for me. It was boys and girls and he wanted me to go to an all boys school.

So I put in for Boston English. My grades were ok and I was accepted. [ed: Boston English High is the oldest public high school in the United States. You need to pass an examination to be accepted as a student]

Everything changed for me. The Depression got worse for our family and it was hard to come up with the car fare [ed: subway/trolley fare] which was 5 cents each way, and also lunches to take to school.

The school had students from different sections of Boston and they came from areas that were better off economically.

Gone were the days when one planned for holidays. The parties were gone. We could not invite relations and celebrated alone. And not with th usual goodies. birthdays.

It was very different for me. My lunches were not like the students [ed: the school was located in Boston's South End, a predominantly Irish-American population. Though Dad was born in this country, his parent were not. Dad would have been looked upon as an immigrant.] I could not [ed: afford to] participate in the after school programs. So I went to the Center for my recreation. My father was not earning enough money to keep up with things. Just about made out. He could have had other work but refused it. He was a tailor, his fingers were supple for cloth and needle. He hoped to stay a tailor.

Uncle Vincent got him a job at the Bath House and Gym in our section to the city. Giving out towels. He was embarrassed to do such a lowly job. He did not have the ability to make wine for lack of funds. And the so called friend he had at the house every weekend, he could not afford to have them in. They dropped him and went over another house where they pitched in a nickel and played and also the pot went to pay for the drinks. And no food.

He was really heartbroken. He felt that he had been used. [ed: When Dad's father hosted the card games, he didn't charge his guests for the food and drink provided and the players didn't chip in any money.] And moped about it. My mother at one time told him to forget about it. He could not afford to sit in the card game. He said he kniew that and he wouldn't attend if they invited him. He said all he wanted was to be invited so that he would know that they still thought of him and were his friends. Which he said under circumstances was all he wanted which wasn't much.

So he took up with another group in the next block. These were the Arianase people. [ed: from the Italian town Ariano Puglia, later Ariano Irpino] Your mother's to be people. Thick headed people. [ed: ๐Ÿ˜‚, sorry, I can't help laughing] The old-timers as they were called. His personality changed.

He also did not want my mother to go to Rocco's store, a local market for pasta, canned goods, etc., a grocery. She was to go to Danucci's grocery.

Rocco at one time had tried to court my mother. When I went with her when I was much younger, he wold look at me and say, "You should have been my son."

Any time my mother went there, she went on the quiet. He had a good line of goods and his prices were lower. I guess my father was jealous and so was the grocer's wife. If my mother was there, she would walk in the store. All she had to do was walk out of the hallway into the store a couple of steps down. She was a jealous woman. She knew that my mother was her husband's first choice.

When I was much younger, I would be sent there at times by my mother and also to the bread store across the street and the baker's wife would give the children a little cookie. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

T Stands for Teacups on the Christmas Tree

This is a reprint from a December 2012 post. It fits beautifully with today's T Stands For.

My mother had a Rosenthal china tea set which was one of her prized possessions. Many years ago, she gave me her set. She said, "I want to give you this with my own hand. I don't want you to wait until I die for you to have it."

She also gave me a box that had a duplicate tea set in it. She said this was supposed to go to The Brother, but she figured he wouldn't want it so it came to me. The box had been kicking around as I had no place to display this tea set until I brought Ma's large curio cabinet to live in the dollhouse.

As I unpacked the box, I pulled out a teapot, a creamer, and the sugar bowl that didn't survive The Brother's school tie whip. (The reason The Brother was supposed to inherit this set. The sugar bowl was carefully glued together). There were four saucers, a teacup with a broken handle, and a tea cup. The tea cup had a chip in it. Worthless to sell. Worthless to drink from. I didn't want to toss it out. What to do?

A bit of Gorilla Glue (love this stuff especially since GG came out with a new non-clog bottle) on the foot of the cup attached to a saucer. Add a bit of ribbon for a hanger. Voilรก!

I found one of my own tea cups with a crack in it. It received the same Gorilla Glue and ribbon treatment.

What was once a bit of trash is now transformed into beautiful and unique Christmas ornaments. It's now a lovely reminder of happier times spent with Ma and my mother-in-law as they imparted wisdom and gossip to me over cups of tea.

Have you rescued something from the trash and transformed it into a useful object?

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang are 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, December 19, 2016

Oh, Ink. We Hardly Knew Ye

31. October 1997 - 16. December 2016
Ink cried constantly late Thursday afternoon and all night. I wasn't sure what his problem was. He wanted to go out into the sun room, but the temperatures were too cold so I wouldn't let him out. He kept looking at his water bowl. The Eldest had recently bought him some Breath Fresh and added some to his water. Cats are finicky and I thought maybe, he wasn't happy with the new taste. I put a clean bowl of fresh water, but he'd have no part of it. Before I went to bed, I cleaned the litter box.

During the middle of the night, he came into the bedroom and jumped from bed to dresser. Usuallly his signal for play time or attention. Himself thought maybe he was looking for the Breath Fresh water. So I got up and put a clean bowl of water with the Breath Fresh next to the plain bowl of water. The crying and jumping with a few minutes of cuddles in between continued through the night.

Friday morning,his litter box had been used, but not the usual amount. I suspected maybe a UTI. Crying and looking at water sources (toilet, sink, water dish) continued, but he wouldn't drink. He wasn't eating his kibble, either. When we first got him, he was so tiny (the runt of his litter), his jaws weren't strong enough to crunch the kitty kibble. So for the first two weeks or so we had him, I cooked him oatmeal or scrambled an egg. I thought I could entice him to eat so I made him some scrambled egg. He took a very small nibble. Woudn't drink his water.

He calmed for a little bit while being held. Still wanted to go out to the sun room, but the temperatures were even colder than they were the day before. I did carry him out to the front porch, and he briefly was entertained by trying to paw the ribbons on the outside lights as they blew back and forth across the storm door. Inside again, he sat in the front window for a bit and chattered at the birds at the front feeder.

Called the vet at Banfield, and got an appointment at noon. Had The Eldest help me wrangle Ink into the carrier and to sit with him in the back seat to keep him company on the ride. He hates the carrier and riding in the car. The vet thought he had a bladder blockage, not uncommon in male cats. She sent us to Tufts Animal Hospital and Veterinary School as Banfield isn't equipped to handle that kind of problem.

We saw Dr. B. and a student who took Ink's medical history. She listened patiently and then said she would take Ink, give him a kitty Valium and examine him. An hour or so later, Dr. B. said she didn't think Ink had a blockage. Good news. She wanted to run some blood and urine tests.

The test results came back and indicated a bigger problem. Ink's sodium level was something like 175 in whatever units sodium is measured. The number was off the scale. She said it could be caused by dehyrdration. Ink hadn't had any water in 24 hrs or more. She said it could also be indicative of a thyroid problem or a brain tumor. For her to determine an exact cause would require a 3 to 5 day stay at an estimated cost of $200,000. Way beyond our means. Even if we had the money, she said she was fairly certain, if they were able to reduced his sodium levels, she saw the outcome the same within the next week.

The best course of action was to have my fur baby put down. It was not an easy decision to make, and The Eldest and I took it quite hard. Especially the Eldest. She thought she had caused Ink's problem by giving him the Breath Fresh. I was grateful that Dr. B. told her the Breath Fresh wasn't the issue. Lot of people and vets give it to pets all the time. His problem was most likely a factor of his 19 years of age. The fact that he wanted water but couldn't drink was a mechanism in the brain shutting body functions down. It was his time. (Himself has made this observation early in the morning. Tried to prepare me saying Ink's behavior might be his way of saying it was time for him to go. I wasn't ready to let him go.)

Dr. B brought Ink into the room so we could hold and cuddle him. Say our goodbyes. She even said we could call Himself and The Young One so they could come and be with Ink, too. She was very kind, and caring as were all the staff at Tufts. Dr. B also kindly reassured me that I had made the correct decision. If Ink was her cat, she would have reached the same conclusion.

She didn't rush us as we all hugged and cuddled Ink for the last time. She explained the procedure for him would be painless and quick. She said we could either leave or stay with him for the procedure and we all decided to stay with him until the end.

So my heart has broken, and I'm a mess.  ๐Ÿ’” I keep looking for him in all his usual spots. The world is not as colorful or bright as it was.  Ink was a wonderful companion, a source of delight and entertainment. I honestly thought he would outlast me. I'm grateful Ink didn't suffer for very long and for the excellent care he received at Tufts. I've been telling myself I was fortunate to have Ink for 19 years, but it wasn't long enough.

To my sweet, kitty boy, cross the Raimbow Bridge. Jeanette, Dolly, and Mitty will meet you on the other side. Run wild and free through the Summer Lands. Now you can chase the birds, squirrels, and chippies to your heart's content.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bird Bath Ducky

It's been so cold, the poor little ducky can't shake his tail feathers. So much for hoping the black basin would absorb the suns rays and keep the water from freezing solid.

Of course, it would help if we had more than one day of sunshine and Minnesota sending us their snow and freezing temps.

Is it July, yet?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Elf Off The Shelf

While trolling the Interwebs, I saw a decoration that appealed to my warped sense of humor. It involved a pair of Christmas tights, dowels, some cotton batting, felt, and jingle bells. Simple enough to make a pair of elf legs to look like the elf fell through the Christmas tree.

I bought all the makings, but while erranding in Target, I found an adobrable pair of elf baby slippers complete with jingle bells on the turned up toes. Ready-made elf shoes would be a big time saver. Nothing I like better than making a quick and dirty craft, even if it cost twice as much. (-;

And there you have it. Elf Off the Shelf.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Bought some new Christmas ornaments (as if we really needed more) from our outing at Oakwood Farms. We had dinner "over there" (aka The Cracker Barrel in Sturbridge). Faux Southern comfort food, but we like  it.

2. Sunday was the annual town Santa parade. The local fire department drives Santa, Mrs. Claus, and an Elf around town with lights and sirens blaring. Himself and I ran outside to wave as the fire trucks drove by. And me without my phone missed a photo op for the blog!

3. Red came over for tea. She made me a lovely Outlander cowl in shades of blue, green, and purple. Like a peacock.

4. After running from store to store, I finally found candied fruits I needed to make a golden fruitcake.

5. Saw a rainbow on the way home from running errands

How was your week?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Charlie and his family 1946 or 1947
To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passsed 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:

The Summer of my 14th year[ed: 1933]  was fun. The schoolyard was open, Charlie Arnold, or Skip, as he wanted to be called, played with us. And for the onlookers, it probably was, who was that big kid playing with the other kids? He looks like he is having more fun than the children although he is a grown up. A man!!!

In fact, Skip and the other social workers were surprised that the school yards were closed when school was let out. Play areas were scarce. We had a playground that was rather crowded and most of the time it was the older boys who used it for baseball or football.

To the left facing the building that was used for dressing and undressing, for uniforms and showers, was the dump and to our right another area used mostly for picnic and fireworks when, in the Summer each section of the Italian community honored their Italian section saint in Italy. So in July and August there would be two to four festivals and two with fireworks. And these were not only those that were sent skyward and exploded in different colors and also those on the ground that when they lighted up showed some art work. And the last that was lit like all the others started at one point and it was the stars and stripes. And the band that marched to the fireworks played The Star Spangled Banner. And we clapped hands, and sang, and walked home.

One Summer day we were playing in the schoolyard and word came that there was going to be a rally. We began running to it. All we had to do was run up the hill, turn the corner and we were at the spot where we helped ourselved to rocks and began throwing them at those on Bremen Street. Skip came running and when he turned the corner he was shocked. A rally to him was that some people were going to speak. He began getting after us to get into the play yard before the police came and as heard the glass windows of the shoe factory being broken.

He spoke of this event to other soical workers when he described the conditions of the area. How it was decided to locate the Center in East Boston, when those who were to pick a location saw children in the outskirts of the railroad, shooting dice and gambling. Also there wasn another problem. We would go to the railroad yards throw rocks at the train as it was moving the freight cars. And those employees that were in the coal car would throw coal at us. We would gather it up and some would bring it home for cooking, used it for fuel for heating. It was soft coal and it sent up a foul smell.We would use it down the cellar for a picnic fire and cook hot dogs. It would not be too long before the smell would rise to the apartment and we would hear a numbeer of the residents coming down and we would run out doors and out to the street.

The Summer passed and a week before school opened or a little before that our play yard was closed and Skip went to the Center at Marginal Street. This was a streeet that was also where the ocean hit the beach. It was deep and during the immigration period, ships docked there and across the street the people were directed to the building and had their passports and papers verified and where their relatives waited while they were  cleared for entrance to the USA. The Government gave up the bilding and the Hynes fund took it over. Charlie Arnold lived on the top floor of this building with his wife and their son, Everett.

We spent the Fall and Spring season there for our activities. And at some point, Skip was sent to Central Square Center. I followed and participated in some activities.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

T Stands For - Christmas Pageant

I can get very Grinchy at this time of year. Decorating, baking, shopping for gifts and worrying if recipients will be underwhelmed, trying to fit holiday parties and visiting in the schedule. The season can be depressing and overwhelming at the same time. So much to do. Not enough time or money.

One of the things I do love is setting up my Nativity. The set is  traditional, small, white, Hummel figures my brother and his wife gave us for our first Christmas. They were a souvenir from their trip to Germany. What makes me love my Christmas pageant and makes my scene so unique is the addition of other, non-traditional figures.

An innocent enough start five or so years ago. A stray knick knack was picked up and placed in front of the Nativity. Things just snowballed from there. Soon computer mice, dragon and gargoyle sculptures The Young One made joined Fisher-Price farm animals and animals from a Noah's ark. A new traidtion was born, and the theme became Everyone is Welcome.

While browsing Michael's a few months ago, The Young One and I stumbled upon a Toob filled with mythical critters: a jackalope, Yeti, Big Foot, Nessie, The Kraken. Like minds think alike, so they are the newest addition to the pageant this year. The Young One also supplied prized dinosaurs, a gift from a friend of hers.

And if you're wondering what this has to do with T Stands For, let me introduce you to Hat. She's the little rabbit in the big picture hat with roses on her ears. She lives in her teacup and belonged to The Young One (age 3 years old.) I'm sure there was a saucer that went with Hat's teacup, but that has long since vanished.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang are 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, December 12, 2016

On The Front Door

Wreath making time. Himself found inexpensive wreaths at the big, orange box store. I'm not sure my heart was really into the project. Only one wreath to make for our door instead of a wreath for my parents' door and for Prissy's door.

But The Eldest brought a huge bunch of holly from the town Christmas fair. Would have been a shame to let it go to waste. Rummaging through the Christmas box I found some large bells, cardinals, and the holly bow I've been using for the past several years. Put it all together and hung it on the door. Didn't feel like decorating the wreaths that we hang on the front windows. No one can see the decorations from the street. Himself hung them with the red outdoor bows that came attached.

A trip to the Oakwood Christmas Barn in Spencer inspired me to add to the wreath after I saw some gorgeous wreaths there. Another rummage in the bauble box for some pinecones, and I remembered a bag of nuts in the shells languishing somewhere in the pantry.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Their Faces All A Glow

A sunny day and Frosty and Santa are all a glow. Still need several more days of sunny weather for them to really shine. That's not going to happen this week. So this might be as good as it gets.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Himself's Pride and Joy

Long shot of the front yard
No matter how gloomy this little deer always shines
Not so the Christmas tree or deer to his right
Robin wanted to see Himself's Christmas lights. The weather hasn't been that great this week. We haven't had many really sunny days for the solar lights to recharge, and the weather for the coming week doesn't sound much better. I've taken a few pictures because this might be as good as it gets.

Just a couple of the ornament lights are glowing
The dangly things in between the glowing ornaments, are not solar lights,
just large ornaments.
The string of lights glows nicely in the Japanese maple tree. The string
around the bench, along the garden kite line, and trellis did not light

Santa Edison bulb glowed out of the box. I should have
photographed it the first night it was out.

Ditto with Frosty Edison bulb

They are not spots on the photograph, but
the Star Laser Lights (as seen on TV)
Still a couple of weeks until Christmas. Maybe the weather will improve and I can get better photographs.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. The Eldest attended our town's Christmas fair. She brought me a huge bunch of holly.

2. Himself brought me a door swag. He knew I would like the blue, juniper berries. I added the harness bells. (Oh, and the swag was not free and he didn't have a coupon. At least, I don't think he did .)

3. Himself put the tree up and brought up all the decoration boxes. I spent 3 days decorating.

4. In Kohl's didn't find the shirt with the cardinal that I saw online, but found one I liked better except they didn't have my size. Tried on a size smaller, even though I knew that was going to be too small. Coming out of the dressing room, I saw a woman leaving that had the same shirt that I had tried on. Somehow, I knew she was not going to buy and it, and would put it back. Went back to the display, the shirt was there, and it was my size. Wandering around, saw a display of costume necklace charms of animal critters. Butterflies, ladybugs, Thought too bad there wasn't a cardinal. Looked on the other side of the display and there was only 1 cardinal charm. I found a penny in the parking lot, too. An angel encounter day.

5. The house is as clean and decorated as it's going to get.

How was your week?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

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 passsed 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:

I was a problem to the teachers. In the seventh grade to the ninth grade we voted for hall assistants to help the teachers during class changes. One of the girls in my 7th grade room took a liking to me. She wanted to be my girlfriend. She was cute but not bright. Anway, she put my name in as a candidate. She also got the girls to vote. When my name was called, some of the boys voted for me and all of the girls stood up. Even my girl opponent. Teacher's eyes seemed to go up. It surprised her, she looked at me and the girls. Counted the vote and then called for the girl candidate. Then the run off. I won but I did not get to be the assistant, she [ed: teacher] picked the girl. My guess was that I could create a problem when we were changing classes. Amd I'm sure that my repuation didn't help.

Anyway exam time came around (this in the 9th grade) and my French teacher told me, "You have been out of my class so many times that you're going to make me look bad because you will flunk. You weren't in class long enough or often enough."

I said, "Don't worry about that," I said, "if I pass the test will you give me an A." She said yes.

I took the test. In due course she came to me and said evidently the little time you spent in my class you must have paid attention. You got a C+. I said That's an A. She said that I can't do, there will be trouble if I do that. And I got the C+ for the year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

T Stands For - The Advent Tree

One of the traditions we had when the girlies were little, was counting down the days to Christmas with an Advent tree. Each day, one of the girlies would choose a tiny ornament from a wooden box to place on the tree. Who went first was determined by even and odd birthday. The Young One's birthday falls on an odd day of the month while The Eldest's birthday is conveniently on an even day. It also helped that there is a four year age difference between them so The Eldest was more patient about not going first.

The days of choosing an ornament have long past for them. I'm now the Keeper of the Tradition, if I remember to get the Advent tree out by the 1. December.

I also try to use the Christmas dishes, a gift from a cherished friend, through the month. I have to confess that after drinking my tea out of a mug the rest of the year, the dainty, tea cups aren't quite substantial enough.

So, what ornament did we pick for St. Nicholas' Day? Aww, a tiny, snow man.

Only 19 days left until Christmas. Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang are 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, December 5, 2016

The Secret Ingredient

I've been baking bread again. The store bought bread just goes to waste, but if I bake bread, a loaf is gone in a day or two. I don't mind. I enjoy baking bread. It's a delicious hobby.

I put the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and waited for the yeast to bloom. (The yeast wakes up and gets all foamy). When I turned back to the bowl, the yeast had decided to add their own secret ingredient.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

You Know It's Christmas When You See...

 A friend was saying she just saw the Hess truck commercial. She felt that the Christmas season had begun. For Himself and I, we used to wait for the Norelco Santa.

Hey, Kid! I found him. Tis the season. ๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„

What lets you know, your holiday season has begun?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bird Bath

Besides feeding the birds during the Winter, they also need drinking water. We found a black, dish basin which fits nicely on the stone bird bath. The basin has a rolled edge which will make a good perch.

The basin is deeper than I wanted, but what we could find. The idea is that the black plastic will absorb some of the sunlight and retain some heat. Instead of a suggested tennis ball, I found a cute, rubber ducky to keep the water moving and to prevent the water from freezing solid. (Hopefully!)

The weather has been pretty mild so freezing has not been an issue. If the weather stays like this for the rest of the Winter, you'll hear no complaints from me.

I haven't seen the birds perch on the basin to take a drink. Maybe they're getting their water from other sources. They don't seem to mind the ducky as they fly to the feeder. The herd of turkey hens that showed up this afternoon wasn't bothered by the ducky, either.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Our Thanksgiving was a day late because The Eldest  had to work the holiday. Just as we sat down to dinner, Himself noticed the cardinal pair at the bird feeder. I haven't seen the pair since early Fall. So just Ma and Dad dropping by for the festivities.

2. Visit to the cemetery, dinner out, and starting the season with looking at Christmas lights.

3. Parked the cars over at Prissy's under the trees just off her semi-circular drivewa so the septic truck would be able to back into the driveway for the annual pump out. While waiting, I noticed a car in Prissy's driveway and a man taking pictures of the tags on the cars. I ran across the street to let him know the cars were temporarily parked there.

Turns out, the man (who lives down the road apiece) was the father of the new neighbor. I knew Gruff, Jr. had said they had found someone to buy the house. The Dad was very nice about the cars. and came to check on the progress of the house. Walls were being painted and minor repairs taken care of. Papers for the house would be passed at the end of the week. Don't know when his daughter and family will move in. He said the floors have to be refinished and the kitchen remodelled. Most likely, we'll have new neighbors after the holidays.

4. Enjoyed Elizabeth's and Bleubeard's T Stands for meme. Fun idea. Just include a beverage in your Tuesday post and add your link on Elizabeth's page. Met a lot of new people and saw amazing journal pages, crafts and artwork

5. Himself's Christmas gifts arrived. Early present the Edison bulb solar Snowman and Santa lights are bigger than I expected. Very cool.

How was your week?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

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 passsed 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:

 This was 1933 the year Charlie Arnold [ed: mentor] came into my life in the summer of that year. [ed: Dad was 14 years old] Evidently the Board Members of the Central Square Center and funded by the Hynes fund had clout. They opened the playground. For years summers every summer the school yards were closed. And also at the end of the school day, holidays, etc. They were closed. Of course, that did not prevent us from climbing the fences and getting in. We also had to watch for the police. They had keys made for them and they could get into the school and then open the door into the schoolyard. We played in the Jr. high school yard [ed: Donald McKay School] The play yard was large and we played not too far from the 8 foot fence. When the look out hollered, "Guinea Walligi" [ed: derogatory term for police officer], we scrambled to the fence. We had to do that the first part two feet above the ground, the 2nd movement on the cross bar 4 feet above the ground, 3rd 2 feet up = 6 ft. and the last effort 2 ft more on the 8 foot cross bar, hang on the other side and drwop down and off we would go. Sometimes the Guinea Walligi would chase us on the street we would run into the building, up the the 3rd floor to the roof and then jump from roof top to roof top and elude the officer. [ed: the houses were so close together neighbors in different houses could pass sugar through a window]. We were always on the look out for him. Of course, we told our friends to make sure that the roof doors were open. If they failed us and we got caught, they would be mud. At the time we also had the school build by the church [ed: Our Lady of Mont Carmel School] When it was due to open we climbed the blocks to the second floor window. They were indented about the length of the finger tip. I tried it. I got to the top but on the way down the feet and fingers were slippery due to the silicon and I fell to the ground. As I went down I hit the side of the water pipe and when I landed I noticed by right leg trouser was torn and so wasn't the sie of my leg on the knee side. As usual I walked to the Relief Station and I got put on the table while the police on duty held me down and the interns and nurses while the octor stitched me up. No ether, no putting to sleep. I did not let a sound come out of me. I said to myself I'm not going to holler. Took 5 stitches. The police officer must have been surprised, probably spent a lot of time there and heard many a boy or man cry out. Doctor said, "Ok, you can go now," and I got off the table and walked out. The officer had a "that kid is one hell of a tough guy. Imagine not a peep out of him and going like nothing happened. I got trained to not to hurt. My teachers used the rattan when ever we kids acted up. My ninth grade principal, Miss Sullivan, who much later became Superintendent of the Boston school system. In my French class, I had a teacher who was cute, had a good sense of humor and if we acted up she would kick us out of the classroom. One such day I ran into Miss Sullivan in the hallway and she asked, "What are you doing out of class?" I told her and she took me into the classroom Told Miss Livone that she would have to witness discipline after class. So I put my hand out, Sully went to work. It was spring at that time and I had been playing baseball catch and both hands were toughened by the catching [ed: he didn't have a baseball glove] No reaction. No pulling back. Sully was frustrated and she got a work out.