Monday, October 23, 2017

The Great Upheaval


Last Thanksgiving, the plan was to paint all the rooms in the house. We managed to paint one wall in the dining room  and then as usual plans changed. Installation of solar panels happened and then, Himself decided we should put in the mini-splits. We got a zero interest loan through Mass Save and decided not only to install the  mini-splits, but a new furnace as the furnace we have is nearing the end of its life. And while we were at it, we'd replace the old, original to the house (55 yrs old),ugly baseboard heaters. Seemed silly to paint with all the destruction to take place.

I emptied and moved Ma's curio cabinet before I thought of taking pictures of the room. You can see the edge of the curio cabinet on the right side of the picture.


The mini-splits were installed during the Summer and this week the new furnace and baseboard heaters. All the furniture has to be moved away from the walls.  Which also meant the items in the curio cabinets had to be taken out, furniture moved to the opposite side of the room, and stuff put back in the cabinets.



We found Ink's stash of mice when we moved the corner curio cabinet. I thought they ended up under the fridge, but obviously, this was the choice spot.



Loveseat and chairs moved to the center of the living room. Curio cabinets were move to the opposite side of the room in front of the piano. There is no baseboard along that side of the wall.

Furnace and baseboard installation in all rooms is supposed to take a solid week. Next week, I'll be able to start painting rooms. Unless we come up with another project.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Morning glory leaves wither on the vine after a light frost.


The cardinal hasn't been around much but stopped by at dusk one evening. Hi, Dad!


The bunny hasn't been around much this week either, but he showed up at the same time as the cardinal. I'm ready for my close-up, Ceej.


Another visitor dropped by when we got home with take-out from Star Dumpling.


The weather warmed up this week, and the morning glories went wild behind Ink's garden.


A riot of color in the woods behind the New Girl's House.


Maple leaves look like duck feet.


The Heath asters went to seed and look like fluffy snowballs.


Himself's twig dropped all its leaves.


More color in the woods behind the house.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Message from Grandma


It started while Himself and I were watching the Father Brown Mysteries. The broad-brimmed hat with rounded crown reminded me of the  maccaroni my grandma (Ma's mother) made. The pasta was shaped like the hat. We called them cappellini (we pronounced this coop-pel-leen-ie). How I miss those delicious, melt in your mouth little hats, smothered in gravy (tomato sauce).

And even though when I was little, I watched Grandma make the maccaroni. I couldn't remember what she did. Ma didn't make this recipe either. I'm not sure she had mastered the technique. Ma told me Grandma (we never called her Nonna. It was understood we had to speak American) would take a bit of the dough, spread it with the tip of  a knife, and flip it over her thumb to shape the hat. Wouldn't have mattered as Grandma's recipes were not written down.

And then there was the dream. I was with a bunch of relatives long gone from this life. Even Ma's youngest brother, my uncle, who I didn't particularly care for. In the morning, I told Himself of being with the dead relatives. There were no other specifics of the dream I remembered or even who else was there.

In the evening, Himself said , I know why you had the dream about your dead relatives.

Why?

Today, is National Pasta Day.

Hmmm. I think it was all because of Father Brown's hat.

Later that night while playing on Facebook, a live video, Cooking with Nonna crossed my feed. Nonna was making home-made pasta. So I watched the video. Nonna's granddaughter, Rossella, was running the camera and color commentary. She said Nonna was making orecchietti (little ears). Having nothing better to do, I watched.



Nonna rolled out the dough into a rope. She took a knife, cut a bit off. With her fore-finger on the knife tip, she pulled the bit of dough towards her and the flipped the dough over her thumb. And I almost cried. She was making cappellini!!

Rossella picked up the pasta and turned it towards the camera to show the shape. She said orecchietti were called little ears or little hats!

Rosella collaborated with her grandmother and wrote a cookbook, Cooking with Nonna. I had errands to run at the mall (and I bought some Play-Doh to practice) so for giggles stopped into Barnes and Noble to see if they had the book in stock. They did! I raced drove home safely, brewed a cup of tea, and sat down with the book. Nonna is from Ariana, the same area as my grandma. A lot of the recipes were familiar, and I started to cry. A part of my heritage, I thought was lost forever has been found and returned to me.



I've been practicing with the Play-Doh to get the hang of the technique. Semolina flour is on the shopping list.

The veil is thinning at this time of the year. I'm glad I was paying attention so Grandma wouldn't throw her shoe at me.

Grazie, Grandma.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things.

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Love the seasonal picture of Ink the Young One made.

2. The Young One's friend came to visit her from Ohio. He loves Five Guys so I had a great excuse not to cook.

3. I'm working on a project that has two new crochet stitches, a V stitch and a crocodile stitch. I think I'm getting the hang of them.

4. Had lunch with my calligraphy teacher and friend.

5. Stopped in at Barnes and Noble and bought a cookbook.

How was your week?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Front Row. The Brothers (left to right) Achille, Dad's father,
Uncle Alfred, Uncle Joe, Joe (Dad), and Dad's brother, Mario.
To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them.

[ed: And so we reach the third and final notebook. At the time he was writing, dementia was setting in. Dad was upset he couldn't remember things, and he confided to me that he felt like he was losing his mind.  I'm not sure why there were three notebooks as they begin pretty much the same. Did he forget he had started writing? Did he forget where he put the notebooks? So, be patient with the old man. Though a lot of the stories you've heard, I'm hoping that Dad will reveal other details, names, and dates to further my genealogy research. As you are reading the stories in the notebook, so am I. Though Dad passed away in 2013, it wasn't until I started this thread in June 2016 that I was able to read Dad's stories. And now today's chapter:]

My Life, as I Remember It and Lived It

To my son, and my daughter, and my granddaughters The Eldest and The Young One, my daughter-in-law, and son-in-law.

Before anyone can have a life there must be parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, plus brothers and sisters.

And of course, Great Grandfathers and Great Grandmothers and Great great kins that established the so called family tree into the great past. Some people can do this. I can not do. I did not meet any of my grandparents and great-grandparents on both sides.

My parents on both sides did not talk about their childhood with us. They did talk amongst themselves about incidents of their childhood or growth. They did not draw us children into their talk. It seemed to me that they felt disconnected from their parents. The feeling that they would not be able to see their parents or relatives again.

Twice I remember my father said he had an aunt that owned an island and great aunt that lived to 106 years.

They did love their parents and I recall Uncle Joe and Uncle Fred coming to the house and asking my father for money usually 10 dollars, which added with the other two was $30.00, each time, when the time was good. During the Depression, it was cut and then stopped.

Uncle Vincent and his brother did send money. I know that Uncle Vincent when I was training at his law office would send a good sum of money to his sister in Italy. Here too I never heard her name.

I have cousins in Italy today and also in Switzerland, England, and South America. I don' know them and they don't know me.

On May 22, 1889 [ed: March 22, 1889] Saveria Todisco gave birth to her third child [ed: fifth child] and she and her husband named him Achille. He had a sister named Angelina and a brother named Joseph, at that time. These were my grandparents and there would be Alfredo, Roberto and another daughter. Whose name I never heard the brothers and sister ever call her by name. They lived in Torre De Nocelle [ed: le Nocelle] in the Naples area.

My grandfather was a shoemaker owned his own house with a plot of land which was also his place of business. In his time shoes were custom made. He must have done pretty good economically as he sent Aunt Angelina, Uncle Joe, Fred, and my father to America. In that order. [ed: The children were sent by birth order. Uncle Fred was younger than Dad's father, Achille. He sent Aunt Angelina, Uncle Joe, Achille, and Uncle Fred to America. In that order.]

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

T Stands For The Eldest and Me

On her day off, the Eldest invited me out to lunch. She said I could pick where I wanted. Since I had to pick up some Bristol paper at Michael's, I opted for  Panera on the other side of the mall from Michael's. We wandered around Michael's after I got the paper. I was too busy enjoying being out with my daughter, I forgot to take pictures. Besides the paper, there was also an impulse buy of a bargain bin black cat cookie cutter and a bit of ribbon for a project. So much for frugal and only buying things I really needed.



Our destination for the afternoon. Panera Bread for lunch, and browsing through The Paper Store and Barnes and Noble.


I got two compliments at Panera on my crazy cat lady tee shirt.



The Eldest chose the Pick Two: a cup of Autumn squash soup, Chipotle chicken avocado melt, an apple, and a prickly pear hibiscus fresca beverage. I had a roasted turkey cranberry flatbread, bag of chips (crisps) and a glass of unsweetened ice tea with lemon. We also had a lovely chat about this, that, and the other thing. After Panera we stopped in The Paper Store, a stationery and gift shop.


We tested a sample of Inis perfume, a favorite of the Eldest. Imported from Ireland and smells like the beach.


We had unseasonably warm weather the last week of September.  Sad to see flannels and woolens out. 😾


These earbuds made me laugh. Young people can listen to their sh, er crap, er poopy music.


Christmas things were already out like this beautiful Lenox plate. Lenox will have good deals on items from their site as it gets closer to Christmas.


Ma and Prissy both had the little Christmas tree on the right. I was charmed by the cuckoo clock. Made me think of the cuckoo clocks I saw on a trip to Germany when I was in high school. 


Another pretty cardinal ornament. Will check to see if this goes on sale.


We had a good laugh at the flamingoes. When the Eldest was in high school, the teachers all had some sort of stuffed animal or figurine they used as a hall pass. The history teacher was fond of flamingoes. Her room was decorated with them, and she had a small stuffed flamingo named Frank.  Frank was kidnapped, went missing for a time, and was returned with a pink tutu and a new name, Francine.


If only it was a black cat. 

After browsing the Paper store we went to Barnes and Noble.


The girlies both love the work of Hayao Miyazaki. In the glass case figurines from My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Serice. My favorite, the black cat Jiji. Of course.


The Eldest found a chibi  (Japanese for short or child-like) version of The X-Files. Chibi Mulder and Scully are so cute.  As she said, geek parents have to start their kids off right.


If only the colors were reversed.


Yup, that's me.


The Cross pen, a fine writing instrument has come a long way from the chrome pen and mechanical pencil set I received as a college graduation gift.


I was browsing the toy department. Getting ideas because sometime in April, I'll be a grand aunt. As a parent, I wouldn't want my little one to play with a stuffed poop. Call me old-fashioned.


Ah, Spirograph, that's more like it. I still have my set.

Browsing done, we returned home to lounge in the sunroom and watch the celebrity version of Worst Cooks in AmericaAll in all a very nice day out.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Outlander Cowl

I've been avidly watching the Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Claire, the heroine has some beautiful costumes. Nothing I'd like to wear as I don't wear dresses and not a fan of corsets, but Claire wore a chunky cowl that looked so cozy.


So I searched online to see if I could find a pattern that would be easy for me to crochet and I found it at Dabbles and Babbles The pattern worked up within a couple of hours with the help of soft, chunky yarn and a giant crochet hook.  As my hands are always cold during the cold weather months, I even had enough yarn to make a pair of easy-peasy fingerless gloves.


Happily, it's been too hot to wear the cowl though I have worn the mitts a couple of nights when it was chilly in the sunroom. 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Heavenly Blue Morning Glory


Grass is not only greener over the septic tank, but it's tastier, too.


Morning glories behind Ink's garden


Ink's garden


The morning glories loving the unseasonably warm weather. Me, too.


Trees starting to turn color in the woods behind the house.


Red and yellow poison ivy in the meadow and a spot of red across the street.


Not much rain this week.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Picture Perfect

The Young One found a picture of Ink on her computer. " Cleaned it up a bit cause the bg was my messy, horrifying room." And this is what she made for me


Thank you, DB. I love it.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Reggie weekend and we played with mixing powdered pigment to make gouache paint. While passing around the powdered pigments to see what they were like, I coveted the ultramarine. When Reggie assigned the pigment we would mix and test, he gave me the ultramarine. Color me ultramarine with giddiness.

2. Reggie weekend while ruling up our paper with the Ames ruling guide, the measurements were off. I suggested another way to use the guide to get the correct measurements.

3. The morning glories looked spectacular this week

4. Someone must have donated some calligraphy books to the education department at WAM. The Studio Program Coordinator put the books in my studio. I drew names and my students picked out a book they wanted. A fun way to end the last class.

5. Got my haircut with the stylist I wanted.

How was your week?