Tuesday, February 28, 2017

T Stands for Bread

Last year, I had promised my friend, Teague, I would have her over and teach her how to bake bread. After a year of dealing with snow, illnesses, heat, work, and other things that prevent people from scheduling an activity,we finally got together last week to bake bread.

I thought it would be the perfect post to use for T Stands for. So, while I was waiting for Teague to arrive, I took pictures of the mise en place for the bread. I even got a shot of my trusty tea cup with cold tea dregs.

Baking bread isn't difficult, but it does take a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete. Most of it is waiting for dough to rise, but there's not enough time to do much of anything except sit around and wait. You really couldn't go for a walk or run an errand. The plan for the day was to visit a bit as we hadn't seen each other since October. Then we'd go for an early lunch and then back to the house to bake bread.

I planned to tell Teague all about the T Stands For and take pictures of our lunch, baking, and having a good time. Except, I was so excited to see Teague and spend time with her, and to show her how to bake bread, which I love to do, I forgot to take pictures along the way.

Teague kindly took pictures when she got home and has allowed me to share them with you. I gave her the recipe for a very basic loaf of white bread. Look at that beautiful loaf. Didn't she do a great job?

Teague's beverage of choice is the soft drink, Moxie. According to Wikipedia, Moxie was invented in the late 1870s right here in Massachusetts. It contained gentian root which supposedly had medicinal properties and the beverage was marketed as a nerve food. The drink isn't sweet. To be honest, I find it gawdawful bitter. It's an aquired taste to be sure.

Because it was kind of an energy drink, the word moxie entered the English language meaning energy and pep. It also means courage and fortitude. (Probably because it takes both to drink the elixer down
d-; ) To say someone has moxie meant they had spirit and spunk.

Teague is also related to the Moxie Boy, John Chamberlin, who was the model for the logo. The Moxie Boy is her first cousin twice removed. He was her grandmother's cousin.

But back to bread. This bread has a really nice crumb and texture. Delicious on its own. Makes great toast, French toast, or slathered with peanut butter.

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, February 27, 2017

Tiny Tomatoes

Not only is the cyclamen doing well, but Himself's mini cherry tomato plants have tiny tomatoes on them. He had started the seeds in the Aero Garden. He transplanted the plants to pots and brought them upstairs to live on the dining room table. Between the Refresh daylight bulbs in the dining room light fixture and afternoon sun, the plants are thriving. There are two plants each about 8 inches or so tall and each has a few tiny tomatoes on them. Himself said the plants won't get much bigger. I wonder how soon we'll be harvesting tomatoes?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sumo Wrestlers

The Sumo wrestlers enter the ring. Perform the ritual to drive evil spirits away before rushing headlong into each other.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

It's Alive!

The cyclamen, the plant Himself gave me for Valentine's Day is still alive! I haven't killed it, yet. In fact, not only is is alive, but it seems to be thriving.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. Himself discovered a new channel to watch. Heroes and Icons, WSBK 38.2 This is the call signal and station number for the free airwave. Have no idea if cable companies carry this channel. As we don't have cable on the television in the bedroom. All the old shows. All the Star Trek, Star Trek NG, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise. Every night. Saturday is Comic Book day with Greatest American Hero.

2. Had a delicious, lazy Sunday. Played potions with essential oils, played on the computer, and crocheted.

3. Himself had Monday as a holiday. The Young One didn't so after dropping her off at the train station, Himself and I went out to breakfast.

4. Enjoyed play date with my friend, Teague. Hadn't seen her in quite some time. We went out to lunch at 5 Guys and then I showed her how to bake bread.

5. Organized the supplies I need for 26 Seeds: A Year to Grow. A year long calligraphy class I'm taking which starts in one week.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

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 passed 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:

At 1905 Achille was sent to America to his sister, Angelina. He stayed with her until he was married. Achille was a tailor at the time where he learned that trade in Italy. He was a journeyman tailor.

Sometime in 1917 earlier or even later, Achille stepped in the rapid transit train in East Boston on the way to work. He had the habit of looking left and right to see if there was anyone that he knew on the train. No one he knew but he spotted a girl sitting in the car that caught his eye and said she is for me. Love at first sight. When he got to work across the street from the Old South Church on Washington St. He worked with people that also lived in East Boston. And he began to ask if anyone knew a girl he saw coming to Boston from East Boston and evidently coming in from Upper East Boston. And he described her. Just how long it took him to find out who she was and where she lived is unknown. But he did find a person who knew who this girl was. He probably took the same rapid transit at the same time that he first saw her. And had a friend with him to identify her. It was also a period where one did not approach any woman or girl he did not know or even flirt with her. As this could cause him a problem with the onlookers. Things like this were taboo.

Anyway, he finally found that person who knew where the girl lived and with whom she lived. She living with an uncle and his wife and family. And keeping with custom, Achille's friend visited the girl's uncle, explained that there was a handsome, tall young man who was of a good family in Italy and in East Boston on Cottage Street who was interested in the young lady that lived with her uncle's family. Arrangements were made to have Achille visit with his friend and introduce the young man to the uncle and wife who was asked what his intentions were and then was allowed to speak with the girl. While this was going on, either the uncle or his wife gave a sign to the girl, who evidently signaled back assenting and things began between the young man and young lady. Her name was Rafellucia or Fannie as she preferred.

On April 28, 1918, Achille and Rafellucia were married at Mt. Carmel Church in East Boston. and lived across the church at a 4 room apartment on the third floor at 60 Frankfort St. East Boston.

Evidently, my parents wasted no time on March 17, 1919, I was born at the Boston Lying-In Hospital.

[Ed: In this second notebook, Dad seems to have forgotten his parents took the ferry from East Boston to Boston and not the Rapid Transit (train) I heard the ferry story from both my parents. Money was tight. The ferry fare was 2 cents and the train fare was a nickel. To save money, they took the ferry to work. The version from the first notebook can be read here.

Another interesting point is the reference to my grandmother's name. On documents, I have found her name listed as Raffaela, and I was told she was called Fannie. In this version, Dad says his mother's name is Rafellucia. Her name on the gravestone is Raffaelina. I speculate that both of those names like her American name, Fannie, are nicknames. It's a mystery I may never find an answer to.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

T Stands For Guilt

Last Tuesday was Valentine's Day. I placed a maple bacon pork loin in the slow cooker quite pleased with myself that we'd have a very nice, Valentine's dinner. I'm happily reading and commenting on the T Stands For posts. I'm salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs as I view cakes with gorgeous, piped frosting roses, strawberries glistening like heart-shaped, rubies, a berry bejeweled cake, and assorted other goodies and then it hits me. Guilt.

While I had a nice dinner prepared and an afternoon mostly to myself, I never got beyond thinking about dessert. Oh No! By now, it was rather late in the afternoon to start baking an elaborate dessert. Pawing through the pantry, I found a boxed, chocolate cake mix. What could I do to make it not look and taste like a boxed, chocolate cake mix?

Help, me, Betty (Crocker)
Help, help me Betty (sung to the tune of the Beach Boy's Help Me Rhonda)

While there were some delicious recipes to transform a boxed cake mix into extraordinary, I didn't have any of the necessary ingredients on hand, and I was running out of time. All I had as an extra was a bag of mint chocolate chips.

I baked the cake with the addition of a teaspoon of vanilla extract according to package directions in a bundt cake pan. When it was cooled, I melted the mint chocolate chips with a couple of tablespoons of butter to make a half-assed ganache. A few candy sprinkles and voilà, a not so ordinary chocolate cake.

Now, truth be told, the feelings of guilt were wholly on me. Himself or the girlies would never complain if there wasn't a fancy dessert or no dessert at all. (Well, there might be a few good-natured grumblings if there were no cookies in the cheap hotel) But after seeing all the cakes and goodies online, I felt they deserved a blue plate special dessert. I treated myself to cake and a cup of Bigelow's English Teatime from the blue and white mug Ma gave to me. A friend of hers had given her four blue and white mugs. Two with flowers and two with butterflies. When I first got married and was setting up house, she gave me the mugs knowing that blue is my color and also that she would have a pretty mug for tea or coffee when she came to visit.

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, February 20, 2017

Public Domain

“Cats: Pictures without Words”
 by Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French (born Switzerland), Lausanne 1859–1923 Paris),
 Ernest Flammarion (French, 1846–1936) ,
Paris via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0
Want to use images in your artwork or blog, but want to be mindful of copyright? The best way to avoid issues is to use your own images. But if you're not a good shutterbug or a specific subject isn't on hand for you to photograph, you can find images to use at Morguefile

Recently, the New York Public Library  made some 200,000 images for download. These images are now in public domain and may be used copyright free and without permissions. You can search for images here

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has also digitized over 300,000 images for unrestricted use. You can search the Creative Commons database here

Lots of images to inspire or provide a happy, little, time waster.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Santa's Got A Brand New Hat

While cleaning, I came across a poor, broken Christmas ornament. A year or so ago, Woodland Santa took a spill and a corner of his hat shattered in a million fragments. I didn't want to throw the ornament out. It was one of the more expensive ornaments we have. We bought it from Vaillancourt Folk Art (right here in my little, town) when they had a glass blowing demonstration one Summer. At least I think Santa came from that event.

The glass blower was a young, German fellow and using a mold technique he blew the ornament into shape ready to be painted and decorated. Signed by him ornaments were already packaged and we purchased one at the event.

I wasn't sure what to do with broken Santa. The fragments were so delicate and there were too many to try to glue.  While strolling the Interwebs, I came across a blog where a woman showed how she repaired some of her broken ornaments. Since the crocheting bug bit, I thought I would crochet Santa a new hat. As I was looking through my folders for directions I found this cute yarn hat ornament made from a strip of toilet paper tubing I had saved. Santa's head was a little smaller, but the project was easily adaptable. I salvaged a cherished ornament, got to recycle, and use up red yarn I had, and the project took less time than it would if I had to crochet the little hat. Win. Win.

So, Santa has a brand new hat, and I'm insufferably pleased with myself.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

You're Only Old Once

After I showed the plant stake spoons I made for Himself for Valentine's Day, I was asked what gift did he give me. He is always thoughtful, and I'm never forgotten.

I got a fabulous and funny pop-up card. And it doesn't rhyme! Himself and I don't particularly care for cards that rhyme.

He gave me a bag of chocolate hearts. I don't have a picture because we shared them, and the few that were left I shared with the girlies. They were delicious. The chocolate hearts, not the girlies. Though there have been times in their growing up years when I understood why some animals eat their young.

I got a Dr. Seuss book, You're Only Old Once. Yes, it's a bit of a dig as I'm a year older than Himself., but I love Dr. Seuss. The very first book I was able to read all by myself was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. This book details the trials and tribulations of dealing with aches, pains, and doctor visits. My dad used to say growing old isn't for the faint of heart. That sentiment is expressed in a very funny way as only Dr. Seuss can.

Several years ago, I did an ATC exchange with my friend, Lambie. One month's theme was Dr. Seuss. I chose the quote, "You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in." I knew it was attributed to Dr. Seuss, but didn't know its context. It came from You're Only Old Once.

I also received a beautiful cyclamen. And when he presented the plant to me, I asked, "Was it free?" See, Himself doesn't usually bring me flowers. Unless they are free. Or he feels guilty because some students gave him a bunch of flowers to thank him for extra help. Or in this case, because he went shopping and had a coupon.

I don't really have a green thumb. Sometimes, I look at plants, and they wither and die. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this one going longer than a day or two.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Taken through the dining room window, the squirrel
perches on the ladder to wait his turn at the feeder.
The male cardinal was there.
Five good things that happened this week.

1. The Eldest was able to make it home through the snow without getting stuck in the dead of night.

2. Had The Brother and his family over for lunch. While we were eating, The Nephew noticed the male cardinal sitting on the trellis. Just Dad stopping by. He loved it when we all got together. After lunch, we spent the afternoon playing with essential oils.

3.  Another snow storm. Happily, it was The Eldest's day off so she didn't have to go into work. The Brother had told me no matter how old the kids get, a parent still worries even when the chicks have flown the nest.

4. Himself's school cancelled classes for Monday. The Young One was supposed to start her first day of work, but she received an email telling her to stay home. A snow day for her, too. No worries and the storm for us wasn't as bad as predicted.

5. For Valentine's Day, The Eldest gave me three new essential oils. A blend called Love, and two single oils Cumin and Cardamom. She enjoys playing with the essential oils, too, so now we have 80.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

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:  

[ed: Dad stopped mid-notebook with directions to continue with another notebook he started. He referred to this notebook as the Lehman notebook, but out of the 3 notebooks I have, none of them have that written anywhere on them.

In this second notebook, I can see the signs of Alzheimer's that I missed with Dad. Most of my focus was on my mother after her stroke, This notebook is a bit harder to decipher the writing. Not Dad's usual  bold, neat penmanship, but hastily written. Lots of things crossed out. The notebook begins with a directive or a notation.]

Insert forgotten much that I can't remember

My Life as I Remember and Lived It

To The Son, and Grandson, my Daughter, Daughter-in-Law, Granddaughters, and my Son-In-Law. It's as the title states. And before anyone can have a life there must be parents.

In a little town in Italy called Torre di [ed: le] Nocelle in the area of the city of Naples, Achille Todisco was born to my grandfather, Joseph [ed: Giuseppe] and Saveria on May 22, 1889 [ed: the correct date is March 22, 1889] He was my grandparents third child. He had an older sister named Angelina followed by Joseph, Achille, Alberto, Alfredo, and a little sister whose name I never hear nor when she was mentioned , did anyone in the family ask nor did her brothers and sister mention her name. They just referred to her. [ed: through genealogy research I found the sister. Her name was Alfonsina Emma Eutilia. She was born in 1893 and died in 1896 at the age of 3 years old] Our parents did not talk about their lives in Italy with us. Once in a while they would so so among themselve or in sotto vocce  indicat whom they were talking about but not in our presence.

My Grandfather Joseph, I think was a shoemaker and he evidently did well economically as he manage to send the eldest daughter and [her] three brothers to America. And may have done better as his sons sent money to their parents.

Angelina came first She married a man name Manuel DeCristoforo. And each brother when my grandfather was ready and asked his daughter, he sent each member of his family to her. Each lived with Zia Angelina until they married. Uncle Joe came first and Achille came next he was 16 years old when he came to America. In fact each brother was 16 years oldwhen he dame. Each had a trade and each was sent to a person who apprenticed them had the trade of barber, tailor. Grandpa was a shoe maker he not only repaird shoes but he also would have a person put his or her foot on a [ed can't make out the word] paper and measure and make a pair of shoes.

Uncle Joe was the first to get married he was a barber and when I met him as a child he had his own business. In Framingham across the side of the street of the town hall.

He also had other barbers working for him and in the back of the barber shop he had another room where women did the latest hairstyles for women.

He also owned his own home. Zia Angelina was not happy with Uncle Joe's wife. He married Aunt Clara a divorcee with two daughters. Two lovely girls. He did not adopt them.

Uncle Fred was a shoemaker and he had a shoe store wehre he sold shoes and also made them and repaired them. He also owned his own home in Wellesley. He married a lovely woma whose name I have forgotten. [ed: Esterina] She died young leaving four boys Tootsie, Charlie, Arthur, Freddy and Ellie. Zia Angelina was not happy with this marriage as Uncle Freds wife was closely related to the Todisco a close cousin [ed second cousin]

Alberto [ed another brother in Italy] did as I remember visit America. I was a few years old at the time and he was a handsome looking guy rather shy and he had his son with him. At the time he had come to say goodbye to my parents as he was returning to Italy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

T Stands for Valentine's Day

A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about what to get Himself for Valentine's Day. I think it's so easy to come up with ideas for women, but men? Not so much. Himself doesn't wear ties, jewelry. Doesn't drink hot beverages. Has enough geek tee shirts to clothe a small nation. Though chocolate would be appreciated, it's more or less a fall back gift. What to do?

Himself enjoys gardening and last year started a garden using straw bales. He also bought an Aero Garden and has started some tomato plants. Ok, a gift that has to do with gardening. He's got lots of gardening tools and if he needs to know something about a plant, or growing, or fertilizing there's alway the Interwebs for the information. Surfing the Web looking for ideas for gardeners, I hit upon plant stakes made from flea market spoons. Perfect! Instead of flea market spoons, I found open stock flatware at Walmart. I decided instead of teaspoons, I'd opt for soup spoons as they had the greater surface area. They came in packs of 4 so I bought 3 packs for 12 spoons.

I used Arches Text Wove from the scrap box. It's a nice, soft paper and would mold to the bowl of the spoon. Or so I thought. When I went to position the first drawing, I saw how the bowl of the spoon was angled so the drawing would point to the ground and wouldn't be seen. Oops. But it worked fine on the back of the spoon. A Sharpie pen was used to outline the drawings. I debated painting them with acrylics, but opted to use colored pencil instead as the drawings are so small. less than 2 inches by 2 inches. Tore the paper to fit the spoon better, because of the curvature of the spoon the paper wouldn't really lie flat so some of the labels have small pleats. Glued it with Modge Podge and sealed it with 4 or 5 coats of an acrylic sealer.

For the first two spoons, I did Tomato, Tomahto as I sure he would plant tomatoes. We have chipmunks in the yard and they love the garden. I named one of them Timex. So Timex holding a sign: Free Lunch.  I wasn't sure what else Himself would plant. Casually asked and was rewarded with peppers and cucumbers.

I was able to complete two spoons, but the best laid plans aft gang agley. The days I planned on working on the stakes, Himself had snow days, or he came home from work early. So the day before Valentine's Day and another snow day, I had to try to get at least 2 more spoons done. So while he was out shoveling snow and raking the snow off the roof, I began working on the cucumber and pepper drawing. Later, when he would watch TV in the bedroom and nap, I'd be able to glue and seal the spoons.

He had transplanted the tomato plants to pots and put them on the dining room table as the chandelier has bright white lights to help with seasonal affected disorder, and the dining room window gets a lot of afternoon sun. I tested the spoons to see how they would look in the pots. Pretty good, if I do say so myself.

You would think with all the cups and mugs around here one of them would have a heart for Valentine's Day. Nope, so there is my trusty, blue Fiesta, mug emptied as I worked for T Day.

Finally got the spoons done and since I wanted to use them for the T Stands for post and because he sometimes reads my blog, I asked if I could give him his Valentine's Day present early.  So ta-dah! Plant Stake Spoons.

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.

Happy Valentine's Day <3

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ditty Bags

Saturday, my Sister-in-Law and newlywed Niece-in-Law along with their menfolk came over for lunch and an afternoon learning and playing with essential oils.

I had some things I made, some lip balm and some sugar scrubs, and I planned on a make and take project, hand sanitizer/room spray, but didn't have any gift bags so they could take the goodies home. The first thought was to run out and buy a couple of gift bags, but remember my word for the year, Frugal? No buying things unless absolutely needed. What did I have that could be made into a little goodie bag?

I had white yarn and crochet thread. Perfect, I could make a couple of ditty bags. I found an easy crochet pattern here and since it was so close to Valentine's Day, an easy crochet heart for a decoration. I decided to use the crochet thread for a more delicate little bag.The ditty bag is 4 or 5 inches tall and just the perfect size for filling with small things. Is cute, no?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Garden Kites

Last week or so, I noticed that my garden kites finally flew away. See the vertical strings to the right of the picture? Those are all that's left of the kites. Ephemeral art, they hung on longer than I expected.

If you're new to the blog or just want to linger a little longer, you can read about the what and how of the Garden Kites here and here.

Because I didn't get out to take a picture of the strings before the snow started flying, I had to take the picture hanging out of the dining room window and only 2 of the strings are in frame. The vertical string on the far left was an image of St. Jude made in the hope of The Young One finding a good job that she would love doing and would make her financially independent. After 2 1/2 years of nearly there and lots of rejections, my prayers (and the Young One's) were finally answered.  Bittersweet that the St. Jude kite is gone. I really loved the little drawing. However, the message is clear. Time for St. Jude to help someone else.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Facebook Art Meme

Blue Morning Glories
Georgia O'Keeffe
There's an art meme going around Facebook. Since I needed a blog topic for today, this will share double duty.

The idea is to occupy Facebook with art, breaking up all the political posts. Whoever "likes" this post will be given an artist and has to post a piece by that artist, along with this text. I received Georgia O'Keeffe.

While looking through her work, it was hard to choose one image. I chose two things I like, the color blue and morning glories.

As I sit and type, I'm wishful thinking Summer weather while a foot of snow is on the ground, more is gently falling, and another significant storm is predicted for Sunday night into Monday.

Painted in 1935, so long ago, and yet so current. I love getting lost in the flower. The deep blue and intense sun of the center of the morning glory. A much nicer view than the blanket of white forever stretching outside my windows.

This image was taken from WikiArt as there was also a fair use mark with the image.

Want to play along either on Facebook or on your blog? Just let me know, and I'll assign you an artist.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

9. February 2013, 3 years to the date, Ink intently
watched the snowstorm.
Five good things that happened this week.

1. Rearranged the living room furniture

2. The Patriots won the Super Bowl

3. Rearranged the living room furniture again. Rearranged it back the way it was in the first re-arrange. Looks like poltergeists were fooling around.

4. Tried a two ingredient dessert recipe. Apple pie filling mixed with angel food cake mix. Not bad for a low cal treat.

5. First major (and I hope last) snow storm of the season. Because of the deep snow totals predicted lots of schools were cancelled the night before. The college where Himself teaches cancelled classes, though the governor told all non-essential state employees not to report to work. Himself teaches at a state school and is considered non-essential so either way a snow day.  The Young One doesn't start her job until next week. Because the roads were so bad and The Eldest would have had to leave for her job at the height of the storm, and the governor was asking people to stay off the road, she called in. My chicks were safe at home.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

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:  

On July 5 of 1938, I packed what clothes I had, which wasn't much and I left for Waltham took the transit and then got into a bus that was operated by another transportation company (double fares).

I got to Skip's home on time and he gave me my orientation course. I was expected to do the janitorial work, during the winter to keep the huge furnace going. The Club was located at the main street almost at the corner of a side street and a good walking distance from the house. In the afternoon, I would change clothes and watch the floor and teach members games and keep law and order.

While I was 19 years old, I was still a minor and to be an adult and eligible to vote the age was 21 years old.

Skip also said I should be very careful about what I did. Because we were being watched. The residents were of the opinion  that the jobs we had belonged to the residents and not outsiders.

Also he was going to ask me one thing that would not or might not be to my liking and he would not ask me to do anything else like that again. Namely that on any [ed: Holy]  day of obligation and Sundays he wanted me to make sure that I went to church. [ed: Dad was Catholic].

If he and his wife did not go, they were not required to do so. He was a Methodist. She was an Episcopalian.He asked me this favor because if I didn't go to church people would probably accuse him of being an evangelist. That was not what he wanted. Also he knew that Fridays I had to eat fish. He said Doris and I like fish and we will have fish on all days of your obligation. Doris later when it came to those days asked if I liked certain fish.

He then said there is one other thing your salary. $15.00 a week. Which at the time was the national average income. In 1940 the government passed the first minimum law 40 cents per hour. I also would work on Saturdays and be off on Mondays. So on Saturdays I would go pick up my clothes at 5 pm after I closed the Club. [ed: Boys Club] He also had his sons double up and I got one of their rooms. I would also pay $8.00 per week for room and board. I would need to get lunch or dinner at certain times and I could get a good lunch at a bar type restaurant for 35 cents, 40 cents if I ordered pie.

Compared to today's prices and salaries my salary was nothing. But we had real money then. It was backed up by gold and silver. Today we have currency. It's paper without any gold or silver.

It was still depression time but our money went a long way.Today a newspaper will cost me a dollar plus. Where as I could get 50 newspapers for a dollar. Fruits were 10 cents a dozen. Movies were 15 cents, in Boston 25 cents and in some areas 10 cents and cowboy movies 05 cents. I opened a savings bank account and put $3.00 a week in the bank and more if I didn't spend all my cash.

I planned to work 1 year and the following year I would start my college work to become a social worker.

I would go home on Saturday night and Sundays I would hang around and on Mondays I would go into Boston on the ferry. 4 cents round trip.

I found out my mother had run up a bill with Dannucci [ed: grocery] and I paid $1.00 a week to pay that off. That was all I could do at the time.

While I was in the old neighborhood I began getting the idea that I would not like to live in East Boston. No even in Orent Heights which was a nice area.

I start this book and then decided to do the Lehman Book. Take the two together and consolidate into one taking the better parts and letting the others go.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

T Stands For - Don't Try This At Home

Browsing through Target, in the video department, along the back wall (of this run on sentence) was a display filled with comic book paraphenalia. Himself is a comic book aficionado. So the shelves caught my eye as potential holiday (even if Hallmark made some of the holidays up) gift ideas. Target didn't have much in the way of Marvel characters, Himself's preferred stories.

But there was this cool Batman (DC Comics) mug. I just love the cobalt (my shade of) blue cowl. However, the design of the mug makes this impossible to drink from. Not to mention it's not dishwasher or microwave safe. A definite do not buy in my book. Even if you could manage to get a sip from the front of the mug without dribbling your hot tea or coffee over yourself because the shape of the face and small openeing puts the edge of the mug a good distance from your lips. The real danger is the pointy ears of the cowl will poke your eye out! Either way it's a golden ticket to the emergency room.

It would have been better to market the $9.99 plus tax mug as a desk accessory for holding pens and pencils. I passed it by.

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, February 4, 2017

Jack Frost Is A Star Wars Fan

Jack Frost stopped by to decorate the sun room slider. He's a Star Wars fan. Can you see the Storm Trooper?

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. After 2 1/2 years of looking for real work, the Young One finally landed a job as a 3D Visual Artist. We celebrated both girls finally adulting with take-out (The Young One's choice) from Star Dumpling. Himself and I are also looking forward to the day when the girlies treat us. :-D

2. Red came over for tea and a chat

3.The female cardinal at the bird feeder made me smile. Hi, Ma! Later in the day, I saw the Dad cardinal.

4. I made an obligatory bitch about the snow on my Facebook status. My cousin called to tease me. Funny because he hates the snow and cold just as much as I do. Love talking to him.

5. Went shoe shopping with the Young One. Neither one of us had luck finding shoes that fit, but we had a nice time together.

How was your week?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

Dad , early 1940s, wearing the white flannel
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 next Summer of play school, Skip hired me to do work at his house. He bought a house and people said that wa a bad move because his boss who had to live in the Center's house and have employees next door and also connected with them. They also used the main house and he [ed: Skip] did not have the privacy that families had.

It was also nice. We built a wall and concrete walk. A lot of things. Doris [ed: Skip's wife] would have me stop for a break. I had lunch there, and dinner and went home.

While my repeat year was so so, when I went into the Junrion yrea, I noted that I had Wednesday and Thursday tow study periods on both dates. And one on the other days.

There was a rule in the school that if you were on the Honor Roll, you could check out of school and advise the study room teacher that you were on Honor Roll. On the days that yo had two study periods, one after the other the teacher had discretion and allow you to check ou for both periods. Mine were liberal and I got out right after lunch. It was a nice year for me. I had lots of free time to do my homework and be free for the Center at night.

I also visited my French teacher [ed: at the Donald McKay Jr. High School] and she greeted me with I heard you were on the Honor Roll. I showed the button that said Honor Roll. Even Miss Sullivan was thrilled.

My Senior year was the same. I maintained my Honor Roll status.

In the interim, Skip left theCenter. He had it out with the director. He had been promised by Max Nelson, the assistant position when Max was setting up the Center and he had Skip give up his job in New York and go with him to Boston. That [ed: position] never appeared. Also Max may have been jealous that one of his employees was living in his own home while he had to live with staff up the hill in East Boston.

Skip was out of work for months and he had to sell his house. He lost all his savings. The other thing was that he was what we called insurance poor. He carried over $10,000 worth which required a good monthly payment. He also had a second son.

Fortunately, he managed to get a position as Director to set up the Waltham Boys Club in 1937. And he promised me a job when I graduated in 1938. I don' t know to this day if it was a good move. At the time as graduation approached my teacher in accounting offered me a scholarship. His name was Sullivan. No relation to the Sullivan from my junior high school. I declined since Skip had promised me that I should go to his house in Waltham the day fter July 4th. Gave me directions and I was all set. He also said his wife would be at the farm [ed: Skip's parents] for vacation with the boys so we would have to sort of get our own meals.

Some time before graduation I was stopped by my French teacher, Clarke, who aske me questions about my ability on tests. He asked me if I wanted to get a 70% on a test could I do it? How about 90%? 100%? Each time I said yes. He walked away; he was disgusted. I thought that was great. But as time past I realized that he may have looked at my marks and he saw a red flag and wanted to make sure that I was working will all the cylinders. I wasn't. Ad he was deciding whether or not he coudl put me in for a scholarship. Boston English had a slew of scholarships given to it by its successful graduates etc.

I would not have taken it. My position would not have changed and it would become worse with having to purchase books etc. Money was still tight and my poor mother went to get me a pair of white flannel trousers. [ed: Story I heard from my mother. The graduating class had to wear white flannel trousers. Dad's mother went to work to earn the money to buy the material. His father was a tailor. For whatever reason, his father didn't want to make the pants, but his mother shamed her husband into it. ] I graduated but neither of my parents came. My mother would have if my father took her.

I was able to buy my school ring. I just made the price as Skip had asked Max Nelson to get me some work and that's how I was able to get the money. The only remembrance I would have. No photo book. That didn't bother me. I did not make any friends I would keep. My schoolmate were doing thing I could not do. Gout out to movies, dances, etc. it cost money.