Monday, July 31, 2017

Ductless Mini Split System

So, I've been asked about the mini split, what it is and what it looks like. The mini-split is a ductless air conditioner and heater. It's called a mini split because the compressor is split off from the main unit.

This is the wall unit. A 6 inch or so hole was cut into the wall to run wires and stuff outside.

This is what it looks like outside. Wires and stuff were then run up into the attic crawl space. We had 4 units installed. One in the living room/dining room/kitchen area and one in each bedroom. Each unit can run independently.

From the attic crawl space, wires and stuff were run outside and connected to the condenser or compressor.

This thing. So, that's what it looks like., and no more lifting heavy, air conditioner units to put in and then out of the windows. Himself is very happy about that.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The rain didn't stop Chocolate from stopping by for a mid-afternoon snack.

The cardinals, house finch, and squirrel show up for the first seating for dinner.

A little over an inch of rain for the week.

Morning glories on the climb.

Sunflower reaching for the sky.

Morning glories taller than I am, and I'm quite tall for a Hobbit.

This sprung up in the garden overnight. It's the condenser for the mini split.

Hydrangeas put on a  show.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It's Hip To Be A Square

Unless you're an envelope being mailed through the US Postal Service. I made a square envelope for an exchange I was participating in. I decided to use the bird stamps and decorated the envelope. Four stamps would be more than enough postage to get the envelope to Europe. Square envelopes require extra postage. I was pleased with how it turned out. All was right in my world until I got to the post office.

Usually, I get to the post office before 2 PM. That's when S's shift ends. She doesn't mind mail art and is always very careful handling the envelope, and she always hand cancels the postage.

There was a new clerk on the counter. Or maybe just new to me.

"This is a problem." He frowned. "It's square. This won't do. It can't be machined." He looked at me as if I was supposed to take the envelope home and redo it as a #10 business envelope. [long rectangle]

"It's mail art. Just tell me if there is sufficient postage to get the envelope to Germany." I had brought extra stamps, just in case.

"Yes, there's more than enough postage."

"Good. Would you kindly hand cancel the postage for me?"

He hand cancelled the stamps, and I was surprised he carefully stamped a single cancellation mark in the center of the four stamps.

"I'll tell you what I'll also do."

He took another rubber stamp and in red stamped By Airmail -Par Avion to the left of the stamps. My turn to frown. If a stamp had to be placed, I would have rather it was stamped with Mit Luftpost as this envelope was going to Germany. At least he didn't write all over my envelope as another clerk did a very long time ago and ruined my entry in a mail art contest.

He put the envelope in the outgoing mail tote, and I sighed with relief.

As to the airmail rubber stamp, I thought all mail outside the borders of the United States was sent by air. I thought sending mail by boat hasn't happened since 1927 when Lindy flew across the Atlantic Ocean. Who knows, maybe I'm square. Hopefully, the envelope will arrive safely at its destination.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Baby Me, 6 months
Five good things that happened this week.

1. Celebrated The Young One's birthday

2. Installation of the mini-splits began

3. Race of the clock waiting for the contractor to leave for the day so I could make it to the post office before closing.

4. Got a call from the computer repair to pick the printer up. The printer was still under warranty so Epson sent a brand new printer. And I got home before it began to rain

5. Today, Happy Birthday, to me!

How was your week?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebook

Phyllis and Mario 1940
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:

And in between my brother, Mario, was called incorrigible and my father had him put in a state institution in Holyoke. [ed: My mother told me Mario had been sent to the Lyman School for Boys in Westboro] I went with my mother to visit him. Everyone asked how he [ed: his father] could do this? Since Mario did not commit any crimes, etc. Even in the institution, the people in charge could not understand why he was there. They kept him for six months and then sent him home. School was not for him, but he became a hard worker. He got a job with an oil man assisting him with deliveries. He was Mario and he was a good brother and good-hearted. My cousin Raymond, Zia Angelina's son, called him a diamond in the rough.

At this point, I would say that my sister and brothers and in-laws were very good to me and loved me.

Mario did not spend much time in school. He married young and Phyllis was a good find for him. But for a while, it looked like it would not last. He came home one night and brought a wedding gift he had received with him and his clothes. The marriage was off.

Father stepped in and he told him you take your things with you and you return to your wife. There's not going to be any break-up. He did as he was told.  [ed: Mario and his wife were married for 56 years when Mario passed away in 1996]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

T Stands For Anniversary ATCs

Last week, Bluebeard and Elizabeth celebrated 4 years of T Stands For posts on their blog. In honor of the anniversary, Elizabeth arranged an ATC exchange among participants, if they wanted to play. The rules were simple, you only made one ATC to send to the person who linked their blog below your link on the linky page Elizabeth created for the blog post. The last person in the list would send an ATC to the first person on the list.

The acronym ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards. The artwork is 2 1/2 inches x 3 1/2 inches in size. ATCs are always traded and never sold.

Saturday, when I got home from the workshop at the library, I found a delightful envelope from Erika at BioArtGal.  She had used the bird stamps.

The back was decorated with a fun tea themed rubber stamp and washi tape which I was able to carefully peel off.

Inside the envelope was a wonderful, hand-made card and not one, but three ATCs

Perhaps, you would like some raspberry herbal tea?

Or perhaps, you'd care for a cup of coffee?

Me? I'll take a cup of steaming hot, English Breakfast tea. Good any time. Day or night.

Thanks, Erika, for the wonderful mail surprise. The details of your card and ATCs are so delightful. I love the little spoons, the hearts, and the trim which reminds me of fancy napkins.

Thank you also to Bleubeard and Elizabeth. I really enjoy the T Stand for meme and being able to have a good to go subject for Tuesdays.

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, July 24, 2017

Family Art Journal - Part 2

Saturday's class focused on saving some money on embellishments with do it yourself. Using packing tape we transferred images from scrapbook paper.  You cut paper to the size of packing tape you want to use. Press the image with a bone folder or scissor handles to make sure the image adheres to the tape. Soak the image in a cup of water for 5 minutes or so and then with your finger remove the white paper backing. The image will be transferred to the packing tape. This technique also works with some computer printer images.

We also made washi tape (decorative tape) using double stick tape and strips of decorative paper. Decorative paper strips are cut to the width of the tape. The tape stuck to wax paper and then the decorative paper is adhered to the top of the tape. When you want to use the tape, you peel it off the wax paper and place on your artwork.

We also free cut shapes from paper to use as decorative elements.

Some of the participants dropped in for the workshop so they used magazine pictures to create their pages.

Materials were supplied by the library through a grant. The sequins were very popular. All in all, it was a productive and enjoyable afternoon.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Somebody kicked the bucket.

The mourning doves enjoy the bird bath on a hot afternoon.

Mrs. Goldfinch waits her turn at the bird feeder.

Hydrangeas loaded with blooms.

The squirrel became obsessed with the feeder.

Oops, his weight closed the hatch.

On the way down.

Try again.

And again.

And again.

Never mind. Ground seeds are good, too.

One of the bunnies cames out for a snack.

The weeds have flourished in the heat and humidity.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Copyright Free Photos

 On the Friday Five Good Things from July 21, 2017, Da Tabbies O' Trout Town asked: and the photo is amazing...did you take this ! ☺☺♥♥

They were referring to the photo on the left.

My bad, Tabbies, I should have left the attribution in the comments. This photo came from a copyright free site called Pexels

The site offers high-quality stock photos free to use under the Creative Commons Zero license (CC0). I learned about this great resource from blog buddy, Blogoratti. As you can see, the photos are beautiful. The photos are free to use for personal or commercial purposes. Photos can also be edited or modified.

So, if you're looking for an image for your blog or a project, check out Pexels.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. A breakfast date which turned into a lunch date because Friendly's was packed at 10:30 am and a long wait. Breakfast ends at 11 AM and we had an errand to do. So we left headed in the direction of our errand and stopped for lunch.

2. We eagerly enjoyed the season premiere of Game of Thrones. The Eldest joined us.

3. Another breakfast date. This time we got to Friendly's very early.

4. The contractor had time in his schedule to start the install of the mini-split AC earlier than we were expecting. Work begins next week.

5. Some bad news this week, but even when things seem bleak, there's always a silver lining.

How was your week?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

image from
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:

It still was no picnic [ed: working at the Center under Nelson] I know that I was able to make enough money to be able to buy my books, ring which I eventually gave to The Brother. And I also had a small amount to be able to take in a movie. I did not sit for a picture for the class book. All I did was submit something and let that go.

While things were going ok at home, my father was still struggling and my mother had her hands full. And he also had during this period he began drinking still feeling bad about his alleged friends.

If he enjoyed anything it was listening to the operas on the radio. Other than that he was somewhat [ed: sentence not finished]

Uncle Vincent was instrumental in getting him a job as a tailor with the state police. He repaired the uniforms or tailored them and it required that he work at the Framingham barracks and he would come home on weekends. At night he would either go out with the police in their cruiser or with either or both of his brothers. [ed: His brother, Joe, a barber had his own barbershop and lived in Framingham. His brother Alfred, a cobbler, had his own shop and lived in nearby Wellesley]

He also during the time before he got the job began making friends with your mother's people. And he did not have anything to do with his own again. Since some were related he would at least acknowledge but he would not visit them or have them over to the house. He changed personality and mother did not sing anymore either.

She went out to work and her life got better. She began to be herself again. And it wasn't hard for her to make friends. Her attitude was wonderful and with all her troubles, she was still able to encourage people. Tomorrow would be a better day

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

T Stands for Matisse

While at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Nan and I also went to see the Matisse exhibit. Fascinating because besides displaying Matisse's art, the objects he used in his paintings were also on display. Matisse loved the objects (chocolate pots, vases, furniture) he had. Often having them brought to him when he moved around.

I liked the color study

It wasn't enough for him to paint still lifes. Sometimes, he had to sculpt the object he wanted to paint

I found a teacup. At least, I think it's a teacup.

Across from the American Cafe which was too crowded for us to have lunch, is the Lime Green Icicle Tower (42.5 ft x 7 ft or 13 m. x 2.1 m.) by Dale Chihuly, an American glass sculptor.

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.