Monday, April 30, 2018

Kids Say the Darndest Things


A practice piece from something the Eldest said which I found amusing. "Whoever said a diamond is a girl's best friend has never used a step stool."

Originally, I had drawn a diamond in Chibi's (the Eldest's nickname) hands. But then got the bright idea of using a diamond earring from a piece of costume jewelry. The diamond was attached with Crafter's Pick The Ultimate, a non-toxic, water-based, super glue.

Pilot Parallel Pen 1.5 mm with Noodler's Black ink, on Diploma parchment, 8 in. x 10 in., cartoon frame done in Paint Shop Pro X8

Sunday, April 29, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Cinnamon (because s/he has a cinnamon colored patch of fur behind his/her neck) stopped by. The grass is always greener over the septic cover.


Morning fog.


The robin stood under Gruff's bench for at least a half an hour. Hiding? Hanging out in the shade? Chatting with Gruff?


One minute they were just bare branches, and the next minute the forsythia erupted in yellow butterfly-like blooms.


Warm weather expected mid-week. Time to get the gewgaws out to the Zensical garden so the sun room can be deep cleaned.


The vinca popped out to say hello


Daffodils wave a greeting from the front walk.


A lone tulip 


blooms among the daffodils on the hill by the driveway.


I think there are some buds on the hydrangea


And someone ate Mitty's Hollyhock!

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Transplanting Lily

I'm not very good with plants so was apprehensive when The Eldest left her peace lily behind. She moved in January so I was feeling pretty good her plant was still alive. Until last week. Lily wasn't looking too good. She was in the location where she had been doing great so that didn't seem to be the problem, and I know I wasn't over watering her. I thought the problem might be she was outgrowing her pot.



After watching a few YouTube videos on transplanting peace lilies, I decided to give it a try. Worst scenario was I'd kill the plant which looked like the case if she stayed in her original pot. I took Lily outside to the sun room where I could sit on the outside step while filling pots. I removed Lily from her pot and it looked like there was several plants all in one pot. I separated them as best I could and replanted them. The main plant still looked like it had multiple plants, but I had run out of pots so just replanted it in a bigger pot.



After a week, the plants were still looking pretty good. And I noticed Big Lily looked like she was going to flower or she had a horrible growth.


Friday, April 27, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things


Five good things that happened this week.

1. Himself introduced me to  Dead Pool, not your average super hero. I loved him. A real smart ass.

2. I think I saw one of the bunnies scoot under the sun room.

3. Received a surprise package from Scotland

4. Went to the movies with the Young One to see The Cat Returns the second film in the Miyuzaki film series. Really enjoyed the story.

5. Had tea with Red and was also able to wash a comforter in her heavy-duty washer.

How was your week?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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:

I also at a younger age was given violin lessons. Which I didn't care for and later the trumpet or cornet. I gave that up.

I also refused to take up Uncle Vincent [ed: Uncle Vincent's offer of a scholarship to the Boston Conservatory of Music] who heard me sing vesti la giubba from the opera "Pagliacci"
He said before you answer. [ed: There will be] No smoking, no drinking, no women. The first two did not bother me. The third, I was beginning to notice that the scrawny looking girls in the neighborhood were suddenly showing the start of exotic French curves. That I hated to give up.

Primarily while my father was in favor and so was my mother. That was fine, but my mind began to say very fast that it was just for the lessons, the books, car fare, etc. must come from your parents. And I then would also feel that I would be owned. Papa had all he could do to keep abreast of payments. So I said no. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

T Stands For Retirement

Himself has decided to retire from teaching at the college. 32 years has been long enough, besides the retirement package offered to him was too good to pass up. Besides, he'll still be able to teach at the college if he wants to. He will go from being a full-time professor to being an adjunct professor. He can also do other things, too. Teach at other schools closer to home, find something as a chemist in the private sector, start a business, or do  a million items on the Honey Do List.

On his way home from the karate studio, I asked if he had eaten lunch. If he was coming home for lunch, I would wait and have lunch with him. He said he had a better idea. 

"Why don't we go out to lunch to celebrate my retirement. I heard an ad on the radio that the 99 has a special on lobster rolls."

Have lunch? Will travel so off we went to the 99 Restaurant. Like a lot of restaurants it has a sports theme. We were seated in a booth by some Boston Red Sox memorabilia.


This famous photograph captured the excitement of Big Papi's (David Ortiz) Grand Slam ( hitting a home run and driving 3 other runners across home plate for a total of 4 runs to tie the game, the second game of the American League Championship Series in 2013. In the bull pen (where the pitchers warm up), police officer, Steve Horgan, embodies the feelings of a true Red Sox fan. Did Officer Horgan check on Torri Hunter of the Detroit Tigers? No, of course, not. "There's no crying in baseball." Hunter wasn't injured though maybe his pride was that he wasn't able to get a glove on the ball for an out. I rather like the way both player and the police officer mirror the Letter V. Just goes to show you. Boston sports fans are rabid. =^,.^=


We ordered our drinks and an appetizer of Mozzarella Moons. Like mozzarella sticks but shaped like a half moon.

 In a nod to my mother-in-law, I ordered a Raspberry Lime Rickey.  She made the best RLR during the Summer months. My drink wasn't mixed, easily remedied by a couple of stirs with the straw, but I thought the ombre effect was very pretty.


Himself ordered a Pepsi (preferred over Coke) and the waitress brought a small bowl of popcorn. In the olden days at this restaurant chain, they used to bring roasted peanuts and people would throw the shells on the floor. I suppose the staff got tired of sweeping up so the restaurant switched to free bowls of popcorn. The bowls of popcorn have gotten smaller. 


The right field foul pole at Boston's Fenway Park is named after Johnny Pesky, a player during the 1940s and 1950s. For the longest time, I thought the pole was just a nuisance to hitters, i.e. pesky. I didn't realize it was named after a player. Say Good Night, Gracie. ­čś║


The waitress brought our entree. We each ordered the Hot Buttered Lobster Roll which came with drawn butter, fries (chips), and coleslaw. What no appetizer? She had forgotten to bring them out to us. So she retrieved them and had the manager take the item off our bill.


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, April 23, 2018

My Little Corner

Last week's project was getting the computer, scanner/printer, and document scanner into the room. This week is about curbing the paper clutter.


When the document scanner (NeatDesk) was downstairs, I'd put paper into piles that needed scanning, and then shredding. I try to have all my files as electronic files. What happened was piles of paper spawned all over the house either waiting to be electronically filed or shredded. With both the document scanner and the paper shredder in the same room, I'm finding I'm keeping on top of the paper clutter. (So far!)

The tambour next to the paper shredder will corral art papers.


Some work I do involves lettering names on certificates and addressing envelopes. I had flat file space downstairs to place certificates to dry, though I had to keep an eye out that Ink wouldn't decided to lay on the paper, a favorite pasttime of his.

There isn't a lot of space in this room so I needed some sort of paper drying rack. I found one that would hang on the inside of the closet door, but then thinking about it, I realized it would be neat and not practical. I'd have to constantly get up and down after lettering to bring the sheet to the drying rack. Not very efficient.

I found this Rue Panel Ladder which I thought would suit my needs. It can be used 3 different ways. It can stand on a table as I have it, hung on a wall, or stretched on a table or the floor.

After the larger certificates are lettered, I can just slide the paper into the rack to dry.


For envelopes and small items, I used a Slinky stretched between 2 cup hooks on my writing desk downstairs. I thought I would rig up some sort of wooden thing, but then found a couple of large bulldog clips. The clips are attached to the outside edge of the plastic tool tray that came with the drafting table. A towel keeps the metal Slinky from scratching the glass top. For even smaller items, I swap out Slinky for a Slinky Jr.. pictured in the middle of the desk.


One reason I got the glass top drafting table was with a light source underneath it could double as a light box. Handy when doing repetitive lettering like certificates or envelopes. I had bought some LED strip lights which I thought were going to work out, but last week for some odd reason, they shorted out.

Back to the Big Orange Box Store and I found these battery operated LED puck lights. No cords to deal with and cheap. 3 for $10.97 plus tax. I bought a second set if three lights aren't enough to be able to see through certificates or envelopes.



Sunday, April 22, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?


The week began with sleet and freezing rain (I cried)


that turned into torrential rain. The swale that runs along my side of the street was a white water river. We were doing fine until the sump pump decided to go on a coffee break for whatever reason and some water seeped into the basement. I cried 


The daffodils were ready to


bloom.


Out of focus buds on the Japanese maple tree.


The mountain laurel sprung up overnight. It's not looking too good.


The overgrown honeysuckle vine is starting to bud. Someone should have cut it back.


Inside, Reggie's Magic Seeds (morning glories) have sprouted. I was hoping for more plants.  It will still be a week or two before these can go in the ground in Ink's garden.

How does your garden grow?


Friday, April 20, 2018

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1.  All set to do my civic duty and go to jury duty, and I received an email saying I didn't need to report. Gained a day!

2. Planted Reggie's Magic Seeds

3. Nice lunch with a friend to discuss seating and place card ideas for her daughter's Cinderella wedding.

4. Went with my friend, Teague, on a cemetery hop to Mt. Auburn Cemetery to find the grave of my great uncle Vincent, the Judge. Seems there's a bit of a mystery  and a family secret. We also found Teague's great aunt in Mt. Feakes Cemetery. Back to Teague's house and while poking at Uncle Vincent's mystery, she found Uncle Francesco, the blind baker Dad talked about. I had an incorrect spelling of his name.

5. Enjoyed a great lunch at the D Line Diner in Watertown.

How was your week?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Throwback Thursday - The Notebook

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 14, in 1933, I met a man at the playground of my Daniel Webster schoolyard. [ed: This man, is Charlie Arnold who would become Dad's mentor] It never had been open for Summers. And closed whenever school was out, holidays and Saturday and Sundays.

So the only place we had [ed: to play] was the street and we would go over the fence and also be on the lookout for the police officer. He had a key to the Donald McKay School and wold go through the front and exit into the school yard. And we would run to scale the 8 foot chain-link fence and make our get away. At times this would be on the street where we would run into one of the building, go up the roof and jump from rooftop to rooftop and escape that way. And we knew which roof doors were open.

We also would go to the railroad yards and throw rocks at the train and the men in in the engine sector would throw coal at us. We wanted this because although it was soft coal and smelled gassy, we would go down a cellar for a picnic and light a fire. And due course we would be coughing and choking and get out of there when some woman would set up the alarm. And come down to chase us out of the cellar.

In fact, my best friend, Leonard Russcetti (Len Russ) when he mastered the violin and had an orchestra came to my house in Cambridge when he was in a theater ticket line and met up with my brother, Mario. He asked about me. And at that time I was studying to become a lawyer. Mario gave him my telephone and we set up a date. We had a nice time and he said "You know we had 10 family members and every time we heard that you had gotten in some episode, we would make bets as to what year, month, and date that the State would pull the switch on the electric chair at the State's prison on Cherry Hill in Charlestown. Time we would at midnight.

Anyway, we had a nice time playing all kind of games. As this Summer was coming to a close, he [ed: Charlie Arnold] said that he would be at Marginal St. in September and said that he would open a center and we should go. It would be fun.

I went along with other boys and the place was the old government building immigrants that came to America got off the ship at the landing across the street and were checked for passports etc. It was not used anymore and the Government turned that over to the Center Board Director, Charlie Arnold, or Skipper as he wanted to be called or Skip. He lived up the top floor with his wife and child. And in a sense I would sort of get a life at that time. I could also go to the big library and check out 4 books and I enjoyed every book I took out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

T Stands For Baby G

Baby G's due date was 4. April, but a due date is a best guesstimate. First babies are usually "late" though babies arrive on their own schedule. Baby G was no exception. She arrived on Thursday, 12. April at 3:18 PM. tipping the scales at 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches in length.

While the rest of the family were no doubt pestering inquiring of the mom-to-be when the baby was arriving, I was working on this piece for Baby G's room. Rather like Baby G, it occurred to me too late to take process photos. This is at the very end.

Baby G's room has a nautical theme with whales. The room is painted a pinky purple or a purpley pink. I thought a mermaid in a Chibi anime-style would be cute. So at this point, the drawing, lettering, gilded boxed initial in 23K gold, starfish in her hair painted with shell gold is done.

I used a purpley pink color in gouache for the background of the boxed initial. Gouache is an opaque watercolor and stands out nicely against the gold gilding.

I wanted a softer aspect to the mermaid so used watercolor pencils. Her fins have been washed with Schminke silver watercolor because a girl can't have too much bling.

You won't see a beverage as I've been known to dip my brush in tea or spill it all over the desk. There's a reason Ma didn't name me Grace. On my desk you can see two, small, plastic cups. One with dirty paint water and one with clean, distilled water along with distilled water in a dropper bottle.

Since the background of the boxed initial is colored, it needs something so it doesn't appear so flat, Traditionally, white work, (doodles painted with white) would be done. And I did, but the traditional designs looked wrong for such a whimsical picture. I painted over and decided to add simple, white dots.

My brush work for such fine work isn't that great. My brush dots tend to look more like commas so I use the end of a small, ball embosser. That's the white tool resting on the brush rest next to my brush.

For the white, I use Chinese white, a very opaque white, recommended by Valerie Weilmuesnter when I took her Illumination class 3 years ago at the Sacred Art Institute on Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut.

The final embellishment to the piece is a small, (costume) diamond (April birth stone) earring. I broke the back off and sanded off the nub so the fitting will stand flat. I wondered what glue to use and asked the question on Facebook. Jacqueline Sullivan, a calligrapher who does a lot of work with metals, advised using Crafter's Pick Ultimate Glue. I had the pleasure of taking a workshop from Jacqueline many years ago. I ordered the glue and am waiting for its arrival.

After the gluing all that's left is to mat and frame.

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, April 16, 2018

My Little Corner


This week's project in my little corner was to bring up my main computer and peripherals from the basement. I've been usingThe Young One's old laptop networked to the printer, but I was getting tired of running up and down the stairs to print something.

I had been looking for a computer desk. Something that would be able to hold the printer and the document scanner. Nothing seemed to fit the bill.

I had a 6 foot folding table in the garage. The table was used when I did craft fairs. Himself graciously dug it out so the Little Princess didn't have to worry about the spiders or any critters that might have decided to make a home in it. Fortunately, they didn't. I gave it a good cleaning and a colorful, cheap inexpensive tablecloth gave the table a makeover.

All the equipment fit and all the electrical spaghetti is contained and hidden under the table. From downstairs, I brought the chair up from my writing desk. It's seen better days, but is serviceable for the time being.

Next up is to reconfigure the computer  arrangement so I can get Himself's computer off the dining room table. Just on the off chance we use the dining room table to dine on instead of a flat file.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How Does Your Garden Grow?

This week the weather pendulum was swinging all over the place. Snow, wet, cold, sunny, but signs of Spring were popping out in unexpected places.


I almost stepped on this tiny crocus in the lawn on the way to the mailbox.


Crocus pop up were they were not planted on the side of the driveway.


Daffodils getting ready to pop


A tiny Hyacinth by the front walk


More crocus by the driveway.


Mitty's Hollyhock is sprouting. He liked the hang out under the shade of their broad leaves.


Lots of sticks and clean-up to do around the Zensical garden if it would stay warmer than 5 minutes.


Crocus and daffodils underneath the Japanese Maple.

More lousy weather on the way. How does your garden grow?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fashion Forward


Me: Aren't you wearing the Cation t-shirt?

Himself made a moue of distaste.

Me: You wanted  chemistry t-shirts so I got you a chemistry t-shirt.

Himself: I'll wear it tomorrow. You know I wear it once a semester. Just for you.

Me: You'll look cute.

Himself: I don't want to look cute.

Me: I bet you'll get lots of compliments.

Himself: (mumbling) More along the lines of Foghorn Leghorn. [There's something a little yeeee  about a Professor who wears a Hello Kitty T-shirt)]