Saturday, December 31, 2022

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In 1976, one of the founding father's of the United States, Benjamin Franklin was designated as the state's official inventor. Franklin was born on Milk St. in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706.

Milk St. is located in the Financial District of Boston. My dad's office was located on Devonshire St. that marks the left hand border of the Financial District.

On this sixth day after Christmas, or seventh day of Christmas depending on your reckoning

Friday, December 30, 2022

The Friday Five Good Things


Five good things that happened this week.

1. Mailed Christmas cards, received Christmas cards in the PO Box, We braved the zoo at the mall to pick the Young One up from work, get the Target curbside order, and take out from Red Robin

2. Christmas Day. Low key and quiet. Texted with the Eldest

3. Had a nice text convo with Teague.

4. A police officer came to the door to warn us of a scam going around town. People calling saying some relative is in jail and needs bond money. They come to the door to collect it. Sadly an elderly neighbor down the street was scammed a large sum of money. A reminder the police will never go to your house to collect bond money.

5. Calli sat with me in the rocking chair, and we had a good, long rock and a cuddle

How was your week?

On this fifth day after Christmas, or sixth day of Christmas depending on your reckoning

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Christmas Card Mosaic

All the lovely wishes

and arty greetings of the season.

On this fourth day after Christmas, or fifth day of Christmas depending on your reckoning

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Whatcha Doin?


On this third day after Christmas, or fourth day of Christmas depending on your reckoning.

I'm feeling a lot more like myself today. There's an urge to catch up on all the stuff that hasn't gotten done because of being sick. I think I'll just take it easy sipping tea, watching movies with my cuddle buds, and I'm sure a nap is somewhere in my future.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

T Stands for Present and Treat

 On this second day of Christmas, or third day depending on your reckoning, a present and a treat.

My Grinch mug ended up with a big chip so it couldn't be used to drink from. Himself gave me a new mug. The Grinch is savoring his coffee/tea and the saying: I  have either the time nor the crayons to explain this to you.

Himself had requested a Whoopie Pie as a treat he wanted at Christmas. I had every intention of making whoopie pies, but just haven't felt well enough to bake so I ordered some from the grocery store and had them delivered. 

The consensus was the cake part was delicious, but the cream filling was really just a glob of canned frosting. Not the best, but the best I could do under the circumstances. 

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, December 26, 2022

On The First Day of Christmas


I hope to address a few more Christmas cards. Being sick with a cold that I can't seem to get rid of has put me so far behind, I think I'm winning the race because I can't see anyone in front of me.

At least the Christmas season is still on. You know the countdown for the 12 days of Christmas begins today and ends on 6. January with The Epiphany, Little Christmas, Three Kings Day, or Twelfth Night. So there's still time. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

One of the best things about the Christmas season in Boston if you were a kid growing up in the late 1950s and 1960s, was a trip into Boston to the Jordan Marsh Department store. If you were very good, your parents would take you to see the Enchanted Village. This was a series of animated doll displays. You'd wend your way through the displays and then you could sit on Santa's lap and tell him your Christmas wish list.

Before going home, your parents would stop and buy a box of Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins, the biggest, best, fluffy, blueberry muffins in the Universe. Recipe here.

Friday, December 23, 2022

The Friday Five Good Things


Five good things that happened this week.

1. A gift arrived, but not who it was from. Texted the Eldest to find out if it was from her, and it was for her sister.  We had a nice chat about her new job. She said the placement service is hinting her contract will be extended.

2. Winter Solstice 182 days left until the Summer Solstice

3. Received a box of Godiva chocolates from the Eldest for Christmas

4. Found someone to plow the driveway

5. Finally felt well enough to address some Christmas cards

How was your week?

Thursday, December 22, 2022

A Wish and a Prayer


To all those in the path of the mega storm, stay safe and warm. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Whatcha Doin?


I'm celebrating the Winter Solstice. Halfway out of the dark. 182 days until the Summer Solstice.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

T Stands for Illuminated Initial Bookmarks with Middle Schoolers, Again.

I had the pleasure of teaching illuminated initial bookmarks to two more classes of 9 and 10 year olds from the same school as last time. Talking with other teachers, this age group is supposed to be the most difficult to teach. If you're teaching children, or thinking about teaching children, my friend, Andy Fish broke down the age groups and wrote about the pros and cons of teaching babies to adults. Andy also labeled the pre-teens as "children born of hell."

I had two, one hour classes with the 9 and 10 year olds to teach.. I don't know whether it was a combination of the school and parenting, or the kids being on their best behavior because they wanted to make sure they were on Santa's nice list. These kids were well behaved, excited to be at the museum, and engaged.

The class was only an hour long so I find it helpful to have a small project and to break the project down into steps and show examples of what they can do. 

We talk about decisions artist need to make. Whether to hold the paper in landscape or 

or portrait. Whether to use only one initial

or to use all three.

We talk about some of the things they like such as pets

or things they like to do like playing soccer and basketball.

I talk about how medieval artists used real gold or silver to add bling to their work. We can't use real gold or silver in these classes, but we have gold and silver markers. Boy howdy, are those gold and silver markers a big hit. If you're teaching kids, make sure you're supplied with metallic markers.

I tell them that medieval artist pretty much worked in traditional colors of red, green, and blue, but that we aren't limited to that color palette. They can use any colors they like

I tell them how they can put the initials in a box, if they want.

This little girl was making a bookmark for her mom and included things her mother loved. Coffee (which is my drink reference), ramen noodles, hearts, and stars.

This little dude was a medieval artist in a former life with his fancy initials.

The gold and silver markers are a godsend

I try to keep the class so we all work on the same step at the same time. I think it helps them to have a road map to follow. Not just the kids, but I do this for my adult classes, too. 

When the Eldest was in grammar school, she would race through the project before the teacher had finished giving directions. There will always be a couple of kids like that.

Make sure you have another project or two for them to work on while their classmates finish the project. Fortunately for me the coordinator for this class, had several sheets of coloring book pages of medieval initials, knights, and ladies available to color.

My fallback plan is having a stack of larger drawing paper so they can draw whatever their hearts desire.

Sometimes the class gets too noisy. I find Gentlemen! Ladies! May I have your attention, please. Usually works. Sometimes I have an assistant who claps and chants things like One, two, three, eyes on me! And can instantly bring silence to the room. Be sure to thank your assistant for helping you to keep order and to keep kids on task. 

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, December 19, 2022

The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get


Incorrectly attributed to Lewis Carroll from Alice Through The Looking Glass. Regardless of who coined the phrase, it's the state I'm in.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The first snow of the season was supposed to be a coating to an inch. The amount on Moose is more than a coating.

It covered the trees

The Skelfingtons are taking a snow nap. Hi, Calli!

About 3 inches of the horrible stuff

At least it was fluffy and easily removed with a broom

Someone lost their dentures! By the driveway! That must have been a hell of a bump , or they were laughing so hard the dentures flew out of their mouth! 

Another storm brought a lot of snow to points North, but my area only got a lot rain. So much rain the bird feeder tipped over.

I'm glad we had rain and not snow because we would have ended up with a good two feet of snow. Only 185 days until the Summer Solstice.

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In 1974, a group of second graders from the town of Franklin campaigned to have the Ladybug adopted as the state insect. Ladybugs (aka Ladybirds, Ladyfly, Lady Beetles) are beneficial insects eating harmful insects and larvae.

Friday, December 16, 2022

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1.  Enjoyed a nice lunch with Himself's teaching assistant and her husband.

2. The Littles were excited to see Santa zoom by in the fire truck

3. Fingers crossed we found someone to plow the driveway

4. I taught two lively classes of 4th graders illuminated initials.

5. Himself did take-out for dinner.

How was your week?

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Throwback Thursday - Illuminated Initial


Between today and tomorrow, I'm teaching 4 more classes of middle schoolers illuminated initials. I came across one of the first illuminated initials I made.

This was done for an online group Christmas card exchange. From 1995 or 1996, "Angels we have heard online" Is that a groan I hear?

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Whatch Doin?


I'm making a template to address my Christmas cards. Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

T Stands for New Christmas Mugs and Teddy Bear Treats

Each year on the Sundays before Christmas, the town fire department drives Santa around certain areas of the town with lights and sirens flashing. I invited my Nephew, his wife, and the grandniece (4) and grandnephew (2) along with the Brother and his wife to see the event. Only I didn't have enough Christmas mugs to festively serve coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Fortunately, I found $5 mugs at Target. They were a lot bigger than I wanted as they hold a whopping 20 oz. of liquid so a regular 8 oz cup of coffee looks like  half a cup. But I really liked the designs especially the two mugs on the left.

For the kidlets, I made Hershey Kisses Donut Bears. They were simple to make and a big hit. I wish I had known about this recipe when my girlies were in school and needed to send a treat for the class.

The recipe calls for Reese's Pieces, but if there is a peanut or nut allergy, you can substitute M&M candies. 

To make polar bears, use powdered sugar mini-donuts. You can use the candy eyes for ears, just turn them so the pupil dots are on the back.

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.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

How Does Your Garden Grow?

This week is all about some of the holiday decorations. I didn't have time to decorate a wreath, but found one I liked from the big box store. Bows were on sale at Michael's. By one and get 3 free, so I swapped out the red flocked bow for this prettier cardinal bow.

The Hobbit door got a few more decorations

The front door with the

cheery Skelfingtons. 

Himself gave me a snow ruler as an early Christmas gift, and he found some solar light Santas.

A traditional boxwood kissing ball.

Solar bulb lights from the Dollar Store. Well, the Dollar and a Quarter Store in the shape of the letter K

How does your garden grow?