Winter, a Blast from the Past

All of a sudden winter has come to the tiny town by the bay.
No fishing boats went out today because it is too windy and the bay is frozen in spots.

All night long the wind howled like a freight train through the forest.
Snow came down like a wet, heavy blanket covering the sandy little village on the bay.

Even the birds which frequent the feeder are bundled up today.
There is  a regular group who come. 
 I call them "the minyan" since they congregate three times a day to sing and eat, morning, afternoon and evening.
They never miss a day, summer, winter, spring or fall. Chickadees,  Cardinals, all of the winter birds were out  this morning braving the stiff winds and deep snow on their bushes and chalet feeder.
The little stray cat , who lives under the house and has adopted the dog as her very own came to the door seeking refuge and I let her into the laundry room to warm up for a while..since the other two won't hear of her entering their domain. But its warm under the house and she also has a nest in the wood pile under an old pond shell complete with bedding so she will do okay til I find her a family to take her in.

The great thing about today is that the sun is sparkling like mad on the snow and water sending rays down that explode back up like dazzling diamond ! 
Every color of the spectrum skips over the surface  delighting the eye. 

Another gift, another day.

(this post first appeared on another blog I had a long time ago)

Day Book Entry

Day Book entry for Monday:

Outside my window:  The temperatures are icy and rain is falling down into the ponds and bay.    It's dark outside and dinnertime for most.

I am hearing:  Wind coursing through the pine and cedars, rain falling in the ponds. Gentle little sounds from a sleeping cat.

I am wearing: An over sized soft Rutgers University sweatshirt.
It is soft, warm and cozy on a cold winter day.    Also wearing my Indian moccasins. 

I am thankful for: Good central heating that keeps the house evenly warm and cozy on the coldest of days.

I am reading:  44 Charles Street, by Danielle Steele for the second time.

A magical transformation takes place in Danielle Steel’s luminous new novel: strangers become roommates, roommates become friends, and friends become a family in a turn-of-the-century house in Manhattan’s West Village.

From the kitchen:  Chili made with left over roast beef, served over smashed up baked potatoes.

In the learning rooms:  I am studying Proverbs. 

I am working on: getting the house organized. It is slow going as I am not able to do much really, but things are coming along nicely.

I am hoping:  For people to really love one another as they should.

I am creating: A neatly organized and inviting home. It is always my goal.

Around the house: The cat is nestled in his chair dreaming quietly, I am at my computer updating and writing.

Plans for the rest of the week:  Grocery shopping and a trip to Home Goods for a lamp and to look around.

 Picture thought:

Cozy Cottage Night

Winter evenings
can be so cozy and warm.


Scents of the Seasons

I found a Friday Five meme online for livejournal bloggers and thought they probably would not mind if I absconded with it for us to use as well. 

1. What's your favourite smell in nature?
 Cedar and Pine trees, flowers in spring and
The smell of a freshly cleaned house

2. What smell makes you nostalgic, and why?
Salt air because of the many happy hours spent by the sea since childhood. Pipe tobacco and men's after shave.

 3. What smell(s) makes you happy?
Flowers, perfume, salt air,food cooking in the kitchen,fresh air and a freshly cleaned house.

4. What do the seasons smell of?
Spring smells of apple, plum and cherry blossom. Mock Orange and Bridal Wreath.
Fall smells of leaves and smoke and cinnamon, brandy, pumpkin and apples.
Winter smells of crisp, cold air and wood fires,

 5. What is the last thing you actively remember smelling?
 Wood fires burning in fireplaces and wood stoves in my neighborhood today and last night.

What scents do you enjoy? 


I have been fighting off a sore throat that was making me very sleepy and weak.
I think because I am building up my spine I am already working overtime physically and added things just wipe me out so much. Echineacea and vitamin C kept it from taking hold and I seem to be getting better.
Sorry for absence I just had no energy to spare.

It is 9° F outside with a wind chill below 0°F (that is -18C). My heat is turned way up and it is still very chilly inside.
The bay is frozen and the ponds are frozen.

Perhaps this heartwarming video will warm your heart as it did mine.   It is wonderful! I am so proud of these boys.

Children Who Made America Great

I am re-posting a piece from my other blog, A Passing Storm , though it also appeared here as well.
 I received a comment from one of Lena's family  on the other site and it made me want to re-post this because I see these children as so very important.

Here, then, is that post:

Lena late at night
How is it that we can become so interested in a person just by seeing their face? 
This is a photo of a little girl from Cincinnati Ohio .
I took a section and enlarged it and hand colored it.
This photo of Lena  Loschiavo taken in August of 1908, intrigued me.
11 years old, a bit of our own little darling reflected in her face , she sits smiling in a torn and tattered dress.
Shorpy's site did not have too much information on her except for a caption.
The person taking the photos, Lewis  Wickes Hine was doing so for the sake of research on child labor at the turn of the previous century. Hines was a photographer and sociologist.
Child labor laws were nothing in those days.

I enlarged a bit of the photo and then hand colored this portion of her photo to bring her to life a bit again. She is not finished yet.
Those old photos do very little to show a person's "light" and soul.
From a close up I took from  another photo of her, her eyes appeared light, not dark.
Our own little girl
So using the coloring of my 'famous anonymous kid', who is half Italian, I gave Lena some coloring.

Her eyes may have been blue/green, I used a dark brownish green with violet rings, like the "kid" .
Her skin and lip coloring are also  from the "kid".

Lena LoSchiavo
This is not done with Photoshop tricks but by hand and needs more work, but I was anxious to put it up.     I spent some time on it Friday and will do more as time allows. As you can see the hands are far from done.

At the Shorpy website, which features old photographs, people were discussing how old Lena looked. Well, not now I think.
It was late at night according to the information known about the photo and the poor kid was over tired. 
Also, they were wondering what had become of her. This lovely  eager faced child demands attention  as there is , to me at least , something intriguing about her.
When I find old photos like this I just have to color them.
To see the original photo in high definition you will need to see it on the website. I took this from a smaller photo and enlarged it myself.

It can be hard tracking people down because spellings vary from site to site.
 Immigrants were often misunderstood when telling their names to officials and so there are various spellings used in documents and records.
A name like LoSchiavo can become variously Loshavo, Lochiavo, Lochavo , depending on who heard it and how they wrote it down. Since different languages say the letters of the alphabet differently, asking someone to spell it was not always an option.

If I am correct in my research, Lena was born in 1898 in America to Italian immigrants Charles Loschiavo and his wife Mary Gentile Loschiavo. There were 4 children, Giuseppe who died 9 days old, an unnamed infant who died at birth , another girl, Petrina who was a few years older than Lena and passed way in 1962 at the age of 67.
Petrina Loschiavo seems to have  married John Mercurio.

Note:  I am correct as we have heard from the family of Petrina Mercurio confirming that this is right.
Charles Loschiavo, Lena's father,  passed away at age 34, when Lena was 10 or 11. This may well be why she was selling on the corner to add to  the family income. Mrs. Mary LoSchiavo had lost a son  in February at 9 days old and her husband in July of the same year.

Lena seems to have married Charles Mercurio at age 16 or 17(?) and had a little girl , Terita, who passed away at age 84 in 1999, 11 years after her mother.
Lena, passed away in 1988 at the age of 90.

She and some of her family are buried in the  St Joseph New Cemetery in Cincinnati. I found all this in their interment records.

I also 'Googled'  the site of the  corner where Lena sold pretzels and baskets from 11:00 AM  in the morning til Midnight in front of the 6th Street Market 'saloon' entrance  at 209 West Sixth Street in Cincinnati.

You can compare it with the corner that you see in the photo of Lena in the previous post.

I dubbed it
"Lena's Corner"
“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20
Lena worked hard to help support her mother....
Rest peacefully Lena.

(siggie from Judy)

London Trip

My daughter has been reporting in from London each day to let me know what she is up to after work.

Today was a trip to Harrods to see the store and sights and to buy some meat pies .

She's also been to the Tower, is enjoying London and really likes her new company.

She avoided a bad case of jet lag by traveling overnight and sleeping the entire way.
 The trip was to meet her boss and she will be home by the end of the week.
She will be traveling to Oslo, Norway for the job in a few months as well.

The Watchman

"Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains." William Penn