Thursday, December 31, 2009

Retroblog Things I did 1981(?)

Here are some things I did this year.

I visited a park, zoo, or jungle; and another state.

I made a collection of horses.

I got an A in MOST of my classes.

I read a book about the black Stallion.

I watched a movie.

I took a music lesson.

I learned how to chorchet.

I kept a secret.

I made a mistake.

There are more parallels between 1981 and 2009, the young Nettie and the Auntie Nettie.

This year, I visited another state AND a park.

I made a collection of yarn and books, rediscovered my collection of horses and sea shells.

I got a sunburn.

I read LOTs of books.

I watched t.v., movies, saw a parade of horses, and saw falling stars in the shape of fireworks.

I took a surprise to a friend, and took an imaginary trip to lots of places and planets.

I kept secrets, records, copies, and treasures.

I made mistakes, things to wear, and things to eat.

Most importantly, I crocheted lots of things in Auntie Nettie's Attic. I may have originally learned how to crochet back in 1981, but I put the hook down and forgot. It wasn't until 1995 that I picked a hook back up and I've been "hooked" ever since. I'm no expert, but I keep trying to learn how to do new stitches and make new projects. I make enough to try and keep me in yarn. Next year will be the 15th Anniversary of the Attic. WOW!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Retroblog Wish I had done 1981(?)

Even though this is 2009, and not 1981(?), some of my wishes for this past year are the same.

I wish I had kept on doing something even though it was hard.

I probably could have made better use of my time, as there were definitely a few more projects that I needed to do and people I needed to contact.

Everyone needs to earn more money, but just breaking even(ish) in this economy counts for something -- especially when you give up a job to maintain your life and sanity.

I wish I had gone more places, but requires more time and money. In the larger scheme of things this year, thanks to some very good friends, I got to go to a few places that I never would have made it to on my own ... and the memories and photos will sustain me for a very long time.

All in all, I have learned to be grateful for what has happened and what I did manage to do, rather than dwell on the what-might-have-beens.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Retroblog To Do List Recap 1981(?)

Here's a list of things I didn't want to do, but did anyway:
X practiced my piano. (yuk)
X did my homework
X ate some swiff crad (didn't like it but it was good for me)
X apologized for a mistake I had made
X threw away some stuff I didn't need any more

Here are some other things I didn't want to do but did anway.

Go to a party. Do my work.

Isn't there a saying about who you are as a child is at the core of who you are as an adult?

If you look at this, and compare it to me now, it's pretty much the same.

I still don't like to do my work. I'd rather be reading (or blogging, or surfing the 'Net.)

I don't like to go to parties. I'm not a party girl. I go to parties and end up hanging out in the kitchen with the caterers. At one party I went to, the other guests thought I was the caterer! Good people, those caterers. Watch them, and other event throwing types, and you learn a lot of valuable stuff. Comes in handy when you are a bridesmaid about a half dozen time. Not to mention the baby showers.

I HATE (loathe and despise, and will gag and vomit if I have to eat) swiss chard. I didn't know the word crap as a kid, but I almost wrote it here. Maybe my subconscious knew what crap was and was trying to write that to describe swiss chard.

In one sign of progress, I am getting MUCH better about throwing away stuff I don't need anymore. Almost 15 years of living and working in and out of New York studios helps you deal with storage issues. Oh, I still have too much stuff. But I'm having lots of fun getting rid of it. (5 things a day ... try it. It's addictive. Just get rid of 5 things a day, and after time, it starts to make a difference.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Retroblog Year-End Review 1981(?)

Well, it looks as if I've survived, [an] o.k. year.

I too have survived an o.k. year. Not only survived, but enjoyed one of the better years lately. By cutting back on jobs, learning to say [hell!] no to some things and yes! to others, trying to go places I haven't been before, trying new things, and trying to stretch myself, I've had a really good time.

And what's better? I've actually recorded a lot of it ... and shared it with the blogosphere.

It's taken me almost (*ahem*) years between this journal and this here blog to get a lesson that I should have learned when I was a wee small Nettie.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy 42nd Anniversary!

Auntie Nettie's parents in 1967,
around the date of their wedding.

You crazy kids! Another year. Another Anniversary. What an example for us to emulate.

We love you.

(Yes, we do ... despite that look there, Grumpa!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Retroblog Christmas 1981

Christmas 1981

Here are some things our family does to celebrate Christmas.

__ reads the story of the birth of Jesus

__ puts on the Nativity play

__ goes Christmas caroling

__ Trims a Christmas tree

_X hangs up stockings for Santa Claus to fill

__ does anonymous good deeds for people

__ bakes goodies for friends

_X gives presents to each other

__ has a special Christmas dinner

__ has a party for our family or friends.

I forgot to mark down other things. On Christmas Eve, Dad would read the Christmas Story out of the Bible for us, reminding us of the reason for the season. We would attempt to not fight and to sing some Christmas Carols around the piano. (There would be fighting AND pouting.) The stockings were not hung by the chimney with care, as the mantle wouldn't handle it, plus there was a wood fire going on. So, they would be hung off the staircase with care -- over the piano -- or placed on the piano. The tree had already been trimmed sometime after Thanksgiving, but the angel placement was always a big deal to Mom (and what an angel it was!). As I've mentioned, goodies had been baked and already distributed to the neighbors. The parents probably had done anonymous good deeds, but since we were little, we didn't realize that what was going on. Our special Christmas "dinner," was more of the family tradition of a late Christmas Day brunch of pancakes and/or omelettes (made by Dad), followed by "grazing" around the table throughout the day -- on fruit, cheese and crackers (Chicken in a Biscuit are a must!), veggies, candy, and odds-and-ends.

Every family has their own traditions. Now that we're all scattered, new ones are developing, based on childhood nostalgia and new family dynamics. Enjoy your Christmas, my little nieces and nephews, knowing that one day you'll look back at your family traditions through rose colored lenses.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Retroblog December 24, 1981

Today is Tursday, Dec 24th, 1981 Time 2:49 PM

Today is the day before Christmas. I'm really excited. I want a horse, but I dout I will get one. I've been like Santa today I've taken goodies to people in our neboirhood. We really cheered up this old lady. Her foot is hurt. She's always happy to see us. I love her and hopes she gets well

Merry Christmas

As you will expect. I didn't get a horse for Christmas. I may have gotten one of my Breyer horses, but a real-live pony? Not so much. At least I was realistic.

My urge to bake and distribute bundles of cheer to various neighbors, colleaques, and friends, stems from the example of my mother. Every year she would bake things, make things, or buy things, which she wrapped up, and then had us kids distribute throughout the neighborhood.

She's still doing it even though the neighborhood has changed. The circle of Christmas cheer may have contracted, but goodies still get distributed around the block. Many of the neighbors from 1981 aren't there anymore. Some have passed away, and some of them have moved away. However, many of them still call and/or write Christmas cards to my folks -- a legacy of the community Christmas/holiday outreach that my parents undertook.

While my "neighborhood" is a little different, the holidays wouldn't be the holidays if I didn't bake batches of cookies to share with people.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flying the Coop

This bird is migrating out West for her annual holiday excursion to see the family.

Wish me luck with travel plans. It takes a train, a subway shuttle, the A train, the AirTrain, a plane, and a shuttlevan, plus about 12-15 hours to get me to where I need to be. Mother Nature, please be kind and give me a window of clear air going out. If I'm delayed coming back ... I don't care.

Aside from some retroblog postings, I doubt I'll be blogging too much. I have a series of ruminations that have been circling the old bean for a while now, but my head's been too busy with other things and the "voices" too loud to get them out. I'm hoping to enjoy the solitude and silence to do some writing -- that is when I'm not running around after the nieces and nephews.

May all of you have safe and happy holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Auntie Nettie's Merchandise 2009 Wrapup

In the rush before Thanksgiving and the break, Auntie Nettie got distracted by work, organization of the studio, preparation for the annual holiday boutique, and a sudden rash of commissions. Fear not! I was still crafting. One 10 day break saw the creation of 7 scarves -- which I didn't necessarily get around to photographing before they were sold. WHOOPS!

Before that though, the
last installment of the merchandise list made me realize I had far too much in the way of scarves and hats. So, I made a run down to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio the Friday before Thanksgiving to drop off more than two dozen items for The Partnership for the Homeless, a organization committed to helping New York City families in need. It was good for them, and good for me. Not only did I cull down the piles of inventory, I got a coupon for my next purchase o' yarn. I was pleased to be one of those who contributed 170 scarves and 251 hats to a very good cause.

Despite not advertising as widely as desired, the economy, and other factors, this year's holiday boutique was a success. Unfortunately, I DIDN'T TAKE A SINGLE PHOTO! How did that happen? I think in the rush of having the sale right after my return from holiday travels, and the responsibility of organizing and setting it up, I just got completely distracted. Sales were good. Lay-aways were accepted. Commissions were discussed. All in all, it was a good time. I hope my fellow crafters agree.

I'm also happy to share pictures of items that were gifts for various folks. Here we have Items #97-#99: AKA assorted Halloween disguises, as worn by Christina, Amber, and Elle to tease J on Halloween.

Then we have this young fan gnawing on a Turkey Leg Rattle (Items #94-#96). That thing is almost as big as he is. Thanks to Jane, from Flax Hill Gardener, for the photo.Finally, to close, here' a recap of the rest of the projects that I did this year. (Remember, to see everything, click here.)

#103, #104, #105: Weiner Dogs (no longer available)#106: Santa Beard (no picture, not available)

#107 & #108: Black Trellis fashion scarves (no picture, no longer available)

#109: Blue Ribbon Spiral Scarf (no longer available)
#110: Rainbow Ribbon Spiral Scarf (no longer available)

#111: City Lights Ribbon Spiral Scarf (no longer available)

#112 & #113: Light Pastels Wooley Spiral Scarves (no pictures)

#114: Granny Square Christmas Tree (not available)#115-117: Blue Trellis Fashion Scarves (not available)

#118: Boucle Spiral Scarf (no pictures)

#119: Black Ribbon Spiral Scarf (no pictures; as of 12/10, no longer available)

#120: Blue Ladder Scarf (no pictures, not available)

#121: Blue Bubble Baby Blanket (no pictures, as of 03/10 not available)

#122: Rainbow Baby Throw (no pictures, as of 02/10 not available)

#123: Small Rainbow Throw (no pictures, not available)

Stay tuned for updates on future projects.

If you see anything you like just drop a line or a comment; I'm happy to give dimensions, prices, and care suggestions off-line.

Unfortunately, the availability of certain items is subject to change without notice, especially during the holiday season.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2009 - 4th Quarter

Same disclaimer as always, this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. ... no recommendations or links, yada yada yada.

Just read something, 'kay? Thanks

October 2009
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
Godmother: the Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon (didn't finish)
How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini by Heather Horrocks
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee
Laced with Magic by Barbara Bretton
The Actor and the Housewife: A Novel by Shannon Hale
The Walking People: A Novel by Mary Beth Keane
The Vanishing Point: A Novel by Mary Sharratt
Lovehampton: A Novel by Sherri Rikfin
An Angel for Emily by Judy Deveraux
Her Royal Spyness Solves Her First Case: A Mystery by Rhys Bowen
Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen
Fish out of Water by Mary Janice Davidson

November 2009
Keeper of Light and Dust: A Novel by Natasha Mostert
The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder: A Novel by Holly McQueen
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Ms. Taken Identity: A Novel by Dan Begley
How to Buy a Love of Reading: A Novel by Tanya Egan Gibson (didn't finish)
Garnethill by Denise Mina (didn't finish)
Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon
A Summer Affair: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand (didn't finish)
Domestic Affairs: A Novel by Eillen Goudge
Vision in White by Nora Roberts
American Fuji by Sara Backer
Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

December 2009
Imagining Don Giovanni: A Novel by Anthony Rudel
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County: A Novel by Tiffany Baker
According to Jane by Marilyn Brant
Smart Girls Think Twice by Cathie Linz
Cassandra and Jane: A Jane Austen Novel by Jill Pitkeathley
Heroic Measures: A Novel by Jill Ciment (didn't finish)
With Violets: A Novel of the Dawn of Impressionism by Elizabeth Robards
Sofie Metropolis (#1) by Tori Carrington
Dirty Laundry (Sofie Metropolis #2) by Tori Carrington

The lists for the third quarter of 2009 is here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Away in a Food Trough

In honor of the season and my love all of the Brit accents,
I present ... once again ...
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
riffing on "Away in a Manger"
(slightly off-colour, in a Scottish-kind o'wae)

I figured we all needed some more giggles at this time o'year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aliens Among Us

Yesterday's entry about Spock got me to thinking. There are so many sci-fi shows, books, and movies, not to mention mythologies about sightings, pictographs around the world with unexplained depictions of unknown creatures, that I have to begin to believe that aliens have been, and are, actually among us.

I think they navigate here through the solar system, using stars and planets as their guides.
They disguise their spaceships in different forms, but always with the saucer format and those ominous glowing balls of light.
They take over strange creatures as their hosts. (That's the only explanation for this photo that I can think of, not to mention the pitch of this chick's voice and many mannerisms!) When the host passes on, the only evidence of their true natures is craftily hidden away on stone markers for future generations to puzzle over.
So I took these in the Nathan Hale Cemetery in Coventry, CT ... Doesn't mean that some of our colonial fore parents weren't aliens. Just saying.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Signs for Hanukah

As spotted on the Prop Shop door at the Big J, Friday, 12/11.

Me thinks that somewhere Wolowitz is just kvelling.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Year in Blogging

Another year of blogging ... I meant to have some great recap in honor of the occasion - an Ode to An Anniversary, you could say, but alas, I'm not that witty.

What I am, this year, is introspective.

I've often felt like I've been releasing my posts into a vacuum. I don't have the hundreds or thousands of readers that some blogs attract (I've got maybe ... a doublehandful!). I rarely get comments, electronic or otherwise. I don't get asked to do give-aways. I don't attract companies who want whisk me off to cover events. No one links my blog posts to other sites, starting a tsunami of followers. I don't have fan groups, or fans, for that matter.

You know what? I'm okay with that.

This blog was originally just started to keep me in touch with friends and family. Over time, my blog has evolved, just like me. This past year, between regular blogging and "retroblogging" out of an old journal, I've really realized that I'm really blogging to keep a loose record of my OWN life -- to help me appreciate myself, my experiences, to work through issues, but more importantly, to leave a record behind for my nieces and nephews. As the kids get older, hopefully they can read the posts and use them as a way to get to know me better, reconnecting with their past selves and other figures from family history.

It took me a while to get to this point. You see, I'm a little dense.

My "breakthrough" was aided by the chorus of one particular song. For the last six months or so, every time I have loaded up my ipod shuffle, Jamie Cullum's Photograph gets into the mix.


It's not for the lack of variety in my itunes library. There are weeks of all kinds of music in there. I do try and randomly select each time.

Rather, I think Someone is trying to get something through my thick skull.

"When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life,
I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time."

~Photograph by Jamie Cullum

Now, so as I don't miss out on the magic of my ordinary life, I'm going to get back to living it, instead of reflecting upon it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Day

In the depth of winter, I finally found that within me there lay an invincible summer.

~ Albert Camus

Forward to Pastries: A Novel of Desserts and Discoveries by Bharti Kirchner

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Escaping the Rain

The weather has been so foul lately that I've decided to cope by remembering my recent visit to a tropical "rain forest," aka the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden. I will take my escape from the grey fog, drenching rains, sloppy muck, ice, and snow any way I can.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sno' more Denial

I've been in denial that it's actually winter. I've been running around in my fall coat, summer dresses, and shoes with no socks for as long as possible. I was getting some strange looks on the train platform, but I didn't care. I wasn't ready for it to be winter, no matter what the calendar said last week. I don't mind the cold, to an extent, but I dislike the frozen precipitation a very great deal. Clear and cold is fine. Snow and wet seeping into my socks is not. Icy sidewalks? NO thank you. They call me "grace" for a reason. Too many slips and falls have left their mark upon me.

I've also been avoiding the holiday season. I've been tuning out Christmas songs, screaming "bah humbug!" at commercials on the t.v., and trying to avoid holiday cheer in general. Part of my denial stems from the over commercialization of Christmas -- which begins as early as the week after freaking LABOR DAY! That's almost a quarter of the year with some sort of holiday merchandising -- not to mention the Christmas in July blitz that we get. That's enough to turn anyone into Scrooge. Whatever happened to celebrating Thanksgiving, and THEN thinking about Christmas? Who has money to spend spend spend on all those things that marketers think that we must buy in order to prove our love to our loved ones, friends, and frenemies?

All ranting aside ... I finally decided to get into the holiday mood. On my own terms and to a very small degree. I'm going to celebrate the holidays in a pared-down, old-fashioned, crafty kind of way. I have awarded Thanksgiving its due. The calendar now reads December, and some snow has fallen, so it's time. Some presents have been created, gathered, shipped, and/or exchanged to very dear friends. Baking has commenced. I even have decided to put up a snow covered Christmas tree, my first in about 10 years.

I saw this guy on Sunday, but he's too big for my apartment, plus the snow melted and pelted me in the face.

So, I think I'm going stick to this one instead. It's more representative of me anyway. Hopefully I'll continue to feel like "decking the halls" instead of wanting to deck everyone in sight.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Train Totems

You know you've been spending too much time commuting on the rails when you start to see faces in the train tracks. Do you see the train totem?
NO? Just me?

You can't see the eyes, nose and mouth?
Ala the Easter Island statues?
It's clear to me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shopping Shots

I've taken to taking my camera with me when I'm shopping -- because there are things that are not to be believed for sale these days.

Take these "cupcake creations" for example:

Somewhere under all that frosting is some sort of cake product -- one assumes. The label did make mention of FLOUR and EGGS, so one hopes that there is cake under there. Of course, after all that frosting, do you care about the cake?

Then there was this ...

Zebra stripes? REALLY!?
(I think my friend's face says it all!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wishing Well

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

As the calendar pages fly by, my list of things to do grows ever longer. Now that the winter solistice approaches, I'm also wishing for warmer weather and longer days. Too bad I forgot to wish for these things (and more) when I was near a fountain. I would have wished that the European-esque park-like setting I was visiting was actually in Europe! Or I would have asked for a more graceful figure-- like the goddess below. What I really wish was that the water was safe to drink from the Fountain of Youth.

Since I was with a good friend, getting some fresh air, enjoying the day and getting a sunburn ... in November, I guess my wish was almost granted. Beggars can't be choosers.
New York Botanical Gardens
November 8, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Scrying for Time

I'm peering into my magic scrying bowl to see when I'll have time to blog again. Well, blogging the way I want to ... which is to ponder, probe, and prattle about the past, along with posting of the piles of present pictures I have lurking about my hard drives.

The leaves are reading: no time soon!
Pesky work.
Pesky holidays
Pesky deadlines.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Many Happy Returns

Guess what happens when you take off for vacation?
The work keeps on piling up.
Please stand by while I undig.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Retroblog November 27, 1981

Today is Sat, Nov 27, 1981 Time 1:15 p.m.

This morning started out like any other day, Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, then do some work, but because today is Sat we watch cartoon. We usally have to vacuum, but we got that done


I'm going to take my nap now. I don't know what will happen this afternoon.

Mom must have made us do our chores on Black Friday, so the usual Saturday activities were exhausted. Since she ahd originally planned for us to be in NC, we all must have been stir crazy by this point of the holiday vacation.

Too much turkey and togetherness must have made her resort to naptime for everyone in the house. Smart Mom. Sounds like a plan. I need a nap right now!