Saturday, February 27, 2010

sepia saturday: family portrait


today's first photo, taken in the mid to late 1910s, is the family portrait of my maternal grandmother's (second girl from the left) family of origin. a few weeks ago I mentioned mary's family, but only in general terms and I didn't post a picture. this week I'd like to flesh out the family a bit more. mary, who is my nana, was the first daughter of julia and josef koszcelnik (later changed to kostelnik). josef and julia, as were all of my great-grandparents, were immigrants from various areas within the austria-hungarian empire. a distant cousin on the kostelnik side of the family is into genealogy and he has traced josef to babin potok, slovakia. I have been told there were six children in josef's family - five boys and one girl. not everyone in josef's family of origin immigrated to the united states, at least one sibling stayed behind in the old country.

josef was born on september 7, 1872, he was 32 years old when he married julia on february 21, 1905. josef was a widower with two children when he married julia pecuch. according to nana, josef had a third child with his first wife, but the child died; as with josef's first wife, this child passed without leaving a much of a trace in terms of family records - no names and no dates.

according to nana, julia was young when she married josef and surprisingly I don't have a record of when she was born but I do know she died in april 1959. when julia married she instantly became both a wife and a mother. josef's sons were young, stephen was not quite four and joseph only two and a half. a couple years passed before julia started bearing children - in february, 1907 mary was born, in 1908, anna, and in 1909 rudolph.

josef and julia married in bethlehem, pennsylvania, but they started their life as a family in coaldale, pennsylvania where all three of josef and julia's children were born. while in coaldale josef worked in the mines; although coaldale's motto was "everybody's goal is mine more coal," coal mining was not josef's goal, after a few years, josef (who we called zedo), julia and the five children moved away from coaldale and the hard life of a coalminer. but that is not to say their new life was free of hardship and hard work - life was plenty hard.

the family first moved to hazleton, compared to coaldale, hazleton was a relatively big town and was a center for both coal and manufacturing; after living in hazleton for some indeterminate length of time the family moved to bethlehem. both josef and julia had family in bethlehem and with five children, the attraction and benefit of having family nearby drew them back. in both of these cities, josef and julia ran a 'saloon.' my mother remembers the saloon in bethlehem quite well. the building that the saloon was in was also the family's home, with the family's bedrooms on the second floor. I asked my mom what the name of the place was, and she said it was simply known as 'kostelnik's,' it was almost exclusively a drinking establishment, however she does remember on special occasions sometimes food was served. I expect both these establishments catered to the 'working man' - be he a miner, factory worker, or a someone from the steel works.

as a child I loved the colorful stories my mother and nana would tell about baba and zedo's saloon. they always referred to it as a saloon, never a bar, so as I child I always had the impression that baba and zedo's place was some kind of immigrant eastern european version of the wild wild west. given some of the stories my impression was probably not too far off the mark. the most infamous of these stories was the one where my mother and her cousin bill were playing cops and robbers. turns out little bill got hold of a gun and actually shot my mom in the chest. the gun was loaded with birdshot, which would have been lethal had my mom been a wee bird! I actually wrote about this incident a couple years ago on the mouse as I believe it help shaped my own attitude toward guns.

the photo above was taken during the mid 1940s - standing from left to right are: mary (my nana), the lovely rita (my mom), josef (who we called zedo), josef's brother andrew (andrew moved to new york where he shortened his name to koss), and george kravitz (my grandfather who we called 'dodo'), and kneeling in front of nana is rose (my aunt)

this third photograph was taken in 1956, and includes yours truly holding baba's (julia kostelnik) hands, the other wee lass is my cousin mary (rose's daughter who is 2 months my senior). the other three individuals, from left to right are rudolf ('uncle rudy'), nana, and anna ('aunt annie). the photo was taken at my grandparent's home in harwood mines. rudy, annie and baba were all up visiting my grandparents from bethlehem.

although baba lived long enough to welcome a few great-grandchildren into the world, including me, I have no recollection of her. quite possibly I only met her that one time in 1956. this photo of me with my grandmother, great-grandmother and my grandmother's siblings is definitely a treasure. although nana was the last of the three to die, both her sister and brother lived long lives - aunt annie was 89 years old when she passed away in 1997 and uncle rudy was 93 when he died in 2002. throughout their long lives the three children of josef and julia remained close.

pink performing family portrait in wembley stadium in london

Thursday, February 25, 2010

bottle fun!

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965) 16th US president

There are no standards of taste in wine, cigars, poetry, prose, etc. Each man's own taste is the standard, and a majority vote cannot decide for him or in any slightest degree affect the supremacy of his own standard.
Mark Twain (1835- 1910) author & humorist

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.
Diane Ackerman (b. 1948) author, poet, naturalist


It is a fine seasoning for joy to think of those we love.

Moliere (1622-1673) playwright

Good oil, like good wine, is a gift from the gods. The grape and the olive are among the priceless benefactions of the soil, and were destined, each in its way, to promote the welfare of man.
George Ellwanger (1816 -1906)horticulturist

Examine the contents, not the bottle.
The Talmud

The floures of Lavender picked from the knaps, I meane the blew part and not the husk, mixed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves, made into powder, and given to drinke in the distilled water thereof, doth helpe the panting and passion of the heart, previaleth against giddinesse, turning or swimming of the brain, and members subject to the palsie.
John Gerard (1545-1611/12) herbalist
from Great Herball, 1597

Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.
Robert Benchley (1889-1945)writer, critic, film actor

There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it.
Irena Chalmers (b. 1935) writer & food guru
notes on photos:
  1. display case in the great lakes brewing company's tasting room, may 2008
  2. a research/tasting room for the domaine de la citadelle winery, ménerbes france, october 2005
  3. a bottle of bellodgia perfume that my mom has been saving for a rainy day - I hope I'm around when she decides to 'uncork' it, casa rita. may 2008
  4. there is a hot sauce for every palate at narrin's spice and sauce stand, west side market cleveland. july 2008
  5. artisan olive oils from around the world at the olive and the grape stand, west side market, cleveland. january 2010
  6. hand-blown bottles and bowls, hale farm and village, bath, ohio. july 2008
  7. display case of bottles for capturing the essence and oil of lavender at the musée de la lavande, located in luberon region of france. october 2005
  8. empties all lined up ready for the recycle bin after a summertime gathering at casa mouse. since the late 1600, dead man has been slang for an empty bottle, but during the 1800s the expression has been replaced by the idiom 'dead soldier' - I wonder, is this just more evidence of the militarization of modern life? june 2008
  9. the breast - always a healthy alternative to the bottle for the younger set. breastfeeding madonna - I failed to jot down the details of this statue, anyone know the name of the piece and the artist? louvre, paris. october 2005

I was planning on posting this song as this week's theme song, but then I ran across this vid from those clever folks at funtheory.com check out this vid on how to make recycling bottles FuN! who can never resist fun!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world's need of that work. With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get. Without this - with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need - this life is hell.
W. E. B. Du Bois (23 february 1868 -1963) scholar, human rights activist






photo: satisfied sparrows, february 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

was a sunny day

They never die, who have the future in them.

Meridel LeSueur (22 february 1900 - 1996) writer & social activist

explain it to me how is it already the last week of february! believe it on not I started off the weekend with such good intentions - I was going respond to the slew of sweet comments in response to the mouse's recent blogiversary, catch up on everyone's sepia saturday posts, and otherwise be a good cyberneighbor and then what should happen - sunny days!!!

we are coming off a stretch of four glorious sunny days - spring was definitely in the air this weekend. I know it's not long before spring officially arrives, but for the most part, that is just a date on the calendar; we can get snow around here well into april and it's not unheard of to have some of that white stuff fall in may.

but this weekend the signs were out. sunday morning, during a long luxurious hike in the nearby park, we encountered runners out en mass; chipmunks, who have been very scarce since november, were coming out in droves (okay, maybe not droves but I did count 5 chipmunks!) and even the birds seemed to be tweetering more loudly and more sweetly than usual. after leaving the park, our city route home took us along a particularly open and sunny stretch and what should we see but crocuses popping their pretty little heads out of the ground! be still my heart!

well, what can I say, all these distractions added up - no wonder my intentions to be a good bloggyhood bud went the way of most intentions, just a few more pavers in that ol' road. but thanks folks for the nice comments and good wishes and I'll be popping in and out playing catch as catch can.

today, the skies have returned to heavy gray, the forecast calls for sleet, snow, and freezing rain - but, that's okay, we had a lovely stretch of sunny days and a cosmic reminder that even though sometimes it may seem like endless winter, underneath it all an awakening is a happening!


what follows is the only vid I could find of simon singing his 1973 song was a sunny day; the vid actually contains two songs immediately following sunny day is learn to fall


photos: bench, rocky river reservation; crocuses on graber drive. 21 february 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

sepia saturday: remember me to the one...

the top photo is one of my favorite photos from the family treasure box - doesn't it look like the group are at a fair? I don't know the story behind the group in the photo although the back does have stamped on it "souvenir hazle park." in googling 'hazle park' I found this stating it operated from 1892-1956. I am only certain of the identity of two of the subjects - the woman in the top right is my paternal grandmother ('grandmam'), mary magdalene urinchak, and the young woman sitting on the left is sue, my paternal grandfather's sister. as mentioned in previous sepia saturday posts, mary was the oldest child in her family of origin. she was born in 1889 and married my grandfather stephen yanoshik on may 8, 1917 (a photo of their wedding certificate is on the right, click on pic to enlarge). mary was 28 years old when she got married, which may have been fairly old for the time.

by the time she married my grandfather, mary had been living away from her family of origin for a number of years. several years ago when I was delving into census data I discovered that during the 1910 census there were only four members listed as living in the urinchak household - andrew (head), was identified as a farmer, born in austria-hungary and language 'slovak'; likewise, his wife, mary, is also identified as born in austria-hungary and speaking 'slovak' her occupation is listed as 'none' - which we know is erroneous for a farm wife works very hard. in april 1910 there were two children living at home catharine, age 15, and joseph, age 13, both were identified as having been born in 'pennsylvania' and 'english' speaking. the fourth child, helen, who I introduced a couple weeks ago, was born in august 1910. I knew mary was not married in 1910 so I asked my father if he knew where she was living at the time. he told me that my grandmother did not get along very well with her father and moved out as soon as she could. he said she lived with various families in the hazleton area where she made a living looking after children. I wish I had more information about these years and what exactly my grandmother was up to. knowing her I expect it was all very interesting - she was quite a firecracker!

grandmam was a tall and attractive woman - as a child I always thought it strange how she was so much taller than grandpap. even though she didn't get married until she was 28, she and grandpap went on to have seven children - six boys and one girl - in terms of birth order, the girl was the second born and #6 and #7 were twins who incidentally turned 80 in 2009 - in doing my arithmetic it turns out that grandmam was 40 when she had the twins, george and john. which actually wasn't that old by today's standards.

the other photos I'd like to share are of the urinchak (or uhrinchak, both spellings are abundantly found on family documents) family. a notation on the back of the photo directly below states that the photo was taken in 1916 and simply states 'urinchak farm.' although the subjects aren't identified, I'm fairly certain they are helen, joe, and catharine, who were still living at home with their parents at the time, while big sister mary was off making her own way in the world.


this next photo was also taken in 1916 or maybe 1917 and is of joe and little helen, helen is sitting on the family horse. as mentioned on an earlier post joe's life was cut short when he was 19 or 20 by influenza. most likely this photo was taken near the end of his life, although at the time no one would have known. maybe joe and helen were off to the local country fair - helen is certainly all dolled up?



imagined village's rendition of scarborough fair - which can be found on their most recent album empire and love (2010)

crazy

To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.
Nicolaus Copernicus (b. 19 february 1473 - 1543) mathematician and astronomer

today is mouse medicine's blogiversary - I can't believe I've been blogging for 3 years! on one hand it seems like I started blogging only yesterday, on the other hand, it feels like I've blogging forever.

by blogging my notion of community and friendship has grown and expanded. the bloggyhood, as willow so sweetly puts it, affirms my basic beliefs that we are more alike than we are different, that people are fundamentally kind and caring, and, as margaret mead once opined "a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world" - I think we are changing the world - the ways we are changing the world may be small, but they are significant.

a week or so ago kat, a relatively new blogging bud emailed and asked "what's with the name, mouse medicine?" - I referred her to my very first post; for others who may also be wondering what's with the title mouse medicine, here's what I wrote on february 19th 2007:
choosing a name and an address for a blog is a somewhat formidable task - talk about pressure! in facing this task, I decided to fall back on one of my tried and true animal friends and totems....the noble and humble mouse. in concordance with many cultural traditions, I believe that if we go looking, we may find animals which are our life-guides or life-spirits - these animal guides or totems provide powerful lessons when we discover their 'presence' in our lives. in the course of my 50 plus years, I have had a number of animal guides - some have lasted for years, if not decades, others may have only been a friend who dropped in for a short visit with a lesson I needed to learn. one of the more enduring and dominant of my animal totems has been the mouse. like many significant things in my life the mouse as an animal totem first came to me in a dream.

when I took a leap 'off the grid' a few years ago and switched from being a 'wage slave' to being a 'starving artist,' I found magic in this longtime totem friend of mine and decided to house my artistic work under the rubric of the 'magical mouse studio.' when considering the spiritual & magical powers of animals, the mouse's primary lesson is "attention to detail." attention to detail is something I try to bring to my everyday life and something I would like to bring to my little corner of cyberspace.
in re-reading this old post, I might change or expand certain thoughts; but, overall, the explanation holds. on reflecting about this crazy phenomenon of blogging, I think our blogging buddies are a bit like our animal totems - some blogging buds endure and some pop in only for a short visit - but as with our our animal totems, each blogging bud brings a gift and a lesson and is always out there!

I am honored when someone drops in at the mouse, I value each of you and consider you a friend. yes, we are scattered around our small, beautiful blue marble spinning crazily around the sun. sometimes we have the good fortune to meet 'in the flesh' but most often not; but we are always connected. it is crazy how many kindred spirits we discover when we start looking. I know I'm not always very good in terms following up on comments or leaving a dropping when I pop into others' little corners of cyberspace - but, I always send up a cosmic bit of positive energy and hope that it will be received!

namaste!

crazy by seal (b. 19 february 1963) - I find the lyrics are oddly appropriate capturing what blogging bud reya might refer to as 'the cosmology of the mouse' (what is doubly crazy is that the title of reya's post for today includes the word crazy, which I discovered when I popped over to snag her link - crazy!!!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

how happy's the man!

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends,
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) mythologist, writer, lecturer

The Circle has healing power. In the Circle, we are all equal. When in the Circle, no one is in front of you. No one is behind you. No one is above you. No one is below you. The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity. The Hoop of Life is also a circle. On this hoop there is a place for every species, every race, every tree and every plant. It is this completeness of Life that must be respected in order to bring about health on this planet.
Dave Chief (1930-2005) Oglala Lakota Elder

I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) writer, philosopher, social theorist

Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (born 1935)


We thought we were running away from the grownups, and now we are the grownups.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) poet, novelist, social activist

All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (1572-1631) poet, priest, lawyer

The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) poet

We morris with the bells, and we morris in the socks,
Some of you have noticed we are morrissing in frocks,
The cloggs are very heavy, ah, but let me make it clear,
They seem a little lighter when you're drinking loads of beer.

Gid Taylor from Lets Morris
notes on photos:
  1. shop bell, lakewood, ohio february 2010
  2. powwow at edgewater park, cleveland june 2000 (?) - transferred from film
  3. outside bonnie bell headquarters, lakewood, ohio february 2010
  4. taos pueblo, new mexico november 1987 - transferred from film
  5. hare on bell on portland stone piers,by barry flanagan at the walker art center, minneapolis, mn - transferred from film
  6. reflecting on this week's theme led me to think about this classic film, which I haven't seen for decades! I understand that the female lead was the inspiration for my name, although not because of her role in this film given that it came out after I was born, more likely for her role in this; hmmm, I'll have to ask my ma. bell, book and candle tableau at casa mouse, february 2010
  7. have you ever noticed how many flowers have a bell shape? lily of the valley are without a doubt my absolute favorite bell shaped flower - the scent absolutely intoxicating! casa mouse, may 2009
  8. back in the early 1980s when we lived in new haven, quite a few of our friends were passionate morris dancers. we never missed an opportunity to go watch them dance. I still love encountering a morris dancing troupe or more accurately a morris side. as for me, I have two left feet so could never join a side, however, I have been accused of being a fool for quite some time.... if anyone know where marty or paul is from this side, let them know kim is thinking and looking for them! somewhere in the new haven area, circa 1983 transferred from film
today's theme thursday is in honor of barry - barry's friends in the bloggyhood stand in solidarity and celebration today and we are ringing our bells for him as he completes his last treatment of chemo.

today's tune is how happy's the man! a morris favorite the vid promises plenty of bell action; barry, all these bells are for you! we all are sending you powerful healing energy and wishes that you will always be a most happy man! xxxxxx

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

don't worry, be happy

While most of the things you've worried about have never happened, it's a different story with the things you haven't worried about. They are the ones that happen.
Ruth Rendell (b. 17 february 1930) writer




photo: cleveland february 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

sufferin' till suffrage

Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.

Susan B. Anthony (b. 15 february 1820 - d.1906) suffragist & civil rights activist

well, susan it is another century and there still is so much yet to be done!

happy birthday susan b!

oh yeah, it's also presidents day - happy presidents day! how will you be spending presidents day? me? the sun is out (for now) first a walk in the sunshine and then maybe I'll try and hit a presidents day sale - although, honestly I wouldn't give a wooden nickel for more than a few of them.

schoolhouse rock's sufferin' for suffrage (1976) - performed by essra mohawk


photo: nyc bus, march 2009

Saturday, February 13, 2010

sepia saturday: my wild irish rose

today I want to share two photos from my treasure box of old family photos. the top photo is of my grandpap, stephen yanoshik. stephen was the subject of my first sepia saturday post, in that post I briefly discussed his family of origin. there is so much I didn't mention about grandpap; one thing is that as a young man, I understand he was quite the shutterbug. in the causal portrait above stephen is holding a camera; perhaps, stephen had a friend who shared his interest in this relatively new art form. I can just imagine my grandpap and a buddy traipsing about lofty mountain on 'photo safaris' when all their work was done and it was time for fun. the photo below was a photo taken by grandpap. unfortunately, most of grandpap's photos have scattered like leaves in the wind; I am fortunate to have inherited a handful of grandpap's pictures - I hope there are other photos that are in other treasure boxes in the family.

in addition to stephen's interest in photography, grandpap was also quite interested in the ladies; and consistent with grandpap's reputation as a ladies man, it appears that at least in the photos I have, women outnumber men as the subjects of grandpap's eye. don't get me wrong grandpap was no leech - far from it. grandpap was a kind and sensitive soul. his openness about sharing his interests in nature, gardening, reading, and animals made grandpap my hero, and probably a hero to all his children and grandchildren. when I think of grandpap, I think of long hikes around lofty mountain with him and a whole contingent of grandkids, strolling through his incredible garden, or hanging out in the parlor reading that week's grit newspaper and sharing a chuckle over some zany bit of news. but most of all I associate grandpap with nurturing - people and plants - in his later years his garden was characterized by flowers and vegetables growing side-by-side, in a riotous harmony of color, texture, and scent.

I was very blessed, grandpap lived a long life - of course, not as long as we wished. but his was a long, healthy life, whatever adversities were thrown his way he met with strength and optimism. grandpap died a couple months shy of his 88th birthday; I was away at college at the time; but I heard it was a 'good death' - he came in after working in his garden, went into the den to relax and read the paper and perhaps watch a bit of the game shows (in his latter years he loved the game shows, especially the newlywed game - always the romantic!), and just drifted off and never woke up.


the notation scribbled on the back of the second photo is of "the mccarthy girls, lofty" - no date, but, based on the clothes and when grandpap was active taking photos it was taken sometime between 1914 and 1918. I don't know who the fifth girl is, it may be one of grandpap's sisters or another girl from lofty.

I have printouts of the 1910 census for lofty (referred to as kline township); the census reports four daughters living in the mccarthy family home-rosa, 12; catherine, 13; annie, 16; and mary ellen 17; also listed is rosa, 40, listed as 'wife' and dennis, 38 listed as 'head'. dennis was listed as a "worker" for the rail road. dennis' birthplace according to the 1910 census is listed as 'unknown' and rosa is listed as ireland. in 1910 the census information was recorded in may.

according to the 1920 census, there were still only four daughters living at the mccarthy family home - what is interesting is to compare the information from 1910 to the information on the 1920 census. during 1920, both dennis and rosa are still living (ages 47 and 50, respectively), dennis' birthplace is now listed as "unknown us" and he is listed as "laborer" for the "steam railway." there are subtle differences in the daughters names - they are listed as: mary (27); anna (25); kathryn (23); and rosa (21).

in the 1930 census I found that dennis mccarthy (age 57) was living in the home of john and mary tomlin and his relationship is given as "father-in-law" - by 1930, mrs. mccarthy must have passed away and dennis went to live with the oldest daughter, mary (age 37) who married john (age 34), one of the tomlin sons. in 1930, john and mary had two children, rose, 4-1/2 and john jr 1-1/2 years old. john's occupation was listed as an "engineer" and industry "steam shovel" and dennis was listed as a "laborer" industry now listed as "coalbreaker."

special thanks to lee who has helped me by restoring both these snaps and again proven he is the harry potter of the digital darkroom!

chauncey olcott recorded this almost 100 years ago in 1913 - perhaps at the very time of the photos above!


for a list of all the sepia saturday players this week visit the new sepia saturday blog!

Friday, February 12, 2010

tristesse étude


May all be free from sorrow,
and the causes of sorrow,
May all never be separated from,
the sacred happiness which is sorrowless.

Buddhist prayer

it has been a month since the catastrophic earthquake hit haiti, killing more than 200,000 people. to mark the anniversary the government of haiti has designated today a national day of mourning in haiti. at 4:35 haitian time*, haitians at home and abroad are asked to kneel and pray to mark the time that the world was changed forever.

let us join together with haitians everywhere, and each offer our own prayer and pledge to do what ever we can to keep the people and the mission of rebuilding haiti alive.

*haitian time is the same as eastern standard time or gmt-5


chopin's tristesse etude also known as étude op. 10 no. 3, in e major, performed by murray perahia

Thursday, February 11, 2010

mirror in the bathroom

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow them.
Louisa May Alcott (1932-1888) writer, feminist, and abolitionist


Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) poet, novelist and dramatist

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) novelist & short story writer


Time and reflection change the sight little by little 'till we come to understand.

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) artist and post-impressionist painter

Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.
Mark Kurlansky (b. 1948) journalist and author of non-fiction books


Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) architect and city planner

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) novelist

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883-1971)legendary fashion designer

Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) novelist, essayist and critic, 1835-1902

notes on photos:
  1. do you think that the first "mirror" was a calm body of water? one of the lakes in a string of lakes collectively known as shaker lakes in shaker heights, ohio. november 2008.
  2. mirrors at the dance school where ms. t took ballet lessons - since january ms t has not been taking ballet. one does not want to over-schedule young children; for now ms t is enjoying swimming lessons and soccer and trying to figure out whether she's made for ballet or not. september 2009.
  3. self portrait as reflected in cleveland artist anna arnold's mirrored glasses. september 2009
  4. fractured self portrait, mosaic at avam, baltimore, maryland. august 2009
  5. staff meeting before dinner at artisanal bistro, new york city. march 2009
  6. building as mirror, new york city.
  7. a small nook of memory to my godmother, aunt mary, objects include aunt mary's mirror and brush set, her hair dryer, and a wedding photo of mary and john. memory 'altar' at mary's daughter suzi's home, pennsylvania, may 2008
  8. my mother rita and her maid of honor on rita's wedding day. I had contemplated using this for an upcoming sepia saturday, but this week's theme makes it a perfect fit. by the way, this mirror and dressing table now resides at my daughter's home so it is still reflecting visions of loveliness every day! photographer unknown, harwood mines, pennsylvania, 31 march 1951
  9. I have a habit of taking self portraits in various bathroom mirrors (what's with that?) above is my favorite bathroom mirror self portrait, to the right, perhaps my second favorite. some mouse readers have asked what kind of camera I use, well now you know - that is if you can read mirror writing! above, women's bathroom, barking spider tavern, cleveland, january 2008; right, t & r's bathroom april 2009.


the beat (aka the english beat) performing their 1979 ska-pop-punk hit single mirror in the bathroom

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

bits & pieces

after spending most of the morning dealing with a labyrinthine phone tree system; navigating an ironically not very user-friendly website for our 'bundle' of services (phone, internet, television); and finally having to resort to talking directly with a tech support person (who incidentally was in the philippines), all so I could retrieve voice mails on an automated voice mail system, I feel I'm in bits and pieces.

now to go up to the studio and pull my bits and pieces together by working on some bits and pieces - the other day I got started on a new quilt. I love how a new work can get me in a zone.

today's photo is of gwen, she's sitting on the scraps from the shirts that will be used for the new quilt project. this project entails making a couple memory quilts, using fabric from dress shirts from a person who has passed away. a few years ago I made a four quilts for a family who were dealing with the loss of a much loved husband/father/son - it was one of the most gratifying projects I've ever done. this new pair of quilts will be very different than the ones I did for richard's family - fortunately the shirts I am working with this time are not cotton knit and therefore, I won't be as limited in terms of the pattern and design.

okay, off hopefully to get centered!


I remember when this was on the radio. dave clark five's (1964)

Monday, February 8, 2010

lady writer

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
Toni Morrison (b. 1931) writer, editor, educator



remember this group and their 1979 song, lady writer


photo: tom otterness' bronze figures at the cleveland public library, louis stokes wing january, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

sepia saturday: dressing up


today's sepia saturday photo features my great aunt helen. I have no idea exactly when the photo was taken, but given helen's hairstyle, make-up and the relatively short dress it is safe to say that it was taken in the 1920s. I don't know the story behind this photo and why helen is holding that humongous bouquet. I tried to call my cousin suzi - I copied this photo when I was at her house a couple years ago and perhaps she knows the back story to this photo, but alas she wasn't home.

helen was my paternal grandmother's sister and the youngest of four children born of andrew and mary urinchak. helen was born in 1910; the other children were: mary (my grandmam) catherine (katie), and joseph. joseph, born in 1897, died of the flu when he was 19 or 20 years old. the girls in the family all lived long lives. the first of the sisters to die was katie who passed away in 1980 at 85; mary, my grandmam was the oldest, she was born in 1889, she died in 1983 when she was 94. helen died in 2007, a few months shy of her 97th birthday. I don't know if it's cool to post non-sepia photos on sepia saturday, but I thought it would be nice to include this one of helen on the eve of her 95th birthday - in the picture she's with my dad. she was twelve years old when my father was born - if you are good with your math, you will notice there's quite a gap in years between helen and the rest of her siblings.

helen never married; for most of her life she worked in the garment industry - another woman of the cloth! helen's joie de vie was infectious; she was a vivacious and generous person with a great love for her family. as the last surviving member of her generation, for many years she reigned as our matriarch. for most of her life helen lived in the tiny borough of beaver meadows, pennsylvania with either one or two feline companions. when she was in her early 90s, severe arthritis forced her to be dependent on a wheelchair, but not even that forced her out of her home and living independently. however, when helen was 96 years, her beloved cat angel died, only then did helen move out of her home and into a nursing facility where she spent the last year of her life.

the cure performing dressing up


added at 4:20
thanks to the field, I just realized today is bob marley's birthday - to celebrate the day and marley (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) here's a bonus song three little birds, one of my all time faves - by the way, aunt helen liked bob! yes it's true!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

red red wine

Borders are scratched across the hearts of men,
by strangers with a calm, judicial pen,
and when the borders bleed we watch with dread
the lines of ink along the map turn red.
Marya Mannes (1904-1990) writer and social critic

When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely - the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it.
J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) philosopher & writer

The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.
Anonymouse

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) poet, writer, activist

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.
Lao Tzu (600 BC-531 BS) Chinese taoist philosopher

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.
Pema Chödrön (b. 1936) teacher, writer, buddhist nun


The belly rules the mind.
Spanish Proverb


Read as you taste fruit or savour wine, or enjoy friendship, love or life.

George Herbert (1593 – 1633) poet & priest


If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

Orson Welles (1915-1985)actor, director, producer, & writer

notes on photos:
  1. outbuilding, family homestead, lofty, pennsylvania. may 2009
  2. anish kapoor's sculpture marsyas at the tate modern, london. march 2003
  3. a bridal bouquet, cleveland.
  4. part of the celebration of bhutan at the 2008 smithsonian folklife festival
  5. a cow laying down, chewing its cud is pure contentment. many cultures associate the color red with happiness, joy and celebration. did you know an unblemished red heifer has all sorts of significance to some religious traditions? curious. bath ohio. july 2008
  6. detail of artwork; cleveland public, library date unknown
  7. my nephew enjoying a luscious wedge of watermelon; snapped at the above mentioned folklife festival, washington dc
  8. a study of red, summer 2009
  9. a red caboose. mars pennsylvania, june 2008



the song red red wine was written by neil diamond and released in 1967; soon after neil released his song, it began being covered by a variety of artists - including tony tribe, tee set, and ub40 - there is a rumor floating around that bob marley recorded the song, but that claim is false despite some vids which have been misidentified on youtube (those vids are actually various covers by ub40). follows is a vid of the british reggae group ub40 performing the song - they first covered the song in 1983 and it immediately topped the pop charts.