Archive for January, 2010

Home from CT

Today I came home by Amtrak on the Northeast Regional.  It’s not a long trip – 5.5 hours.  I got a New York Times and read some articles, including one about 3 American “Christian” evangelists who put on a conference in Uganda that encouraged persecution of homosexuals, and has resulted Ugandans making homosexuality a legal offense punishable by death.  Oh, “Christian” evangelicals, you are special snowflakes, really, now.  Oh, Ugandans, you too. 

I wrote quite a long essay on this on the train, branching off on tangets about whether I need to be more tollerant of intollerant people, and also some other especially noxious things “Christian” evangelicals are up to in world politics, both in the name of Christ and in the name of America.  Well, you can only imagine.  And I will spare you the full text, because it wasn’t that original.

I tried for some photos on the train ride — of one of my favorite subjects, graffiti — but have not tried to download them.  I scoped out some excellent photo opportunities on the Metro Red Line between Union Station and Fort Totten.  If I take the trip in mid-afternoon (like I did today), there are some possibilities for some good shots.

So, with no photos from the trip, I’ll post this one of one of my Christmas crafts, a crocheted star with a beaded wire hanger.  The ornament was presented in a card printed with star clip art on the outside and quotations about stars on the inside.


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HillStead House in the Winter


Today we went to the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.   This is the retirement home of Alfred and Ada Pope and their daughter Theodate and her husband John Riddle.  The money for this mansion was from Alfred Pope who was a wealthy iron manufacturer from Cleveland.   Mr. Pope used his wealth as a collector, and collected paintings by Monet,  Manet,  Mary Cassatt, James McNeil Whistler, and Edgar Degas;  Chinese porcelains; Italian majolica; and  many, many prints including a collection of Japanese prints.

The Hill-Stead House was designed and built by the Pope’s daughter, Theodate, who was one of the first American women to become an architect.  It was Theodate who decided to make the house into a museum and funded the trust to take care of the house.

Here is some catching up:

The Zombie amaryllis came from Gurney’s.   The bulbs were roughly 2 inches in diameter, and I planted them in early December.  The first bloom opened on December 19th, during our Big Snow Storm.  My other amaryllis bulbs have single white blooms with pink veining.  The Zombie is a balance of peach-pink and white, and the bloom is doubled.  The stems are approximately 18 inches.

These kitties are Toby and Dustin, whose Person is my neice, Becky.  For New Year’s week, Toby and Dustin have been in kitty care with their GrandPersons, Gary and Cindy and Molly (their Auntie).  Dustin is larger and more calm. He enjoys putting his toys in his drinking water and potters about in the bowl and in the shower.  He really likes to have his belly rubbed.  Toby has a spot on his nose, which is how I tell them apart.  Toby is a little more active and a little more likely to be into some kind of trouble.  They are about 8 months old.  When Auntie Molly is around, they sleep on her bed, but on New Year’s Eve Night, she was on a sleep over and the slept with me.   They are a very pretty shade of smokey grey with white markings.  Gary and Cindy and Molly enjoy them a lot.

Dustin and Toby

On 12-31-09, it snowed in the morning.  While Cindy ran errands, Gary and went to Stony Creek, a small village near the Thimble Islands.  In the summer, the dock area is full of watercraft, but it is nearly abandoned in the winter.  The snow was picking up in intensity as was walked about, but it was very quiet, with just the sounds of the water sloshing.  I made a short movie of the ice chunks floating about in the water, with the sloshing sounds of the water.   I don’t have the skill to add it to the blog.  Oh well.  But here are some pictures of the bay and some working boats.

Stony Creek Working Boats


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Gary and Cindy took me to a New Year’s Eve party at a catering facility called Country House – great food, a really decent DJ, lots of their close friends, and much dancing. 

Cindy, Gary and Carmen - 2010

The party attendees were mainly folks over 50, and their children (in their 20’s and 30’s).  Mostly of Italian descent, which is the norm around New Haven.

The appetizers were served as a buffet, with many Italian foods – meat balls, tortellini, broccali raab, escarole and beans, shellfish  salad, stuffed clams and oysters, deep fried ravioli, stuffed pastas, scallop risoto;  really, there was no need for dinner.  But, there was a salad and then an entre.  Gary and I had ‘surf and turf’ and Cindy had chicken florentine.

Country House - Surf and Turf

The lobster was stuffed with shrimp and little scallops.  Good food, good company.

And another year begi ns.

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