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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Climate Change II On Flagler Street

Just got off a Florida page and found many people attempting to correct the Miami image and save both Miami proper , as far north as possible, and Miami Beach from the increasingly frequent flooding.

The complaint is that it is only Climate Change that is doing the damage. That would be nice. It is a much slower process. However, what is happening in Miami and in Miami Beach and other Floridian, soon to be inundated, areas is that the builders who are Northeran Snowbirds are positively sure that bigger and better building in the more popular areas are the things to create.

Make the areas look like New York City; or Austin, Texas; or cities in Los Angeles/Hollywood areas of mansions and pools. [H.m.m.m California seems to be sliding into the Pacific, just about the same way that Florida is sliding into the Atlantic.]

The difference between the two coast lines is that California has mountains and cliffs that are eroding due to massive, expensive showcase homes built on eroding cliff sides.  On the other coast, Florida has become the New York City of the south.

What architect in his right mind would build tall very expensive hotels and condominiums in a swamp? If even one of them, would go back and read about the Barefoot Mailman, who made the trek along the coast of  Florida in the early years of Mr. Flagler and his railroad; he, or even a she, would find that the poor main carrier was constantly facing swamps and gators;  lots of slimy soil. and difficult to walk on sand.

In the beginning, the houses on the coast were small homes, one story with pro per hurricane shutters.
Now, the builders for the small homes are touting sealed windows, electricity and air conditioning so that owners could weather out a hurricane while watching their television with chips and dips; at least until the roofs would be whipped away by the hurricane winds.

Architects of the area schools dreamed of patios made with lots of screens against mosquitoes and hurricane shutters that let in the air without letting in the rains and the wind.  and only small indoor spaces, for privacy with lots more open areas for the cool semi-tropical breezes.

Now, the shutters are gone, the screens get ripped away, and plywood is used to cover all windows: Tightly against the storms. Once an elderly person called the Hurricane Center in Coral Gables and asked why they did not tell homeowners to open a window or a door on the calm side of the house and shut the door on the wind side of the house.  

They also had to remember to tell the home owners to reverse the procedure when the hurricane turned the winds and calm around in opposite directions. That person was told that it was only an Old Wive's tale and useless in the hurricane areas of Miami. The buildings got to be tall apartment buildings, and finally taller condos. The soil could be corrected it was believed.

 And now, both Flager Street in Miami and the Fountainbleu Hotel and others in Miami Beach are flooded during such  hurricanes. But no one knows why.  Think!  The answers are there in Florida just as they are on the Pacific coast.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

an Art Gallery with comments

Going Home
No telling what I will end up with
when I start a paint.






The picture is of 5 of my children
 In 1972 when I prepared to take them with oldest two on a bicycle trip through Europe

A different picture
Oops, I printed it upside down! My son's girl friend spotted it at the top of the picture and



informed him that I had bought it ready-made and faked it by putting my old signature seal on it.

But that was a long time ago. Last year when I turned 82, a neighbor gave me two blank (new) canvases, and somewhere, I had also acquired a third. I do not like unpainted canvases, so I decided I wanted to do another horse. A year or so earlier, I had painted a picture of two clay bowls, and I felt I might just succeed with a horse. I almost did it right but destroyed it by over-painting. Disgusted I let it sit for a few months. I tried again with the same canvas.  No use wasting a decent sunset; but this time it turned out to be a hobby horse, straight off a carnival carousel.

Since the hobby horse was painted over again, I do not consider it more than a practice effort, so my third success is the one below.  A bit different, but a horse.
My Favorte 1961 Watercolor

Ramtod-tailed Hors
In a Bamboo Grove
Portrait attempt.  Not good enough yet.
Rose's without rain drops
A Seascape on Cardboard
A pleasant  Accident

July 22 Spaulding 


Chinese Brush. Not free enou
More Flowers
July 22 2017 
j

Friday, August 22, 2014

Who Am I Kidding?

Who am I kidding? No one but myself!

I can no more grow old gracefully than a palm tree can become an oak tree.
I have tried to do here a bio but I was having a problem with self.

I am no more a youngster, nor am I very old. I cannot even think I am going to be old, even when my neck looks like a Thanksgiving turkey.  and my hair is a beautiful shade of white, the color of snow on a cold clear day in winter,
Bah! Whoever invented old age, should be put in a the stocks at the center of town.


Nothing like memories to keep one young.
These are five of mime when it was June of 1972. My two older ones were 17 and 18 and got their own passport picture.
We took a bicycle trip for four months camping in Europe.
It was a learning experience for all of us

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Second and Third Grade

Second Grade was not very interesting. The teacher found that I was scratching my head too often and discovered that I had head lice. I thought it was from our laundry tub where we got a bath every Saturday. My mother got coal oil, whatever that was, and my head got soaked every night and washed every morning, and finally they disappeared. I had my hair combed with a fine tooth comb every day just to make sure.

The rest of the year was not that interesting. We walked through a long double meadow, split in the middle by a copse of tall trees. Once I got threatened by a heavy set boy, but I ran and he did not follow me.

Snow om the winter was no fun. It was knee deep in the meadow which made walking to school difficult, but not impossible. Summer made up for it all. The buttercups and for-get me-nots would bloom one after the other. I would pick some for my mother. One day I did find a dime, so when I got home I went next door to the country store, owned by Mr. Disascio (never knew how to spell his name) and his wife and son, Tony.
[Mrs. Disascio made the most delicious spaghetti, and waffle cookies filled with some sort of cream. His father ran the store and used produce from his own garden to sell during the fall. Those days were idylic.]

At the store, I bought some candy and a cone of ice cream and took the candy to my mother. She was pleased with the 'gift.'

Third Grade was not what I liked, but only after my teacher punished me by sending me to my twin brothers's first grade class.  I had found a small sparkly disk on a chain and had given it to the classmate who did wonderful elocution poems for us in class. Dorothy was her name. She knew Hiawatha and The Face on the Barroom Floor; all of both long poems.  Well, I told my mother about it, but she misconstrued what I told her and insisted that I get the bauble back. I did try . . . even visiting the girl at her house. But she refused to return it to me. My mother asked about it often, but I could not say I had gotten it back so she was unhappy about it.  I made one last effort. Dorothy was sitting behind me in class and I turned around and asked her one more time. When she again refused, I got out of my seat and fought with her.

The natural result was I had to be punished and the teacher knew exactly what would hurt the most. My mother found out about my visit to First Grade at lunch time, and later when Dad came home from work, I received a spanking for fighting in the school room.

From that time on, I never made another 100 in spelling and never got another 100 in any class I attended.
No one had asked me why I did it, but I never forgot. I guess even my penmanship went downhill a bit, even though I like to draw the slanted up and down bars and the round over and around tubes of lines meant to teach us the correct method for writing legibly.

I almost forgot . . . my twin brothers, being in first grade . . . got to have their First Communion that year and I happened to be a pink Angel to guide them on their way down to the altar.  The picture that was taken for that even portrayed me as a very grouchy angel. The ceremony must have occurred after my spanking, because I was not a very happy angel.

One thing about the school I was in that year (3rd grade): I learned in religion class that the church made a big effort to convert a lot of people during the Middle Ages. I don''t know why the subject came up but I do remember that it seemed to be a bad time for the church. [Later in college when I found out how they had done the conversions, I was so shocked that I could not talk about it for over two years.]

That summer, I was playing in the peach tree in our yard with the angel robe on and the robe caught on a branch. I fell out of the tree [not very far down thank heavens, so I broke no bones] but it did take my breath away for a moment.  It was also the last time I ever went into the tub outside with only panties on. I figured that I was too grown up to be bare chested any more, so wore T-shirts from that time on, when my bothers and I went for a summer dip into the old tub. I did not learn to swim until years later.

It was also around this time that I went to Chester Creek with my cousins and my aunt. We were having a lot of fun, but one of the more cheerful ones, turned over the inner tube float that I was using. I thought I was going to drown, but my other cousin pulled me up out of the water right away. It was not as frightening since my cousin was so quick to get me out of the deeper water. She turned to be my favorite cousin, Sophie.


A short note about my penmanship. When I grew up and someone invited me to a Calligraphy class, I cheated by printing a calligraphic script phrase on thin paper. So that I could just write over what I could see under my good page.  It always made a good impression then with the teacher. But that was after seven children and a lot of grief from the marriage I thought was a good one.  Oh well.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Skipping to First Grade

First grade was something that was a bit of a memory lost for me. Previous to going to school, I was put into a dance class (to make sure I could perform like Shirley Temple, I surmise) and at  home, my father read me the comics every night, thank heavens.

I say, thank heavens, because by October, I got sick. I had measles, mumps and whooping cough, one right after the other.  During that time, I was able to read a lot of my children's books, including the Night Before Christmas, my favorite.

My first day out of bed was Christmas morning. I got up and got dressed in a neat dark blue sailor dress with a red bow tie in front.  I had asked for a bicycle for Christmas and I got one. OMG.  It was there leaving against the banister of the newest apartment we had, that over a shoemaker shop. My heart dropped. It was the wrong bicycle.  Was Santa a fault or . . . ?

The bicycle was a light green boy's bicycle with fat balloon tires. I had wanted a bicycle, but, . . . I was a girl, not a boy. The poor bicycle never got ridden the whole time I had it and even after we moved across from my father's work, I never even considered it mine

First grade after I returned to school, I remember being on stage at school in a cute red satin Russian outfit. It had short skirt with a white feather hemline trim, and red vest with a white blouse, and a tiara of red satin like the skirt, trimmed in silvery ribbons and a lot of long colored ribbons hanging down from each side.

A doll visited our first grade. She had all sorts of clothes to wear, even pajamas. She had a toothbrush and a hair brush and her own soap and washcloth. She was beautiful. Her owner said that she herself, never used soap on her face, but she neglected to tell us that she used creams and ointments. It took me a long time before I figured out that the creams and ointments had more to to with the face of the doll's owner than the doll that used soap and water.

Regardless when spring time rolled around, and the whole school was having a morning recess in the school yard, there were several wagons outside the school yard.  One in particular was a Bread wagon, all green and gold with big wheels with yellow spokes and a red or brown rim.

For some reason, the horse pulling the wagon spooked from something on the road, and it frightened him so that he ran right over the curb, breaking one wheel on the wagon, and headed straight into the school yard.  I was way in the back leaning on the small metal bannister because I had just recently returned to school and was still not able to play with the children. I was taking it "easy."

All the children started screaming at once, and running to get away from the horse and wagon.  A man, from a different wagon ran into the yard from the street, grabbed the horse's harness and stopped him in his run towards the children. I could not understand why everyone was screaming and crying. I saw who the man was and he was perfectly capable of stopping the horse. It was my father in his milk  run, or he was checking up on whether I was doing well in school.

I never told anyone who the man was, nor did anyone ever ask me about him. I did think it was neat, but no one, not even my father at home, said a word about catching the horse.

Back in the school room, probably one another day, I was reading my reader.  I said, "Oh, Nuts!" A common cuss word for children. My seat mate was aghast. "You said a bad word."  My response was, "No, I did not. It is here in our book."  And I showed her the page next to the picture of a nut tree right next to the text. That was that. She never said another word.

In the class, we had only one black boy learning his ABC's. but most of the time he fell asleep. When my sister went to that school 16 years later, she was the only white girl in the class. The neighborhood had changed that drastically.  In the early years, though I had to walk home and the shortest route was through the black neighborhood. I only could do that one time, because the children there ganged up on me and I guess they threatened me, so I never went through the area again.

By summer time, we had moved across the street from Miller and Flounder's Dairy, where my father worked. It was a white house with two floors. My father put in an oil heater in the fireplace and a plywood, high step-over door in the archway to the porch.  He then rented the upstairs to an older couple who, although I would go upstairs and read the Sunday comics where my father stored them in an extra room on the second floor, I never met them.

Not even when we got the chicken coup from the neighbor behind us who was moving to the city. Mom would make the attic into a nursery for the new chicks and I would visit them all the time.
We would have Sunday dinner, a chicken that she would prepare in the morning, starting with cutting off its head, and we would eat him in the afternoon. We also had eggs every morning for breakfast.

Friday, May 23, 2014

First View of the World

           Many years later, I came about a dream sequence that happened regularly. However, it belongs here in this part since it seemed to have occurred the day I was born, a bit earlier than my first post.

          I would dreams of a person whose finger I was holding. It seemed to me that the whole body of that person had the same thickness as that single finger i held. I dreamt this particular dream for several years, during hte time I was married and living in Miami, Florida. It was comforting dream, and I never knew why it occurred so regularly.

          After a particularly difficult day, sometime during the seventh year of my marriage, I stopped to think more deeply about it.  I reasoned, that if I was holding only a finger of my comforter, it had to be just after the moment of my birth. I  was wrapped in a warm blanket and I was being cuddled, as all babies are when they are first born.  But it did not appear to be by my mother. It was someone else.  Who, i do not know. I never heard any details of my birth, only afterward, when one of my aunts, who my mother did not like very much, was helping her out during the time of her recovery.

           Neverthelsss, once I decided that it had been that very day and hour that i was born, I NEVER dreamt that drream again.  Apparently, I was having a particularly rough time during my marriage, but did not understand why it was so difficult.  My husband was never rude or contrary to me and it actually seemed that it was a strong marriage. Seven children were loved and appreciated. So, at that time I had no inkling of any difficulty.  Or maybe I did and refused to admit it to myself.

          As it was I later found out that a divorce would be better than staying in the marriage and with a little bit of help from a friend. i was able to do that.  Things actually got a bit worse, but with my dream in my corner (how if dream can affect one's feelings, i don't know, but it did seems to happan that way to me.) I actually survived and all the children are here near where I live and they are very content with their lives.  A good feeling that I got them all grown and happy in what they do finally. Hurray!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Irish Gandfather and Polish Grandmother

         Somewhere between two and three, it seems that we were homeless for a while. First we lived with my Polish Grandmother in Wilmington, Delaware, and then with my Irish Grandfather in Chester, PA.

My Polish Grandfather, I never knew, but my Grandmother was one I could never talk to since my father forbade my mother and I to speak Polish at home. My time in grandma's house, was one of getting drops in my eyes every night and waking up every morning, my eyes glued shut,

I had to walk down the stairs carefully, to find my mother in the dining room.  She would then unglue my eyes with a wet cloth.  My Aunt Anna would fix chicken soup for us children and she gave us special bowls. Each bowl had a different story or poem in the bottom and we had to eat all the soup, so we could have the story read to us, until we finally could read them ourselves. The kitchen had a big black wood stove where the most wonderful food was cooked by my Aunt Anna.

My Grandmother, had a outhouse in back yard where the garden was. Next to the outhouse, a big grey wolf-like dog was on a very heavy chain.  Apparently, it was let loose during the night, but in the day time, we children were just warned to stay away from it.  The garden had vegetables and flowers all summer long.

          My Grandmother had a problem with her legs so she was in her bed in the dining room. She was able to greet people and be taken care of when no one came by. Gradually, she lost parts of her legs to gangrene over a period of time and finally, she died. Her casket was in the living room in the front of the house.  My aunt Anna did the cooking and other relatives and friends brought their food offerings.  We all took turns going into the front room to pray at her casket.

          Later we moved to my Grandfather's house, after my Grandmother there died. Her casket was also in their living room. A steady flow or people came and went. My Grandfather sat in his chair by the front window saying his rosary every day after that time, and sometimes my uncle Tony would sit in the other chair across from him. Many times, I would see them together that way.

          I remember learning to tie my shoelaces, sitting on the commode seat cover by the back window in the upstairs bathroom. The window was open since it was early spring and the peach trees in the back yard were in full bloom. [The bathroom was large compared to bathrooms today.] There was on one wall a strop for sharpening a flip-open razor for shaving. I vaguely remember getting spanked with the strop at least one time, but I must had done something I was not supposed to do.

          One day I was sitting with my mother downstairs in the dining room. A neighbor came to visit and gossip a bit. She told my mom that a man was in the field across the way exposing himself and she should be careful. It was then I learned that there were good men and bad men in the world. Never thought much about it though. But did remember that one should stay away from some men.

          The dining room had a vintage chandelier shade made of colored glass over the dining room table for many years, It was there even after I grew up and visited my uncles on my own.  I do not remember when my grandfather died. It must have been shortly after we moved into an apartment over a shoemaker shop nearby.

         Our doctor was next door To y and parents house, and he had a ugly, bowlegged dog, all white and brown. The dog was a nice dog though and we were never afraid of it. So I did get a lot of medical attention. Nevertheless, I was healthy and active. I remember trying to entertain my grandfather by standing on my head in the living room. I think I did it very well that time,. I had not learned at that time to use my arms as a brace for my head, as I did later, but I never did manage to stand on my head successfully again. I guess I needed a pillow for my head also.  [Live and learn, I guess was my motto at the time.]