Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bell Tower and Carillon of Yale University

The 54 bell Yale Memorial Carillon is the heaviest carillon in Connecticut, and, like the Trinity College carillon, was cast by the John Taylor & Co. foundry of Loughborough, England. It began as a 10 bell chime cast by Taylor in 1921 and installed when Harkness Tower was built. In 1966, 44 bells by Taylor were added to make it a full carillon. This necessitated removing all the original bells from the tower and installing a completely new frame and playing action. The addition was made possible by a gift from Florence Marcy Crofut, who also gave the money to enlarge the Trinity College carillon.

The carillon is played on a daily basis by the Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs, and there is a summer series with concerts on Fridays at 7:00pm from June 21 to Aug. 16.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson,

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Season's Greetings

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.

~ Larry Wilde

Friday, December 23, 2005

Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening

    Whose woods these are I think I know
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep
    And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My "Pet" Squirrel

I have "adopted" a little gray squirrel and I feed it all kinds of things: breadcrumbs, walnuts, cheesepuffs, dried cranberries and raisins, etc. He comes right up on the deck and boldly looks in the patio doors, begging for food. I missed a shot of him with his little paws on the glass as he peered inside the diningroom. As soon as he saw me he ran off because he still doesn't trust me. My husband, Jon, says that if this creature, which is really a rodent (he says RAT with a bushy tail), gets into the attic or walls, it is up to ME to get the thing out and he wants nothing to do with the ordeal if it happens. It lives in a nest in a nearby tree. I HOPE he won't think to move his residence to our attic or between our walls all because I am feeding him! I will take my chances because it is so cold outside, and he is so cute. :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Second Job: Amateur Mail Delivery Person

Many believe that the United States Postal Service provides the best mail delivery on the planet. In comparison to other countries, we are told by post office authorities, that the U.S. mail service delivers more letters and has a lower percentage rate for loss, theft, or damage than most other counties. If this is true, then why is it that I find myself all too frequently having to play postman and end up delivering people’s mail that I have received by mistake? My neighbors return the kindness by courteously bringing my mail to me, which was intentionally or unintentionally left in their mailboxes. The upside of all this is that we are getting to know each other better than we would have if not involved in this network of neighborhood amateur postal workers making unpaid special deliveries. (However, if I wanted a job with the postal service, I would have applied!)

UPS (otherwise known as Brown) is no better. At least the federal mail delivery person goes to each mailbox, even if he or she can’t always get the addressed mail in the corresponding boxes. UPS zooms by as fast as they can without stopping and sends the parcels flying out the door and onto your doorstep, (if you are lucky). This type of delivery system prevents the driver or the truck from being identified, making it difficult to phone and question the delivery methods of the United Postal Service. In comparison, when I phone the post office to request the carrier be more alert to the address he is delivering to, I am told that they will "talk" with the carrier. This only ticks the carrier off and makes him become even more lax with his deliveries. We have no alternatives, so what does he care? I don't know why some people are afraid of email and online communication. The problems with dealing with the postal delivery services are even more baffling than cyberspace!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chicago Slang

Grachki (grach'-key): Chicagoese for "garage key"
as in, "Yo, Theresa, waja do wit da grachki? Howmy
supposta cut da grass if I don't git intada grach?"

Sammich: Chicagoese for sandwich. When made with
sausage, it's a sassage sammich; when made with
shredded beef, it's an Italian Beef sammich, a local
delicacy consisting of piles of spicy meat in a
perilously soggy bun.

Da: This article is a key part of Chicago speech,
as in "Da Bears" or "Da Mare" -- the latter denoting
Richard M. Daley, or Richie, as he's often called.

Jewels: Not family heirlooms or a tender body
region, but a popular name for one of the region's
dominant grocery store chains. "I'm goin' to
da Jewels to pick up some sassage."

Field's: Marshall Field, a prominent Chicago
department store. Also Carson Pirie Scott, another
major department store chain, is simply called "Carson's."

Tree: The number between two and four. "We were
lucky dat we only got tree inches of snow da udder

Prairie: A vacant lot, especially one on which weeds are growing.

Over by dere: Translates to "over by there," a
way of emphasizing a site presumed familiar to the
listener. As in, "I got the sassage at da Jewels
down on Kedzie, over by dere."

KaminskiPark: The mispronounced name of the
ballpark where the Chicago White Sox (da Sox) play
baseball. Comiskey Park was recently renamed U.S.
Cellular Field (yuck!)

Frunchroom: As in, "Getottada frunchroom wit
dose muddy shoes." It's not the "parlor." It's not
the "living room." In the land of the bungalow,
it's the "frunchroom," a named derived, linguists
believe, from "front room."

Use: Not the verb, but the plural pronoun "you!”
“Wher e's use goin'?"

Downtown: Anywhere near The Lake, south of The
Zoo (Lincoln Park Zoo) and north of Soldier Field.

The Lake: Lake Michigan. (What other lake is
there?) It's often used by local weathermen, "cooler
by The Lake."

BoysTown: A section on Halsted between Belmont
and Addison which is lined with gay bars both sides
of the street. "Didn't I see use in BoysTown in
front of da Manhole?"

Braht: Short for Bratwurst. "Gimme a braht wit kraut."

Cashbox: Traffic reporter slang for tollbooths.
"Dere's a delay at da cashbox on da Skyway."

Goes: Past or present tense of the verb "say."
For example, "Then he goes, 'I like this place'!"

Guys: Used when addressing two or more people,
regardless of each individual's gender.

Pop: A soft drink. Don't say "soda" in this
town. "Do ya wanna canna pop?"

Sliders: Nickname for small, square hamburgers from White
Castle, a popular Midwestern burger chain.
"Dose sliders I had last night gave me da runs."
Also known as, "Wee Willy One-Bites"
and "belly bombs."

The Taste: The Taste of Chicago Festival, a huge
extravaganza in Grant Park featuring samples of
Chicagoland cuisine which takes place each year
around the Fourth of July holiday.

"Jieetyet?": Translates to, "Did you eat yet?"

Winter and Construction: Punch line to the joke,
"What are the two seasons in Chicago?"

Cuppa Too-Tree: is Chicagoese for "a couple,
two, three" which really means "a few." For example,
"Hey Mike, dere any beerz left in da cooler over by
dere?" "Yeh, a cuppa too-tree."

588-2300: Everyone in Chicago knows this
commercial jingle and the carpet company you'll get
if you call that number -- Empire!

Junk Djor: You will usua lly find the 'junk
drawer' in the kitchen filled to the brim with miscellaneous,
but very important, junk.

Southern Illinois: Anything south of I-80.

Expressways: The Interstates in the immediate
Chicagoland area are usually known just by their
'name' and not their Interstate number: the Dan Ryan
("da Ryan"), the Stevenson, the Kennedy, the
Eisenhower (da "Ike"), and the Edens.

Gym Shoes: The rest of the country may refer to
them as sneakers or running shoes but Chicagoans
will always call them gym shoes!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

After the Storm

December 9, 2005
Photo of our deck the day after the winter day from hell.
Pretty isn't it?

Jason was the He-Man to dig us all out. This is only the beginning. We can look forward to this all the way through March.

Photo from the front door.

Start of the big snowstorm: Dec 8, 2005

Photos taken out our patio door window. This storm intensified as the day went on and snarled rush hour traffic so bad that it took commuters HOURS to get home from work. It took Jon 6 hours to get home when it usually takes him only an hour and fifteen mnutes. Jeff, who is a truck driver was trapped in the mess all day long and didn't get home until after midnight. I hope this isn't a preview of what our entire winter will be like.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"Calm Harbor"
Ink on paper
by D. Bowden

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Isn't she a sweetheart?

Mary's Cat, Doggie
Photo by D Bowden

Doggie is a very friendly cat, but also a "prissy" cat who likes to be pampered and can't bother herself with stupid stuff like playing with squeaky toys and yarn strands. She would rather interact with people. She LOVES people, unless you hate cats and then she KNOWS and will not have anything to do with you. Doggie loves food, especially butter, tuna and other things that are bad for her. Just like a person. I am highly allergic to cats, but when I am visiting Mary I will just get a box of Kleenex and some Visine allergy eye drops because Doggie loves me so. Doggie is getting to be an old lady now. She is nearly 12, has arthritis and cannot jump anymore. But she is a grand old lady. Proud and happy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

photo by D. Bowden
I took this photo looking out of the van window at 10:30 p.m. as we were waiting for Jason to buy groceries at the Jewel-Osco at Ashland and Roosevelt before dropping him off at his apartment after his concert on
Dec 3, 2005.

"Little Girl on Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

"Old Woman at Hammonasset Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

by D. Bowden
Aug. 2005
"Two Girls Wading at Hammonasset Beach"
by D. Bowden
Aug 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

D. Bowden
watercolor pic by D. Bowden

I just LOVE the holiday season with all the colorful lights and decorations. Every year I have to put up my seasonal decorations alone. No one helps me except if I order them to go bring up the boxes from the basement. That is a big help, but it would be nice if some people who live here were a bit more enthusiastic about giving me a hand with things like untangling the several strands of lights that manage to get all jumbled together even though I take great care to place them SEPARATELY in the box so as to be easy the following year. But something happens to them during the year while they are stored away in the closet. It's as if an imp or fairy gets inside the boxes and tangles up the lights to cause me a big pain in the ass each and every year!

I know I am not alone here. There are songs written about the frustration of detangling and stringing holiday lights on tree branches. So, why do I bother? Why do I continue with this tradition even though I am not a religious person? Because, it's PRETTY! It makes me happy to see all the festive lights and all the colors giving the world a magical look. Everyone is happy (once the shopping is done)" and it's a time of warmth and sharing and getting together with those we love. It's pretty songs, and bells and if we are lucky...powdery snow that glistens like diamonds under the streetlights. While I am struggling with the stupid lights each year, swearing like a sailor stuck in a threatening storm, I have in the back of my mind how wonderful it will all look when everything is decorated, lit and beautiful as winter itself.