Sunday, October 23, 2016

Elephants and Ants, Marash style

"If your enemy is an ant, regard him as an elephant . . ."

Peter (Marash Girl's dad) and all the great Middle East scholars at Harvard quote this one!

But according to Google, this is a Danish proverb. How would the Danes know about elephants?  How did the expression go from Denmark to Marash?  More likely it was the other way around!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Good Recipe for Banana Bread

Couldn't find Grandma Jennie's recipe for Banana Cake, but Marash Girl has been using the following BANANA BREAD recipe to make use of those over-ripe bananas. The result is delicious.  If you want a more cake-like product, just add more sugar to the recipe below (2 cups instead of one) and replace some of that canola oil with butter.

Banana Bread Recipe

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed very ripe bananas (preferably the skin should be mostly black)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (Marash Martha's recommends using both)
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp sour milk (add a smudge of vinegar to milk or use yogurt or flavored yogurt -- if you use flavored yogurt, you'll keep your guests guessing at the "secret ingredient")
1 or 2 tsps. pure vanilla (not the artificial variety) or lemon flavoring

Beat eggs; add sugar and oil.
Mash bananas well and add to mixture.

Into a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda/powder.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the sour milk and egg/banana mixture. Stir gently until smooth.  Do not over beat!

Bake in a greased pan at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about one hour, or until done.  (Test with cake tester to make sure batter is firm.) 

Cool well before slicing.

Marash Girl's recommendation?  Make more than one recipe and share with your neighbors!

Friday, October 21, 2016

When life gives you rotten bananas . . .

You know the old adage that goes, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"  But there is NO old adage that goes, "When life gives you rotten bananas, make banana cake!"  And yet that is the lesson that Marash Girl's mom taught her!  Even today, Marash Girl baked up 4 banana cakes (it only took about 10 minutes to whip up the batter, and another half hour to bake the cakes), banana cakes that made her local post master and post mistress very happy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

And Speaking of Cemeteries

Every time we would drive past a cemetery, Grandpa Peter would ask the passengers in the car, a mischievous grin on his face, how many people are buried in that cemetery?

Everyone in the car would start counting and figuring -- using addition, geometry, algebra, calculus, or simply multiplication  -- and start offering answers.

Grandpa Peter would answer with glee,

"Nope, nope, nope.  How many people are buried in that cemetery?  All of them!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wise Advice

Road sign offering wise advise to reckless drivers cruising over the speed limit on a narrow, curvaceous mountain road in Monson, Massachusetts:

"Caution! Cemetary Ahead!"

The sign is no longer present, though the cemetery is . . . !

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Happiness is a dishwasher!"

Emptying the dishwasher this morning while my stepdaughter was preparing to go to work, I quoted Marion C who years ago quipped, "Happiness is an empty dishwasher!"  My stepdaughter replied, without hesitation, "Are you kidding?  Happiness IS a dishwasher! . . . Not one of the apartments I've stayed in ever had one!"

Monday, October 17, 2016

Invest $1 to make $10?

Peter, as he got older, would be sitting in his living room with his feet up on a footstool, chatting with whatever visitor had come by for a bit of Peter's wisdom, and invariably the telephone would ring, and Peter would be heard to say, "I invest $10 to make $1."

"Whatever did the caller want?" the visitor would ask.

"My money.  He wanted me to invest $1 to make $10.  If his investment was so great, why was he wasting his time on the telephone?  Why hadn't he invested his dollars to make ten times what he had invested?"

Hear, hear!  And this was long before the Bernie Madoff scheme came to light!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Mosque in Gaziantep

Too sad to remember.  Gaziantep, (known to Marash Girl growing up, as Aintep, the city of her maternal Grandmother and Grandfather), this beautiful city, once the abode of an elegant, educated, Armenian populace, now strangely lacking that population. Hope the link works.  If not, simply copy and paste into your browser.  With thanks to Varteni for the link . . .

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Calling an allergist?

Marash Girl called an allergist to set up an appointment to find out what she was allergic to, if anything.

The intake person on the telephone asked, "What are you allergic to?"

Friday, October 14, 2016

Was she the model for this nautical figurehead?

Was the ancestor of this antique shop owner the model for this antique nautical figurehead?
Known as "Neptune's wooden angels", carved nautical figureheads, usually of women, wooden figureheads such as the one pictured above, used to be mounted on a ship's bow and were thought to bring good fortune to the ship on which it was mounted, as well as to that ship's sailors.

The nautical figurehead pictured above was for sale in an antique shop on Route 6A, in Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this past August. The only nautical figurehead Marash Girl has ever seen outside of a museum! It may still be there, if you hurry.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"When a Church Becomes a Restaurant"

    Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
 "When a Church Becomes a Restaurant"
And the altar (not pictured) has become the bar!
     Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Kegham Mississyan and No-Cal Soft Drinks

For whatever reason, Marash Girl, chatting with Marash Boy yesterday, remember Kegham Mississyan and how he saved Marash Girl from a lifetime of artificially sweetened soft drinks.

Marash Girl and her cousin Pauline, many years ago, were fascinated by the introduction to the United States supermarkets of non-caloric soft drinks. . . certainly the perfect solution for young girls wanting to keep their shapely figures.  But no, not the solution.  Dr. Kegham Mississyan, Zabelle Mississyan's brother, recently arrived from Beirut, was visiting upstairs, and in the dining room when cousin Pauline and Marash Girl, early in their teenage years,  were celebrating in Auntie Zabelle's breakfast nook, shouting happily over their discovery that they could drink all the soda they wanted and never put on an  ounce.  Destroying all hope of such an easy sollution, Kegham warned them that the artificial sweeteners would do major damage to the health of the individual ingesting those drinks.  That, in fact, they may become more svelt, but, in the long run, did they really want to be skinny corpses? 

The warning stuck with them . . . they never ingested those artificially sweetened soft drinks.  And, yes, they did see the damage to the health of those of their friends who, in the hopes of remaining svelte, made a habit of imbibing artificially sweetened soft drinks.  God rest their souls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Congratulations, Lorig! Once again, you ran the 70 miles for Prisoner Re-Entry Mediation!

They made it and the Baltimore Sun covered it!
 Lorig ran 70 miles, from Hagerstown, Maryland prisons to Community Mediation in Baltimore, Maryland, in order to raise funds for Prisoner Re-Entry Mediation, with many folks joining her for parts of the run, like Erricka Bridgeford, Councilman Brandon Scott, Hasson Barnes, Daniel Levine, and more. You can still donate to the effort to support successful prisoner reentry into the community by clicking here:

Note: Community Mediation Maryland's  conflict resolution programs help inmates stay out of prison for good by helping them repair relationships with their families. Let's all support this effort!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Election, anyone?

After last night's US presidential candidates' debate, Marash Girl received a text from her sister who commented (as a Trump supporter) that Trump was fantastic!  Today Marash Girl received an email forwarded by her brother that compared Trump's treatment by the press to the treatment of Jesus by the Romans.  Really.  Her brother and sister?

Needless to say, they are not in sync with Marash Girl or Marash Boy.  Whoever wins the presidency of the United States, (and Marash Girl is restraining herself here from making public judgement),  may s/he be presidential in character, a lover of all people (not a lover of all women), and knowledgeable about world affairs (not just finances).

May the Lord bless and keep us from hatred and idiocy!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

And a Turk Shall Save Them

Taner Akcam risks his life, like many before him, for the truth.  (See photo of Taner Akcam's slides below taken from Akcam's lecture discussed in yesterday's blog.)

As Peter Bilezikian was wont to say, "Not one Armenian would be alive today if it weren't for the Turks!"  He knew.  He would not have survived if their Turkish neighbors had not repeatedly risked their lives to warn, to hide his family.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Taner Akcam Presents Documents Proving Genocide of Armenians Ordered by the Turkish Government

Taner Akcam, Turkish by birth, presents documents proving deliberate effort (early in the 20th Century) at annihilation of the Armenian people by the Turkish Government. Above, Marash Girl's photo of Taner Akcam, Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies, Department of History at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, following his presentation to a sell-out crowd (although the event was, in fact, free) of a lecture entitled “The Memoir of Naim Bey and Talaat Pasha Telegrams: Are They ‘Armenian Forgeries’?” on the evening of Oct. 6, 2016, at the First Armenian Chuch In Belmont. His lecture gave visible proof: the telegrams were not forgeries. And Marash Girl joins those who ask, "Why has the west turned a blind eye to the human indignities occurring in Turkey today?"

As the Kurds are wont to say, "The Turks had the Armenians for breakfast; the Turks are having us for lunch."

Friday, October 7, 2016


  Rally for Cat in the Hat for President, Springfield Museum Quadrangle, Springfield, Massachusetts

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Apples, Apples, Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink!

Apples, Apples, Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink!  Whoops.  Wrong quote.

Apples, apples, everywhere and not a minute to whip up the wonderful recipe that Nisha shared with Marash Girl . . . the recipe Marash Girl is sharing with you today . . . 

Nisha's Apple Bread (modified from

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups apples (that have been peeled and chopped into 1/3 inch cubes)
1 cup vegetable oil (or butter, if you're feeling daring)
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 2 loaf pans (or 8-inch round cake pans) with cooking spray.

Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar and eggs.  Add flour mixture and then mix in apples.  (Marash Girl would do this in reverse, adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients before mixing in the apples.)  Mix all ingredients until just moistened. Divide evenly between pans.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-70 minutes (or longer if you're using a loaf pan; round cake pans take less time.)  

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Nisha whipped this recipe up in minutes to take to a friend who was grieving, and the Apple Bread (Marash Girl would call it Apple Cake) did wonders in the cheering up department!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Garo Paylan Addresses Overflow Crowd In Belmont

Marc A. Mamigonian, (left) Director of Academic Affairs
at NAASR, greets Garo Paylan,  Member of the Parliament, 
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Republic of Turkey.  

Photo by Marash Girl
Yesterday evening, rather than watch the Vice Presidential debate on television,  an unprecedented overflow crowd attended a discussion of recent developments in Turkey and the Armenian Community in Turkey given by Garo Paylan, an Armenian citizen of Turkey, Member of the Parliament, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Republic of Turkey.  

The lecture was sponsored by The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Lecture Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues who advertised the program as follows.

Garo Paylan is a founding member of the People's Democratic Party and is a deputy representing the 3rd district in Istanbul. Mr. Paylan is also a member of Turkey's Armenian community and has long been an activist on human rights, Kurdish and Armenian issues. Prior to joining the parliament, Mr. Paylan served on the central committee of HDP and also served in the management of Armenian schools in Istanbul. He has long promoted bilingual education and minority rights in Turkey and has been actively engaged in raising awareness on discrimination towards minorities, the rights of the Armenian community in Turkey, Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, and especially on the Hrant Dink murder case. Mr. Paylan is from a family originally from Malatya and is one of the three Armenian deputies in the Turkish parliament. In this presentation, his first in the Boston area, Mr. Paylan will discuss recent developments in Turkey and the region, the challenges faced by Turkey's Armenian community, Turkish-Armenian relations, and the Kurdish issue.

Marash Girl attended the lecture and recorded it on her iPhone; at some point, she will attempt to transcribe that lecture for all of her readers to view on a future blog.  
What stands out in her memory?  When asked by an audience member whether not he feared for his life, speaking out as he did, he replied, 
                                    "To stay silent is not safe!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How We Get Our Names . . .

So there he was, the first of Grandma Yepros Kurtgusian's family to arrive on the shores of the United States early in the 20th Century.  "What's your name," they asked him at immigration.  "Kurtgusian."  "What?  What was your father's name?" " Haroutioun." "Then your name shall be Haroutiounian," pronounced the immigration officer to my Grandma Yepros's brother.  That gentle man later married beautiful Makrouhi, had a family, purchased a home on Edinborough Street in Newtonville, Massachusetts, and although he had wanted to become a physician, he became a barber. Why? Because the beautiful Makrouhi couldn't bear the thought of his leaving his family in the middle of the night to attend to his patients. (In those days, doctors went to the homes of their patients; not the other way around!)  Where did he barber? In the rear of Grandpa Moses' pool hall on Washington Street in Newtonville, where presently stands the New England Telephone Company building.

Monday, October 3, 2016

More on Grapes -- or, Serving Grapes Jennie Style

So there she was at the Armenian Library and Museum of America, viewing an exhibit of needlework sponsored by the Armenian International Women's Association.  (More on the exhibit tomorrow.)  And naturally, because it was the opening of an Armenian event, there was a table of refreshments, a table in the center of which was a large bowl of grapes.  But the grapes were in several large bunches.  What to do?  Pick off the grapes and leave the bare ugly short stems sticking out? That's what folks were forced to do.  There were no tiny silver scissors in view to cut off a short stem or two . .  .  

Where was Marash Girl's mother when the ladies were preparing this fruit bowl?  Marash Girl's mom, of course, is in heaven with all the saints, but when she was on this earth, she would never have put out a bowl of fruit with a huge bunch of grapes and no way to remove the grapes neatly.  She would always snip the grapes into graceful little bunches so that her guests could enjoy those grapes without denuding the bunches of grapes decorating her carefully set out fruit bowl.  

Thanks for the lesson, Mommy!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

No Notice: Friday on Maple Avenue

                       Overheard: "Now I know what it feels like to live in a captive nation!"

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Canada, Are You There?

According to Marash Girl's friend Hélène, the Canadian immigration office is inundated with inquiries regarding immigration to Canada, should Trump win the upcoming election!

Friday, September 30, 2016

"Do as I say! Not as I do!"

Whenever Peter reprimanded his children for a particular behavior, they would answer, "But you do it!"  His answer to that is probably every parent's answer, every parent who has  "smart alecks" (as Peter would say) for kids:
"Do as I say! Not as I do!"   . . . an expression Peter probably picked up in the early 1920's when he first came to this country (although the expression can be traced as far back as the New Testament)!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Don't wait! Record those stories!

Marash Girl's father Peter had always wanted her to write his stories, but did she?  Not until it was too late!  Don't do as she did. Do as she says and start recording your family history -- using your pencil, your pen, your typewriter, your phone recording device, your computer -- whatever it takes -- while you still have time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Mugging of America

With a nod to Marash Boy for the title and the concept!

Can you think of anything that doesn't have a mug commemoration?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Advice to Dieters and Non-Dieters Alike

"Nothing tastes as good as the first bite!"  . . . Peter Bilezikian

Monday, September 26, 2016

Farewell, Dear Jim Patriquin

Marash Girl sends her condolences to the family of Jim Patriquin.  Jim was a sweet and wonderful father, husband,  and friend.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

WBUR, Bread and Kisses

Marash Girl's friend Bilal was volunteering at WBUR with his little one year old son in tow -- his blonde one-year-old son who signed to me (just as Dylan Marie does) that he wanted more! (Apparently Bilal had just fed him a treat from WBUR's breakfast table!)

Noting the child's sign language reminded Marash Girl of an old expression that her family often used.  Öp de başına koy.  Literally, Kiss (it) and place it on your forehead. Öp (kiss) başına (on your head)  koy (place, put).  An expression that Bilal also remembered from his childhood!

According to both Bilal and Marash Girl's friend Murat, the expression means (in general) to be thankful for what you have -- (and stop complaining!) In other words, be thankful to God (for  the bread or for whatever you may be kvetching about.)

Often, if a member of Marash Girl's family dropped a piece of bread, another member of the family would give the advise, Öp de başına koy.  (Pick it up and) kiss it and put it on your forehead.  Be thankful . . . give a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

If the family member hesitated, Marash Girl's father would add in English, "Don't worry.  You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die!"

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anatomy on a Piano Bench

Years ago, while Marash Girl was in high school, she would often study with neighbor and classmate Stan Shafran, God rest his soul.  She and Stan, only friends, mind you, would often work together in his finished basement on their latest high school assignment.  They both loved music.  Stan played the piano with a jazz band.  Marash Girl played classical piano.  One day, Stan and Marash Girl were sitting on the piano bench in Stan's finished basement, discussing Stan's latest assignment, when Stan's mother came down the cellar stairs.

"What are you two doing down here?" she asked.

"We're studying," the two young people answered, quite honestly.

To which Stan's mother replied, "What are you studying?  Anatomy?"

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Sweetest Corn In The Town/County/Commonwealth

A  Picture of a picture:  Undated vintage photo of the Wilbraham Village Store
Wilbraham, Massachusetts

If you're anywhere near the center of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, (see above vintage photo of the Wilbraham Village Store in Wilbraham Center), head south on Main Street, (that's towards Connecticut, if you you're not good at geography) but don't drive too fast, because you might miss the Merrick Farm and farm stand on your right, about a half mile from the village center . . .  In the Merrick family for generations, the farm is farmed by Llewellyn Merrick (below).  He gathers his crops proudly and is often heard to say to his customers, "Here -- have an ear of corn. I just picked it. It's so sweet and tender, you don't even have to put the water on to boil!"  . . . the freshest veggies around! Don't miss your chance to visit Lewlleyn Merrick at The Merrick Farm, Wilbraham, Massachusetts.                    
Llewelyn Merrick, our very own local farm hero!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Give us this day our daily bread . . . "

Marash Girl asked her father many years ago, "When you were in Marash, did your mother ever tell you what she wanted you to become when you grew up?"

Peter's answer:  "Are you kidding?  We were glad to get a piece of bread!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Today Marash Girl received a letter in her mailbox from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology addresssed to her father Peter Bilezikian who passed away a number of years ago.  Ironic, she thought. Looking at the return address on the envelope, she remembered that her father, upon nearing graduation from Watertown High School,  had been offered a scholarship to M.I.T.  Born in Marash, Peter had arrived in the United States knowing no English.  Having no schooling, he entered the first grade as a 9 year old, and graduated to the 6th grade in one year -- he would laugh when he told us that!  Acing his school work, he found himself graduating from Watertown High School in 1932 with a full scholarship to M.I.T.  And he wanted to attend.  But he had been working with his brother as an electrician and repairman while he was in high school.  "Are you going to go to college and leave me to take care of our parents all by myself?" his brother asked him.  Of course, Peter's answer was in the negative, and so he gave up his scholarship to M.I.T. and joined his brother establishing their business -- first on Bowers Street in the corner of a building owned by their uncle, Rev. Vartan Bilezikian, and then on Newtonville Avenue in Newtonville Square:  Newtonville Electrical Company, Inc., Newtonville, Massachusetts.  But Peter actually did attend M.I.T. at night, although he had worked all day with his brother at the shop.

Whenever folks would ask him if he had gone to M.I.T., he would laugh and answer, "Sure, I went to M.I.T. . . . I walked right past it!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saying Goodbye to the People We Love

Funerals are always difficult, especially if they are for the people you love, and so Marash Girl and Marash Boy were very sad to have to go to a funeral today for a wonderful woman: Linda (Zaroug) Durgarian.  But along with the funeral came a wonderful story about Linda's early life.  Born in upstate New York, when her father died, Zaroug, her mother, and sister moved to Dearborn Street in Springfield, Massachusetts.  According to her cousin Arax, soon after the family arrived at Arax's home in Springfield, Arax, Arppie and Kenar sat down with their cousin Zaroug and help her choose a name . . . a name that would work in Springfield's American community.  "Do you like Linda?" they asked her.  And so, for time immemorial, their cousin Zaroug was  known as Linda . . . even now with the angels in heaven.  May God rest your soul, Linda.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How Do Babies Get Here?

Here in the USA?  The stork brings them, of course!  But not in Uganda.  According to baby Mark's mother Irene, in Uganda, mothers tell their children that they (the children) came from the mouths of the mothers, and if they (the children) don't behave themselves, the mothers will swallow them (the children) right back down again!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Note from "Baby" Brother James!

A Note from "Baby" Brother James!

" Big-headed babies are brightest | News | The Times & The Sunday Times"

If you recall, I had the biggest head, remember?  According the stories I heard, my head was so big as a baby that it made me topple over in the high chair, and plop!

So now that we can agree that I have the biggest head, you need to LISTEN UP!  🌅 🤓😇😜😉

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Experience the Vibe with Karoun in Springfield, Massachusetts!

                     On seeing the above, Marash Boy commented, "Your acting career has begun!"

Friday, September 16, 2016

When the car behind you . . .

When the driver of the car behind your car blares the horn at you, and "gives you the finger", have you ever tried giving them five fingers back?  Just a little wave?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What ever happened to bumper stickers?

Today, as Marash Girl drove her way into Boston along a very clogged Massachusetts Turnpike, she noticed something missing!  Bumper stickers!  There were no bumper stickers proclaiming a favorite candidate for President -- none for Clinton, none for Trump -- there were no bumper stickers proclaiming with pride that the car's owner had climbed Mt. Washington (and survived the climb), there were no bumper stickers stating, "If you can read this message, you're too d.... close!"  No bumper stickers asking her to honk if she loved Jesus.  No bumper stickers whatever!  Where have all the bumper stickers gone?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Antoine's Bakery - Another Story of Survival

Antoine shows Marash Girl a photo of his grandson which he keeps on his shelves.
There she was at Antoine's Bakery down the Lake (in Nonantum) to buy her friend some pasta chorte.  Antoine was there.  Marash Girl had heard he was Armenian, so she started up a conversation with him . . .  in French, in Armenian, in English.  Yes, he was from Marseille, France, but where were his parents from?  Kharpert?  His father was already in this country when the Armenian Genocide began, but his mother was there.  How did she survive?  She fainted.  She fainted?  The Turkish gendarmes came to her village to root out all the Armenians including his mother, then a girl of twelve.  After the Turkish gendarmes had rounded up all the Armenians in the village, the began shooting them down, all of them, except for his mother, who went into a dead faint when it all began, dead bodies  falling over her, covering her, saving her life.  A Turkish family found the little Armenian girl, still alive, pulled her from under the mass of dead Armenians, and brought her into their home, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


"You look lovely today, my dear!"

"You should have seen me 50 years ago!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

"It started with Adam."

"You can't have a relationship with someone if you can't argue with him/her," claimed the priest during his sermon about Moses's relationship with God.

"But was Moses the first person to argue with God?" asked one of the parishioners.

"It started with Adam," answered the priest.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Bunch of Grapes

Looking at the bunch of grapes on the kitchen table the other day, and picking the firmest reddest grapes off of that bunch reminded Marash Girl of her father and her mother.

First, her mother.

Her mother could not bear to look at a bunch of grapes with grapeless stems sticking out.  Unsightly!  Whenever her mother served a bunch of grapes, she would always cut off sweet little bunches of 4 or 5 grapes and place them in a bowl, thus avoiding the future unsightliness of a bunch of grapes with grapeless stems  . . .  or graceless stems, as this spell correct wishes to state!

Next, her father.

Her father would look at a bunch of grapes and remember the days in Marash when all they had to eat was a bunch of grapes.  He remembered how they would pluck off the most perfect grapes first, and eat those.  Soon they would be eating the grapes that didn't look quite so good.  And finally, when they were really hungry, which often they were, they would eat the rotten grapes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blaming the Victim

Overheard telephone conversation (mother to daughter):

It's psychological? My pain is psychological? It's real to me!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Instructions For Your Wedding Night

At a Congregational Church on the Cape, immediately after church on Sunday, the congregation was invited to visit the church social hall (after the service) to purchase whatever was left from the church flea market that had occurred the day before.  

Dutifully, after the church service, Marash Girl went back to the book sale section to see what she could see and what she saw was hilarious:   two old guys were looking over the books in a back corner, books on sex and sexuality, while the elderly lady managing the book sale looked on.  One old guy said to the other, "Hey, look at this! Instructions on what to do on your wedding night!  And there are pictures, too! . . . But (he said disappointedly) it says for your wedding night."  His friend commented, "It's okay!  You can use the book for any night! Not just your wedding night!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

REGULAR SINGING: An American Family Story at the Charles Mosessian Theater

On Saturday evening, Marash Girl and her friend Helene attended REGULAR SINGING: An American Family Story at the Charles Mosessian Theater, Watertown, Massachusetts.

Heard (at the end of the performance) from the the man sitting in the row behind Marash Girl:

"I don't know about singing, but there sure was a lot of talking."

The heroes? There were none. . . simply women who battered their men (though not physically), and men who were silently depressed about the battering.

That about sums it up, folks.

P.S.  On a happier note, we finally got rain here last night!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lost and Found, Family Style

Marash Girl's good friend Mariam recently assured Marash Girl, "If you can't find something, it doesn't mean that you've lost it . .  only that you haven't found it yet."

Or as Joe Markarian's grandma always assured him, "If it's in the house, it's not lost!"

Monday, September 5, 2016


Playing Bocce on the mountain in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on Labor Day!

See Marash Girl's Blog Post for Thursday, October 17, 2013,  
One day left from the old days . . .  "Eski günlerden bir gün kalmush . . ."

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Still no rain!!!!

It's been a long time here in Eastern Massachusetts since we've had rain . . .  The Cambridge Reservoir is down to about 20% of its typical volume of water!

                               Even Marash Girl's garden statuary is drooping from lack or water!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

True Love

Nancy: So how did she ever get him to go out with her?  He's so shy!

Marie:  I guess she just grabbed the bull by the horns!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fresh herb harvest got you flummoxed?

Overwhelmed with the crop in your herb garden?  Wishing the garden would last all winter? It can!
As with fruit (see previous blogpost), try freezing the herbs by removing leaves from stem, placing leaves in ice cube tray, covering leaves with water, and the next day you'll have herb cubes.  Store in plastic bag, and when you're ready to use them, simply thaw out an ice cube, chop the herb in question, and add to your sauces or soups and simmer for a bit..  (Can't really add frozen herbs to fresh salad, but you could blend them up with your salad dressing and use them on your fresh salad that way!)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Frozen Fruit for Future Feasting

Fruit ripening faster than you can eat it?  Freeze that ripe fruit -- peel the fruit, slice it up into edible pieces, lay it out on a sheet of wax paper or flat in a plastic bag . . . mangos . . . bananas . . . and after they're frozen, toss them into a plastic bag for future feasting and snacking.  You'll be glad you did!  (By the way, the riper the fruit,  the sweeter.  Like eating mini-popsicles!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One word out of me . . .

Daddy would always joke to his friends about his prowess as a parent:  "One word out of me . . . and they do as they please!"  In reality, not a word, but one steely look at us would stop us kids in our tracks!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dylan Marie with her First Official Hair Cut!

                                            Dylan Marie with her First Official Hair Cut!

Marash Girl still remembers with some sweet sadness the first "official" hair cuts of Nisha and Lorig on the shores of the Connecticut River at Mt. Tom Greenhouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Parsley and the Armenian

Well, there's plenty to say about parsley and the Armenians . . . they love it, they use it as often as they can, both fresh and in dishes . . .  Uncle George grew parsley in his flower beds! Marash Girl's dad even made smoothies with parsley (his own home-grown) in orange juice!  . . . But what Marash Girl wants to tell you about today is the Armenian lady that she met at Stop & Shop's vegetable counter.  Marash Girl was sorting through the parsley and finally settled on a bunch that looked pretty good when she felt a hand on her arm.  When she looked around, she saw an old lady, (as it turns out, an old Armenian lady), who scolded her in accented English:  "Why are you taking that parsley from the front?.  Don't you know that they put the freshest bunches in the back?" 

Of course . . . what a dolt Marash Girl was!  So, under the watchful gaze of the old Armenian lady, Marash Girl girl placed the bunch of parsley she had had in her hand back onto the front of the counter, and reached way back to get the freshest bunch there was.

"Aferim, aghchig!" said my newfound Armenian advisor . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Protect Yo Heart

The sidewalks of New York City abounded with the message,  "Protect Yo' Heart", a message meant for all of us on many levels -- the physical, emotional, and spiritual, to name a few -- particularly meaningful for the Armenian Community as "Protect Yo Heart" Day occurs on the day before April 24th.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Welcome Mark to a Wonderful World

Join Marash Girl in welcoming Mark (born yesterday) to a wonderful world!
Congratulations to Irene and Paul!

Friday, August 26, 2016


Why is it that when you smile, even when you have nothing to smile about, it makes you feel happier?  Try it out and let Marash Girl and her readers know by commenting below.  And thanks!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Celebrating Together

Father and son pose at wedding reception in New Jersey for Aram Demirjian and his bride Caraline!