Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And speaking of snow . . . .

"The smaller the snowflake, the greater the snowfall!"  
                                                                Azniv Sanjian Charkoudian

Translation from the Armenian into English by Marash Boy


Monday, January 26, 2015

Bear Cub in the Evergreens

Look out the dining room window, called Marash Boy yesterday morning!  There's a bear cub in the evergreen tree!  Marash Girl took a peek, and sure enough, there in the evergreen tree outside of her dining room window Marash Girl saw the profile of a little snow bear cub just waiting to have its picture taken!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Giving Thanks

Overheard at the gym:

 I always tell my children,

"Be thankful for what you have . . . and for what you don't have!"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lentil Pilaf and Chicken Soup

Marash Boy was laughing uncontrollably yesterday evening when Marash Girl served soup for supper.  Ahsin was visiting.  "This soup is delicious!" Ahsin complimented.  Her mother, Marash Girl, told her the secret:  "Whenever you have leftover lentil pilaf, just throw it into your  leftover home made chicken soup.  Makes for a whole new taste treat!"

Marash Boy couldn't stop laughing.  "Jivan Tabibian should be here now . . . Who has leftover lentil pilaf to add to their leftover homemade chicken soup?"  he asked between chortles.

N.B. If you make a lot, you'll always have leftovers! You can find Marash Girl's recipe for Lentil Pilaf on Marash Girl's blog of Sunday, July 24, 2011, or simply cut and paste the address below into your browser:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sniper on a Minaret

Yesterday's broadcast (WBUR's Here & Now) by Robin Young -- A Sniper's Look at Snipers -- was a fresh reminder of an experience that Genocide survivor Peter Bilezikian had as a young boy.

Peter was always courageous though hungry.  It was during the Armenian Genocide -- circa 1918 -- when 6 year old Peter, running through the streets of Marash, saw an Armenian woman baking bread.  He was so hungry that, although he had been taught not to beg, he asked the woman for a bit of her bread. Her answer:  If I give you bread, I'll have nothing to feed my children.  At that moment, a bullet whizzed through Peter's cowlick, nicking his forehead (the scar there 'til the day he died) and hit the woman baking the bread between the eyes.  She fell to the ground, instantly dead.  A Turkish sniper from the top of a minaret had done his duty.

Peter, young as he was, hungry as he was, grabbed all the bread, ran under a staircase, and, as he tells it, ate every bit of the bread.  He said he was not hungry for days after.  And he never, in all his life, refused anyone who asked him for anything.  He had learned his lesson.

And so, Robin Young, tell this sniper story, if you can, as this year, 2015, is the 100th year anniversary of the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks (1915-1922).  Yes.  Genocide of innocent Armenian women, men, children, babies.  Genocide by any other name is Genocide, is it not?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Onions and Garlic: More on Cooking from Marash

Marash Girl's mother-in-law (née Azniv Sanjian), while teaching Marash Girl in the ways of Marashtsi cooking, underscored the fact that she never used onions in a dish that contained garlic, nor did she use garlic in a meal that contained onions.  That struck Marash Girl as unusual, as Marash Girl had always combined the two when cooking tava, or soups, or fasulia . . .  (Perhaps that was the Aintepsi way of cooking?  Or Marash Girl's practice only?) What is your tradition?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Remembering Peter Koutoujian, Sr.

left to right:  Peter Koutoujian, Senior; Rev. Barkev Orchanian; Peter Bilezikian.
 at the commemoration of the Historic Defense of Marash held in Belmont, Massachusetts, in January of 2007.
Photo by Marash Girl
Marash Girl and Marash Boy send their condolences to the family and friends of Peter Koutoujian, Senior, who passed away in Waltham, Massachusetts, on January 16, 2015. He always had a smile and a kind word for all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

John Bilezikjian -- We loved you and miss you!

Kissing Cousins.  April, 2011, Southern California:  cousins Berta Bilezikjian (left) and 
Bethel Bilezikian Charkoudian (right) express their love for their cousin, famous oud player John Bilezikjian (center).  All three are  children of Armenians who survived the genocide and came to this country early in the  20th Century from Marash, Ottoman Empire.
Photo Credit: Helen (Mrs. John) Bilezikjian

John Bilezikjian, a musician famous for his compositions, performances and recordings of Middle Eastern oud music -- a master oud player -- passed away yesterday morning,  January 19, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.  May God rest his soul.  Condolences and love.
John -- you are sorely missed.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tarkhana á la Rose Baboian

Rose Baboian, a friend of Marash Girl's mom, and a wonderful cook who was born in Aintep, suggests a recipe for sweet Tarkhana, a recipe that Marash Girl has never tried, and a food that Marash Boy's mother Azniv never made.  Perhaps it is unique to the Ainteptsis. Be that as it may, the recipe can be found in Rose Baboian's Armenian-American Cook Book, a cook book that is available for sale from Marash Girl's favorite bookstore, online at this link:

There are 35,000 books available at that site, most out-of-print, many on Armenian topics.  Check it out!

For more posts on tarkhana, scroll down to earlier postings.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tarkhana and the Armenians

Thanks to those of you who posted the photos (scroll down to yesterday's blog post) on Facebook . . . the photos Marash Girl reposted here yesterday. Mother-in-law, Azniv Sanjian Charkoudian, born in Marash, a survivor of the forced mass exodus to the desert, (known as the "death march" among us Armenians), used to make        թարխանա (tarkhana) in her new American home in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She would mix equal parts of boulghour (the large size used for making pilaf) with salt and her own homemade yogurt, simmering the mixture on the stove top, stirring the mixture constantly so it would not burn,  until it made a very thick paste; she  let the mixture set in the pot overnight. The next day, from the thickened mixture, she formed patties (about the size of a burger) which she would dry and later either make into soup, or soften with water and eat that way. Because the weather in Massachusetts was usually cold and rainy during the year, she had to dry the tarkhana patties in a tray placed on her radiator rather than on her rooftop as she used to do in Marash.
Notice the flat rooftops of Marash - photo from KAHRAMANMARAŞ, ( Bir Zamanlar Maraş ) Facebook page!

N.B. The patties were often taken on long trips for sustenance, as the patties were dry and could be softened with water and eaten just that way, or made into soup with water and fresh greens.  The Armenians probably used ermerouk (purslane) as it was the one green that was high in nutrition and grew readily along the roadside, even along the route that they had to travel during those terrible days of deportation and death a century ago.  Sorry.  Although she likes to stay positive, Marash Girl had to say it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Armenians making Tarkhana - Photos from Facebook

Comment on photos from Facebook's KAHRAMANMARAŞ:  "My guess is the lower photo was taken before the war and the upper photo is a photo of food  production in the Armenian orphanage taken during the war or after the war." . . . for war, we might want to substitute the words Armenian Genocide.
Tarhana yapan Ermeniler

Friday, January 16, 2015


Write to your congressman to condemn the flogging of free speech in Saudi Arabia, the flogging of Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian jailed and flogged for blogging critiques of the Saudi government!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Peter and Jennie!

But for you two, our branch of the family tree would have ceased!  Thinking about you on the date of your wedding anniversary, Marash Girl remembers the story of the day before your wedding in 1940.  As Marash Girl has related earlier in this blog, Peter and Jennie were from diverse backgrounds -- Peter a Marashtsi, and Jennie an Ainteptsi . . . AND their families were from two different religious backgrounds -- both Protestant, but there the similarity ends.  Peter's family attended (and actually began) the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church on Arlington Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Jennie's family attended the more "liberal" Armenian Memorial Church on Bigelow Avenue in Watertown.  Thus, when Jennie purchased her wedding dress (some day soon Marash Girl will find the picture and post it here), Jennie thought nothing of purchasing a dress with short sleeves.  (Not sure why, as the wedding was in the middle of the winter, but perhaps the winter in 1940 was warmer than this winter! And then, again, in those days, the heat was cranked up so EVERYONE wore short sleeves inside in the winter.)  When Peter's older sister learned of this "lapse" in etiquette (on the day before the wedding), she stated that she would not attend Peter and Jennie's wedding unless Jennie's arms were covered.  And that, on the day before the wedding!  There was a big rush, then, to find some way of covering Jennie's beautiful arms -- far too beautiful, apparently, to be exposed to the eyes of the folks attending the wedding.  Salvation came with the purchase of long gloves, (luckily they sold them in those days), gloves that reached to the beginning of the short sleeves on Jennie's wedding dress.  And, yes, Peter's older sister attended the wedding. Phew!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Standing In Line . . .

Last night,  Marash Girl was one of many Armenians who gathered to hear Taner Akçam, (Professor of Armenian Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts)  give a talk at the Armenian Church on Brattle Street in Cambridge, the talk entitled, "Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Armenian Genocide Survivors and the Aleppo Rescue House of the League of Nations" (summary to follow, hopefully tomorrow).  Preceding the talk was a, what else? chicken and pilaf dinner, a dinner for which we were to stand in line to get our meal.  Marash Girl's friends all rushed up to the line, but she stayed seated.  "Why are you sitting," they asked;"Come on up with us before the food runs out." She sat.  "I'll wait; if there's no food left, there's no food left."  "Why?" they asked.  "I'll try to explain it tomorrow in my blog post," she answered.

At last, when there were only two folks left standing in line, Marash Girl got up and, yes, walked over to the food table, actually standing in line herself for several minutes behind a fellow she had never met.  Typical of her style, she started a conversation with this fellow, or at least with the back of the head of this fellow who was standing in line in front of her.  

"I hate to stand in line for food," she told the back of his head.  "Especially with other Armenians; it reminds me of the days in Marash that my father spoke of, when there was no food except for the food that the missionaries were offering the hungry Armenians, the food that Armenian folks had to stand in long lines for, waiting and hoping that they made it up to the table before the food was done." 

"That's exactly why I came up now, to stand at the end of the line when it was no longer a line; I've heard those stories too, growing up! I'm Armenian from Iran," he said.

Marash Girl continued.  "My father would never stand in line for food. When he was a little boy in Marash,  his mother told him that she would rather have him go hungry than beg for food.  That's what standing in line, waiting (and hoping) for food meant to him.  Begging.  And I guess that goes for me, too."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don't Let Your Family Tree Die!

Wondering who your great grandparents were and where they came from?  There may be an answer to your question at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.  

The New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street in Boston has offered to be the repository for Armenian genealogical history — to accept materials (family trees, letters, oral histories) from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy, materials relating to Armenian families living in New England. 

Founded in 1845, the NEHGS is the country's founding genealogical organization and a leading national resource for family history research.  NEHGS has acted as a repository for family history material for years and is willing to accept materials from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy.  The NEHGS website includes several searchable databases of Armenian births, marriages, and deaths in Massachusetts between 1880 and 1915.  These extremely useful databases were compiled by William A. Brown, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and to Thailand, and are available for free on the NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org .

The Armenian community of New England is an early immigrant community in North America. The first Armenians to settle in New England came in the early 1800s to pursue religious education in American universities. These Armenians had been converted to Protestantism by the American missionaries (from Boston) operating in historic Armenia. The next wave of immigration occurred after the 1895 massacres of Armenians in Turkey, and those who survived the Armenian Genocide (1915-23) arrived on these shores in the 1920’s.  Armenians were attracted to New England because of the employment opportunities provided them by the textile factories of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Hood Rubber Factory in Watertown, Massachusetts. Since the establishment of those first communities, Armenians have taken pride in contributing to their local communities and over the years have become an integral part of the multi-cultural fabric of American society. 

If you are one of the hundreds of individuals who has compiled a family history, please consider donating it to NEHGS. NEHGS is a  premier research center which offers access to unique content, publications, research materials, expert staff, and vast collections of rare artifacts & primary documents.  Online materials include a vast collection of resources — databases, articles, tutorials, charts,  and other research materials. NEHGS is hoping that New England Armenian-American genealogical materials will soon be added to its impressive collections of New England Irish-American materials, New England African-American materials, and New England Jewish American materials.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the place where your descendants  — your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren — will be able to go to learn about their family history.   That is, if you deposit family history at the NEHGS for those descendants to discover in the future.  

Donations of family history documents are the basis of NEHGS’s amazing collection of over 28 million items—the largest collection of original family history research materials in the nation. NEHGS encourages donations of materials from members and non-members alike.

Want to ensure your family’s documents are preserved for future generations? Call or email  NEHGS archivist Judy Lucey at jlucey@nehgs.org or 617-226-1223.  She will advise you on what NEHGS can accept and how you can go about submitting your materials.  You can find more information about donating materials on AmericanAncestors.org under “Library and Special Collections” or “Support.”

The donation of your family history is a gift to your ancestors, a gift to your descendants — a gift commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Another recipe for popovers -- this one from the 1940's!

Deciding to peruse her battered copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 1st printing, 1969, for an earlier popover recipe (earlier than the recipes that are appearing now online and that appeared several years ago in Marash Girl's blog), Marash Girl found the following recipe on page 50 and decided to try it.

POPOVERS: A bread spectacular that pops up while baking forming crusty hollow shells.  Break and spread with butter or fill with creamed seafood or meat.

4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups Gold Medal Flour
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grease 12 deep custard cups (5 ounces) or 16 medium muffin cups.  With hand beater, beat eggs slight, add milk, flour (Msarash Girl used King Arthur Unbleached White Lour) and salt (Marash Girl used kosher salt).  (Marash Girl added a pat of butter, melted) and beat just until smooth.  Do not overheat.  (Marash Girl would say gently stir until almost smooth BY HAND). 

Fill custard cups 1/2 full, muffin cups 3/4 full, (or, adds Marash Girl, popover pans 3/4 full).  Bake 25 minutes. (At this point, in Marash Girl's oven, the popovers were done and she turned the oven off, leaving the oven door open and the popovers in the oven to dry slowly a bit more.)  Betty Crocker says to lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until deep golden born.  As stated two sentences ago, Marash Girl did not follow this last step.  Betty crocker says to immediately remove from pan and serve hot.  Makes 12 to 16 popovers.

Marash Girl was delighted with the results and recommends that you try the recipe yourself; quick and easy and very impressive to those who have never made popovers or who have never eaten hot popovers fresh from the oven.

In the old days, Boston's Pier Four would serve hot popovers  to every guest they seated before the guests even ordered -- hot popovers fresh from their ovens -- but that was in the old days . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2015

There's a hole in the bucket!

One of our favorite songs ("our" being Marash Girl's two grandchildren -- scroll down to previous post to see their photos -- and Marash Girl) is the old folk song which begins, "There's a hole in the bucket . . ."  (see lyrics below), a song that Marash Girl et al sing whenever they're going on long trips or long walks, a song which ends with the three of us in gales of laughter.

Was Marash Girl ever surprised when, wandering through the Fine Arts Museum in Springfield (Massachusetts), she saw the painting below with no identification of artist or title.  

Whether the painting was painted after the song, or the song was written after the painting, she'll never know, but of one thing she's certain: 
there's a hole in the bucket!

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

        Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Oh fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, with what?

        With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a straw.

But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long.

        Cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it.

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?

        With an ax, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        With an ax, dear Henry, dear Henry, with an ax.

The ax is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The ax is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.

        Sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Oh sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, hone it.

On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, with what?

        On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, a stone.

But the stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.

        Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.

With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, with what?

        Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry,use water.

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, in what?

        In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
        In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, a bucket.

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How did you celebrate the New Year?

   In Maryland, we celebrate the New Year with kale salad (for $$$) and 
black-eyed peas (for luck) . . .  a Southern tradition! And you?

Friday, January 9, 2015

May God Give You Brains!

Yesterday, sitting in a sunny window at Whole Foods drinking a cup of coffee, Marash Girl watched the world of Whole Foods pass her by.  Among that world was a man carrying an armful of flowers, the man and the flowers unprotected by even the lightest of plastic, carrying the flowers into the zero degree fahrenheit weather of a New England winter afternoon.

"You'd better get a paper bag to cover those blooms," Marash Girl suggested to this stranger.

But stranger than strange was this stranger when he answered, "But I'm only going across the way to my car."  

"But your flowers . . . " Marash Girl stuttered.

"I'm only going across the way to my car," reiterated the strange stranger, who either knew nothing about flowers, knew nothing about zero degree weather in New England, or knew nothing. . .

This was one occasion where Marash Girl wished the man knew Turkish.  She would have said to him (Marash Boy's favorite expression from Marash):

"May God give me money, you . . . brains!"  Allah beni para ver, seni akīl

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dinosaur at the Springfield Science Museum

 A visit to the Springfield Science Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts, 
created more excitement than Marash Girl had bargained for!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Too much partying!

Too much partying (Armenian Christmas, remember?) . . . no post for today.

"Don't go away mad, just go away," (as they used to say at Day Junior High School in the early 1950's), but do come back again tomorrow!  Lots to relate!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shnorhavor Nor Dari yev Sourp Dznount - Armenians Celebrate Christmas Today

          The Birth of Christ: ancient Armenian illuminated manuscript borrowed from the internet

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ed Brooke passed away yesterday . . . God rest his soul

Edward Brooke, liberal Massachusetts Republican, former resident of Newton, Massachusetts, and first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction, died yesterday.

Marash Girl has fond memories of Ed Brooke, as Marash Boy was Ed Brooke's manager in the 1978 senatorial campaign against Paul Tsongas.  She remembers visiting Ed Brooke after the campaign on Martha's Vineyard many years ago.

Back of photo reads, "Mr. Henderson's House, October 21, 1964".  
Gentleman on left, Ed Brooke, young lady on right, Arax Charkoudian.
Photo from the private collection of Arax Charkoudian

N.B. Marash Girl once purchased an oriental carpet from an antique store in Newton, a beautiful carpet that the shop claimed once belonged to Ed Brooke!  Marash Girl and Marash Boy walk over that carpet daily.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Girls' College at Marash, Ottoman Empire

Fotoğraf : Board misyonerlerinin kız okulu , or Kīz Kolej, Maraş

Marash Girl received a link to this photo in her email this morning.  It is a photo of the school that Marash Boy's mother Azniv attended in the early 20th Century, and the school that Marash Girl's grandmother Yester Bosnian Vartanian attended (she must have boarded at the school as her home was in Aintep), before becoming a teacher.  Marash Girl had always heard reference to the school, and now, for the first time, a lifetime later, she has the opportunity to see a photograph of the Girls School (a rarity at the beginning of the 20th century), albeit in an ancient photo.  She wonders if either her grandmother or Marash Boy's mother are in the photo!

Translation of Turkish below to follow!

Değirmendere , Maraş ilinin Göksun ilçesine bağlı bir köydür

■ 20. yüzyıl başında kısmen Ermeni yerleşimi

■ 20. yüzyıl başında Değirmendere'de 140 Ermeni yaşıyordu

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Proud to be Armenian

Armenians reign at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California!

American Armenian Rose Float wins award on January 1, 2015!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Too spicy? Try an orange

Riding on a train in Thailand, a friend had been eating Thai food which turned out to be the spiciest of spicy; his mouth was burning, tears rolling down his cheeks.  The Thai woman sitting across from him with her 6  kids, cut an orange in half, reached across, handing the orange half to him,  motioning for him to eat the orange.  Desperate, he followed her suggestion.  Like magic, the burning disappeared, as did his tears.

Thankfully, he "passed it on" these many years later  (not the same orange, of course) when, on New Year's Eve, Marash Girl had eaten the spiciest of spicy Chinese soups she had ever tasted in her life and he, telling his own tale of mouth burn, ran to the bowl of oranges, cut one in half and handed it to Marash Girl, insisting that she eat the orange, promising that the burn would disappear.  Like magic, Marash Girl's mouth returned to normal.

Marash Girl is "passing it on", and would ask that her readers do the same.  
The tongue you save may be your own!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

The last day of 2014 was celebrated with the arrival of grapefruit (and lemons the size of grapefruit) grown on a grapefruit tree (and, of course, a lemon tree) in Rancho La Quinta, California, and  fireworks greeting 2015 photographed from the 9th floor of 300 Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Cardinal on the Last Day of the Year

The cardinal peers in through the kitchen window on the last day of the year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Humpty Dumpty Sits on Cabot School Wall

Attending Claflin (Elementary) School, a  2.5 story brick building built in  1891, (an example of Richardsonian Romanesque design,) was no fun for Claflin School students when the elementary students at Cabot School (built in 1928/1929) was only a mile away, a school with a  playground of grass which covered a full block (Claflin had only a dirt playground behind the school) and, more importantly, Humpty Dumpty sitting on its front wall.  Marash Girl always envied Cabot School students for their Humpty Dumpty, a Humpty Dumpty which greets Marash Girl to this day whenever she takes a walk around Cabot Park.  Will Humpty Dumpty survive the planned renovation of Cabot School?

Humpty Dumpty still sits on the Cabot School Wall, a bit the worse for wear, but he's managed to avoid a fall over these nearly 90 years of watching over the kids playing at Cabot Playground in Newtonville, Massachusetts.  This photo of Humpty Dumpty was taken by Marash Girl yesterday afternoon.

The contemporary decoration on the face of Cabot School is sweet, but doesn't inspire the heart
the way Humpty Dumpty has done all these many years!
The Cabot School 60th Birthday Cook book published in 1989, and available for sale at OldCornerBooks.com sports the Humpty Dumpty icon on its front cover:

Cabot School Students, Parents & Faculty. Cabot School 60th Birthday Cook Book. Savannah, TN: Keepsake Cookbooks, Fundco Printers, 1989. apparent First Edition. Apparent First Edition of this very good plastic comb bound paper covered book with light wear to cover edges. Pages clean & tight. Light rubbing to front cover, which has an illustration of Humpty Dumpty who sat on the Cabot School wall in Newtonville, MA for so many years! Digital image available upon request. Very Good. Spiral bound.
Cabot Elementary School is located in Newtonville, Massachusetts. (#49516) Apparent First Edition of this very good plastic comb bound paper covered book with light wear to cover edges. Pages clean & tight. Light rubbing to front cover, which has an illustration of Humpty Dumpty who sat on the Cabot School wall in Newtonville, MA for so many years! Digital image available upon request. Cabot Elementary School is located in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Bookseller Inventory # 49516

Monday, December 29, 2014

Roar like a Lion

Recently, a friend from Los Angeles related that on her way to work,  alone in her car, she screams uncontrollably, frustrated over the need to go to work every day, fighting the traffic, while she is a wife, a homemaker, and  a mother of young children.  She doesn't cry, she said; she screams.

Screams? Screaming is a sign of weakness.  Roaring is a sign of strength!  

All you working mothers out there --

Don't scream! R-O-A-R!

Roar like a lion! 

At Karoun Yoga (West Springfield, Massachusetts), the yoga guru teaches folks to breath like a lion; but Marash Girl prefers to roar. . . like a lion, of course!

So roar, folks, roar!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Edgar Alan Poe in Boston the Day after Christmas

Statue of the writer Edgar Alan Poe on Boston's Boylston Street
at the intersection of Charles Street South 

An artist/caretaker of the Edgar Alan Poe statue eradicates graffiti on the day after Christmas;  the statue was "graffitied" on Christmas night.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Boston Skyline

The Boston Skyline from Deer Island on the Day after Christmas 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Marash Girl's Favorite Gift

Actually Marash Girl's favorite gift at Christmas was being surrounded by the people she loves.  Hopefully that was your favorite gift as well.

Beyond that, Marash Girl was honored the gift of a movie ticket for "FED UP", a movie ticket sent in her name to REAL FOOD FOR KIDS - MONTGOMERY, a grassroots parent and student advocacy organization working to promote whole, delicious, fresh and nutrient-rich foods in the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) (schools which  Marash Girls grandchildren are attending)  to educate parents about sugar in children's diets.  Recently the organizaiton has achieved the end of sales of strawberry milk,  kept soda and candy vending machines off until 30 minutes after the end of the school day, and removed foods containing chemicals from the school food, chemicals that cause hyperactivity and cancer.  Visit them at www.realfoodforkidsmontgomery.org.  

Would that good food for kids in public schools becomes a national requirement.  You'd think, right?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preparing for Christmas Eve

While three generations string Armenian cheese in preparation for Christmas Eve,
the youngest in the family practices his rendition of "Deck the Halls".

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Parking for Reindeer Only

A sign posted on a maple tree on Maple Avenue attracts a local reindeer!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Salt at Christmas

While Marash Girl and Ahsin were preparing sini kufte for Christmas, Marash Girl realized that the salt supply was running low . . .  Asking a friend to run out to the closest (and least busy) shop to replenish the salt (of all things to run out of at Christmas), Marash Girl continued chopping onions. Soon she received her first Christmas surprise when her friend arrived a half hour later with the salt.  Not only was the container of salt  decorated with Marash Girl's favorite color (orange), but it was randomly painted in the colors of the Armenian flag (red, blue and orange), and most importantly of all, with Marash Girl's favorite symbol, the lighthouse.  How could he have gotten it right on all three counts -- and with a container of salt, at that!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Technoference at Christmas

Thinking of her soon to happen party on Christmas Eve, Marash Girl is also thinking about technoference and whether or not she should put a sign at the front of the house alerting folks to check their guns at the door, whoops, she means, check their technology at the door.  She really wants her Christmas party to be festive,  not interrupted by the ringing of bells (only Christmas bells, please)  and the flashing of lights (only Christmas lights, please)!  Your thoughts?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Marash Girl's Favorite On-Line Bookstore

Did you know Marash Girl's favorite on-line bookstore is http://www.OldCornerBooks.com?  Looking for a last minute Christmas gift?  

Just click the link http://www.OldCornerBooks.com and have fun searching for your favorite titles.  OldCornerBooks.com, located in Newton Corner, Massachusetts, can send the book to you by overnight mail and you'll have it in time for Christmas!  Or if you live in the Boston are, you can pick the book up yourself.  

But hurry!  Christmas is just around the corner!  

Newton Corner, that is.

Note:  Marash Girl regrets to note that the website is no longer up and running as of December 31, 2014, but the bookstore is alive and well selling books through Amazon, Abebooks, and Biblio.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cookie Exchange, anyone?

Marash Girl's Sicilian Pizzeles, closest to the camera,were on the table 
but didn't make it into the photo.

Yesterday evening, Marash Girl attended her first ever Christmas Cookie Exchange at Grace Episcopal Church.  The rules?  Everyone who attends brings 3 dozen cookies and sets them out on the table, identifying her platter with her name and the name of the cookie.   The participants line up and walk around the table ("Like in musical chairs?" one of the ladies asked), taking one cookie from each platter; the ladies (there were no men present) kept walking around the table until everyone had one, two, three, or four of each cookie that was on the table in her basket. They kept walking around the table until all the platters of cookies on the table were empty and all the ladies' containers were full of cookies.  The walk around the table took more than an hour, even though the table was only 10 feet long, as the ladies lingered over each platter, admiring the array of cookies, sharing recipes, and catching up on the latest family news.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Costco and the Armenians

Marash Girl loves Costco for its fresh fruits and vegetables, its groceries, its great prices, its gracious service, and its friendly shoppers. She especially loves the Waltham Costco where she often hears folks chatting away in Armenian -- it makes her feel at home, somehow.  But yesterday was different.  There she was, standing next to the counter piled high with oranges, when she saw a face that she had not seen for many a year, a face that was so familiar, and yet not familiar at all.  This man had to be Armenian.  And so she went up to him and said, "Parev!"  He replied in Armenian, "Parev."  When she asked him where he was from, he answered, "Beirut, Lebanon."  As they continued to chat in simple Armenian (the only kind Marash Girl knows), Marash Boy approached, and soon all three of them were conversing -- in simple Armenian.  But guess why he looked so familiar!  It turns out that, yes, his ancestors were from Marash, and, yes, he identified himself as "Marashtsi".   Manuel Mardirosian, you were indeed a gift from the past for Marash Girl.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Ceiling to Remember

                              You never know what you're going to see when you look up!
                           Ceiling, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts

Monday, December 15, 2014


This license plate on the back of an electrical repair truck brought back memories of Uncle Paul who, according to his brother Peter, could wire a house faster than anyone else in the business.  The two brothers ran Newtonville Electrical Company, initially from their home in Newtonville, and later in the 1930's, at 84 Bowers Street in Newtonville Square, a store rented to them by their Uncle Vartan, and even later, in the 1950's, their very own building at 439 Newtonville Avenue in Newtonville, Massachusetts.  When folks called Peter complaining of "no heat" on a cold winter's night, Peter would often repair (free of charge) the furnace over the telephone, explaining in detail exactly what the customer  should do to"repair" her own furnace and have heat once again. Peter and Paul were known throughout the Commonwealth for their honesty, their service, and their great sense of humor.  They are sorely missed by all who knew and loved them.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sage Advice

"Sometimes the best thing that comes out of our mouth is nothing . . . " [sic]

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Drawer from the Past

The Drawer from the Past

What is this drawer doing here?  Where did it come from? asked Marash Girl.  Don't you remember? Marash Boy teased.  This was one of the top drawers in the antique bureau we bought at the Brimfield Antiques Fair.  That  mahogany grain-painted empire bureau, American, early 19th century, was in the middle bedroom in our summer cabin in Wilbraham, the bedroom Grandpa Peter slept in.  You took this drawer out of that antique dresser and brought it home, telling me that if the bureau was missing a drawer, no one would steal the bureau (or the drawer)!  And you were right!  No one stole the bureau; no one, that is, until the tornado arrived and shredded the antique dresser to bits, the dresser, and everything else in the cabin, along with the cabin itself.  The tornado didn't care that the bureau was missing a drawer. . .

NB:  The summer cabin on Wilbraham Mountain was never locked, always open for the occasional hunter who might pass by, needing shelter from the rain or snow.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Cards of Thumbtacks

Note the hole at the top center of the card, readying the card  for a thumbtack to tack it
onto a handy spot on the kitchen wall!
What could a card of thumbtacks possibly mean to anyone?  These two cards, dating from the 1940's,  came out of a box in the cellar, a box of stuff from Marash Girl's family home.  The cards of thumbtacks whisper of her mom's keeping house in an orderly fashion, thumbtacking the calendar every year onto the painted wooden door leading to the cellar, thumbtacking the Christmas Stockings to the fireplace mantel, and  thumbtacking important bits of information around the calendar onto the cellar door.  Before the era of the now popular refrigerator magnets, and at a time when "scotch" tape was too dear to use, the thumbtacks served the family well. In what form are thumbtacks sold today?  Marash Girl has no need to know; she has two cards of her mother's thumbtacks, at least 12 of them waiting to hold up the Christmas Stockings that will hang from her fireplace mantel on December 24th.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

" Contribute to WBUR today – your membership makes all the news and programming on WBUR possible."

Boston, Massachusetts:  WBUR Volunteers show off their WBUR winter sweaters for the camera during a break  from "manning" the phones during WBUR's Holiday Fundraiser. 
Volunteers celebrate while answering phones for the WBUR Fundraising Challenge.
N.B. WBUR is Boston's National Public Radio News Station.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stop for Santa! City of Boston prepares for Christmas!

Santa and his helpers saunter alongside Boston's Public Gardens. Photo by Karoun

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'Tis the season . . .

As if Sunday's signage wasn't enough, yesterday evening, when Marash Girl was driving down Washington Street  from Newton Corner to Newtonville, in her face was that same City of Newton sign on the side of the road, but this time in huge letters the sign screamed out, 

                             "Frustrate the thief!  Remove all valuables!" 

Perfect message for the Christmas season, the season of peace and good will!  

City of Newton . . . Wake up!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spaghetti Sauce a la Mode

No, not spaghetti sauce with ice cream, but bottled spaghetti sauce freshened up to taste like homemade by sautéing chopped onions in olive oil until they are softened, and then adding peeled chopped garlic, frying that up a bit, and then adding the sautéed onions and garlic to any spaghetti sauce bottled in glass.  Continue by chopping fresh celery leaves or fresh basil or fresh chives, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice to offset the sugar sweetness of the typical bottled spaghetti sauce.  You'll be amazed at the taste difference, and it only takes minutes to do!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

In this holiday season . . .

Yesterday, driving down Washington Street  from Newton Corner to Newtonville, Marash Girl noticed a placed by the City of Newton sign on the side of the road.  It read in huge letters, "Lock Your Cars!"  And this, during the holiday season, in the city voted the safest city in the United States!

Well, at least the sign didn't say, "Don your bullet-proof vests!"

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Advice to Married Couples, Young and Old!


The most important marital skill is biting your tongue!

Friday, December 5, 2014

ANI Documentation of the Armenian Genocide

Dr. Rouben Adalian speaks at the Armenian Cultural Foundation

As the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide approaches, we bow our heads in memory of the 1.5 millions Armenians that were driven from their homeland, murdered, genocided, if there is such a word, by the Turks.  The memory, in the form of oral histories, eye-witness accounts, New York Times reports contemporary to the events, missionary letters contemporary to the events, family histories, lives on but has yet to be recognized as fact by the United States Government.  

All this was brought to the fore last night as Dr. Rouben Adalian, Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI), spoke to several hundred folks at the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Arlington, Massachusetts. His subject? THE ARMENIAN CHURCH AND THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.  Long time scholar and author on the subject, Adalian spoke about his research -- his search through  the United States Archives, research culminating in a website that provides documentation and photos contemporary to the time -- documentation to be used by scholars, teachers and students alike -- documentation of unspeakable atrocities -- documentation of the Genocide of the Armenians, the first genocide of the 20th Century.

Photos and documentation accessible and downloadable on the web  at http://www.armenian-genocide.org

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Armenians of Zeitun (Zeitoun)

Robin Thomson writes from Aintab on Facebook; he offers this photo of  Marash Zeytun Armenian women.
"who defended their lands.."
Grandpa Peter remembered when the Zeitountsis fought to protect Zeitoun, their mountain abode,  against the onslaught of the Turks.  In 1918, during the Armenian Genocide, after the American missionaries, thinking to encourage peace, had convinced the Armenians of Zeitoun to give up their armed fight against the Turks. The Turks who did not make peace, the Turks who made genocide, marched these brave Armenian peoples of Zeitoun, bound and humiliated, marched them through the streets of Marash to their death.

Grandpa Peter cried every time he remembered the forced march of the once proud peoples, heads down, shamed: the courageous Armenians of Zeitoun.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How do you remember all those passwords?

Marash Girl is in a quandary.  She can't get her email because she can't remember her Gmail password!  She must have about 20 different passwords and she's tried all of them.  So no email. Yikes!  Time to write them with pen and ink in an old fashioned notebook.  Can we really live and work without our email in this day and age?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Yorker Reports ISIS in Gaziaintab (The Aintep Lost to Armenians 1915-1923)

Click this link and weep -- The city of Marash Girl's ancestors, the city of education and elegance, the city that her ancestors were forced to flee because of the Genocide committed against the Armenians by the Ottomans and the Young Turks 1915-1923, (the residents of this city -- probably many of them with Armenian blood, though they may not know or admit it) --  Aintep -- today Gaziantab -- God protect you from this unGodly war.


Refugees inside the Turkish border near Gaziantep. Some ten million people have fled Syria or been displaced from their homes.CREDIT                   PHOTOGRAPH BY OZAN KOSE / AFP / GETTY

Monday, December 1, 2014

Little Armenia in Paris

Ann Louise writes, "When we were in Paris (for one day) this establishment, La Maison De L'Armenia,
 was just down the street from our hotel."