Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Folks In Beirut, Lebanon, (Your Yeghpayrner) Need Your Help!!!!

                                                 "Աստուած օրհնէ մեր տունը"   "God Bless this home."  

                   Photo credit Levon Kalaydjian (He found it, while helping to clean the streets of Beirut after the explosion.)

Marash Girl's friend in Beirut writes in an email following the explosion which caused the disaster in Beirut, Lebanon, "For contributions, I don't know to whom you can address. Now lots of organizations are fundraising but I don't know the donations will reach the right places. They are evacuating people from their houses,  listing the damages.  Even before the satanic explosion we were facing very bad economic crises. I know lots of families in Bourj Hamoud the Armenian Quarter who were already in difficulties. Those are needy also."

Պէյրութի հզօր պայթումը, որ բազմաթիւ անմեղ Լիբանանցիներու կեանքը խլեց՝ իր ետին թողելով հազարաւոր վիրաւորներ, աւելի քան աւերիչ էր։ Անկախ այն իրականութենէն թէ արկած էր կամ կանխամտածուած ոճիռ, վնասը չափազանց ահռելի էր եւ անկրելի։ Աւերն ու կործանումը այնքան հսկայական էին եւ ծաւալուն, ոմանք զայն բնութագրեցին նմանը չունեցող Լիբանանի 15-ամեայ քաղաքացիական պատերազմի ընթացքին։

Please help by donating to the Beirut disaster relief fund at the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA.org) in order to help those in need in Beirut, Lebanon.

Contact. 
AMAA Worldwide Headquarters 31 W. Century Rd. Paramus, NJ 07652
Tel: 201-265-2607             Fax: 201-265-6015                 info@amaa.org

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

"Never go visiting empty-handed!!!"

A hard and fast rule growing up, Marash Girl learned that one should never go visiting "empty-handed"!  Whether it be a chocolate cake baked that very day by her mom (Grandma Jennie), or a box of Whitman's Samplers, chocolates purchased that day from the Armenian owned pharmacy, the rule was clear.

Today Marash Girl learned from her Turkish friend Murat that, yes, this is not only a rule in the Armenian community, but it is a teaching from the prophet Muhammed:  

            "Ziyarete eli boş gidilmez."  "One should not go visiting with an empty hand."

Monday, August 10, 2020

All the Way to Istanbul to Meet with the Best Eye Doctor in the Land

Here's a story that Grandpa Peter used to tell.

There was a little boy in Marash, Turkey, who had very bad eye infections.  No matter what his parents used to heal the little boy's eyes, no matter what the local medicine woman suggested, nothing helped.  So one day, the little boy's parents decided to take their son to the best eye doctor in the land.  The family traveled all the way to Istanbul.  After waiting days, the family was finally granted an appointment with the renowned opthamologist.   When the doctor entered the room and examined the little boy's eyes, he asked the little boy to hold out his hands.  The doctor looked at the little boy's hands, and proceeded to tie the boy's hands behind the boy's back.  

"He'll be fine now," the doctor said.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

To Wear or Not To Wear

Well before the 1960's, Marash Girl had a good founding in "plain" living . . . no lipstick, no makeup.  But when she wore no stockings to church, her Auntie Mary chastised her for going barelegged into a holy place.  Interesting, because it was okay to go bare lipped.  In fact, it was expected.  Folks in Marash Girl's church did not wear makeup (not even lipstick) in church.  Whether they wore it outside of church, Marash Girl does not know.

But Marash Girl's mom Jennie wore no makeup except for lipstick.  One Sunday, in respect for the customs of the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church of Watertown, Massachusetts, Marash Girl's mom Jennie, before going to church, began to wipe off her lipstick.  Marash Girl's dad Peter remonstrated her with the following words.  "If you're going to wear lipstick, wear lipstick.  Don't take it off just because you're going to church!!!"  Marash Girl's mom Jennie smiled, and carefully reapplied her lipstick before leaving for church.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Spit up?

                                     Aşağı tükürsen sakal, yukarı tükürsen bıyık.

                      "Spit up, you hit your mustache; spit down, you hit your beard."  

(Actually the reverse in the above Turkish expression which translates,  "Spit down, you hit your beard; spit up, you hit your mustache."). . . a common saying in Marash Girl's house growing up. In college she learned that in English, to express the same meaning, one would say, "Caught between Scylla and Charibdis; caught between a rock and a hard place."  Marash Girl guesses that every culture has its conundrums!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Jajuk - An Armenian's Summer Delight

Jajuk - cucumber and yogurt and mint and garlic.  A simple and deliciously cooling appetizer or accompaniment to a summer's meal is jajuk -- Armenian yogurt (madzoon) with peeled, crushed garlic (one clove of garlic per quart of yogurt, or none, if you hate garlic), some chopped up fresh mint from your garden, or if you do not grow mint, some dried, crushed mint leaves, and salt to taste.  That's it!!!  Enjoy . . . and let me know how you like it!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Jennifer Koochof Continues the Struggle: Armenians for Freedom for All

                                 Upper photo-  Name of woman on left unknown, Marash Girl on right               

                                 Lower photo-

                                Jennifer Koochof Continues the Struggle of Armenians for Freedom for All


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Lorig's Recipe for Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

1 ¾ cups Chickpeas (about one 15 oz can or cooked) drained
3 Tbsp Tahini
2-3 cloves Garlic (more or less to taste)
¾ cup Beets (roasted or boiled) cut into pieces
4-5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp cup Olive Oil
Salt & pepper

Chop garlic. Drain chickpeas. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and add more garlic, lemon juice, or olive oil, to adjust to your palate. Add salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Watermelon Rind Candy

Marash Girl guesses that once you've experienced starvation, or near starvation . . . once you've seen people dying of hunger . . . you never again waste a bit of food . . . and that includes the rind of the watermelon.  The old ladies that Marash Girl knew, the survivors of the genocide of the Armenian people, loved to serve watermelon removed from the skin.  Many ate watermelon with a fork, we kids ate it off the skin.  Dad salted his watermelon and carefully ate the innards of every seed that was in his piece of watermelon.  And the old ladies carefully peeled the green rind off of the melon from which they had taken the red watermelon to serve, and prepared it for making watermelon candy by simmering it in sugar syrup on their wood burning stoves!!!!  Marash Girl never learned to make  watermelon candy, (although the recipe is now on the internet), but she used to eat it when she was a kid.  Delish!!!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Grandma Jennie's Go To Recipe

You already know about Grandma Jennie's parsley and egg which Marash Girl has written on in several earlier blogposts.  Here is another of Grandma Jennie's favorites:  eggplant dipped in egg!   No, not the whole darn eggplant, but eggplant with its stem removed and its skin intact, nicely washed and rinsed, and thinly sliced. 

Dip a slice of eggplant in a bowl of well-beaten eggs (two or three should suffice), and carefully place that slice of eggplant into a frying pan which has approximately a 1/2 inch of oil on your stove top.  Turn the heat up under the pan to bring the oil to a sizzle before placing the egg-dipped eggplant into the frypan. Be careful, as the oil is likely to spatter as you place the eggplant into the pan, so try to keep your distance.  You will see that the egg on the sides of the eggplant slices become brown; at that point, flip the slices of eggplant over and fry for another minute or so.  Remove the eggplant slices and place the eggplant on a dish that has been covered with a paper towel, a dish that has been set at a distance from the flame, so that the paper towel will not catch fire.  Lightly sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and pepper, and serve as soon as possible with freshly sliced tomatoes as a garnish.  Delish!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Happy Birthday, Marash Boy!!!!


Marash Boy stoking the fire at his favorite fireplace, at the top of Wilbraham Mountain,                           before the tornado...

Marash Girl remembers the first day she met you, Marash Boy!!! You were wearing the same beard that you are wearing today.  She loved you from that first day, beard and all, right through to this very moment, beard and all!!!!  Happy Birthday, Levon, my love!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Bir yumuşağı var mı?

In the old days, whenever we visited relatives on a Sunday afternoon, Daddy and Mommy would stop at a local pharmacy to buy a box of Whitman's Chocolates.  We would never arrive at anyone's house empty-handed, and in that all of the Armenians in those days baked their own elegant pastries, carrying Mommy's wonderful apple pie, brownies, or banana cake would not be particularly appreciated.  Therefore, it would be a box of Whitman's Chocolates that we would carry with us to our khunami's house.  And always, the grandmother of the family, after opening the box, would ask, "Bir yumuşağı var mı?"  Is there a soft one?  Because in those days, very few grandmothers could afford false teeth.  It was less costly simply to have the offending molars removed.  But that's for another blog post.  For now, let's stick to the chocolates.  Marash Martha and Marash Girl would be delighted to offer our guests the chocolates with soft centers, because we hated them!!! In fact, when folks brought those boxes of chocolates to our house, we would secretly press in the bottoms of the chocolates, surreptitiously replacing the chocolates that gave in to our thumb's pressure . . .  until we found one that did not give in . . .  a chocolate covered nut!  Hooray!

Friday, July 31, 2020

"On the other hand . . . "

Grandpa Peter used to love academic discussions, especially on world history.  Whenever he asserted a historical fact, backed up by the Encyclopedia Brittanica (he was literally backed up by the Britannica as it was on the shelves right behind his chair), and someone would disagree with him with the words "On the other hand . . . ", Grandpa Peter would always laugh and reply, "On the other hand, he wore a glove!"

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Slow Down!!!!

                                                                        Slow Down!!!! 

That's good advice for all of us, although these days, because of the present circumstances, we are almost forced to slow down . . . but many of us don't want any advice, nor do we care to slow down and, as it were, smell the roses . . . such was evidenced by the man driving down Church Street in Newton Corner at 8 AM yesterday morning, going 50 miles an hour in a 30 mile an hour residential zone. Marash Girl, following her father's example, shouted at him, "Slow down!"  After all, it was her neighborhood, and, at that, a neighborhood full of kids!!! 

The fellow slowed down just long enough to give old lady Marash Girl the finger!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wear A Mask . . .

 Sign posted in front of Underwood Elementary School, Newton Corner!

                                                    "Wear a mask / You have one task . . .
                                                      Whether you're fast / whether you're slow . . .
                                                      Wear a mask / wherever you go . . .
                                                      Covid 19 can cause you strife . . .
                                                      Wear a mask and save a life!"

Monday, July 27, 2020

Summers, Watermelon and Cheese

Do all Armenians love watermelon?  All in Marash Girl's family certainly did.  The kids ate slices of watermelon, usually off the skin, walking around in the back yard, and spitting the seeds into the grass.  The grownups would have their watermelon removed from the skin, sliced into chunks.   Grandma Jennie often served watermelon with cheese (more often than not, home made cheese), or watermelon with salt for Marash Girl's father who loved his watermelon with salt!

And since most Armenians had known hunger, they  never wasted food.  Marash Girl vaguely remembers that folks used to peel off the green outer skin of the watermelon (leaving the white of the rind) and use the white of the rind to make candy.  Marash Girl's family did not.  Her father would grind the watermelon rind in his compost grinder and use the ground watermelon rinds to fertilize his magnificent vegetable garden.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Early Morning Visitor

                                           Photo by Marash Girl
                      This morning, Marash Girl was greeted by a visitor sitting in her front "garden"
                       at the base of her front porch!     Her visitor paused long enough for a photo!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fried Eggplant à la Grandma Jennie

A quick and favorite summer's meal that Grandma Jennie (known as Mummie to Marash Girl) loved to prepare (and Marash Girl loved to eat) was Eggplant Goverma, known in English as Fried Eggplant, and probably originating in the Armenian community of Aintab.  Mummie would thinly slice a fresh, ripe eggplant (after washing the eggplant, of course) leaving the skin on and, just before placing the slices into hot oil to fry, she would dip the slices into a shallow bowl of freshly beaten eggs.  Dipping the egg-covered eggplant slices into the hot oil (backing away quickly because sometimes the hot oil splashes back at the cook), she would fry the eggplant, first on one side, then on the other, until both sides were lightly browned eggplant.  Then, carefully removing the eggplant slices onto a somewhat distanced platter (covered with a paper towel in order to drain off the excess oil), she would lightly salt the slices, and serve the fried slices of eggplant immediately, accompanied by slices of garden fresh tomatoes, to her eagerly awaiting family members.  Delish!!!

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Rose Garden?

Marash Boy recalls the following.

One day when my friend and classmate Armen S. and I were walking down the street in Harvard Square, we were able to view a young woman from behind, and he came out with this Persian phrase:   "She may look like a rose garden from the back, but when you see her from the front, she looks more like a vegetable garden." 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Happy Birthday, John Simmons!


Ծնունդդ շնորհավոր !!!! մենք սիրում ենք Քեզ!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Composting à la Auntie Rose

A young survivor of the Genocide of the Armenian people (1914-1923), Auntie Rose loved her plants, and each day, carefully saved the peelings and scraps from the fruits and vegetables that she prepared for her breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with Uncle Harry.  After every meal, she would gather the peelings, cores, and leavings of those fruits and vegetables (few as there were), and carefully dig the leavings into the soil next to a plant in her flower garden.  Auntie Rose never wasted, as she knew, from childhood, what it was to go hungry. God rest her soul.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

On a summer diet?

On a summer diet? Try water.  We water our plants, but do we water our bodies?  We need more water than ever these days, but often we confuse thirst for hunger and eat, or we are thirsty but we consume  sugary drinks, (or worse, cancer causing artificially sweetened drinks) to assuage our thirst.  Keep water in the refrigerator,  in a favorite mug or glass, so that whenever you open the refrigerator to see what’s there for you, you’ll see your favorite glass full of refreshing, clear, cold water.  

Monday, July 20, 2020

"Newton School Nurses Are Essential Employees!"

                                                                 Photo by Marash Girl
                         "Newton School Nurses Are Essential Employees!  Fair Contract Now!"

"I asked God for strength and courage . . . "

                       "I asked God for strength and courage.  He sent me my Armenian wife."

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Remembering Arppie's Three Bean Salad!!!

As temperatures hit the 90's, Marash Girl remembers the wonderful summer days spent in Wilbraham, with all the family members, each bringing a special something for the picnic table.  Arppie's special something took no time at all to prepare, and yet it was everybody's favorite!!! She would simply open a can of black beans, a can of kidney beans, and a can of chick peas, making sure that the contents contained no preservatives or artificial ingredients . . . draining the cans and rinsing the beans well in cool fresh water.  She then added chopped fresh parsley, the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon, some olive oil, and, of course, salt, pepper, and a dash of Armenian red pepper.  There you have it!!! Her secret?  Preparing the salad the day before the picnic, and allowing it to marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours!!!
                            
                                      We miss you, Arppie!!!  

N.B.  Could she have learned to make this salad from her good friend, Esther Hawsley?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Grandpa Peter and Little Katie

Grandpa Peter loved Katie, his first grandchild, very much.  Every time she would be with him in Newton, Massachusetts, (all the way from Los Angeles, California), whether she was an infant or a grown woman, he would sing to her (to the tune of 'Daisy, Daisy Give me your answer true . . . I'm half crazy all for the love of you.')

"Katie, Katie, give me your answer true . . . I'm half crazy all for the love you!!!"  Katie loved his singing, as off key as it was, and would grin from ear to ear.

Sadly, Katie passed away at a very young age, after she had achieved her MD and law degree, and Grandpa Peter has passed away.  How Marash Girl loved them.  How Marash Girl misses them!!!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Gooseneck Flowers

                                                        Marash Girl's Loosestrife                    Photo by Marash Girl


Gooseneck Flowers, better known as Loosestrife (ysimachia clethroides), are a blessing for folks who need plants to fill in their gardens, plants that do not need heavy care or watering.  Marash Girl had lots of room in her front garden for such plants.  Marash Girl's friend Helene provided the solution.
She gifted Marash Girl only a few Loosestrife plants, Loosestrife which has now filled all of the empty spots in Marash Girl's front garden (and more) with beautiful white flowers, flowers that she can share with her neighbors as they walk by on a beautiful summer's day.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

"There Is No God. Prove."

"There Is No God.  Prove."  So began the otherwise blank final exam in Humanities Five, Introduction to Philosophy.  "Thank you, God," grinned Marash Girl as she began, hammer and tong, or should I say, pen and paper, to attack the question.  Her answer?  Her answer has been written throughout the Bible, throughout many a hymnal.  God exists.  She wrote two pages, asserting her belief, and the reasons for her belief, and . . . the final grades were posted.  She was the only student in the class to receive an "A" on the exam.  "Why was that?" everyone asked.  Do you know the answer, dear reader?

N.B.  Marash Girl may have written about this experience in past blogposts, but suffer her one more time to remember the graciousness of her Professor Aiken at Harvard University.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Remembering Armen Sahakian

Photo from Internet

Marash Girl remembers the first day she learned of you, Armen.  Her good friend Judith told her about a very handsome young Armenian man who was studying in the Graduate School at Harvard University, living in a private apartment complex on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. You were a roommate of Judith's friend (although Marash Girl doesn't remember the friend's name).  Judith said she wanted me to meet you because you were a good-looking, intelligent young Armenian man, and therefore was inviting you and her friend to the Jolly-Up -- a dance/mixer for young Radcliffe women to meet young Harvard men.

Judith introduced us.  You were so handsome with dark, wavy hair.  You asked me to dance, and I accepted, and as we danced, I learned that you were Tashnak.  Naive as I was in those days, I remember saying to you, "I'm so sorry, Armen, but I won't be able to date you because you're Tashnak." . . . not that you had given me any hint that you would ever want to invite me out on a date.

Years later, I learned that you had been very good friends with my husband, Levon.  And still later, you and your family visited us at our summer cabin in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and at Mt. Tom Greenhouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and more recently, you came to Boston on business and visited our family in Newton, Massachusetts.  I think that was the last time we were together.  It was then that I took you to visit the editors of the Armenian Weekly and the Armenian Mirror Spectator.  I knew they would be interested in writing about your visit to the United States, and they were.

                                                                                                   Photo by Marash Girl                                                                                            

Asdvadz kezi louysavoreh, Armen Sahakian.
Armen . . . May the Lord our God welcome you into His Kingdom.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

STORMING THE BASTILLE: BASTILLE DAY ON WILBRAHAM MOUNTAIN

"The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790." (From the Internet)

Karoun: I love the brie cheese memories, so sweet!  Here's what I remember of the theatrics, I think I was really young because I was watching. Uncle George and a woman (who was only there that time, I don't remember who she was, but I think she was a friend of Mum's not of Uncle George) were sitting under the bastille -- large sticks laid against the tree that's at the corner of the woods closest to the cabin porch, where the flags are raised. They were sharing bits of french bread (that was supposed to be stale). Then all of you guys came running at the bastille yelling and screaming and knocked the sticks down and freed them. I think it was a little scary for me lolll.

Lorig: That's right. We leaned a bunch of big sticks against the tree and then we knocked them down.
I think it was probably one of Uncle George's girlfriends, but I am sure she never came back again after that. LOL
I think we did it a few times. One time I think Uncle George got knocked on the head with one of the large sticks. I remember him being a really good sport about it. I felt really bad. Because I am pretty sure I organized the entire dramatic scene. It is the kind of thing I would have done. :)

Karoun:  I don't remember Uncle George getting hit! You probably did direct it. I have vague fond memories of being in your "plays" with the cabin's porch as the stage.

Deron: I recall hanging the French flag next to the American flag. I also recall NOT wanting the Brie cheese.

Nisha:  I think Lorig and I liked the Brie but we kept leaving bits of the skin around because we only liked the creamy inside part 😄.  Of course, Papa would say “but that’s the best part!” And also tell us not to leave the skin bits on the cheese board 😂.  And practicing whatever French we could remember!

Marash Girl:  Juillet Quatorze was the only day we took the Armenian flag down to hang the French flag next to the American Flag!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Lee Powell, Cows, and Thunder & Lightning on Wilbraham Mountain


This photo (borrowed from the internet) brought to mind Wilbraham neighbor Lee Powell's personal memory of having narrowly escaped death by lightning on her farm as she ran for cover, her cows hit by lightning falling behind her  . . .  and the day Marash Boy and Marash Girl just made it back from their run along Ridge Road to their mountain cabin, as furious bolts of lightning struck behind them   . . . one of the most ferocious thunder and lightning storms that the couple had ever encountered on Wilbraham Mountain.  The experience, of course, was worsened by having heard Lee Powell's memory!  Are you still up there on Wilbraham Mountain, Lee Powell?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

"çok iyi ama bir daha yapma!"

"çok iyi ama bir daha yapma . . ." said Levon's Grandmother Turvant Sanjian to his mother Azniv after consuming a meal that she did not care for. (Both Marash Boy's father, mother and grandmothers were born in Marash. . . )  Marash Girl thinks his grandmother is the person from whom Marash Boy inherited his political prowess!!!!

n.b.  Translation of Armeno-Turkish quotation above:  "It's very good but don't make it again."

Love Conquereth All

    
     Lawn sign in Newton Corner . . . words are not needed . . . 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

"Fear not!" saith the Lord, Shakespeare, Roosevelt, Grandpa Peter, and Karoun

in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 41, Verse10, God is quoted as saying, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God . . ."
William Shakespeare in his 1599 play, Julius Caesar. Act II, Scene 2, Shakespeare's original lines, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once,” are often quoted as follows: “A coward dies many times, a hero dies but once.”  Peter Bilezikian often admonished, "Cowards die many times, brave men die but once!"  And more contemporaneously, Marash Girl's Karoun admonishes, "You attract what you fear!!!"

Marash Girl believes that the above quotations could certainly apply to the present day pandemic!

Friday, July 10, 2020

"Malın gibi ye!"

Armenians from Marash (today's Kahramanmaraş) and Aintab (Today's Gaziaintab) would often use irony when they suggested, "Malın gibi ye!"

"Malın gibi ye!" . . . "Eat it as if it were your own . . . ," suggesting that the person being addressed was very selfish and barely shared anything,  especially food, if you were to visit them on a Sunday afternoon .  . . or any time!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Uncle Jack Cotton and the Watermelon Seed

Uncle Jack Cotton, a large and boisterously funny man, was married to Auntie Mary, a sweet, petite lady who went to church with us every Sunday.  Uncle Jack went to a different church and got a ride to that church in a different car.  But every Sunday, Auntie Mary and Uncle Jack would join Marash Girl and her family for Sunday dinner.  The children were fascinated with Uncle Jack because they had never seen anyone with such a large "tummy".    One day they asked their Uncle Jack why his tummy was as big as a watermelon.  His answer?  "I swallowed a watermelon seed!"

Ever after that day, whenever the children ate watermelon, they did so with the fear that one day, unbeknownst to them, they would swallow a watermelon seed and end up with a tummy as large as their Uncle Jack's!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Big Brother Bob Emery and the Lowell Avenue Kids


 Big Brother's photo from the internet
One of our favorite TV shows as kids (television had just come into our homes) was Big Brother Bob Emery's FAMILY FUN!  And even more fun was the fact that Big Brother Bob Emery lived in Newton, Massachusetts, within a 10 minute bike ride from our houses on Lowell Avenue in Newtonville!!!  One summer's day, we kids decided to take advantage of that fact and all of us, cousins and young neighbors, gathered and headed to Newton Highlands in a cavalcade of bikes.  We had an idea: we wanted to be on Big Brother's television show and we had an exciting plan for the show, "Family Fun".  We kids used to make our own puppets, fashioning the heads with paper mâché which we painted when dry, and creating the outfits from roughly sewn cloth cut from our outgrown clothing.   We would then put on puppet shows of our own creation.  The puppet shows themselves were not of interest to Big Brother, but he loved the idea of three families gathering to create the puppets used for the kids' puppet shows.  And so it was.  Our three families, moms included, appeared on his show, all lined up from the beginning of the process. . . clipping newspaper into small bits to be used in creating the heads of the puppets with home-made paste from flour and water,  drying the heads, painting the dried heads of the puppets,  and cutting and fashioning the puppet clothing from our no longer wearable hand-me-downs!  The show was a big success and we kids never got over the fact that we had been on Big Brother Bob Emery's FAMILY FUN television program for all to see!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A New Tree on Maple Avenue?

This morning, Marash Girl spoke at some length with Mark Welch, Newton’s Deputy Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Culture, regarding the planting of a Maple Tree on Maple Avenue, a tree to replace the tree that was taken down yesterday.

Deputy Commissioner Welch assured Marash Girl by telephone that Newton will “schedule a planting of a new tree in the fall planting season which will typically be in November 2020".  

He said that the City of Newton will be asking us all . . .  neighbors to the new tree on Maple Avenue . . .  to water the tree once a week from Patriot’s Day and Columbus Day for two years.

Please email Newton’s Deputy Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Culture Mark Welch  at the following email address —   MWelch@newtonma.gov — to thank him for his attention to this matter . . . for caring about our trees on Maple Avenue in Newton Corner!!!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Marash Girl Grieves The Passing of the 100 Year Old Maple Tree on Maple Avenue

                                                                 Photo by Grieving Marash Girl





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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Marash Girl Meets Eleanor Roosevelt at Harvard University, August 11, 1960

Working for Henry Kissinger at the Harvard International Seminar during  vacations from her college studies, Marash Girl was honored to make the acquaintance of Eleanor Roosevelt who had been invited to speak to the Seminar participants.  Marash Girl was charged with helping Eleanor Roosevelt become acclimated to Harvard University and Harvard Square.  "Mrs. Roosevelt had traditionally visited the members of the International Seminar each summer, meeting in informal session and making brief remarks, reported the Harvard Crimson of August 11, 1960," though that was not the case for the next few summers that Marash Girl was on the staff.  The summer of 1960 was the only summer  that Eleanor Roosevelt visited during the four summers that Marash Girl worked for Henry Kissinger at the Harvard International Seminar. 

From the internet comes the following. 

Mrs. Roosevelt Speaks

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED
August 11, 1960


Eleanor Roosevelt made a quick visit to the University last week unnoticed by almost every student. Speaking informally to 48 members of the International Seminar. Mrs. Roosevelt commented on "The Values of Democracy." Her 40-minute speech, followed by a brief question-and-answer session, was all off the record. Boston newspapers, bearing of her visit, attempted to cover the closed seminar session. Only the Boston Globe succeeded in interviewing the former first lady, as she indicated she would "probably" make a few speeches on behalf of Democratic nominee Senator John F. Kennedy '40.
n.b. Eleanor Roosevelt passed away on November 7, 1962.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fourth of July in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Shirley Tashjian, God rest her soul, was the heart of the Fourth of July in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  As every year, the Fourth of July Parade paraded directly by her house, she would celebrate the occasion, setting out food and drink for all her friends and the random passerby who caught her eye!!! All Marash Girl's children loved the Fourth of July Parade in East Longmeadow, as did all kids!  Not only was it colorful and musical with popular tunes played by bands from the many towns in and about East Longmeadow, but most of the folks marching in the parade carried pocketfuls of candy that they would toss to the kids that had gathered along the side of the parade route to cheer the paraders on.    Deron remembers numerous local politicians marching in the parade, leaving the parade for a moment to walk over and shake hands with Marash Boy who, at that time, was employed by Gralia Construction in East Longmeadow.  The politicians (Brian Lees, Richie Neal, and the last two or three Mayors of Springfield, Massachusetts) would greet Marash Boy by name. leaving the parade for a moment to walk over to the side of the road and shake Marash Boy's hand!!!

But that was years ago.  Marash Girl wonders if the Fourth of July is still the same without Shirley Tashjian in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Coffee on the Front Porch

 Coffee on the Front Porch - "Vote For More Women!"                    
      Photo by Marash Girl


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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"When all else fails, go shopping!"

"When all else fails, go shopping!" . . . or so suggested a well-known "shrink" to his patient who was feeling down. And guess what!  The patient reported to Marash Girl that the shrink's  suggestion worked!  Between the change of venue, the exercise, the interaction with other folks, and the excitement of possibly finding a "bargain", her problems took a back seat to the "adventure" of the moment.  Unfortunately, in this day and age, neither the change of venue nor the exercise play into the solution. . . Marash Girl wonders what the shrinks are suggesting today . . .

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

"Ayağını yorganına göre uzat."

"Ayağını yorganına göre uzat."  
"Stretch your feet to the length of your yorgan." (yorgan = quilt in Armeno-Turkish)

So stated Marash Girl's father.  Not quite sure if her father meant to restrict Marash Girl's efforts or to extend her efforts in whatever she endeavored. Since Marash Girl was a small child when he began advising her to stretch those feet as far as she could, Marash Girl has always assumed he meant for her to extend her efforts as best she could in whatever she endeavored.  And she did!!!

With Marash Girl's thanks to Murat for help with the Turkish translation.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Şiş gibi geliyor!

Whenever it thundered and lightninged and the heavens opened up, from Marash Girl's childhood comes this little ditty:
"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring!"

And as Grandma Jennie used to exclaim as she looked out the dining room window,
"It's raining cats and dogs!"

Or, as Medzmama would state assertively in her native language of Armeno-Turkish,
"Şiş gibi geliyor!!!"

Sunday, June 28, 2020

"No adults except in the company of a child."

           It takes New York City to figure this one out!!!                        
Photo by Marash Girl
                        "No adults except in the company of a child."  www.nyc.govparks

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Want To Keep Your Guests Guessing?

Want to keep your guests guessing? Make banana bread for them, but add a secret ingredient to the batter . . . A dollop of your favorite (seedless) jam!  The conversation will be going for a while as your guests attempt to identify that unexpected boost to the flavor of your delicious banana bread!
n.b. Try this "trick" with any cake or muffin recipe . . . you'll be surprised at how the flavor will confound your guests!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Can I Have The Recipe?

Years ago, Marash Girl worked with a woman who loved Marash Girl's baked goods; said woman always asked for the recipes of the tasty treats that Marash Girl prepared and often shared with the teaching staff at their place of work.  Marash Girl was as pleased to share those recipes as she was to share the treats.  But one day, said woman brought in a delicious cake reputedly of her own making.  When Marash Girl asked the woman for the recipe, the woman replied, "Oh, no!  I never share my recipes!"

Thursday, June 25, 2020

"Enough Is Enough!"

                                     Black Lives Matter on Church Street in Newton Corner
                                                               Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Here's a Secret for Successful Baking

Here's a secret for successful baking.  This may seem obvious, but we typically have so much going on, that we may not take the time to plan ahead!!!!  So here goes with the advice.

First, check your recipe to be sure that you have all the ingredients required.  Next, make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. That means that if you don't plan ahead, you'll have to use your stove top or microwave oven to slightly heat milk and eggs before adding to the flour mixture.  Try it.  You'll see the difference. . .  and let me know of the results!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I'm a little teapot, short and stout!!!!

I'm a little teapot, short and stout!
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, then I shout!
"Just tip me over, pour me out!"

They taught well in kindergarten in the old days!!! 
All these years later, Marash Girl can still sing the song and dance the dance!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2020

How Jesus Saved Marash Girl From the Drug Culture

Marash Girl knew no one in Cambridge who was not doing drugs.  "Fools," she thought to
to herself.  "Why would anyone want to get hooked on drugs?"  Cigarettes were bad enough!!!  (Although by the grace of God, Marash Girl had managed to avoid tobacco cigarettes as well.) When consistently pressed by those around her, folks who insisted, "But you don't know what a great high you're missing!" . . .   she finally reverted to her faith:  "I get my high from Jesus.  Wanna hear about it?"  And that, as they say, was that!  They never bothered her again!  Apparently they did NOT want to hear about Jesus!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

"Jesus loves the little children . . . "

Marash Girl's favorite hymn in Sunday School at the United Armenian Brethren Evangelical Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, was taught her by her Sunday School teacher who was a student at Gordon College.  This is how it goes:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world . . .
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world!

The chorus did not go on to explain that Jesus loves the grownups as well . . . red and yellow, black and white . . . although we kids were able to figure that out . . .  Marash Girl's guess is that many grownups could not. . .

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Gather Ye Cherries While Ye May!

 l. to r. John and Nisha gather the cherries while they may.  
Photo by Marash Girl
An apple tree purchased in Monson, Massachusetts, 
many years ago grew to be a tall, strong cherry tree!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Riddle again!

Of all the jams in the world . . . strawberry, raspberry, blueberry . . . what is, without a doubt, everybody's LEAST favorite?  A prize for the first best answer!!!!  Give up?  Check in tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A Light Riddle . . .

Why was the Lighthouse Keeper Crying?

The Lighthouse Keeper was crying because he heard that heavy winds were coming and he knew he lived in a light house!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Deep Sea Fishing With Dad in Newburyport

Third grader that she was, Marash Girl tugged very hard on her fishing line, so excited was she that she had a caught a fish; as she tugged, the line with the mackerel on the end of it swung behind her and smacked another fisherman . . . a man fishing on the opposite side of the boat . . . a cold wet smack right on the back of his neck.  The "injured" fisherman came roaring across the boat seeking to punch out his attacker.  Marash Girl's father (toughly muscled and fearless as he was) tried to calmed the fellow, giving him the eye and saying, "She's only a little girl . . . she didn't mean to hurt you.  She just didn't know how hard to pull!"  The man backed off, moved to a different spot on the other side of the large fishing boat . . . far enough away from Marash Girl so that he wouldn't have to feel another wet smack on the back of his neck . . . or have to deal with Marash Girl's father, iron-fisted Peter.  And that, as they say, was that!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Happiness?

"Happiness is an empty dishwasher!"  Marion Charkoudian, 1966