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 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  

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  Looking for a last minute Christmas gift?  

Just click the link and have fun searching for your favorite titles., 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

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."