February 14, 2016

February 12, 2016

February Weather ...

... in Venice:

Venice, Italy, February 1984. I'm on my way back to the Archivio.


Indiana, about 1967. This is my friend V and her Mom. The embroidery on V's blouse and apron is exquisite. (You also may recall this photo.)

Thanks to my friend V for making this photo available to us.

February 9, 2016

Carnevale Chaos

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Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy, March 1984. It's much too crowded here.

"Sonata on Independence"

Today is the 25th anniversary of the day Lithuanians voted to secede from the Soviet Union.

Shrove Tuesday

Here are some Lithuanian customs for the day. (Here's a photo from a 1923 Shrove Tuesday. And here's a recipe for those traditional pancakes.)

ADDED: Here's our recipe for "Pončkai." You probably think of them as "Paczki."

February 6, 2016

A Winter Knit

Verona, Wisconsin, February 2016. This is "Isfjorden" from Dalegarn Book 126. The yarn is Dalegarn's "Tiur." Dale discontinued my beloved Tiur several years ago, but I still have quite a bit in the stash (and I already have knitted seven Tiur sweatershere's one).

A Closer Look (Part 60)

Tambov, Russia, 1905. This is Pavel, the father of my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana.

Here's the original post.

February 4, 2016

February 2, 2016

Quick Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, February 2, 2016. This morning's "thunder snow" spooked her.

" 'Look at this. We ought to sue the groundhog'.”

The groundhog lawsuit.

It's not a day to be outside.

Door County, Wisconsin, August 1979. Stay close to the woodpile and keep your predictions to yourself.

"The Ex-Husband Sweater"

Oh, gee whiz. It's a twist on the sweater curse (namely, the "rescue mission mechanism "):
The rational explanation of the sweater curse is that a handmade sweater is typically thick, elastic, and clingy: it suggests that the woman who is making it wants to surround its recipient and enclose him. To be presented with such a garment is a signal to a man that its maker has serious plans for him. If he is not ready for this, the gift will embarrass him and may frighten him away. (The same phenomenon, according to one of my informants, has been observed in relationships between two women.) It has been claimed that knitting a deliberate mistake into the sweater will break the curse, but according to one of my friends this doesn’t usually work. Knitters would therefore be well advised to wait until after the wedding to start any such project—especially since it is also believed by some that a sweater made for a husband both warns off other women and keeps him safe at home.

I missed it.

I didn't see the "fireball" last night.

But we have "thunder snow" now.

January 31, 2016

She has two escorts, in Three Takes

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Verona, Wisconsin, January 30, 2016. A doe came by yesterday with two young bucks. I doubt this is our Mama and her twins because those youngsters did not have antlers last week. Perhaps these are last year's offspring.

"We love it here. It is just like living in Lithuania."

The "[m]ost segregated town in the UK."

See also here and here.

January 29, 2016

Back to the USSR

Travel posters from Soviet, government-run travel agency.

Domestic Self-Expression

In communist-era "identical[ ] apartments [designed] to 'put an end to any individualistic inclinations, which were considered as a threat on the ‘new man’ who was not to be encouraged into having opinions of his own'."

I could spend hours looking at stuff like this.

ADDED: On which floor would you be most comfortable? I'd choose the nine-floor apartment (although I bet that portrait of Jesus wasn't on display in 1967). The first-floor flat comes in second for me; I like it because you can see the herring-bone parquet.

Some dance in the modern style.

Chicago, Illinois, August 1975. Guests at an anniversary party hit the dance floor. I believe this event took place at "JC's."

This was a time when women often wore wigs and floor-length dresses to parties.

Happy Call

Suburban Chicago, January 1977. Mom does not seem to be engaged here in a work-related call. The throw pillow features Lithuanian motifs; the mother of my friend Ron made it for Mom (Ron's Mom also made the best Cepelinai I've tasted). The watercolor is by Murinas.

Here's the pillow today:

If you don't like it, then consider a Russian proverb: "In taste and colors, there are no friends." That's what I tell a friend each time I start (another) beige sweater.

January 27, 2016

Pink-Sky Reunion

Verona, Wisconsin, January 26, 2016. The fresh snowfall looked clean for a while.


Google solves the game.

(Recall I used to play Go.)

The Life Box (Part 28)

I used to sew many of clothes. It seemed like everyone sewed in the 1970s. It was easy to find fashionable patterns, and there was a fabric store in nearly every shopping mall. Mom and I sewed the ensembles we wore during our European vacation, and I later sewed the garments I packed for my trip to Stuttgart. I think I sewed every bridesmaid gown I wore. Oh golly, I once even sewed a swimsuit.

I saved many of the sewing patterns I used. I was looking today for the pattern for my senior-prom dress, but I could not find it. It was a wraparound halter dress that I made in a silver fabric. I intended to show the pattern to Mom because I wondered if she'd now think the dress was too risqué. It didn't seem daring in 1975 or 1976. (This is not the pattern, but it is very close to it.)

I did find several other patterns from that era, so I wonder if I didn't lend the wraparound halter-dress pattern to someone. I recall I went through a "Cossack phase" during which I sewed many billowy blouses and dresses. I still have those patterns. Here's one:

I made a grey blouse out of the pattern, and I sewed a pink and grey bias-plaid, A-line skirt to match.

I even wore that outfit to a school dance:

Suburban Chicago, January 1975. Dad catches me before the party.

Federalism contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Said Putin
Putin was particularly critical of Lenin’s concept of a federative state with its entities having the right to secede, saying it has heavily contributed to the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. He added that Lenin was wrong in a dispute with Joseph Stalin, who advocated a unitary state model.
(P.S. Stalin is back in fashion.)

January 26, 2016

"The statues were covered to spare Rouhani's blushes."

Rome authorities cover nude statues during Iranian president's visit.

"As well as censoring the private parts of Roman gods and goddesses wine was also banned from official receptions in order to not offend their guests."


Verona, Wisconsin, January 2016. The fox still visits the yard (we assume the fox is a female).

This morning a bald eagle flew over the backyard, but I didn't get a good snapshot. I'd never seen an eagle here. The only time I've spotted one in this area was a few weeks ago. It was near the road in a cornfield (for locals: on PD near M, across the street from the golf course) nibbling on a deer carcass. I was driving and said to myself, "Oh, look. Someone has put one of those bald eagle carvings in the field." And then the eagle moved.

Related by Marriage: Too young for cake.

Suburban Chicago, January 1960. Mr. Irene's maternal Grandfather Stanley, his maternal Aunt Martha, and his Mom celebrate Mr. Irene's first birthday. There's a plate of Košeliena on the table: icky! That's one of the few foods I won't eat (the others are: poppy seed roll, grapefruit, and coconut. I also hate gin.)

"Affection for the Baltic states is common among Russians of a certain age, a legacy largely of the Soviet Union."

Why some Russians seek exile in the Baltic States.

January 25, 2016

We wake up after a late-afternoon nap.

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Verona, Wisconsin, January 24, 2016. The doe and the twins are ready for their evening patrols.

A Closer Look (Part 59)

Southwestern Lithuania, about 1912. This is Mr. Irene's Great-Grandfather Jacob.

Here's the original post.