February 27, 2014


Venice, December 1983. The Riva degli Schiavoni is staged for acqua alta.

Craft Nostalgia

Do you remember crafting potholders? Now, you can make them "large enough for adult hands."

Near the Camp

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, 1949. A group of Lithuanian Girl Scouts explores the area near the Displaced Persons camp.
Thanks to my friend V for making this photo available to us.

Spring Coat

Suburban Chicago, April 1961. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, is ready for an outing.

"This Is The ONE Thing You Must Do In Each U.S. State."

In Wisconsin, it's the Dane County Farmer's Market

For Montana's "thing"—driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road—the editors chose a photo of a pretty tame segment of the road.

(I've done seven.)


Hank is the endearing "new mascot" of the Milwaukee Brewers.

February 26, 2014

February 25, 2014

Rainy Reunion

Venice, Italy, November 1983. In a few weeks, acqua alta will flood the Piazza.

Palace Tour

Schönbrunn Palace, Austria, July 1971. After Dad sets up a shot, we tour the palace. We visited Schönbrunn during our stay in Vienna.

This clip captures some of my Dad's body language and charming sense of humor. Tears welled up in my eyes when I first saw the end of the clip, in which Dad and I enter the palace.

She's ready for a picnic.

Near Toronto, Ontario, about 1954. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, has adjusted well to American life.

February 24, 2014

Winter-Weary Reunion

Near Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1936. The fence waits for a spring sprucing.


Kulautuva, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, January 1, 1971. This is my Mom's maternal Aunt, Dora, and her husband.Dora had been a great beauty, and she dressed fashionably. As Dora aged, she continued to underscore appearances and remained alert to flattering clothing.

I find it charming that an older Dora "touched up" some photos she sent to my Mom. In this snapshot, for example, Dora penciled in longer eyelashes. In another, she darkened her eyebrows.

Relax, you're in the garden.

 Near Vilnius, Lithuania, 1922. This is a family friend (or possibly a cousin) of Suzanne—the wife of my Dad's older cousin, Henry.

Thanks to Suzanne's Granddaughter—my Kaunas Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

February 23, 2014

The Doge's Door

Venice, Italy, November 1983. The Porta della Carta is the main entrance to the Palazzo Ducale.

That Baby Elephant

Brookfield Zoo, August 1958. My Toronto Cousin and her family visit us late in the summer. Here, my Toronto Cousin and her Dad Kadis (on the right) stop at the Children's Zoo.

Say "Ahhhh."

Suburban Chicago, September 1962. Children who accompanied their Parents on Sunday visits to our house sometimes were unhappy: such afternoons occasionally resulted in in-home "office calls." Mom often diagnosed sore throats, and the needle of penicillin was within reach.

Sunday Paper: You're-Wearing-That Edition

Suburban Chicago, 1972. I read the paper while waiting for a ride. That day, Mom asked me to go to a shop—C.D. Peacock Jeweler in Oakbrook Center—to pick up a ring she had left there for repairs. Oakbrook was a tony place, and back then, people dressed up when they visited that mall.

That morning, I had put on some tattered jeans, a casual top, and a bandana. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, questioned whether I should go to Oakbrook dressed "like that," but I assured her it was okay because I'd be running in and out of Peacock's quickly, and I wouldn't be making a promenade around the mall.

The person who drove me to Oakbrook waited in the car as I popped into Peacock's. While a clerk fetched Mom's ring, I saw a mother and daughter leisurely browsing the diamond case, and I overheard them chatting. They spoke in Lithuanian—and, confident no one understood them—spent a few minutes critiquing my appearance, and wondering how Peacock's had let someone "dressed like a hippie" into the shop. When I'd paid for the ring repair, I turned to the women and, in Lithuanian, thanked them for the compliment about my fashion sense. The exchange could have stayed in my memory as just a satisfying moment of snark, but it taught me to be careful in public—no matter what language one speaks.

On the way home from Oakbrook Mall, Don McLean's "American Pie" played on the radio, and the driver explained the meaning of the song's lyrics to me.

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

The last of the von Trapp siblings, Maria von Trapp, has died. Heather Menzies-Urich portrayed her, as "Louisa," in "The Sound of Music."

February 22, 2014

Can you identify this place?

My Dad took several photos at this location, anduncharacteristicallyhe failed to record the place or the date.

Do you know this site? It's either in Lithuania (about 1940 or 1941) or Germany (about 1946).

Grab a Book: "Downstate" Edition*

Urbana, Illinois, September 1984. Mom and Dad visit me again—this time, they're checking out the new apartment. They brought Meškė! (Meškė's leash sits on the edge of the desktop.)
Mom's reading my copy of Vogue Knitting, and she brought a project to work on during the three-hour ride from Suburban Chicago. That gold, vinyl knitting bag travels well.

*To Chicagoans, anything south of Joliet is "Downstate"—or "Southern" Illinois.

He likely was watching a hockey game.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 1959. Kadis—the husband of my Dad's twin sister, Jonė—focuses in the television room.
Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Sheep Thrills

Sheep farmer and "yarn entrepreneur" lands a reality show.

Blooming Knits

Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed visits the knits at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

(The exhibit is over, but the photos and observations are new.)

February 21, 2014

This is not a "swimming lake."

Glacier National Park, Montana, July 1987. It looks inviting, but the water is too cold.

A Poetry Reading

Suburban Chicago, November 1960. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, engages in a poetry reading. (Yes, Tatjana was prone to dozing off.)

Looking Ahead

Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1950. Toronto Al's Parents take a springtime paddle.

Thanks to Toronto Al for making this photo available to us.

February 18, 2014

The Misery in Kiev

Live updates here.

Woodpecker Reunion

Door County, Wisconsin, March 1978. He's an early sign of Spring.

It's warm enough to take the baby outside.

Suburban Chicago, January 1959. My paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, takes me out.

This clip reminds me how people treated neighbors' driveways. We steered buggies—and rode bikes—as though driveways were part of the sidewalk, and therefore public space.

How many Norwegians does it take to knit the world's largest mittens?


Back in the Same Corner

Toronto, Ontario, January 1959. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, and her husband, Kadis, unwind in the television corner.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Feral Dogs

This post isn't about the cute Sochi puppies Gus Kenworthy wants to rescue. It's about the packs of Chihuahuas terrorizing an Arizona neighborhood.

February 17, 2014

An Empty Mailbox

Near Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1936. It's President's Day, so don't bother looking.

A Happy Visit

Great Neck, New York, 1985. I visit family while I'm at a professional convention. The woman on the left is one of my Dad's older cousins, and the woman on the right is her mother Victoria—the sister of my paternal Grandfather, Vytautas.

Bankers' Hours

Swiss Air Force declines to scramble a hijacked aircraft "because the incident occurred outside normal office hours."


Lithuania, about 1918. This is a relative—likely an Aunt—of Suzanne, the wife of my Dad's older cousin, Henry.

Thanks to Suzanne's Granddaughter—my Kaunas Cousin—for making this photo available to us.

Splitting Image

The blade of Lithuanian Ice Dancer Isabella Tobias's skate sliced open a seam of partner Deividas Stagniunas's pants.

February 16, 2014

Plump Reunion

Brookfield Zoo, 1982. The raccoon has a good life at the zoo.

Grab a Book: Fireplace Edition

Door County, Wisconsin, March 1980. Dad wears one of those zippered cardigans. He's placed a cover over his book. The photo on the wall is this one.

A Slumber Party for Knitters

It's the YarnOver SleepOver Retreat.

It's okay to use a script if you're not reciting poetry.

Bulger Park Hall, Melrose Park, Illinois, February 1969. I serve as co-emcee of the Independence Day minejimas. 1969 was the awkward year during which I wore an improvised folkdress. Here, we're introducing the "talent show" portion of the show.

I earlier posted another image from the 1969 minejimas here.

Vasario Šešiolikto

"Vasario Šešiolikto" means "February 16," and the date marks the anniversary of Lithuanian Independence. Both the United States and France acknowledged the occasion.

Here's footage of the seventh anniversary celebration of Lithuanian independence, in 1925:

The goateed man in civilian dress is Lithuania's President, Aleksandras Stulginskis. Here are some thoughts about Stulginskis from his Grandson.

February 14, 2014

Stocking Up

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1964. The Samoset Lodge Čipūlis enjoys our offerings.


Near Augsburg, Germany, about 1947. My Dad visits his Goddaughter.

After the Ceremony

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1950. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, helps her friend get into the car after the wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, the altar boy reenters the church.
Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

February 13, 2014


Verona, Wisconsin, December 2007. We hadn't finished planting the trees.

Let's get some fresh air.

Suburban Chicago, June 1960. A child likes to take her pet outside—even if the pet is a hamster.

Related by Marriage: After Dinner

Suburban Chicago, 1965. Mr. Irene's Dad enjoys a cup of coffee.

UPDATE: Mr. Irene's Dad sits in the kitchen of Mr. Irene's boyhood home. Just behind Dad's right shoulder is a door leading to a small utility area and laundry room. The door was a handmade piece created by Dad's cousin, Anthony. Anthony was a skilled artisan and carpenter, and he crafted many furniture pieces for his own home in the Danish modern style. He made the door as a housewarming gift for Mr. Irene's parents in late 1958. Mr. Irene reports that, even as a child, he understood the door was a work of art.


"Artist who paints like other people knit."

February 11, 2014


Missoula, Montana, July 1987. Two of my friends' Yorkies guard the fence.


Suburban Chicago, December 1958. My paternal Grandmother Tatjana, my Mom, and my Godmother finish preparations for the party that will follow my christening ceremony. 

Daylight Savings Time begins in less than four weeks.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1952. The snow will start to melt soon, too. 

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for providing this photo of her Parents—Kadis and Jonė.

"These people who are complaining about what is on their walls should be grateful. … At least they got one of the hotel rooms with walls."

Vladimir Putin responds to tourists "grossed out" by hotel-room photos of a "[t]opless Putin."