Sunday, June 18, 2017


I miss out Sunday naps together (but at least I still have that striped blanket to enjoy them with)! Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Camp Oyo, Historic Hotels and lots and lots of Yarn...

Thursday June 8, 2017
Camp Oyo Fundraiser...

Tonight my husband, Andrew, and I attended a charity event to benefit Camp Oyo, which is a camp for kids who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  One of the founders of my husband’s company is involved with an organization that supports the charity, so she asked if any of the employees wanted to attend. Since I’d been taking ASL (American Sign Language) lessons since February from a retired teacher from the Columbus School for the Deaf, Andrew thought it would be a good chance for me to finally put my lessons to use.
Andrew trying out one of the many pinball machines
Although I saw several people signing to each other, I’m not sure how many were totally deaf as they seemed to speak to each other as well. Being a little shy and not too confident in my signing abilities, I was hesitant to just go up to someone and interrupt their conversation. However, I did have a conversation with a man named John who is a hard-of-hearing (with a hearing aid), and is actively involved in the deaf community and volunteers at the camp. He had to correct a couple of my signs (at least in terms of the position of my fingers), but overall said he was impressed. I was also complimented by a deaf lady at my church, and by Andrew, but I know I still have a long way to go before I am in any way competent enough to communicate smoothly and quickly. Still, I’m glad we attended, and I hope the fundraiser was a success.

Saturday June 10, 2017
Worldwide Knit in Public Day & Historic Hotels of Columbus...

Today was a busy day as I had several activities to attend (as well as taking our cat in for a nail trim, a stop at Lowe’s to purchase a weed whacker, and drop off a book at one of the Free Little Libraries).

Historic Hotels of Columbus
At 10am my husband and I attended a two hour lecture at the Upper Arlington Municipal Center which was all about the Historic Hotels of Columbus. The lecture was given by Tom Betti and Doreen Uhas Sauer who are both from Cleveland and connected by having families in the same neighborhood. Now both live here in the capital city and are involved with the Columbus Landmarks Foundation as well as coauthoring books about various historical aspects of the city.
the Great Southern Hotel as it looks today

Not surprisingly, of the approximately dozen and a half people in attendance, we were the youngest (with the exception of Mr. Betti) in attendance. One of the attendees, an older gentleman, bragged somewhat jokingly that he (or at least his company) was the reason for at least one of the hotels (Deshler I think?) closing as his newer, nicer one took its place. In spite of that, or perhaps because of, Ms. Uhas Sauer gave him a free book to show there were no hard feelings. Obviously this older gentleman was interested in the history of these now defunct buildings, or maybe he just came to brag or throw in his two cents worth. Either way, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Other attendees shared their stories of visiting these hotels; one remembering how down market one of the hotels had become when she stayed there in the 1960s. Another said she and her family always used to always have their Sunday meal at one of the hotels.

Andrew commented to me afterwards how interesting he thought the lecture was and even suggested we buy a copy of their book (so I did). We both look forward to adding it to our summer reading list.

Worldwide Knit in Public Day
Though I don’t personally knit, I have a great appreciation for this art, and hope to learn this skill (and crochet too) someday. Much thanks to my great friend, Leslie for getting me started by giving me a set of needles and an instruction guide. I promise you that someday I will actually get them out and have a go (or enroll in a class either).

Anyway, the Dublin Arts Council was having a party to celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day alongside their Yarn Over Dublin event which was installed earlier in the week. By “installed,” I mean that various pieces of public art in Dublin suddenly got a temporary (until about mid July) “yarn makeover.”

The first one I spotted was the infamous “Field of Corn (with Osage oranges),” which are draped with knitted squares (see above), a hat,
and even a bird or two.
The pair of children in downtown Dublin’s “Daily Chores” statue are clothed with sweaters (which is somewhat ironic given the extreme early summer temperatures lately). Jaunty Hornbeam, the giant sideways head on the front lawn of the DAC got a lovely hat as well.
I got to meet the artist who created it and asked her if it was like knitting a regular hat, only slightly larger in scale. She said it was pretty much the same process, and that she was given measurements to go by, though still needed to do some last minute alterations to it.

I felt a bit bad that I wasn’t there to knit (and openly admitted that when asked), but was there to express my appreciation for the cool yarn bombing over at the corn rows. I haven’t seen the other sculptures yet, but plan to visit as many as I can over the next several weeks. The lady who knitted the hat told me about a couple wool-related events (The Great Lakes Fiber Show & A Wool Gathering) after I told her about being interested in learning to weave. I made sure to jot down the details and have shared that info with my above mentioned friend (hoping perhaps we can attend one of these events together).

Many thanks to Karen Dendiu who hosted the event, Program Manager, Christine Langston, and Executive Director, David Guion. I very much enjoyed watching the slides of the knitters hard at work and seeing the various yarn creations installed at the different locations. The pastries and cookies were also very delicious. I’m not too embarrassed to admit I tried one of everything (though only ate one cookie) and felt stuffed for the rest of the afternoon. : )

Can’t wait to see the rest of the yarn bombing around the city. Besides visiting all the local Little Free Libraries, I will add to my summer bucket list a visit to the various public art around Dublin that has been so beautifully adorned.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Short North Gallery Hop

Saturday June 3, 2017
Tonight we attended our first ever Short North Gallery Hop (which is held on the first Saturday of every month). I can’t believe in our 13 years of living in Columbus we’ve never attended. I think that was mostly down to not wanting to deal with the hassle of parking. Thanks to endless bits of advice from our neighborhood social media site (Nextdoor Ridgewood), and our neighbor’s kind offer of his parking pass for a parking garage downtown, we had that detail all taken care of. I had a quick look at a list of all the galleries and who was hosting receptions and so forth,
and then we headed downtown. Even though it officially starts at 4pm, Andrew wanted to wait until it was a bit cooler (daytime temps were muggy and in the mid 80s I think). It was certainly a beautiful evening to be out as it had cooled down a bit and there was a gentle breeze.

While we were walking to the galleries we saw quite a lot of graduates from one of the Columbus city schools who had obviously had their ceremony at the convention center. Good night for a party afterwards!

Basically we spent the next three hours or so ducking in and out of galleries (grabbing a cookie here, a cookie there) and a few kitschy shops. We spent most of our time on one side of High Street before finally turning around a bit after 9pm. It can take forever to get down the street when there’s so many places to visit along the way.

There were also quite a few buskers playing their hearts out. My favorite of the entertainers had to be the old man with a small turntable and a stack of 45s that had run a power cord into a shop slightly below street level (though I forget what it was called, but it was owned & run by women acc. to their sign). He was just cleaning up when we came out of the shop. God bless his geriatric DJ soul. I love that you see all kinds of stuff like that in the Short North and downtown in general, which is definitely one of the reasons I enjoy visiting there because it’s a whole different world from life in the ‘burbs.

Andrew said his favorite exhibition was Tyler Bohm’s “Technorama” (Painting Meets Digital and Fabrication Technologies). [Sadly, I don’t have pictures since I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to take any and the postcard I have doesn’t really do it justice.]

Artist Statement:

The technologies that shape our lives represent an intriguing platform for speculation. They evoke an array of hypothetical futures drawn from both the dystopian and utopian ends of science fiction. I explore this evolving technological landscape by imagining futurist scenarios that reflect our broader hopes and fears about the present.

My work speculates on the imminent, drawing on science fiction narratives and past eras' visions of the future. It explores themes such as technophilia and technophobia, how we understand and relate to emerging artificial intelligences, and how we maintain a sense of normalcy in the face of rapid technological change.

These thematic interests dovetail with my process. I am interested in the role and potential of digital and fabrication technologies, and have adopted tools such as graphics software and a laser cutter to translate digital designs into physical objects which I paint and assemble by hand.

My favorite was “Possessed” by Jaye Schlesinger (see above). The exhibit is “a series of nearly 400 small paintings that depict each of her personal possessions. The series began when Schlesinger decided to downsize her belongings, and is informed by an interest in mindfulness and minimalism. Some paintings show objects that are purely practical, while some show objects that exist for beauty alone. By culling and then dutifully representing each object, Schlesinger raises questions about value, quantity and practicality in regards to the things we own and the reasons we keep them.” 

I overhead a pair of girls pointing out their favorite paintings to each other and then going over to the catalog to see what they cost. I believe they were each at least $100 (but perhaps closer to $200). I would have too hard a time just choosing just one. Instead I would probably prefer to have a catalog or some sort of a collage so I could have a bunch of them.

Although I would have liked to have stopped for ice cream, everyone else had the same idea because of the warm evening. The first ice cream shop we came across had a line out the door. A few blocks over at Jeni’s was the same situation. However, Le Chocoholique didn’t seem too busy, so we ducked in there. Since it was well after 9pm by this time, I didn’t want a coffee drink or anything too heavy, so I chose a smoothie for us to split. I wasn’t exactly very adventurous with my flavor choice, which was hot chocolate.
We also each chose a truffle. Mine was Peanut Butter & Jelly (perfect bit of heaven!) and Andrew’s was Blueberry (which he said was okay, but nothing special, really). Although the smoothie was tasty, it was rather difficult to suck up with a straw and really tasted more like a watered down Frosty (Wendy’s). Hence, in the future I would either pick a different flavor or just skip the smoothies.

All in all it was a fun evening, and I think I would like to do it again sometime when the weather’s nice. Other nearby cities have a similar evening. Delaware has a ‘First Friday’ event, whereas Grandview has their gallery hop on the last Saturday of every month; both of these events we've attended.

I also received this piece of advice (from Nextdoor Ridgewood) at one time:

Why not go to the Moonlight Market instead? It's fun and casual, like the Gallery Hop used to be. It's the second Saturday of every month and it's on Gay Street between High and 3rd. The restaurants stay open late, there's well over 100 booths with people selling everything imaginable, and good music playing with live musicians. Things don't cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, like the Arts Festival or Gallery Hop. Well worth spending a Saturday night down there. It's going on between 6pm and 11pm.

I guess that's another item for the Columbus Bucket List!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, June 2, 2017

National Fish & Chips Day

In honor of National Fish & Chip Day (at least in the UK), I thought I'd share some memorable moments of eating Fish & Chips (or chips with some other sandwich) over the eighteen years I've been married to my husband.
December 1999, Gloucester, England:
My best friend from college, Valerie, was visiting on her way home from the Peace Corps. On her last night in town we thought we'd treat her to a local (and national) speciality, which was fish and chips from our local chip shop (Oxstalls Lane Fryer?) around the corner. The three of us eagerly tucked in enjoying the British treat as well as each other's company. I think food sometimes tastes better when you're in the company of friends. Afterwards we went bowling at a brand new Ten Pin Bowling place on the outskirts of town.
April 2012, Brighton Beach, Adelaide (AUS):
It was Easter and we were visiting Andrew's brother & his family. We had spent the day celebrating with the Aussie Mays and their UK expat friends, which was fun, and certainly more exciting than our usual stay-at-home-alone Easters. About mid afternoon it was decided to take the party to the beach, so we all piled into our vehicles, dogs in tow, and headed for the sand and surf. Towards late afternoon someone suggested picking up chips and eating at the beach. My brother-in-law Paul and I headed for the chip shop with our scribbled order in hand. It was a bit of a wait, but well worth it. I don't know if it was the beautiful sunset we enjoyed while eating, or the mouth watering chips (& sides) or the company, but it was definitely one of the most memorable meals I've ever had, and probably the best Easter Sunday I've celebrated.
August 2013, Brighton Beach, England:
We had dinner at the infamous Harry Ramsden's, which is a well-known Fish & Chip chain in the UK. Andrew, who is not a fan of fish, had the bangers and mash instead
while his parents and I all had the cod and chips, which was absolutely delicious (not sure if I ate all my peas or not, but that's a standard side dish, which is usually served as 'mushy peas.')

August 2016, Barmouth, Wales:
After spending the first half of the day in one of the most picturesque towns in Wales (Portmeirion), we hit the road and made our way to Barmouth where Andrew had made reservations for us to stay in a castle (really just a fancy hotel on the hill). It had started raining while we were enroute, so we were somewhat soggy by the time we arrived. The proprietor couldn't have been nicer as he seemed the type who loved talking to foreigners (me). Probably close to an hour later we finally made our way upstairs to our room after learning that their chef was out sick, so we'd have to seek sustenance elsewhere. As much as I like an adventure when I am on vacation, I dislike getting wet, and we spent most of our time in Northern Wales getting absolutely drenched. 

view of the inside of the hotel

Having no choice, we schlepped back into our rental CRV and made our way to town where we looked in a few windows, both of us getting annoyed with the other when it came to making a decision. We finally stumbled upon a chip shop that either took credit cards or was more affordable than our other options, so we made our choice. Since we were already a little wet and paying for a perfectly good hotel room we hadn't yet spent much time in, we decided to take our order to go. I'm not sure if we were allowed to bring food up to our room, so we made sure to make a low key entrance, and I think the proprietor was away from his desk. After taking off our wet things we enjoyed our feast (me sitting at the desk eating my sandwich and chips while Andrew sat on the bed and ate his). I remember watching an interesting documentary on the BBC afterwards while I sorted my Ireland souvenirs into a plastic binder I had purchased.

Friday June 2, 2017

Although I would have preferred to have dined at either the Brazenhead in Dublin (which has intimate little snugs you can dine in and is the closest thing to a pub you get in central Ohio) or the Dublin Village Tavern (which has outdoor seating), both would have been absolutely heaving from not only the usual weekend rush, but also visitors from The Memorial (golf) Tournament. Hence, we stayed in Hilliard and went to get our fish and chips at the Rusty Bucket. What it lacked in authenticity it more than made up for with its family friendly environment (though I think I prefer dining with more adults and fewer children). Still, at least we didn't really have to wait for a table, and we probably saved a little money too (especially as it was happy hour so I got a glass of wine for about $4).

P. S. It's also National Donut Day, so Andrew and I had some Tim Bits with our breakfasts this morning.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend (2017)

Friday May 26, 2017
As per usual (for Memorial Day wknd), I started out the weekend by purchasing a hanging plant for our patio. I knew that would probably be the first of many plants I’d buy over the weekend, and I was right. The hanging plant I chose was a fuschia, which is definitely my favorite flower when it comes to hanging baskets (or bushes). I think that’s because we had a fuschia bush in front of the house we rented in Gloucester back in 1998-1999. My mother-in-law took a cutting which grew into a rather sizeable bush at the house they just sold in Wellington. I wish we had the climate to keep a fuschia bush alive, but sadly, I’ve had to settle for just the occasional hanging plant over the summer.

Friday night we went out to dinner at a local favorite Japanese restaurant called Kikoyo. Honestly, I was a bit jealous of all the people eating out on the patio at Figlio’s next door, but I really wanted sushi, so it was indoor dining for us. Andrew ordered a bento box while I got the ‘Hot Mess’ sushi
(which reminded me of Trish ‘Hot Mess’ McKinney). Having liked the Saki I had last fall with our Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to order some more with the help of our waitress. I ended up liking this Saki even more than what we bought from World Market. We each enjoyed sipping out of our little cups while Andrew had his soup and I ate his salad before our main courses were brought out. We both ended up having enough food that we had leftovers (which we later ate on Sunday night).
Saki & Green Tea Ice Cream to finish

Saturday May 27, 2017
The day started out cloudy, but the sun came out by early afternoon. Wanting to do at least one day trip, after surfing the web for a bit and looking through a list of festivals in Central Ohio, I decided on a visit to the Springfield Museum of Art. It was the last weekend for Industrial Nature: Works by Michelle Stitzlein.
We had originally planned to visit on my birthday, but the museum isn’t open on Mondays, so we shelved that plan. I’m glad we finally made it out there because it was a truly spectacular exhibit. I love art made with discarded objects; though I’m not sure if all the parts were, but some pieces were definitely old. Because of all the pieces of hose pipe, many of the pieces had a somewhat aquatic nature to them and reminded me of some of the plants that grow on coral reefs. 

I think Andrew and I both agreed that the pair of moths were our favorite pieces.

Before we left we had a look at the Stories by Hand: (quilts by) Marianne Raab Britton), 


as well as the watercolor paintings by the local watercolor society

and the Gardens and Ponds paintings of Jennifer Rosengarten. All were very impressive. Even though we didn’t have to pay the $5 admission fee (because we’re members of the CMA which has a reciprocal agreement), we definitely got our money’s worth, and even more importantly, felt it was worth the 45 minute drive there (but we also stopped and had lunch at CafĂ© Mundo on our way over).

Sunday May 28, 2017
Today after church I decided to bite the bullet and buy some more plants for our patio and the bed underneath our Florida Room window. I ended up buying (3) hostas, (2) varieties of Basil (lime and cinnamon), a couple spider plants, a cluster of misc. flowers and some funky grass. $62 and a full cart later, I headed home with my foliage and spent most of the afternoon getting things into various pots and the hostas into the flower bed. It was worth the effort as I’m pretty pleased with the results. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that I can keep everything alive for the duration of the summer.

Since the weather was still pretty nice (rain predicted for some time later though) we decided to chance it and head down to the Columbus Commons for “Evolutionaries.” It was a David Bowie & Prince tribute concert
put on by Shadowbox (a local theatre company whose home venue is near German Village). The concert lasted just over two hours, but it wasn’t exactly a concert under the stars since it was a bit overcast,
but we were happy that the rain held off until we were in the car on our way home.
Although it was a bit difficult to see since we were so far back on the commons (probably should have gotten there sooner to stake out a good spot closer to the stage), I occasionally zoomed in on the action using my camera while taking pictures for this blog, etc.
tribute to Ziggy Stardust
Even though they didn’t play Andrew’s favorite Prince song (“Raspberry Beret”), they covered a fair amount of material between the two artists, and furthermore, it was FREE, so you can’t ask for more than that. I look forward to attending more concerts on the Commons in the future.

Monday May 29, 2017
I had no specific plans for today other than to try and do as many art projects as I had time for. Other than spray painting a couple pages of an art journal I’m working on, all I really accomplished was constructing a Tin Can Pen Rack, which I had read about in a book awhile back and kept meaning to assemble. Like with most projects that seem effortless, it took a little longer than I had anticipated. For one thing, I had the wrong size hair bands for attaching my cans to the pole, and I had some difficulty figuring out how to attach it to the wall. After a trip to Walmart and some assistance from my husband, Andrew, we eventually got it up on the wall.

I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day and enjoyed their three day weekend. Have a great week everyone!