Cleat, Coach, Courtesy

At what point did we (they), as a society become so self-centered that children are no longer taught MANNERS!

Today was an example how the “ME” generation treats other people.    I walked into my local Starbucks and noticed that there was a long line waiting to be served.   I set my laptop down on a chair to “reserve” the little side table designated for one/two people.    As soon as I walked near the counter, in came a large group of girls in soccer outfits.

I decided to relinquish my place in line because I knew the Baristas would be inundated with non-stop drinks to craft — one at a time.   Shortly after cleaning off my table (helping the employees who make your drinks, clean the tables, mop the floor, sanitize the restrooms)  I noticed the entire area in front of the counter was getting piles of dirt clumps from their cleats.

The generation long past the 1980s may have been on their way to a game, yet there was NO understandable reason that the woman or man coach wouldn’t have mentioned to the group of 15 girls to kick the dirt off their sneakers before entering the drinking/eating/food establishment.  Forgetful?   Busy? OR how ’bout — inconsiderate!

Considering I was born in the generation when we still had respect for our parents, teachers, elders, aunts/uncles AND business establishments, I simply said in a kind way.   “Could you ladies step outside for a moment to kick off the dirt on your sneakers?”   The women coach said “It will be OK.”   I looked puzzled and said “but they are getting dirt all over the floor.” She continued to explain “We’re on our way to a game.”

Frappuccino – founded in 1993

The next thought came in my mind was Why didn’t they wait till AFTER the game to get drinks?   I was flabbergasted by the arrogance of this “role model (?!)   The “coach” just showed, by her words and actions that it did not matter if they walked into a private, open-to-the-public business, and drop dirt from one door to the next.    She showed her team that they were ENTITLED to their behaviors.  The male coach in a short time (I went to my table stunned by their discourtesy) commented “You better get used to it.”

REALLY?   I’m expected to get accustomed to arrogant, disrespectful children — Nope, not gonna happen, though I may need to look the other way — or leave — when I notice such disrespectful behavior in the future.

The topper-off was when the male “coach” turned to me attempting to make a point by saying “I guess you’re here for the Free wireless . . .”    Well that did it!     I looked him straight in his face and said “NO.  I bring my OWN wireless.”  The children were noticeably mocking the situation.    BUT, there was the last girl in line who actually appeared sincere, and said the cliché expression “Have A Nice Weekend (Day)” .   I said “Thank-you.”   That ONE child may be the only person on her team to carry consideration into the future.

What the world needs now — is not LOVE — that’s over exaggerated with the expressions of: I love pizza, cellphones, cats/dogs, Starbucks, ice cream, the NFL.

We miss you Emily Post.  What the world needs NOW — is MANNERS.

50 Shades of Grey – Part 2

Yesterday, I discovered that I am “trendy.”   That’s an amusing revelation for me at 56 years of age.   As it turns out, there is a new fashion trend across the world to create “Granny Hair.”   I’m not a grandmother, yet I do have grey hair – at least my roots are naturally grey.

My first grey hair was spotted in college. Those were easy to pluck out. They were hidden by the long, wavy dark brown tresses that measured to my mid back. Three decades later, trips to a salon and hundreds of boxes of hair color later, I have decided to embrace the effects of “mother nature.”

Image result for grey in nature 

There is a slight correlation to the pepper/white vehicle I drive and I have been accustomed to wearing black and white as a musician long before my hair began to transform.

Choral Concert Clothing

I’m anticipating the transition to my “Granny Hair” hair and facilitated the process through another popular style – the “layered bob.”

My fraternal grandmother had lovely looking locks of silver for most of the time I knew her. My father’s hair remained salt and pepper from his 60s till it became snowy white wisps in his final years. My mother – well, it’s better if I let her give a descriptive posting on her blog . . .

I’m certainly thankful that the fashion of wearing a grey wig has not become a trend!

Image result for classical concert musician attire   Image result for salt and pepper

Now is it grey or gray?

Here is history repeating itself — through the fashion of hair styles and color.

Hairstyles of Roman Women

Hairstyles of Roman Women

Vincent & the Monkey

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Originally posted on Danny Gregory:
Long after his death, Vincent van Gogh has been diagnosed with everything from schizophrenia to syphilis. He may have been bipolar or epileptic, eaten too much paint or drunk too much absinthe. Did van Gogh…

50 Shades of Grey

oboeart:

I was reminded of this blog post tonight.

Originally posted on iCygnet:

humanae-project

Tonight I met the sister of a classmate from my High School.  I had the chance to let her know how much I admired her family for being the only black family to enroll in my small town school in the 1970s and ask what it was like for them.  We knew we received a very good public school education and acknowledged the respect we gave to teachers who were in charge of our education. We reminisced about the “old days” as they were — but mostly admitted how glad we were to move on in our life from High School.  Over 35 years later, this wonderfully educated women transcends the prejudices society, towns and gender based systems hold on to regarding race and gender.

This is a re-blog from 2012 and seemed very appropriate to re-post after seeing

It’s interesting how much our country is shades of grey, yet…

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Snow, Smell, Smile

This season has been as unpredictable in Pennsylvania as usual.  We did however, get the snow that was in the forecast.  There was 7.5″ in our “neck of the woods.”    It was a good snow for packing and creating snow sculptures — an activity I promoted in my former arts organization.

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We were only inconvenienced for one day.  And that one snow day was a good time to catch up on blogs and online sales listings.

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The smell of chocolate/peanut butter and sugar cookies in the next room were somewhat distracting.  The end result — was delicious.
The “accidently” broken cookies needed a taste-testing. Lucky for me.

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The cookies on the left were enhanced with a dusting of  white crystals (ala Frozen).   I had a tradition of baking chocolate cookies on the first snowfall of the year.  I’m sure I will bring that activity back when I have my own home and kitchen for baking.

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If you have any photos of your snow creations or cookies — be sure to send them my way.

I anticipate a box of baked goods for this upcoming holiday :)

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One of my favorites — crescent cookies!

 

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

oboeart:

This is one of the few blogs I follow — well written and insightful — fits right in to my blog concept.

Originally posted on It keeps me wondering:

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a day back in circa 1988, when I was stranded in a small beach town, with a 10 digit phone number written on a piece of paper, that wasn’t getting through to anyone because the phone it was ringing was “out of range.”

Back then, after the stress of that day was in the past, I got a lot of mileage from retelling that story. With a story-teller’s licence, I felt free to exaggerate certain elements, and downplay others, and I seem to recall that the audience was in stitches when I retold it a few years later at my friend’s 21st.

Now that its 2014, the humour is somewhat lost – it just sounds quaint. Nowadays, the main point that story serves to reveal is my age, but also, the enormous advances in mobile phone technology that have occurred in the…

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Strange and Stunning

TriangleHead PredatorPrayingMantis

The Praying Mantis is a protected insect and it is illegal to kill one.   TRUE or FALSE *

Some facts about the Praying Mantis:

The praying mantis is sometimes called the dragon because it is a fierce hunter.

There are about 1,700 varieties of praying mantis.

The two forward legs of the mantis have sharp spines like a jack knife.

The mantis uses its two front legs to attack it’s prey.

The mantis females are the among biggest insects.

The Latin name of the praying mantis is Tenodera Sinensis.

The female mantis lays up to 300 eggs.

Most mantis live in warm climates.

The mantis will attack butterflies, bees, beetles, frogs, spiders, mice, lizards, and small birds.

The female sometimes eats the male after mating.

The mantis has very good eyesight.

The female mantis can not fly due to all of the eggs in her abdomen.

Mantis nymphs march single file.

When nymphs hunt they eat leafhoppers, aphids, and very small flies.

The mantis sheds its skin twelve times before it is full grown.

The female mantis lays her eggs in the fall.

The mantis nymph is tiny like a mosquito.

The front legs of the nymph have claws for holding their prey.

Praying mantises bite the back of their victim’s neck to paralyze it.

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*FALSE.  The praying mantis is not protected by any type of law.  It’s an insect as easily captured as any if you are fortunate to see them.  Most people don’t bother with them unless trying to make a grand statement for an insect collection for science class.

I find the praying mantis fascinating and creepy.

The Mantis vs Mouse — This video shows some disturbing pictures of nature in action.

Wonderful Winged Walkingstick

When was the last time I saw one of these cool creatures?   I don’t remember.

Here it is — the walking stick.

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But I sure was thrilled to have this resident of the woods visit me this Autumn.

He was easy to spot on the aluminum garage door, but his methods of camouflage are quite impressive.

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I did some online research to learn more about this fascinating stick insect.

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Not very easy to hide on a bin of art prints – I spotted him immediately.

One day when I opened the garage door, he fell to the ground — not hurt — but “played dead” to keep the predator from getting him.

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I looked closely at this prostrate positioned insect.  He sure looked dead — legs and body stiff as a stick . . .

I went about my business and within 5 minutes the little guy was walking and jumping from post to pillar.

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Simple facts about the walking stick — HERE and more detailed facts HERE.

These amazing creatures and others that I meet at my mountain office make my time in transition a true discover of joy.

 

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~mARTi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boobies or Bullies

October is a month of crisp cool air for those of us living in the Northeast.  Although autumn involved two of the worst events in my life, the fall remains my favorite season.

BreastCancer      Breast Cancer   Breast Cancer

October is the month designated for observing and screening for cancer.  The color PINK is everywhere you look — ribbons, shirts, pins — hair and food. Boobies are easier to think about and discuss. We get images of nurturing a life of an infant to a sensual adult pleasure.  What’s not to like about boobs/breasts?  Fundraisers for awareness, screening and survivors receive wholehearted support — emotionally and financially.

The reports of school violence astound us.  Random shootings for revenge trouble us.  We have become aware of ministers, priests, teachers, coaches, counselors who have crossed the line of comfort to criminal.  It takes years for most abuse victims to step forward from the shadow of silence and confront the creeps.

October is also Domestic Violence awareness month.   But who wants to hear about Bullies? Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness.   The title — just makes us uncomfortable.   Well, it should.

Most of the criminal acts are not seen on a surveillance camera that caught an NFL player who kicked and punched the person who loved and trusted him.   No. Most violence is of a coercive nature. It happens inside the victim’s home – where we are told to keep the offense behind closed lips and doors.  I also relate to the Stockholm Syndrome.  One of the multitude of strange lines the abuser said to me was “You talk to your mother too much.”   Here is a helpful link to know the signs.

circle-of-violence  Power-control-wheel-9-Clare-Murphy-PhD

The best decision I ever made in my life was getting out of a long-term abusive relationship. The worst part of my life occurred after making that decision.   “Classic Abuse” is what it is called —  impossible to know what is happening when you’re in the middle of it.
People asked “Why did you put up with it?” “Why didn’t you leave sooner?” In addition to corrupt court counsel, I experienced over 2 years of blame and bullying from family members.  I never blamed them for not noticing, asking or mentioning what had ALL the signs of abuse (isolation, overworked, siphoned income, covert physical violence, stalking, and harassment).

If you ask “How are you?” — try to pry or she (he) could die from the effect of avoiding the topic of bullying – a not yet full blown version of abuse.  I was a private person in a public position – operating nearly eight successful businesses by the time I had to evacuate my home/town.    We were all in it together — one abuser leading — the rest of us were left in shock from the result.

No More Silence. No More Violence.

NO more

Thank you to the people I’ve met in my transitional life’s journey.  Those who listened with kindness and no blame.  I’m still not completely free, but I’m doing fine and flourishing.

I came, I saw, I conkered

oboeart:

Here is a blog post from on of the folks I read weekly.

Originally posted on Anne Wheaton:

conkers from horse chestnut tree

Around the perimeter of our garden stand some huge horse chestnut trees that were probably planted a hundred years ago. From the kitchen table, we watch each year as the first green buds appear and the tree bursts into leaf and then the candle like spikes of blossom appear. Ignoring the lower branches where the leaves turn brown because the caterpillars of leaf-mining moth attack them, the trees in summer are a majestic sight providing shade and effectively screening that which lies behind.

Now that autumn is just around the corner, everything starts to drop from the horse chestnut trees. In the middle of the night, when all is quiet, conkers drop noisily onto the tin roof of the garage and bounce down. Walk under horse chestnut trees at this time of year and you’ll hear the thud as the conkers hit the grass. Just watch out that you don’t…

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Time and Talent

This is an article written in 2010 for a writers blog.

 

How to Succeed as an Illustrator Without Really Trying

(and Other Misperceptions)

Talented Tabby Cover

by Martha Pineno

Choosing to be an artist was a decision, not a dream. I wasn’t born with drawing and painting ability. There’s NO talent here, just a decision based on interest and the guidance and support of my parents. My first interest in art came late in Junior High. Art classes in High School and summer art camps gave me the skills requisite for an art career.

I first trained to be an art teacher. Four years, two summers of art study in college gave me that opportunity. I’m a late blooming illustrator. But I believe my years as an elementary art instructor gave me insight into how young persons’ minds work and what would get the picture across. I needed to motivate children to learn new concepts with stimulating projects both in medium and idea.

When starting an illustration project

Where do I start? For accuracy, I ask the author what she prefers. Then do visual research. People have pre-conceived ideas about what something may be. For example, given the task to paint a dog one conjures up at least a dozen images of various breeds. So the image needs to be narrowed to one concept. Then elaboration can begin.

Doodle on scratch paper. Create thumbnail sketches. Ideas don’t just pop and picture themselves on paper. Read the text, letting an idea emerge into a cartoon type image. Then start sequencing. Put the ideas in order to match the script. If working with an author who is receptive to ideas, one might even suggest simpler text, easier to illustrate in a more active manner.

Inspiration?

Ideas are everywhere. Observe. Research online. I actually have to shut off my creative mind in order to get daily tasks completed. I constantly look forward to future projects, trying to find ways to fit illustrating into 24-hour days.

What keeps me motivated?

I’m self-motivated, but being paid for a project gives me extra energy. I’m also concerned about pleasing persons for whom I’m illustrating. I need verification they’re content with my work. I never assume all my work is great. Small suggestions for improvement are welcome but I become annoyed if something requires repainting mostly because of the additional time it will take to correct. However, being somewhat a perfectionist, getting things just right takes precedence over my feelings.

My favorite illustrated book?

Talented Tabby because it focused on one character, Leo. I had more time to complete it and fewer distractions.

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Second favorite?

The Coffee Connection, a compilation of my designs and paintings created over a 25-year span. I find hand-done illustrating more satisfying than computer art.

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Medium choice?

Watercolor, acrylics, oils, pen & ink, cut paper, photography. Sometimes the illustrating process is determined by the medium. In general watercolor has a soft, fluid, spontaneous look. For an Early Reader my first illustrated book (watercolor) appeared delicate. Adding ink enhanced detail. Varying medium makes subsequent books unique beyond just text.

What inspires my illustrations?

Characters. But story determines background. Photos help with characters and accuracy in motion. I often combine several photos to create one illustrated page.

Lifeless illustrations?

Not mine! Paint’s naturally intrinsic motion by the brush lends flowing attention to detail. My years of painting, particularly people and animals, serve me well.

Challenges and Suggestions?

Designing entire books. Planning page turns. Blocks around art? Word placement? Title and Signing pages? Page number to meet publishing/printing costs? To stimulate mind pictures early on, divide manuscript into sections. Then focus on one action or detail. Readers can picture the rest. Since each page must relate to previous and next page of story art, illustrating is probably harder than painting complex individual artworks. Working with someone else’s idea can be difficult when it isn’t something you’d choose to paint.

LeoWindowBored

Arts or Alcohol, Books or Beer

This week in my email there was a Groupon for a Paint Nite.   It is a painting activity scheduled in a Pub:  In just about two hours, while you’re sipping on a cocktail, our performing artists will guide you through each painting so that you come up with your own unique masterpiece at the end of the night that you will be amazed YOU created…You just bring your fun loving friends and have a few cocktails to keep the spirits high and inhibitions to a minimum and we’ll make sure your inner Picasso is unleashed.

How did I manage to get through 4+ years of Art School without a drink?!  Geeze – Do you think I could have earned better than an “A” with alcohol in my system?    I know artists and musicians are considered “free-spirits” and “non-conformists”, but I realize after all these years since college (35), is that I am one of the few TRUE non-conformists in the world. I don’t do drugs.  I don’t smoke.  I don’t drink.

I founded an art studio in the early 1990s, promoted musicians, added Coffeehouse in 2006.   We were the most amazing and creative facility in the area — till an abuser became determined to destroy the joy.  I had a Drink-n-Draw activity in the studio/coffeehouse 10 years ago, so I find this new Art and Alcohol activity amusing and annoying.
I became successful because I have ALL my “faculties.”

Back in 2009, my mother and I displayed our picture book “A Box of Bears” (I’m the illustrator) at a downtown festival in a former bank along side a photographer, potter and painter.    We met many people who were gracious enough to listen and hear how the story and illustrations evolved.   We sold a handful of items.

I walked out the front of the building and noticed a long, long, line of people forming on the opposite side of the street, stretching all the way from the middle of the main street intersection down the block.   I inquired what the line-up was about from a gentleman who was also selling his illustrated book.  He informed me that there was a special wine and beer tasting event scheduled at 2 pm.  People had to sign up for it ahead of time, get the special bracelet, and wait in line to show they were of legal age to drink.

I had three thoughts:

  1. I have never or probably will never drink any alcoholic beverage.
  2. Who would ever want to wait in a line that long just to get a drink?
  3. Wasn’t the event supposed to be a community arts & crafts day?!

So, I went inside to let my mom know what all the fuss was about.   I shook my head in disbelief for the condition of the human race. We haven’t evolved socially over the centuries.  We just have technology to talk about it and take risks with the effects.

I said:  “Art or Alcohol”, Books or Beer – I could add: Music or Meth, Dance or Drugs

We have become a culture that can’t get together socially without expecting some form of alcohol in our hands.   There are signs outside of eating establishments with BYOB – as if 15 + different beverages they have aren’t enough of a choice and suitable for customers to consume.

It’s enough to “drive you to drink.”  But don’t drink and drive – difficult to do when you drove away from home to that event.

 

Share the Shelter

This link to the newsletter from The Community Action Program of Lancaster County provides some wonderful insight into how women (yes, it’s still predominantly women) survive the destruction from domestic violence.

I was intrigued by the article of the lady who housed pets for victims.   It is interesting to note that there are MORE shelters for animals than for human victims of DV.

When I needed assistance, town police were inept (duped with the con-manipulation) and there were no rooms available in any Lancaster County shelters.   I also learned that a mother of 4 children couldn’t find a place to stay in the entire Philadelphia area.

Carmel Reflection

Carmel reflecting on his days as a homeless cat

Carmel on the Parlor Seat

Carmel on the parlor seat in the coffeehouse

Carmel, my cat, had been locked from his litter box and food on the days I stayed away.   My employee would discover this situation upon entering for her shift.

I was able to flee with my cat at the end of Sept 2011, to a home of a former customer.   The family was willing to let Carmel stay with me for a couple days.   Unfortunately the home owner got weird about her space.  She began to think I might want to move in (no way) after she invited me to teach lessons in her sun room. She had her own dragons to slay . . .   As it turned out, her husband rounded up volunteers to remove many of my belongings and put them in a free storage space for a year — very thoughtful, indeed.

I had to move 1.5 hours away from the town I called home for 27 years.  Three years have passed since I made the decision to end an abusive relationship.  I was able to get out before the physical violence escalated.  I kept my customers and employees safe — but we were out of work and my 7 businesses destroyed within 90 days.

I’m still not completely free but Carmel is here with me today — watching as I write.  He’s been my comfort cat through everything.   His day of adoption is coming up early May.   I can finally say that both Carmel and I are doing well :) though we still need a home to call our own.   Anybody got leads?

There’s No Place — Like a Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secure Safe Shelter

Throughout my life, I learned of people who were homeless.  One person was an employee from a public school in which I taught for 10 years.  She and her children considered the car a home for several weeks.

  • There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the US. There are 3,800 animal shelters. (Schneider, 1990) Numbers have increased in the same proportion since then.

A woman is seen in a shelter built by California artist Gregory Kloen.

Then, a young adult student whose father couldn’t pay the rent for an apartment they occupied entered the studio looking agitated.  I asked “Are you living in your car?”  He, reluctantly replied, “uhmhm, yes, I am”. My poignant and persistent question led him to ask if I knew of a place for him to stay.  Well, there was space . . . in the basement of my studios.  He stayed till he found an affordable apartment.

After opening a coffeehouse, another young person came for help.  He (an avid reader) had frequented the public library. The government-funded entity added a coffee shop (8 months after mine!) in the space this fellow took refuge. He crashed on sofas in friend’s homes.  I could only offer a bar of soap and towel to freshen up in the not-yet-opened pottery painting place.  He eventually moved 35 miles away to live with an aunt/uncle.

Empathy has always been part of my nature.   My kindness however was used to provide identity and income for illicit indigents.  I housed a family-in-law for 18 years in property I owned.  They needed assistance.   It seemed like the right thing to do . . .

Then — I finally woke up from the controlled cash captivity. The harm and hurt had to stop.   I couldn’t live in fear anymore, nor be a slave-tenant in my home.  MANipulated to pay to live and work in my own home, I was able to support myself, business, employees.  The fact that my family was covertly robbed and my community company was embezzled to support a con-X and HIS family — that was inconceivable.

The basement that once provided refuge to a former student became my only option.  The x-CON who I graciously agreed to house after his release — was fired from his job — replaced me in my own basement refuge.  I am shocked and dumbfounded that I was forced to leave my home and self-sustaining career.  MANeuvered by a Con, his Counsel and the Court.

Even Safety and Security take precedence over Shelter.

  •  The costs of intimate partner violence in the US exceeds $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

California artist Gregory Kloen, who builds small portable homes using salvaged materials, says an inexpensive structure is a way to keep someone safe and out of jail.

How many of these shelters fit in one Pro-athlete, Politician, Lawyer or Hollywood home?

Leave it to a creative entrepreneur to solve a serious concern over shelter.   Government can’t do it — they’re too CONcerned about their own paychecks and trips to paradise island.

Spinster or Spouse

It is preferable to be a single spinster than surviving the wrath of a louse-a-spouse.  Thanks to a former customer for sharing this artist’s link on Facebook. The artist represents a great photo perspective on the social pressure women experience to conform to society and the expectation to marry and have a family.   Being a single female is a better option for me than what I experienced in a 22-year covertly coerced cover-up commitment.  I’d still have the career that I began as a 21 year old single female.  a MANikin can’t embezzle from a successful career woman’s business.   There may be a need for a female version also.

2013 At Home - SLEEPING IN - 650px-wmk

no chance for assault . . .

The current legal counsel doesn’t like my use of sarcasm in describing the bizarre events leading up to my abrupt exit from my long-standing career.  I comment that sarcasm is simply Truth with a Twist.

More about sarcasm in another post . . .