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Cutting Board 15″ x 11″ tempered glass

12″ square plate

6″ square plate

On February 29th, 2012, Davy Jones of the Monkees died of a massive heart attack.  I was sad.   I liked the Monkees (no they were not the Beatles or the Stones) but they were fun and cute and had a stupidly funny TV show that I watched when I was a kid.  I had a crush on Mickey Dolenz and not Davey Jones, but I’m still sad Davey’s  gone.  (He was 66 and had a 36 year old wife!   Maybe THAT’S what killed him?)

Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees, and people say we monkey around.

But we’re too busy singing to put anybody down.

Now I have those infectious Monkees’ songs in my head.  At least they drown out the voices.

What’s up with February 29th?   It’s a strange day.  When I was home yesterday switching over from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar I wondered why we have a February 29th.

The Gregorian calendar includes leap years so that one day we don’t wake up and find ourselves celebrating Christmas in the summer.   Leap years are defined as follows:  Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100; the centurial years that are exactly divisible by 400 are still leap years. For example, the year 1900 is not a leap year; the year 2000 is a leap year.  

Got that?  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

When my nephew Jimmy was young (and a smarty pants) he asked his dad why October is the tenth month when Octo means eight. (Think octomom!)   His dad explained that October USED to be the 8th month but then Julius and Augustus Caesar wanted their own months…namely July and August.  Jimmy thought for a moment and decided to he wanted his own month to be called Jimuary.   Cool!    Now I want my own month.  It will be called  Napember. It’s a month were we can all catch up on our sleep.  (you may recall that I retain the title of  Tiredest Person that Ever Lived.)

I’m working on paintings that aren’t even in a stage where I can show them as a work in progress, so here’s some decoupage under glass pieces I’ve also been working on.   Glass is hard to photograph.

Just back from a fantastic trip to Croatia (or Hrvatska as the Croatians call it).  It was the Husband’s big birthday trip. Our first stop was Istria, a peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic.  That is where my father’s family comes from.   We got to see the town my grandmother came from which was fun.  The town is called Šušnjevica and I spoke about it and painted it here and here.   There will be many more paintings to come, but in the meantime here is a similar plate as the plates I made to give to my cousin’s cousins (got that?) who live in Pula and have, among other things, a vineyard.

Some observations from the trip:

Croatians are a tall people.

Germans are also a tall people and apparently like to take all their clothes off in the sun.

Europeans in general cannot stand in line if their life depended on it.  There may be a semblance of a line say, to get on a catamaran to take one to Hvar, but as soon as that catamaran docks, it’s a free-for-all.  This made the Husband nuts!  (Members of the UK are excluded from this observation. They excel at queuing!)

It amazes me that so many people from other countries can speak multiple languages.  I am always jealous of this.  One time in particular, there was a Croatian who spoke to my cousin’s cousin, who then turned and translated to my cousin in Italian who then turned and translated it into English for us.  Sigh.  I wish I was multi-lingual.  I also wish I was taller, younger, richer and weighed less.

The first native word the Husband learns is the word for beer.  (In Croatian it’s Pivo.)

“Trst” is the Croatian word for the Italian town of Trieste.  Krk is a Croatian island in the Adriatic.  Many of the Croatian words have impossibly long consonant combinations that make it difficult for non-speakers to even try to pronounce.  There are also many accented letters.  The Husband asked a native why they have little or few vowels in many of their words.  She thought about this for a moment, shrugged and said nonchalantly replied “we don’t need them”.    So there you go.

An amazing amount of Europeans still smoke.  I am astounded by that.

The myth of the skinny European has been debunked.  Many are as fat as Americans.

The Adriatic Sea is crystal clear and many beautiful shades of blue.

Croatians love their Crocs (which they call crocsies).

More on Croatia (Istria and the Dalmation Coast) with (hopefully) some paintings in later posts.

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