Monthly Archives: January 2013

Tea, African Red Roobis

1-Twinnings Red Tea copy copy

I started drinking African Red Roobis when I discovered it at a coffee shop. Then, after five years passed, it was no longer available. That’s when I started buying the Twinnings label that I can easily find in stores in the United States.

Nowadays my office is not located twenty-five miles from home and I find myself taking breaks to drink a hot cup when I  feel the need to “boost my energy level”. Red tea, also known as Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is a cross between herbal  and black tea. It is the only tea product that is naturally caffeine free and high in antioxidants. And, if you like sugar in your tea, you might want to try Teavana’s German Rock Sugar, unrefined sugar crystals.

And, if you live in England or other countries where they perhaps have tea at a certain time every day, then you might think of me when you do.  In my first book, Adventures with Easton, The Magical Journey, my main character, Easton, shares a cup of tea with his father who reminisces about growing up in London where his mother served tea promptly at 4 o’clock every day.

On the other hand, Red and Herbal “teas” aren’t teas at all, but herbal infusions made from the Rooibos bush, in the case of Red tea, or from fruits, flowers and other plants for Herbal teas. All teas are born from the Camellia sinensis plant and once picked, the leaves are treated to different processes on their way to becoming Black, Oolong, Green or White tea. Perhaps you can find “a tea that’s just your type” at Twinnings .

WRITER’S TIP FOR STRETCHING: Before I go back upstairs to work in my office after taking a break, I make sure to walk up and down the stairs at least four times.  I’ve found that if I step up two steps at a time when going “up” and hold the handrail, I can get a long stretch. Stair climbing stretches are good aerobic exercise releasing the tightness in those hip and upper leg muscles caused by sitting too long in a chair in front of a desktop computer. (Now, it’s time to post this and get back to work &  finish writing book 2)

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, January 31, 2013


Filed under Books, Writing



Moses-the-Hamster © by Mary Gilmartin

Once upon a time several years ago in a preschool classroom a dwarf hamster lived inside a large cage. He loved to run, stopping only long enough to grab a bite to eat. When humans got too close to his space, one of his favorite things to do was to play hide-and-see.  Then, he would poke his head out from the opening of a tunnel to see if anyone was looking. Sometimes if you listened closely you could hear him say, “Moses is my name. I bet you can’t find me the next time.”

All of the four-year olds in the classroom begged to hold and pet him. Most were gentle with him because he was so tiny. One day someone wasn’t careful and he accidentally slipped from their hands. He fell and hit the hard floor. Alas, one of his legs was broken. Moses found a temporary new home for a couple of weeks away from the preschool until it mended with the help of some bandages and a splint.

Today he is no longer living but, I’m sure he will not be forgotten. His memory will stay with every one of those children who touched him.  And for me, I’ll always remember him. You did know that he liked it when I asked him, “Is it okay to take your photograph?”

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, January 29, 2013


Filed under Writing

Art: Picasso

Picasso 006In my collection from 1986, I have a memorable videocassette set about Picasso. They are a comprehensive video anthology taken from intimate and exclusive home movies and photos containing over 600 works, many never seen in public that cover Part 1: The Man and His Work (1881-1937) and Part 2: The Man and His Work (1938-1973).

The series was made by Edward Quinn, a photographer and film maker, who had the complete collaboration of Picasso, at work and at play.  It was filmed in the authentic atmosphere in which Picasso lived and worked where Quinn was allowed to do as he liked, provided that Picasso was free to do what he wanted.( Source: Art Series insert inside my VHS collection). You can find more information on Edward Quinn’s website and some photos of Pablo Picasso at work. More recently V.I.E.W. Video has made available a new DVD release of the two tapes of this collection.

I acquired my set when I attended art school twenty years ago. The drawings that Picasso sketched on the back of a piece of glass still remain vivid in my mind.  Perhaps I need to find my old VHS player and watch them again.

Quote:  “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them. ” – Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso A Retrospective, The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkJust finding this collection prompted me to look at my bookcase crammed full of  art books. I finally located my copy of Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art, New  York) printing from 1980. Inside this 463 page book are almost a thousand illustrated works by Picasso with over two hundred of them in color. His career as an artist began at an early age continuing until his death in 1973 becoming probably the most well-known and famous painter in his own lifetime.


On the “front cover” of my copy of this book, Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective , is a Self-Portrait, Paris, late 1907.

Written by Mary Gilmartin, January 27, 2013


Filed under Art

Authors, Lewis Carroll

Did you k2-Lewis Carroll books 1946 copynow that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, born in the village of  Daresbury, England, January 27, 1832,  is best known by his pseudonym, Lewis Carroll? His books include the children’s classics Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

My books with these two titles is from a special edition published in 1946 with the John Tenniel illustrations colored by Fritz Kredel. The first manuscript called Alice’s Adventures under Ground was written back in 1864. Inside one of these books,  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,  a poem, “You Are Old, Father William” in Chapter 5.

Chapter 5 Alice in Wonderland

You Are Old, Father William, by Lewis Carroll

You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”…

Note:  I found this great video someone posted on youtube reciting this short poem  featuring the John Tenniel illustrations. Or, you can read the rest of this poem on Wikipedia .

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, January 24, 2013


Filed under Authors

Miniature Chair Museum, Stone Mountain, Georgia

6-Chair GalleryEveryone is passionate about collecting something.  Mine is “old books” and the older the better.

The other day I discovered a unique gallery on Main Street in the Village of Stone Mountain, Georgia. In all the rooms of this historic 1850 Circa house turned into a gallery I found thousands of “miniature chairs”.

One of my favorites was the yellow chair where Charlie Brown is sitting and reading a book. The character, Charlie Brown, first appeared in 1947, three years before Peanuts started, in a comic strip by Charles M. Schulz called Li’l Folks.

Barbara Hartsfield, Owner, of Collectible & Antique Chair Gallery 1-Chair Gallerystarted collecting miniature chairs over a ten-year period until it reached over 3,000 pieces.  That’s when she decided she wanted to show them to the public by opening a gallery. She even made the Guinness World Records for the largest collection of miniature chairs on the 13th of March 2008 receiving a certificate of documentation.

My tour of the gallery took me through a world of miniature chairs grouped by themes like Coca-Cola, Leisure and Jungle. There are holiday groupings like Easter, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and a year-round Christmas tree decorated with more than 100 different miniature chair ornaments. And, the collection even includes chair earrings.

You must see it to believe it”-  Collectible & Antique Chair Gallery.

3-Chair Gallery

7-Chair Gallery

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, January 20, 2013


Filed under Atlanta, Museums