Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Cat named “Moo”

Meet “Moo” the most active kitten I believe I have ever met. She’s a present my niece got for her birthday this month.

Moo-the-Cat 2013-2 copy

Isn’t she cute? And, she’s curious about everything.  Just look at the way she perks up her ears listening to everything I am saying about her. But, there is something else that’s absolutely amazing about her. She was born with a symbol on her side – it’s a question mark.

Cat with Question Mark 2013-5

Do you see it? 

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, April 25, 2013

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Cats

Old House in North Carolina

“If only walls could talk.”

Have you ever been driving down a country road and for a quick moment see something out of the corner of your eye that causes you to pause?  Of course you have and sometimes you stop, but most of the time you think you don’t have time and keep driving.

This weekend I drove past a set of steps leading up to “a house that someone once called home.”  It was standing at the top of a hill  against an overcast sky.  After pulling over and driving up the road to one side, something on the right side of the house caught my eye: the roof had caved in and a vine had somehow wound its way to the top of the roof. Since there was no-one around to ask, I can only assume it’s been deserted for a long time and will eventually rot away without anyone to care for it.

Now, if only walls could talk, I wonder what kind of story they would tell me about this deserted house?

008 copy

011 copy

012 copy

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, April 23, 2013

16 Comments

Filed under Photography, Writing

Spring has finally arrived

EVERYTHING started to bloom this week.

First, it was the Cherry Tree Blossoms, and…

046 April Blooms

Then, the vines on the fence had yellow flowers.

022 April Blooms

And, in the backyard the Wisteria  perfumed the air.

031April Blooms copy

And, even tipped over spreading petals on the ground.

039 April Blooms

Today, I noticed a tree full of pink buds & blooms.

007 April Blooms copy

And, yet another bush full of yellow miniature roses.

045 April Blooms my backyard

And, then my walk around the lake, led me to my favorite color “Red” with flowers fully opened on the Azalea bush.

030- Red Azalea Bush copy

Hurrah, Hurrah – Spring has finally arrived!

OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year…

___A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, April 12, 2013

16 Comments

Filed under Photography

The Game of Marbles

Did you know that the “Game of Marbles” has been popular for many cultures for thousands of years throughout the world?

1-Ring-Game of Marbles copyright.

This game with colored glass marbles mentioned in 15th  century German literature were probably made by glass blowers for their children. But, by the 19th century shears made the production quicker and more economical, thus becoming more popular in Europe and America creating intricate patterns. And not all of those marbles over the years were machine-made, but some were hand-made from clay, stone, wood and metal. Even Shakespeare in the 1600’s wrote about a game he called “cherry pit” when stones were tossed in a hole in the ground.

When I was a kid playing the game in the United States, we called it “Ringer.” I loved to play this game with the machine-made glass marbles. Some of them even had cat’s eyes inside them.  I spent many days outdoors competing against my four brothers. The youngest was allowed to start the game and ended up with the oldest brother playing last. Since I’m the sandwich in the family and always been the only girl, my turn was always  in the middle. Whoever had the most wins at the” end of the summer” was declared “the champion” and got to keep all of our marbles until we played again the next summer. I, soon, became known as “Marble Girl”  because I learned how to really “knuckle down” when playing this game and made champion many times.

Instructions:

  • First we would draw a circle about 10 feet in diameter with a stick in the dirt.
  • Then, we placed  all of our marbles inside the circle and each selected our “shooter.”
  • The shots took place by kneeling on the ground and knucking down aiming with our shooter.
  •  This was done by putting our fist with our thumb outside the ring.
  • Any marbles we shot outside the ring now belonged to who shot them outside the ring.
  • The game continued, taking turns until the ring was empty of marbles.
  • The winner of each game was the player with the most marbles at the end.

Some Names of Marbles and What They Mean:

  • Aggies: This means marble, in general, and usually made from the hard stone, agate.
  • Alleys or Allies: Their name comes from some made from alabaster,
  • Cat’s Eyes: Clear marbles with a colored vein inside.
  • Cherries: The clear glass ones that sometimes have a tint of blue or green.
  • Corkscrews: The ones with spiral designs with two colors or more.
  • Steelies: Made from ball bearings, however, metal cannot be used in tournament play.
  • Swirls. Those that have swirls of colors inside them.

Best Marber shooter copyright copy

That big marble pictured above, it’s my favorite shooter and it’s getting pretty old now.

 

5- My Favorite Marbles-the Ones I won

When I was a kid, if I had known about the National Marbles Tournament,  I think I might have entered and won.

 What’s this game called in your country and how do you play it?

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, April 11, 2013

18 Comments

Filed under Writing

The painting called “Fishing”

Who painted this? Arthur Hunter or Colin Hunter?

Litho - Fishing by Arthur Hunter-1

This is a  photograph of a lithograph  that I found discarded in a rain-soaked frame. At the bottom of this 8×10 is written “Fishing by Arthur Hunter”.

During the process of re-matting it to hang in my office, I became curious about the artist. Since  I couldn’t find anything written about an Arthur Hunter, I decided to take a  closer look at the name in the left hand corner. It was hard to read but with my close-up feature on my trusted camera, here’s what I saw: “COLIN HUNTER, 1864”

Fishing is actually by COLIN HUNTER 1864

Mystery solved, so the next step is to find out something about Colin Hunter.  Here’s what I found: He was a British painter and the BBC.CO.UK website has a public slide show of  more of his paintings, but I didn’t see this one called, Fishing, in there.

“I guess it doesn’t matter, what’s important is that I appreciate the artist’s painting and value mine, even though it’s not an oil on canvas. That’s why I rescued this paper Litho printing from the rain and hung it on my wall.

Now, it’s called “Fishing by COLIN HUNTER, 1864”.

Litho - Fishing by Arthur Hunter-1(Note): And, now I think I’ll print a copy of this posting and frame it behind this litho printing.  Who knows, perhaps a hundred years from now someone will discover it and read this note. Then, they will know the rest of this story.

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin,  April 5, 2013

26 Comments

Filed under Art