Archive | September, 2012

Mattoon St. Arts Festival this weekend (9/8 – 9/9)

7 Sep

ImageThe Mattoon St. Arts Festival is this weekend — Saturday & Sunday, September 8th and 9th from 10:00 AM — 5:00 PM both days, rain or shine.

This is the 40th festival — lots of celebratory events: home tours, garden tours, children’s carnival, film screening — come one, come all!

Check out for more info.

A brief history of Labor Day

3 Sep

I teach English (as a Second Language, ESL). I was discussing Labor Day with a group of Chinese students (grad and undergrad) last week and we were talking about Labor Day versus International Workers Day (May 1st aka May Day, which we don’t celebrate, but most other countries do). This led into a discussion of Labor Unions and strikes. For the record, the students couldn’t remember a time when Chinese workers ever struck, but they did say the standard work week is 40 hours, not the 60 hours we think of as standard for Chinese workers, *and* they said that overtime is 3x base pay, not the 1.5 that is standard here. Granted, these are college students whose parents were sufficiently well to do to send them to the US to study, so their perspective may differ from the mainstream Chinese view — if there even is one in such a huge country.

But I digress — what I really wanted to do here was post a link to this article in the Albany (NY) Times Union about this history of Labor Day. Any Labor Union parades in  your town? Or is there just a parade of shoppers to the Home Depots of the World (unite!) to buy stuff and do work around the house?

Nice article about the Festival Home Tours in today’s newspaper

2 Sep

Here’s the article, You may recognize that dining room 🙂

Of course they spelled my name wrong. Always happens.


Little checkered curtains in the monkey room

1 Sep

I love to use little curtains to hide junky areas. I have very cute little curtains (from Savers) covering up the recycling area in the kitchen, and have used little sink skirts in homes past.

The monkey room (my office, cat HQ, and lounging area number 4) has a bank of bookshelves that I had built when I first moved in. They take up an entire wall and are quite handy for holding things. But they’re kind of unsightly. So I found some very cute (and not too dear) checkered fabric at Osgood’s the other day and sewed up these cute little curtains to hide some of the junque.

Looking at the photos, I realize that the upper shelves need to be tidied up, so I’ll tackle that this afternoon.

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Fabric: $21.00 (three yards at $7.00/yd), curtain rods: $10 (2 @ $5.00 each) — total cost: $31 and about 30 minutes of rod installation and sewing. A great thing about checks and stripes is that you don’t have to mark the fabric, you can just use the lines as guides, so it speeds up the process.