Valentine Card Creations Within my Mess

Valentine card fun
Glittery shapes and ribbons
Charming passerby

Good evening from my part of the world! I’m working to get caught up on reading so many of your wonderful blog posts. My schedule is such a work in progress! It’s still fun to write a haiku. Right now, I’m juggling a project and I was excited when I saw this YouTube video below. I absolutely loved how Madhu designed her cards!

One of the guys in the Rotary Club shared with us a project he needed help with. His group decided to make some Valentine cards for some folks in the nursing home. I thought it would be fun to participate! I eyeballed my supply of red construction paper and set a goal to make SIXTY of them by the 12th. Yes, I think the fast-forward feature on her video temporarily deceived me. 😉

I often tell people one of my favorite gifts a friend gave me was an Xacto paper cutter. It helped speed up the process of cutting paper! I even had to set some proportional relationship equations to figure out the right dimensions since Madhu gave some different ones for me to work with.

Yipee! I’m so happy I get to use some of my origami paper and supplies! It’s been a while since I last touched them. Today’s featured merchandise is my kimono patterned origami paper that a friend got me as a birthday gift!

I have been interested in origami ever since my mom made me my first paper boat as a kid to play with in the rain puddles. I remembered that being one of the reasons why I really enjoyed a rainy day. Because afterward, I get to be a pirate sailing all of the puddles in the neighborhood and adventuring with the bugs that came out.

Image by Vicky Vitullo from Pixabay

Later when I was in the sixth grade, my history teacher shared with us a historical children’s book to read together called, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”.

Diagnosed from leukemia from the radiation bombing from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako decided to fold 1000 peace cranes in the hopes of being granted a wish: she just wanted to be able to be on the running team despite her illness. It’s debated whether or not she reached her goal, but her actions inspired all of her friends and family to continue on.

Afterward, Sue DiDicco founded The Peace Crane Project to honor Sadako. Students would fold the cranes, write a message of peace on its wings, and exchange it with another classmate.

After the boat, I enjoyed teaching the class how to make a paper crane. It’s still one of my favorites. I make them whenever I can, and make cranes out of candy wrappers and the paper that come with my Subway sandwiches.

Anyway, I’ll call it a night and share a quote by the grand master of origami: Akira Youshizawa!

My origami creations, in accordance with the laws of nature, require the use of geometry, science, and physics. They also encompass religion, philosophy, and biochemistry. Overall, I want you to discover the joy of creation by your own hand the possibility of creation from paper is infinite.

Akira Yoshizawa

Our Next-Door Neighbor

Heartwarming stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are considered timeless literature for me. I can pick any story from any of these series at any time in my life and feel wonderful and uplifted. There’s a quote that reminds me of an event that happened during Christmas time many years ago.

We once had a neighbor who moved from New York into the house next to ours. She was a friendly and attractive lady who my siblings and I always waved to her and wished her a good morning. At the time, my siblings and I were all young children.

She had some mannerisms that were unfamiliar to us in the suburbs. She also had a habit of gardening in the front yard in her bathing suit catching the attention of any males who happened to walk their dogs into our cul-de-sac. My visiting cousins made fun of her, but I came to her defense saying that she never caused us any harm and looked out for us. I suspected that even if she heard my cousins speaking behind her back, she wouldn’t have cared what they thought because she was confident in who she was.

One Christmas day, we heard our doorbell ring. My siblings and I ran to the front door and looked outside the window. There was a wrapped package outside our door. I saw the back of a blond woman’s head and she herself was dressed in a lush red Christmas coat like Mrs. Clause. It was our neighbor, but she didn’t stay to chat probably due to any language barriers.

During a time when we didn’t have to be weary of potential bomb packages outside residential homes, we naturally brought the box inside and opened it since it was from our non-malicious neighbor. Inside our neighbor packed all sorts of goodies for us. We were amazed all all the snacks, toys, and refrigerator holiday magnets she packed for us.

I think back on this memory and feel that it’s a special moment when a neighbor wants to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in spite of the increasing cynicism and all things that go on in the world. I’m grateful that we had such a great neighbor while growing up!

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A-to-Z Challenge: Tarantella

Image Credit: A Broadway World
Actress playing Nora in “A Doll’s House”

Tarantella in Literature

“Like the macaroons, the tarantella symbolizes a side of Nora that she cannot normally show. It is a fiery, passionate dance that allows Nora to drop the façade of the perfect mild-mannered Victorian wife.”

Litcharts.com quote from Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House”

A few years ago, I read Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House” for a literature class. One of the characters is named Nora who is a bubbly child-like wife strictly dependent on her husband…at least in the beginning. She begins to develop a passion for individuality which fully emerges at the end. She shows a deep yearning for independence when Nora tells her friend to earn her own money by copying. Times have changed so much since the time of Nora’s quote!

“It was tremendous fun sitting, working, and earning money. It was almost like being a man.”

Nora , A Doll’s House

Tarantella in Music

The Tarantella is one of my favorite piano pieces! Its lively cheerful beats are quite popular in various movies. Its light-hearted, upbeat staccato notes are a joy to play. Loads of fun and a form of music that usually makes me feel in a hurry.

Italian Origins

Image Credit: Pixabay

During the 11th century in an Italian province called Taranto, Apulia, the Tarantula’s, a locally common wolf spider, bite was popularly believed to be venomous and lead to a hysterical condition called tarantism. At the time, the people believed that they needed to engage in frenzied dancing as a sort of therapy to prevent death from tarantism which was later coined Tarantella. It is commonly played with a mandolin, guitar, accordian, and tambourines, and sometimes flutes, fiddles, and clarinets are used as well. It’s speculated to be a fusion of the dance forms, Spanish fandango and the Moresque ‘ballo di sfessartia’.

Feiernde Neapolitaner. Öl auf Leinwand, 108 × 210 cm

Tarantella Napoletana Dance

Tarantella Ballet
Image Credit: Dance History Development WordPress

The tarantella is a graceful dance in which the dancer and the drum player constantly try to upstage each other by playing faster or dancing longer than the other, subsequently tiring one person out first.

The Godfather’s C’è la luna mezzo mare wedding

Cinderella’s Bippity Boppity Boo


Harry Potter’s Tarantellegra Dancing Feet Spell

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

The “Dancing Feet” spell has its origins in ancient Italy, but is best remembered for its improper usage by Warlock Zaccaria Innocenti who is credited with conjuring a ‘dance’ within Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

History of this spell, Cast-a-Spell handbook

Draco Malfoy used this spell on Harry in the Dueling Club. Students used it on a pineapple to make it dance.

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

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