Monday, June 30, 2008

Gotta Love This

Lately there has been a dark cloud hanging over my head. This weekend it just seemed to float away. What a relief that is! The weekend was productive and my good mood lingers on. Today has been the perfect summer day... comfortably warm (not freaking hot as hades as usual) with little humidity. I was able to nap in my car at lunch and I didn't even break a sweat. And then something perfect happened....I arrived home to find this in my mailbox.

Enlarge the letter by clicking on it in order to read it.

Check out the way she drew those feet. Feet aren't easy and she has it perfect. This little girl has always been extremely observant. She loves to read and draw. I can't wait to meet them at the beach later this summer.

Grandchildren are the best. Just gotta love it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dirty Work

Mowing my dry dusty yard is dirty work. It is supposed to rain. I hope it does. We need it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Answers Are:

Who-Gustave Courbet used himself as the frenzied model in his "The Desperate Man." He continually attacked social values and assaulted the art establishment of his day. Courbet wrote "When I am no longer controversial I will no longer be important." His technique of using a palette knife or his fingers to apply paint was a radical departure of the conventional method of smoothly applying paint.

What-Venus of Willendorf is one of the oldest prehistorical female figures. It is only a little more than 4 inches tall and may have been used as a fertility figure. It was discovered in Austria and can be found in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna.

When-The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya depicts the massacre of Spanish peasants by Napoleonic soldiers in retaliation for a Spanish attack the day before in which the Spanish tried to expel the French invaders. The artist tried to encourage empathy for the Spanish by exposing the French soldier's deed in the most horrifying way he could. He used darks and lights, to enhance the sense of drama in his painting.

Where-The Ishtar Gate was constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar II around 575 BC in the city of Babylon. It was made of blue glazed tiles. Between 1902 and 1914 45 feet of the foundation of the original gate was excavated by Robert Koldewey. It was reconstucted out of some of the uncovered materials and it can be seen in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin today.

Why-Fountain by Marcel Duchamp 1950. Duchamp was part of the Dada movement which emerged as a reaction to what artists saw as the insane spectacle of collective homicide of World War I. Since they believed that reason and logic had been responsible for the war they decided that the only way to salvation was through the irrational and absurd. Duchamp chose a urinal and "placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view--created a new thought for that object."

How-No one knows how the Egyptians did it...

The Five W's

Who, What, When, Where and Why are the five W's of observation. If you add How to the mix you are ready to delve into any mystery. I was challenged by Lavinia to play along. So here is a little puzzle to solve.

Who painted this unusual self-portrait?

What is this?

When did the event depicted in this painting take place?

Where was this originally found and where can it be found today?

Why is this considered art?

And for 50 bonus points can you tell me How these were built?

This little quiz will probably be a no-brainer for all of you art historians out there so consider yourself challenged to play along and stump us with some really hard W's.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Best Stuff

Look what sinfully delicious candy made it to my house from my daughter's recent visit to an Ikea. This is my favorite candy ever....chocolate covered heath bar tasting buttery nutty middle stuff. As I like to point out....its the best Daim candy you'll ever eat! You can tell from the picture how much will power I have, hehe.

While doing a little internet research on the history of my favorite Daim candy I discovered that there is a world famous graffiti artist who goes by the same name. You can read about him and see his work here.

Pat from Mille Fiori Favori requested this recipe, but sorry Pat, I have looked everywhere for it and can't find it. You can find what looks like the same recipe for the Strawberry Pretzel Salad here. When you make it send me a piece please. Yummy!

On a totally random note....I am counting down the days for the new season of these shows to begin:

Monk Season 7 begins on Friday July 18th.
Psych begins on Friday July 18th also.
Burn Notice, the new season begins Thursday July 10th.
Project Runway Season 5 begins sometime in July but my dumb computer is running too slow for me to check the date.

Am I the only fan of these shows or are some of you like minded?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Got Nuttin!

All evening I have been thinking that I've got nothing to funny anecdote, no words of wisdom, not even a doodle, but then I surfed over to The Birdbath Chronicles and when I saw that lovely table set for a ladies luncheon-inspiration for a post hit!

My daughter-in-laws helped me host the bridesmaid luncheon for my daughter and her attendants two years ago next month. My mother supplied the fabulous pink tablecloth and the pink depression glass. One talented daughter-in-law baked yummy chocolate cakes which were topped with chocolate ganache icing and a Godiva chocolate for each slice and the other talented daughter-in-law was in charge of pulling all the decorations together. I made the sweetheart rose topiary centerpieces and the tiny place card holder topiaries. The menu was assorted finger sandwiches, strawberry pretzel salad, chicken salad, green salad with almonds and strawberries dressed with Vidalia onion vinaigrette dressing, assorted crackers and iced raspberry tea to drink.

The bride-to-be before the party began:

This is the daughter-in-law who has a hearty dose of the decorating gene. We had to use all of the chairs in the house to have enough seating for everyone. Wasn't the table beautiful? Didn't she do a good job?

Here are the guests of honor along with the bride:

This is the to-die-for chocolate cake. Delicious!

The talented baker of the family is the one on the right in this next photo. She loves making scrumptious desserts.

The photographs in the picture above were of my daughter and her bridesmaids and pictures of me, my mother, and Rachel's mother-in-law with our respective bridesmaids. A festive time was had by all. In my (not so humble) opinion, this was the prettiest luncheon setting I have ever seen.

Monday, June 23, 2008

London, The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

I checked out the above mentioned book from my local library once before, but was unable to delve very far into it's 773 pages before it was due back. Today I decided that it was time to give it another go. Every page is packed with interesting tidbits and information.

"The relics of past ages have been found beneath many areas of London; they are the foundations upon which it rests."

In 1682 John Dryden wrote this rhyme recognizing the now forgotten landscape of London:

" Yet monsters from thy large increase we find
Engender'd on the Slyme thou leav'st behind. "

The remains of a mammoth were found in 1690 near what is now know as King's Cross. Hippopotamus and elephants were found beneath Trafalgar Square. Mixed in with the bones of the King's Cross mammoth were pieces of a flint hand-axe dating to the Palaeolithic period.

"In the late Neolithic period there appeared, from the generally marshy soil on the northern bank of the Thames, twin hills covered by gravel and brick-earth, surrounded by sedge and willow. They were forty to fifty feet in height, and were divided by a valley through which flowed a stream, We know them as Cornhill and Ludgate Hill, with the now buried Walbrook running between. Thus emerged London."

And so begins the biography of London.

I've been a visitor to this great city twice and I am now a dreamer of future trips. This is me exactly 10 years and 3 weeks ago.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shot Close To Home

It doesn't take me but a few minutes to be in a rural area. Occasionally, I like to drive around and see what is new. Some of these pictures were taken while doing that. Some were taken while practicing using different settings on my camera.

Photo of some parked road equipment:

I love the color and texture in this shot:

Taken at the local grocery store:

I guess I was practicing my apple and pear advertising skills with this picture.

I love the juxtaposition of natural and man-made in this photo.

Interesting angles.

I like this shed with bales of hay.

Found in a church cemetery close by:

Some very old grave sites:

Sometime I just luck up on something lovely. I think this is one of those pictures.

This is another one of them.

This has been my favorite little road ever since my youngest son and I found it years ago while exploring soon after we moved to this end of the county.

It is a peaceful country lane which enchants my senses and draws me back again and again.

Do you ever take your camera and photograph the everyday spaces around you? Is there a spot that draws you again and again?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Do This As Soon As You Possibly Can

Watch Lars and the Real Girl. You won't be sorry. You will be glad. You might cry a little. You will laugh out loud repeatedly.

You will thank me. It is exceptional.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Computer Doodling While Having a Very Long Conversation on the Phone

When the phone rang tonight I ran into the computer room and picked up the one on the desk. Don't tell, but sometimes I use phone time to browse the know its like crocheting while watching you don't feel as though you wasted time doing nothing...multi-tasking as it were.

In the midst of said multi-tasking I noticed this album cover featured on Willow's (of Life at Willow Manor) sidebar. I was fascinated by the hat...the play of light and dark against the woman's features.

This fascination lead to a quick doodle in the dark...well by the light of the computer screen...a doodle drawn right on top of a list of possible boy names for my possible new grandson...see this post.....this list was from another night of talk/computer browsing while on the phone with my daughter.... if there is a boy the initials might be TD...not too many boy name choices....but that is probably the topic of another post....

Since this was a very long phone conversation, I opened up Photoshop and scanned my doodle into the computer and began to play, all the while having a meaningful conversation with a friend about feelings, how complicated people are, how unfathomable God is, how unknowable life is, how big the universe only God knows the answers and how He isn't sharing them with us at this time. So while having this big conversation about all of these deep topics I doodled this small and insignificant little drawing....and it makes me feel better about spending so much time talking about some things I can not do a darn thing about!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I have a small collection of old photos which I love to look through. I wonder about the people in the pictures...who were they...what kind of life did they lead...where are they did they lose these pictures.

For instance, take these three friends. Did they keep in touch once they were out of the military? How old were they? Did they take part in combat?

Or how about this picture? Do you think the three friends met this girl while stationed in Asia? Do you think this was a pin-up picture?

So do you think this couple lived happily ever after?

Check out the Danish Modern sofa this cute little family is posed on. The back of this photo says 1962. I think little sister was probably very spoiled. What do you think?

I think the next three sets of pictures are of the same woman. I call this first set of pictures her glamour shots.

What do you think she is sewing? I think she probably made most of her clothes. What do you think? Maybe she is making a polka-dot purse to match her polka-dot dress.

I think this is her on vacation in Miami. Notice the Art Deco hotels in the background. Are you thinking the same thing I am...why is she beside the pool in her Sunday best instead of her one-piece bathing suit and straw hat?

"So many men so many questions. -Terence Roman comic dramatist (185 BC - 159 BC)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Etymology Love

clock on an old gas stove
I enjoyed this post over at Life at Willow Manor and it inspired me to post these two words:


Samuel A. Maverick died 1870 American pioneer who did not brand his calves
1: an unbranded range animal; especially : a motherless calf
: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

Sam Hill


Sam Hill is an American English slang phrase, a euphemism for "Hell", or "Damn" (as in, "What in the Sam Hill is that?"). Its etymology is uncertain, however it first appeared in print in America in the Seattle Times Newspaper in reference to James J. Hill (Jim Hill). Jim Hill was the legendary "empire builder", whose railroads included the Great Northern Railway (U.S.). He was a man given to notable rages when anyone dared to oppose one of his grandiose schemes. So frequent were these tirades that the paper carried as a standing headline: "Jim Hill is as mad as Sam Hill."

Other published usages include "go like Sam Hill" or "run like Sam Hill" - in reference to Colonel Samuel Hill of Guilford, Connecticut who perpetually ran for office in the late 19th Century.[1]Encyclopedia of American Politics, 1946 edition, there is scarce evidence that he existed.[2] However, he was apparently so unsuccessful that except for a brief mention in the

Another explanation links the phrase to Sam Hill, an Abenaki Indian basket maker who lived near Saratoga Springs, NY in the early 19th century, known for the baskets he sold to tourists and for his disheveled appearance.[3]

Others have suggested that the "Sam" in the phrase derives from Samiel, the name of the DevilDer Freischütz, an opera by Carl Maria von Weber that was performed in New York in 1825.[4] in

Ultimately, the expression may simply be derived from a bowdlerization or alliteration of "hell" with "hill" when used in 19th century America by frontiersmen, especially when they needed to clean up their language in the presence of ladies.[5]

The alternate history webcomic Roswell, Texas refers to "Sam Hill" as being a Texican monument (in the story's continuity, the Republic of Texas did not join the United States, but remained a nation unto itself) similar to Mount Rushmore, but bearing the faces of four Texas heroes named 'Sam': Sam Houston, Sam Walker, Sam Colt and Sam Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain.

The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that the origin is unknown.

Old words-Old Things....more photos from the weekend.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More of Photogenic Franklin

While we were driving around in Franklin, TN yesterday we took some pictures of homes as well as businesses. Thought you might like to see some of them too.

The American Foursquare has always been one of my favorite styles of homes.

This one is decorated for Flag Day!

Love that cupola on the porch roof. See the sunshine motif on the siding?

Nice picket fence.
All that is missing are families on the porches playing board games and reading the Sunday paper.

I can imagine children roller skating on this sidewalk.

Can you see the birdcage on the porch?

Someone really should be rocking in these chairs.

We could see someone inside this one vaccuming as we snapped the photo...oops, we didn't mean to be peeping toms!

This is the courtyard between four new brownstones that were being built.

Here sit down and let's chat for a few minutes. Won't you have a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade?