Not Quite Photo Challenge Photos — Express Yourself Challenge

Last Saturday, I took a photo of the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art …WhatIShot

It was a so-so classic building picture until I realized I had been photo bombed!



Sure, it was a perfect example of EXPRESS YOURSELF, but it lacked the quality of a Photo Challenge entry. It is funny though, and I think the LEAPER would have loved to have a copy.


Today, we challenge you to show us what “express yourself” means to you.  (For more information go here.)LittleLuke

When it comes to EXPRESS YOURSELF, no one does it better than a two-year old.  In this case … my grandnephew Little Luke!




Last Saturday, I went to the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art for yet another visit to the Metropolitan Opera Live In HD. First I must confess that one of my musical passions is the wonderful operettas of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You don’t hear them much these days, but when I was a kid they were still quite popular. Also, my grandfather had a player piano with a lot of the music on paper rolls that I would play … as long as my legs held up. Operettas on a piano roll was some of the most beautiful music ever written. And it is even better when someone with a beautiful voice is available to sing it. And that’s what happened on Saturday. The Met created a new production of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow starring Renee Fleming and broadcast it live to theaters around the world as part of their Live From New York season. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, that’s how my dog, Mlle. Renee, got her name.)

The Merry Widow supplied everything needed for a fantastic and entertaining afternoon … fabulous sets, lavish costumes, low comedy, whirling waltzes, Hungarian dances, can-can dancers, marvelous singing and one of the world’s greatest orchestras in high-definition stero-surround sound.JPMERRYWIDOW1-articleLarge

If you haven’t been to one of the Met’s broadcasts, you should consider going. They’re shown LIVE on Saturday afternoons and repeated on Wednesday evenings in local theaters around the US … and also in almost all the countries around the world. And it’s almost as good as being in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. (Ok, I’ve only been there once and it was unforgettable!) For more information, go here

Here’s a sneak video clip …\

By the way, Saturday wasn’t really that cold … even though the Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill was frozen over.GrandBasinFrozenOver

And in the first photo at the top of this post did you catch the Leaping Leaper I didn’t know I had caught.JeeperCreapersLeapingLeapers










If you look closely at the attached photo (Winter Skyscape #3) you can see a reclining young lady with a bouffant hairstyle. Look at it long enough and you will discover a Sleeping Beauty.WinterSkyscapes3


Did you find them?

The French Heritage Of Saint Louis Was Showing Saturday Afternoon


There are some times that Saint Louis looks just like a scene in a French park … or romance novel.


Serenity (noun): The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.  For this photo challenge, publish an image that conveys serenity.  For more information, go here!

Have you ever considered a city’s major thoroughfare as being serene at sunset rush-hour on a winter afternoon? Well, if the lighting is right, it can be. And if you look closely, you might be able to detect a faint and tiny winter moon up in the sky, too.Serenity

Seems Mlle. Renee Is Searching For A New Pinup Calendar!

Renee's PinupApparently she likes the rugged outdoor hunting types!

Now I have to decide what’s going to be my calendar for the year.



Possibility. Opportunity. Potential. As another year gets underway, let’s celebrate the new. (For more information, go here!)

My NEW photograph is one I took a week or so ago as 2014 began to dwindle away into another winter day. It was a photograph of Roxy Paine’s 56 foot tall stainless steel sculpture of a barren tree (Placebo) standing on a hillside next to the Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art. I’ve seen the work every time I’ve visited the museum and photographed it uncounted times more. But this winter afternoon as the sun was beginning to set I saw the work in a new way.New

Except for the evergreen trees that stood to either side, it was as barren as the other trees in the surrounding forest. But it stood there gleaming in the fading winter sun offering hope of warmer times to come. Like I said, I had photographed it many times before. But every time before it had always been from a different point of view that showed the work standing alone. This was the first time I had photographed it as part of the forest that shared its hillside.  It made a big difference.


Since my blog posts have been somewhat sparse over the past week, I thought it would be a good idea to bring you up-to-date.

Let’s start with Christmas Eve which was last Wednesday. I had procrastinated and put off my holiday baking until the last-minute. No Christmas cookies for me this year, but I felt kind of kneady and baked a batch of Christmas Stollens.

DSC00942There’s nothing like digging in and taming a batch of  sundry ingredients into a smooth batch of kneaded sweet dough.  Thank God for food service gloves! They make hand cleanup so easy.DSC00943

I made a total of twelve stollens, and each one had a different filling.


After the first two came out of the oven, I didn’t have enough powdered sugar to make my the frosting that I drizzle over the baked goodies.  I only had a single cup left in an empty box.  But is was just enough to dust the completed stollens.DSC00945I only had enough aluminum wrap to wrap a single baked goody. Thank goodness the plastic wrap held out! And I’m usually real good at making out my grocery list. Thankfully, I did get all the ingredients I needed for my project.

Christmas afternoon I went to visit my younger brother and his family, and for the evening I moved on to my older brother’s family. Then I came home to my holiday decked home and spent the rest of the evening with Mlle. Renee, who had been waiting all day to open the gifts that Santa Paws had left for her.TreeTrim2

No, I don’t gift wrap Renee’s gifts because while she does like to open gifts, she likes to tear the boxes up even more.  And I didn’t feel like cleaning up torn paper.DSC05510

As it was, she did have to unstuff the Teddy-On-A-Rope before she would play with it.  Which we did over the weekend.

I also added two new decorations to my dual Christmas Trees.

DeckTheTree  and  DSC00952

Monday afternoon was my scheduled appointment with the furnace man to clean and check out the furnace. Bad news, he discovered three cracks in the heat transfer, which meant a system shutdown to prevent any carbon monoxide leakage. I should have expected something like that, since the furnace had served me well for between 25 to 30 years. Luckily, I was able to schedule a replacement for early New Year’s Eve morning. (This was the day the weather wizards had scheduled for the big winter temperature drop from cold to coldest.)

Thankfully, the furnace repair company was staffed with speedy repair elves and before noon they had installed …. not only my new furnace … NewFurnance  but also the hot water tank, too!  HWTank  Hey, the old one was older than the furnace. So all I have to do now is master the new thermostat for the furnace. NewThermostat

So, in a totally warm and cosy house, Mlle. Renee and I welcomed in the new year.2015BallDrop

At least from New York!NYEDOZE


We both missed greeting the New Year’s arrival locally.HappyNewYear




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 329 other followers