Category Archives: Uncategorized

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 14

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack when Mlle. Renee was a young pup, she would play and frolic in the yard and explore everything that she came across or discovered.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In her first fall of living with me she discovered butterflies. They would land on the flowering plants in the back of the yard and she would race back to watch the float away. Just like her rabbit chases, she never caught a butterfly. But that didn’t stop her from running and jumping after them.

So my butterfly for Monday is for Renee  .DSC00142


This is an original origami butterfly that I designed myself and named in Renee’s honor.



Well, I did have nice legs!


Well, the rose bushes in the front beds are currently showing more wilted blossoms than new buds.  But the lilies are going crazy with blossoms all over the place.DSC09996


And surprise of surprises! Some yellow lilies showed up as well.DSC09994



Still no sign of the orange, red or purple lilies though. But the petunias are going crazy in the back.Petunias6:15


It’s Monday, And Everything Is Coming Up Roses Around Here!


And not single roses either!  They’re coming in clusters this year. Yes, there is over a dozen individual red roses in this cluster!  DSC09922

And PINK! Only the pink bushes have smaller clusters.

And I have no idea what I did to make them grow like that this year. Well, I was very late in trimming the bushes back this year … well, it is too cold to get outside and do it any earlier this year.

I can hardly wait for the lilies to start blooming.  They have tons of buds, too!



After a multitude of years spent mowing lawns, I finally realized that the first creatures to show up and admire my master mowing skills are the many robins who reside in the many trees surrounding the back yard.

My father, who was an avid fisherman, said it was because the vibrations of the mower brought the earthworms to the surface. It’s as good an explanation as any other  reason as any other I’ve heard. And after the last tall blade of  grass had been mowed down, I set my easy lawn chair up in the shade of the cedar trees to rest with my noble canine companion and await the arrival of my red breasted friends with my long lens camera. (Not to worry, the only birds that Renee chases are the annoying, noisy grackles.  And that’s because they often chase her.)










Well, if you’re anything like me …


First I got the leftover Easter ham bone out of the freezer … thawed it out and plopped it in my soup pot and cooked up a big pot of my own ZESTY BEAN SOUP WITH CHUNKY HAM. It’s a bean soup based on my mom’s original recipe made with dried beans that would make the inhabitants of Boston drool. And while it was slowly cooking in the kitchen, I went into the living room and put a DVD into the Blu-Ray player and relived a bit of my childhood. I doubt if anyone reading this post actually remembers this logo….DSC09883But it was the mainstay of the Friday double features of my childhood at the old Salisbury neighborhood movie house in old north Saint Louis.




Yes, I was hooked on the old Tarzan movies made in the forties. Yeah, I know most people prefer the MGM Tarzan movies made in the thirties, but they were to kissy, kissy with Jane fondling Tarzan all the time for a kid growing up. Heck, for this movie Jane wasn’t even in it. She was back in England with her sick mother. But Tarzan wasn’t alone! DSC09880

Boy (Johnny Sheffield) was there with Cheeta, too. Boy really was the one I identified with back then … he was my age and he had a monkey and his own little elephant … and he got to run around the jungle barefoot in his underwear!


Now, a lot of people say Johnny Weissmuller was getting kind of chunky to be Tarzan when he made these movies, but it was 20 years since he had been an Olympic swimming champion where he won five gold medals and in his entire career he never lost one race in which he swam. Besides, he looked like my dad.

Anyway, the movie was made during World War II so Tarzan had to fight against some nasty Nazi soldiers who were trying to steal oil from the all-white natives who lived in a hidden city in the middle of darkest Africa. (OK, so the movie had a few  plot holes.)  Anyway, Tarzan rescues Boy and frees all the natives.DSC09882

And then Tarzan and the natives whomp the tar out of all the Nazis. And Cheeta gets on the radio to Germany, and all the Nazi guys there think it is der fuehrher speaking and they all sieg heil the radio. Hey, you could do that during war-time back then. Probably everyone watching the movie clapped at that.


The DVD was part of a set of the six last Tarzan movies that Weissmuller made in the forties. I was amazed at the quality of the movie, there were no splashes, flashes or lines running through the image.  It was perfect black and white, and the photos I’ve used here were shot from the TV screen. Sound quality was perfect, too. I highly recommend this DVD set to anyone who wants to relive their boyhood experiences like I did. I enjoyed my afternoon, and I might make my Tuesdays a regular old movie afternoon. I don’t think I’m ready for a double feature afternoon yet. Now, does anyone know what ungawa means?Lobby card

Oh, and lest I forget … Bob'sZestyBean&HamSoup

my Zesty Bean Soup w/Chunky Ham was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

But I’ve got enough for six more suppers.


I’ve mentioned the West Walnut Manor Critter Diner over the last several years. It’s the spot where I put out seeds, crumbs and other edibles for the many different critters who drop in to dine in my back yard. Recently, I’ve added vegetable trimmings to the menu, and as a result the cliental has changed somewhat. The squirrel family stile drops in, but now they’re a family of five.DSCF0132_2


The doves still drop in all the time … and the starling still hasn’t learned not to sit where you eat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe blue jay sits in the tree until the other birds have their fill.DSCF0141

And the Eurasian tree sparrows still share with their English house sparrows.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But we’ve had a new visitor recently …DSC09864

Just a bit of a bunny who discovered I’ve added carrot tops to the food box.DSC09866

Today he showed up with Rusty the cardinal.DSC09867

And they too shared the food box as the other critters do.

In West Walnut Manor all the critters LOVE their neighbors. Wonder if we could get humans to come together like that.



Wednesday, I posted this photo as my WORDLESS WEDNESDAY PHOTO along with one cryptic word LOST.



Actually, you probably would have had to click on the photo twice to make it largest before you would see that over the river and through the woods … in a little clearing under some shady trees, there is an elderly gentlemen sitting on a  bench and lost to the world. I also do that on my frequent walks through Forest Park. It has great places where you and just sit back and just communicate with the world around you. Here are some of my favorite spots.BrooksStreams

For total reflection … the park is filled with a complete set of waterways … ponds, streams, lakes, waterfalls and fountains! And they all come with convenient benches.


And if you choose to just lose yourself and talk to the Roos or other animal species, the Zoo also supplies convenient benches. But be careful, because they look back at you.


And if you bring a blanket, I know a grassy field where you can spread it out to just lie back and watch the popcorn clouds float by overhead.


And if you linger too long at just losing yourself, you’ll end up viewing a sky full of twilight silhouettes. Oh what an eyeful!

The Art Of Losing Yourself is not recommended on rainy days.


Well at least for now, May has actually been acting like spring! The sun has been shining brightly, the air has warmed up and the bright yellow dandelions are fast turning into fairy puffs. FairyPuffs

And here’s how I spent my weekend!


Well, I went to my last Met Opera Live in HD of the season. Actually, it wasn’t the last broadcast of the season. The last opera is being broadcast next week Saturday, but I just saw it a couple of years ago and I’m not ready for a repeat performance yet. Anyway, I convinced  Mlle. Renee to get out of bed early so I could get up and get going. I jumped on the Metro Bus and headed for the Art Museum in Forest Park. Unfortunately, when I got to the park I discovered that my local bus was being rerouted around the park. That’s what happens on May 1. Because of the congestion caused by people going into the park with cars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer season the Metro System runs the Forest Park Trolley into the park that stops at all the tourist attractions people want to see. I didn’t want to wait for the next trolley so I walked into the park to the Art Museum. UpArtHill

This meant that I had to walk up ART HILL to get there. Trust me, it is actually easier to walk down ART Hill …DownArtHill

… than it is to walk up.  But, you do get a great photo opportunity  of the  STATUE OF SAINT LOUIS on the walk up.




I know that while the name of the sculpture is The Apotheosis of Saint Louis, his horse remains an unknown, nameless beast of burden.

The name of the opera I was seeing  was COSI FAN TUTTE by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.Cosi_fan_tutte_-_first_performance

Actual the whole title is Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti, which translates Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers. It was an opera buffa that was written in 1790 and it has some rather out-dated views on women being fickle when it comes to matters of love and relationships. I suppose this was the comedy rage back in 1790. It really doesn’t fly these days. So while the music was fantastic and the performances by the cast were some of the best this season, the storyline was a hard sell. It’s also one of Mozart’s lesser performed works.cosi_1209-s-jpg


It was also four hours long, and the elderly gentleman in front of me was snoring rather loudly during the second act.

After the opera I walked through the galleries trying to find a new sculpture piece that recently went on display at the museum. It was a red clay stature of the Corn Maiden by the Mississippian Native Americans  that populated this area about one to two thousand years ago. I didn’t find it.

But I did find this Pre-Columbian Mexican work.PreColumbian

And this tiny four-inch tall work from a Mesopotamian tomb from 1000 to 2000 B.C.Mesopotamian Carving 2000-1000 BC

And then there was this TORSO OF AN ATHLETE …TorsoThe sculpture was nice, but I got a big kick out of reading the descriptive blurb posted next to it.

Roman, Imperial Period
TORSO OF AN ATHLETE, 1st-2nd Century marble

Museum Purchase 6, 1937

The physique of this torso is almost too good to be true, chiseled pectoral muscles, the faint impression of washboard abdominal muscles, and an exaggerated furrow between the hip and abdomen. We see the integration of realism and the ideal in the musculature, flesh, and bone structure. For example, the furrow along the hip and abdomen leading to the genitals is an artistic interpretation of the actual anatomical structure. For the Greeks, the nude male body was one of the highest forms of beauty. For a man to achieve such a physique, he had to participate in athletics at the gymnasium, where both athletic and important civic events were held. A sculpture such as this represents not only physical, athletic, and military excellence but also desirability and possibly immortality. 


Some curator was really impressed with that torso!

And walking back down hill, I was able to see …Metal Tree

The Aluminum Tree -

Did you know that they rub bowling ball polish around the base of the tree to keep stray dogs from watering it?


One Duck a Swimming



Honoring the American Federation Of Musicians … really?

SUNDAY … I rested. Actually, I did try to pull some weeds out of the front beds,  but it didn’t agree with my spring allergies. So I spent the rest of the day inside.





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