The theme for this weeks Photo Challenge is MONUMENTS. Living in Saint Louis I had to go with the obvious …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But in order to take the picture, I had to go across the Mississippi River into Illinois and walk along the railroad track to get in position to shoot. And drat, look at all the power lines that got in the way. So I’m adding a couple of bonus pictures. I’ve been photographing the Arch for years, and this is the first photo I shot…



This was taken in 1965. It’s also a black and white photo, since this was before digital photography. And how many young men could afford Kodachrome film. I also took a photo from the top floor of the office where I worked the day center section was lowered into position to join the two legs. (Unfortunately, it’s stored on a slide in one of the many boxes holding years of slide trays that are stored in the back of the closets.) 

And in case you’ve never been to Saint Louis to visit the arch in person and you’re wondering how people get up to the top of the 630-foot-high monument to look out of the little windows there … well, there are steps, but not many people would want to climb up them. Instead, there is a little train with little people pods that will carry you up and down.people pod

The People Pod

And trust me, it is a real trip up to the top! By the way, the Arch’s real name is The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and it is part of a National Park that runs along the Mississippi River at the exact location where French fur traders landed  250 years ago to found the city dedicated to Louis IX, saint and king of France. So we’re having a big birthday party around here this year. Come visit and help us celebrate.


Well, after way too many false starts, and way too much snow, hail, rain and unseasonable storms spring arrived in West Walnut Manor.  And I was actually able to sit out on the back deck without wearing a snowsuit and read my Kindle in 70+ sunshine. And I must confirm, the Sunshine Makers were totally correct.

Then with a snail’s pace, I forced myself inside to work on today’s INSECTS OF SUMMER ORIGAMI FOLDING PROJECT ... TREE SNAILS

Technically a snail is not an insect. The same way people who live in RVs and TRAILERS really aren’t people.hawaiisnail

This is a Hawaiian Tree Snail!

And this is my origami version of same …DSC09605And yes, I really don’t think he’s going to fit inside of his shell.  That’s called origamic license!

Remember a couple of days ago when I proved the really can’t go home again! Well, in true never say die fashion, I’m at it again! This time I’m going to prove that you can really can be like a child again.  I’ve had several gift cards setting in my Amazon account from my birthday and Christmas, and the other day I went shopping for those great B movies I enjoyed so much on Friday nights with my box of Ju Ju Bees and in the company of my Aunt Edna. And today, they arrived.


Reviews will be coming in the near future.

Now, I’m trying to decide if I should go to the Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza at the Saint Louis Zoo.Easter Egg Hunt

The keepers will be hiding eggs for their charges that day. Could be interesting.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS: So, write your own caption!


Guess what? It’s HUMP day!

AKA as Wednesday, the day in the middle of the week. So let’s get down to the business of the day.


You remember crickets don’t you?Pinocchio2

Jiminy Cricket in person.

As voiced by Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike) he was one of the most memorable characters ever created by the Disney Studios. A lot of that fame goes to Wish Upon A Star, too. But getting down to the nitty-gritty, this is what a cricket really looks like.insect E1

And when recreated in origami paper, this is what you end up with …DSC09598

I added the little eye to give him a bit more personality. Unfortunately, he really lacks the charm of the Disney version.  But then, you haven’t heard him sing.DSC09589

A hat!  He really needs a hat. And while I do a fairly decent Ukulele Ike, Mlle. Renee refused to allow me to sing.  Party pooper!

Well, that’s …3cce




THEN THE GLOOMY DOOMY CLOUDS COVERED IT UP FOR THE REST OF THE DAY: For some reason, ever since the groundhog saw his shadow on February 2, we’ve been reliving a deja vu version of that dumb Bill Murray Movie. Enough already! I don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus! I want to be happy and gay and sing all day like the Sunshine Makers!  “Sunshine, sunshine, there’s nothing like the good old golden sunshine!”  And Mlle Renee says the same thing!DSC09574She’s lucky, she’s got her warm and fluffy blanket and pillows to keep her happy at nap time everyday. If people would just stop flashing the dumb camera at her all the time.

Any way it’s Tuesday and time for today’s INSECT ORIGAMI PROJECT!

And today’s insect is …cicada


Now I know there is no way I’m going to capture the utter uglyness of that summer insect with a sheet of origami folding paper … but, I’ll give it my best.


And I didn’t! Actually the background photo is better than the folded paper. Well, you can’t win them all.

And as some auther once wrote, “You can’t go home again.”Unknown

Well, I set out last year to prove him wrong! And all I did was prove him right.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The home where I spent fourteen years growing up once stood on that lot.


Sure, the rain that is falling will releave the drought conditions that plagued us the last several years. It also means that the muddy spots in our lawns will soon be filling out with lush green grass.  But until it shows up Mlle. Renee will be walking through those muddy puddles getting ookey muddy feet. For some reason she refuse to walk through clean water puddles to wash the mud off by herself. Which means I’m back on muddy paw patrol again … standing guard at the back door for doggie foot inspection. And Renee does not like her doggie feet inspected. Even worse, she does not like having her doggie feet washed if they are found to be muddy!  Renee does not like to get wet … from rain,  from snow … and especially from the small bucket filled with warm, doggie shampoo water. I eventually win in the end when I’m actually wetter than she was to start with. And she’ll just stand there giving me the stink-eyed, mistreated dog stare. Sure, she’ll let me dry and buff her down with her fluffy terry towel.  But I won’t be forgiven until I’ve cajoled her with the proper amount of Beggin’ Bites. (They’re a one inch square version of Beggin Strips.)DSC03589


Yes, folks, Renee rules around here. And somehow I feel like she has found a way to communicate with my departed mother and learn all the mom tricks for wrapping me around her little front paw. My evidence of this …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



MONDAY’S ORIGAMI SUMMER INSECT FOLDING PROJECT: The subject for today’s folding challenge is THE LUNA MOTH.  And just so you know what a luna moth looks like before I start, I GOOGLED a picture of one.luna-mothTrust me, mine won’t look anything at all like that. I’ve seen the folding instructions already and I know there is no paper left for a long tail like that on the rear wings.LunaMothClose, but it misses the brass ring. Well, you just have to remember that origami is not a photographic science. The exact image is in the eye of the befolder.

You are now entitled to two groans. Don’t blame me, I still haven’t recovered from last night’s season premier of GAME OF THRONES. I do wish that they would make all the characters wear name tags in the first couple of episodes of the new season. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard. Wait, I just got confused with the opening of the baseball season. And it isn’t even spring around here yet. Anyway, getting back to G.O.T.  – I do think Arya Stark has grown a bigger pair of balls during the season break.  And I’ve read the books. so I know who Jon Snow’s mother is. (Evil smirk!)images


Without resorting to Google, can anyone tell me for what Broadway musical was the song SUNDAY, SWEET SUNDAY written? Bonus points if you can tell me who was the composer, lyricist or person who sang it.

I’ve got a lot of things to cover in this post, so I better get started.



I don’t know why, but I cut off the entry steps to the church in the photo I took,


Some people call them lightning bugs and others fireflies, but you only can catch them and put them in jars after dark on a warm summer night.DSC09562

It’s a giant firefly.  And in case you haven’t noticed, the backdrops of all the insects are photographs that have been featured on these pages in the past. The question is … will I run out of background photos or origami insects?

I do have a lot of insect photos though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   leaf hoppers …   MONARCH   butterflies …   BEE   and bumble bees!

Click on the photos if you would like a close up view of the insects.

Now, let us move for bugs to bellies.  Have you ever wondered what happens to the Jelly Bellies that don’t make the grade for the Jelly Belly bag? Well, the company found a way to sell them to you anyway …  by simply changing their name!


I discovered them while shopping today.



Though I do wonder about them not meet Jelly Belly’s demanding standard for FLAVOR?

FINAL INPUT: I have always said that I would never call people on my camera, so why would I want to take pictures on my cell phone. Well, it is time to fessup! I did take one picture with my cell phone and Mlle. Renee made me do it!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well,  that’s it for this weekend’s wrap-up!



And I spent the entire day loafing. Actually, Renee and I slept in this morning. And when we finally did get out of bed, I spent a good portion of the day doing odds and ends and still wearing my PJs. Actually, the only reason I changed into real clothes was to go out and put some seed out for the birds.

I did do an origami folding project today. Mainly because I wanted to list one accomplishment for the day. So what will I be folding for today and for the next couple of weeks?

Caterpiller Remember yesterday’s caterpillar? Well, where there is an origami caterpillar … sooner or later you know you’re going to have a ….


Yes, summer will reign in spirit while I fold THE ORIGAMI INSECTS OF SUMMER. (Until I use up all the folding instructions for same.) So, does anyone have any special bug requests that you think will stump me. I might even take a trip over to the INSECTARIUM at the ZOO to capture some live bug photos.

Oh, well, guess it’s time for me to put my PJs back on and go see how bad SNL is going to be tonight.


If you remember in the Thursday edition of my life and times on the interweb, 1) I used up the backlog of photos of orchids I had taken at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Annual Spring Orchid Show, and 2) I also used all of the origami birds I had been using as my salute to spring.  I guess it doesn’t make much difference because I don’t think we’re going to have any spring this year. Yesterday, we had a lot of storms … rain, hail and tornadoes. But only one of them caused any damage (downed trees and torn up roofs), but no injuries. It also left us with yet another blast of winter with icy, cold winds all day. And tonight and Saturday morning the temps will drop into the freezing range again. That’s why I think we are going to move directly from winter weather into summer weather with no spring or Easter Bonnets.

With that in mind I’ve decided to move my daily origami challenge from pretend spring themes to potential summer subjects.

FRIDAY’S SUMMER ORIGAMI CHALLENGE: The Caterpillar In The Rose GardenCaterpiller

Notice, he’s fast at work doing what caterpillars do best … eating the blossoms in your summer garden. Where will this lead? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see what developes naturally.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

In a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo that captures the threshold — that point just before the action happens, that oh-so-sweet moment of anticipation before that new beginning. It could be a door about to open, or something a bit more metaphorical like a flower about to bloom. THRESHOLDSide entrance of a historic old stone church. What secrets and memories await the visitor who crosses the threshold. 


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