For the past week or so, I really haven’t been in the mood for cooking. Blame it on seasonal malaise, winter doldrums or even a somewhat boring Olympics. Anyway, for the most part I’ve been dining on canned soups, leftovers stored in the freezer, sandwiches (egg, tuna and ham salad) and on two occasions when I was out and passed a Subway Shop, a made to order sub sandwich. But today, I was in the mood for really food that would stick to my ribs. OK, so that Polar Vortex is heading back our way and I wanted something that would leave me with some leftovers to get me through any potential freeze-ins!
I call it my RUSTIC CHEESEBURGER MEATLOAF … it is a specially spiced meatloaf that is topped with grated cheese and a special tomato sauce. After tonight’s dinner, which was served with Parmesan Crusted Pasta Shells and a Garden Veggie Mix, I’ll have enough leftovers for five or six more dinners.
And after dinner I actually went back and watched the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. And I take back what I said earlier about boring. I have no idea how they animated those giant stuffed animals at the end.And when the when the bear blew out the Olympic flame
Ok, I’ll admit it! My eyes were a little dewy, too!
Well, today was the first parade of the Mardi Gras revelries and as usual Mlle. Renee decided to sleep in. It was the annual Beggin’ Pet Parade in Soulard.
Actually, Mlle. Renee really isn’t into playing dress up. She’d be willing to nibble on a piece King Cake or even a Beggin’ Strip, but in the middle of a parade of canines (and cats) I’m sure she would rather play run, roll and chase. GAD-ZOOKS! I have visions of being pulled through the streets behind a pack of wild and crazy parade pets.
Besides, on Sunday, I like to sleep in, too.
Despite the meddling of Congress to create a three-day holiday weekend and honor all presidents past and future in a conglomerate holiday, today really is Washington’s birthday. My grandfather took great pride in being born on February 22, and when he heard Congress had moved the holiday celebration of Washington’s birth from the 22nd to a new floating holiday he declared, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Congress change my birthday.” He was a man of many weird and various political points of view.
George did not cut down a cherry tree. That was a fiction.
George did not toss a silver dollar across the Potomac. Really, that river is a mile wide! However, his step grandson did see him fling a piece of slate across the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. A much narrower body of water, too.
But didn’t anyone ever tell him you don’t ever stand up in a rowboat? But that’s a matter of artistic license. The boats Washington used to cross the river had much higher sides. And they did have to stand because the bottom of the boat was filled with water. Also they did not bring horses and artillery across in rowboats either. They used ferries for that. The other inaccuracies of the painting were the flag and the ice floes. The stars and stripe flag did not exist when he crossed the river. And ice on Delaware does not form in jagged floes. But it does on the Rhine in Germany. And that’s where the artist who created the painting was born.
George did not wear wooden teeth. His false teeth were actually real horse, mule, human and cow teeth set into two lead plates held in place with a spring action.
George did not wear a wig. He wore his hair long and tied in the back in a pony tail. As was custom of the time, he did powder his hair.
At the time of his death George owned and operated the largest whiskey distillery in the country at Mount Vernon.
Finally, George was not the country’s first President. There was a period of eleven year’s between the Declaration Of Independence and the signing of the Constitution in 1787. As President of the Continental Congress in 1776, John Hancock was the first president of our country. He was followed by Samuel Huntington and finally John Hanson. George Washington was the first elected President of new government under the constitution.
Final fact: Washington’s Headquarters Tent that in worked and slept in during the Revolutionary War still exists. The only reason it is still around, is the fact that it has been in storage for almost 200 years. It eventually will be put on display at the proposed Revolutionary War Museum.
Final Note: My grandfather was always proud that he and George shared the same birthday. In researching my family tree I discovered the original registration documents of his birth. The date on the document … February 23, 1890. Clerical error? Could be … the 22 was a Saturday and the 23 a Sunday in 1890 the official record was filled until Monday. Anyway, today would have been his 124th birthday.
Happy Birthday, guys!
IN A NEW POST PUBLISHED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE “THREE” PHOTOS TO TELL A STORY
The Saint Louis Zoo actually has a herd of ten Indian elephants. And last summer I set out to photograph the entire herd. While they do have spacious exhibit enclosures the herd has to be split up when on public display.
RAJA, the only male in the herd and the father of four daughters has his own private stomping grounds with pools and water falls.
And here are the AUNTIES … the other females in the herd who share in raising the young ones.
Did I manage to capture the entire herd on my (five) photos? No, I missed one. In addition to the public viewing areas seen in these photos, the herd also has a private ELEPHANT WOODS that simulates the jungle areas where the elephants once lived in the wild.
Sorry, I couldn’t tell my story in just three photos.
In case you think I’ve been giving short shrift to my blogisodes for the past week, you’re right. It wasn’t the snow or ice, polar vortexes, fluctuating highs and lows, or even today’s premature spring thunder storms with the potential for a tornado. No, this goes back about six months to when I visited my doctor and asked her about a small pea-sized growth on my cheek. She said I should have it checked out by a dermatologist, and gave me a recommendation. OK, I called the dermadoc and made the appointment. The earliest I could get to see her was two months later.
So, she looked at the spot and said … it looks like a basal cell cancer. But we wouldn’t know for sure until a skin scraping was tested at the lab. While she scraped, she informed me that basal cell cancers are the most common and slowest growing cancers you can get. She also told me that she would send the scraping to the lab and she would get back to me in a week. The lab was in Texas. Also Thanksgiving and Black Friday were in that week, so the results didn’t come in for a week and a half.
I have always had a Candide-like belief that we live in the best of all possible worlds. I have that belief because my Dr. Pangloss was an amalgam of religious brothers who were my teachers in high school. [And wouldn't you know ... just as I typed that line ... there was a blast of thunder and the electricity went off. Thankfully, I only lost the last half of the preceding line.] Anyway the biopsy confirmed my cheek spot was basal cell, and my dermatologist recommended a surgeon who specializes in MOS surgery for facial work. [Would you believe I lost power three times trying to type that last line? The storm has move through into Illinois, and the sun is shining brightly outside my window. We do have high winds in the area, and that is causing a problem with the power lines.]
Not wanting to screw up my holidays, I made an appointment for the first available day after the first of the year … which was February 6. After that the surgery was scheduled for last Thursday at seven in the morning. Removing the cancer was easy, covering up the hole was hard. I survived, all the bad cells were banished and I went home with a bandage covering the right half of my face. Thankfully that wasn’t my best side. Today, I went back to have the stitches removed. The surgeon was pleased with the results and she said everything will be getting back to normal shortly. The surgery and the recovery was painless, and I have high praise for all involved. However, I doubt if I ever opt for cosmetic surgery.
While I have never read Voltaire’s original novel, I love Leonard Bernstein’s modern operetta version staged in the round by Hal Prince in the early 70s at the Broadway Theater in New York where I managed to see it. It quickly became my favorite show ever … and not just because Candide asked me to hold pants while he made love to Cunégonde on the platform in front of my seat.
By the way, you can live in the best of all possible worlds,
It all depends on what you make it!
Now, I know there are those who don’t get excited about reaching a thousand.
But he’s a member of the Smiling Bagel entourage!
OK, so where do we go from here?
Starting tomorrow … POST # 1001!
In other words, we start counting all over again!
So Happy Valentine’s to all of visitors to the Smiling Bagel’s online home.
Today is also the fifth anniversary of me and Mlle. Renee. I adopted her on Valentine’s Day 2009. And I think it was the luckiest day ever for both of us. She knew it was a special day, and she came into my bedroom about five in the morning. Actually, she was probably cold and wanted to sleep at the foot of my bed and keep my feet warm. It was a cold and gloomy day so we slept in and didn’t get up until eleven. She heard the mailman come up on the front porch and she had to wake me up to go get it. We actually received a Valentine card from Marika and Dash who live in Arkansas. Here she is checking it out.
We just discovered that Marika and I share a distant family relationship. Her mother was born in Alsenborn a village in the Rhineland of Germany where my Great Grandfather Franz Edler was born. Not only that, but one of the remaining Edlers in Alsenborn (all Edlers are related in Alsenborn) is married to her great-aunt. So that’s almost a distant family relationship, isn’t it?
For our anniversary dinner I made a cheese-burger pizza (no onions or garlic) which we shared. As you probably know already, cheese is Renee’s favorite food. Well, right after butter that is. The fifth anniversay is the Wooden anniversary. So I guess I’ll give her a stick as soon as the snow melts.