Mlle. Renee made a few tracks in the snow, but only close to the house were the accumulation was lighter.
When she ventured into the deeper snow she seemed lost in the wilderness.
Oh, well, I guess she’s getting tired of the winter weather, too!
About a half-lifetime ago, I used to travel around the country a bit producing radio and television commercials for the St. Louis shoe company where I worked. On these trips to distant cities, I got into the habit of picking up an unusual looking rock and bringing it home to my mother who would add it to the aquarium that housed her terraium garden.
Mom passed away more than eight years ago, and with my lack of green thumbs the terrarium soon followed. And it has been sitting out on the sun porch ever since. Last week in one of my clean freak breakdowns, I cleaned out the assorted rocks and shells and dumped the potting soil in a hole in the lawn. I also washed the rocks and shells thinking I might give them to my nieces for craft projects with their young children.
I found it one Sunday afternoon while walking through Central Park in New York City. The reason I brought it home to Mom was because it looked like her dog Nickie who died of old age shortly after Mom did. A second look at the rock convinced me that now it looked like my canine companion Mlle. Renee when I adopted her seven years ago.
If I must be honest, I guess Renee did look like a young Nickie when she picked me out at the Animal Shelter. But that was almost seven years ago, and Renee’s muzzle seems to be greying up a bit these days.
Well, you be the judge.
I recently received this handmade card from a friend and fellow blogger who lives in a neighboring state. Through our blogging, we discovered that our families are from the same village of Alsenborn in Germany. My paternal great-grandfather Franz left there and immigrated to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, and her mother was born there and was actually baptised in the church seen in the photo. Surprisingly, I had seen the church before! In my search for family history I had searched the internet and discovered this photo of the ancestral village. And the church is right in the middle of the village. My searches also produced several confusing photos. A farmer plowing the field with an elephant! That started me wondering if the Brothers Grimm had also been natives of that village. Then, I found this photo. Further research discovered that the circus wintered in the village, and that someone had actually put them to work plowing the fields. I also discovered that there was a castle in the area of the village. Naturally, it was high atop a hill looking down on the peasants. I didn’t jump at the possibility of royal ancestry, since I knew that my great-grandfather had been a first lieutenant in the Prussian Army and immigrated to get out of the army. Unfortunately, my aunt had destroyed all early family records and given away all of Franz’s (now known as Frank) Prussian Army medals (to a junk man). My family is crazy that way. I also explored my mother’s ancestors and discovered we might have a nobleman and also a Frenchman in the Polish side of the tree. But Polish noblemen and Frenchmen are a dime a dozen these days. But here are photos of where her family originated. Searching the family tree is fun, but it sure involves a lot of digging!
When I was a kid, we used to have a school holiday to honor our first president, it was known as Washington’s Birthday and celebrated on February 22 which really was calculated as his birthday. (Washington was actually born on February 11, 1732, under the Julian calendar in effect at the time he was born, but his birth date is reckoned as February 22 under the Gregorian calendar which was adopted in 1752.) Then in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill intended to create more three-day weekends for federal employees by moving the observance of three existing federal holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day) from fixed calendar dates to designated Mondays, and by establishing Columbus Day, also to be observed on a Monday, as a new federal holiday. There is no truth to the rumor that Richard Nixon was responsible for changing Washington’s Birthday into President’s Day to commemorate all presidents, by supposedly issuing a proclamation on 21 February 1971 which declared the third Monday in February to be a “holiday set aside to honor all presidents, even myself.” (Personally, because a number of our presidents have been scoundrels or scalawags, I don’t think they all deserve a holiday.) Now, my grandfather’s birthday is February 22, and he joked he wasn’t changing his birthday to the third Monday of the month to give a bunch of politicians an extra day off. Unfortunately, while searching the family history I discovered that grandpa was actually born at home on February 21, but it wasn’t recorded officially in the birth records until the next day. I still celebrate both birthdays on the 22nd. (Note, the photo above is not my grandfather, but one of several portraits of George Washington on display at the St. Louis Art museum.)
This week, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image. If you focus closely on your subject and use a wide aperture, your photograph’s background will also be beautifully blurred in that blank space. The blurred area behind your focal point is referred to as bokeh, and when executed well, it adds depth and artistry to an otherwise simplistic photograph. (For more information GO HERE.)
Well, it was a close attempt that really didn’t blur that much.
But, will anyone know what American Life is trying to sell in their blatant recreation of the painting in the recent Superbowl commercial.
It probably cost them a fortune to build the set they used.
Anyone have a painting they would like to see commercialized?
Today is Saint Valentine’s Day. It is a day dedicated to two, four or more men who may have been saints in antiquity (200 AD) … or not. The church really hasn’t be able to decided, and apparently the large lobby of chocolatiers and the Hallmark Card Company have been the only reason he’s still around today. And, he was named Valentine for his valor … but his parents had no way of knowing that when he was born and named.
JUNIOR MINTS … returning now in a fancy heart shape and with a white or red mint filling. Not to worry … red or white, they still taste the same. And that’s why I still love them. I’m always good to myself on Valentine’s Day, and that’s how I treated myself today. Also made creamy chicken with rice and vegetables soup for dinner which I also shared with Mlle. Renee.
Meet Dotty the Dodo!
She likes when I go up and down her back while saying Meep, Meep, Meep! and pretending to peck her. She likes the attention.
And it still holds up!
AN OPEN-FACE CHILI BURGER
WITH MELTED PEPPERJACK CHEESE
SWEET PICKLED PEPPERS ON THE SIDE.
(Hopefully, I also have sundry flavored TUMS if needed!)
And who says you won’t learn anything by reading The SMILING BAGEL?
TUMS® antacid has a long history in the fight against heartburn. Created right here in Saint Louis back in 1928 by pharmacist James Howe to treat his wife’s indigestion, TUMS® brand was introduced to the public in 1930 and quickly became an American icon.
The main production facility for TUMS® brand can still be found in downtown St. Louis where it was originally built more than 80 years ago.