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It’s your turn now: for this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue. What do they say to each other? For more information go here!  

This is a dialogue Mother Nature has been having with us at 4:30 each day for the past several afternoons …




THE SUMMER STORM!  The Approach … the Darkening Skies … and finally the first drops of rain falling. I didn’t stick around to catch the Deluge because the lightening was coming to fast and furious. You can also see how the color of the photos changed as the storm moved in.



Had a bit of internet problems this week. While West Walnut Manor is not located in the immediate area where this week’s protests and rioting have been occurring, my internet provider’s substation is located across the street from all the action. And it was hacked by that group called Anonymous.  As a result, the signal from all six local TV stations were reduced to silent static. Also the internet connection was reduced to donkey cart speed. While it took them two days to get the local stations back, it took a little longer to get the speed back. So I just took a couple of days off for an internet vacation.

For better or worse, I’m back again. And today was the monthly get-together with the Castaways’ Lunch Bunch … a group of former co-workers who get together on a somewhat irregular basis to dine and gab.  Today we went to THE HILL for a bit of Italian soul food.

The HILL is a great place for doing a bit of Tourist Trekking. It has a lot of homes dating back to the Italian immigration to the city over a century ago.DSC00380

And a lot of statues in the yards.  A few silver painted goddesses …DSC00381


And a lot of saints!DSC00382

And occasionally, you might find a business  with some classic Act Deco ornamentation.DSC00379

Today, our eatery was a classic Italian restaurant known for it giant fishbowls of beer.DSC00383

That’s a fishbowl over the entrance. You’ll  also notice one of the SAINT LOUIS 250 BIRTHDAY CAKES  on the sidewalk, too. This one was designed by one of the ladies in our lunch-group.DSC00386

Here’s the backside …DSC00387

Hey, the lunch and chit-chat was good, too. I had my usual Italian restaurant order … cod-fish with fries with slaw on the side.

On my way home, I discovered two more architectural highlights in the neighborhood.DSC00388

A soda company of yesteryear.DSC00390

And O’CONNELL’S PUB in one of Saint Louis’ classic red brick buildings that dates back to 1905. And yes, it was a tavern back then, too.


If you asked me to describe the weather we’ve been having this week, I could reply in three words …


We have been having rain every day since Tuesday … with an accumulation of over FIVE INCHES. And according to the 10:00 late news on Saturday, we’re stuck with this weather through Tuesday. So Renee and I have been spending most of our time indoors.DSC00358

Yes, Renee has been perfecting her afternoon  nap on my bed with her pillow. And a couple of afternoons she even allowed me to share my bed with her for a brief nap, too. I got to use my own pillow.

Today, I really wasn’t in a real nap mood. So I decided to clean thing up on my desk while she napped.

First, I decided to see what I had been squirreling away in the little red velvet box that lives next to the phone.DSC00360

First there was this box of  tic tacs that were the most recent addition.DSC00361

They were supposed to be SUMMER ICE POP  flavor. I tried one of each of the three color tics and/or tacs and I have no idea what the flavors were. I doubt if I’ll try again.

Next, I discovered this …DSC00367

It was a gift card I received from someone for some occasion that I can remember. But I must have liked the card because I put it in the little red box. But maybe I put it there because I didn’t redeem it?

Next, there was this photo of my high school graduation.DSC00369That’s my mother, me, my paternal grandmother and my father.  Also, if you look closely …DSC00370

You’ll see my seven-year old little brother making like Kilroy behind the front porch.

Also in the box there’s SPIKE and SPOT…DSC00371

They moved into the box because there was no longer any steel or iron in the room to which they could cling. Alas, progress and the advance of plastic and aluminum.

And last, but not least … the little red box also serves as a home for …DSC00359


You might think that he’s just an origami raccoon, but that’s just a disguise.

He really is a daemon, who hasn’t visited in a while!

For some reason, this post is starting to sound like another episode of Toy Story.


This week, share a texture found in an unexpected place. It could be made of natural materials or with man-made objects. For more information go here.




(Click on the photo to see all the textures.)

Does anyone (besides myself) think the remains of this tree resembles the decapitated head of the Big Bad Wolf? Which was why I photographed it in the first place this week.


ME … Sailor Bob


What kid born during WWII didn’t have a sailor suit? My favorite uncle, namesake and godfather had just joined the navy.Three Sailors001

He was just a teen when I was born. So I was like a little brother to his big brother.

2 bobs001


This was the day I brought Mlle. Renee home and she is holding the first toy she ever owned.

She had been rescued on the streets of the city when she was six months old  by the Missouri Humane Society. They performed surgery on her and nursed her back to health. I was there the first day they put her up for adoption. When she saw me, she said I had to take her home with me. I did, and they gave her the Hershey Boy to take home, too.

dagwoodsandwich I also just realized that August is NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH. And while I don’t want to go through the hassle of creating and eating a different sandwich for each day of the month, I did want to do something to honor the month. I also didn’t have a slice of bread in the house. So, since it was also Throw Back Thursday, I decided to make something I would have enjoyed when I was a kid. So, I whipped up a quick batch of my flakey biscuits and got out my Grandmother’s Throw Back cookie cutter  and made a pan of chicken shaped biscuits to serve as my bread.DSC00347

And I created a chicken shaped PBJ&M for my lunch.DSC00348

That’s peanut butter, strawberry jam and melted marshmallow …

On a chicken shaped biscuit with two mini-PEEPs on the side.


I even was able to make a pan of irregular-shaped regular biscuits that should last me a couple of days.

I guessed you probably realized that it has been raining all night and day so far.


Ok, I promised to provide coverage of my visit to The Missouri Botanical Garden for the celebration of Henry Shaw’s birthday.


I don’t think he would have been upset, since it was his 214th celebration. Anyway, it was an almost spring-like day that showed up at the end of July. So my friend Bill and I decided to meet for lunch and then head down to Mr. Shaw’s Garden Party.


Lunch was the Taco Salad I had been craving for the past several weeks, and I was half way through it before I realized they had failed to put the salsa on it. My bad!

Anyway, once we got to the garden our first stop was the CORPSE FLOWER.


It’s not a very attractive looking plant, and it rarely if ever blooms. And when it does bloom, you’ll understand how it got the name Corpse Flower. I actually smells like a rotting corpse. Lucky us, it didn’t bloom until the week after our visit.

Our next stop was the historic Museum/Library Building.DSC00245

The building is only open to the public on special occasions. It’s main feature is the fresco ceilings.DSC00246


Sadly, the Saint Louis weather has affecting the aging plaster in the last several years.

Henry Shaw built his garden around his country home.DSCF0698


And that was the next stop on our tour.ShawCountryHome

And I was able to get a photo of the kitchen …DSC00248

And the breakfast room that overlooks his herb garden.DSC00249

The dining room, bedrooms, parlor and office were filled with visitors which made photography impossible.

A visit to the garden is like stepping back in time to a Saint Louis of yesteryear, and you almost expect to see Mr. Shaw strolling around his garden.DSCF0697

Tomorrow, I’ll take you on our special visit through the Garden’s Climatron.DSC00271





The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag



For this week’s challenge, share with us your own take on zipping and zagging.  It can be a winding path, the Herringbone pattern on your coat, a scar: any jagged line that tells a story. For more information, click here!

Zigzag UpsAnd Downs


The Forest Park Metrolink Station

31 DOC – Origami Butterflies Are Free … Day 31

Well, I’ve reached the end of my personal 31 Days Of Creativity which centered around butterflies and in particular origami folded paper butterflies. And having reached the end of my challenge, I decided to set the butterflies free to return to nature.








And, after covering the Rose Of Sharon shrubs with folded paper butterflies, I noticed that I was attracting other members of Mom Nature’s family to the area.DSC00326


So, BEEing wise, I decided to retire from the scene.

NOTE: After a month of folding paper butterflies, I have not been able to master the techniques needed to create a butterfly to even come close to the illustration seen on the cover of the instruction manual.Butterfly




31 DOC – Photogram Butterflies … Day 30

Today, I decided to vary my daily creative quest and go from origami to an art form used by Man Ray and Pablo Picasso.

THE PHOTOGRAM … which is created by placing real objects on a sheet of photo sensitive paper and exposing  it to light.DSC00324

I created this work about 49 years ago.  The objects featured in the photogram are assorted butterflies and moths, mimosa branches, dandelions and other weed blossoms. The 12 x 36 print  was decoupaged to a sheet of masonite and has hung on the wall of the sun porch until last week  when the screw holding it up pulled out of the wall and came crashing down in the middle of the night. I thought someone was breaking into the house and got up to see what was going on.  My fearless canine companion yawned and went back to sleep. No damage, other than my Australian bush hat falling into Renee’s water bowl. Well, it had to be washed anyway before I mowed the lawn this week.


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