Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum



Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!


Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain


The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

b organic

A great show; on PBS/Create. Check your local listings. It's as if they read our minds!! See pbs.org.

Friday, January 28, 2011


A simple recipe made easier; my 12 year old ate it, and compared it favorably to Hamburger Helper stroganoff. What more could we want?

Stroganoff, can make with beef, chicken, hamburger, tofu, boca burger, lamb, meat, etc., or no meat or tofu at all.


1 TBSP. butter or Margarine
1 TBSP. flour for the rue
Add about 2TBSP brandy

About 3TBSP sour cream, or add to rue to desired consistency
one can, 8-12 oz. french onion soup [or add her own homemade soup]
1 c. green peas, canned, fresh cooked, or frozen, or other vegetables and/or mushrooms.
1 TBSP parsley
About 1.5 c of meat or tofu, see above. I used chopped up deli roast beef I bought whole sale. It was excellent.

Make the rue, mix butter and flour, take off low heat and mix to a paste. Don't let it burn. Add the sour cream, return to very low heat, stir constantly. Take off heat. Add the brandy and stir well. Add the soup, return to low to medium heat; gradually bring to a boil, stir well, and reduce heat. Add the meant or tofu and then the vegetables. Stir well. Add the peas. Let simmer about ten minutes. Serve over boiled noodles, rice, potatoes, rotini, or other pasta. It's great with take and bake bread, especially crusty French or Italian bread. If you use hamburger or stir fry meat, sautee and drain first, then add to sauce mixture.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Orchids and Recycling Art Bottles and Other Blogs

Well, it's another cold, dreary day. The sky is so gray that everything outside seems to be tinted in black and white, sort of like Pleasantville. I feel like I'm in an old BW drama like CBS Playhouse, for which one of my professors wrote. I took my still tiny, petalless orchid to work. It is keeping company with my boss's fantastic orchid and its special like. It was very kind of him to help it along. Right now, it is the Charlie Brown Orchid, not to be confused with my Charlie Brown tree.

In a catastrophic week, one of the perks was my Havanna diet mocha cappuccino with Splenda. I had it in my car all night, sealed. I have to hoard these things and hide them, or young children of all ages and species get to them. There it waited this morning, with promises of being "Delicious Hot or Iced" and a beautiful art deco woman's portrait on the bottle, which I'll save for flowers and flower arranging later. It's one way to recycle bottles.

I love my bottles, come to think of it, and love to use Arizona tea and others with corresponding silk and real flowers. I also like to collect scenes in bottles, and am trying to recover a tiny bridal scene I had when I was small. I love, of course the ships in bottles, and even have dolls and miniature ships in the dolls house.

Here are URLS for other blogs I've started, some for writing and literature classes. There will be another online poetry journal for our local writing center, which is still under construction:

http://memoirlifestory.blogspot.com - A Blog for my seminar on writing memoir.

http://pymbronte.blogspot.com - A Blog for my course on Charlotte Bronte and Barbara Pym, with graphics, pictures, bibliographies and other materials and ideas.

http://dollmuseum.blogspot.com - Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog with book excerpts and materials about dolls and related subjects. Also, the beginnings of a web museum to preview the actual museum being planned.

Please visit often and comment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Julie and Julia, Memoirs, and Blogs

I am full of projects these days, and very sick, of course. I've tried to beat sinusitis, which I refer to as "Sylvia Plath Disease" with natural remedies and OTC pills. Mainly, I try to rest, which is not possible.

Over the last few weeks, I did finish Julie and Julia, and watched a lot of the Julia Child shows on PBS, especially where she cooks with Master Chefs. I see why she allegedly did not like the Julie/Julia project. It must be hard to create something for as many years as Ms. Child spent creating her cookbooks and recipes, really, her persona, and then have someone come along and cook it all in one year, foul language, maggoty kitchen, crudites [and I don't mean h'ordeurves], marital issues and ego, and all. Yet, I'm doing to the author of the Julie/Julia book, even as anyone who writes a one page review of a book that took months, maybe years, and several hundred pages to write.

I found the film an inspiration, and really, it encouraged me to start blogging. It also got me seriously into cooking and experimenting. In fact, I have to say I had the same experience making mayonnaise as she did; it wasn't Child's recipe, I'm sure it was me, but I'm opting for Hellman's and the jar from now on.

In fact, let me say, it is "hell, Man!" making mayonnaise from scratch.

But, I found the book sad, and disturbing, and I found her allusions to Jack the Ripper, there, and in her book on Butchery, even more upsetting, and I'm someone who teaches law and criminal justice, writes about it all, and reads about serial killers to go to sleep at night. She also could have anasthetized the lobsters, but that's besides the point I guess. The follow-up to the book is even more depressing to me, and then, she seemed to stop the blog, or at least, I think so when I looked for it.

My dear husband is making syrup to pour over my melomacarona or Greek honey cookies as I type. It is made of equal parts honey, sugar, hot water, and a little brandy. It is poured over a butter based cookie with a lot of butter and cake flour in the dough, flavored with orange juice. You then sprinkle them with chopped nuts and sugar/cinnamon, or even sesame. My mother in law likes them; my mom was very good at them, and as M. In Law, points out, my mom's were better though mine are good. C'est la guerre; it's true. But, my mom made them all of her life, nearly 65 years of cookie baking, and I made them about five times, usually with her. I hate cooking on my own.

Time to haul out of bed and try to get dressed. I am looking for plants for spring, and some potted tulips and hyacinth are out. My indoor begonias and geranimum are thriving; orchids and poinsettias are holding on, and one umbrella plant wants to dry out, but I'm surprised I can keep them going.

I want spring to come very badly, though I am still hanging evergreens outside, and my holly is in its glory. Till next time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things we Like for 2011

I love lists, like many of us out there. Who hasn't stayed up for Letterman's top ten every so often, just because we couldn't help it!

Here ar two lists of my likes/dislikes for 2011:

We like:

1. The Radish
2. New ideas for planting and seed catalogs.
3. After Christmas sales at 90% off. 75% is an acceptable place to start.
4. Covered bridge winter scenes.
5. Hot cocoa and coffee on cold days.
6. American Pickers on Netflix.
7. Free samples on kindle.
8. Ideas to recycle.
9. Etsy, and all hand made ideas and sites to help artists and craftspeople.
10. Old family pictures.
11. Chanel no. 5
12. Baking baklava for my friends.
13. Months with few bills.
14. Time to write, alone, set up in my living room, with the things I love surrounding me.
15. Sunny days, about 45-70 degrees.
16. Violets, pansies, May Day, the first roses, all roses.
17. Puttering in the garden with my nighbor.
18. Our B/N coffee sessions.
19. Knitting while I listen to people read in my writers group.
20. Time to paint or craft.
21. Repairing dolls, recycling materials I have.
22. Cleaning out my closests, donating to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
23. Walks with my neighbor and my neighbor dog.
24. Playing with my cat.
25. Decorating my mother's grave; spending time there alone, where I can think.
26. The House on the Rock.
27. New exhibits at National Museum of Play.
28. Twitter
29. My museum followers.
30. Blogging
31. Seeing my books throught to publication
32. Lecturing on dolls/history/setting up exhibits.
33 "Date time" with my husband; working on projects with my husband.
34. Any good bargains, flea markets, yard sales, rummage sales.
35. New books by Anne Rice, Diane Mott Davidson, Monica Ferris, Shirley Holub, Deb Baker, Pat Cornwell, Elizabeth George, Deanna Raybourne, RD Wingfield and Margaret Grace.
36. New bios on Anne Boleyn.
37. A newly discovered Tasha Tudor book.

Next time, a few "don't likes," but not too many!!

From Lucys Ktichen Notebook

Below, a post sent to me from a blog I like to follow. She has interesting things to say about free-range meat. It is a gorgeous blog from Lyon, home of the Jumeau doll factory at one time. Enjoy.

Lyonnais Producer: Black Pigs from the Bugey

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 04:11 AM PDT


Here in Lyon on the St. Antoine Market on Sundays and at the Producer's Market on Place Carnot on Wednesday evenings, there is a pork producer who sells his version of a figatelli and various sausages ranging from a saucisse à cuire to exquisitely à point saucisson sec for slicing thin and enjoying with l'apéro.

In addition to charcuterie, they supply us with quality pork and lamb at reasonable prices. This meat is so much better than anything you can get from the butcher who sells meat from the wholesale markets, and the price is equivalent. The secret to their success is that these farmers raise their animals traditionally and make their living direct from their product, selling retail only. The quality really comes through.

On their farm, apart from traditionally raised pigs, they have Iberian type black pigs that they allow to roam free in herds. These pigs are nourished by feed but foraging behaviors that are natural to this breed's tradition are honored as well. They munch on wild acorns and chestnuts and roots of various kinds to fatten up for winter in the forest and pasture on the farm, and since they are constantly moving animals, their meat is a deep dark red color, certainly not "the other white meat". Availability of this special type of pork is limited, since they follow traditional cyclical breeding and slaughter practices. We won't see these succulent pork cuts again until late next fall. Sigh. Remind me to show you this meat stand when you come to visit.
Come visit!

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Link to Radio Interview on Art Talks

Click on Link for October 31st once you get to site!


Books being Published, Resolve to Find an Agent and Pot Pourri Resolutions!

Happy New Year to all! I took a whirlwind New Year's Eve trip through a local RR town, and in the wonderful Natural Food store found inspiration and food for resolutions. I'm not a resolution person; I used to be too young, and too happy, and now, well, I'm too stressed, usually by the demands of other peoples' schedules. But, I've decided I need to make some promises to myself at least, if I'm going to survive. The recent Radish magazine, and a host of free publications on wellness and natural foods from Cornucopia, the store, were a huge find for me. I recommned them to everyone, and note that the best strawberry vinaigrette dressing recipe I've ever had came from The Radish.

There are also lots of hints for eating well, and for eating right, as well as how to choose organiz foods. Amy's brands come out on top, as do several commonly found boxed macaroni and cheese mixes that are organic. I also found organic miso soup packets and rament noodles. The sesame ginger was very good.

So, one resolution is to comparison shop more, and to mix in more affordable organic choices into my cooking. I have cut down for all of us on fast food, and I cook much more than I used to. So, another resolution to use more of my mom's recipes and to pay attention to cook books and cooking shows has been fulfilled.

I also resolve to make my mom's egg and lemon, or avgolemono soup asap. I'm going to use a big can of organic rice or low sodium chicken rice or chicken noodle soup. The key to this is to whip up fresh eggs with a beater, usually, whites first, and slowly add lemon and yolks, then combine before serving with the broth and noddles. My mom added marrow bones to cook with the chicken because we liked them. She did a savory version with a tomato broth soup with celery and cooked pork stewed in it. Then, she added the egg mixture and let it simmer slowly. I loved it on cold afternoons, and she often made it on a Sunday.

I also loved her scrambled eggs with canned tomatoes. With toast and home fried potatoes, you couldn't beat it.

So, here are a few resolutions:

1. Don't stress myself over others' schedules and demands.

2. Find a publisher and enquire; followup on some of the great sites in Writer's Digest Yearbook, current issue.

3. Write more poetry regularly. The poems are in my head, and need to get written down.

4. Keep up with my writing group and local writing center. I really got out there last year with seminars, readings, and publications. I have two books coming out this year, a Bibliography of Dolls and Doll books, and a chapbook of Poetry called Sappho, I should have listened. I may have a textbook coming out, and another book on Metal and Mechanical dolls is ready to go. My little boy and I submitted last year a book for the Holocaust Education Project, A Book by Me, and it should be out, soon. I need to get at least two proposals out, and need to work on my novels. I may make them into novellas, or long short stories, but they need to be out among the pages read by others.

5, Resolve to keep working on controlling my temper. I can keep from exploding, but the effort to control and the internalizatin make me sick. I have to diffuse it in healthy manner, and let the idiots next door who assault and vandalize me, and stalk me everywhere, work, church, you name it, go. They need to get a life; if I ignore them, they will tire of mine and move on.

6. I need to ignore the childish/psychotic attempts for attention of my husband's ex-wife, a mental patient with a criminal record, who also loves to stalk, and who, on at least one occasion, has cavorted with my idiot neighbor. Back to my earlier resolution, write more poetry.

7. Focus on what makes me feel good, doll making, writing, music, get out my guitar and play it again, as I did the piano.

8. Follow Sappho's advice and control my tongue.

9. Put work and all its problems in perspective.

10. Keep cleaning out closets, but keep working on getting the web museum going, and finding how to make the doll museum work.

11. Spend more time gardening and planting. This helps me enormously, and I spend time with my good neighbor on the other side. I want to learn more about orchids and poinsettas as well.

12. Try go find a way to cope with loss of those I love, and to live with the onging, everpresent grief for my mother's death. I don't know if I can, but I will try.

13. Try to go somewhere; little trips help, would love to visit the
Strong Museum to do research.

14. Keep collecting, but be more selective, do more research and cataloging, more writing and consulting. I love the Antique Doll Pages.

15. Keep up with Twitter; I love it!

16. Keep sending things to our friends at Sun Valley Indian School. We love the kids there. Keep thinking of how to help in local charities, and find places to donate books.

17. Keep in touch with those I love. When someone does something bad to me, do something good for someone else.

Good bye for now; look for my other book on Amazon, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym, and those who have read it, write a review!

Take care.