Easter

Easter
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

Google+ Followers

The Legend of Tugfest

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

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
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

Follow by Email

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

Boadicea

Boadicea
The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

There was an error in this gadget

Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

Daily Calendar

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess

Labels

  • I (1)

Search This Blog

Pages

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Heloise's Hints

This was one of my favorite columns when I was growing up. I read her and Dear Abbly faithfully in the old Argus, as we knew it then, with a Roundup and recipes and society section everyday. Here is a letter written to her which is in public domain, and also some public domain photos. I am also including some varieties of the black flowers we love so much.
Hints From Heloise: A life made easier Text Size PrintE-mailReprintsBy Heloise, Published: December 30King Dear Heloise: It was such a tremendous pleasure meeting the woman who has been so quietly influential in my life. (Readers: I was doing two seminars at a women’s conference in Austin. Sireesha was at one of them. — Heloise) Because of you, my mother, who immigrated to the United States 40 years ago, learned ALL THE TRICKS of traditional American households. Let me explain.
Moving here was no easy task for my mother, Raju, who left all the comforts of home and her own “mother’s tips” to embark on a journey from India to this land, half a world away. She did not grow up using some of the commonly used household items and was unaware of many things that American families had generationally passed down. It wasn’t until she came across her new friend Heloise’s column that she began to feel just a little closer to making this home.

Relief

Well, two weeks and $400 later I am once again feeling much better; how clear everything looks after a good night's sleep and minimal pain. I think stress and allergies are what are going to kill us, at least most of us. Maybe we should step up our efforts in med research to cure them. It has been a trying couple of weeks, peppered with good things like our fantastically successful launch for The Legend of Tugfest, some great antiquing, blissful weather, good friends, and time to spend with family. There were lucky days where I found a dollar in tne middle of nowhere, or heard from an old friend, and devastating days, where a friend chose to end his life, though he was very young, and another decided not to speak to me because his misguided professional ambitions and personal greed overtook his feelings for me and his friends. Oh well. Some of us will grow up. It is also a much smaller world than we think, and I discover this everyday. We are all related in some way, both good and bad. Our local grocery is now carrying black petunias. Black flowers are "in," and I plan to plant a few more pots. The moles and vholes seem to be leaving us alone, though I pretty much came face to face with a raccon the other night. Am still looking for new ideas for water sustainability and concerving our oceans and rivers. Would love to hear of any books or materials. I'm also into nature writers these days, and would be happy to take book recommendations. I'm am involved once again in the local bookfairs and will try to sell books at several bookstores. My goal is go get my name out there as a writer/poet, and I am getting some place and am very greatful to 918Studio, Rivertown Creative and MWWC. In some ways, I probably owe them my life and well-being. Happy planting, and here is a poem in honor of my late friend S, a marathoner, and of his sister-in-law, who as it turns out, I've known for quite some time. To an Athlete Dying Young The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the market-place; Man and boy stood cheering by, And home we brought you shoulder-high. To-day, the road all runners come, Shoulder-high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Townsman of a stiller town. Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. Eyes the shady night has shut Cannot see the record cut, And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears: Now you will not swell the rout Of lads that wore their honours out, Runners whom renown outran And the name died before the man. So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet foot on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up The still-defended challenge-cup. And round that early-laurelled head Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl's. Alfred Edward Housman

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: In Memoriam Anne Boleyn May 19th

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: In Memoriam Anne Boleyn May 19th: Every year I mention her; she's fascinated me since I was 8 or 9. The cruelty of her fate, the saddness in her life, the isolation and fear...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

3 am is the Darkest Hour of the Soul

Or, so said to that effect F. Scott Fitzgerald. Barring Saturday, I haven't slept since Friday night with one thing or another. So, I tried the usual remedies, and watched my Perry Mason on MeTV, and just did the dishes. I've read, and knitted, and watched Emma-cat sleep, but maybe it's just been to much of a week. We lost at a young age a good friend at work very suddenly; he was a father, son, teacher, marathoner, financial analyst, good friend, caring roommate. It really was too much. One week ago, I was talking with him at length, shop talk and life in general. He had finished one marathon and was training for another at 52, probably in the best shape of his life. Now, he's gone, literally ashes for eternity, dust in the mind of history. None of us will forget him, but coping is very hard. I am shocked at the lack of compassion so many have, and how they think his unexpected death will somehow impact them. Blind mouths; small minds. I have thought of much tonight, of those I love, of how much I've lost. I keep thinking of Mother's Day, and how for me, it is another trip to the cemetery, and my mom hated cemeteries. One of my original 49 tips was "be spritiual, whatever that means to you!" Now, I have to emphasize that for everyone. I try for productive insomnia, and hope for even one solid hour of rest, but this sinus garbage won't set me free this year. This is at least the 4th or 5th time this year, and the last two felt like a walking pneumonia. RE my post on toxins; there are more in facial scrubs and some antibacterialk soaps. Google the topic, and read carefully. I know I can't use certain apricot scrubs due to an allergic reaction, and a certain plus version of a popular cough syrup makes me look like I have pink eye. Plant flowers or trees this weekend for someone you love, and have peace. Tell everyone you love, that you love him/her. You don't know if it will be the last time you see each other. Smile at a stranger; my first grade teacer told us we were all brothers and sisters. It isn't a bad thought. As hard as it is in an election year, try not to judge anyone. If we can't forgive, then try to forget. Sleep well. Now would be a good time to read F. Scott.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fright

I must say, I'm confused and a little chagrinned by all the changes to blogger. For a few horrible minutes, I couldn't get to my blogs at all. I could look them up on The Net, but that's all. Maybe this will get easier to use. Last Thurs., I heard an interesting presentation about carcinogens and harmful additives to cosmetics. The worst offenders were the foundations that claimed to fade age spots. I will post what the names of some of these chemicals are, with sources, soon. I also started a Pinterest account this week, and had a wonderful time creating boards. I picked up followers before I knew it. I am learning more and more everyday about social media and its uses. I always think; how can I use this to teach? We continue to work on our sustainability of water project, and just listening to the radio and NPR about sustainability of all other resources. I picked up a Mitch Albom book today; with a sick kitty, sick husband, and really miserable stomach myself, it hasn't been a great Mothers Day Weekend, so I yard saled. Haven't done it for a while, but notice more and more people are buying to recycle. There were a lot of things available today. Our local K-Mart had a terrific variety of flowers and shrubs. I saw hibiscus trees and lots of good geranimums. Prices were competitive. Anyone with a K-Mart may want to look. What I wonder is, why doesn't Target sell flowers when so many big box stores and groceries do. Last year this time, we lost our Opie, and now our Emma Kitty is ill. She looks exhausted; the fierce Gaga Bathory is gone. Twelve years ago, my little Smokey dog passed away on Mother's Day at age 14. He and Opie were born about te same time, but Opie lived to be nearly 24. Cats can do that, my poor little dog couldn't. My mom took, it hard, and now I'm spending my 4th mother's day without her, which is unbearable. Think of your mom tomorrow, and of all the women you love in your lives. Take care.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of Pelicans, Horses and Egrets

It is finally cool and sunny, as early May should be. Our river and its many little islands and sand bars are full of pelicans and egrets. A horse broke loose this morning and was galloping down a main avenue of our metro area. I saw the same thing happen on a trip to Galena many years ago, where a group of five or so horses jumped the fence at their horse farm. They were running in formation down the country highways, amid the hills and green farms. No Olympic marathoner had it over them! A brown and white beauty, leading the herd, paused and turned to look at the other horses as if to say, "Are you coming?" These days, my interests lie in scattering seeds and planting flowers, especially black ones, in all varieties. So far, we have Black Velvet and Phantom petunias, William Guiness Columbine, and holly hocks. There are more of other colors bursting forth, and a black trick or treat pansy I hope to reseed. We have other colors from seed and cuttings, and always, a few surprises. This is proving to be a difficult spring, but one I try to appreciate. I have been recycling paper, which is a good thing at the rate I have to use it, and mulching whenever I can to preven erosion on my slope. I don't have much free time, but I try to spend what I have sitting outside, writing, or planting. I like to create miniatture terrarium vignets and gardens, and I have a gnome village at the base of an oak tree. There are many garden ornaments hiding among leaves and old trees. I'm never quite finished with this aspect of gardening, and it carries over into Halloween and fall decorating. Tonight, I hope to go walking again. We have monarchs in the yard again; they always make me happy and remind me of my pet caterpillars and days in field biology. We even had a magnificen black and yellow spider one year, and dozens of grasshoppers, even a turtle once. All these were mere guests, and given their freedom after a few hospital hours with water, incomfortable accomodations with lots of air holes and favorite foods. I asked my husband to make me a small pond, just something for water lilies. I loved water as a child, and now I'm going back to it. My large cast iron mermaid is a testament to his love. Find something you love, and ignore the naysayers. I find this gets me beyond the difficult times, though I don't believe in closure. Where grief and disappointment, but especially grief are concerned, there is no closure, only acceptance. We make room for them as permanent guests in our houses, and we learn to set a place for them at our table. Years ago, after the death of one of my grandparents, I was crying, and I asked my mother what the three of us, she, dad, and I, would do, if something happened to one of us. "Why," she said, "we'll just go on." I'm trying, Mamma.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Doll Museum: The Doll Book Again

Doll Museum: The Doll Book Again: I will follow with a series of posts on Starr's wonderful book. It is available as a free eText on the web. I don't find the writing archa...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Healthy Cooking with the Great Cooks

Like so many of us, I watch the pub. TV cooking shows on Saturday. Most of them give tips for saving food and not wasting, and for using healty ingredients, despite their basic loyalty to cream and butter. J. Pepin today was making vegetable dishes including ragout of asparagus, tomato/zuccini au gratin, and a cauleflower casserole, on which he quoted Twain, "a cauleflower is a cabbage with an education." Pepin noted he saved the leaves and stems to make soup. Stock is easy to make with vegetables and other ingredients. I think it is time that keeps us from doing it. Also, community gardens are in the news here, and there are whole commissions and state agencies to create rain gardens in public/and private areas. Iowa has one of these, and I know California as worked on this idea for some time. Illinois is also rain garden friendly. There are also housing communities being built with maintenance of a community garden in the reality contracts. Ask in a comment or write me for more information. Finally, a happy accident; I didn't follow the directions making cream of wheat today; I put in the farina first,then the water and salt, and let them all boil together, but just barely. It was perfectly smooth, and very good. A real culinary felix culpa!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Free to Share Writing World May

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Free to Share Writing World May: W R I T I N G W O R L D A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World http://www.writing-world.com Is...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beltane

It is Beltane, May Day, The Day after Walpurgis Night. We Survived the Original Friday the 13th involving the demise of the Knights Templar. Just saw a strange Internet headline; times of day when you are more at risk for death. Really? Do I need to know this? I once played an Internet game that said I would live to be will over 100, and would die October 2, 2061. It freaked me out no end; I kept thinking of missing the Holidays. Life is hard enough. On a lighter note, I went yard saling for the first time, and enjoyed it. No guilt, no nothing. I found a bulb planter for .25. I tink it made my weekend. My black hollyhocks are thriving, and we expect blossoms. It has been too cold and damp to plant anythingk but it will warm up, so I will be looking at flowers. I'm using a n old wicker sette as a display for colorful plots, and an antique enamel teapot to plant in. It really has seen better days. There are tips for living green everywhere, on more sites than one can mention. Today I heard of community shreds, where you can take confidential papers to be shredded safely. This is one more way to battle idendity theft. Last week, I bought a tiny doll made from orange peels at our local SERV store. I am constantly ammazed by uman creativity. While I don't advise hoarding, I try to think recycle and renew. I was thrilled at my yard sale to buy three unused packages of note cards, in different colors, for .25, and a box of business quality resume paper for .50. I can use these for my work/research and also for art projects. I love that kind of bargain. Yard sales, and trades, and thrift shopping, when done right, are great ways to recycle. I have to applaud my friend and her business Reusable Usables which has been a big success. She takes donations of all types of used items, and clean cardboard, glass, and plastics, and turns them into projects. Artists really enjoy here. Our friend Jean O'Melia is anoter inspiration. She creates dolls and figures from all kinds of found objects she sanitizes, paints, and recombines. I could have a wole museum just of her idesas. I love the Somerset Publications like The Art Doll Quarterly, because they feature found art, and reusing fragments of old dolls, buttons, scraps, and bits of paper ephemera. The zines, books, collages, paper dolls, clothing, jewelry, etc., created are fantastic, and this type of art encourages green living and recycling. It is also great to get kids involved; they can unplug themselves for awhile and engage in some summer activities. It has been a strange week; the wind toppled speckled birds eggs onto the cement. The sparrows and chickadees love to build nests on my light timers. I've done ER and triage for serveral baby birds over the years. My mom and I collected hatched egg shells from robins and other birds, but the birds were long gone. There are fat rabbits everywhere. Very cute. I would love a small pound, surrounded by our rocks and stones with a few water plants. Any ideas? Also saw the local African violet show and was struck by the terrariums and gorgeous blooms. Many were ruffled and two tones, and there were reds, and fluted flowers that looked like orchids. I was both inspired and jealous. My fantasy this week would be to be holed up somewhere with flowers, good coffee, and the piles of books and NY Times Reviews I'm dying to read. What is your weekly fantasy?