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

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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

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

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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

Boadicea

Boadicea
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, March 30, 2013

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Ah Saturday, and miscellany!

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Ah Saturday, and miscellany!: New show: Curiosity Quest goes Green, host is Joel Greene!  Today's topic, how glass is 100% recyclable. Yesterday was Green Day local...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Car boot sales, recycling, spring, and decorated eggs.


Dr. E’s Greening

 

Car boot sales, recycling, spring, and decorated eggs.

 

It was minus zero on the first day of spring, in my town.  I think my Civil Lit professor was right when he said spring was just a euphemism for another Midwest winter. I have looked for robins, seen one or two.  There are green moss and some lichens trying to grow their way to sring, and I think the vernal equinox is assed.  Snowdrops are out, but the forsythia and pussy willows are nowhere.  I dreamed last night of acres of bittersweet, bursting orange and sunshine along our hillside, but it was not to be, and I’m a season or two ahead of myself.

 

I began to straighten and spring clean, but got fantastically sick with asthma and a bad sinus situation, which I call Sylvia Plath disease, since she and I both have suffered so terribly from sinusitis.  I really think that’s what ultimately wore her down and lead to her destruction.  I’m too tired to do much of anything, but write, and read. Not a bad life, but the house is a mess. I also can’t breathe.  That gets old.  There is still a gold mesh mechanical reindeer on our front deck; he is fastened down, and not easily moved.  I’m going to hang and Easter garland around his neck. 

 

Easter itself is named for a Teutonic goddess of spring.  There isn’t much Christian about her, but there are many fertility symbols and rites that are her legacy, including Easter eggs, lambs, and rabbits.  Some of these, of course, do have religious significance in many churches.  I rallied enough to get to the Eier Markt at a local museum, and found Czech eggs, gingerbread done in the traditional style, jewelry made of recycled computer components, which I find every exciting, traditional German pretzels, and other fun decorated egg sculpture.  My mom and I are legendary for our Easter trees made of white branches, first done in Kindergarten.  I’ve painted and decorated eggs for many years.  Time and work don’t permit me to take them all out, but I set around modest displays, and take some to my shelves at work to display.  The other day, I saw my second grade lamb, white with black face and vinyl snout, on a 1966 Dream of Jeannie episode.

 

I listened this morning to My Word! This is a British radio show, usually witty and very funny, on our local public radio station.  Today, the subject was car boot sales, the British version of a flea market, where different vendors set goods out in a parking lot of other open space and see things out of their trunks, or car boot.  The narrator was talking about the “lust” of buying gardening supplies for his wife, and at a bargain rate, too. This is how we feel about our yard sale Saturdays, and I think back to The Scavenger’s Manifesto, which discusses that universal love of bargains.  This is recycling at its best, as far as I’m concerned, and it is a way to bring new life to objects.

 

Visiting these sales is a way of reading those who sell; when they are cleaning out their own closets, the objects they sell tell the biographies of who the sellers are.  And, I have to think of Barbara Pym, who, in commenting on Proust’s  possessions so carefully reserved in his home museum that, anyone woman’s things would be just as interesting.  It is in common folk that history is told, that stories are made.  Each display in a yard sale or “car boot” sale is the story of someone’s life.  There is a lot of food for thought, and novels, right there.

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recyled Silverware Jewelry

Great story from a TV station I surfed called kwqc.com  Click on Fran's Features for a story of a couple that uses old silverware to create lovely jewelry.  We had rings made of old spoon handles in junior hi.  I still have mine and will get them out.  I also have pins and a barette I made from an old spoon.  These are great ways of recycling and very pretty.  We can save a little history and more than a few family heirlooms.  I guess this is another of those collections of things I don't collect featured on Dr. E's Doll Museum, one of my other blogs.  It's great to find new use for things; anything to keep them out of the landfill.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Her Kind; a Novel of Women's Lives

918studio releases Throne fiction debut: Her Kind LECLAIRE, IOWA — March 18, 2013 — 918studio announced today the release of a debut novel from author, professor, and small press publisher, Robin Throne. Her Kind, a novel was inspired by Anne Sexton's famous poem of the same name, and is an epistolary novel of an unassuming matriarch who chronicles a family migration from England to the new England to Iowa, and the settlement of the lost river village of Parkhurst (now part of historic Le Claire). Throne was also named the recipient of the fourth David R. Collins' Literary Achievement Award March 16 at the Midwest Writing Center's Literary Banquet at the Outing Club in Davenport. Past recipients have included notable local authors, Sean Leary, Michael McCarty, and Connie Corcoran Wilson. Her Kind, a novel is available for purchase at the Midwest Writing Center, Artswork in Le Claire, The Book Rack in Davenport and Moline, Book World in Southpark Mall, and Prairie Lights in Iowa City. The Kindle version is available from Amazon.com. Past releases from 918studio have included Nancy Ann Schaefer's In Search of Lode (2012), The Legend of Tug Fest and other LeClaire Ghost Stories (2012), Jane VanVooren Rogers' How to avoid being and other paths to Triumph (2011), and Ellen Tsagaris' Sappho, I should have listened (2011). For more about 918studio, visit www.918studio.net

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Laugh of the Medusa; Sister of Erzebet


Of Medusa:
 
 

 

Medusa is of course, the Greek myth’s female monster with wings, scaly body and claws, and snakes for hair.  She is mortal with a beautiful human face.  She has two sisters like her who are immortal.  The myth states that anyone who looks at her turns to stone.  As with many of the female monsters in Greek myth, Medusa was turned into a monster for punishment; she was vain and bragged about her beauty one time to many.  The gods were angered and zapped her. 

 

Perseus ultimately slays her; he cuts off her head but does not view her directly; he uses his shield as a mirror and looks into it.  She is sleeping at the time of her death.  I have to wonder how heroic his act really is. In essence, he slaughters a sleeping, helpless woman, lying in the bosom of her family for protection.  The immortals had already punished her enough; did they have to have her murdered, too?  Different, yes, but how ugly was she really?  The gods and goddesses of Olympus were still jealous enough and angry enough to put a hit on her.

 

Thereafter, Perseus carried the image of Medusa’s head on her shield.

 

I draw comparisons with Medusa and Erzebet.  Both are subject to “myth” and the ruling religions require their persecution and destruction.  Jealousy and anger play a factor in the fates of both, and both are subject to “overkill” beyond their punishment.

 

Actually, there are many good versions of the Medusa story; she even makes appearances in Clash of the Titans.  Joseph Campbell, Thomas Bullfinch, Sir James Frazier, all have written credible accounts of the Greek myths. For my money, I’ll take Edith Hamilton and Mythology any time.  When I read and reread her, I always detect a little sympathy for the monster.

 

Actually, I have to say, I felt sorry for Medusa.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Restless Spring

We are in a transition; the weather is very shizo and undecided these days. It is 20 degrees in the morning, 50 by the afternoon, and we had our daylight savings time. i just want to be outside, and find stepping out in the midst of an athma attacks, helps. Today is sweater weather, but we had snow showers earlier in the week as well. Go figure. I have Easter bunnies haunting me, and see eggs everywhere. Emma cat is all in a flurry when she plays mouse dolls with me. Here is an ad from Logees, with its gorgeous plants and seeds. Our local stores are also setting out greenhouses. It is never to early to think of saving egg shells and coffee grounds for compost heaps, either. Reading Mary Kay Andrews Deep Dish, about a would be cooking show star, and how she shops local for her show "Fresh Start." There are some nice ideas there, and some original ones for how she conjures a ripe pumpkin for a Thanksgiving shoot done in July! Logees: Growing and Cooking with Curry Leaf (Murraya koenigii) http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=ipv6l7n6&v=00157CTivewlimzVvhp_mc55cGdrNNwtkxvKTQFU_T0qMPKws__mZ_-OU8EL7OTn-o2IZKYIFeBCHL__dnLrQDDEyMq-wlr-fZsFkmnw_cvIGA%3D Curry Leaf Greetings! Curry Leaf makes a wonderful potted plant for your culinary collection of aromatic herbs.The fragrant leaf has a nutty, pungent flavor and is a prized addition to South Indian foods. Logee's Curry Leaf plant is highly valued by both the chef and gardener. History Curry Leaf is native to India and is used in delicious Indian, Asian and Thai dishes throughout the world. Believe it or not, murraya is from the citrus family (Rutacaea). It has been used for centuries in Ayruvedic medicine for its antidiabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Growth Habit Logee's Curry Leaf plant has an upright and open growth habit, which means that the branches have a somewhat "loose" appearance. As an indoor plant in temperate areas, Curry Leaf grows and flowers from spring through fall. In the north, it can experience a resting period during the winter months when the days are short. Sometimes, leaves will drop. Don't worry. This is normal. Propagation The easiest way to propagate Curry Leaf is by seed. It takes a year or two to get the seedlings established. We ship seedlings but take great care in pinching them (pruning the growing tips) when they are young so they will make a multi-branched specimen giving you more leaves to harvest. Sun and Temperature For best results, grow in full sun and keep temperatures above 40˚F. If grown in warm conditions with high light intensity, Curry Leaf will experience less of a winter resting period. Watering During the winter resting period, do not keep the plant too wet, especially if the leaves have dropped. Too much water will tend to promote root disease (root rot). During the warmer months, keep the plant on the dry side. Let the soil come to visual dryness before watering. We recommend growing in clay pots so the roots stay healthy. Soil Use a well-drained potting mix. This allows necessary moisture to reach the plant while at the same time maintaining good aeration in the soil. We have also found that a slightly acidic soil keeps the plant healthy. Fertilizer Regular applications of fertilizer are helpful to stimulate plant growth. You can top dress with organic fertilizer every 6 weeks or apply a liquid fertilizer at half the recommended dosage once a week during the active growing season. Pests and Disease Curry Leaf typically doesn't get many pests. It can get foliar or citrus mealy bug. Treating for Mealy Bug To organically treat mealy bug, we recommend using neem oil, which smothers the bugs. Also, concurrently you must use high-pressure water to dislodge the cottony mass, which is where the adults, crawlers and eggs of the mealy bugs hide. Repeated applications of neem oil are needed. Winter Dormancy Curry Leaf can experience interveinal yellowing (chlorosis) on its leaves during the wintertime. Cool temperatures seem to be the major factor for this leaf problem. It often indicates that the plant may be getting ready to go into dormancy. If you increase the temperatures, you can slow or prevent dormancy or loss of leaves. If your Curry Leaf plant loses its leaves and only has a bare stem, cut back on watering and wait for winter to end. Your plant is fine. It's simply resting. The leaves will re-grow in spring. Pruning Plants that are older and have an open shape can be pruned early in the season just as growth starts and they will still flower later in the year. We recommend pruning annually to keep your plant tight, compact and producing the greatest amount of tasty foliage. As mentioned above, when plants are young, pinch the growing tips to start forming a bushy plant. Cooking with Curry Leaf Curry leaves are an essential ingredient in most savory South Indian recipes. They are highly valued in curries or with coconut milk. In Cambodia, the leaves are toasted on an open flame and then crushed and sprinkled into soups. As with most aromatic herbs harvesting them fresh is always best. They have a short shelf life in the refrigerator and lose much of their flavor if dried. Curry leaf is not the same as curry powder (that is a mixture of spices such as coriander, cumin, fenugreek and chilies). Enjoy your delicious curry leaves! If you're interested in Curry Leaf, click here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Doll...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: With Love from Tin Lizzie; A History of Metal Doll...: See Below: Results 1-1 of 1 User Review - Flag as inappropriate We all have our own personal history shaped by the dolls that were p...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scavengers and Charities

I just finished The Scavengers Manifesto, and was stunned at the knowledge of the animal world, history, green living, eco living, saving money, bargains, antiques, and thrift. There was even a discussion of Freebay and Grunge bands, really all kinds of bands. This is a must for those who love bargains, recycling, and The Earth. Here is Amazon's review, with an image. There is another image of one of my favorite books on International Thrift Stores. From Amazon: Destined to become the bible for a bold new subculture of eco-minded people who are creating a lifestyle out of recycling, reusing, and repurposing rather than buying new. An exciting new movement is afoot that brings together environmentalists, anticonsumerists, do-it-yourselfers, bargain-hunters, and treasure-seekers of all stripes. You can see it in the enormous popularity of many websites: millions of Americans are breaking free from the want-get-discard cycle by which we are currently producing approximately 245 million tons of waste every day (that's 4.5 pounds per person, per day!). In The Scavengers' Manifesto, Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson invite readers to discover one of the most gratifying (and inexpensive) ways there is to go green. Whether it's refurbishing a discarded wooden door into a dining-room table; finding a bicycle on freecycle.org; or giving a neighbor who just had a baby that cute never-used teddy bear your child didn't bond with, in this book Rufus and Lawson chart the history of scavenging and the world-changing environmental and spiritual implications of "Scavenomics," and offer readers a framework for adopting scavenging as a philosophy and a way of life.

Winter Musings


Well, I’m sort of back.  Here are two new recipes for cold winter days.  We have been inundated with very fluffy, but blinding snow, and I keep getting hurt shoveling or sliding in it.  I’m forbidden to mess around with the snow these days, and my wonderful fourteen-year-old little guy used his snow day to clear the driveway so I don’t get stuck into the incline going u. It is a very treacherous incline; you wouldn’t think it’s there till winter comes, and the street is too narrow to stop along, very frustrating.  Many’s the time I’ve had to lie next to the car, knife in one hand, battery run blow dryer in the other, shovel weighting, trying to melt my car out of a drift!  The neighbors, mostly middle aged men, all go by and wave.  They must think it’s my version of winter zumba.

 

Alls is well, but overwhelming.  It seems everything is out of control, yet all I do is work, home and office.  Liz, Volume I of the Bathor Chronicles is finished, as is All the Dolls in the World, an illustrated children’s volume.  A History of Metal Dolls is about to go to publication, finally!

 

I have stacks of magazines on green living to share, and ideas from our green café as well.  There is our local Radish, and Wellness, and dozens of others I get here and there that I wish to share.

 

There are also books now on black flowers, which make me want to garden right away.  I have saved a poinsettia, and my indoor Geraniums are thriving. 

 

Our local weatherman noted today that between the lightest/longest day of the year nad the shortest we lose six hours of sunlight.  I can believe it.  I find that very depressing indeed.

 

About to watch Samantha on Bewitched, who is now on in BW, the early shows I don’t remember.  One of the highlights of my life was when my mom took me to see Agnes Moorhead, dressed as Endorra, all in rose chiffon.  She had come to be a guest lecturer at the high school where my mom taught.  I was five, and thrilled to the bone.  The mackerel loaf is a variation of her Salmon loaf, made with canned Salmon.  How I miss her.

 

Ellen’s Chicken a la King


 

1 can Swanson’s chicken a la king, about 6 oz.

1 can cream of mushroom soup, about 8 oz

¼ small onion, diced

Two stalks celery, diced

3 Tbs melted butter

Flour

About 3 c. skim milk

Thinly sliced fresh zucchini

Enough boiled spaghetti for 3-4 guests

 

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven, big enough to cook for 4.

Sauté celery and onion until clarified

Add flour, about 3 Tbs. and take off heat.  Begin to make a roux

Add skim milk slowly and blend roux into milk with celery and onions in it

Blend well over low heat, bring to a bubble but stir constantly

 

Add cans of soup, stirring constantly

Bring to boil and lower again

Add sliced zucchini and cook till just tender.

 

Serve over well-drained al dente spaghetti or noodles. Season as desired.

 

Serve with wild green, beat, fresh queso salad with light sesame ginger dressing

 

 

Mackerel Loaf


 

1 12 oz can mackerel

Two stalks celery sliced

Sliced onion, one small yellow onion or shallots

Seasoning to taste

Thyme

Italian style breadcrumbs

Two eggs, beaten

Tree round teaspoons I can’t Believe it’s Not Butter

Cooking Spray

Crumbled vinegar and salt chips.

 

 

Spray bottom of nine inch loaf tin, or use glass.  Combine all ingredients well and mold into tin or baking dish.  Embed butter into mix.  Crumble vinegar and salt chips over the mixture.  Sprinkle with thyme and seasonings.

 

Bake at about 400 degrees for thirty minutes. Serve with salad or fresh, sliced fruit or crudités.

 

Salmon or Mackerel Salad


 

1 can of either fish, about 12 oz.

Sliced stalks of salary

Sliced onions

Diced hardboiled eggs, optional

Olive oil

Lemon juice

 

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and chill in fridge.  Serve with fresh bread, iced tea, and salad of choice.