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

Daily Calendar

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess


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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Autumn Dolls, or why I Refuse to Acknowledge the 100 Degree Heat Index!

I belong to a Facebook Group titled “For the Love of Fall and Halloween.”  That says it all.  We love, love autumn.  We countdown the days to Halloween, and share our collections of Halloween decorations and autumn leaves.  It is inevitable that the dolls and figurines of the season also frequently appear.  I love the season because of the memories it evokes.  When I started school, it always seemed to get cooler much faster than it does now.  Fall meant apples and new school books, new clothes, new friends, and new classes.  My mother would be sewing my Halloween costume, and we would be planting mums in different colors.


Autumn meant caramel apples and The Spoon River Scenic drive.  It meant leaf collecting, and handmade ink blocks to make our own leaf designs and stencils.  Fall fashion meant new sweaters and boots, plans for Thanksgiving, and cool, crisp nights.


We got out the blow mold ghosts and masks we loved to decorate with, and took out my cutouts for our window.  Some were vintage examples, scarred with ancient scotch tape but still beloved.  Others, equally loved were now faded, collage projects of construction paper, poster paint and old magazines.  My favorite decoration along these lines was a Halloween poster the local 7th graders made for Bell’s Auto.  The grim reaper, hooded and draped with real material, reached out a hand made of chicken bones! The effect was truly eerie!  I wish I’d had Instagram in those days!


My collection of witch dolls, some from Salem came out, along with my Crypt Keepers.  Even our doll houses had ghosts. One Tootsie Pop ghost wrapped in Kleenex was a gift in grade school from a little friend named Joanie. It still haunts the doll house.  Others are was novelty candles.  Beanie Baby ghosts and other Halloween plush share room with vintage pumpkin lanterns and hard plastic figurines.


On Halloween night, after we decorated with gourds and as many jack o’ lanterns as we could carve; my dad took me and my friends trick-or-treating.


The next day, sugar skulls and assorted skeletons and Calaveras decorated the house for The Day of the Dead, an important holiday to my mom and me; we both taught Spanish.


By the time “The Nightmare before Christmas” came out, I was in Halloween Heaven! I also recommend Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and the Bradbury narrated animated film of the same title.


At Thanksgiving, my Pilgrims and Native American dolls decorated our table along with turkey statues and chicken candles.  We hardly had room to eat!


In memory of those wonderful days, and of my family that made them so good, I share with you some of the fall dolls and collectibles from my collection.  Turn out the lights, plug in the blow mold décor, switch on the led candles and turn up the air conditioning so you can cuddle up under your favorite blanket as you enjoy this tour of autumn dolls, toys, and collectibles.

A Man, A Riding Mower, and a Pomeranian

This morning as I pulled into work, I saw a man around 50 astride a riding mower with a Pomeranian in his lap.  The Pomeranian was well groomed and well heeled; it had obviously ridden this way before and liked it.  The man was lanky, cigarette in mouth, weather-beaten.  He had that washed out look many heavy smokers get, but his shoulder length hair was reddish brown, wavy, and clean.  How I'd like to know their story!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Roses and Colors

From L. Piro, House Beautiful, "The Meaning of Every Rose Color."


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hummingbirds and small, shrewish women in black

I was nose to beak with a hummingbird today. It liked my zinnias. I met a vole or shrew last week. It reared up and glared at me, a tiny woman in black

Memories; My Grandmother's Meat Grinder, Julia Child, and Jacques Pepin

We love Jacques Pepin's "Heart and Soul," and all the memoires he evokes.  Today, he reminisced about making hamburgers with Julia Child.  Then, he reproduced the recipe.  He began by grinding his own hamburger from brisket.  That's how my grandmother used to do it.  For the first time in years, I remembered standing on a chair next to my grandma Marie while she turned the handle on the old silver colored meat grinder she used.  She used the meant for keftathakia, or Greek meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, stuffed peppers, and of course, hamburger.

I love his stories of cooking for Howard Johnson's.  It makes me miss their fried clams, the special cookies with the Swiss Chocolate Almond ice cream, the orange sherbet float with a scoop of lime sherbet in the middle, their cheesy dinner sweet rolls, their fried chicken, so much more.  They carried Dakin dream pets in their gift shop, and in a restaurant near Wheaton, IL, I saw Peggy Nisbet dolls for sale.  Their candy counter was legend, and I remember the great white chocolate lollipops that had designs in milk chocolate on the front. 

Now, of course, everything is different.  Our remaining Howard Johnson's building is now a Mexican restaurant.  Our other restaurant building is gone.  The Plaza HJ Hotel has been torn down.  And me?  I woke up one day and realize my time and my life were not my own any more.  I'm not sure when that happened, or when everything fell to me.  The caretaker's life is a grim one, indeed.  We always know what the end of the story will be.  Meanwhile, we cope with our memories, and try not to lose our minds.

Howard Johnson's Menu, Public Domain

Image result for howard johnson's menu public domainPublic Domain  Public Domain

Image result for howard johnson's fried clams public domainPublic Domain

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tip of the Iceberg; Some of My Legal Writing and Teaching Experience

Work History and Teaching Experience

 Looking for jobs as a free lance writer, professional blogger, edito, fiction or nonfiction.  Also check my LinkedIn Profile


Board of Directors, Comm University, in conjunction with St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA. Taught in Comm U, "The Doll as Other," a humanities course.

Quest College

3/2000-4/2000             General Education Program Coordinator. On-Line Legal Writing instruction. Teaching Spanish, English, Shakespeare, History of English Language,  and Literature. Supervise faculty in my department, prepare and write materials for NCA visit, work on scheduling.  General Education and Criminal Justice Advisory Boards. Created Developmental Center. Substitute teacher Small Business Management, E-Commerce Development, English, Management Courses.
Illinois State Board of Education Approval Received to Teach the Following Courses at Kaplan:

·         MT 310 Ethics and the Legal Environment (Helped Develop Class and Syllabus)
·         MA 208 Medical Law and Ethics
·         MT 211 Business Law (Developed Syllabus and helped Make Course a Prerequisite for other Courses)
·         HU 245 Ethics
·         CM 240 Technical Writing
·         CR 136 Legal Terminology
·         HM 117 Hospitality Law
·         All communication classes including Business Communications
·         Served routinely as a substitute teacher and wrote lesson plans, etc., for E-Commerce Course and Small Business Management.
·         All writing , literature, and humanities courses
·         All courses in criminal justice and paralegal programs

Marycrest International
9/99-5/00                     Instructor Ways of Knowing Symposium, Team Teaching Written Communications and Political Science. Compiled course materials and textbook.

Black Hawk College

Spring 1986
1998-2000                    Associate Professor Law, English, ESL Legal Writing and Research I and Administrative Law, Freshman Rhetoric, Introduction to Literature, Communications, Introduction to Short Fiction, Spanish: Intermediate Listening and Conversation, Faculty Institute on Japan (Grant from Columbia University), Teachers' Technology Tool Box (WebCT, PowerPoint, FrontPage, WebBoard), Journalism (1986, 1998-present), committee work, participated annual BHC English Conference, participant mini conferences service learning and distance learning,  conducted and completed survey of Paralegal Programs in the Area for Legal Assistants Program at BHC, developed courses for distance learning as well as study guides for Legal Writing and Research I and Administrative Law.

March 1999                Saturday Serendipity Program - Moline, IL Council for the Gifted


Business College                 Adjunct Instructor Business Law and Legal Writing and Research II

AIC Junior College

(Now Kaplan College)          Instructor Business Law (spring 1998)

Southern Illinois
University                   Graduate Assistant English Composition 101, 102, Introduction to Literature, Honors Composition, Writing Center Tutor (1991-95)

Augustana College
(1980-82, 1986-88)     Adjunct Instructor Freshman Rhetoric and Writing Center Tutor
University of Iowa     Research Assistant College of Law (1983-85)

Eugene Field School  Secondary Hours in Education/with Augustana College (Spring 1980)


1986-Present       Legal Writing, Research, Advocacy for various law firms in Iowa, California, and Illinois, primarily on a free lance basis.  Among my duties, advocate for Social Security clients, advocate for Employment Discrimination clients, drafting contracts, drafting briefs, motions, memoranda, and appeals.  Compiled a probate manual for office use.  Also, Legal Research, Civil and Criminal Departments, paid internship, 1989-90, Santa Clara County Superior Court, San Jose.  Wrote bench memos, appeals, coordinated Discovery Calendar. Experience with empirical legal studies and in Death Penalty Litigation, Administrative Duties in both departments, other criminal law, Iowa and California, moot court and client counseling. Researched Civil, Criminal, International, and Federal Law.


Humanities Evaluator for October 2001 Poem/Art Odyssey Project, a Humanities Iowa Grant Project, Faye Clow, Director.  September 2001, presented program, filmed by local Cinema Club with PBS/Cable affiliations, German Dolls and Immigration, German American Heritage Center, Davenport, IA, Dr. Michael Hustedde Coordinator.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Pokémon Go

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Pokémon Go: Pokémon Go Public Domain Image   Among my many doll and toy artifacts that make up Dr. E’s Doll Museum are several Pokém...

日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [Dr. E's Doll Museum in Japanese}: テリオの人形のコレクションを保持する方法と理由多分我々 はコールする必要がありますそれらの人形の歴史...

日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [Dr. E's Doll Museum in Japanese}: テリオの人形のコレクションを保持する方法と理由多分我々 はコールする必要がありますそれらの人形の歴史...: テリオの人形のコレクションを保持する方法と理由 多分我々 は コール する必要がありますそれらの人形の歴史家、あまりにも   Dollspart のデビッド Frolich のメモリで   人形博物館、博士 E の人形博物館ではバーバラと彼女の夫、デイヴィッド...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Easy but Authentic Moussaka; Hera would Cook this!

Public Domain

Moussaka; Sort of a Greek Lasagna!

1 egg plant
1 large red pepper, or squash, green pepper, etc as desired
3 medium Idaho potatoes; other work, too, but you may need more of them
1 lb lean ground beef [85%] is good, or crumbled boca burger, ground chicken, lamb, or turkey
Chopped onion or scallions, even garlic, to taste and as desired
Oregano, basil, rosemary, fresh or dried
cooking spray or olive oil
1 can tomato soup, about 8 oz, or tomato sauce, V8, or crushed tomatoes

Cheese for melting, shredded, Romano grated, mdzithra grated, etc.
butter, about 1/c melted
about 3/4 c milk
3 beaten eggs
Spray bottom of a large glass cooking pan, or other pan, or wipe with olive oil. Preheat oven to $375-400 degrees.  In other countries, check centigrade or metric system conversions.

Brown meat in pan with about 1 TBSP olive oil and onion.  If you use boca burger, just heat it lightly, maybe with melted butter.  Add tomato soup with 1/4 can water, or the sauces.  Stir, and you can add the spices now, too. Fresh mint is also good to add.

Take baking or cooking pan, and layer sliced potatoes and peppers on the bottom.  Alternate with sliced eggplant.  You can cut the eggplant earlier, sprinkle with salt, and wrap with paper towels to dry it out, but we've never done that at home.  Just slice it thin.

When meat is done, drain if necessary.  Spoon a layer over potatoes, peppers, and egg plants.  Add spices and about 1 TBSP salt and pepper.  You can add more later when it is cooked to taste.

Top meet with another layer of the vegetables and potatoes, and keep going till you are done with them and the meat.

Meanwhile, make a rue, with flower, and melted butter.  Take off the heat to whisk or stir it.  Slowly add the milk, and dashes of salt and pepper.  Stir smooth.  You may have to vary the amount of milk.  Then, whisk in the eggs.  This makes the crema or bechamel sauce.

Pour over the meat and vegetable mixture.

Sprinkle with cheeses.  Bake for about 55 mins.  Then, add slices of munster, cheddar, American, or provolone on top, bake five more minutes.  Make sure the juices are drunk up, or "dry."  Moussaka freezes well, and may be kept in the fridge and reheated, about 4 days.

If unsure of something, check basic recipes for behcamel sauce and moussaka in The American Women's Cook book, any Greek cook book, or recipes on the web.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A sandwich

A sandwich

日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [Dr. E's Doll Museum in Japanese}: 日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [First Post; Please Forgive any Er...

日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [Dr. E's Doll Museum in Japanese}: 日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 [First Post; Please Forgive any Er...: 日本語で博士 E の人形博物館 家族フレンドリーなブログ、人形収集、人形の研究に専念しております。 私たちの使命は、すべての年齢、しかし収集人形、おもちゃ、および関連する項目で、特に子供たちの関心を収集することです。 人形は、そのクリエイターのイメージで作られ、最も古い...

Museo de la muñeca del Dr. E: Primero

Museo de la muñeca del Dr. E: Primero: Dr. E ha escrito varios libro sobre muñecas incluyendo con amor de lata Lizzie: una historia de Metal muñecas..., una bibliografía de muñeca...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Mississippi Fossils


I have always loved old things, preferring them to the new and the shiny. I take it to heart that more and more of our old buildings are being imploded for the sake of progress, The Armory, Lincoln School, Audubon School, The Huber Home, have all been victims.   Eyesores, some have called them, dangerous buildings, accidents waiting to happen.  History, I say, that will never be repeated or enjoyed again, like the cafeteria on the mezzanine of McCabe’s Department store or the ice cream counter at Pitcher’s on 30th in Rock Island.

There are some landmarks, though, that can’t be bulldozed.  They will find their way into our consciousness, even in a disaster.  Cases in point; the fossils found along the shores of our own Mississippi.  Paleontologists will tell you that these fossils, by definition, evidence of prehistoric life, become exposed when the River’s water levels drop, or after the waters of a great flood have receded.  See, they will find us, come “hell or high-water.”

They also show up where you least expect them; trilobites and fossil ferns showed up in the limestone rock borders of my parent’s garden in Rock Island.  Huge rocks encrusted with fossils with exotic names like Cladopora, Cephalpods, Anthozoa, Platyrachella, Productella-they made a home for a water snake that slithered out when I lifted up his rock roof to see the fossils close up. Twenty five years ago or so, they showed up at the gift shop of the Putnam, pre-IMAX, and in the sands near the Cordoba Nuclear plant, where we fieldtripped for Summer Biology in 1975.

Our fossil landmarks are far older than the demolished school buildings amid whose walls our teachers first introduced them to us.  They hail from the Devonian Period of prehistory, between 410 and 360 million years ago.  Appropriately, many of these were marine animals, and fish

Later ,the  new kids on the block appeared during the Ice Age, the wooly mammoth, giant ground sloth, the land animals, ancient at 10,000 to 2 million  years old, but familiar.  They coincided with us, with the humans, who learned later to destroy so well.  Fossils humble us, these often tiny pieces of prehistory.  They have already outlasted us; they lived in some form or another for hundreds of millions years.  We have only lived in this Valley for some 10-fiftenn thousand years.   If by chance my fossilized remains should survive a million years, and some archaeologist in the far distant future finds me, I hope I have that little fossil fern and the trilobite clutched in my bony hand.  And I hope I’m part of prehistory lesson that’s taught in a school that isn’t in danger of being demolished.