Tag: Art (Page 1 of 5)

Seven Things I Love (5-23-2022)

Before we get started – hey Wordle fans, have you tried Artle yet? I read about it this morning on Hyperallergic. It was launched by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I got the second piece of art today. Haven’t a clue what the first one was.

Also, I found a large stash of British coins in a Harrods coin purse I had (much more logical than in with my foreign coin collection because I plan on using these next time I go to the UK.) And there were enough for me to make the shield. COOL! I even had enough for two more shields less one coin each. I have a ridiculous amount of foreign coinage.

Anyway, back to the important stuff!

1. These Toast Plates – Those who know me will understand why I went a little gaga when I saw these and they also know I would never leave the store without having purchased them.

I found these beauties in the gift area of my local grocery store, but if you want them (and why wouldn’t you?!?) I found them online for significantly less than what I paid (about a third of the price.) I’m thinking I may need more than 4!
(Especially after I broke one of the glasses I bought in Prague today, glasses that I bought 27 years ago and can’t get any more. It me wish I had bought more than 4.)

Click on the picture below to go to the site.

2. This 13-Year-Old Singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables – If this doesn’t make your heart ache you had better check your pulse.

[Found on My Modern Met]

3. This Turn-of-the-(Twentieth)-Century French “Influencer” – Cléopâtre-Diane de Mérode was born in 1875 in Paris. Her mother enrolled her in ballet classes at eight years old. Turns out that Cleo was a prodigy, and she debuted with the Paris Ballet when she was only eleven years old.

By sixteen, Cleo had become a teenage trend setter, becoming known for her signature hairstyle (a chignon.) The hairstyle became so popular it caused problems with the Swedish telephone service…

“The Stockholm telephone authorities are finding fault now with the way in which (switchboard operators) do their hair. It appears that of late the Swedish lassies …have adopted the mode of coiffure first initiated by the French dancer Cleo de Merode, in which the hair is drawn over the ears. The subscribers have since found a falling off in the hearing powers of the operators, as the result of which complaints of inefficiency in the service have been made.” 

The American telephone journal, Volume 8, 1903

This photo was taken in 1903 and would have been sold as a collectible card/postcard. Didn’t the person who do the restoration/colorizing do an amazing job?

Cléo de Mérode has been referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.

If you want to read more about her, there is an excellent article here.

4. This Photo – I literally love everything about it. Literally.

5. This British Television Personality’s Laugh – this will make your day. I wish this show was on in the U.S.

[Seen on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver]

6. This Instagram Artist – You’ll absolutely go down the rabbit hole on this IG page. Ariel Adkins travels the world creating wearable art that matches or complements the places she is photographed.

[Found on Messy Messy Chic]

7. This History of Why We Decorate Our Nails – This was super interesting. It’s not just about the history of why we paint our nails, but also about the cultural significance of nail art. (Melissa K, you’ll want to watch, obs.)

[Found on CNN]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

One last thing, if you have HBO Max, I highly recommend this documentary. It’s two parts. Click on the image below to see the trailer.

7 Things I Love (4-25-2022)

1. This Little Known Fact about Bea Arthur – or maybe it isn’t a little known fact and I simply never knew about it (or more likely, I just forgot.)

So, did any of you know that the woman who brought us Maude Findlay and Dorothy Zbornak was in the U.S. Marines at the tender age of 21?

Honestly, I didn’t even know the Marines let in women during WWII. Apparently it was the last service branch to do so. This was due to reservations held by Corps Commandant General Thomas Holcomb.

The primary reason for allowing women into the armed services was to free up men from non-combative positions. so they could be sent to the front. Holcomb eventually conceded and allowed women to join in 1943.

Women had already joined the army, navy, and airforce a year earlier. Each branch had come up with a name for the female sector of their branch. The army called theirs the Women’s Auxillary Army Corps (WAAC), the navy had the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the airborn division had the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS). Once the Marines opened up to women the suggestions came in, including Glamarines and Femarines. Fortunately, Holcomb felt that Marines were Marines and he nixed the use of a separate group name.

Bea Arthur denied that she had been in the Marines until the day she died.

2. This County Clare (Ireland) Artist’s Work – sigh.

Here is his website (though it’s extremely slow but definitely worth the visit,)

3. This Speech by Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow – Democrats/liberals/progressives need to start pushing back in this culture war.

ICYMI:

mic drop.

4. This 3-D Virtual Tour of the Crystal Palace in London – created during the pandemic, the 3-D virtual tour of the Crystal Palace (which you can access here) is super cool though I’ll admit I had difficulty navigating at first, which is why you may want to check out the video below (or this shorter video) before trying it out.

5. This Recycling Symbol That Doesn’t Require a Magnifying Glass To Read – This is from a giant container of CostCo blueberries (about two very generous pints in one container.) I’m telling you the size to give a better idea of how large the symbol (actually called Resin Identification Code or RIC) really is. No squinting required.

It’s already so complicated to figure out what can and cannot be recycled and the US does a horrible job at recycling (so horrible that we can’t sell most of our recycling anymore – which is a huge problem.)

I don’t understand why companies make the recycling symbols so damned small on the bottom of packages.

Does it take away from the package aesthetics? No, it’s the bottom of the GD package.

Is there not enough room? No, 99% of the time there is tons of space around a teeny-tiny little recycling symbol.

Does it cost more to make the symbol bigger? I honestly don’t know. But I can’t imagine it does. I suppose the extra amount of plastic multiplied by the thousands of packages a company produced could result in a minimal cost but Jeez Louise, is it really that much of a savings?

More companies need to follow FamilyTree Farms’ example.

6. This Toast Art – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of my all-time favorite paintings. Toast is on of my all-time favorite foods. Need I say more…

[Found on Facebook]

7. This Biker Jacket – There may be cooler biker jackets but none that warm my heart nearly as much.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

Seven Things I Love (4-11-2022)

  1. 1. This Winslow Homer Painting – I just think it’s an incredible piece of art but if you want to read an in-depth analysis of the piece, you can find that here.
“Dressing for the Carnival” by Winslow Homer, (1877)

[Found in The New Yorker]

  1. 2. These Easter Bonnets – You know what they say, GO BIG OR GO HOME!

3. These Cookies – Too cute to eat! I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! (But did she sterilize that date stamper?)

@paintedladiespastry

Cookie Library Card decorated with royal icing and edible ink #cookiedecorating #isitcake

♬ Tom’s Diner – AnnenMayKantereit & Giant Rooks

[Found by Ann L. – thanks Ann!]

4. This Lip Balm – I had been using the same lip balm (Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm) for some time but found that whenever I carried it in places where it could get warm it got melty. Kiehl’s has a similar product that is better but I’m not sure they are making it anymore. I haven’t been able to find it for a while and their website shows it is out of stock in all colors (though they do have a “notify me” option on the page.)

They both lasted longer than most lip balms I had found but I still have to re-apply throughout the day. That is when I found this product. Well, technically I found this first, but it’s a bit pricey. So I looked for something similar that wasn’t going to break the bank AND that was an all natural product.

And I found it. Lather lip conditioning balm is $11 per tube and it lasts for hours. No more peeling lips! I also fell in love with the Sweet Almond Face moisturizer ($26) and the Rose & Shea Hand Therapy ($16).

5. This (AWESOME) NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert – at the Los Angeles Public Library!

[Found on Uproxx]

6. This Banned Book – Which resulted in a non-fiction graphic book about its banning to be published in fall of 2023.

Jarrett Dapier was a library science graduate student in 2013 when he filed a Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in his uncovering a Chicago school district’s attempt to remove Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi without following the formal book challenge process. Once the information became public there was an outcry from both students and parents.

The book, called Wake Now In The Fire, is written by Dapier and illustrated by AJ Dungo, and tells the story of a group of high school students who are trying to push back against censorship at their own school.

[Found on Book Riot]

7. These Two Friends – Denise Mercedes and Maria Castellanos like to show how clothes look on bodies of different sizes. I would give anything to have had more body positivity growing up.

[Found on My Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

I thought I’d add a new section to the blog. Am I taking requests? We’ll see.
Either way, hopefully you’ll discover something new or reminisce on something old.

Click on the image to go to the video to hear the song.

Natalia Lafourcade – Alma Mía (En Manos de Los Macorinos) ft. Los Macorinos

Seven Things I Love (4-4-2022)

  1. 1. This Artist – I read about the Sir John Soane Museum on Atlas Obscura and have wanted to go ever since. I mean, any museum choked full of memorabilia and curiosities is in my wheelhouse. But despite my desire and numerous trips to London, I have yet to managed to visit.

Before I even knew that one of Gretchen Scherer’s paintings was a room in the Soane Museum, I was drawn to her work. I would love to see them in person – according to the Hyperallergic article, even though she has meticulously recreated the room down to minute details, she added a few details to get across personal messages. Those need to be seen in larger versions of the image to be visible.

Still, they are lovely. The square piece in the slideshow below is called “Sir John Soane’s Museum, Library and Dining Room” and it is the largest piece in her exhibit at Monya Rowe Gallery.

[Found on Hyperallergic]

2. This Hero – The Soldier who told the Russian warship to “Go Fuck Yourself” and then was captured along with a dozen of his fellow Ukrainian Soldiers has been released and received a medal for his bravery.

3. This Tea – a friend of mine brought me some of this tea when she came over for lunch last week – WOW!!! I have been looking for a herbal tea that I can drink that wouldn’t require me to add a ton of sweetener. And since I’m not using artificial sweetener anymore that basically means honey or raw sugar or agave nectar.

This fits the bill, in fact you won’t need any sweetener at all. And when it says it’s naturally sweet it’s completely true. There is no fake sugar in here and yet it’s still rather sweet. Well, sweet and spicy.

I still love a good cuppa (black tea with milk and sugar) but it’s really nice to have a second option now.

[Found by my friend Edell – thanks E!]

4. This Drug Disposal Program – When I first ran across this (can’t remember when or where) I decided to request the free pouch just for the heck of it.

I used to not have to worry at all about drug disposal because the municipality where I worked had a drop box right in the village hall where you could drop off meds (both prescription and OTC.)

I think a lot of people don’t realize how bad it is to toss medications. It’s obviously really, REALLY bad to put them down the drain or in the toilet, but it’s also bad to put them in the garbage. Eventually the containers could break open or decompose and the medications could get into the groundwater – it’s really no different than putting them down the drain/toilet.

That is why proper disposal is so important. I got rid of most of my extra meds right before I retired but over the past three years I’ve managed to accumulate some expired pharmaceuticals. When I decided I finally had enough I ripped open the package I received from Deterra.

I had thought that the package was going to be a pouch where you could mail in your meds for disposal. Oh no. This was SO EASY. All you need to do is take all the medications out of the bottles, rip open the top of the pouch, drop them all in, fill the pouch about half full with water, water 30 seconds, close the pouch (shake it a little to get the water/stuff inside to mix up with all the pills) and then TOSS IT IN THE TRASH!

The stuff in the pouch makes the pills safe for the environment. You can read more about it and order a free pouch here.

5. This Seinfeld Clip – This is from 1995. Ukrainians have always been bad ass.

6. This Career – I want to be a personal librarian! I suppose to do this you have to live in a place where there are a lot of rich people.

Private Librarian, Christy Shannon Smirl

[Found on Los Angeles Daily News]

7. This Photo from the 1980s – Cyndi Lauper playing miniature golf with Pee Wee Herman. This says all that needs to be said about the ’80s and it’s why it’ll always be my favorite decade.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Art by Rick Frausto

Seven Things I Love (3-28-2022)

Before I get started, have you watched season two of Bridgerton (Netflix) yet? Are you watching season two of Sanditon (PBS)? Also, check out Minx if you have (HBOMax).

Okay, here we go…

  1. These Chicken Sweaters – They’re just too freaking cute for words.

I read this article about these adorable sweater-wearing chickens. Ann and Nicola Congdon, a mother and daughter team in CORNWALL rescue hens raised in captivity that are kept only indoors. Hens confined indoors sometimes don’t grow enough feathers to keep them warm in colder outdoor weather. Thus the tiny sweaters.

The photos of the brightly-colored knit creations on their clucking friends went viral and farmers from around the world started requesting to buy them. Instead of trying to make a profit, the Congdons donate the money to an AIDS orphanage in South Africa. Could these two be better role models?

And if you’d like to see some wonderful photographs of non-sweater-clad poultry, check these out.

[Found on Little Things]

2. This Graphic – I love this graphic because it’s very close to how I tell a story. I don’t think I go off on as many tangents. And there’s a reason I like to include a lot of details (and it has to do with my wanting to make stories both entertaining and informative. Still, I feel better knowing I’m not alone. Frankly, I’m tired of being told I’m too wordy.

3. This Promo – Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak. Mark your calendars – June 28th can’t come soon enough!!!

If you haven’t seen ‘Only Murders in the Building’ yet, you are missing something truly wonderful. It would be worth subscribing to Hulu just for this show. Subscribe for a month, watch it and then unsubscribe. You will not be disappointed.

[Found on Pure Wow]

4. These Synchronized “Swimmers” – this is GENIUS and the boys nail it.

This is still my favorite synchronized swimming scene though,

5. This Scottish Paper Artist – Located in Edinburgh, Charles Young creates marvelous miniature buildings and other miscellaneous items (such as fountains, vehicles and rides for a circus) to go in the small towns he manufactures.

His design style tends to lean toward the first half of the 20th century with the exception of his recreation of a few historic landmarks. His work reminds me a lot of a Wes Anderson movie set. What do you think?

[Found on Present & Correct]

6. These Sisters – Meet 100-year-old Frances Kompus, 102-year-old Lucy Pochop and 104-year-old Julia Kopriva. These three sisters recently celebrated youngest sister Frances’s centennial birthday. It’s rare enough for a person to celebrate their 100th birthday (though it’s becoming a little less common) but it’s extremely rare for someone to be able to share the celebration with their elder siblings!

[Found on My Modern Met]

7. This Unofficial Guide Dog – Sterling, a Siberian Husky, was diagnosed with glaucoma nearly in 2018. His family tried to delay it by getting him special goggles to protect his eyes, but he’s pretty much lost all his eyesight.

Walker, an Alaskan Malamute was adopted by the family around the same time as Sterling (about a year apart) and the two dogs have become extremely close. So, as Sterling began needing more help, Walker started stepping in to help. Amazing!

[Also found on My Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (3-14-2022)

  1. 1. This Bust of an Unidentified Black Slave by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux – Housed at The Met Museum, the bust is one of only two known versions carved in marble. It is a powerful representation of the brutality that people of color endured and how they responded with fortitude and strength.

“Created twenty years after the abolition of slavery in the French colonies (1848), the sculpture was debuted in Paris in 1869 under the title Négresse, a term that reinforces the fallacy of human difference based on skin color. The subject’s resisting pose, defiant expression, and accompanying inscription – ‘Pourquoi Naître Esclave!’ (Why Born Enslaved!) – convey an antislavery message. However, the bust also perpetuates a Western tradition of representation that long saw the Black figure as inseparable from the ropes and chains of enslavement.” 

From the Met Museum website

2. This Short Film Created by Apple (so admittedly it’s one long ad) – this short film is very well done. You will actually become invested in what happens to these four people, you’ll find yourself rooting for them. I also liked that they are basically addressing a “Great Resignation” issue. (Though in reality, haven’t difficult bosses who don’t appreciate their employees and overwork them; and employees who dream of going off and making it on their own, haven’t these things been around forever? What was the tipping point?)

[Found on Inc.com]

3. This Nautical Discovery – This is HUGE. I have been slightly (okay, not slightly) obsessed with the history of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition on the Endurance for decades. I think the main reason for my being drawn to their story is because rarely do you hear about such a disaster where every single person survives.

Here’s what happened. The Endurance became lodged in ice and began to sink. This took a long time and they were able to get a lot of things they needed off the ship. Eventually it was crushed and sank completely. The crew were stuck on the Antarctic ice for about 17 MONTHS.

The men finally were rescued after Shackleton and a group of five men made an arduous trek 750 miles in a small boat to a British-owned island called South Georgia.

The men documented their 17 months with photography, which is another reason why the story is so interesting. Here are some newly restored photos. And here are some photos from negatives discovered in the ice. And more photos here. You can just keep finding more and more.

[Found on BBC]

4. This Reunion – Filmed on the Polish-Ukrainian border, photographer David Melero Pena caught the reunion of a father with his young daughter.

According to the Newsweek article where I found the video, the translation of the post’s caption is:

“The reunion…destroyed me while editing photos and video. I just have no words.”

[Found on Newsweek]

5. This “Witch” – On Sunday Emma Watson was the presenter for “Outstanding British Film” at the BAFTAs.

Rebel Wilson introduced her and joked, “Here to present the next award is Emma Watson. She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.” (Who wouldn’t love that introduction?!?!)

When Emma Watson got to the podium she said, “I’m here for all of the witches by the way.”

Most people recognized that this was a slight snub at J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, the series that made Emma a superstar.

For those of you who haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding Rowling, she has made some anti-trans comments in the past and has been accused of having written an transphobic mystery novel,

[Found on Pink News and Mashable]

6. This State’s Legislation on College Tuition – OMG, NEW MEXICO rocks!

Legislation was signed into law on March 4, 2022 by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham that will make college free for students who choose to go to public universities!

From the article:

On March 4, 2022, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship Act after it passed both state legislative houses. The law allots $75 million to a fund of scholarships. This will expand scholarship coverage from 10,000 to 35,000 students in the coming fall. An award of tuition and fees is coordinated in partnership with the public or tribal participating college. Almost any New Mexico resident qualifies, including continuing and part-time students. Students must maintain a minimum of six credit hours and a grade point average of at least 2.5 during their time in school.

[Found on My Modern Met]

7. This Letter – I love this SO MUCH. The letter is wonderful (the life of a public service employee!) and no one could read this aloud better than Keegan Michael Key.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (3-7-2022)

Tuesday is International Women’s Day
CELEBRATE accordingly!!!

  1. 1. This Ukrainian Artist’s Work – Maria Prymachenko’s artwork are cheery and colorful but some of the pieces are darker, which is not surprising considering what the Ukrainian people have been through over the past decades.

[Found on Kottke.org]

  1. 2. This Website – The V&A Museum kept quite busy in 2020 and 2021, and through social media and online activities they kept their patrons informed and engaged during the pandemic. I follow them on Facebook and get their newsletter but somehow I missed this.
  2. Luckily a friend of mine’s daughter is dressing up as Marie Antoinette for school and while I was looking for this picture to show both of them I found this fun page.

What we have is an interactive site that allows you to create your very own Marie Antoinette style wig! You can make it as small or as LARGE as you like (I discovered that depending upon the way you swoop you can even create braids). After you’ve made your wig you can decorate it with a various feathers, flowers, pendants, and other items (note the ship). Last, but not least, you can powder it to your heart’s content (there are some lovely colors to choose from.)

Here’s one of my creations

I always love learning new things, especially history. This was particularly fun. Is seems the wigs got pretty out of control for a while. Men’s wigs were as big a deal as the women’s wigs.

[Found on Dazed Digital]

3. This Mom’s Sense of Humor – Kayla Marie Sullivan used her skills from when she was a reporter to convey the difficulties of parenting a two-year-old.
It’s H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.

@kaylareporting

Now accepting donations for babysitters & or take out! Venmo: @Kayla-Sullivan-96 🤣 #NewsVoice #ToddlerMom #EveryKiss #newsvoice #YerAWizard #2022

♬ original sound – Kayla Marie Sullivan

4. This Historic Mystery Solved! I have loved the Venus of Willendorf (sometimes called the Woman of Willendorf) since the first time I saw it. I mean, what’s not to love – they worshiped a voluptuous babe!

The Venus is estimated to be around 30,000 years old and made from oolite limestone. It’s called the Venus of Willendorf because it was found in 1908, somewhere close to the banks of the Danube River near Willendorf, Austria. But they’ve never know her origin.

Researchers led by Gerhard Weber, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Vienna, believe they have matched the figurine’s limestone with a location near Lake Garda in northern Italy, revealing the likely origin of “one of the most famous signs of early modern human symbolic behavior,” according to a study published on Monday in Scientific Reports

The new research suggests that the crafters of this iconic object, a hunter-gatherer culture known as the Gravettian people, traveled hundreds of miles across the treacherous landscape of Europe before the last ice age, though the team noted that it’s unclear what might have prompted such a journey. 

From “Scientists Solve 30,000-Year-Old ‘Venus’ Statue Mystery, Study Says” by Becky Ferreira; March 1, 2022; Vice-motherboard

[Found on VICE]

5. This Crowd-Sourced History Project – Charles Dickens is well-known for his literary genius but one lesser known element of his life is that as a younger man he taught himself a form of shorthand using Thomas Gurney’s 18th century manual on Brachygraphy. The word Brachygraphy means “a system of writing using abbreviations or special characters” – in other words, shorthand.

There are several documents that Dickens wrote using brachygraphy that scholars have been struggling to decipher, some with success. But the one that has been most elusive is the Tavistock letter.

Two Dickensian scholars, Claire Wood of the University of Leicester, and Hugo Bowles of the University of Foggia, decided to create the Dickens Code Project in the hopes of getting assistance from puzzle experts and code breakers around the world. They ended up with sixteen full submissions, none of which were complete.

Shane Baggs, a computer technical support specialist from San Jose, California, won the overall contest, while a college student at the University of Virginia named Ken Cox was declared the runner-up.

Since then, Baggs and Cox have managed to finished deciphering nearly 70% of the letter, far more than they ever expected. You can see a line-by-line translation here.

Full page of the Tavistock letter.

6. This Inspiring Article – With all that is going on in the world we need some positivity and hope. Here ya go.

[Found on Harper’s Bazaar]

7. THIS Postmodern Jukebox Video – I was lucky enough to get to go to a REAL concert last week. I saw one of my favorite bands – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ). And man, I was not disappointed!

PMJ does covers of songs in a variety of styles, such as the roaring twenties, sixties girl group, swing, jazz, gospel, and “film noir.”

This video is one of the songs sung at the concert – you will recognize it right away. We didn’t have this many performers but some of them – like Tia Simone (wow), LaVance Colley (wow), and Olivia Kuper Harris (beautiful) – were there on Friday!

Click on the photo below to see the video.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things that I Love (1-31-22)

I’ve been on a decluttering binge the past few weeks so right now my FAVORITE thing is my HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477 series, which has a kick-ass scanner. I’ve been scanning and recycling, scanning and recycling, scanning and recycling. It’s true what they say – decluttering your house does declutter your brain. Such a good feeling.

Coincidentally, one of my favorite illustrator/cartoonists posted this tonight…

Ran across these things recently…

1. This Website Where You Can Generate Your Own Song Lyric Hand Washing PostersWash Your Lyrics is the best way to make sure you wash your hands for that full 20 seconds. Google the lyrics to your favorite song, paste them into the text box on the website, hit the “generate” button, and either print your poster or save it as a graphic file.

My dentist has it in a small frame right above the sink in her office loo. I tape mine onto the mirror in my bathroom because I switch it a lot.

‘Feelin’ Good’ by Nina Simone

[Yet another cool thing found at my dentist’s office]

2. This Lion Who Lived in the Milwaukee Public Library – The building that is now the Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library was built in 1895, but back then then it didn’t just house the library. The building was designed to be a shared facility that housed both the Milwaukee Public Library and the Milwaukee Public Museum.

The staffs from both the library and the museum often worked together and in 1928, a group from both the library and the museum made a cultural trip to Africa and to bring items back for the museum.

While there a local Maasai tribe gifted the group a rescued lion cub named Simba (Swahili for lion.) The group traveled with the lion cub and became attached to him so at the end of their trip they had him shipped home.

He lived for a while in the library/museum – even roaming free on occasion – until he got a such a bad tooth abscess that it required a veterinarian. At that point he was moved to the Milwaukee Zoo. Simba lived until he was 14 years old, which is not bad considering the lifespan for a lion in the wild is 10 to 15 years.
(Still, animals are always better off in their natural habitats than zoos.)

Samuel Barrett with Simba on the Milwaukee Public Museum Roof | Photo: Milwaukee Public Museum

3. This Dolly Party Cake Mix – I can’t tell you the last time I made a cake from a mix but I damn well will be buying some of this!

Unfortunately, they are already SOLD OUT but you can sign up here to be notified when they are back in stock. “Duncan Hines says the cake mixes and frostings will hit grocery stores and mass retailers starting in March and sell for about $2 each.”

[Found via Tom and Lorenzo – they are my gurus]

4. This Tweet that’s Simply Oozing with Sarcasm – who doesn’t love good satire?

The responses are equally as good – this one caught my eye for obvious reasons…

5. This Chess Set Ring – By Joe Turner, 2015. Both ridiculous and astonishing at the same time. I mean, who thinks to do this? Fossil ivory and ebony chessboard set in a silver ring. The pieces are cast in silver and fit snugly into a leather case inside a hinged compartment.

6. This Autograph – I posted this on Facebook but I’m putting it on here for those who aren’t my FB friend or who don’t look at FB anymore.

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Louie Anderson. I have been a fan for years. But actually, I really became more aware of him / a huge fan after he wrote his book ‘Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child.’ It’s about growing up the child of an abusive alcoholic father. The book is excellent. Neither of my parents were alcoholics or physically abusive but I still connected with the book.

Louie passed away ten days ago. He was only 68 years old. It felt like losing a friend I haven’t seen in a while. You know, the ones you feel guilty you haven’t tried calling or texting or emailing. That’s what it felt like.

I met Louie Anderson at a library conference. It was around 1990. He was signing copies of his book “Dear Dad” so I bought a copy and stood in line. When I finally got to the front of the line he looked at my name tag (it said Jennie) and asked if my name was pronounced “Jenny” or “Jeanie”. I told him it was “Jenny” and then told him the story of my name .

I explained that it had at one time been J-E-N-N-Y but that in 3rd grade I looked up Jenny in the dictionary and it said, “female jackass” so I promptly changed the spelling to J-E-N-N-I-E. I also told him that my Mom refused to accept the new spelling, despite this discovery, and always spelled it with a “y.” She’d say, “I gave birth to you, I can spell it whatever way I want.” He must have enjoyed this story because he signed my book with a very sweet message and he signed the promotional card for the event like this:

I had it framed and it has been hanging on my wall for, jeez, over 30 years. Pardon about the funky blemish on his photo – I couldn’t avoid the glare from the glass of the photo.

7. This Embroidered Tablecloth – Her other tablecloths are equally gorgeous and pretty much all sold out, despite being fantastically expensive.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (1-24-2022)

1. This Recipe for Drop Scones – Sent by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1960, this piece of correspondence is part of the Letters of Note project: “nothing but history’s most famous letters.”

I love ‘Letters of Note,’ (LON) both for the history and the literary finesse. This one has an added treat – the addition of an audio clip (at the top of the page) with the absolutely wonderful Olivia Colman, in her role as QEII from ‘The Crown‘, narrating both the letter and the recipe.

You can subscribe to receive one Letter of Note per day in your inbox here. There are also several print books – two general collections and several themed collections. Those are available for purchase here but be aware, they ship from the U.K. and the postage is a bit high.

The ‘Letters of Note‘ audiobooks are available through Chirp, Google Play, Audible, and other audiobook streaming services. Letters of Note: Correspondance Deserving of a Wider Audience contains not only the Queen Elizabeth drop scone letter & recipe read by Olivia Colman, but letters read by Benedict Cumberbath, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Cummings, Gillian Anderson, and Mark Strong, among others.

Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones. From Letters of Note.

2. These Hats of HBO’s The Gilded Age – I watched the first episode, which premiered tonight (January 24th). I’m hooked. And not just because of the hats. I also loved the dressed and the jewelry and the furniture too. Seriously, the story is pretty good. I’m currently watching several series and none of them have me very excited. In fact, I even stopped watching one of them – and I really wanted to like it – but none of the characters were remotely likeable.

The Gilded Age is the newest series by Julian Fellowes. If you are unfamiliar with him, he also created Downton Abbey. There will be ten episodes and new episodes will air at 8 pm (CST) on Mondays.

(FYI, the young blond woman in the straw hat – second photo below – is Louisa Jacobson, Meryl Streep’s daughter.)

3. This “Starter” Apartment in Paris – Fairly well-appointed for a first apartment, don’t you think?

The 90-square-meter (968-square feet) flat is on the ground floor of a late-19th century, two-story building near the rue Oberkampf. It opens to a compact kitchen designed by Marianne Evennou, who preserved the existing stone walls and exposed beams—”the atmosphere is at once a house and a workshop,” she says—and responded with an urban-rustic approach.

4. This Artwork by Louis Wain – If you haven’t seen the movie ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain‘ on Prime Video yet, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a lovely movie (though it does have its share of tragedy) but it’s very historically accurate, which makes my heart go pitter patter.

As far as the accuracy of Wain’s life, from what I’ve read, it does seem they got that right as well. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Louis Wain, Claire Foy as Emily Richardson-Wain, Toby Jones (LOVE him) as Sir William Ingram, and its narrated by Olivia Colman.

Once you’ve seen the movie you’ll truly appreciate his art.

Two Jugs of Milk by Louis Wain

5. This Story with a Happy Ending – I remember when I was moving into my first house. At that time I had three kitty cats. Before the movers arrived I put all the cats in one room and shut the door. That way I could give instructions to the movers and then one by one move my beloved kitties into my car.

When the movers got to the apartment I told them the plan and said DON’T open this door until I have all my cats in the car. I put my first cat in the car. Then I put the second car in the car. I came upstairs to get my third baby (her name was Madeline) only to discover the door open to the “cat room” and of course no Madeline. Not surprisingly I freaked out. I looked all through the apartment then ran down the stairs and looked around the apartment building. People who lived in the neighborhood heard me calling her name so they started to help me look too.

Unfortunately, after about an hour the movers were finished and it was time for me to go to the house. Heartbroken I got in my car and drove to my new place. The movers unloaded all the furniture and boxes in about an hour (I had way less stuff back then.)

I went back to my old apartment and did another search and then went to the Wisconsin Humane Society to see if maybe they had found Madeline. It was a long shot but I was pretty desperate at that point. No luck.

Dejected I went to my new house, gathered up my other two cats (Indira and Beddi), plopped down on the sofa, and started to cry. That’s when I heard this very soft “meow.” I sat up. It was coming from the kitchen. Did I imagine that? I walked into the next room. No, there it was again. Where was it coming from? I listened. OMG, it’s coming from that stack of boxes! I started to tear open the big moving boxes and when I got about halfway down out popped MADELINE!

Apparently, when the movers had opened the door to the “cat room”, the little bugger got scared and hid in one of the open boxes. The movers just sealed the box up and carried it out to their truck. ARGH!

Still, that was most definitely one of the happiest days of my life.

Having told that story, I understand how this guy felt when they found his dog, even though it was weeks later.

[Found on The Modern Met]

6. This Absolutely Adorable Video of Mandy Patinkin & Kathryn Grody – These two should be the role models for every human being.

7. This Excerpt from a New Book on the Shackleton Expedition – For some reason I have always been interested in the Shackleton Expedition. Not really any other arctic expedition, just this one. There is something to be said about mans’ (or womans’) fortitude when facing a crisis. Or at least that used to be the case.

The book is Shackleton: The Biography by Ranulph Fienne’s, published January 2022 by Pegasus Books. It covers part of the expedition that generally is skipped over.

When explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew set out for Antarctica on the Endurance in 1914, they had no idea their journey would become one of history’s greatest epics of survival. After sea ice trapped the ship for nearly a year, ultimately crushing it, the men camped on unstable sea ice for months. The loss of the Endurance and a later, extraordinary ocean crossing to South Georgia Island by a small party led by Shackleton are well-known chapters in the saga. Less familiar is the story of what happened in between those two events, when Shackleton decided the crew would leave their position on the ice and venture in small open boats across the infamously rough Southern Ocean, to one of the region’s uninhabited islands.

Preface to “Remembering a Little-Known Chapter in the Famed Endurance Expedition to Antarctica” by Ranulph Fiennes

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things That I Love (1-17-22)

1. These KN95 Masks – I’m sure you’ve heard all the new recommendations saying cloth masks aren’t very good anymore and that we should all be wearing N95 or KN95 masks now. Still, I’ve hesitated to purchase new masks for a couple of reasons.

After all, I already own about two dozen beautiful cloth masks. (I particularly love the embroidered ones I found). You can’t really get N95 or KN95 masks that look nice. Another reason – there are too many masks to choose from and the ones that I know are good (not counterfeit) have been sold out – argh! A third reason (and the one that is the most important) all these disposable masks are ending up in landfills and that’s making me catatonic. I’m trying very hard not to make my footprint any larger than it already is.

That’s why, when I read about how VIDA masks includes a prepaid shipping label so that you can return your used masks so they can properly recycle them, I promptly placed an order.

Full disclosure, they haven’t arrived yet, but since ordering them I’ve seen the VIDA masks show up on many different recommended masks lists so I’m thinking they must be pretty good.

2. This Piece of Art by Argentinian-American Artist Cecilia Lueza – a friend of mine reposted this along with the poem below.

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple
understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the
the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten. that the world is meant to be celebrated.

From ‘When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
by Terry Tempest Williams

[Thanks Edell (I think it was Edell!)]

3. This Online Game – Last week I started seeing loads of people posting images of these grey, gold, and green blocks:

Initially, I thought the pictures were of some sort of flag or social awareness campaign (obviously I didn’t look at them very carefully.) But then I noticed on one friends post the hashtag WORDLE. After a quick Google search I found out it is an online word game! LOVE me a good word game. Sooooo now I’m completely addicted. The great thing about this online game though is there is only one posted per day so you won’t end up wasting hours playing it.

My best score to date has been the game above on the right – got it in three tries!

If you want to know more about Wordle you can read this article.

From The New Yorker

[Thanks Ann]

4. This GENIUS List of “100 Ways to Slightly Improve Your Life Without Really Trying – Modified from a list originally published in January of 2000 (that’s 22 years ago, can you believe it?!?) this contains simple suggstions such as “Mute or leave a WhatsApp group chat” (I’ve been turning off notifications for group texts, kind of the same thing) or “Don’t have Twitter on your phone.”

This is from a British newspaper so you’ll need to Americanize a few of the items. For example, #51 says to write politely to your MP, in America you will want to write politely to your legislator. Another, #63 says “Volunteer” and then lists a UK URL which provides many opportunities for civic engagement. There isn’t a comparable site in the US but I found this article about civic engagement from 2020 that is excellent.

[Found on The Guardian]

5. This Graphic Illustrator – Cassandra Calin draws cartoons that show the trials and tribulations that women face in their day-to-day life and she’s a hoot!

6. This Video on the Four Levels of Omelets – Fantastic! It turns out this “4 Levels” thing is a series. I plan on watching the lobster roll one once I have omelets mastered. I learned SO MUCH from watching this one video. After the amateur cook, the amateur chef, and the professional chef make their omelets, a person from Epicurious explains what was was done right and what was done wrong and tells you how to make a fourth level (perfect) omelet.

7. These Islands – the Faroe Islands are an autonomous territory of Denmark located about 200 miles northwest of Scotland.

You can see more photos HERE.

[Found on The Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BETTY WHITE!
She would be 100 today.

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