Tag: Libraries (Page 1 of 2)

Seven Things I Love (2-28-2022)

  1. 1. This Candle CompanyHarlem Candle Company creates luxury candles, diffusers, and room sprays using famous people and places in black history as inspiration. I haven’t received my order yet but I wanted to include this while it was still Black History Month.

I ordered a “Savoy” candle which has the following description:

The Savoy Ballroom was the soul of Harlem, and kept Lenox Avenue jumping for decades. It was a block long, dripping with glittering crystal chandeliers and an elegant marble staircase, and is known for having birthed the Lindy Hop.   The glamour and excitement of nights on that iconic dance floor are beautifully reflected with a luscious overture of blackcurrant, tart mandarin, crisp green apple and juicy pear evolving into a flirtatious floral heart of Lily of the Valley and jasmine petals. Sensual sandalwood and sheer musk bring warmth to perfectly balance this intoxicating blend.

Is that not heavenly? I’m hoping I’ll get the candle, light it, get into my comfy chair, close my eyes, and be transported back to the Savoy Ballroom of the ’20s. I hope I haven’t set my expectations too high for a scented candle (ha ha ha.)

Plus they’re beautiful.

2. This Custom LibraryJim Cardon, built this library as a gift for his brother! I mean, if this doesn’t warrant a ‘Brother of the Year‘ award I don’t know what would. He modeled it after the library in the movie ‘The Illusionist‘ (on of my favorites, the entire film is available for free on YouTube.)

Talk about book porn!

[Found on Core77]

3. This Lagoon in Australia – PINK! It’s my “signature color”. Is this not amazing? It’s called Hutt Lagoon and the color is from “the caroteinoid-producing algae, dunaliella salina – which is a source of beta-carotene; a food-colouring agent and a great source of Vitamin A.”

The photographer is from Russia and her name is Kristina Makeeva. She’s EXTREMELY talented. If click on her name ⬅ it’ll take you to her Instagram and you can see all her photos. They’ll blow you away.

[Found on My Modern Met]

4. These Knitters or “Yarn Bombers” – I love it if someone yarn bombed my mailbox. I know it doesn’t last forever but while it doesn’t last, it’s so wonderful!

5. This Wall – photo was taken at MOD GEN: a Modern General Store, in the Third Ward near downtown Milwaukee, one of my favorite shops. They have a wonderful selection of unique books, games, puzzles, stationary products, kitchen items, and well, things you won’t find anywhere else. Most importantly they have a fabulous selection of plants and succulents at the back of the store. If you haven’t been I’d suggest you check it out!

6. This Interview with Judi Dench, Graham Norton, Elton John, and John Bishop – I’m fairly certain I don’t need to explain who any of these people are except maybe the last. John Bishop is one of THE most popular comedians in Britain but if you are a Doctor Who fan you will recognize him from the current series as Dan Lewis.

Anyway, got this video from a friend (thanks Stasie!) and it is so wonderful, mostly because this is ME to a tee.

It actually reminds me of, I think it was my 15th high school reunion? I got there and ran into a friend of mine. I would have bet everything I had that she went to one of the other two high schools in Dubuque (where I grew up). I said to her, “Oh my god, what are you doing here!” I mean, I was glad to see her, just surprised. And she replied (obviously a little perplexed and miffed), “what do you mean, what am I doing here.?” She actually got pretty pissed at me because she thought I was joking around but the truth is, I couldn’t remember. I can’t remember much of anything from the past 55+ years except for little snippets here and there. And a lot of what I can remember is due to photos and mementoes I have.

Recently I found a treasure trove of documents – all sorts of certificates and papers from my youth. Going through them was truly a walk down memory lane but there were a few things that I absolutely did NOT remember doing.

For example, in 1978 and 1979 I was in the Annual Metropolitan Speech Contest In 1978 my category was “Choral Reading.” I do remember that. In 1979 my categories were “Prose” and “Pantomime.” I don’t remember ever doing pantomime, not once in my entire life. But here’s evidence in print.

7. These Ukranians – Honestly, I can’t imagine Americans fighting like this. Well, actually, the way I see it going in America if there was ever an attack like this – all the super wealthy would leave to wherever they needed to go to be safe and comfortable, the lower upper-class and upper-middle class would most likely die (except possibly for those who are POC and LGBTQ), and the lower middle class and lower class would be like the Ukrainians – we ain’t puttin’ up with no shit.

What do you think?

Anyway, these Ukrainians are KICKASS.

Okay, first this guy, who picked up a god-damned landmine and moved it off a road all the while continuing to hold his cigarette in his mouth – DAYUM!

Then there is this UNARMED woman, who told a Russian soldier to fill his pockets with the sunflower seeds she offered him so that when he died his body would grow flowers (at least then he’d be doing something good for the world).

Next is this Ukrainian man, who may be a little nuts but who single-handedly attempted to stop a convoy of Russian tanks.

And last but not least, the 13 extremely brave Ukrainians whose job it was to secure Snake Island (also called Zmiinyi Island) – when approached by a Russian battleship told them to “go fuck yourself” IN RUSSIAN before being blown up. They were initially all reported dead because there was no radio contact.

The good news is that the Ukrainians discovered they didn’t die. Hallelujah! The bad news is that after being able to repel two attacks by the Russians they eventually had to surrender due to a lack of ammunition. The Ukrainian soldiers are now being held Sevastopol, Crimea, which was documented on Russian State television.

Also, SNL did a cold opening with the Ukrainian Chorus of New York singing “A Prayer for Ukraine” and I get overwhelmed with emotion every time I watch it.


[EXTRA] ICYMI, John Mahoney was the guest host on SNL on Saturday. He joined the Five Timer’s Club and there’s a new epic musical sketch to go along with Diner Lobster (2018), Bodega Bathroom (2019), Airport Sushi (2020), and New York Musical (2020).

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 (10-31-2021): Halloween Edition

I apologize for being absent again for a few more weeks but I took an online course about creating and designing websites. The exam was this past Wednesday. I got 97.8% on the final so I’m pretty pleased with myself at the moment. Let’s see if I can actually apply what I learned!

Started working on revamping the Menopausal Broad website but this is going to take some time, especially since I have two other websites to set up and design.

Let me know if there is anything you like or anything you don’t like!



1. These Anti-Witch Cakes – I think many teenage girls become interested in the Salem Witch Trials. The witch trials and Lizzie Borden and the Titanic, along with many other tragic, historical events. It’s not that we’re messed up or gruesome. We’re most likely the same people who go on to be really into true crime (which admittedly is a white woman’s genre.)

They are hideous-looking things, not appetizing looking at all. The fact that they have urine as an ingredient explains a lot and, well, I wouldn’t want one anywhere near me. Blechy!

Here’s a very thorough article about witch cakes.

[Found on Atlas Obscura]

P.S. Here’s another anti-witch device that was found 17 years ago in Kent, UK but it was only just determined that it was used to ward off witches. And guess what, once again this device (it’s a bottle) was filled with urine. What is it with people using pee to ward off evil? You’d think evil would like bad smells. [Thanks to Jeanne L. for finding this.]

2. These Halloween Houses in My Neighborhood – People are decorating WAY more for Halloween this year and it’s been a lot of fun but there have been a couple of houses that really caught my eye…

The first three photos are of the same house. This guy decorates his yard like this year-round. It’s so much fun!

3. This Lalique Bat Ring – I would totally wear this.

[Found by Ann L. – thanks Ann!]

4. This Pumpkin Library – Created by the Staff at the Truro Public Library in Truro, Massachusetts, the Facebook post has gone viral and the TPL staff are thrilled! Considering they serve a population of around 2000 residents (not including temporary residents) it’s understandable! Adorable and creative!

Here’s an article on Boston. com and here is one from the Boston Globe.

[Brought to my attention by Jeanne D., thanks Jeanne!]

5. These Vintage Halloween Cards – Some vintage postages are a little weird and at Halloween, they are downright bizarre. Apparently, 100 years ago they were very superstitious about courting and how a couple might get engaged on Halloween.

Also, there was the cabbage thing. It seems that people used to rap on people’s doors with cabbage stalks and they would even throw cabbages at the cranky neighbors when they answered the door.

Here’s more information about that from Boing Boing.

They found some handwritten texts to corroborate the tradition:

Halloween is always on the last day of October. We all have good sport eating nuts, bean, and apples on Halloween night. Some people celebrate it by hitting other people’s doors with cabbage stalks. Other people burn live nuts as a man and his girl to see which of them will die first. The people must be present in the house and then take the ashes of each nut and dream upon them. The dream is supposed to come true. Other people tie apples to the roof and try to catch them with their mouths. Others put an apple into a dish of water and try to lift it out with their mouths. Whoever lifts it out gets it.

The customs in my father’s time were to make raids to cabbage garden’s. Every one would have brought a cabbage which they pulled in the garden. The loss of the cabbage was mostly taken in good part by the owner. It was looked on as old custom even in those days. They cut the stalks from the cabbage head and some of the girls and boys went in front of the house where some bad tempered person lived. They hit the door two or three raps with the “kale runt” as the cabbage stalk was called in those days at the same time shouting “Halloween night”. The old man of the house came running out and opened the door. When some of the boys coming behind would throw a cabbage head in the door way which probably would tumble him. Halloween is kept as a pagan feast.

From ‘Bring back the Halloween tradition of throwing cabbage at people’ by thomas Dunn | Boing boing, Oct. 27, 2021

[Cards found on Flashbak, NYPL Digital Collections, and Suburban Turmoil]

6. This Halloween Cartoon by Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker.

7. This Article about Salem and “Witch Consumerism” – Just like with Christmas, the Witch City needs to get back to its roots. I can’t say I “love” this article, it always makes me sad and/or angry when greed oozes into something and ruins it. And before anyone else says it, I’m not minimalist, but I think there is a difference between hawking wares and taking advantage of people. I’m not sure if I can explain this right now – it’s in my head but my head is saying it’s done for the night.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


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Seven Things I Love (2-22-2021)

  1. 1. This “Personal Library” – housed in his home, WOW! I wonder what his house looks (looked) like. Right after college I landed a job at a wonderful bookshop called Webster’s. It was originally like something out of a movie. (I say originally because it kept expanding and became less and less charming.)
  2. Anyway, one of our regular customers was a professor. And he so looked the part – bearded and tweedy, patches on the elbows of his suit coats. He came in pretty much every week for most of the time I was there. I heard a story that because he had so many books he had to have the floors reinforced in his house to support his the weight of them all. When I saw this photo I immediately thought of him. I imagine his library could have looked like this.

2. This Bible, Known as ‘The Wicked Bible’ – In 1631 the English printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas printed 1000 copies of a bible with two errors. Unfortunately a word was omitted in Exodus 20:14 and instead of it saying “Thou shalt not commit adultery” it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

There was also a second error in Deuteronomy 5. In a sentence that should have read ‘Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness’ the word ‘greatness’ had been replaced with ‘great-asse.’ Of course implying that the Lord God has a great arse did not go over well with the King, nor the promotion of adultery.

Charles I fined the printers £300, which is equivalent to over $50,000 today. He ordered all copies be burned and he also took away their printing license. At the time they were the only printers licensed to print bibles, which was, of course, a lucrative business. Somehow 11 copies managed to survive and they have gone to auction and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars.

A theory has bounced around that possibly a competitor to Barker & Lucas set them up and had those errors inserted as sabotage so that they would lose their printing license. Course we’ll never know if that is true but the second mistake ‘great-asse’ seems a bit more than something that could have been accidental.

3. This Article by Writer and Therapist-in-Training Shrestha Singh – this essay resonated with me for a variety of reasons – the Wisconsin connection, the India connection (that’s a long story,) but mostly it was the part about having family members (and/or friends) who were supporting people who were bigoted.

For Ms. Singh it was having in-laws who were huge Trump supporters despite the fact that he’s overtly racist, especially when she is East Indian. It’s mind boggling to me how anyone who has family members who are (or worse who IS) Mexican, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (especially Chinese) or basically anyone from any foreign country or any person of color can still be a Trump supporter based on what he has said and done regarding immigrants. But there are plenty.

I have a family member who is a staunch Trump supporter who has grandchildren who are half-Chinese and whom he adores. Despite the fact that there is a clear correlation been a surge in anti-asian hate-crimes across the country and Trump’s use of discriminatory language like the term “China Virus,” his support has not waned.

The most frustrating thing about Trump supporters and their racism problem is that when you point it out to them, when you call them out on it, they will deny it is racism.

4. This Website that Lets You Draw Your Own Iceberg – A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks KK!) Megan Thompson-Munson is a Glaciologist and climate scientist and a PhD student. She has been bothered of late by the portrayal of icebergs, especially in stock photography. As pointed out in her tweets, the way they are pictured is impossible according to physics. So she created this fun site called Iceberger where you can draw whatever shaped iceberg you want to see how it would float in the ocean.

Here was my first attempt and I thought, hey, I got it to stand up – it looks like it does in the stock photos! BUT it turns out that some of the icebergs need a bit of time to turn on their side.

So I tried again and let it sit for a while and sure enough….

I tried over and over and over again and had the same thing happen, no matter what I did it ended up on its side. It’s a really cool site!

5. This Family in Kent Who Do Pandemic Version of Songs – The Marsh Family went viral about nine months ago with their version of “One Day More” from Les Miserable. They are REALLY talented!

A few other parodies I loved: Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘:

‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen:

And ‘Under Pressure’ by David Bowie is amazing!

6. These Photographs that Norman Rockwell Used as Inspiration for His Paintings – I’m sure all of you have at least seen a Norman Rockwell painting, even if you didn’t know who the artist was. Rockwell is most known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. His career with the Post spanned for decades, from 1916 to 1963 and when he retired he had drawn a total of 321 cover paintings. (Click on the photo/painting below to see more original photos and their companion Rockwell paintings.)

One of my favorite works Rockwell did is a series of art called the Four Freedoms. It was painted during World War II and inspired by a speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt on universal rights. The series included four paintings titled Freedom from Want, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear.

The paintings ended up appearing in the Saturday Evening Post and each one was accompanied by an essay. I have linked each title above to the original essay. You will absolutely want to read the Freedom of Speech essay, trust me!

7. This New Movie – Cruella is Coming!


Word of the Day


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Seven Things I Love (11/9/2020)

1. This Colorized Video from 1893 of a Snowball Fight – done by Dmitriy Badin – I’d mute the video, the music is a bit annoying. It’s delightful to watch thought.

(I prefer the way Denis Shiryaev creates his videos. He goes the extra step of adding sounds that match whatever is taking place, for example, he adds trolley bells, or horses hooves clopping on the street, or people talking. His videos are amazing.)

https://youtu.be/tuFu9-bfnQk

2. This New Couple – I’ve loved Linda Purl for decades and I just found out she is dating Patrick Duffy! For those of you who don’t know, Patrick was married for 43 years (and they were a couple for 5 years before that) until his wife passed away in 2017. He had thought he would live the remainder of his life as a widower but his lifetime friendship with Purl turned into more and now they are dating! Very sweet.

3. This Genius, who has created a site called McBroken.com, where you can check to see which nearby McDonald’s have broken ice cream machines.

4. This Weather Map that Shows the Snowfall Forecast in Books

5. This History of the Word Hangover – How many of you have experienced a hangover in the past week? How many of you have experienced a hangover or hundred in the past four years? Did you ever wonder where the word hangover came from? Like so many of our intoxicant related words, it originated during the Victorian era. Which of course is completely ironic considering they were supposedly such prudes.

6. This Video Clip showing How Charlie Chaplin achieved a special effect in his film ‘Modern Times’ over 80 years ago.

7. This Little Free Library, located in McFarland, WI (Represent!) that is a Replica of the famous Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris…

Unfortunately, Shakespeare & Co., like so many businesses, is struggling….



Have a WONDERFUL week!

Seven Things I Love 8-17-2020

1. The Technicolor Fashion Show Scene from the original version of the movie ‘The Women’ (1939) – I suspect more people are familiar with the 2008 film version of ‘The Women’ starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. The casts of both films are entirely women, you never once see a man, though there are constant references to them or a man will call on the phone.

The video below isn’t the entire scene unfortunately, it’s just the beginning – the full fashion show lasts about six minutes and includes the styles of designer Adrian. The film is in black & white but briefly switches to technicolor for this one scene. Apparently they filmed the fashion show in both black and white and technicolor. It was only shown on television and on DVDs in black & white but Turner Classic Movies restored the technicolor fashion show and how marvelous that they did!

2. Curbside Larry (Thanks KK!) Most places have someone like this. A person who does such obnoxious commercials that they become endearing. In Milwaukee we had a pitchman named “Crazy TV Lenny” who now owns an e-bike business called “Crazy Lenny’s.” I think it’s BRILLIANT how they used it to promote library services!

3. This Hallmark Movie – ‘Wedding Every Weekend,’ the latest Hallmark movie, has finally included an LGBTQ couple. YIPPEE!!! And it was NOT done subtlety either. This is now my favorite Hallmark movie (well, non-holiday Hallmark movie, I still really LOVE Christmas Getaway.)

Congratulations to new brides Vicky (Carmel Amit) and Amanda (Makayla Moore)

4. Thomas Fitzpatrick: The greatest “Hold my beer and watch this” ever – Picture it, Sicily, 1956… wait, that’s wrong, not Sicily, it was New York City. Mr. Thomas Fitzpatrick makes a bet that he could land a plane outside the bar that he was drinking in, a couple hours later he does exactly that, in a stolen plane no less. Years later when someone refuses to believe him he even does it again! (Found on MessyNessyChic)

5. Rebecca – it won’t premiere on Netflix until October 21st but I am so excited about this upcoming movie I can barely see straight. The novel Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier has been one of my favorite books since high school. I also love the old black & white movie with Joan Fontaine and Lawrence Olivier (1940.) It was my first introduction to the actor George Sanders. Most people only know his voice – he was Shere Khan the Tiger in the 1967 Jungle Book. His voice is beyond sexy, he really does sort of growl. His role in Jungle Book was just too perfect.

Getting on to the new Rebecca – good lord, Armie Hammer is playing Maxim de Winter. SWOON! And Lily James plays the unnamed woman who narrates and becomes the second Mrs. de Winter. Kristin Scott Thomas is Mrs. Danvers, Keeley Hawes (The Bodyguard and Durrells in Corfu) is Beatrice Lacy and Sam Riley (Maleficent and Radioactive) is Jack Favell. It’s all my favorite people in one film!!! Pinch me!

Rebecca: (L to R) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Cr. KERRY BROWN/NETFLIX

6. Suffragettes – tomorrow (August 18th) will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. That’s right, it was only 100 years ago that women were given the right to vote in our country. New Zealand was actually the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. They did that in 1893, although there were actually some women on the Isle of Man (geographically part of the British Isles but not part of the UK) who were able to vote from 1881. New Zealand women were allowed to vote though they could not run for office.

There are two important dates to celebrate in 2020 – June 4th was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment and August 18th is the 100th anniversary of its ratification and being added to the Constitution.

Want a fun activity for you and/or any kids you may know? Here’s Flat Susan B. (a twist on Flat Stanley), color her in and share her with friends, or use her as a bookmark, or take her along wherever you go and have her show up in photos that you post on Instagram! Flat Susan B is AWESOME! (And remember, coloring is therapeutic.) If you click on the image below you’ll go to the printable version.)

Woman’s suffrage protest on Capitol Hill in 1917.
PHOTO: UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES

And remember, even though women won the right to vote in 1920, there is still a lot of problems with inequality in this country, which became very obvious with this summer’s BLM protests.

Sadly, the American’s Suffragette’s appear to won their battle at the expense of their black sisters. And the Equal Rights Amendment, though approved by both the House and the Senate in the early seventies never was able to get ratified by enough state legislatures before the deadline SEVEN years later. The deadline was extended for four years but still, the required of number of states was not met so Congress considers it dead. Several groups have tried to get Congress to remove the deadline but nothing has happened. Can you believe though that we, as a country, couldn’t get enough states to ratify the ERA in the first place???? Let’s see what happens in November, shall we?

P.S. if you haven’t seen the film Suffragettes yet, now’s the time!

7. The National Park Service’s ‘Recreate Responsibly’ Campaign Posters – the NPS began the campaign in April and it is genius. Humor really is the best way to get people’s attention, get things to go viral, and to get people to actually read things! The most recent poster, ‘Wildlife Petting Chart,’ is obviously in response to the recent bison incident (hint, don’t approach a baby bison when its mama is looking on.)


Seven Things that I Love (8-10-2020)

1. This videoclip from a 1996 episode of Sesame Street with Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise) where he helps the Count get ‘Number One’ back in his(?) proper place. Those who know me know that I’ve been a HUGE fan of Sir Patrick for decades (that voice), and I’m a fan of the Count as well, so this is a two-fer. (Found on Laughing Squid.com)

2. This story about George Washington, who called for a temporary cease fire so he could return the dog to his enemy’s commanding officer. Although there currently is a bit of controversy surrounding our Founding Fathers due to their ownership of slaves, we will never be able to deny what they accomplished and contributed to the creation of our democracy (despite its current state.) And George Washington, for good or bad, will always be our first president and he seems to have had some good qualities despite not being able to recognize that slavery is abhorrent.

One memorable story that stands out to dog lovers alike, is when George Washington showed his loyalty by returning a terrier to it’s rightful owner–even when the owner was the enemy. After the Battle of Germantown, Washington found a small terrier running around the battlefield between British and American lines. It turns out that General Howe’s dog had gotten loose, as it was identified by it’s collar. Washington’s soldiers suggested that the dog be kept as a trophy of the British to weaken the morale of the British General Howe.

Instead, Washington took the pup back to his tent where he fed him, brushed him and cleaned him. He then wrote a letter and attached it to the dog’s collar. To everyones surprise, he ordered a cease fire and had his aide return the terrier under a flag of truce.

From “George Washington Loved Dogs So Much, He Wrote To A British General About A Dog Mid-Battle” on BarkPost.com

3. Library Porn

4. The Playlist from the series POSE – 80s bliss! (And the show is damned good too.)

5. Mapleworth Murders on Quibi – it’s like a hilarious, gay Murder, She Wrote. Dammit Quibi, why do you have to have to be so addictive???? (and for those of you not familiar with Quibi yet, it’s only available as an app for your phone/tablet and the shows/series episodes are all around 7 to 10 minutes long. I know that sounds strange but it totally works!)

https://youtu.be/YTlamTqFWjk

6. Jessie Gallan – Ms. Gallan passed away in 2015 after being declared not only Scotland’s but the entire UK’s oldest woman at 109 years of age. She said the secret to her longevity was avoiding men and eating porridge every day. I read this article several years ago but came across it again and have decided it’s time to take up a new life plan.

7. The Flying Train, Germany, 1902 – Denis Shiryaev is a master craftsperson the way he takes old black and white films and repairs them, colorizes them, and adds sound to make them look and feel so much more approachable. He’s done this to several videos but has difficulty actually finding clips that he can works with that are interesting and copyright free. He worked really hard on one video and apparently the organization that stored it told him he could put it online. Truly awful, considering how much work it takes to do just one short video. Anyway, enjoy this. It’s amazing.


Have a GREAT Week!

Five Things I Love (7-27-2020)

1. Dr. Anthony Fauci on the cover of ‘In Style’ magazine. Yowzah! The article is an interview with Dr. Fauci and his wife, Dr. Christine Grady, and it’s super interesting. I think it’s amazing that we finally made a rock star out of a scientist!

2. This article calling for the return of Parasols – I am taking this on as a personal mission.

3. Home Movie: The Princess Bride – Damn you Quibi! I have been resisting subscribing to any more streaming services. Quibi isn’t even really like other streaming services, you can only watch it on your phone (or tablet) and the films/episodes are no more than ten minutes in length. Initially I saw a trailer for a series called “Dummy” with Anna Kendrick and I wanted to see it but not enough to subscribe but after I saw this video, well, that was it. The clip below is a compilation of the episodes telling an abridged version of the movie. If you want to see the entire thing you will need to subscribe and I tell you, it is WORTH IT! Not only can you download the episodes to watch anytime, but if you turn you phone sideways you can see the original film side-by-side with the “Home Movie” for comparison. It’s marvelous!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=3pfXZEPcEFg&feature=emb_title

4. The Moving of Booth Cottage – a Frank Lloyd Wright gem, Booth Cottage was purchased by a couple who wanted to tear it down to build a new house. W-T-F??? What kind of person tears down a Frank Lloyd Wright???? Anyway, a group of conservationists raised about $300,000 to help get the house moved to a new location in Glencoe and also worked out a long-term lease from the municipality. Once the foundation is laid and the house is put in place it will become a museum. Thank God there are still people in the world who value history and art. If you don’t want to watch the video here is an article from the Chicago Tribune with a few good photos.

5. Whitney: ‘Can I Be Me?’ – watched this documentary over the weekend and it was excellent. Whitney Huston was only two years older than me and I had pretty much grown up loving her, so like most people my age, her death was devastating. Seeing her in this movie was like bringing her back to life, even if it was just for a few hours. It’s difficult knowing that, had it been a different time, she might be alive today. And it’s frustrating knowing that so many people used her. Still, I will be watching it again.

6. Every player and coach on the Yankees & Nationals took a knee before the national anthem tonight in D.C. – this made my heart SOAR!

7. Charlie Berens & Alex Wehrley – I think I’ve included Charlie on my list before. I’m including him (and his wife Alex) again because he’s just so damned hilarious. It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true!

8. This “Remarkable ‘Reading Station’ by Charles Hindley & Co., London, с. 1890″ – the stuff that (librarian’s) dreams are made of!

9. Olivia de Havilland cussing up a storm – we lost a true star this weekend when Miss de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She has always been one of my favorite actresses from the Silver Screen. Not only was she beautiful but she was a woman who didn’t take shit from anyone and she stood up for things she believed in.

Have a
FANTASTIC WEEK!

Five Things I Love (4/20/2020)

  1. Quarantine Book Shelf – A friend of mine tagged me on Facebook so I would see it. The person who had posted it wrote “two smart and saucy librarians posted this…” but later I found it attributed to a Mr. Phil Shaw. Whoever is responsible (most likely Mr. Shaw) it’s SUPER clever and BEAUTIFUL!

2. A Drink of Water – my friend Angela shared this. So touching, a sister sharing such a sweet moment with her three brothers while in quarantine. Reminds me of what things were like with my brothers. We were always so warm and affectionate. Mwah ha ha ha ha. Okay, yeah, right. But the video is HILARIOUS! Be sure to watch to the end. I laughed so hard.

3. Kick-ass Female World Leaders – I noticed that Jacinda Ardern (the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was already a huge fan of hers) and Erna Solberg (the Prime Minster of Norway) were doing things that other male world leaders weren’t doing – specifically they were both personally addressing children’s fears and mental health issues. Turns out other female world leaders are doing similar exceptional things because it turns out that women really are superior leaders, especially during a crisis.

4. This To Do List – one of my favorite artists, Liam O’Farrell, posted this on his Facebook page on Saturday with the following message.

Right, I’m not a medical professional and I cant make Scrubs, I can only draw and paint. So, in attempt to make that light at the end of the tunnel just a little bit brighter I have put together a sheet where I can list the ever-growing number of things I want to do when things ease a bit on the lock-down. If you want a copy too here is a free PDF to download. Many thanks and all the best to you. x

So incredibly sweet and what a great idea! You can get a printable PDF HERE.

5. Dame Judi Dench TikTok dancing with her grandson on Facebook – I love his reaction when they finish!

6. A Chorus Line in Quarantine – I recently watched the miniseries Fosse/Verdon (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it – Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are amazing.) Anyway, besides learning a lot about the lives of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon I was reminded about all the wonderful works they created/were part of. This is awesome!

7. Leslie Jordan’s Instagram page – you most likely know Leslie from Will & Grace or maybe from American Horror Story? Or about a zillion other things…

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