Saturday, November 18, 2017


Friday, November 17, 2017

Quote Of The Day

Cat Gorgeous Cat by Oliver Herford

"You know the best example of sincerity?  The absolute gold standard?"


Angus pointed to the door, outside which Cyril was waiting patiently.  "A dog.  Have you ever met with an insincere dog -- a dog who hides his true feelings?"

Domenica looked thoughtful.  "And cats?"

"Dreadfully insincere," said Angus.  Psychopaths -- every one of them.  Show me a cat, Domenica, and I'll show you a psycopath.  Textbook examples."  ~ Alexander McCall Smith

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not So Ancient History

My oldest sister was watching this the other night and suddenly her husband's picture flashed on the screen.


High Diving Giraffes from Алексей on Vimeo.

As requested - the giraffes!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Plus Ҫa Change

Michigan Avenue Bridge, by Errol Jacobson

About fifty years ago, my father (who resembled Dr Gibbs in this respect) piled the four youngest children -- aged eight to sixteen -- into our station wagon with my poor mother and headed for Alabama.

Ostensibly we were going to see my oldest sister graduate from boot camp at then-Ft. McClellan, but the real reasons for the trip were Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and any other Civil War site that could reasonably be sandwiched in along the way.

In front of a six-pounder perched high on Missionary Ridge, a young Park Service guide began asking questions of the small crowd of tourists.  Little did he know what he was in went something like this.

He: Does anyone here know how many shots per minute this cannon could fire?

Me:  Two rounds per minute, with an experienced crew.

He:  Very good!  Who knows what these cannons were made of?

Next Youngest Brother:  They were cast out of bronze except for some Confederate cannons that used to blow up.

He:  Mmm..okay.  Now, in order to use a cannon, the crew needed to haul ammunition and other equipment around.  Does anyone know what this was called?

Youngest Brother: Limber.

He:  Ah...yes.  Moving right along, can anyone tell me what made these cannons so much more accurate than they were in the past?

Youngest Sister: They had rifled barrels.

And so it went for the rest of that poor man's spiel.  The four of us answered every single question, while my father grinned behind his moustache and my mother looked resigned.

Last Friday my sisters and I went on an architecture tour up the Chicago River (yes, it was snowing.  Took two hours for my feet to thaw out).  As soon as we were underway the guide began quizzing the dozen or so hardy souls aboard.

It was Missionary Ridge all over again.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Off to Chicago this week for a Veteran's Day meetup with my sisters.

(God help Chicago).

Monday, November 6, 2017

Vintage Magazines - 10-Story Mystery

From 1948, the British version of a magazine originally published in Chicago in 1942.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Friday, November 3, 2017

Quote Of The Day

Image from The Graphics Fairy

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. ~ English proverb.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


In our house, these are known as woof marks.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bad Night At Black Rock

copyright-free image from Dover

Batdog and I went off to obedience class tonight, leaving the Man of the House and the New Kids to deal with the trick or treaters.

By the time we got home (around 8pm), he had just finished coaxing them back up out of the basement.  Then for some reason Batdog vomited on the dining room rug and he got out the handheld steamer* and fired it up.

The Kids are still in the basement.

*a pet 0wner's best friend.

Sewing - One Hour Dress

The One Hour Dress, brainchild of Mary Brooks Picken's correspondence school the Woman's Institute and courtesy of the Antique Pattern Library.  Copyright 1925.

Yes, I still can't find those damned Workbaskets.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Vintage Advertising - Sunkist Lemons

From the Woman's Home Companion, January 1921.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Friday, October 27, 2017

Quote Of The Day

Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. ~ Wm Shakespeare

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Word To The Wise

Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to pretend to be choking on your sandwich during a Red Cross Disaster Action Team meeting.

Workbasket Magazines at the Antique Patterns Library

Last week I took all of my 1940's copies of Workbasket magazine that still needed to be scanned, placed them in a manila folder, and put them...


So until I find them again, here's a link to Vol 9, No 3 (March 1944), one of two vintage Workbaskets that APL has up on their website.

They recently acquired an almost-complete set of the little magazine, along with permission to copy them.  They've done two so far and I can't wait for the rest.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Vintage Magazines - Adventure

From September, 1930; about thirty-five years after cavalry charges became obsolete.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Completely Accidentally, I'm Sure

As soon as I started showing signs of being awake the other morning, Batdog -- as usual -- materialized at bedside and poked me with his nose.  Minnie got up from where she was sleeping across my ankles and strolled up and poked me with her nose.

I reached over to pet Batdog and Minnie shoved her head between my hand and his nose. Batdog stood up with his paws on the bed, glared at Minnie, and then fell over on top of her.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Friday, October 20, 2017

Quote Of The Day a rule, United States Marshals are not as beautiful as Mary McCormack and as charming as Tommy Lee Jones.  Rather, they are typically as beautiful as Tommy Lee Jones and also as charming as Tommy Lee Jones. ~ Ken White

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Workbasket Magazine, May 1946

Another mostly-crochet number, with a doily, edging and matching insertion, and a potholder.  Two pages of instructions on how to do hemstitching and insertion on hankie corners are also included.

Four pages to download and print off may be found on my Flickr account.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vintage Advertising - Fairy Soap

From Woman's Magazine, March 1914.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Have Needles, Will Travel

I'm meeting up there with two of the ladies I met on the Irish tour.  I've already located two second-hand bookshops within five minutes walk of our B&B.

Gotta love Yelp.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

image from

The dinosaurs are not all dead,
I saw one raise its iron head
To watch me walking down the road
Beyond our house today.
Its jaws were dripping with a load
Of earth and grass that it had cropped.
It must have heard me where I stopped,
Snorted white steam my way,
And stretched its long neck out to see,
And chewed, and grinned quite amiably. ~ Charles Malam

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Online Bookshelf - The Mouse's Wedding

Another little Edwardian oddity, full of beautiful colored illustrations of mice in kimonos. Free download from Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Proof God Loves Me

got an email today from asking for my opinion on the proposed tax reform.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Where Is Wong Fu When You Need Him?

From the online Q & A site, Quora:

Question:  What is your opinion of drag queens around children?

Answer:  I'm against drag queens being exposed to children.  A lot could go wrong.

Nails could be broken, wigs pulled off, someone could get knocked off her heels.  Children are wild, irrational, and unpredictable, and their characters are still in the formative stages.  Someone fabulous could get hurt.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Body Count

image from

Reserve Cat just killed and ate a kinglet and I'm waiting for him to throw it back up.  I had no idea the fat old bastard could still move that fast.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Workbasket Magazine - April 1946

From April of 1946, an issue that is mostly crochet -- the hat, gloves, and bag shown on the cover, and a traycloth and Bible bookmark (in the shape of a cross).  The quilt pattern on the middle pages is Trumpet Flower, and four pages to print off and staple together can be found on my Flickr account.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Vintage Advertising - Jello

From Woman's Home Companion, January 1921. I must say, she's dressed a lot snazzier than I am when I'm doing housework.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Quote of the Day

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. ~ Colette

Thursday, September 28, 2017


Monday, September 25, 2017

Connecting the Dots

1. Someone likes to push small objects off the dining room table and then bat them around on the floor.

2. I always put my car keys on the dining room table so I know where they are and can find them easily.

3. I was supposed to be at the Red Cross office at 0900 today.

4.  I only have one set of keys.

5.  At approximately 1430 I found them shoved under the table pedestal.

(yeah, like I even care, Ma).

Thursday, September 14, 2017


This seems appropriate, somehow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Rare and Fleeting Glimpse

image from FB

Well, I'm not in Texas, nor in Florida, and am not going to be headed there for at least four weeks (maybe longer).  The powers that be decided I was more valuable here and I am running weekly training classes in disaster operations and mass care for new volunteers before they are shipped off to the front lines.

Everything else has been moved to the back burner (including housework.  I wonder how much longer I can get away with feeding the spousal unit a diet of beanie-weenies and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese).

Thank you all for your kind words on my oldest brother.  His death was unexpected and I'm feeling my mortality a bit as he was only 70.

Monday, September 4, 2017


My oldest brother died this weekend.  There will be no posting until further notice.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Our God and Souldiers we alike adore,
Ev'n at the Brink of danger; not before:
After deliverance, both alike requited;
Our God's forgotten, and our Souldiers slighted. ~ Francis Quarles

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Online Bookshelf -

Not much in the way of illustrations, but the cover enchants me.  From Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Workbasket Magazine - March 1946

The March, 1946 issue of Workbasket magazine, with two crochet projects - a shopping bag and the pineapple doily on the cover - and two pages of instruction on how to do hemstitching.

Also, in response to the rubber consumer goods shortage mentioned last week, the following helpful hint:

Four double pages to download and print off can be found on my Flickr account.

Monday, August 28, 2017

This Is Terrifying

image from ABC News

From the US Geological Survey.

Click on Houston, then on Site Info.  Check out Most Recent Stage and Most Recent Flow.

UPDATE:  It looks like where I stayed last spring has 26 feet of water....

Vintage Advertising - Coca-Cola

From Liberty magazine, October 1939.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


In other news, we still don't know how she did it, but Minnie got herself locked in the gun safe this morning and it was almost nine hours before someone heard her faint, despairing mew.

She's lucky it's ventilated.

Friday, August 25, 2017