Saturday, December 30, 2017


We didn't do a tree this year, and I'm wondering what, if anything, we'll be able to pull off in 2018.

Friday, December 29, 2017

vintage greeting card from Mazaika

Out over the flat, white wastes of fen, over the spear-straight, steel-dark dykes and the wind-bent, groaning poplar trees, bursting from the snow-choked louvres of the belfry, whirled away southward and westward in gusty blasts of clamour to the sleeping counties went the music of the bells. ~ Dorothy Sayers

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Bagram, Afghanistan.  Image from FB

Seasonable tokens are about, as Dickens said.  I see a Santa hat, a beard, and two sets of antlers (and that's just on the dogs).

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Seems As Though It Starts Earlier Every Year

cat butt sold separately

Three seed catalogs, delivered the day after Christmas.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Close And Holy Darkness

image from Le Divan Fumoir Bohemien

Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night.  I turned the gas down, I got into bed.  I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept. ~ Dylan Thomas

Sunday, December 24, 2017

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things.

And in further news; her unerring knack for finding the good stuff led Sheba straight to the cashmere sweater I laundered and carefully patted out on a towel to dry this morning.

When I went back downstairs to the laundry room she was writhing on top of it in kitty ecstasy and chewing on one of the sleeves.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


image from icanhascheezburger

Friday, December 22, 2017

Quote Of The Day

Be not sad because all men 
Prefer a lying clamour before you. ~ James Joyce

(also, this).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Workbasket Magazine - January 1945 (Again)

Yes, I've already posted a copy of this on my Flickr account - but the Antiques Pattern Library has provided a better copy as a pdf on their site.  

Since the APL is going to be copying and reissuing all of the available Workbaskets (dating back to WWII), with the permission of the original copyright holders, I am no longer going to put any of mine up.  Their work is better, it's legal, and I'll be linking to each issue as they post it.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Vintage Christmas Map Images from the NYPL

These and other map-themed Christmas cards from the New York Public Library's collection.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Friday, December 15, 2017

Quote Of The Day

photograph from The Telegraph (UK)

The true threat is the delusion that our opinion of science somehow alters its reality. ~ Katherine Hayhoe

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"It Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged..."

That anything made of yarn is irresistible to cats.

Someone keeps absconding with Baby Jesus.

The Online Bookshelf - The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes

Edited by Walter Jerrold with black and white illustrations by Charles Robinson, available as a free download from Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Brings New Meaning To The Phrase "With Bells On"

I suppose it's a sign of my dubious moral character, but this absolutely cracks me up.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Vintage Holiday Images - Christmas Cards

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Friday, December 8, 2017

Quote Of The Day

image from Pinterest

The tongue is the neck's worst enemy. ~ Egyptian proverb

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Friday, December 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

Girl Showing Cat Her Pet Bird - Antonio Rotta

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. ~ Pliny the Younger

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Usual Suspects

UPDATE:  I was congratulating myself on having caught Minnie red-pawed and then I came home today to find a strip of rubber matting on the landing covered with German Shepherd-sized tooth marks.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Mouse sketch by Beatrix Potter

There was a tiny, intact, dead mouse on the spare-room rug this afternoon.  

Which rules out Reserve Cat, who always eats what he kills unless of course we get it away from him first.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Friday, November 24, 2017

Quote Of The Day

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster. ~ W. T. Sherman

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

image from the Graphics Fairy

Although the mouse pie eaters in this house outnumber the pumpkin pie eaters three to two, we're sticking with tradition this year.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Vintage Advertising - Snowdrift Lard

From The Woman's Home Companion, January 1921.

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 psychopath.  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