Monday, June 19, 2017

Maids in Repose

I arrived at Mother’s for our Monday night dinner. She started talking to me about how her regular maid was on vacation and she had a new maid for the day.

Mother lives in a retirement community and she has a maid. She has had a maid pretty much always except for when I was a teenager and she thought the training in household chores would be a good idea so her maid became me. I did not like nor approve of this training plan.

As mother was going through her mail and reading her paper and the Bible Study for her weekly study class she became very sleepy and so curled up on the couch and fell sound asleep. She awoke about an hour later as her new maid was just finishing the last touches on the kitchen. She started to apologize for waking her. Mother was taken aback at why she would apologize she had not heard her at all.  Mother was actually embarrassed she had been asleep.  What an awkward moment.

                                   The Sleeping Princess  - Sir Edward Burne-Jones

It inspired me to search for paintings of sleeping maids to counterbalance Mother’s embarrassment.

This week enjoy Maids in Repose

Monday, June 12, 2017

William Woodward

I was doing some Ghost Hunting Saturday afternoon when I came across Lodia Elmer Dutton my 2nd Great Uncle, brother to my Great Great Grandmother.

While Lodia is an odd name for a man, which is not what this is about. However the word Lodia loosely translates over to Ship in Russian and that is where we are headed.  

On the 21st of February 1922 Lodia arrived at the Port of New Orleans on a ship called Atenas 

an American Steam Merchant ship built in Belfast in 1909. She was owned by the United Fruit SS Company in New York part of “The Great White Fleet”. Her normal route was New Orleans to Cristobal, Panama Canal.
In 1921 William Woodward was commissioned to paint a mural of one of the ships at the company headquarters in New Orleans. Woodward and his wife Louisa had been aboard the Atenas for a wonderful trip to Havana Cuba and he incorporated her into the mural for the building and into a painting as well.
                      Old Havana Harbor Scene by William Woodward 

This week enjoy the works of WilliamWoodward. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lost Love

Several years ago on a warm May afternoon I was to be married. I was so very happy I had found love. Only he hadn't and he did not tell me this until two weeks before.
                                       Frederick William Elwell - The wedding dress

At this same time my daddy became very ill. He had been ill for many weeks but it had become worse. He knew he was dying as did I. We had talked about it and made plans about it. He even wrote his obituary which my nephew was to insert into an email and send out to daddy's hundreds of contacts the day after he passed. He had an odd sense of humor few understood. He also realized that I had died at my breakup. I had wanted him to know I was taken care of so he could leave us without fear for me. That was not to happen and it killed me. 
                                            My daddy and me.

Dad being daddy asked me who was going on the honeymoon with me now. We laughed and he insisted I go. Alone. What dad?... So I could call it a Howl at the Moon instead? He thought that was brilliant and yes I should go and relax, heal, have fun, be brave. So I did. 

He passed 5 minutes after I told him good-bye over the phone and that I would see him again. It was a quiet flight home for me. 

In the space of three weeks I lost love
This week please enjoy Lost Love

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pesky Avocado

Driving down the road I heard the strangest news story about how Avocados are dangerous and people should be aware and be safe.
                                          Still Life with Avocados - Francisco Oller

I have been eating these creamy delicious things since about … Well since I came to Texas a long time ago (yes.. Texas was a state by then) and my Mother never injured herself, none of our guests who were fascinated and wanted to help make Guacamole were injured. I have not been attacked by one either.

As I listened what was happening was people were stabbing themselves, cutting themselves, and slicing tendons, muscles and chipping bones with knives while attempting to remove the pits.

 It has been suggested that warning labels should be applied to the skin of each and every avocado sold throughout the world. There are videos on how to remove the pit.

There are reports from a London Hospital that claim they have at least 4 patients a week come into emergency for what the staff now call “Avocado Hand”.

I have one word. Spoon.

This week I invite you to enjoy Pesky Avocado.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Balloon Dream

I have had Soar above Earth in a Hot Air Balloon on my "Bucket List" for many years and have just not ever had the chance to make it happen until my Sister-in-law suggested an event taking place locally called Balloona Palooza. 

The evening was magical.
We were allowed to get up close
and personal
with the balloons,
pilots and even volunteer as staff on a
balloon team. 

I would dream about escaping from school in a balloon, escaping from home and soaring to my Granny's house to live. Romantic adventures, daring escapes, floating for just joy have all danced in my head. 

Francois Laurent d'Arlandes and  Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier  had the first untethered, manned hot air balloon flight in Paris France on 21 November 1783. 

This week enjoy Balloon Dreams

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lady Hawking

This week I will give the Ladies fair treatment and we will see some Lady Hawking

Long ago in a distant land where the upper class were seen very often with hawks on their hands and often even in church are the Ladies. 

14th Cent. Lady hunting with hawk

14th Cent. Lady hunting with hawk

These birds were tethered to the hands of their Mistresses by a silk or leather cord. A favorite recreation of the Ladies was hawking and being seen with their hawks whether walking or riding. Sometimes they hunted in parties of mixed company but it was not uncommon for them to hunt with their hawks alone. 

Hawking season started in August with September and October being the best months to hunt. If a hawk has caused a bird to take to a bush or tree and it refuses to rouse from its perch a Lady may use her bow to take the prey. 

Albrecht Durer.lady holding a hawk.c.1484-1486.chalk.[BritMus.London]:
                   Albrecht Durer.lady holding a hawk

This week enjoy Lady Hawking

Monday, May 1, 2017

Birds and Their Men


A friend posted up on Facebook about their wonderful evening at Medieval Times. I have been several times enjoying the show and wishing I could get back stage and meet the horses, knights, and the birds. You could say it was a "Bucket List" thing for me. My dad had taken me to see the Lipizzan Stallions
once upon a time and he somehow managed to arrange an introduction to one of the Paso Finos.

It was like touching magic. 

One day as I was out on an escapade I bumped into a man. He was intrigued by me and asked if I had ever been to Medieval Times. I confessed my bucket list. He asked me to attend as his guest the following Friday. Surprised, I said yes. He left my name at the door and as I watched the show there he was. In the arena, in Garb with a huge bird perched on his arm, staring up at me. I waved, he smiled and both him and the bird entertained the crowd. After the show he asked if I would like to go meet some of the knights and horses. YES!!!!

The horses were beautiful. The knights were.... have you ever seen the locker room interviews after a football game? It was like that only sexier. Last he introduced me to his bird. As we were chatting he told me he had more at his home and invited me to dinner the following week to see them all. 
                               Falconer - Spanish (unknown)

This gorgeous man with long flowing hair and looked like he had stepped off the cover of a Romance novel had all kinds of birds of prey in his home. They were trained and used not only for the show but also actively hunted with. 

Thanks to my friends trip to Medieval Times I was inspired by my own experience. 
This week enjoy Birds and Their Men.