Monday, April 25, 2016

Party Without Cake


I had a craving for vanilla cake but because I was feeling lazy and it was a Saturday. I made brownies. 


They were very tasty but did not satisfy. I bought a French vanilla cupcake 

at the grocery store later that week. It was tasty but not quite real enough. I had visitors from California arrive early Saturday morning so I grabbed the opportunity to make a Vanilla Bourbon cake with Buttercream frosting and have been blissful for days.

Eating cake after dinner as “normal” people should had been happening here, but today, I am having breakfast cake with sausage and eggs!!

2 carafes of coffee and an orange juice later….

Ahhh…. This is the life.

As Julia Childs says “a party without cake is just a meeting”.

What better way to start a Monday?

This week enjoy Party Without Cake. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Caballo Azul

I like to find art for each show based on some event in my life from the previous week. The only event that seemed dramatic enough for art was a cockroach.  I thought “why not?” and as I typed in the word I got the heebie-jeebies. I hit enter and not one painting of the pest appeared. I was relieved. But what did show up was a painting of a blue horse and it caught my eye.

                                      Franz Marc - Blue Horse

I went looking for more artists and their Blue Horses. Then I went looking for more Blue Horses. Here is what I found.

* Blue Horse was an Oglala Lakota warrior, a Statesman, and an Educator. In March of 1897 Blue Horse accompanied Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to London.  He traveled with the show from 1886 to 1904.
                   Blue Horse - Elbridge Ayer Burbank

* Blue Dun is a horse color. Notice the stripe. 

* Blue Roan is horse color. No stripe.

Then there is Blue Horse Kona Coffee

However you take your Blue Horse for this week enjoy Caballo Azul 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Just Jesting

   Henry the Eighth and His Family (1545). The man at the far right is the jester Will Somers, and the woman at the far left has been suggested to be the jester Jane Foole.

I wrote a Blog last week about someone using the word Harlot in reference to me and along the way I discovered something I did not know about that word.

                                          A dancing fool by Hans Sebald Beham

Harlot was a term used during medieval times to refer to a fool, buffoon, jester, and prankster. 

                                                     The Fool Tarot card.

 It came from the French by way of the word herlot meaning vagabond. These vagabonds would often earn food, shelter, and money by performing tricks or songs of entertainment. In most cases the funnier or sillier the better.

The word Jester caught my eye.
         A jester in front of a King and Courtiers in a manuscript from the 1400’s

A jester or fool was an entertainer during the medieval and Renaissance eras. They were most often employed by noblemen especially during the long tedious winters. Many would often travel like a vagabond going from estate or castle to castle. Since they did not have permanent homes or income they relied on the generosity of the noble families they served. Often taking in as payment discarded colorful clothes, robes, shirts, pants which they wore with great flourish and often mismatched. They were singers, storytellers, played music, juggled, performed magic and told jokes.

Jesters were popular with the ancient Egyptians as well as the Aztecs of the 14th century.  One of the more well-known jesters in history is Will Sommers, 

                                Engraving of Will Sommers by Francis Delaram

jester for King Henry VIII.

This week enjoy Just Jesting. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Art of the Piper

Saturday I was at the Highland Games and surrounded by one of the most beautiful sounds. Bagpipes. My Mother listened to bagpipe music on vinyl when I was growing up so they have been a part of my life all my life.

Bagpipes have been played for centuries and not just in the Highlands. You can find them in Turkey, North Africa, North America, the area around the Persian Gulf and throughout Europe.

A set of pipes usually has a bag (for air), a chanter (the part played - it looks a wee bit like a recorder), and at least one drone (it sustains one note throughout a piece of music).  The Great Highland Bagpipes are more commonly seen. Pastoral Pipes are similar except for the pipers use a bellows to inflate the air bag.

Emperor Nero is said to have played an instrument very similar to a bagpipe.  The Canterbury Tales which were written about 1380 mention the bagpipes many times.  

Animals playing bagpipes can be seen on the edges of medieval manuscripts, 

                   Cat playing the bagpipe from the Book of Hours - Rome 1460

angels playing pipes are seen as decorative work on Cathedrals and monasteries. 
                              Medieval Bagpiper at Monastery of Santes Creus, Catalonia, Spain

Bagpipes are used in Battles much like bugles or trumpets are. They were used during the American Revolution, World War I and WWII to pipe the soldiers into battle. 

This week enjoy The Art of the Piper.