Monday, December 28, 2009

My World Tuesday

Back when the weather was a little warmer our family went into Washington DC to look around The Smithsonian Museum of American History. Our main objective (okay us girls as the guys elected to wait outside) was to visit the The First Ladies exhibition where their gowns are on display. The last time we couldn't even get in there without having to wait an hour in line. This time it was a little better but still pretty crowded. Mostly women and one or two men. I am going to go back again because I would have enjoyed taking more photographs, but because there were so many people patiently waiting their turn to get up close to the glass, I didn't feel like I could monopolize my space and kept moving towards the end of the display, fortunately snapping off several shots along the way.

The exhibit only has 14 dresses on display. From the information I gleaned, this was because way back when they did not realize how even the littlest light did so much damage to these historical dresses, so they rotate them to prevent even more deterioration. At the time we visited we were allowed to take photographs but we could not use any flash for obvious reasons. The following is what I got on line:

"Why aren’t all of the gowns on exhibit?

Light, climate, and gravity are all harmful to fabric. Over time, they have damaged the gowns. There are some gowns that can no longer be exhibited because they were too badly damaged by their years on display. Other dresses are rotated on and off display in order to keep them in good condition."

It is hard to comprehend that this is Martha Washington's gown from the 1780's and is the oldest gown in the exhibit. It is made of salmon pink faille and is hand painted with flowers, butterflies and other insects. The collar and cuffs are reproductions.

This is Frances Cleveland's evening gown. She wore it with a fur-edged hem and a black satin and jet trim during her husband's second administration, and was made by Baltimore dressmaker, Lottie Barton.

I am not sure whose items are these, a guess might be Jane Findlay but I can't be 100 percent sure. Her portrait below shows her wearing a lace bonnet very similar to this one.

Oil portrait of Jane Findlay in about 1840 by an unknown artist. She was a Harrison family friend who came to Washington to assist with the first lady’s duties. Her gown was included in the original 1914 exhibition to represent the administration of William Henry Harrison.

This is Helen Taft’s 1909 Inaugural ball gown and is made of white silk chiffon. It is appliquéd with floral embroideries and trimmed in metallic thread, rhinestones and beads and was made by the Frances Smith Company. Her gown was the first one to be donated in 1912 so we have Mrs. Taft to thank for this wonderful exhibit.

The fabric and embroidery have become discolored and most part of the skirt was replaced as part of a 1940’s conservation effort.

Everyone who passed by this gown were in awe of it. It was just beautiful.

This very beautiful portrait is of Julia Tyler, second wife of John Tyler in about 1840.
Next is Grace Coolidge's flapper style evening dress. It is made of velvet trimmed, black and gold metallic lace over a gold lamé underdress.

Unfortunately I did not get whose dress this belonged to but there was a portrait of Pat Nixon nearby. My search online for the last hour didn't yield any results, so if you have that info and would like to pass it along, please do. I would be very grateful.

Various adornments worn by the first ladies.

This is Mamie Eisenhower's evening gown. It is a rose-colored silk damask ball gown for a 1957 state dinner at the British Embassy. Nettie Rosenstein designed the ensemble, which included a matching purse and shoes.

Jacqueline Kennedy wore this yellow silk evening gown, designed by Oleg Cassini, with an overlay of crepe chiffon in 1961 for the Kennedy administration's first state dinner, for Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba.

Finally this is Laura Bush's gown. Made of red Chantilly lace and silk satin with crystal beading, it was created by Dallas designer Michael Faircloth.

I am not sure when Michelle Obama's ball gown will appear. From what I read it could take up to two years before we will see one on display. A letter is sent from the Secretary of the Smithsonian asking her if she would donate something that would represent herself in the collection. The gown will be on view immediately after donation, another good reason to go back to see all these wonderful gowns. All were gorgeous but my favorites were the vintage ones. Clothing from these era's fascinate me.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


This is our last TODAY'S FLOWERS of 2009 and as we come to the end of one year and are at the beginning of another, I thought I would share a video I made with all my favorite flower photos taken over the last 12 months.

I always look forward to Sundays for so many reasons, and one of them is because it will be time to visit everyone's flowers. It really doesn't matter what language we speak. We all enjoy our flowers and at the risk of repeating myself, our love of them speaks to us in many languages and is a great way of bringing us closer together.

I am grateful for the amazing friendship I have made in this blogging world,
and from my family to yours we would like to wish you all
A Very Happy New Year!


A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest~

Today's Flowers was created with grateful thanks to Luiz Santilli Jr. Thank you Luiz.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Camera Critters

For this week's Camera Critters I would like to share not my photographs but those of a friend. This is Hamish and as you can see he is enjoying a fun walk with his dad in the snow. Hamish was having such a good time he didn't want to go back inside. He is looking very fashionably dressed for the season in a pretty red coat, with a nice wide florescent strip that shows up bright and sparkly when walking. Well done Hamish and Hamish' Mom and Dad.

Maybe we ought to give a similar one to the jogger we almost hit last week. He was dressed all in black from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. Even his fingertips were covered with dark gloves and his woolly hat was pulled down hard so that only part of his face was visible. And just in case you were wondering there were no burglaries reported. Believe me it did cross my mind. We were shocked to see him running towards us, way too far from the curb at a high rate of speed, on a pitch black night on an unlit street. We weren't able to see him until he almost bounced off our hood and even more maddening was the fact that there was a perfectly good sidewalk that would have kept him out of harm's way.

Fortunately the speed limit in our neighborhood is only 25 miles per hour and we were able to veer around after I saw him. I yelled out and we missed him by inches. He scared us badly and as I watched him run by my window, he disappeared into the darkness without so much as a backward glance, still running in the middle of the road as if nothing had happened. Was he so zoned out that he was only in touch with his body and not in touch with his surroundings? Does that happen?

Stay safe young man and well done Hamish's Mom and Dad for being smart and using good head sense while walking their precious pooch child. Hamish my little pal you are adorable, and all joggers out there, take a leaf out of Hamish' book. Please wear light colored clothing on those dark, unlit streets and as an added precaution, sow on some fluorescent strips.

Camera Critters was created by Misty Dawn. Thank you Misty!

You can find other critter photos by clicking here.

Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful morning with your families. Gregg and I are starting off quietly. Later our son and daughter-in-law will be coming over for dinner.

My sister-in-law, Gregg's sister, gave me this woodland Santa several years ago. It is one of my most favorite things that I bring out every year, and I always put him on the hearth with seasonal flowers. This year I added the Shooting Star Hydrangea to the Poinsettias. I have never seen them before and I thought they were beautiful when I saw them at the store yesterday.

In Languages from around the world

(Albanian) - Gezur Krislinjden
(Argentine) -
Feliz Navidad Y Un Prospero Ano Nuevo
(Armenian) -
Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
(Bohemian) -
Vesele Vanoce
(Brazilian) -
Feliz Natal e Prospero Ano Novo
(China - Cantonese) -
Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Sing Dan Fai Lok
(China - Mandarin) -
Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Sheng Dan Kuai Le
(Croatian) -
Sretan Bozic
Èestit Boiæ i sretna Nova godina
(Czech) -
Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
(Danish) - Gledlig jul og godt Nytt Aar
(Dutch) -
Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Dutch (Netherlands) -
Prettig Kerstfeest
(Filipinos) -
Maligayang Pasko
(Finnish) - Hauskaa Joulua
Hyvää joulua ja Onnellista uutta vuotta
(French) -
Joyeux Noël et heureuse année
(Gaelic-Irish) -
Nolag mhaith Dhuit Agus Bliain Nua Fe Mhaise
(Gaelic-Scot) -
Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
(German) -
Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr
(Greek) - Kala Khristougena kai Eftikhes to Neon Ethos
(Hawaiian) -
Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauoli Makahiki hou
(Hebrew) -
Mo'adim Lesimkha
(Hindi) -
Shubh Christmas
(Hungarian) -
Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Boldog Karacsonyl es Ujevl Unnepeket
Kellemes Karacsonyt Es Boldog Uj Evet
(Icelandic) -
Gledileg jol og farsaelt komandi ar
Gledlig jol og Nyar
(Indonesia) -
Selamat Hari Natal
Selamah Tahun Baru
(Iraqi) -
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
(Irish) -
Nollaig Shona Duit
(Irish) -
Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
(Italian) -
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Buone Feste Natalizie
Buon Natale e felice Capodanno
(Japanese) -
Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
(Korean) -
Chuk Sung Tan
Sung Tan Chuk Ha.
(Lithuanian) -
Linksmu Kaledu
linksmu sventu Kaledu ir Laimingu Nauju Metu
(Norwegian) -
God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
(Peru) -
Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
(Philippines) -
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
(Polish) -
Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia i szczesliwego Nowego Roku
(Portuguese) -
Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Feliz Natal e propero Ano Novo
(Romanian) -
Sarbatori Fericite. La Multi Ani
(Russian) -
S prazdnikom Rozdestva Hristova i s Novim Godom
(Serbian) -
Hristos se rodi
(Serb-Croatian) -
Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
(Spanish) -
Feliz Navidad y prospero Año Nuevo
(Swedish) -
God Jul Och Gott Nytt År
(Turkish) - Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Yeni Yilnizi Kutar, saadetler dilerim
(Ukrainian) -
Srozhdestvom Kristovym
(Vietnamese) - Mung Le Giang Sinh. Cung Chuc Tan Nien
(Welsh) - Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
(Yugoslavian) -
Cestitamo Bozic

Many of us are celebrating Christmas but to those of my friends who are of a different faith, I would like to wish you all a very blessed holiday season.

May 2010 be the happiest ever.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A very pretty song.

"Walking In The Air"

Walking in the air, floating the sky...
Floating in the air...

We're walking in the air
We're floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly

We're holding very tight
I'm riding in the midnight blue
I'm finding I can fly so high above with you

Far across the world
The villages go by like dreams
The rivers and the hills
The forest and the streams

Children gaze open mouthed
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes

We're surfing in the air
We're swimming in the frozen sky
We're drifting over icy
mountains floating by

Suddenly swooping low on an ocean deep
Arousing of a mighty monster from its sleep

We're walking in the air
We're dancing in the midnight sky
And everyone who sees us greets us as we fly

SkyWatch Friday

If you have been reading by blog you will have learned that last Friday and Saturday we had a major snow storm. Friday we were traveling which you can read about here if you would like to find out about our adventurous though somewhat hair-raising ride from Virginia Beach back to our home, a distance of 200 miles. Saturday we battened down the hatches and on Sunday the sky was a beautiful blue. It was time to go outside and dig out a little which I have also written about here. These are the photos I took after we were too weary to dig any more. We knew we had reached our limit and decided to try again the next day. The sun was going down and it would be dark soon. I walked down to the bottom of our road and took these photos of our neighborhood while there was still enough light.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays
A Very Happy New Year to you all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa's Back-Up Team, just in case the reindeer go on strike.....

Don't think it will happen but you just never know.

It was soon to be Christmas Day
Santa was checking out his sleigh
Making sure things were right
For his ride on Christmas Eve night

He checked out the reindeer
Called them by name. . .
Asked if they were ready
To go around the world again

The reindeer perked up
Looking at Santa,
Rudolph had something to say,
"We are going on strike"

"You have never gone on strike" Said Santa, very dismayed
"Tell me what you want," exclaimed Santa, with a gleem in his eyes

Dasher needs more vacation time
Prancer wants more treats
Vixon needs new teeth
Dancer wants more sleep

Cupid wants her own phone
Comet needs time alone
Donner wants more playtime
Blitzen needs nothing at all

Santa, wrote all of it down
"I promise after Christmas Eve
Your wants, needs will be fulfilled
Let's get ready, time to role"

~D. L. Vaineo~


Dasher: The first reindeer and the right leader before Rudolph came.

Dancer: The second reindeer and the left leader before Rudolph was included. She is the graceful reindeer.

Prancer: The third reindeer and on the right in the second row. He is the most powerful reindeer.

Vixen: The fourth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the second row. She is beautiful, and also powerful like her companion, Prancer.

Comet: The fifth reindeer and on the right-hand side in the third row. He brings wonder and happiness to children when Santa flies over everyone’s houses.

Cupid: The sixth reindeer and on the right-hand side in the third row. She brings love and joy to children when Santa flies over everyone’s houses.

Donner: The seventh reindeer and on the left-hand side in the fourth row. His original name was Dunder, a variant of donder, meaning “thunder” in Dutch.

Blitzen: The eighth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the fourth row. Though female, she is portrayed as a male in American culture. Her original name is Blixem. She is known as the lightning reindeer because the word ‘Blitz’ is German for lightning, as is Bliksem, her original name, in Dutch.


"Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's on his way
He's loaded all the presents on the back of his sleigh.
Please leave a good snack for the big man in red
And sprinkle this food outside on your way to bed."