Saturday, December 29, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 227

The link is now open.

This will be my last post until 2013.
Wishing You All A Very Happy and Peaceful New Year!


My flowers today were bought in four bunches from the supermarket and I arranged them in my grandmother's tureen.












 I was given the tureen many years ago but even back then it was too badly chipped for me to put on permanent display.  I have heard that I can get it repaired but have not come across a place that can fix it for me.  It is over 100 years old.  Looking for a container for the flowers I saw it in the basement storage area, and thought the chips wouldn't show if I put flowers in it.


I am very happy to be bringing a much treasured and sentimental piece out in the open more often.

~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

Thank you Luna Miranda for this pretty log.

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

~~~~~~~

I am also linking up with Tina's Weekend Flowers which you can find here.


Friday, December 28, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS

Over the Christmas holiday my in-laws stayed with us.  I have mentioned before that Celia feeds a stray feral cat daily, and occasionally a few other critters show up for a meal.  When she and my father-in-law looked outside recently, this is what greeted them.   I asked Celia if I could share her photos and she very kindly said yes, so thank you Celia.

Aren't those feet amazing?  I cropped the above photo for a better look.

The Northern American Opossum is our only marsupial.  The female nurses her young in her pouch until they are about two to three months old, and then carries them on her back another one to two months whenever they are away from their den.

They hiss or growl when frightened but in reality are gentle and placid.  Opossums will try to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone.  When startled they will assume a 'play-dead' stance, 'playing possum', are solitary animals and are usually nocturnal.  

They are omnivorous and eat insects, snails, rodents, carrion, occasionally will eat snakes, ground corn and other vegetables, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses and leaves (here this little one is eating cat food and by the way, the cat stays well clear while it is around).  You can read more about them here.

Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  It is has always been a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A quote by Mary Oliver


"One morning the fox came down from the hill, glittering and confident, and didn't see me,  and I thought so this is the world.  I am not in it.  It is beautiful."

~Mary Oliver~

(I saw this painting at a place called Middleburg Common Grounds on Christmas Eve)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS #226

To those of you who are celebrating Christmas, I wish you
A Merry Christmas
and to all of my blogging friends everywhere, 
I wish for you a 
A Very Happy New Year filled with Peace, Love and Friendship. 

(Steve from Out on the Prairie identified this as a "Jacob's Coat" Amaranth.  Thanks Steve.  They are also called Summer Pointsettias, love the heat and sun, and grow from 3 to 4 feet high)
~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

A new logo from Luna Miranda.
Thank you Luna, it's lovely!

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS


These are repeat photos I took a few years ago when we went to a zoo while on vacation.  I am using them again to go with a link of a short video sent by a friend, which I have added below.  


It is a dream of mine to one day go on a photographic safari in Africa.  These people in the video had an amazing encounter when a cheetah jumped on their jeep and stayed for several minutes.  "Don't move", "no problem", said the driver.  I don't think I would need to be told twice, I would have been transfixed like deer in the headlights, or in this case the cheetah's sight-lights.  I'm not sure I would have wanted to get that close to a wild animal no matter how beautiful, but happily it turned out well and was just one of those once in a life time experiences that they are probably still talking about today.  Cheetah's are such noble animals, they move so majestically!  I did chuckle at a young man's comment asking Edward if he could get a lion up there next time.  Hmmmm.......I don't think so!  

The link is here.  I would like to thank my friend Gerri for sending this to me in an e-mail.



Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  It is has always been a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 225



In the winter months I am relying more and more on flowers from the supermarket.  We had friends over for dinner last night and as a special treat I bought a bouquet for the table.




The last two were taken with my cell phone.



~~~~~~

Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

A new logo from Luna Miranda.
Thank you Luna, it's lovely!

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS

This morning as I was sitting on the floor decorating the Christmas Tree, deep in concentration at my task, I was startled to see a small face appear at the window.  It was this little chap, with his tiny paws resting on the ledge and staring at me through the glass, much closer to me than he is in this shot.   He disappeared quickly but then a few minutes later, reappeared and stayed longer, staring long and hard.  I looked outside and realized I had been slow in putting his peanuts out that morning.  I immediately grabbed the bag, opened the door and tossed a handful out.  Gregg, who had been reading the paper and who witnessed all this, said that he had never seen a human so well-trained by squirrels.  Clever little things aren't they?


Was that a knock I heard on my door?
Am I imagining it; was it there?
Moving from kitchen to living room,
towards the outside door, peer out
a squirrel, one of THOSE squirrels,
looks at me, expectantly, urgently,
demandingly, for a prize, a treat,
oh so smart am I, getting the human 
that primate to do my bidding.
Was it really him that caused my stride
to the closed and locked door,
or was he a lucky beneficiary of fate
ready, opportunistic.
Great, now I need surveillance cameras
to monitor my door for 
squirrelian perpetrators of 'ring and run'.
Was he laughing as I closed the door?

~Raymond A. Foss~






Yes he was!


Camera Critters


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters.  Always a very enjoyable meme and one I look forward to each Saturday.

To see other fun critters you can click here or on the badge above.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Poem


"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent of quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that sore above
Enjoy such liberty."

~Richard Lovelace~

Saturday, December 8, 2012

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 224

The link to Today's Flowers is now open.

No flowers this week but lots of bright red berries on bright green bushes.  





Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.


TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

A new logo from Luna Miranda.
Thank you Luna, it's lovely!

If you enjoy participating in memes we are always looking for new participants.  For those of you who are already weekly participants, thank you very much. 

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.

~~~~~~~

Today I am also linking with Tina's Weekend Flowers.  


You can click here to find more gorgeous blooms from around the world.

Friday, December 7, 2012

CAMERA CRITTERS

 All photos except the first two were taken by husband Gregg.  We had family visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday, and two of our company had not been to George Washington's home.

The one thing I did not expect to find at Mount Vernon was a camel, but then as I often do I have fun finding out about these things later.  From various websites on line I found the following information and thought I would share not only the story of the camel, but the other animals in George Washington's life.


"George Washington had a great interest in not only plants but exotic animals, and often paid to see them. In 1787 he paid the sum of 18 shillings for a camel to spend the Christmas holidays at Mount Vernon, to entertain both the Washington's and their many guests.




These few words are the only documentation of a visit to Mount Vernon, by a rare exotic animal for 18th century Americans, 'By the man who brot. a Camel from Alexa. for a show...0.18.0.'


Attempts to find references in period newspapers to this particular camel have been unsuccessful.  According to one source, however, it was probably the third camel to reach North America: the Boston Gazette for October 2nd, 9th and 23rd, 1721, noted the exhibition of a camel in that city, while 18 years later, on November 19th, 1739, the New York Gazette recorded that a camel was then being shown there.  The only other 18th century camel to make the American newspapers was in the June 10th, 1796 edition of the York (Pennsylvania) Gazette.


From a variety of sources, we know that George Washington had quite an interest in animals, both domestic and rare, and often paid to see them.  Over the years he and various members of his household were able to learn something about the world outside Virginia, from the itinerant entertainers who traveled along the eastern seaboard, and would have been drawn to large gatherings of people at events such as fairs.


Many of these individuals seem to have worked with exotic or specially trained animals. They worked alone or perhaps with a servant acting as handler, acquired one single animal and hoped to make their fortune through charging admission to see it.  For example, in some of the earliest references to this sort of thing, Washington recorded paying 10 shillings to see a 'Lyoness' and 3 shillings-and-a-half-pence to see a 'Tyger'. Washington definitely saw a 'Cugar' in Philadelphia during his presidency, as well as a 'Sea Leopard', a type of sea lion.  At least twice in his life he paid to see an elk and during the presidency, he spent $1.75 'for to see Elephant' and took the whole family several months later.


The Washington family was also interested in animals exhibiting special qualities or training.  During the presidency they gave $3.00 to a 'man who had a very sagacious Dog,' so that they could see 'his performance.'  This was very likely a dog brought from Europe by a man named Gabriel Salenka; the canine is said to have been able to 'beat any person at playing at cards.'"

~~~~~~~

By the time we had made our way back to the car and passed by the camel enclosure again, I was happy to see that he had been given a very large mound of hay to munch on instead of those very bare branches he was nibbling when we first saw him.


Thank you Misty for hosting Camera Critters each Saturday.  

To see other fun critters you can click here.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Skywatch Friday, Season 6 Episode 22


 Mount Vernon, George Washington's home. When we arrived on a very chilly day, the skies were gray. However, by the time we took the tour of the house and started walking around the grounds afterwards, there was a clear blue sky overhead.


~~~~~~~


My thanks to the hosts of SkyWatch Friday.  Please click here to visit other sky watchers.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still on the topic of Mount Vernon.....

once you got to the kitchens we were allowed to take photos, and this was on the table.  It is some kind of savory pie and it looks real enough but I don't think so. 


As I was interested in what George Washington may have eaten I did a bit of surfing on line and read that Hoe Cakes were a favorite breakfast food of his.  If you go here you will find a recipe.   On this page you will see recipes for String Beans with Almonds, Steak and Kidney Pie, and Fish Muddle. Favorite desserts were Tipsy Cake (we know it as Trifle), Martha Washington's Tipsy Whiskey Cake and Cherry Pie (something he has in common with Gregg).  According to what I also read on this page, he enjoyed Porter which was a dark ale.  Also Madera and Wine.  He liked pickles and other condiments.

Martha Washington's cookbook can be found if you click on this link.

A very detailed article on what George Washington ate can be found here.

While we are on the subject of food, today I made a Navy Bean Soup which I have posted before. You can find that here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mount Vernon Christmas Ornaments


When we visited Mount Vernon recently the visitors' center was all decked out for Christmas.  


I have enjoyed collecting ornaments for years and I was fascinated by the ones on their Christmas Trees.  All of them could be bought in the gift shop.


I tried to get photos of as many of the Presidents as I could, but I needed another half an hour to do that.  I looked for our present President.  I couldn't find him in the time I had.  I needed to investigate another large tree but as we had tickets at an allotted time to look at George Washington's home, we had to go. 


However, I tried my best.




Martha Washington made an appearance.


This is a painting of their home.


George Washington look-a-likes.


A glass ornament of Mount Vernon.


Here he is looking through a telescope but I couldn't find any information on his interest in this subject.


Gregg said he was an accomplished surveyor and may have used celestial observations to determine his location.


I think this is supposed to be Betsy Ross because of the flag in her basket, but it could be Martha I suppose....


and another of George with a bag of flour.


President Washington also owned a Grist Mill and Distillery three miles away from Mount Vernon. It's on our list of places to visit.  You can check it out here.


Martha was an excellent gardener and you can read more about that here.


The Christmas Camel was a surprise.  There is a real one on the grounds which I will be sharing later on this week.  


I am not sure who this lady in the frame is, maybe Martha in her younger years.  Not really sure though.  


Here's Martha and George again....


and one last glass ornament of their home, which I will also be sharing soon.