October 31, 2015


It's a windy day on this Friday before Halloween- look who ended up in the pool.
I'm melting, I'm melting! comes to mind.

 I saved her broom...I might need it later if mine runs out of gas.

This evil creature met the wrong end of a big rock when I saw him on the patio.
I don't do snakes.  Large, medium or small...I don't do snakes.
 He sat in the dried up birdbath and now he's not so scary.  Maybe.

Clearly you can tell from the size of this thing that I was nearly killed?

(Saturday Python update: the dead flat snake was blown away in the storm last night. 
I searched for him, but one of the frogs probably grabbed him up for a snack.) 

Wicked Wandering Witch has been moved away from the pool.
Jack doesn't care for her.
We are about to have some nasty weather, so she's been taken into the garage.

Boss man's sign, too.

My cinnamon ghost, embroidered onto a dropcloth scrap, grunged up a bit
with coffee and cinnamon sticks for hanging, and stuffed into a cotton boll wreath.
Not very scary but it smells good!

She can stay in the yard.
Remember HER?

The first comment with her correct name wins a personalized 
Turkey Day kitchen towel.
Woo hoo!

What's Sophie doing?  Is that her vampire face?
I ate too much pumpkin Chobani, she says.

 I can't stop myself from taking pics of her like this.

I'm off to the store before the next storm rolls in...Dorotheeeeeee!

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has a safe evening.

Now bring on the chocolate!

October 19, 2015

The Porcelain Beauty

 Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?  Isn't my head full of songs at all times?

I adore her sweet face.

And her porcelain hands and feet.
She's wearing a bonnet and dress that Danni sent me.
Remember the collection of dresses that were drying in the trees?
And that perfect moment that I stepped backwards and landed in the pool?
Ah, good times!

She and her three brothers have joined us here at Casa Cuckoo
and they are just as sweet as she is.
I have to find them proper outfits before they make their guest appearance.

 Now, I have been made aware that some of you (cough, cough, Danni)
are spooked by old dolls, but surely not this one?

I love her painted hair and all the wonderful crazing of the glaze.

Thank you, Martha...it must have been difficult to part with this beauty.
She's in good hands, I promise.

October 16, 2015

Edith- My Lady of Mystery

Knock knock. Who's there?
It's me, Tina.
Tina who?
Aw, come on guys.  I haven't been away that long!

Look who I found this summer.

She seems to have lost her head..some of it, anyway.
We feel so connected in that way.  Hmmm.

Rusty nail in the head...love!

She's a real mess, but I love her.

Chippy and crumbly with rusty pins and tattered fabric.

She's fairly large to be a pin cushion, but who knows?
The only info I have on her is that she came from 
an estate sale of a French family.
I can't determine whether she is papier mache or clay or both.

She reminds me of my junior high school history teacher.
Her name was Edith Volterra and she was a very intimidating sort.
You did not mess with The Vulture, as she was referred to.
I felt sorry for her and so I smiled at her every day.
Sometimes she gave me a small smile back.
Often she did not.
She did make it difficult for the students to like her.
I always wondered why.

I googled Mrs.Volterra and was amazed at what I found.
And her husband, Enrico....wow.
Enrico Volterra has a rich history, including being the son of one of 
Italy's most famous mathematicians.
The family was one of Italy's intellectual elite.

I have become so intrigued with their story.
How did a girl from Wisconsin end up married to this man?
Where did their paths cross?
They married in 1952 and he joined the faculty at the University of Texas in 1957.
I'll be reading everything I can find.

I wish I could go back and listen to her stories once again.

The Papers of Enrico Volterra are at CalTech after being donated by Mrs. Volterra.
Enrico passed away in 1973.

That's only two years before I was her student.

Perhaps now I understand.

Enrico's Edith, Lady of the Small-ish Smile.

I'll still be smiling at her.

Edit: Mrs. Volterra passed away at the age of 101 on June 3, 2017.
Thank you to her nephew, Bill, for sharing this information with me.
She is being buried with military honors in Wisconsin.
May she rest in peace.

October 12, 2015

1915 Mental Efficiency Series- Personality

One of my favorite things to collect is books.
I LOVE books.
To all of the recent popularity of getting rid of books and other clutter,
I say NO.  Not happening here.  No. No. No.
Back away from the books and no one gets hurt.

I may have a tendency towards the ridiculous...gasp.
I can tell you that I fell in love with this trio at first sight.
I couldn't wait to get home and open them up and see what bits of wisdom
would fly off the worn pages and I wasn't disappointed.
The year was 1915 and the author had a strong opinion on the matter of personality.

It's my personal opinion that he should have read the Common Sense edition 
before he inserted so many feet into his mouth.

 So today we tackle Personality- How To Build It.
Or rather how NOT to.

 In order to form my personality,
 I must exercise care and vigilance and possess energetic sincerity.
(Must it be energetic? What's wrong with languorous? It's hot outside.)
This personality business might be too much work.
I do have determination and perseverance by the gallons.
Perspicacity?  I'm all over that one.

That's a word I'm fond of.
But keep reading- the author says we need to 
make our enemies and our best friends tractable.

Well, no.  I don't want to make my friends tractable (I prefer them to have their own mind) and why waste time on enemies?
Do I have enemies?  Where are they and how will I know them? 

Why do I feel like I'm in The Importance of Being Earnest???
Quick, grab the muffins!

Assholery abounds.

One hundred years...
Are we any better off? 
Let's ponder.

To wrap things up-

I think I might owe my child an apology for the constant correction.

Mama, can we read the cyclopedia?
Smarty pants 5 year old.  True story.

I bet your kids said it, too.

I'd better look up swamich (sandwich) right now.

Have a great week and let that personality shine!