"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, May 12, 2017

Brendan, Tom & The Mummy

1. Dee and I completed work on a new section of the garden area. St. Francis has a new home.

2. One of my favorite movies was "The Mummy," followed by "The Mummy Returns." I enjoyed both and have watched them many times. Brendan Fraser did an excellent job of portraying the hero. Rachel Weisz, rounded out the action couple. And, don't forget the "comic relief " John Hannah. 

Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah

3. Apparently it's time for a new version of  "The Mummy." A different "twist" and a new hero,Tom Cruise. He faces a different "Mummy," but one that appears to be just as interesting. I'm looking forward to the release in June.

4. Jamestown was founded on May 13, 1607. While researching names for my historical miniatures I found this interesting information from by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG.

“The Jamestown, Virginia colony which was established in 1607 shows many of the same popular English names: William, John, Thomas Richard, plus David, Daniel, Abraham, Jonas, Nathaniel and Samuel. The latter six show the signs of the Puritan influence it is claimed by George R. Stewart, author of American Given Names (New York, Oxford University Press, 1979). Stewart also notes that among this group, Edward Maria Wingfield, possesses one of the first middle name recorded in America. His middle name was that of the Virgin, which was commonly so used on the Continent for a man, but not in England. "One guesses that his parents may have been bold eccentrics, under Catholic influence," Stewart says. This Wingfield was a leader of the Jamestown colony and went down in history as one of the first Englishmen in the New World to keep chickens.”

5. This Sunday is Mother’s day, to all Mom’s …..

6. “Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!”     

From the movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The character was Gold Hat, portrayed by Alfonso Bedoya.
7. Louis Prima sings “Angelina,” from the movie “Casino.”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Celtic Festival, Kim & May

1. My brother and I attended the Celtic Festival and Highland Games last Saturday. We sampled a couple of “local Stouts” which were excellent. There was a nice size crowd and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Greater Richmond Pipes and Drum were there. The band has grown and changed since my time, and continues to play well.

Tuning up the band
Preparing for the competition 

2. Kelly wrote about teaching the "Middle Ages" to Catholic children. I always enjoyed studying the period as it was the time of one of my favorite heroes, Roland. I wrote about him back in June of 2011. This was my post.

"The "Song of Roland" is a 12th century French poem about the legendary hero Roland. He was a knight of Charlemagne's court and also his nephew. My middle name is Roland, named after one of my uncles. I love stories of knights and deeds of valor. So this poem became one I read when I was younger. This week the memory of the poem came back to me. 

The climax of the poem is a classic battle fought between the French Christians and the Saracens from the city Saragossa in Spain. An ambush, for the French rear guard, was set at the pass of Roncevaux. Commanding the rear guard was Roland. He was joined by his best friend Oliver and a warrior clergyman named Archbishop Turpin. The Saracens, numbering four hundred thousand, charge into the small French force of twenty thousand. Many heroic knights, both French and Saracens, are killed in valiant chivalrous combat. In the end the French are defeated but Roland manages to blow "three long mighty blasts on his oilphat," which Charlemagne and the main French army hear. Roland then turns and facing his enemy dies a heroic death. Saint Gabriel and Saint Michael arrive to escort him to heaven. Charlemagne returns and defeats the Saracens.

An "oilphant" is a wind instrument made from the tusk of an elephant."

3. This was a week of yard-work, cleaning up the residual stump grindings, putting down top soil and attempting to repair one of the sprinkler lines. Two out of three went well.

4. My sister Kim had a foot operation, which will keep her off her feet for a couple of months. She is doing well and her husband Frank sent a couple of photos.

Kim's wheels
A new cast

5. “The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful; the blackbird sings his full song, the living wood is his holding, the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; there is a welcome before the brightness of the summer.” 

6. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

7. Mariachi Los Camperos- Popurri

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Earth Day, Rain & Peggy

1. Earth Day was Saturday April 22. A time to think about toxic dumps, use of pesticides and dwindling wilderness. A day to remember the impact we have on our environment. Alina Bradford has an informative article at Live Science. Please take a moment to read it.

2. Rain, rain and more rain. Yes, we did need it, but sometimes God has a tendency to provide more than we ask for. I’m not complaining Lord, just an observation.

3. “There are three things you can do in a baseball game. You can win, or you can lose, or it can rain.     Casey Stengel
4. April 27, 1963 a fifteen year old high school freshman, Margaret Annemarie Battavio, reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. The song, “I Will Follow Him.”

5. Happy 50th Anniversary to our friends Brenda and Peter. We were blessed to share this special event with them and their daughters.  

6. Dee and I spent the last couple of days working in the yard. Tomorrow we'll take a break and head over to my brother's home. He and I will be at the Celtic festival while Dee and Karen do a wee bit of shopping. "Scots We Hae!"

7. Bobby Bare - 500 Miles Away From Home

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Siblings, 95 Years & Trees

1. Monday, April 10, 2017 was Siblings Day. This is a photo of me with my sister Kim and brother Tee. I chose one from a few years back. We look just as good now. 
I'm the oldest.
2. Dee’s Mom, Lucy, reached her 95th birthday on April 9th. Dee’s brother Pat and his wife Judy showed up as a surprise. We gathered the family at our home for the celebration. The next big birthday will be 5 years from now when we put a photo of her on the "Smucker's Jar."
Dee's brother Pat, her Mom, Lucy and Dee
3. I completed some French and Indian period Militia as part of my historical miniature collection. Just in case you missed it, view them here.

4. Stephen, Christina and the girls joined us for Easter Mass. It is always a joy to share our church community with family. Our friends all know Stephen's family and make them welcome every time they are at church. Thank you Lord.

5. We had some trees taken down this week. The tree service we used were excellent. The next phase is to eventually grow grass where the trees were. That will commence in the fall.

First 2 trees trimmed.
Trees Down
Trees, stumps & roots gone.
6. “April was just beginning, and after the warm spring day it turned cooler, slightly frosty, and a breath of spring could be felt in the soft, cold air. The road from the convent to town was sandy, they had to go at a walking pace; and on both sides of the carriage, in the bright, still moonlight, pilgrims trudged over the sand. And everyone was silent, deep in thought, everything around was welcoming, young, so near— the trees, the sky, even the moon—and one wanted to think it would always be so.” 

7. Van Morrison - Brown Eye Girl

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Surprise at Bates Creek

Donald Bates found a new creek northwest of his old fishing spot. There was no sign of anyone having walked the creek so he was confident that the fish would be more plentiful at this location.

The morning was better than he expected and by noon he had a large catch of fish. Pleased with his success, he sat back and finished the last bit of biscuit and dried meat. Donald was imagining himself presenting the fish to Mattie Bevan and hoping he would receive a kiss for his efforts.

Caught off guard, he was surprised when the small band of Hurons stepped out of the woods. For a brief moment everyone just stared at each other. Then Donald jumped up and ran. The Hurons had to find a place to cross which gave Donald the lead. Unfortunately he left his gear and fish on the bank. His only thought was to stay ahead of them and get to Briartun as fast as possible.


I just completed this small unit of Militia, which will represent a squad in the skirmish rules I play. (Buckskins and Rangers by Robin Empey of Battlefield Game Designs.) 

These figures represent some of the Briartun characters, with more on the painting table. The Hurons, and lonely Coureurs de Bois, are figures that I painted awhile back. All are Old Glory figures.

Issac Gantt and some Briartun Militia

The Hurons come out of the woods. Behind them is Armond Langevin, a Coureurs des Bois from Quebec.

Friday, April 7, 2017

NCAA, Dogwood & Triduum

1. Ponce de Leon discovered, what is now Florida, on April 2, 1513. He believed that somewhere on the peninsula was a water source that would provide eternal life for anyone who drank of it. Unfortunately he never found it.

2. I would have liked to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs win, but those North Carolina Tar Heels played an excellent game. Read the “Carolina Post Game Notes.”

3. Our Dogwood tree. It continues to bloom every spring.

4. Next week is the Easter Triduum. Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Dee and I attend all three Masses. It is a journey for me, not just a single moment. The washing of the feet is a humble experience which I have taken part in. On good Friday the Veneration of the Cross is a solemn reminder of the walk Jesus made. Then there is the celebration of the resurrection. God’s promise to us of everlasting life.  
5.  “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
6. We made it through the “tornado watch” this week. Thank you Lord and please watch over and help those who did not.
7. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, Pancho and Lefty.

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Red, Mel's Diner & Bobby

1. I use to watch the “Red Skelton Show” with my Dad. Red was a terrific comedian and every week we laughed at the antics of Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader and Sheriff Deadeye. My favorite was Gertrude and Heathcliff. Red always made me feel like I was actually watching two seagulls talking. 

2. My son, Stephen, came over this week and helped cut down some large bushes. It was no  easy process and required his vehicle to pull out some of the roots. This is step one in a series of Spring jobs that Dee and I are planning. Next is to get some quotes on removing a few trees and grinding down about 6-9 stumps. I have already scheduled for quotes, so more details next week.

3. This is a photo, by Dee, of breakfast at Mel’s Diner in North Carolina. The food is excellent and the waitress, Ella, was efficient and entertaining.
Pam, Mary and Maureen on the left. Me, Tony, Paul and Jack on the right.

4. On March 29, 1929, President Herbert Hoover is the first to get a telephone installed at his desk. It was installed in the Oval Office of the White House. 

5.  “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
                                                                            Roger Miller
6. This was shared by my friend Dick. It is a very unusual rope trip performed by Mac King. I’ve no idea how he does it. 

7. Bobby Bare, The Diet Song. A funny tune.

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Memories, Readings & R&B

1. These are a couple of my ol’ Dungeons & Dragons figures that our sons and I used to game with. Now they are enlightening our granddaughter with her game of Dungeons & Dragons. A family tradition being passed on by our son Todd. Great memories and tradition.

2. The Spiders made it to the third round of the NIT tournament but lost to TSU. Their overall record for the season was 22-13 with a conference record of 13-5. We enjoyed the season and wish the best for all the seniors. ShawnDre’ Jones, T.J. Cline, Chase Fletcher and Marshall Wood.

3. We spent this week at the beach thanks to our great friends Maureen and Jack. They shared a beautiful home in Duck, N.C. The weather was sunny most of the week and provided both warm and cold temperatures. We enjoyed a variety of excellent meals, some wine, played “catchphrase” and listened to brother Tony stories. 

An Early View from the Deck

4.  The Wednesday readings contained only three sentences. To me, they summarize the connection of Moses and Jesus and what our core beliefs are. Powerful statements that provide a simple guide for our belief in God.

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children's children." Deuteronomy 4:9

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place. Matthew 5:17-18

5. Barbara George, “I Know You Don’t Love Me No More”

6. Aretha Franklin - Respect

7. Diana Ross & The Supremes - My World Is Empty Without You

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Time, Reunion and Spring

1. Daylight saving time has come and is now a thing of the past.

Well, at least for some of us.

2. We held an Italy trip reunion gathering last weekend. Many of those on the trip were present. It is blessing that we maintain our connection and enjoy the friendship that was developed during the trip. 

3. Every once in awhile Dee likes to enjoy a day where she can not be concerned about anything in particular. It is called a “Deeday.” The rules are simple.
1. Let her stay in PJs all day.
2. I feed myself.
3. I make sure there is plenty of coffee.
4. No visitors.
5. Make sure she has everything required to "just do her thing."
6. Let her handle the TV controller.

4. There was a time, when I was much younger, single and without much thought about anything serious, that I thought about joining the circus. My favorite performer was "the daring young man on the flying trapeze." However, heights bothered me and I didn't look good in tights. It probably worked out well in the long run, as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" are closing this May.

5. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

6. Monday March 20 is, hopefully, the first day of spring.  

7. The Four Tops - Reach Out,I’ll Be There       

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Spiders, Giants & Diamonds

1. The Richmond Spiders basketball team have three players that have earned Atlantic 10 All Conference Honors.

Shawnee Jones, Third Team All-Conference
T.J. Cline, Player of the Year
De’Monte Buckingham, Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to all the players.

2. I wasn’t looking for anything about “giants,” but somehow I came across an article written by Jerry D. Peterson. His web site, My Drift, contains many articles about many things. The article on Giants is very interesting and thought I would share it.

3. I wrote about Tyrion Lannister back in August of 2015. At that time I shared one of my favorite Tyrion quotes. This year I have a new quote.

I believe he has a Red Blend from The Reach.

4. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller

5. On March 9, 1985, the Tyler Civilian Club, erected the first Adopt-a-Highway sign. It was on Highway 69. 

6. I’ve discovered a new blog. “Discovering Diamonds.” It is a blog that provides “independent reviews of the best in historical fiction.” There is a review about my favorite historical fiction writer, Bernard Cornwell. It is worth reading!

7. The Penguins - “Earth Angel.”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes.