Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy day at the mail box

If you didn't get a lot of mail today, don't feel bad.  I got a whole pile of it and I'm going to share it with you.

This first card is called "Christmas in Vilnius" (Lithuania). Since today was a sunny 84F day here in Salem, Oregon, Christmas still seems quite far away. It's sneaky though, and it will be here sooner than you expect. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Here's a quiet mountain scene from China, followed by the wonderful stamps that were used to post this card.

From Naples, Italy I received this beautiful Danish art card. That actually does make sense. The sender is half Italian and half Danish.

Clyde wants this next card for his bird cage, but he let me borrow it for the blog.  If one didn't know better, one would think these birds are extremely talented at building bird houses, but I believe the structures were built by indigenous people.  It's a lot more fun to think about the birds building them though.

Isn't this interesting?  It's aboriginal art from Australia. This is an aerial representation of the Mission where the artist was raised.  It depicts the homes, roads, tracks and gardens of the mission. Isn't it great that we can see the world through the eyes of other people now and then?

Here's another addition to my map card collection, this one from France.  The sender has an unusual combination of occupations: she is a primary school teacher and a firewoman. I wonder if she hoses down her class if they get too rowdy.  I can just see soggy little Pierre squishing into his house after school.  "Mama, teacher did it AGAIN." 

Here's another map card that I really like, probably because of all my Irish ancestry.

Finally today, here's a very old photo of the Singapore River, taken around 1900.  The card says that merchants sought to erect their shops on the south side of the river because it resembled the concave belly of a carp - which, according to Chinese belief, was where prosperity lay.  Next time you buy commercial property, tell your real estate broker that you are only interested in property shaped like a carp's belly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Arrr! I've been waiting for it all year and then I go and MISS it!! Yesterday was Talk Like A Pirate Day. Blast!! What a bilge-sucking addlepate I am!

Let's wander around the seven seas a bit anyway. Maybe it will take my mind off my fox paw.

Stock up on citrus fruit here to prevent scurvy.

Your dreams, if you are seasick and have drunk too much Madeira. 
Porto de Galinhas, Brazil, the "Port of Chickens".
Grateful to be back on dry land, let's visit St. Barbara's Cathedral in the Czech Republic.
Hmm, good name for a rock group: The Grateful Dry.
Little pictures from a little country, Luxembourg.
This woman is silly. Trying to fold her clean sheets outside in the wind. Obviously a newbie to laundry.

And finally, this is, well, I think it's, no.....maybe it's  - Oh, heck, I don't know what it is or why anyone took a picture of it. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Riverfront Park

Here are a some home-grown photos taken at Salem's Riverfront Park a couple of days ago. Pretty cool carousel, huh?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wild goose loses chase

How do you like our new motor home?  This type is not recommended unless you have a LOT of friends who are not at all busy.  Otherwise, the kind with wheels would be a better choice.  If you do decide on the wheel-less variety, make sure all your carriers have been given the same map to follow or you might end up in Xanten when you really planned on having dinner in Kleve.
This is one of the few cards I have ever gotten from Tasmania. Don't scoff - I'll bet you don't have more than five or six. (I hate it when you scoff.)
Now honestly, would you peel an orange and then play your guitar? This is probably how flamenco music began. Some sticky-fingered guitarist pounding on the strings trying to get his fingers loose. With family and friends stomping all around giving encouragement.
The Flemish city of Kortrijk, Belgium. Pretend you're racing a little motor craft and you have to decide which arch to go through, then your used-to-be best friend on the right forces you into the cement and you crash and burn. Medieval Super Mario River-Kart Racing by Nintendo.
Medieval Super Mario River-Kart Racing, the funeral.  Actually, this is the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin in Nottinghamshire, England, built in 1186-1189.
Native American Bandstand.  When the Twist craze died down, it was replaced by the Kiowa Stomp. The Mashed Potato and Corn was also very popular. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
So here we have a dead goose on a woman's lap, having all of its poor feathers plucked out, while the goose's friends calmly continue their afternoon walk. Talk about not being appreciated.

If the woman on the left had put her shoes on backwards, she would look like the Zombie Bucket Woman.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Couples, odd and otherwise

From the 19th century version of Dancing With The Stars, we have Gustav and Rosamunde waltzing themselves into giddy abandon, probably somewhere in Bavaria.  Gustav has already lost his hat.  No telling what will happen next.

Next, Frontier Days in India. The horse on the left is Turmeric and on the right is Trigger.

Next we have two strange little girls, obviously budding politicians. Notice they are already standing on boxes. I think the girl on the left is actually holding an unlit firecracker, which doesn't bode well for the continuation of this card series.

Ah, the wonder of Facebook!  After a separation of decades, these Crows have found each other and are amazed to discover that they can still party down. Sort of.

This painting by Helen Schjerfbeck is titled Children Berry Picking but I have my doubts. Helen obviously decided the spelling of her last name by tossing Scrabble tiles in the air, so how can we trust her to know what these children are doing?  I think one is keeping a lookout while the other buries something they shouldn't have killed.

On that gruesome note, I bid you good evening.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ready for some football?

Any pro football fans out there?  I'm excited about the season starting this Thursday evening, as if I needed one more excuse to sit in my recliner and be useless. Sometimes I knit while watching sports, which makes me feel a little more productive. And I also mute the commercials and read a paragraph or two from my current book until the commercials are over. By the end of a game, I have read 8 pages of my book (having gotten all the characters confused) and completely messed up a knitting pattern.  But dadgummit, that football game got itself watched, didn't it?   

I'm closing my eyes now and reaching into ye olde postcard box.  And the winner is.....


Glimmer in the Temple from Shanghai, China. Longhua temple is the largest and busiest Buddhist temple in Shanghai.  The pagoda dates from 977 and is not open to the public due to its fragility. If you were that old, you'd keep to yourself too.

Welcome to Finland, and watch out for those reindeer on the road.  And if you can fly, why walk on the road anyway, is what I want to know.

Kadriog Palace in Tallinn, Estonia was built by Tsar Peter the First in the 18th Century for his empress, Catherine.  "Kadriog". translated from Estonian, means "Catherine's Valley". Pete had first decided on a mobile home, but Cathy would have none of that.

Pangkor Island Beach Resort, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.  Unfortunately for the local residents, tourism has fallen off sharply since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Nothing to joke about here.

I see the cows are coming home, so it must be time for me to stop writing.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

First sign of autumn

What a beautiful day it was here today. While watering in the front yard this morning, I noticed that a few of the leaves on the blueberry bush are starting to change color. So I gently ripped off a branch (sorry, B.B.), ran inside, and stuck the branch in my scanner.  What??  Isn't that what everyone does when they see interesting leaves?
I still haven't completely come to terms with Photoshop Elements 7.0, but after an hour or so of trial and error (mostly error) I came up with my own homemade postcard to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
Although it needs some more work, I'm relatively pleased with the results, so I'll probably be outside ripping apart some other defenseless plant tomorrow.
I got a couple of cool cards in the mail today.  Don't look at this next one unless you are prepared to spend some money, because once you see this new invention you will definitely want to buy one.
This, my friends, is the luxurious air turbo head-massaging machine:
Thanks to Rebekah for this great card!  What is so impressive is that it is possible to drink, nosh and smoke with your husband (or a complete stranger) while having your head massaged.  Imagine the fun if you both had a Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick!! You want one now, don't you?
From Denmark comes this graphically interesting but largely incomprehensible card. I don't know what it means, but I really like it.
Time for some sleep.  I have a big day of plant vandalism ahead of me tomorrow.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Giant Gummy Bears

Big news today!! For those of you who have not been getting enough sugar in your diet, help has arrived!

Caution: this video may be too explicit for dentists.

Take a look!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A cow-free day

If you tuned in today hoping for rural scenes and farm animals, sorry. Today we will see cities, buildings and landmarks but nary a duck, pig or chicken. I know I'm going to have the barnyard animals all up in arms, but just calm down, guys. You know you'll get your day in the sun soon. No need to start a petition.

Narodno Sabranie Square in Sofia, the capital and largest city in Bulgaria. Vitosha Mountain in the distance is a popular place for hiking and skiing.

Red Square and the Nikolskaya (St. Nicholas) tower of the Kremlin, Moscow. It's interesting to realize that this tower was built in 1492, the year of Columbus's "discovery" of America.

Leander's Tower, also known as The Maiden's Tower in Istanbul, Turkey.  There are many legends about how this tower got its name.  Here are a couple of them:

According to the most popular Turkish legend, a sultan had a much beloved daughter. One day, an oracle prophesied that she would be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday. The sultan, in an effort to thwart his daughter's early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday.

On the 18th birthday of the princess, the sultan brought her a basket of exotic sumptuous fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he had been able to prevent the prophecy from coming true. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding among the fruit bit the young princess and she died in her father's arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden's Tower.

The older name Leander's Tower comes from another story about a maiden: the ancient Greek myth of Hero and Leander. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who lived in a tower at Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont (Dardanelles). Leander, a young man from Abydos, on the other side of the strait, fell in love with her and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp every night at the top of her tower to guide his way.

Succumbing to Leander's soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. This routine lasted through the warm summer. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero's light, and Leander lost his way and was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well. The name Maiden's Tower might also have its origins in this ancient story.

Gouda, The Netherlands, is known primarily for its cheese, but also for its candles, smoking pipes, and syrup waffles (Stroopwafel), made from two thin layers of baked batter with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle.

Aachen, Germany, home of the Aachen Cathedral which for 600 years, from 936 to 1531, was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens.

Strasbourg Cathedral, in Strasbourg, France.  When construction on the cathedral was finished in 1439, it became the world's tallest building, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Ciechocinek, Poland.  During World War II the town functioned as one big military hospital and a health resort for German citizens (known to Germans as Hermannsbad from 1939 until 1945). Experts considered the local saline springs to be of extreme therapeutic value.

Sentjur, Slovenia.  Its name means "Saint George" and it is named after the legendary dragonslayer.

Imperial Rome.  This is just to show you how long I've been collecting post cards.