Thursday, May 31

Rutter does not my heart flutter

Sometimes there's no accounting for taste.

Take my dear friend Ellowyne Wilde's friend Rufus Rutter.

A friend of Ellowyne’s since seventh grade, Rufus is the handyman at the Victorian house where Ellowyne lives with her grandmother.

Always cheerful and a little shy, Rufus harbors an 
unrequited love for Ellowyne. Will he ever have the courage to confess?


Even Steampunked (from the 2010 Tonner Con) I think he looks like an accident victim. 

Rufus is definitely back and with a new, Steampunk look! Light brown hair, inset brown eyes. Rufus comes dressed in his own unique steampunk style outfit including tweed pants, shirt, vest, long coat with a gear applique, shoes, shin guards, cap, and steampunk-style goggles.

I think he looks much better with his face covered by his goggles, don't you?

Ellowyne's Imperium Park friend Phineas Jules Bennett is a vast improvement, in my not so humble opinion.

Tuesday, May 29

A league of their own

A hunter, a scientist, a vampire, an invisible woman, an immortal, a spy, a beast….

Legendary adventurer Steampunk Addie commands a legion of superheroes, the likes of which mankind has never seen.

Now, despite fighting their own personal demons - and each other - they must join forces to save the world.

Monday, May 28

A day to remember

Joyeux anniversaire ma chère amie, Cécile!

While enjoying your holiday weekend (and Cécile's birthday) please remember those who have died for your freedom.

Memorial day has its origins in Decoration Day, which began during the Civil War among Freedmen (freed slaves) and other Black American families, as a celebration of both black and white Union soldiers who fought for liberation and justice. Together with teachers and missionaries, Blacks in Charleston organized a May Day ceremony on May 1, 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers.

During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves.

The sheer number of dead soldiers, both Union and Confederate, who perished in the civil war meant that burial and memorialization would take on new cultural significance. Particularly under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had already taken shape. 

The freedmen had cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly 10,000 people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the dead. Involved were 3,000 schoolchildren newly enrolled in freedmen's schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, and black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field.

In 1865, the federal government began a program of creating national military cemeteries for the Union dead; Decoration Day was soon expanded (and de-politicized) from its origins in Black America to the broader Memorial Day tradition more well-known today.

Sunday, May 27

The Green Fairy

Momma is continuing to dream about Abcynthia Wormwood* and her story.

Abcynthia is actually a Green Fairy who lost her wings when she left the Fae. Thankfully, a talented metalsmith created new wings for her.

Abcynthia's outfit includes "a blue dress with an attached petticoat and a decorated bodice with metal buttons, faux leather trim, thigh-high stockings, tall boots, and decorated arm gauntlets."

*Absinthe is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (a.k.a. "grand wormwood"), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colorless. It is commonly referred to in French literature as "la fée verte" (the green fairy).

This Week in The Civil War: May 27, 1862

Battle of Seven Pines, Va., rise of Robert E. Lee

A Union offensive near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., triggers fierce fighting May 31, 1862, at the Battle of Seven Pines just eight miles east of that city. Confederates defending Richmond under the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston attack two Federal units south of Virginia's Chickahominy River. The assaults push Union troops back and mark the start of heavy casualties. Fighting rages as more troops on each side join the fray. Johnston is seriously wounded before the battle ends June 1, 1862. This fight ends inconclusively for both sides with more than 13,700 casualties. But significantly, it marks the rise of Gen. Robert E. Lee to the top of the Confederate command soon after Johnston is wounded. All Richmond had anxiously watched and waited, amid worries whether the city's outer defenses would hold. The Associated Press reports May 27, 1862, that a lead article in the Richmond Enquirer recently issued a "clarion call" for Johnston's army to defend the city at any cost: "The time has come when retreat will no longer be strategy but disaster. It must therefore give place to battle" the Enquirer stated. The battle will mark a turning point as Confederate fighters dash the hopes of Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan of seizing Richmond. And it won't be Johnston but the pugnacious Robert E. Lee who will save Richmond and force McClellan to retreat in the fighting just ahead. Elsewhere 150 years ago in the war, Confederate forces defending the northeast Mississippi railroad junction at Corinth, Miss., withdraw rather than surrender to Union soldiers closing in on that city. The Confederates leave behind miles of earthworks defending the approaches to Corinth and a key rail crossing for train lines serving nearly the entire South.

Saturday, May 26

The Steampunk Letters

Momma's in the midst of (mentally) creating a new steampunk friend for me!

I don't know when she might actually appear in our lives, but introducing Abcynthia Wormwood!*

She's a combination of Wilde Imagination's Ellowyne Wilde line: the sold out Wicked Witch of the West and Imperium Park's Military Theory outfit.

Abcynthia has raven hair with dark brown eyes, and green vinyl skin. 

The Military Theory outfit "features a bodysuit with lace trim and collar decoration, textured pleather jacket with golden studs, textured pleather corset with golden buckles, rings, and stud decorations, crinkled chiffon skirt, pants, hat, matching pleather gloves and leg strap, daggers, and matching boots with golden buckles."

*In case you are wondering, absinthe is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (a.k.a. "grand wormwood"), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colorless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the green fairy).

Happy birthday, Samantha ~ May 26, 1895

Happy birthday, Samantha!

Samantha's birthday party is nearly ruined when Eddie Ryland plays a mean trick. Then Agnes and Agatha, Cornelia's 10-year-old twin sisters, save the day with an invitation to visit New York City. Samantha loves the twins' carefree attitude and can't wait to go--especially since the trip will include a stop at a fancy ice cream parlor. But when the girls carelessly break some rules, they suddenly find themselves racing dangerously through the big city--and the path they take leads to surprising discoveries.

Friday, May 25

The steampunk monarch

Sorry about my recent silence but, inspired by my lovely new jacket by Cher at Sew Fun Doll Clothes, I decided to go view the monarch butterflies during their northward migration.

Monarch butterflies are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In North America a northward migration takes place in the spring. They make massive southward migrations starting in August until the first frost. The monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as the birds do on a regular basis.

Sunday, May 20

Sew fine

It's good to be me.

Especially when so many talented seamstresses are sewing for me.

First of all, Cher at Sew Fun Doll Clothes heard my plea and created this stunning coat to fit my Pleasant body.

And now Mama Lisa at Darling Dolly created more Black Unmentionables for me!

I can't wait to get them, but first I have to help my Big Sister celebrate her 9th birthday today.


This Week in The Civil War: May 20, 1862

Battle of Front Royal, Va.

The grind of war continues this week 150 years ago in the Civil War as a contingent of some 3,000 Confederate fighters overrun a 1,000-man Union force at Front Royal in northern Virginia in a battle fought May 23, 1862. The Union fighters are pushed back by the surprise attack through the town of Front Royal, retreating under fire. They temporarily hold their ground on one hill and then another but are outnumbered and retreat. In the end, the Union forces are routed and hundreds of federal forces throw down their arms and surrender. All told, there are only about 50 casualties on the Confederate side while estimates indicate the Union suffered hundreds of dead or wounded. Confederate Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was waging his bold hit-and-run campaign through the Shenandoah Valley this springtime and the battle again demonstrated the prowess of his and allied forces who were striking close enough to Washington to alarm the Lincoln government nearby. Only days earlier in May 1862, Jackson's forces had attacked Union fighters in McDowell, Va., pushing them back across the Potomac River. That attack set off alarms among Lincoln and Cabinet leaders in the federal capital and promopted calls to keep more defensive forces arrayed around Washington. The victories by Jackson and his allies also spread alarm in the North and prompt renewed calls for more young men to fight for the Union. One proclamation this week 150 years ago called on Massachusetts men to join the fight. The call went out in local papers and declared: "The wiley and barbarous horde of traitors to the people, to the Government, to our country, and to our liberty, menace again the national capitol ... The President calls on Massachusetts to rise once more for its rescue and defense."

Saturday, May 19

Happy birthday, Kit ~ May 19, 1923

Happy birthday, Kit!

Kit’s 10th birthday is approaching, but there’s no time to plan a party, and no money, either, since Dad still doesn’t have a job. Yet with Aunt Millie’s thriftiness and good ideas, she seems to be able to make anything happen! 

Friday, May 18

The Siege of Vicksburg

Momma says it's kind of strange to know what an ancestor was doing and where 149 years after the fact.

Her great-great-grandfather, Capt. William H. Huls, is the bearded officer at the front left of this memorial photo.

The inscription reads:

History of Company "H," 58 Ohio Infantry Volunteers. 
The company was organized at Camp Medill, Ohio on the 26th of November, 1861, and non-veterans mustered out of service January 8, 1865. During the above time were in the following engagements and skirmishes. In the battle of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 15th and 16, 1862; Shiloh, Tenn., April 7th, 1862; skirmishes at Milliken's Bend, La., Hayne's Bluff, Greenville and Bolivar Landing, Miss. Aug. 1862; in the battle of Fort Morgan, Miss., Dec. 27th, 28th, and 29th, 1862; Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas river, Jan 10th and 11th, 1863; detached on U.S. gunboat Pittsburg Feb. 7th, 1863; in action at Tolling Fork, Miss., Mar 19, 20, and 21, 1863; in action while running the blockade of Vicksburg, Miss., April 16, 1863; Fort Beauregard, La., May 10th and 11th, 1863; and inactions at Simsport, La., June 4th, '63. Rejoined the regiment at Vickburg, Miss., Oct. 12, 1863. 
Alterations of the Company Since Its Organization 
Enlisted as veterans, Jan 1863, 25; recruits from depots, 16; transferred, 2; discharged, 13; died of disease, 15; killed inaction, 10. Total number killed and wounded during the campaign ofthree years, four months, and three days, 27.

The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863) was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Miss.

When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. With no reinforcement, supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than 40 days, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. This action (combined with the capitulation of Port Hudson on July 9) yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, who would hold it for the rest of the conflict.

The Confederate surrender following the siege at Vicksburg is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the previous day, the turning point of the war. It also cut off communication with Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the remainder of the war.

The city of Vicksburg would not celebrate Independence Day for about 80 years as a result of the siege and surrender.

Tuesday, May 15

The bear necessities

My Big Sister got to take a tour of a local teddy bear factory yesterday with her third grade class and make her own teddy bear to bring home.

Part of the tour explained the history of the teddy bear which I thought I'd share with you.

Back in November 1902, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was hunting in the vicinity of Smedes, Miss. When tracking and locating a bear seemed likely to be fruitless, his hosts produced what was described as a "small bear” and encouraged Roosevelt to shoot him. Roosevelt refused. He would not shoot such a helpless creature in sport.

The incident became the topic of a political cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post on Nov. 16, 1902.

According to the tour guide at Stuffington Bear Factory, candy store owner Morris Michtom saw the drawing of Roosevelt and the bear cub. He had his wife Rose make 10 stuffed bears which he sold for $10 each. He put one in his candy shop window with a sign that read "Teddy's bear," after sending a bear to Roosevelt and receiving permission to use his name. The toys were an immediate success and Michtom later founded the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.

Stuffington Teddy Bear Factory is one of the few stuffed animal manufacturers with production based in the United States. They have been creating stuffed animal gifts since 1959. The facility is 16,000 square feet and is a complete "cut and sew" production environment. They also have a retail store where they sell their teddy bears and stuffed animals.

They also host factory tours, school field trips, birthday parties and special events. During these events, visitors learn all about teddy bears and are able to stuff, comb, bathe and dress up their very own teddy bear.

What a good idea - combining history with toys.

Monday, May 14

A novel of vampires, werewolves and mummies

Last but not least in the Parasol Protectrate series is Timeless:
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Sadly, that the end of the Parasol Protectorate series. But author Gail Carriger is starting another series next year about a Finishing School, and then starting a Parasol Protectorate Abroad series!

Sunday, May 13

Happy Momma's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Did you know that Mother's Day has its roots in war?

The first attempts to establish a "Mother's Day" in the United States was by groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War.

In 1868, Ann Jarvis created a committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day" whose purpose was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War." She wanted to expand it into an annual memorial for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the celebration became popular.

Mother's Day was established by Anna Jarvis, with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker, following the death of her mother Ann Jarvis on May 9, 1905. T
he first "official" service was on May 10, 1908 at Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, W.V., where Anna's mother had been teaching Sunday school, accompanied by a larger ceremony in the Wanamaker Auditorium in the Wanamaker's store in Philadelphia. The next year the day was reported to be widely celebrated in New York.

Anna Jarvis delivered 500 carnations at its first celebration in 1908 because it was her mother's favorite flower. In part due to the shortage of white carnations, and in part due to the efforts to expand the sales of more types of flowers in Mother's Day, florists promoted wearing a red carnation if your mother was living, or a white one if she was dead.

Jarvis then campaigned to establish Mother's Day first as a U.S. national holiday and then later as an international holiday. The holiday was declared officially by the state of West Virginia in 1910, and the rest of states followed quickly.

On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day and requesting a proclamation. On May 9, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of the holiday due to commercialization, spending all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.

She decried the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "...wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ...."

She died later that year.

A novel of vampires, werewolves and teapots

Today I am posting about the fourth book in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, Heartless:
Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

This Week in The Civil War: May 13, 1862

Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Va.

A Union warship fleet steaming up Virginia's James River opens fire early on May 15, 1862, against Confederate fortifications on a 90-foot-high bluff several miles from the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va. A union ironclad, the Galena, is the first to fire. Confederates entrenched behind strong earthworks and gun emplacements respond with searing artillery fire from Drewry's Bluff. Confederate snipers on the riverbank also rain down shot and shell on the Union squadron. After about four hours of blistering fire both ways, the Union force calls a halt to the offensive. Reports indicate federal forces tallied some 14 dead and a similar number of wounded, while the Confederates had 7 dead and several wounded. The Confederate fortification holds firm. In the ensuing months, secessionist leaders alarmed by the attack on Drewry's Bluff would go on to further strengthen the crucial defensive site, making it a veritable fort. Also this week 150 years ago in the Civil War, the North is rife with speculation about the movements of the massive Union force arming off southeast Virginia — tens of thousands of troops in all. The Associated Press reported in a May 15, 1862, dispatch from Baltimore that passengers arriving in eastern Maryland by ship had seen several steamers loaded with newly freed Union prisoners from Richmond traveling to Washington, D.C., up the Chesapeake Bay. The AP also discuss the speculation. "This city is this morning filled with a variety of rumors, stating that the city of Richmond has been taken by the Union forces," The AP said without comment. In fact, Union forces — after their early battles and skirmishes — are still just ramping up a Virginia Peninsula Campaign that eventually approach Richmond, but never overrun that city.

Saturday, May 12

A novel of vampires, werewolves & unexpected surprises

I am continuing to spread the word about Gail Carriger's delightful Parasol Protectorate books. Today is Blameless:
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.

I strongly encourage you to read the books in order. They'll make much more sense that way.

Friday, May 11

A novel of werewolves, vampires and dirigibles

Momma, GrandMomma and I are now thoroughly addicted to the Parasol Protectorate books by Gail Carriger.

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. 
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

Momma galloped through all five books in three days, and GrandMomma is following close behind.

Thank heavens there's both Kindle and Audible versions or I might never get my mitts upon them!

Thursday, May 10

An embroidered tale

You people just don't appreciate what a wonderful age you live in.

Back in my day, we had to do our embroidery by hand.

Mrs. Ford gave Addy a needle book and hoop so she could help with the sewing. Addy’s first project was an apron on which she practiced making straight seams with tiny stitches. You can embroider the charming floral trim on the hem and bodice for Addy. A make-believe kerosene lamp to light their dark and drafty garret was a Christmas surprise for Addy and Momma—a glowing reminder to “let your little light shine” all year long.*

And now, just imagine, machines that embroider for you!

I have spent the last two days pouring over the Urban Threads website and all its marvelous steampunk patterns. And Urban Threads has a Spoonflower store of coordinating fabrics, too!

I certainly hope that Momma can afford a machine that embroiders soon.

Any recommendations?

*Please forgive the typos. American Girl obviously doesn't know how to spell My name correctly.

Wednesday, May 9

A tough Row

Whiskey Row in 1905.
'Tis a sad day for Arizona historians after a fire on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 destroyed two businesses and damaged a third on historic Whiskey Row in Prescott, Ariz.

Whiskey Row got its name for having 40 bars in one city block.

All three of the burned businesses - the Bird Cage Saloon, Larry & Hy's Bare Bones BBQ and Prescott Food Store - are located in one building that was erected right after most of the downtown burned to the ground on July 14, 1900.

The 1900 fire destroyed almost all of the buildings on Whiskey Row including the 1891 Hotel Burke, advertised as "the only absolutely fireproof building in Prescott."

According to local legend, the patrons of the various bars simply took their drinks across the street to the Courthouse square and watched it burn. At the time of the 1900 fire, the entire bar and back-bar of the Palace Hotel was removed to the square by the patrons as the fire approached, re-installing it after the gutted brick structure was rebuilt.

Prescott residents are already vowing to rebuild the newly-damaged Whiskey Row.

I wish them luck.

Tuesday, May 8

The wild rumpus starts

Beloved illustrator and author Maurice Sendak died today.

Even if he didn't believe in an afterlife, I do and I think he's there now, creating a wild rumpus with all those he loved.

Float like a butterfly

Sew Fun Doll Clothes
Oh my.

Look at what my Dear Friend, Mama Lisa of Darling Dolly, spotted for me on Etsy.

Time Traveler - American Girl Doll Clothes Embroidered Steampunk Shibua Summer Coat

My American Girl doll can't wait for summer vacation - she's planning on doing a little time travel! This Shibua (sic) coat will not only protect her from the elements as she glides through the centuries, the embroidered butterfly will help guide her on her way! 
This coat was made using Liberty Jane's Shibua (sic) coat pattern; it is a summer weight cream fabric with gold sheer ribbon trim around the open neckline and lower sleeve cuffs. The front opening has four copper eyelets with gold ribbon threaded through them and tied into a bow; and it is lined with a gorgeous copper colored lining.
The embroidery designs are from Urban Threads and includes a cogs design on the lower sleeve cuffs in gold, brass, and copper; and a steam motifs cogs butterfly on the back in gold, copper, steel gray, and charcoal gray with copper swirls. The back embroidery is accented with gray suede cord inserted into the back seams, the cord is threaded through a gold gear attached below the butterfly on the lower back, and tied into a bow.

Sadly, Momma says this coat won't fit my Pleasant figure. (I wonder if I can get one custom-made?)

Oh well, I still give it my Gear of Approval.

Monday, May 7

Crushing news

We have received word today that Patrick Stewart will NOT be appearing at Phoenix Comicon this year after all.


However, Evil Wil Wheaton is coming again!

I wonder what dastardly things he might do to me this time.

Today's bloodsucker

My Big Sister is getting into Monster High dolls, and so is Momma.

(I'm waiting for
Robecca Steam, of course.)

But Momma got DracuLaura this week and promptly placed her in her Newspaper Club outfit. Other than being in a hideous pink color (which Momma has conveniently removed so My eyes are not offended) I like this look since I think it has a steampunk feel to it.

At Monster High school spirit takes on a decidedly different twist and everyone wants the hottest fashions to look killer in the howl-ways. Draculaura is taking scary cool pictures for the Newspaper Club with her camera and rocking a reporter’s outfit with newsprint tights.

I have to admit I like DracuLaura too, since she is vegetarian (no icky blood for her!) and carries a parasol.


Sunday, May 6

This Week in The Civil War: May 6, 1862

Battle of Williamsburg and aftermath

The Battle of Williamsburg, Va., is the first major combat of Union Gen. George B. McClellan's Virginia "Peninsula Campaign" Waged May 4-5, 1862, the battle pitted nearly 41,000 Union soldiers against more than 30,000 Confederate forces. Union forces advancing after a Confederate retreat from Yorktown clashed with a Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg, but were nearly pushed back in attacking Confederates hunkered down behind strong earthworks. At one point, the Union force appeared close to being repulsed before arriving reinforcements shore up their position. The fighting raged on before Confederate forces pulled back at the battle's end in a nighttime move. The battle comes as a cautious McClellan, despite tens of thousands of troops, tentatively begins pressing toward Richmond up the peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers. More than 3,800 casualties are estimated at Williamsburg, heavily to the Union side. By May 6, Union forces continue probing toward Richmond, capital of the Confederacy, and a day later there's a smaller fight of a Union division with two Confederate brigades. But several major battles will lay weeks ahead in McClellan's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to take Richmond. The Associated Press reports in a May 11, 1862, dispatch that advancing Union cavalry have pushed on to White House, Va., and the Custis estate owned by a relative of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. AP reports Virginia's alarmed "citizens are flocking in from the surrounding country" to the protection of Richmond and Confederates have "burnt the railroad bridge and tore up the road for some distance" toward that city. At the time, AP reports, the closest Union forces are just 23 miles from the gates of Richmond.

Saturday, May 5

Say 'Si' to Cinco de Mayo

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is not Mexico's Independence Day which is celebrated on Sept. 16.

Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, the Mexican Civil War of 1858, and the 1860 Reform Wars.

These wars left the Mexican Treasury in ruins and nearly bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years.

In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France decided to use the opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico that would favor French interests.

The 8,000-strong French army attacked the poorly equipped Mexican army of 4,000, but on May 5, 1862 the Mexicans crushed the French army.

What I did not know is that some historians have argued that France's real goal was to help break up the American Union, at the time in the midst of the Civil War, by helping the southern Confederacy.

Had Mexico not defeated the French in Puebla on May 5, 1862, France would have gone to the aid of the South in the U.S. Civil War and the United States' destiny could have been very different.

Friday, May 4

May the Fourth be with you

Happy Star Wars Day!

May 4 is called Star Wars Day because of the phrase "May the Force be with you." Star Wars film fans commonly say "May the 4th be with you" on this day.

When Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain's first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, her party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that said "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."

In a 2005 interview on German news TV channel N24, Star Wars creator George Lucas was asked to say, "May the Force be with you." The interpreter interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen ("We shall be with you on May 4").

The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web's best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual Star Wars Day took place on Friday, May 4, 2012.

May 5 is known as Star Wars Sequel Day; "Revenge of the Fifth," refers to the title of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

The Los Angeles City Council declared May 25, 2007, as Star Wars Day, in honor of the 1977 release date of Star Wars. A separate initiative for observing Geek Pride Day on May 25 is based on the Star Wars connection along with ties to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Discworld.

Let your geek flag fly!

Thursday, May 3

Peak shape

I can't believe I forgot to mention Arizona's claim to "fame" in the Civil War!

The Battle of Picacho Peak (or Pass) was an engagement of the American Civil War on April 15, 1862. The action occurred all around Picacho Peak, 50 miles northwest of Tucson, Ariz. It was fought between a Union cavalry patrol from California and a party of Confederate pickets from Tucson, and marked the westernmost battle of the American Civil War.

Happy anniversary to me!

One year ago today I sat down and started what I hoped would be a fun project - The Adventures of Steampunk Addie.

And you know what? It has been!!!

So to celebrate my blog's unum anno anniversario I am giving away a small likeness of Yours Truly to the first five people to offer their felicitations.

Just comment below and I'll figure out a way to get My Likeness to you.

And thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 2

Steampunk with a twist

Green Tree Jewelry
Momma and I are in love.

One of Momma's students came to class wearing this to-die-for Kinetic Main Gear Pendant and matching earrings.

Not only are the gears made from wood (which makes it very lightweight) but all the gears move - as they should.

Green Tree Jewelry describes this new line of "Gear Garb" as "Steam Punk with a Twist."

Based in San Diego, Calif., Green Tree Jewelry was founded by Lance Nybye, Sr. and his son L.J. to provide affordable fun jewelry from renewable resources. All the jewelry is made here in the United States.

I wonder if they'd make some in my size. 


I look at Ellowyne and what do I see? 
A girl that wishes she were more like Me;
So accomplished and pretty, and well spoken, I'm told
Poor Ellowyne doesn't even notice when she's being STEAMROLLED

Steampunk Gone Wilde - Letting Off Steam! A 2010 Tonner Convention Exclusive. Introducing Amber Stanhope - Ellowyne's childhood nemisis and friend? Dark red hair with inset blue eyes and applied lashes. Outfit includes long, layered skirt, aviator-style jacket, arm gauntlets, stockings, boots, aviator hat, and steampunk-style goggles. Mean-girl attitude implied. Designer saddle stand also included. LE 150

Estimated Ship Date: Sold Out

Letting off steam

Dr. Bantam says let loose - don't hold feelings in
Tell the world how you feel - let them know your chagrin;
I guess that she's right, though I'm not sure what she means...
Could it be for once in my life I should try LETTING OFF STEAM?

Steampunk Gone Wilde - Letting Off Steam! A 2010 Tonner Convention Exclusive. Blonde hair Ellowyne with inset blue eyes and applied lashes. Outfit includes steampunk-style dress, arm gauntlets, stockings, matching short lace-up boots, decorated steampunk-style hat, and designer jewelry. Designer saddle stand also included. LE 350

Estimated Ship Date: Sold Out

Tuesday, May 1

Happy birthday, Julie ~ May 1, 1966

Happy birthday, Julie!

Julie and her best friend, Ivy, find a baby owl in Golden Gate Park—and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles that will be caged for life, unless money is raised to release them back into the wild. For Earth Day, Julie thinks of a unique way to tell the public of the eagles' plight.

When Julie learns the eagles she’s been caring for will be set free on her birthday, she plans a party at the beach to watch the big event. Julie finds the perfect outfit for her special day.