Thursday, November 29

History repeats itself

Clementine and I were both saddened this week to hear about the deadly fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We both immediately thought of the deadly Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City and the second deadliest disaster in New York City until the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The 2012 Dhaka fire broke out on Nov. 24, 2012, in the Tazreen Fashion factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At least 117 people were confirmed dead in the fire, and at least 200 were injured, making it the deadliest factory fire in the nation's history.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged 16 to 23; the oldest victim was 48, the youngest were two 14-year-old girls.

The 2012 Dhaka fire, presumably caused by an electrical short circuit, started on the ground floor of the nine-story factory, trapping the workers. Because of the large amount of fabrics and yarn in the factory, the fire quickly spread to other floors, complicating firefighting operations. The fire burned for more than seventeen hours before firefighters succeeded in extinguishing it.

Because the Triangle Shirt Waist managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits – a common practice at the time to prevent pilferage and unauthorized breaks – many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the upper floors to the streets below.

Most victims of the 2012 Dhaka fire were found on the second floor, where at least 69 bodies were recovered. Witnesses reported that many workers had been unable to escape through the narrow exits. Twelve of the victims died leaping from windows to escape the flames, some of them dying of their injuries after being taken to area hospitals. Other workers who had escaped to the roof of the building were successfully rescued. The fire department's operations manager stated that the factory lacked emergency exits that led out of the building. Of the building's three staircases, all three led through the ground floor, making them unusable in the fire.

Will we never learn?

Tuesday, November 27

The wildest, wickedest night spot

Raven with some cigar store statues. Photo by Super Inky.
My buddy Inky was back in Arizona for a recent visit but we weren't able to get together ... again.

As Inky would say, "Argh!"

While she was here she and my other friend Raven visited Clementine's old home: Tombstone, Ariz.

Without us.

Clementine and I both had a good laugh when Inky wrote:

Here's Raven with some cigar store statues. We definitely learned that Tombstone, in its heyday, was not a good place for kids. It was full of saloons, cowboys, and dancing ladies. There were even gunfights. Yikes! 

Gee, you think? 

Tombstone was founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. In 1881, it became the county seat of the new Cochise County.

Far distant from any other metropolitan city, by mid-1881 Tombstone boasted a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, as well as 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. All of these were situated among and on top of a large number of dirty, hardscrabble mines.

The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre, "the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast" according to The New York Times in 1882.

Clementine certainly had her hands full keeping peace in the streets of Tombstone.

Ever hear of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral? That's how we met.

Monday, November 26

Reduce, reuse, recycle

I am so excited.

I wanted this Steampunk Ensemble by CSBSEWS back in May but someone beat Momma to it.

Now it's been offered again on the resale market and Momma snagged it!

Originally it came with dress, hat, boots, tights, vest, jacket, necklace and key chains.

It's now missing the hat but I've got plenty.

I think I'll give it to Clementine.

Don't you think it looks like her?

Cameo appearance

When Clementine arrived I couldn't help but notice the delicate cameo around her neck.

When I asked her about it, Clementine said she'd had it for as long as she could remember and that she loved cameos.

I promptly gave her (with Momma's permission, of course) the cameo locket Momma got for me at Comicon.

It seemed appropriate to me since it continues Clementine's skeletal gunslinger theme and the locket and chain are copper - Arizona's largest mining industry. (Arizona’s early economy relied on the "five C's": copper, cotton, cattle, citrus, and climate (tourism).)

Cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewelery or vessel made in this manner. It nearly always features a raised (positive) relief image with a contrasting (negative) base.

Today the term may be used very loosely for objects with no colour contrast, and other, metaphorical, terms have developed, such as cameo appearance. Another generalized meaning is an image of a head in an oval frame in any medium, such as a photograph.

Momma has promised to put photos of us in Clementine's locket so we shall always be together.


Sunday, November 25

This Week in the Civil War: Nov. 25, 1862

Fighting in Arkansas

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Confederate forces battle Union rivals at Cane Hill in the far northwest corner of Arkansas. The fighting on Nov. 28, 1862, began with Union Gen. James Blunt sending out probing forces in a bid to destroy Confederate cavalry units detected in the area. The Union contingent caught up with a Confederate force that fought a delaying action while trying to protect its supply trains. Confederates under Col. Joe Shelby set up defensive positions around the Cane Hill cemetery. During a series of clashes, the Confederates withdrew under a fierce Union onslaught. Finally running short of ammunition, Confederate fighters withdrew and nightfall brought an end to the day's fighting. Blunt's forces thus took control of the Boston Mountains in that extreme corner of Arkansas. It was a small-scale fight. But days later, a far bigger battle would be waged at Prairie Grove, Ark., culminating in Union forces consolidating their grip on the region. This week in Washington, President Abraham Lincoln is preparing to open a new session of Congress, his speech kept tightly under wraps. The Charleston (S.C.) Mercury reports tension is rising around Fredericksburg, Va., amid reports of sporadic shots fired and rumors the Union would try to take that city any day in hopes of eventually reaching Richmond, capital of the Confederacy. A correspondent of The Mercury reports in a late November dispatch: "The general opinion here is that the threats of the enemy about Fredericksburg are feints" to cover a change of base by Union forces. In fact, Union and Confederate forces would be in a bloody fight for Fredericksburg before Christmas of 1862.

Saturday, November 24

Seuss couture?

Tonner Doll Company
Momma has no desire to add these fun dolls to our family, but they still made us both smile.

If you have a passion for fashion,
and colors galore,
you'll love this new Dr. Seuss line -
just wait and see what's in store!

"This high-fashion take on the colorful, poetic whimsy of Dr. Seuss is a marriage of what we do best: high fashion and pop culture.  What you see here is not a re-creation of the Seuss characters, per se, but instead, creations inspired by the colors and the shapes that are at the essence of what we all love about Dr. Seuss's art."

So, what do you think?

What kinda cactus izzat?

steel agave
steel prickly pear
Clementine continues to marvel at the sights here in modern-day Arizona.

Especially the cacti and succulents.

(Did you know that all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti?)

I told her it was a modern miracle that one could now grow steel cacti and succulents.

As if the real ones aren't sharp enough!

However, these need no watering at all which is helpful when there's a drought.

What will they think of next? Internal combustion engines?

Friday, November 23

Practicing safe Rex

Clementine and I got to go on a quick road trip today to keep Momma company as she drove two Cornish Rex cats to their new home in Tucson.

Clementine had never heard of the cats so I told her to read Momma's book, The Guide to Owning a Cornish Rex Cat, during the two-hour drive. (Sadly, it's no longer in print but it is available in many e-book formats.)

These two Cornies have been adopted by Momma's friend, science fiction and fantasy author extraordinaire  Jennifer Roberson!

Zoe, the daughter, in their new home.
(Momma's known Jennifer for 20 years. She even took the author photo for Lady of the Glen and was one of the people the book was dedicated to!)

Anyway, Zena and Zoe had to find a new home and Jennifer jumped at the chance.

Jennifer was going to come get them but became ill at the last minute so off we went to the "rexcue."

I told Clementine we were rescuing Zena and Zoe, and she got excited thinking we were rescuing Xena, The Warrior Princess.

I was sorry to tell her that we were rescuing Zena not Xena, but that maybe Zena was a princess, too, because she was a Rex. (FYI, Rex is Latin for king.) That mollified Clementine somewhat. 

I wanted to stop at Picacho Peak to show Clementine Arizona's Civil War battlefield, but she not-so-gently reminded me that she lived in Arizona long before me!
Zena, the mom, in their new home.


It was a quick trip and, sadly, I didn't get a chance to add Jennifer's autograph to my "collection."

Maybe next time.....


Thursday, November 22

Drink your apple a day

Have you had your apple today?

I did.

Did you know that during Prohibition (1919-1933), Martinelli & Co., specialized in non-alcoholic apple juice products.

Prohibition in the United States focused on the manufacture and sale of alcohol. Drinking itself was never illegal, and there were exceptions for medicinal and religious uses.

Martinelli’s unique apple-shaped jug was introduced in 1933, along with the slogan, "Drink Your Apple A Day®."



A day of Thanksgiving and Praise

turkey by Pippaloo
By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 21

The future is worth fighting for

Clementine and I have been having a lot of fun getting to know one another and share our stories.

As you know, Clementine is from 1881 Tombstone, Ariz., but she's also an avid time and space traveler.

Specifically, she's a proud member of the Firefly-class spaceship, Serenity.

Five hundred years in the future there's a whole new frontier, and the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity is eager to stake a claim on the action. They'll take any job, legal or illegal, to keep fuel in the tanks and food on the table. But things get a bit more complicated after they take on a passenger wanted by the new totalitarian Alliance regime. Now they find themselves on the run, desperate to steer clear of Alliance ships and the flesh-eating Reavers who live on the fringes of space.

Firefly premiered in the United States on Sept. 20, 2002, but was canceled after 11 episodes. Despite the series' relatively short life span, it received strong sales when it was released on DVD and has large fan support campaigns.

The post-airing success of the show led to a 2005 film, Serenity, based on the series. The Firefly franchise expanded from the series and film to other media including comics and a role-playing game.

Personally, I think Clementine looks like a young Zoe Alleyne Washburne—second-in-command of the Serenity.

Monday, November 19

Howdy pardner!

Today was quite the exciting day for me.

Momma told me that my darling Clementine was finally coming to live with us after she did some fancy horse trading.

As you might recall, I started dreaming of her in June. But Momma said times were tough and I'd just have to be patient.

I hate being patient.

I mean, I've had Clementine's Welcome Home outfit ready for months!

But today that patience finally paid off.

Isn't she gorgeous?!

We've already promised to be life long best friends.

Oh, the places we'll go.... 

Sunday, November 18

This Week in the Civil War: Nov. 18, 1862

New Confederate secretary of war

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, James A. Seddon was appointed war secretary of the Confederacy on Nov. 20, 1862, and would hold on in the position until January 1865, shortly before the rebellion began to crumble. Seddon was the longest in the post, a successful lawyer praised for his diplomatic tact and for reining in disparate factions within the secessionist states. Though a strong advocate of secession, he was a member of an 1861 peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in a bid to stave off the gathering war clouds. Wartime shortages in the South of foodstuffs that sparked the deadly 1863 bread riot in Richmond prompted Seddon to call on the Virginia press not to publish accounts of the rioting. But word got out about that and other riots in the South despite his concerns the news would embolden the enemy and weaken the home front morale. Seddon would face an immediate challenge. Days before his appointment, the new commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, sent a fighting force to take up positions east of Fredericksburg, Va. The move would promptealarm in Fredericksburg and the evacuation of women and children there. The Associated press reported that the Confederates immediately began to strengthen and extend stout earthenworks defending Fredericksburg. In coming weeks, tens of thousands of Union soldiers would stream toward that city as Burnside would open a bloody but ultimately failed offensive in mid-December 1862. Confederate Robert E. Lee vowed, informed of the Union troops near Fredericksburg, vowed in press reports to thwart any enemy incursion deeper into Virginia by fighting to the "last extremity."

Saturday, November 17

With malice toward none

I don't know about you, but I can not wait to see the new Lincoln moving picture.

Lincoln is a 2012 biographical war drama film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

The film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and covers the final four months of Lincoln's life.
In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Have you seen it yet?

Thursday, November 15

Ni hoa, Jinafire

Oh boy.

As previously mentioned, Momma is a Dragon Lady AND she loves we love Monster High.

So you can imagine her excitment when she discovered this new ghoul: Jinafire Long.

The ghouls of Monster High are haunting to The City of Frights for an international fashion competition where the winner will become THE apprentice to the world famous Madame Ghostier. It's chance of an unlifetime ... or is it? Follow our ghouls above and below the cobblestone streets as they cheer on old friends, make new ones and discover not everything is always as it screams.

Monster Parents:
1500 scales
Chinese Dragon

Killer Style: I like to take traditional fashions and fire them up with sharp cuts and fierce accessories.
Freaky Flaw: I'm strong willed, hot tempered and I have a tendency to set fire to combustible materials although ever since I melted my last iCoffin I've been trying to do a better job at controlling my impulses.
Favorite Activity: I love to do calligraphy. It's very calming and helps me relax.
Pet Peeve: My tail gets in the way sometimes and it's really hard to find haunt couture fashions that accommodate it.
Favorite  Subject: Metal Shop. I love metallurgy and creating steel sculpture.
Least Favorite Subject: Physical Deaducation. Sweat ruins my makeup and makes my scales itch.
Favorite Color: Royal Red and Jade Green
Favorite Food: Anything Sichuan! The spicier it is the better.
BFFs Skelita Calaveras and Clawdeen Wolf

Wednesday, November 14

Feelin' groovy

Momma's been taking a sentimental journey the last month or so.

It all began at a local doll show when she "rebought" a childhood doll for $10: Velvet.

Then last week, a friend asked Momma if she'd like a Crissy doll.

Would she?! Momma never had Crissy, but her childhood best friend did. 

(Poor Crissy had braided, tangled dreadlocks which took Momma about four hours to comb out. Crissy was also the victim of a budding barber at some point in her history.)

Crissy, with adjustable hair, was created by Ideal Toy Corporation in 1968 and started selling in 1969.

Crissy has auburn hair, black eyes, an orange lace dress, and is 18 inches tall. While having rooted hair, Crissy also has a section of hair that emerges from a hole on the top of her head, giving kids the ability to adjust the length of her hair. (The first Crissy had floor-length hair but that was quickly switched to hip-length hair.)

Turning a knob on her back retracts the hair into the torso. Pushing and holding Crissy's bellybutton disengages the locking mechanism to allow the hair to be pulled back out of her head.

This ability to “grow” hair was her main appeal, as Crissy (and her friends and family) had the potential to sport various types of hairstyles by adjusting the hair to different lengths and styling the hair appropriately.

Crissy was joined in 1970 by her shorter cousin, Velvet, who Momma got for Christmas that year. Velvet is 16 inches tall and was released in both white and African-American versions.

Momma's Velvet doll had blonde hair, lavender sleep eyes, and a purple dress, while the African-American Velvet version had black hair and black sleep eyes.

Momma also had Velvet's 16 inch tall friend, Mia (1971). Mia had brunette hair, blue sleep eyes, and a pale-blue romper.

Many other dolls joined Ideal's adjustable-hair family over the years, including Tressy, Kerry, Brandi, Cinnamon, Tara, Cricket, Dina, and Baby Crissy, but Momma didn't have those so they don't have the same sentimental value.

But we were delighted to welcome both Crissy and Velvet back into our family.

Welcome home!


Monday, November 12

It's beginning to smell a lot like fruitcake

Now that the holidays are approaching, I shall remind you that fruitcake jokes are not tolerated in my family.

Today was the Annual Making of The Fruitcake. The whole family gathered so Grandmomma could tell the history of The Family Fruitcake - and so my Uncle could stir the pot. Grandmomma says it has been in the family since the Civil War!

It's beginning to smell a lot like fruitcake
Ev'rywhere you go....

So for you fruitcake lovers, here's The Family Fruitcake. Make it approximately one month ahead.

Boil 1 lb. of raisins, 3 C. coffee, 3 T. shortening (heaping), 3 C. sugar, 1 C. currants, 1/2 lb. dates and/or white raisins. If your candied fruit is old you can boil it, too.)

When cool, add 1.5 t. salt, 1.5 t. baking powder, 1.5 t. allspice, 1 t. nutmeg, 1.5 t. cloves, 1.5 t. cinnamon, 1.5 t. baking soda (heaping).

Add 5 C. flour and 2 lbs. candied fruit and stir well.

Grease four large bread pans and line the bottoms with greased parchment paper. Bake at 325° for about one hour until an inserted toothpick comes out fairly clean. (It might have moist cake clinging to it but it shouldn't be raw batter.)

Remove the fruitcakes from the pans after cooling for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on racks thoroughly then place in resealable plastic bags. Allow the fruitcakes to age at least a month before slicing and serving. Sprinkle with rum if so desired.

Sunday, November 11

This Week in the Civil War: Nov. 11, 1862

Skirmishing in Mississippi

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Union cavalry skirmish with Confederate fighters near Holly Springs, Miss., vying for control of the town. Though not a significant fight itself, the daylong skirmishing comes amid the larger Union quest by Ulysses S. Grant to crush Confederate forces and gain control of key Southern rail supply lines and the lower Mississippi River. Grant's intent was to gain full control of the lower Mississippi and thereby split the South in two while taking away the river as a key commercial corridor for the Confederacy. But the bigger fight for the lower Mississippi River would come months later in the spring of 1863 with a focus on Vicksburg, Miss. At that time, Grant's armies would besiege Vicksburg, trapping Confederate troops with civilians there and forcing its surrender by July 1863 — a military triumph that would help catapult Grant to a position as commander of the Union armies. This week, news reports tell of soldiers in the downtime between large-scale fighting getting into trouble in Tennessee. A news dispatch dated Nov. 16, 1862, reports five murders in Nashville, Tenn., adding "two of the homicides were of saloon keepers, who refused to sell liquor to soldiers." It also said two soldiers were among those killed.

Saturday, November 10

This ain't no fairy tale

According to Momma I am getting closer to having my very own version of Aunt Marie's Trailer as seen on Grimm!

The first step was giving all the included accessories to my Big Sister.

The second step? Getting rid of all the raspberry pink trim.


Then all I have to do is stock it with books, weapons, and other Grimm artifacts!

Now, has anyone seen a tiny copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales?


Friday, November 9

State of the Union

Momma and I have been following with great interest Puerto Rico's referendum to become The Union's 51st state.

Momma visited Puerto Rico briefly 19 years ago which started her interest in the small island, and a
Puerto Rican co-worker gave her greater insight into the island's culture.

Puerto Rico has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Although Puerto Ricans were granted United States citizenship with the 1917 Jones–Shafroth Act, they still cannot vote for the President of the United States, and their foreign policies are subject to the United States Congress.

I'm sorry, but that's just wrong in my not-so-humble opinion.

A referendum on the political status of Puerto Rico was held in Puerto Rico on Nov. 6, 2012.
Puerto Rican voters were asked (1) whether they agreed to continue with Puerto Rico's territorial status and (2) asked to indicate the political status they preferred from three possibilities: statehood, independence, or a sovereign nation in free association with the United States.

Fifty-four percent of voters answered "No" to the first question, expressing themselves against maintaining the current political status.

On the second question, 805,155 (61.13 percent) voters chose statehood, 438,896 (33.32 percent) of the voters chose free association, 72,978 (5.54 percent) chose independence, and 470,032 voters left the second question blank.

Puerto Rico's non-voting Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, has said that he will "defend the people's decision" in Washington, D.C. and that he will introduce legislation in Congress to admit Puerto Rico to the Union.

It has been 53 years since Alaska joined on Jan. 3, 1959 and Hawaii on Aug. 21, 1959. (Arizona joined 47 years before that on Feb. 14, 1912. Incidentally, there is a movement
in southern Arizona to form a separate state.)

Just imagine, a new state after more than 50 years!

I wonder what the United States flag would look like with 51 stars....

Hello dolly

I'm feeling sentimental today and want to reintroduce you to my very special Older Sister. Her name is Belinda and she is an Arranbee composition baby doll. I first wrote about her in June.

Although Belinda is American, her story begins in Nazi Germany on Kristallnacht.

The pretext for Kristallnacht was the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath on Nov. 9, 1938 by Herschel Grynszpan, a German-born Polish Jew in Paris, France.

Kristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, was a series of attacks against Jews on Nov. 9–10, 1938 carried out by stormtroopers and civilians throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria. The attacks left the streets covered with broken glass from the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues.

Kristallnacht is viewed by historians as part of Nazi Germany's broader racial policy, and the beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust. 

A Jewish friend of Momma's grandfather had family in Germany that suffered after Kristallnacht, so he asked Momma's grandfather if he would provide a job if they came to the United States.

At that time, the United States was only permitting Jewish refugees if they had a sponsor who would provide a job. 

Momma's grandfather agreed to sponsor his friend's family and called in a political favor from Ohio's U.S. Senator Robert Taft, but (without thinking) asked if the refugees would bring a doll for his daughter.

Momma's aunt, who was about 10 at the time, wasn't interested in baby dolls but had a formidable collection of international dolls.

But the Jewish refugees were fleeing for their lives and German authorities confiscated most of their belongings as they left the country, so when they arrived in New York City they bought Momma's aunt an Arranbee composition baby doll.

A doll's a doll, right?

The Arranbee 
(R&B) Doll Company was located in New York and made bisque, composition, rubber, hard plastic and vinyl dolls. Composition was made out of sawdust, glue, and other materials such as cornstarch, resin and wood flour.

Sadly, Momma's aunt was not too impressed with her composition baby doll and Belinda spent about 30 years languishing in an antique trunk in a damp basement where Momma eventually found her.

Belinda's composition is cracking and her voice box stopped working years ago, but she's still special in our eyes.

Wednesday, November 7

Proud to be an American

"America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try.

"I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

"And together with your help and God's grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.

"Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States."

President Barack H. Obama 
Nov. 6, 2012

Tuesday, November 6

Now is the time for change

Kindred Thread
Have you exercised your right to vote?

Momma did.

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted the amendment and first introduced it in 1878; it was 41 years later, in 1919, when the Congress submitted the amendment to the states for ratification. A year later, it was ratified by the requisite number of states.

Now, go vote! I wish I could but voting rights have not been extended (yet) for Vinyl Americans.


Monday, November 5

Hat's off

Feltrope Studios
Momma discovered today that she had a bonnet named after her by My Favorite Milliner.


Silk bonnet lined in matching fabric of a nice olive green textured silk.
Silk Embroidery on the silk fabric with matching flowers and feathers. Braiding on the inside and out.

What I want to know is why didn't she name it after me? After all, I'm the one who wears her hats.


Maybe I can persuade her to name one of her steampunk hats, "The Addie."

Happy birthday, Elizabeth ~ Nov. 5, 1765

Happy birthday, Elizabeth!

Somehow, I can't see Elizabeth having anything but a proper English tea for her birthday.

Sunday, November 4

This Week in The Civil War: Nov. 4, 1862

McClellan sacked from command of Union's Army of the Potomac

President Abraham Lincoln removes Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan from his command of the leading Union army 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Long vexed by McClellan's cautious steps in waging war on the Confederacy, Lincoln replaces McClellan with Ambrose Burnside. The move comes after renewed criticism of McClellan as Lincoln, and the Union, anxiously seeks a commander able to aggressively battle and defeat the foe. McClellan had failed during his major offensive in the summer of 1862 to capture Richmond, seat of the Confederacy, with a force of more than 100,000 troops – the so-called Peninsula Campaign. Now McClellan's recent refusal to chase Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's outnumbered and battered army back into Virginia after the September 1862 Battle of Antietam, Md., is one of the final straws in eroding Lincoln's support of McClellan. But it will still be some time yet before Lincoln discovers a general who fights and wins – in the form of Ulysses S. Grant. Although McClellan is deposed on Nov. 7, 1862, much of the country is informed days later when The Associated Press reports the shakeup in a dispatch to leading newspapers. The AP dispatch dated Nov. 10, 1862, notes McClellan has been abruptly relieved of his command of the Army of the Potomac. The ouster of McClellan "was entirely unexpected to all, and therefore everyone was taken by surprise," AP added. The dispatch noted that ranking government officials gave no immediate reason publicly for the step, which, "though sudden to the public ... may possibly have been for some time contemplated by the Executive." It added that McClellan was ordered with his top aides to depart by train from Washington to New Jersey while his successor Burnside takes charge of the Union force.

The golden boy

Did you now that I was there when Howard Carter (and Amelia Peabody) discovered the tomb of King Tut?

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who ruled during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom.

The Nov. 4, 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage and sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt.

In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten and his sister/wife, whose name is unknown but whose remains are positively identified as "The Younger Lady" mummy found in KV35.

Exhibits of artifacts from Tutankhamun's tomb have since toured the world and his burial mask remains a popular symbol. 

Friday, November 2

Tapping in

My friend Robecca Steam is back and she's sure to be tapping her way into your heart.

The ghouls are ready for one of their favorite classes at Monster High - Dance class! Of course, each ghoul brings her own unique style to class. 

According to Robecca, "In order to expand my horizons I have decided to take a tap class. Well, maybe it is not so much expanding as it is having an alternate dance step to try out at parties. One does so tire of being asked to do 'the robot.'" 

Momma particularly likes Dance Class Robecca since she, too, took tap classes as a girl.


Thursday, November 1

The sweet taste of death
Just as Halloween is the second most popular holiday (next to Christmas) for a majority of folks in the United States, the Day of the Dead is the favorite holiday for most of those in Hispanic cultures. 

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and visiting the graves of the departed with gifts of their favorite foods and beverages.

So imagine my pleasure when I saw the new Monster High doll revealed today on Monster High's Facebook page.

Meet Skelita Calaveras.

Skelita loves of all things artsy. While Skelita loves to dance, her favorite subject is art (painting rattles her bones)!

Skelita could take down any monster in a sugar skull making contest! They’re her favorite (mine too!) by far.

Ever get that feeling in your bones that something epic is going to happen? Skelita often does, only problem is she has no way of knowing when the event will occur!

Heritage and family are muy importante to our ghoul, Skelita Calaveras. Remembering where you come from is a part of knowing who you are and cultivating your unique personality. 

I couldn't agree more. You go ghoul!