Sunday, March 31

Legends unite

Jack Frost, Steampunk Addie, and E. Aster Bunnymund
Happy Easter!

Did you know I'm a Guardian?

You bet your sweet Easter eggs I am. 

Rise of the Guardians is a 2012 fantasy-adventure moving picture based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series.

Rise of the Guardians is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes - each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.

Did you know that the Easter Bunny was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Frankenau's De ovis paschalibus ("About Easter Eggs") in 1682 - referring to an Alsace tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs.

My Big Sister wanted to know how old the Easter Bunny is.

My guess? About 1,980 years old.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

This week in the Civil War: March 31, 1863

The Richmond bread riot
Dire food shortages triggered violent bread riots in Richmond, capital of the Confederacy, 150 weeks ago during the Civil War. The rioting on April 2, 1863, began when hundreds of women demanding emergency provisions became the flashpoint for a mob protest that surged across the city’s business district. Many shattered windows and looted storefronts before the rioting subsided. The New York Times quoted a newly released Union prisoner in a dispatch April 8, 1863, as saying he witnessed the upheaval through the window of a prison where he had been held in Richmond. The former POW told the newspaper he saw a crowd that swelled to hundreds — several armed with clubs, guns and stones. The account quoted the witness as saying: ‘‘They broke open the Government stores and took bread, clothing and whatever else they wanted.’’ Military action in Virginia had depleted food stocks and conditions for civilians crowding Richmond were severe. The report said order was restored only after Confederate President Jefferson Davis warned his militias could use force to intervene. But ultimately his government released more food for the hungry. Many in the South lacked basic foodstuffs well before the war began, inflation soared and a Union blockade on Confederate seaports only made matters worse

Saturday, March 30

His mistress' voice

Speaking of phonographs, His Master's Voice is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label.

The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper, a fox terrier, listening to a wind-up gramophone. In the photograph on which the painting was based, the dog was listening to a phonograph cylinder.

The image of His Master's Voice now exists in the United States as a trademark only on radios and radios combined with phonographs, a trademark owned by the Radio Corporation of America, or RCA.

With that exception, His Master's Voice is in the public domain in the USA since its United States trademark registrations expired between 1989-1994.

Why am I wearing a (smashing) pirate outfit?

Haven't you heard of music piracy?


Friday, March 29

A Surprise for Caroline ... and Me

As mentioned yesterday, I was curious about the big purchase Momma planned for my Big Sister.

We were also spending a lot of time in 1812.


Sure enough, Momma announced that Caroline Abbott would be joining our Vinyl American family.

As the War of 1812 begins, so does the story of Caroline Abbott's bravery. She loves sailing with her father, but when he's captured, Caroline must help keep the family's shipyard running. When she sees a chance to rescue her father, Caroline discovers that she must use her mind and heart to guide her decisions.

Momma encourages my Big Sister to read by having her read the American Girl books and, if my Big Sister can tell her what happens in each book, she can get the doll if she so desires when she finishes the series.

She desired.

At first she chose the 2013 Girl of the Year Saige Copeland, but upon further reflection (as well as spending time in the 1812 room) she decided upon Caroline.

So here's Caroline. I'm not certain who looks more surprised, me or Caroline!

I asked what I would receive for reading all the books in my library and Momma said I could have the Caroline Mini Doll.

Life is so unfair.


Thursday, March 28

Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey stuff
Several people have asked me about my recent TARDIS references about American Girl Place - Los Angeles.

Honestly, don't you people watch television?

The TARDIS, or Time And Relative Dimension In Space, is Doctor Who's vehicle and home that can take him to any place and any time.

A properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and space. The interior of a TARDIS is bigger on the inside, and its outside can blend in with its surroundings using the ship's "chameleon circuit."

Sadly, Dr. Who's TARDIS has a broken chameleon circuit which is why it has appeared as a London police box after a 1963 visit to London. 

Obviously, AGPLA doesn't move through time and space (or does it), but it does have rooms dedicated to 1764, 1812, 1824, 1853, 1864, 1914, 1934, 1944, and 1974.

That's a lot of time in one space.

I might have to ask Jennifer to crochet a TARDIS for me, too.


All that glitters

While at American Girl Place - Los Angeles, I was curious why we spent so much time in 1812. (I tell you, that place is a giant TARDIS!)

While pondering this, my eye was caught by the pewter dishes on the table.


Caroline celebrates her 10th birthday with family and friends as they enjoy a tableful of homemade treats! Your girl can host a similar party with:
  • A pretend applesauce cake
  • A ceramic pitcher, painted with an image of a majestic ship
  • A bouquet of faux wildflowers
  • Two lacy napkins
  • Three metal plates for serving
  • Two each metal forks, knives, and cups that are reminiscent of actual items from her era!
I told Momma that Caroline's Party Set was just the thing for my dirigible, but she reminded me (once again) that we were on a budget.


Besides, she had a big purchase to make for my Big Sister.

I wonder what that could be....


Wednesday, March 27

The Queen's Treasures

I don't know how I missed these.

Could it possibly be The Queen's Treasures is a fan of steampunk time travel?

And/or me?

While perusing The Queen's Treasures website, Momma spotted these two steamy items:

Doll Steamer Trunk for American Girl Doll Accessories, Map

High quality doll accessory storage trunk with faux leather cross straps is reminiscent of old steamer trunks! The accessory storage trunk measures 6" H x 9" W x 6.5" D. The trunk features a removable top tray for organized doll accessory storage. Sturdy wood with attractive VINTAGE MAP paper design. Matching large size doll storage trunk also available. Personalize it with an engraved brass name plate for only $5.00 extra! Designed and manufactured by us, The Queen's Treasures.

Doll Trunk & Bed for "18 dolls and American Girl, Vintage Map

Our EXCLUSIVE doll storage trunk design offers amazing functionality to store 18 inch dolls like American Girl, Battat, Madame Alexander dolls and more. Our VINTAGE MAP "suitcase" opens and flips on its side to create the most unique and useful 18 inch doll storage trunk on the market. Outside features a sturdy wooden trunk with old-fashioned styling covered in our VINTAGE MAP design. Flip it on its side and open to reveal ample storage for an 18 inch doll, doll clothing, doll accessories and even a flip-down Murphy bed. 2 hanging rods included if you choose to use the trunk for hanging clothing on both sides. Coordinating 3 pc bedding set included PLUS 4 hangers too! Check out our matching steamer trunk offering extra accessory storage. Trunk measures 19" H x 13" W x 8.25" D (closed). Bed measures 18.25" L x 9.25" W. Personalized Brass Name Plate offered for an additional $5.00. Designed and manufactured by us, The Queen's Treasures.

I hope somebody gets me at least one of these for my birthday on April 9!

You can't catch me

The next item I had to examine at American Girl Place - Los Angeles was my Caroline's Skiff.

Papa built this beautiful wooden skiff at the family's shipyard—Caroline loves to go sailing with him on Lake Ontario. Papa even named the boat "Miss Caroline" after her—and painted it right on the side! True to her era, it features:
  • Two seats to fit a pair of dolls, plus a mast with a canvas sail
  • A pair of wooden oars Caroline can row with

I was pleased to see Caroline had thoughtfully placed her Travel Basket in the skiff - complete with gingerbread.

When Caroline sets off on her journey to find Papa, she packs everything she'll need for the trip. Your girl can re-create the moment today with this set, including:
  • Five faux gingerbread cakes and two pretend apples
  • A cloth napkin
  • A special gift from Caroline to Papa—a map of Lake Ontario that hides a secret message!
  • A woven basket to hold it all


All I need to do is get rid of her. It says the skiff holds two dolls, but not dolls with full Unmentionables! Besides, I want that gingerbread for myself.


Tuesday, March 26

Dead tired

I don't know much yet, but I have heard there's a third Robecca Steam to be released soon.

Dead Tired Robecca!

Isn't her phonograph to die for?

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Momma and I devoured Etiquette & Espionage this weekend, and are happily rereading her Parasol Protectorate series.

You. Must. Read. These. Books.

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to bestselling author Gail Carriger’s YA debut Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Carriger’s distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

It's due out Nov. 5, 2013!


Girl of the Years

While at American Girl Place - Los Angeles I checked out the Girl of the Year Memorial.

Every year, American Girl introduces a brand-new character with a story about finding success in the face of challenges today. From making friends to overcoming mistakes and more, each Girl of the Year discovers something new about herself and the world around her.

There are currently 11 Girl of the Year dolls:
  • 2001: Lindsey Bergman. 
  • 2003: Kailey Hopkins.
  • 2005: Marisol Luna.
  • 2006: Jess McConnell.
  • 2007: Nicki Fleming.
  • 2008: Mia St. Clair.
  • 2009: Chrissa Maxwell. Gwen Thompson and Sonali Matthews were also released as companions.
  • 2010: Lanie Holland.
  • 2011: Kanani Akina.
  • 2012: McKenna Brooks.
  • 2012: Saige Copeland.

While I am not considered a GOTY (harumph) there was a handy empty pedestal. 

Hmm, maybe I should start my own line of time travelers. We could be Girl of the Years!

I'm ready for my close-up.

Monday, March 25

Chasing my dream across the sky

While at AGPLA there were several things I had to see that are on my wish list.

First up, Saige's Hot Air Balloon Set.

I wrote about this in January when it was first released, but this was the first chance I got to actually examine it.


Saige Steampunk Addie loves to soar high above the mountains with her dad! This high-flying set includes:
  • A beautiful, colorful inflatable nylon hot air balloon with a basket that's big enough for a doll to stand inside and a door that swings open
  • Faux binoculars that can hang around her neck
  • A mini map of Albuquerque to track where they're floating
  • A pilot's log book for her notes about balloon flights
  • A faux camera, for capturing beautiful memories
  • A messenger bag that's roomy enough to store everything inside

Sadly, this did not come home with me since Momma said we were on a "budget."

But a doll can always dream, right?

Sunday, March 24

One in a million

I went off to find my friend Ivy after leaving the indignity of the restroom.


I found her hanging out with our friend Julie in 1974.

Ivy was greatly astonished to find several doppelgängers of herself standing around. I comforted her by saying there was an opportunity to be found in clones.

I demonstrated by taking her into the 1864 room (I think of AGPLA as one, giant TARDIS) and tried to waken my doppelgängers from their stasis.


Dozens, nay hundreds, of Addys at my command!

Too bad it didn't work.

Momma said it took more than my half-dime to wake them from their slumber.

So now I am saving up. In the meantime, my Big Sister's Addy is amenable to my plans.

One down....


This week in the Civil War: March 24, 1863

West Virginia residents urge statehood

What is present-day West Virginia broke away from secession-minded Virginia early in the Civil War, only to enter the Union in June 1863. That movement toward statehood was well in motion 150 years ago this week during the conflict. The mountainous area had already begun drumming up Union supporters even before a Richmond Convention voted for Virginia to secede from the Union in 1861. Soon a move was afoot to form a new pro-Union government for the region, which found itself largely under Union control early in the conflict. President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law in December 1862 approving the creation of West Virginia as a pro-Union state. The issue of statehood then went to a vote of West Virginia residents on March 26, 1863, and a majority approved of the statehood bill, including its amendments. Ultimately the state would be officially created as of June 20, 1863. Though West Virginia obtained statehood in the Union during the Civil War, animosities between pro-Confederate and pro-Union sides rankled for years in that region as families sent troops to both sides of the conflict to fight.

Saturday, March 23

Hanging out

After we left Disneyland we made a quick trip to American Girl Place - Los Angeles since my Big Sister's cousins had never been there!

So what was the first thing we did?

Use the restroom - where Momma took this undignified photo of me using the doll holder.

I was not amused.

Thursday, March 21

Etiquette & Espionage

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
I've written about Gail Carriger's books before, and I just discovered (belatedly) that a new one came out in February.
And a new series to boot!
It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish ... everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.


Wednesday, March 20

Be our guest

After spending a day at Disneyland we headed over to California Adventure for an early dinner at Ariel's Grotto.

My Big Sister rediscovered her love for Disney princesses while we were at Disneyland, and her oldest cousin still adores Ariel.
Join Ariel and her friends at Ariel's Grotto for an enchanting Character Dining experience filled with music, laughter, delicious food and the opportunity to meet Disney Princesses during "Ariel's Disney Princess Celebration."

Children of all ages get to meet their favorite Disney Princesses up close and personal! It's a welcome respite after walking all over trying ot find characters - at Ariel's Grotto you can rest and enjoy a delicious meal while the princesses come to you!

We got to meet Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Mulan and Jasmine while we were there. (Thankfully, Momma got to see her childhood favorite Cinderella earlier.)

Ivy was especially excited to meet Mulan!

Tuesday, March 19

Lurkin' in ev'ry cove

While at Disneyland we had to go on our all-time favorite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean.

We liked it before there was a moving picture ... or even a Captain Jack Sparrow!

Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction overseen by Walt Disney himself; he died three months before it opened
at Disneyland in 1967.

The ride tells the story of a band of pirates - including their troubles and their exploits.

It is also known for its song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" written by George Bruns and Xavier Atencio. It also inspired the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Since 2006, Disney has added characters from the film series into the Disneyland, Disneyworld, and Tokyo Disneyland versions of the rides.

At Disneyland, Captain Jack Sparrow has been added to the ride three times.

  • He is seen hiding behind some dresses in the town square. 
  • He is hiding in a barrel just behind the "Pooped Pirate," popping out and getting a good look at the map over the pirate's shoulder.
  • Finally, he is seen in a room full of the hidden treasure, draped over a large throne-like chair and waving his new treasures around happily while talking to himself and to passing guests. Every once in a while he sings, "Drink up, me hearties. Yo ho!"

Ivy was mortified when I hoped off the boat to check out the pieces of eight.

Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys. And there be plundering pirates lurkin' in ev'ry cove, waitin' to board. Sit closer together and keep your ruddy hands in board. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys: Dead men tell no tales! Ye come seekin' adventure with salty old pirates, eh? Sure you've come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open, mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please. Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don't obey.  

Monday, March 18

The Year of the Ear

As previously mentioned, Momma surprised us with a one day trip to Disneyland last week. Momma, my Big Sister, her two cousins and their Momma piled into the car on Thursday and off we went. (I was joined by McKenna, Kanani, and Cécile. We met Ivy at Disneyland.)

The first thing we ALL did after walking in was get our Mickey Mouse Ear Hats.

Mickey Mouse Ear Hats began in the 1950s when The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television. The Mousketeers wore them throughout each show, so the hats became something young children and adults dreamed about wearing.

The creator of these ears was Roy Williams, an adult Mousketeer. He was allegedly inspired by the 1929 short story The Karnival Kid, featuring a scene of Mickey tipping his ears to Minnie. Many years later, the first wearable Mickey Mouse Ears were born.

The Mickey Mouse Ear Hat is probably the most popular item purchased at Disney theme parks. They are usually a simple round cap with two round ears attached so they look like Mickey's ears.

Did you know that Disney has declared 2013 to be the Year of the Ear? So there are more ears than ever to choose from! 

Momma selected a limited edition Steampunk Ear Hat (of course!), my Big Sister got Perry, I got a MousekeEars Mini Ear Hat - Red and McKenna got blue MousekeEars. My cousins also got a Dumbo and Donald Duck each.

You're never too old to be a Mouseketeer!

Let them steam cake

Lucid Junkie Designs
Happy birthday to me!

Look what Momma ordered for me from Lucid Junkie Designs.

Miniature steampunk inspired cake for Barbie, Monster High, or dolls of similar size. Three layer cake made from polymer clay, real watch parts, and other mix media. Cake measures just over three inches which includes the topper. Item is not recommended for children due to small parts. All pieces are attached to the cake and not removable.


(Just a subtle reminder that my birthday is April 9!)

Sunday, March 17

Where dreams come true

We're back!

Momma surprised us with a quick trip to Los Angeles where we spent one whirlwind day at Disneyland.

The next day, we stopped at American Girl Place - Los Angeles before heading home.


I'll report more this week on our adventures but I wanted to share a word of caution.

Do not have your photograph taken when exhausted.

Humiliating, isn't it?

This week in the Civil War: March 17, 1863

Fighting in Virginia as winter nears end

Save for the Union's aborted "Mud March," the winter of 1863 saw Confederate and federal forces idle in their camps until roads became passable and the frigid weather abated. But fighting at the battle of Kelly's Ford in Virginia broke out on March 17, 1863, ending the monotony of winter camp for the two sides. For the first time, Union forces were able to mass a formidable cavalry force for an attack. All told, some 2,100 troopers in the Union cavalry division moved on Confederate positions, aiming to do battle near Culpeper, not far from the ford. But when Confederates detected Union movements, fighting erupted instead near the ford where the Southerners had taken up positions behind felled trees and other obstacles. The bitter combat raged until Confederate cavalry troops successfully counterattacked, prompting Union forces to withdraw by mid-afternoon of that March 17th. The outcome appeared inconclusive. Nonetheless, the Union's cavalry _ which had only recently been united from far-flung units by the U.S. War Department _ proved itself to be a formidable fighting force that would be used to greater effect later in the war, including an appearance at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Friday, March 15

The happiest place on earth

Can you guess where my friend Ivy and I are?

"To all who come to this happy place – welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, dreams and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

Walt Disney
July 17, 1955

Thursday, March 14

Give a hoot

My friend June is the original tree hugger.

She is into hippy culture, nature, tree climbing, environmentalism, and really wanted to visit the Redwood Forest.

So off we went - where we promptly found a redwood that had been cut down. June was devastated and wept while I tried to comfort her. 

The redwood species contains the largest and tallest trees in the world. (There's nothing like standing next to one of these babies to make anyone feel short - especially if you're only 18 inches tall!) These trees can live to be thousands of years old.

They are endangered due to habitat losses from logging, fire ecology suppression, development, and air pollution. 

Sequoiadendron giganteum and Sequoia sempervirens in California and Oregon are vulnerable species, and Metasequoia glyptostroboides in China is a critically endangered species. 

That's enough to make me a tree-hugger!


Wednesday, March 13


1939 Papal Concave
There are many words used to describe the election of a pope, but I never expected to see "steampunk" as one of them.

Business Insider called it a "Gorgeous Steampunk Contraption That The Vatican Uses To Announce The Next Pope."
The device that shoots the smoke up is this awesome, Jules Verne-looking stove. All of the paper ballots along with a chemical (to produce either black or white smoke) are placed in it and burned, alerting the world where the College of Cardinals is at in the voting.

Now you know that steampunk is achieving mainstream status.

Congratulations Pope Francis I.

I'll be watching you.


My friend Ellie arrived this week for an adventure.

When I asked her what she was interested in doing, she said anything with space, planets, and telescopes.

She wanted to immediately launch into space but I told her, "Patience, my Padawan."

Let's start with some basics - which is easy since there are two powerful telescopes in Arizona: Kitt and Lowell.

My favorite? Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Lowell Observatory was founded in 1894, making it one of the oldest observatories in the United States.

In 1906, Percival Lowell, a wealthy Bostonian who had founded the Lowell Observatory, started an extensive search for a possible ninth planet, which he called, "Planet X."

It was there that Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto on Feb. 18, 1930 using the 13-inch Pluto Discovery Telescope.

Ellie said she wanted to see that so off we went. She was so excited I was afraid she'd push Tombaugh out of the way!

Known for years as a planet, poor Pluto was downgraded to dwarf planet status in 2006.

(Momma likes to say that when she was my age Pluto was a planet.)

New Mexico's House of Representatives passed a resolution in honor of Tombaugh, a longtime resident of that state, which declared that Pluto will always be considered a planet while in New Mexican skies and that March 13, 2007 was Pluto Planet Day.

Tuesday, March 12

See what's become of us

My friend Norah arrived this week for an adventure and we decided to go see the astronomical clock at Hampton Court Palace.

Norah likes England, history, museums, reading, water, castles, and libraries so it seemed like a natural.

King Henry VIII commissioned the astronomical clock for his palace at Hampton Court, which was installed around 1540. Still functioning, it was quite practical: showing the time, month, day of the month, position of the sun in the zodiac, the phase and age of the moon.

It also determined the time at which the moon would cross the meridian and therefore the time of high water at London Bridge, which was useful if you, like King Henry, traveled to London by Royal Barge.

We, however, traveled in my floating library.


Sunday, March 10

This week in the Civil War: March 10, 1863

Sinking of USS Mississippi

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, the Union lost the USS Mississippi when the warship ran aground on the Mississippi River. Built in 1839, the side-wheel steamer had taken part in expeditions during the war against Mexico and also in the Mediterranean and Pacific waters before the Civil War. The ship had been part of a Union squadron led by the famed future admiral, David Farragut, who captured New Orleans in 1862. However, the Mississippi remained most of its time at New Orleans after the conquest because it was designed as deep draft ocean-going vessel. On March 14, 1863, the ship ran aground attempting to pass Confederate batteries near Fort Hudson as part of a battle group seeking to run upriver on the key inland waterway. Feverish attempts were made under enemy fire to free the Mississippi, but the efforts proved fruitless and Union officers had to blow up the ship. Set ablaze, the ship drifted downriver before its magazine loaded with gunpowder exploded and it sank. In a March 19, 1863, dispatch about the sinking, The Richmond Whig newspaper reported the Mississippi had been burned and Farragut's attack fleet driven back. It said Confederate forces opened fire when the Mississippi and other vessels tried to pass Southern batteries at night and only one or two ships could get beyond that gauntlet. "The firing was terrific. One gunboat passed in a damaged condition and the U.S. sloop-of-war Mississippi was burnt to the water's edge in front of one of our batteries." Added The Richmond Whig: "Our victory was complete. No casualties on our part. Thirty-six men and one midshipman of the Mississippi were brought in by our cavalry, several of them severely wounded."

Saturday, March 9

Cup of brown joy

Sadly, we are not attending Wild Wild West Con II this weekend due to inclimate weather and Momma's weak lungs.

To cheer us up Momma got us our very own cookies bisquits so Clementine and I could participate in the honourable sport of tea duelling.

However, Momma didn't read the Articles of the Honourable Association of Tea Duellists before purchasing them for us and didn't realize these frosted beauties (inspired by Clementine's cameo!) are not permitted.

Unfortunately those honourable snacks, bisquits brown and bisquits fruit are forbidden for use in Tea Duelling under Queen's regulations. 

We also have too many, since only six are permitted for the duelists.

Oh well, we shall still enjoy our "cuppa and nom."

Tuesday, March 5

You've come a long way, baby

What a difference 100 years can make.

The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 was a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1913, organized by suffragist Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

The march was scheduled on the day before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration on March 4, 1913 to "march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded," as the official program stated.

The march and the attention it attracted were important in advancing women's suffrage in the United States.

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

I can't recommend this The Atlantic article and its photos enough: 


Monday, March 4

Auld lang syne

Sadly, my adventures with my dear friend Molly McIntire must come to an end.

For now.

Molly was understandably reluctant to go back to school, but I assured her that her arrival at school would be noteworthy.

So here we are saying our final goodbyes after touching down in front of her school.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

*The song's Scottish title may be translated into English as "old long since."


Sunday, March 3

Ureshii Hinamatsuri

Hail thee festival day!

At last, a day all about me dolls!

Celebrated annually on March 3, hinamatsuri literally translates as "Doll Festival" but is often referred to as "Girls Day." It is also called Momo no sekku (Peach Festival) because of the peach blossom season. 

On March 3, families with young daughters celebrate this event by displaying hina-ningyo, special dolls for the occasion and pray for the happiness and prosperity of their girls, helping to ensure they grow up healthy and beautiful.

 The presentation of the dolls can be traced back to the Edo era (1603-1876) when it was used as a way to ward off evil spirits. Now the dolls are displayed out of tradition.

A set of Hina dolls commonly consists of 15 dolls typically wearing the costumes of a Heian Period Imperial Court. They are arranged on a five or seven tier stand covered with red cloth. The Emperor and Empress dolls sit on the top tier. Below them sit two ministers, three ladies in waiting, and five court musicians. The display also includes miniature household articles.

Modest displays may feature just the Imperial couple.

The ceremonial dolls are often handed down from generation to generation. They are brought out for a few days in the best room of the house at festival time, after which they are carefully stored away until the following year.

In addition to displaying hina dolls, special foods are included in the celebration: Hina arare (pastel-colored light rice crackers), hishimochi (diamond-shaped rice cakes with pink, green, and white layers), and Shirozake, a sweet non-alcoholic drink made from fermented rice.

The celebration of Hinamatsuri was brought to the United States by immigrant families where Hinamatsuri is still celebrated by Japanese Americans. Many communities across the United States display dolls or have special programs.

Let's light the lanterns
Let's set peach flowers
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums
Today is a joyful Dolls' Festival!