Thursday, January 28, 2016

What's In A Name: The Story of the Golliwog

“If you had to choose between art and the slogan, or between history and the slogan, you might as well choose the slogan and have done with pretending even to care about art and history. The reduction of all things to politics must reduce them, in their own right, to irrelevance.”
-Anthony Esolen

Sledding Fun
(Notice the Golliwogg in Fido's mouth)

What, might you ask, is a Golliwog?

Based on a character in a childrens' book,
  the Golliwog was a hugely popular toy 
in Great Britain during
the earlier half of the 20th century.

However, in today's world of 
political correctness run amok,
this once beloved toy of little girls and boys
is considered racist against black people.

I believe this was never intended to be.

A rare Golliwog book by Florence K. Upton

According to various Internet sources, the
racial slur "wog" derived from
the word, "Golliwog" and was
first used in Great Britain in
the late 1920's.
However, this particular racial epithet was
 a common slang word used by British soldiers
for dark-skinned people in places like Africa,
 Egypt and India
during Victorian Colonial rule,
years before Florence Upton's birth
and the debut of her first Golliwog
book in 1895. 

British-American Illustrator
Florence Kate Upton

In a fashion similar to
 the creation of America's
beloved Raggedy Ann doll,
Golliwog came into being
 after Florence Upton discovered
five old wooden Dutch dolls and a
black rag doll left behind in an attic. 

 The black doll, whom she named, Golliwog, 
became the hero in her series of books.
The books were very successful, yet
for some reason, Florence Upton
never patented the character she created.
 As a result of this oversight,
unscrupulous toy companies, and childrens'
book writer, Enid Blyton,
  took advantage of the situation
choosing to depict Golliwog as 
 an ill-mannered and deceitful character, while other
writers used him to poke fun at and mock the
perceived mannerisms of black people,
copying the insensitive racial caricatures popular in
the United States of America at the time. 

 Florence Upton truly despaired over
the misrepresentation of the beloved character she
had created from her own imagination.

"I am frightened when I read the fearsome etymology
 some deep, dark minds can see in his name," she said.

Tragically, Upton died from complications
  following surgery  on October 16, 1922.
 She was 49 years old.
 Over the years, her grave has been the target of
vandals, whose reasons for desecrating her
final resting place remain unclear.
Fortunately, due to a grant from Great Britain's
Heritage Lottery Fund, the headstone on her grave
 has finally been placed upright and is being restored.

Unfortunately, the controversy over her
 beloved creation, Golliwog, continues to this day.

Adorable Handmade Golliwog Dolls

As a life long doll collector, I would love to
add a few adorable and rare
 (at least here in America) Golliwogs
 to my family of dolls some day.

 Golliwogs in a shop window in Glasgow, Scotland

Sunday, January 10, 2016


People may reject and abandoned us.
God never.


My husband of eight years left me at the beginning of my
fourth month of pregnancy. I have never felt more rejected, vulnerable,
or unloved. I was nauseated, tired, and constantly trying to explain
to my two year old son that Daddy wasn't coming back 
home because he didn't love Mommy anymore.

Michigan's howling winter winds, which seemed to seep
through even brick walls, only added to my depression as I
hauled groceries and toddler up three flights of stairs. We had
just moved to Michigan from Virginia, and this was supposed to
be our temporary apartment while our house
 in Virginia was being sold.

No house, no job, no husband, no church. Just an active little
boy asking heartbreaking questions, a stomach that gagged at 
the thought of food, and an empty bed with sheets as cold 
as the February winds.

Yet, somewhere, there was something else too. It was deep
inside my heart. It didn't feel overpowering or dramatic, 
but it gave me courage to get up each morning and make it
through the day.

I knew that God loved me.
I wish I could say I laughed in the face of all adversity,
but I didn't.  I sobbed into my pillow at night, then
lay awake unable to breathe through my nose,
wondering what would happen to me and my two babies.

I did more than wonder, though. I prayed.  I prayed when I did
my grocery shopping, when I bathed little Matthew, and when I
strained over my ever-protruding belly to trim my toenails.
How reassuring it was for me in those lonely times
 to read God's words:

 "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

I held on to those words when I felt totally abandoned, totally
alone. In those times, when I was willing to reach out to God
and His reassuring words, He faithfully held me up.

Thank You, Lord, for granting me strength to live
through difficult times. And thank You for holding me up,
especially in my most vulnerable moments.
-Sue Richards

"They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing."
Psalm 126:5

America By Art: William Henry Jackson

"O the transporting, rapturous scene,
That rises to my sight!
Sweet fields arrayed in living green,
And rivers of delight!
I am bound for the promised land,
I am bound for the promised land;
Oh who will come and go with me?
I am bound for the promised land."
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand
Samuel Stennet

Sand Hills 
William Henry Jackson.

 Prolific artist and photographer,
Oregon Trail bullwhacker, world traveler,
 and veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg,
William Henry Jackson was an eye witness to
  taming of the American frontier.
Through paintbrush and camera lens, he 
captured the beauty and majesty of 
this fair land, along with the conflict and
rapid change brought, in the aftermath of
the Civil War, especially to many
 American Indian tribes, whom 
once roamed freely here. 

William Henry Jackson

Fold up the banners! Smelt the guns!
Love rules. Her gentler purpose runs.
A mighty mother turns in tears
The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons.
"The High Tide At Gettysburg"
Will Henry Thompson

The pencil renderings of a young man in time of war...

Picket Duty
William Henry Jackson

William Henry Jackson

Block House at Catlett Station
William Henry Jackson

Voices on the wind...

Rise up and ride the wind, dear child
Soar high on eagles' wings
Though it blow fierce; though it be mild,
Rise above all that it brings. - See more at:
Shosone-Bannock Indian family in their tepee
William Henry Jackson

"All we ask is to be allowed to live, and live in peace...
You may kill me here; but you cannot make me go back.
We will not go.  The only way to get us there is to come
in here with clubs and knock us on the head, and drag us out 
and take us down there dead."
-Dull Knife (Tahmelapashme)
Northern Cheyenne

Little Wolf and Dull Knife
Cheyenne Chiefs
William Henry Jackson

The Mystery of the Ancient Ones...

Caves of the Anasazi Cliff Dwellers
William Henry Jackson

 Natural Wonders...

"Since 1873, I have been back four or five times.
 I have used the best cameras
 and the most sensitive emulsions on the market.
 I have snapped my shutter, morning, noon and afternoon.
 I have never come close to matching those first plates."
 -William Henry Jackson 
(On photographing The Mountain of the Holy Cross)

Mount of the Holy Cross
William Henry Jackson

Marshall Pass West Side
William Henry Jackson

Yosemite Valley
William Henry Jackson

Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park
William Henry Jackson

Although much of Jackson's work behind the camera
 focused on the spectacular geographical beauty 
of the western United States,
 he photographed in many states, 
and in other places around the world,
 including, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba, 
not to mention India, China, Korea, and Siberia,
 where he visited a prison camp, and managed to
 photograph convicts working on
the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Grand Canyon
William Henry Jackson

Friday, January 8, 2016


 Joan Walsh Anglund

January is here again
And the arctic winds are blowing
Out on the frozen puddles
We'll skate till dusk
Our cheeks fairly glowing!
Pamela Denise Brida 

Truth be told, I have not gone ice skating in years!
But I remember how fun it was as a kid staying
outside on a cold, blustery day, skating for hours across
the huge frozen mud puddles in the gravel pit
behind our house.
When the sun went down behind the trees
skating was over for the day, but, I was ready
to take off my skates and head for home to thaw out,
 where a hot supper would be waiting for me
and my sisters.

It seems the cold did not bother me at all back then!
 Coming up soon...

"Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
I'm no longer 51
But a least I'm not 53!"

In the late 19th century,
my maternal great grandfather
Matthew Yard once worked for
the Baker's Chocolate Company
at their factory in Philadelphia.

Five Gazillion Carbs

(my contribution title)
German Chocolate Cake

(The origins of German Chocolate cake comes from Texas
not Germany. However, because many German immigrants settled in towns there
 like Fredericksburg,  which was named in honor of Prince Frederick of Prussia,
 may be someone invented it there first?)

1 package (4-ounces) Baker's 
German's Brand  Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
3 egg whites beaten until stiff

Preheat oven to 350.
Melt chocolate in boiling water and let it cool down.
Mix flour with baking soda and salt.
Cream butter and add sugar together until light and fluffy,
then add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well
after each addition.
Blend in vanilla and chocolate, mix until blended.
Add flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk
until smooth.  Then, carefully fold in egg whites.
Pour batter evenly into two 9-inch round layer pans
which have been lined on the bottom with wax paper.
Bake for about 35 minutes.
Immediately run spatula or butter knife around sides between 
cake and pans.   Cool cake for 15 minutes.
Remove from pans and allow cake to cool on a rack
or a plate(s) before frosting.

Coconut-Pecan Frosting
2/3 cup (one 5.33 fluid ounce can) of evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla
in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture
becomes thick, be careful not to let it burn!
Remove from heat.   Add coconut and pecans.
Beat until cool.
Frost cakes and carefully stack one on top of  other to make
a layer cake.  Frost the sides of the cake and add extra frosting
on the top if you wish.

Mary Englebreit Dolls
All Dolled Up 
For A Birthday Party!

"The world never puts a price higher on you
than the one you put on yourself"

Sonja Henie
Norwegian Figure Skater
and Film Star

And now for a little singing and swooning...
on ice!

"By The Light Of The Silvery Moon"