Monday, January 28, 2013

Dark of Winter

  I looked out the window this morning at 7:00 am and I could not see the river. I live about 150 feet from it, there is a street and a park between me and the Mississippi River. The fog was heavy and you could see it starting to lift. It was like a heavy smoke creeping  up from the  water. A little latter I walked Sissy through the park on my way to open the Antique Mall, I could not see them, but I could hear American Bald Eagles talking as they managed there way through the fog. It was a sound I hear often, living on the river, especially this time of year. It is kinda  surreal, almost movie like. There sounds are loud and very mysterious. I am lucky to live here on the river among these creatures. To see them sore is amazing and to hear them speak is magical. I wish  I had a way to record them.The river was like a poem today. I enjoyed it very much!

  Winter is always so dark. Sunshine days are few and far between. The streets and side walks seem to be dirty and the gardens and trees are so lifeless. I love the snow and even ice can be beautiful. We get it and for a few moments it is clean and sparkles.But, when it melts and after the  salt trucks and snow plows, it always seems so dirty. It is on days like this, that I long for winter to be over and  for the new life of spring  to appear. I guess I have a little longer to wait.. I did notice that a brave jonquil had already peaked it's tiny head out of the earth. I said hello and put a few leaves atop it to protect it. Nature is amazing and seems to know when to do what. Just think, not too long from now we will be seeing the gardens and sides of the roads come alive. I for one ,can hardly wait.The bright yellow of the jonquils and the  pinks of apple blossoms. Come on spring!!!
   Hope you enjoy the pictures, I am afraid the fog does not show as much as I'd like it to. It is one thing that is hard to take a picture of. Hope you all are having a great winter day. I know the sun is shining some where. Come anytime for a tour. I'll leave the lights on and Sissy dog will be more than glad to walk with ya through the park.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Video of My Old Historic House.

Last spring I was lucky to be featured in a video of my house. It comes from PBS Illinois. They are located in Quincy, Illinois, about 65 miles from my town of Clarksville,Mo. They do a weekly session called, "Illinois Stories." One thing they like to feature are house museums. Where I do not live in Illinois, they broke the rules a little an came and did a story of my house. It is a 30 minute video and now they have given me permission to share it with others. So type this in your search bar and it should pop up. Enjoy. Come for a real tour anytime. I will leave the lights on and Sissy will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. Richard

illinois stories elgin/cottrell house.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


       A bust is a cast representation of the upper part of the human figure,depicting a persons head and neck, as well as a variable portion of the chest and shoulder. The piece is supported by a base known as a plinth.The purpose is to create a likeness of a person. Bust as the earliest forms of portraits, going back to Egypt around 1346 BC.The tradition of the sculptural bust is historic and vast. The bust was the customary form of portraiture.The Greeks were known to idealize the face. The Romans were realist, more life like. Bust truly elevated mortals, put them upon a pedestal in public spaces . Perhaps the element of vanity is what adds interest to the bust form.Bust in interior design add an old world charm and also gives intriguing elements and accents. Bust are great conversational pieces, perfect ornamentation to adorn the top of many surfaces. They can be a focal point or an element of surprise.Bust are a moment of the past, honored in the present. They add character and a sense of timelessness. The ageless appeal of bust will always live on.
   I have always had a love for this art form. It seems I am not alone, as there are endless examples to chose from. The bust in my collection tend to be mostly from Europe. They are or the Royal heads of state and  common people as well. My collection are from the Victorian years, however some of the subjects lived much earlier. Where mine are of porcelain, other bust range in media from marble, bronze to wood. Bust have adorned houses and building since the dawn of time. My house is no exception and today I am sharing my small collection with you. This pair of bust is on the fireplace mantle in my dining room. They are porcelain that is not glazed, known as Bisque. They are life size. I bought them from a home estate sale in Springfield,Ill.

Leopold V- Duke of Lippe, Austria. was King and this bust is of  Crown Prince Leopold III,Prince of Lippe, crowned 1851.Married Princess Elisabeth of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in 1852. 

This is a real photo of the  Crown Prince, do you see a resemblance?

Makers mark on the bottom of the two bust.
                       Albert Edward- King of England, known as Edward VII, oldest son of Queen Victorian,
                     married Princess Alexander of Denmark. Her full name was: Alexandra Caroline Marie    
                     Charlotte Louise Julia. Chosen at the age of 16 to be Edwards wife , they married in 1863.
                     The Tiara she is wearing is from Queen Adelaide, wife of King William  IV.The bust is of her
                      as  young lady .

This is a photo of Queen Alexandra.
                  The french often made bust of there common people  as well as there Royals. The
             next group of my bust are the commoners. They again are of porcelain, the painted ones 
             are called Bisque and the white ones were called Parian.

This lady is sure to have been a house maid, see her head dress. I love the faux marble plinth.

Love how his cloths are painted and the plinth is highly decorated .Love the hat. He too is life size.


Judging by her hat and dress this girl was mostly likely a house maid.


 Marie Antoinette was Queen of France and often called, "Mother of France." This bust
 is a copy of one that original was placed at the entrance to the pavilion - where only her ladies
and most important people could see it. It was larger than life size where this one is life size.

Queen Marie stand guard in my library.

The real  Queen Marie Antoinette

This lady is glazed porcelain and I am not sure who she is. I have seen her in many forms.

This unknown subject is made of plaster. I am sure she is not that old. I still love her ,
even placed her in my room. I like the simple whiteness of her with the wicker and
dark green walls. I have seen her in many sizes and materials. But I have yet to find
out who she is.This was a Christmas gift this year from one of my antique mall dealers.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour today of the Bust at My Old Historic House. Come by
anytime for a real tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a kiss!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Many Years and Many Pounds Latter! But I still have HAIR!

This was taken at my 35th birthday party. I had lost  a lot of weight at this  stage in my life. I think it was the period of my life when I looked and felt the best. 

  Went looking for something in my photo box the other night and found these. They made me smile at first, brought back many memories. Then, I was forced to look in the mirror and ask the question,"What Happened? 30 years and a lot of eating Fried Chicken and Doughnuts. Two of my favorite things in the world. As I have kinda retired, moved to the country, settled in and have cut myself off from the world. It is the truth. I am sure a lot of us do this in our Golden Years. I am not proud of it, wish I could do better. Most days I see no one, talk to no one and no one sees me. When I am forced out into the public view, I panic, as I do not  fix myself up so much anymore. No excuse. Lazy I guess.Don't buy cloths, get a hair cut, once a year, need it or not. I hope seeing these pictures, writing this post, will make me do better. I don't count on that much, but will promise myself to try.

I was 31 in this picture. I was giving a tour of my home,"Rose Haven," located in the Soulard district of St.Louis.

    I have 5 brothers and one sister. All my brothers are mostly bald. Even my younger brother, Nathan, I was 12 when he was born. That hair line goes way back there . My father had some hair when he was young.  I have pictures of him with a grand head of hair. He was not bald when he died, but had thinned and was a way back there in the front. I blamed there hair loss on wearing hats. I never liked wearing a hat. I don't wear hats and I have HAIR.Growing up in farm country, on a farm, every one, but me, wore hats. One of my pet pees today is, people wearing hats when they eat. Yes, my family does. I complain and they act like I am nuts. Maybe I am? We go out to eat, they wear hats. We eat at home, there's or mine, and they wear hats. My little brother has a  really nice new love interest. First time we meet, I pulled her aside and mentioned the hat thing. Next time we got together to eat, my brother had no hat. Maybe I have done some good?? He might not think so.

This was taken at the flea market in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Notice the hair!!!!

  Actually I have had a weight problem most of my life. My whole family are big people. On the farm where I grew up, we worked hard and had three huge meals a day. I mean huge, including cake, pie, homemade ice cream and biscuits and gravy. I still love all this stuff. My body does not burn it up like it did working on that farm. Now days I set in my chair and BLOG! I am from a family of men ,who all are 6 foot tall and big  boned.My mother was shorter, about 5 foot 6. but she too had a problem with her weight. She had 7 kids, give her break. She was a wonderful cook. I long for some of her food. I'd be even bigger then.

At a Christmas party 1981, more hair!

   The older we get, the harder it is to loose  weight. Everything I eat goes to fat. I have more double chins than a Chinese phone book. Living alone makes it even harder. It is no fun to cook and eat by ones self, so I eat junk food, frozen stuff and lots of  carry outs. It is a cop out, but I don't see me making  any big chances soon. Maybe come spring. Right????

This was taken  on a Ferry Boat in the Hamptons.  I lived in  Sag  Harbor and had a shop in East Hampton. Friends and I were on our way to Shelter Island to the Rams Head Inn for dinner.  I was starting to take on weight. This was 1997.

     Thanks for listening and taking a trip back in time with me. Come visit Sissy and me anytime. I will always leave a light on and Sissy Dog will  give you a jump and a kiss. Happy weekend. Richard

Me and Sissy Dog today. Many years latter, but I still have HAIR!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eagle Watching in Clarksville,Mo.

      The months of January and February are great times for Eagle Watching here in Missouri. My little town, Clarksville,Missouri,population 420 is located right on the banks of the Mississippi River. Eagles come to the river to fish when the weather is cold. Lock and Dam number 24 is  located on our riverfront. The lock keeps the river from freezing and it makes fishing easy for the eagles.

    For the past 10 or so years we have celebrated the Eagle watching with what we call, "Eagle Days." This year , the weekend of January 26 and 27, is when the celebration takes place. The Missouri Department  of Conservation comes and brings several live Eagles, along with posters and movies. This all takes place in an old apple packing shed here in town. The "Apple Shed", is now owned and operated by the Raintree Arts Council., This group is from Pike and Lincoln Counties here in Missouri. They host several events each year, such as, art shows, plays, musicals, Applefest and Eagle Days. The movies are shown in the theater and the live Eagle demonstrations take place in the old packing shed. It is spacious, so they can fly about, but has no heat, so tourist must wrap up.We are lucky here, in rural Missouri, to have this organization.

    The Riverfront Park just outside my shop window is also a great gathering place for this event. The Eagles always seem to put on a show, fishing and dancing, as hundreds of watchers, watch. There is a fire, hot drinks and information booths. One year over 600 Eagles were counted the weekend of that Eagle days. I hope they come and show off for us again. The conditions are becoming good. Was 12 degree here last night, we have some snow and ice on the ground as well.

    I decorated the windows of my antique mall."Downtown Antique Mall", for the event. I'd like to share those windows with you all today. I took pictures of Eagles and went to a photo shop and had them enlarged into poster size. The shop does a great job and the price is not bad. I glued them to foam board, so they are pretty stable. I figure I can use them for years to come, so when you average the price out, that is not to bad. Snow is good for Eagle watching, so I decorated all around the windows and posters with hundreds of hand cut snow flakes. I guess I have reverted to my child hood, as hand cutting snow flakes has been my agenda for the past 2 months. Oh well, at least the price is right.

   I wish that you all could come to Clarksville for a visit. See the Eagles, shop my antique mall and tour, My Old Historic House. You are always welcome and I will always leave a light on , besides that, Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. In the mean time, Happy Eagle Watching. Richard