Saturday, December 18, 2021

Sentimental Saturday: On The Road

Hello and goodbye from Des Moines, where everything on the New West Side is shiny and bright.

Every office park, retail center and neighborhood is alit with a bright swath of LED lights.

christmas lights west des moines

Which is beautiful but makes me nostalgic for what seemed a much simpler Christmas time of my youth. These watercolors of old Grand Rapids downtown encompass most of my Christmas shopping haunts of old - before the suburban malls displaced downtowns (only to shut down themselves several decades hence) and Macy’s bought the few surviving regional department stores. Bigger but definitely not better by most measures.

Herpolshiemer’s, Wurzberg’s and Steketees’s were all locally owned department stores offering everything from fine clothing to fine china. Along with that there was always a candy counter and a small restaurant or “tea room” serving up the obligatory chicken pot pies.

hepolsheimers paintingHerpolsheimer’s


wurzburg's arlene faye helder grand rapidsWurzberg’s

Woolworth’s and Kresge’s were national Five and Dimes:



And Sears was the original and possibly last of the stores to offer literally soup to nuts.


Off course all these businesses are now long defunct. Sears was the last hold out but it’s death throes were too painful to even think about.

So let your Caturday Before Christmas begin. We are heading out for Cheyenne this morning so have fun with your own hometown Christmas Memories today.

**All images found on Pinterest. They are watercolor paintings of old downtown Grand Rapids by Arlene Faye Helder.  She once sold prints of her notecards on Etsy but it appears she’s no longer doing so.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Getting A Jump On Festivus

I’m posting this helpful outdoor Christmas decorating guide for anyone who STILL has not put their decorations up.

inflatable christmas decorations

Apologies to the blow-up Christmas decoration aficionados among us. I can’t help but think that’s cheating: putting up outdoor decorations should involve ladders, rappelling, superhuman contortions and great risk of bodily harm.

dummy hanging christmas lights

Hitting the road bright and early today so perhaps that explains my hum-buggery. Or perhaps I’m just getting a jump on the Festivus celebration this year.

festivus grievances

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Throwback Christmas Cookies

It’s Throwback Thursday! And Christmas is right around the corner!

If we weren’t packing up for our trip to the mountain bunker for the winter I’d be making a batch of throwback Christmas cookies today.


With a recipe from my throwback Christmas cookie recipe book

aunt jenny's christmas cookies

With my old throwback cookie press.

spritz-best-christmas-cookies-christmas-baking - Copy

I’d probably not be using my old throwback spices, as we all now that they should be discarded after 6 months. Nobody told our Moms that; back before the great disposable society those rusty little suckers would be tucked away in a corner of the cupboard for decades on end. In fact, but for the decorations, these could have been my Mom’s:


Well anyway, no baking for me today. I have to finish packing, cleaning and fretting about what I’ve forgotten to pack/clean. So I’m out of here. But don’t let that stop you. Christmas cookies make everything better.


*sigh* I wish I had time to make a batch of the very slow Springerles that Raj’s father used to love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Perspective: It’s a Fascinating Thing

Did you know…1980 and 2021 are as far apart as 1980 and 1939.

Railway_Impression_IVRailway Impression IV – Marta Zamarska

In 1939 Germany invades Poland.

World War II begins.

The Great Depression continues.

The Wizard of Oz debuts.

Marta Zamarska the endA Railway Impression I - Marta Zamarska

in 1980 the Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan continues - for another 10 more years - without victory.

The Iranian hostages, taken the previous November, are held for another 12 months.

Inflation and stagflation continues in the US.

CNN debuts.

watching 3 trains passWatching 3 Trains Pass - Mark Edwards

Perspective: it’s a fascinating thing.

“Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance. Everybody thinks it’s true” – Paul Simon


SPECIAL UPDATE NOTE: Our resident angels of mercy are at it again.

As you know, our dear Karla lost Longknife - her DH of nearly 50 years who had been suffering from cancer for a long while - yesterday. He chose to end his suffering. We of course wish eternal peace to Longknife and grieve with Karla through this very difficult period.

Roto and Zephy have once again stepped to the plate and will be handling our donations to help Karla with some of the expenses as she soldiers through this. As in the past, if you wish to use Paypal, you may do so via Roto, or send checks to Zephyr. I can’t thank them enough for doing this, especially as I know Zephyr is swamped at work right now.

Since Raj and I are in the middle of packing for our departure across country he will not have a chance to do any updates of the MOTI list at this time so if you are not currently on the list please don’t send requests to be added this week as I fear they may get lost in the shuffle. Roto and I will try to monitor the thread if somebody needs help.

Thanks once more to all you kind and generous souls: you have formed the most caring fellowship of man I’ve ever I’ve had the honor of being associated with. God bless all of you, but most especially our angels of mercy who have once again taken up the mantle for a good and worthy cause.

god bless us

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Do Not Doubt Me

The Left’s credo: Never, ever, ever let a good crisis go to waste.

FEMA chief says powerful storms ‘new normal’ in era of climate change.

As usual of course the existing facts don’t support her stupid claim.

Mind you, the US didn’t even have a nationwide Doppler Radar system during the 1954-74 tornado cycle. It wasn’t installed until the mid-90s and has been significantly updated ever since so we are now reporting previously undetectable tornadic events.

So who knows how many tornadoes there actually were between 1954-74. It wouldn’t have been less but it could have been more – much more, maybe double the number reported! (see how you can make racist math work for you too!?)

So remember: if you heard it from the head of one of our Deep State alphabet bureaucracies it is most likely not true. The primary reason these agencies exist anymore is to propagate the Left’s Big Lies. e.g.

  • DOJ: January 6 Insurrection
  • FBI: Russian Collusion
  • FEMA: Climate Change
  • IRS: Targeting Political Enemies

The Left will remain in perpetual crisis mode not just because it’s good for the Legacy Media’s bottom line but because its the truest, shortest path to power and control.

Do not doubt me.

www.usnews.comGot to crate-train the pups while they’re young

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Covid Labor Shortage Continues….

Just imagine, with today’s labor shortage, how difficult it’s going to be to replace this guy:

Alfred Eisenstaedt photography skating waiter grand hotel st moritz 1932Skating waiter, Grand Hotel St. Moritz  – photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1932

stmoritz7-930x1177Table 5 will have another round!

Honestly, have you any idea how hard it is to hire a good bartender/waiter these days?


Let alone one who can perform double axels, sit spins and death spirals? Good luck with that.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Why Can’t We Be More Like Sweden?

We have Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, but Sweden has their Gävle goat aka Gävlebocken:



Gävlebocken is a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget (Castle Square) in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year by local community groups at the beginning of Advent over a period of two days. It has been the subject of repeated arson attacks, and, despite security measures and the nearby presence of a fire station, the goat has been burned to the ground most years since its first appearance in 1966. As of December 2019, the goat has been damaged 37 times. Burning the goat is illegal and the Court of Appeal stated that the offence should normally carry a 3-month prison sentence as it sentenced a 27-year-old man to a suspended sentence and day fines for aggravated property damage in 2018.”

[Which is likely why it keeps getting torched year after year. Are you paying attention California? New York? Chicago?]

Sometimes when it gets too wet (it snows a lot in Sweden) to be torched the hooligans simply smash it to pieces and stomp it to death. Remember that children, the next time you wish that we were more like Sweden: we are.