Friday, December 28, 2007

Tortoise Orchard ~ Footers & Frost Walls


The Future home of Tortoise Orchard is underway!
The Concrete Footers and Frost Walls have been poured. Now the Forms for the Foundation walls must be put in place to fill with cement.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Black Madonna of France ~

Our Lady of Good Deliverance,
Neuilly near Paris, 14th C.
variation on 11th C. original

What exactly are Black Madonnas? Good question! Some are images of Mary the Mother of Jesus that portray her with pitch black skin, while her garments are colorful. Others are entirely made of a blackened metal or wood. Yet others simply darkened with patina, the normal aging process that all antique art and furniture undergoes. But - while countless very old statues are dark, only some of them have been honored with the special title "Black Madonna", "Black Virgin" or "Black Mother of God".
Traditionally, a real Black Madonna is not something one can just produce; it is something that happens to a community when Heaven ordains it to be so. Countless wonderful legends tell of the sacred or miraculous origins of these images. More than thirty are said to have been created by Luke the Evangelist, others were presented to humans by angels or the Virgin Mary herself; many were found when simple people or even cattle, guided by divine forces, uncovered statues hidden in the earth, in springs, or in trees.
More research must be done to establish how the process of giving a dark statue the official title of "Black Madonna" worked over the centuries, but it seems to be a grass roots kind of movement. I think, just as in the Catholic Church the faithful usually acclaim a holy person as a saint long before the Church gives its official stamp of approval, so also certain, usually miraculous, dark Madonnas are hailed as Black, first by the simple people and then by the entire church.

By Ella Rozett

For more Information:

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Tzar's Children

The children's Christmas tree in the upstairs Playroom, after 1902
Tsarskoye Selo
Alexander Palace

Tzar Nicholas II and Alexandria

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The First Christmas Card ~

The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London, 1843, and featured an illustration by Hohn Callcott Horsley.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Marlene's Christmas Gift

Click Title for a Special Treat !

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meet the Newbie ~ Name that cat !

Thanksgiving weekend someone abandoned their cat on our country road, temperatures dropped to 13 degrees shortly thereafter.
What kind of person does such a thing ?
I'm happy to say after a vet visit the newbie checks out just fine, except for a few fleas and some nasty worms.
The newbie is a Very sweet, affectionate neutered male. He will join the tribe of tigers living with me.
Names under consideration are Marley, Alistair, Bumble Bee & Newbie.
Any suggestions ?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My New York ~ "Holiday Lane"

R.H. Macy & Co.
34th Street and Broadway
Ninth Floor Christmas Department

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tortoise Orchard ~ Excavation

Digging the foundation hole for the new Tortoise Orchard Building

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Going To A Town" ~ Lyrics: Rufus Wainwright

Album: Release The Stars

I'm going to a town that has already been burned down
I'm going to a place that is already been disgraced
I'm gonna see some folks who have already been let down.
I'm so tired of America

I'm gonna make it up for all of the Sunday Times
I'm gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I'm so tired of you America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I got a life to lead America
I got a life to lead

Tell me do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me and not for thinking every thing that you've done is good
(I really need to know)
After soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood

I'm so tired of America
(I really need to know)

I may just never see you again or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down
I'm so tired of you America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I got a life to lead America
I got a life to lead
I got a soul to feed
I got a dream to heed
And that's all I need

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down

[ Going To A Town lyrics found on ]

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Books of Note ~

YOU Staying Young
The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

Mehmet C. Oz. Md.
Michael F. Roizen, Md.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My New York ~ Tourneau Inc.

Does anyone really know what time it is ?
The Linear passage of time is a man made Invention.

57th Street Between 5th Avenue & Madison Avenue

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankfulness ~

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Albert Schweitzer

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cranberry Chutney

Everyday Food Nov. 2005

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries,
rinsed and picked over
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
coarse salt and ground pepper

(1) In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low. Add shallots and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.

(2) Add cranberries, sugar, vinegar, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until most of the berries have burst and mixture has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

(3) Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Magical Road to the Future

The road between the public road and the site of the new building has been completed.
It is about 450 feet long and is made of red shale. When it packs down over time and with wear it will look like an old country road.
So here we are, standing on the road to the future. At it's end will unfold future triumphs, failures, joys, sadness and realized dreams.
You are all invited to join me on the journey ~ maybe we will find some answers, maybe we will make a difference, but most importantly I hope we all enjoy the trip up this lovely winding road.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Future Home of Tortoise Orchard

A New Beginning
The Plans ~ Tortoise Orchard Mail Order Business
Located in Northern Pennsylvania.
Tortoise Orchard was started in 1988

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Dead as a Door-nail"

MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt
whatever about that. The register of his burial was
signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker,
and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and
Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he
chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my
own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about
a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to
regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery
in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors
is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands
shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You
will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that
Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

From " A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickins

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wrinkled Memories ~ The Sputnik Shoes

During my father's tour of duty in Germany with the United States Army we had the pleasure to meet an Italian shoemaker and his charming daughter.
Truthfully, I can't remember either of their names.
The name Annette fits the memory I have of the shoemakers daughter, so I will call her Annette. Her father I will call Mr. Manetti because the name sounds like what my memory of him feels like.

I remember Annette as being a kind and genteel soul, graceful and delicate, as if she could be easily broken. Her demeanor was pronounced though casual. I can see her gently sweeping her long, black, gossamer hair from her face. Her small eyes were very dark and much like the movable eyes of a china doll. When she raised her glass it was with a deliberate ease of motion that would surely direct her drink to meet her lips perfectly.
She would tear small pieces of very thin ham with her slender, porcelain, manicured fingertips. It is only now that I realize that the ham in question was prosciutto.
Annette's exquisite nature was a true reflection of the talents of her father.

Annette's father, Mr. Manetti was not only a friend but also made shoes for my mother.
Pamela, my mother, was very stylish, with long wavy blond hair, a look reminiscent of Veronica Lake or Rita Hayworth. Her clothes were tailored and always appointed with the perfect jewelry selection.

The Russian sensation Sputnik was current news at the time, being the world's first artificial satellite. My mother got the idea that she should have a pair of shoes with a design that celebrated the accomplishment of Sputnik, hence displaying her fashion flair with a topical point of interest that would make for good conversation.

Mr. Manetti was commissioned to create the shoes and they would collaborate on the design. Payment for the shoes was to be two cartons of American cigarettes. The shoes were black and white leather with four inch high heals and open toes and sides. A large black double headed arrow symbolizing Sputnik flew across a solid white leather background. The Sputnik shoes were enjoyed for many years and have outlived their owner, no doubt they have many stories of their own to tell.

That summer we would all take a car trip together across the Swiss Alps from Germany to Italy; My father, mother, myself, Mr. Manetti, Annette and the Sputnik shoes.

The French Cafe ~

Mr. Manetti
My mother Pamela
Little Mike

Big Mike, My Father, took the picture

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Little Orphant Annie" ~ The Gobble-uns'll git ya

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you

Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout--
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin;
An' onc't, when they was "company," an' ole folks was there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you

An' little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Funeral Pie ~ Dig In !

1 c. seeded raisins
2 c. hot water
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 tbsp. flour
1 well beaten egg
Juice & rind of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter
Rich pastry (8 inch)

Wash raisins and soak in hot water for 1 hour. Add other ingredients and mix. Cook in top of double boiler until thick. Cool.
Pour into pastry lined 8 inch pie pan and cover the top with crisscross strips of pastry. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until pastry is nicely browned.

Another Version ~
Funeral Pie #2

2 c. raisins
1 c. orange juice
1 c. water
1 t. grated orange peel
3/4 c. plus 1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
3/4 t. allspice
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 egg, beaten
(you need a pastry for a double crust pie.)

Preheat oven to 425. Combine raisins, O.J., water, and rind in saucepan. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Combine 3/4 c. sugar, cornstarch, allspice and nutmeg in small bowl. Stir slowly into raisin mixture until thickened (2 minutes.) Stir in lemon juice and nuts. Pour into shell. Top with crust and vent. Brush on egg, sprinkle on sugar. Bake ‘til crust is golden brown and insides are bubbly.

Funeral pie got its name from being served in the olden days at the big meal following a funeral.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Eyes have It ~

When a persons head is chopped off by the deadly blade of the Guillotine, the Eyes of the severed Head continue to blink 10-12 times.
Happy Halloween !

Friday, September 28, 2007

"The Family Jewels" ~ Kenny

My Nephew Kenny Bowe
Circa 1973 ~ Virginia

Kenny is the eldest child of my sister Pat and husband David
He resides in Virginia with his wife and family.

Photograph by Michael Hostovich

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Film Classic ~ Great Expectations (1946)

Director : David Lean

Charles Dickens (novel) and
Anthony Havelock-Allan (adaptation)

John Mills
Tony Wager
Valerie Hobson
Jean Simmons
Bernard Miles
Francis L. Sullivan
Finlay Currie
Martita Hunt
Alec Guinness
Ivor Barnard
Freda Jackson
Eileen Erskine
George Hayes
Hay Petrie
John Forrest

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Film ~ La Vie En Rose ~ 2007

Director : Olivier Dahan

Marion Cotillard
Sylvie Testud
Clotilde Courau
Gérard Depardieu
Pascal Greggory
Marc Barbé
Emmanuelle Seigner

A powerful view into the nightmare that was her life and the talent that was her triumph.
I never for a moment doubted that Miss Cotillard was Edith Piaf.
Brilliant Proformance !

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Gallery 1 ~ Michael Hostovich Archives

I will be adding Artwork from my Personal Archives periodically to my Retrospective site.
You may view them in Gallery 1 linked to my Home page.
All Artwork is Original and displays various techniques.
Most pieces have been published and represent both editorial and advertising projects.
Michael Hostovich ~ All Rights Reserved

See "Retrospective" Link at the bottom of page

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"The Family Jewels" ~ The Last Word

Uncle Richie
My Father Mike
Aunt Bertha
Aunt Betty
Uncle George
My Grandmother Anna
The Groom, Uncle Bob - by Marriage
The Bride, Aunt Eleanor
Aunt Anne - Sister Antoinette
Aunt Mary
Aunt Peg
Aunt Suzanne

There were 13 Children in all.
He who lives the longest has the "Last Word"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Basil Beans ~ for canning

* 4 pounds green beans, trimmed (about 16 cups)
* 5 cups white vinegar
* 5 cups water
* 1/4 cup pickling salt
* 48 black peppercorns
* 16 cloves garlic
* 32 fresh basil leaves

Wash the green beans and cut into 4-inch pieces.
In a medium size saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt.
Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, into each clean, hot pint jar, put 6 peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves and 4 fresh basil leaves.
Pack tightly with the beans. Cover with boiling hot brine, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Seal.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or stem canner.
Store the jars for at least 6 weeks before opening.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On Film ~ Hairspray (2007)

Director: Adam Shankman

John Travolta
Michelle Pfeiffer
Christopher Walken
Queen Latifah
Jerry Stiller

Put on your Dancin' Shoes ...
You are about to become a Checkerboard Chick !
Wonderful ~ Great Fun !!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dragon Fruit !

Originally thought to be a native of South America. The French are believed to have brought the dragon fruit to Vietnam over a hundred years ago. Now, the fruit flourishes in American states such as Texas, and is also grown in Mexico and other South American countries such as Argentina and Peru.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Film Classic ~

What a Way to Go! (1964)
Director ~ J. Lee Thompson

Shirley MacLaine
Paul Newman
Dean Martin
Gene Kelly
Robert Cummings
Dick Van Dyke

Monday, August 6, 2007

"The Family Jewels" ~ My Grandparents

Winnie & Cecil
Fancy Dress Ball
Torquay England

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Facts of Life ~ Teeth

* In 200 AD, the Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells and honey to clean their teeth.

* A mosquito has 47 teeth.

* In 1400 A.D. toothbrushes were invented in China using wild boar neck-hairs as bristles.

* Paul Revere was a practicing dentist.

* Certain cheeses, including aged cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack, have been found to protect teeth from decay.

* In 1780, William Addis of England made the first modern toothbrush with cow hairs and a bone handle.

* Queen Elizabeth I's teeth were noticeably discoloured. A German traveler, Paul Henter, speculated that the discoloration was due to the Queen's excessive consumption of sugar, making the first recorded association between sugar and tooth decay.

* In the 1920's, toothbrush handles made of a plastic called celluloid replaced bones.

* The ancient Egyptians believed the application of a freshly killed mouse to an aching tooth would cure it.

* In 1938, the first nylon bristles provided an alternative to using animal hair.

* A time honoured custom in England which carried through to colonial Australia, was the belief that mice had magical powers. When a child lost their first baby tooth it was dropped into a mouse hole to ensure the little person's freedom from toothache.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"The World is my Oyster"

The Merry Wives of Windsor
William Shakespeare

... talk amongst yourselves

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Truly Overheard ~ On the Street

Have you ever noticed how the British talk in questions?

Several weeks ago on my way back from a dental appointment I overheard a conversation.
I was on west 57th street near Columbus circle. A man pushing a baby carriage was walking with his wife, obviously tourist by the way they were looking up at the tall buildings.

Commenting with a heavy British accent ...

Husband ~ "That's a clever building isn't it ?"
Wife ~ "Do you think so ?"
Husband ~ "Did you see that Topper ?"
Wife ~ "Smart, don't you think ?"
Baby ~ "Gaa Gaa Goo Goo ?"

Friday, July 27, 2007

Collecting ~ Children's Books

Caps for Sale

Now he felt quite angry.
He stamped his foot, and he said,
"You monkeys, you!
You better give me back my caps"

But the monkeys only stamped their feet
back at him and said, "Tsz, tsz, tsz."

Story and Pictures by
Esphyr Slobodkina
Scholastic 1940

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We are all Blind ~ for Jimmy

The Blind Man and the Elephant

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant~(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation~Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side, ~ At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant ~ Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here?
So very round and smooth and sharp? ~ To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant ~ Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands, ~ Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant ~ Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like ~ Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant ~ Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most; ~ Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant ~ Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail ~ That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant ~ Is very like a rope!

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion ~ Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right ~ And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

- John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Forever Dickens ~

We forge the chains we wear in life.

Charles Dickens

Friday, July 20, 2007

How doth the little crocodile...

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

poem by Lewis Carroll

Seeking the Path ~

"What You Seek, You Already Are"

The Book of Secrets

Deepak Chopra

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ice Cream ~

Ancient civilizations had saved ice for cold foods for thousands of years. Mesopotamia has the earliest icehouses in existence, 4,000 years ago, beside the Euphrates River, where the wealthy stored items to keep them cold.

The pharaos of Egypt had ice shipped to them. In the fifth century BC, ancient Greeks sold snow cones mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens.

Persians, having mastered the storage of ice, ate ice cream well into summer. Roman emperor Nero (37–68) had ice brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings.

Today's ice treats likely originated with these early ice delicacies.

Painting by Will Cotton
Ice Cream Cavern
2003 ~ Oil on Linen

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer ~

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.

John Lubbock

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

We hold these truths to be self-evident ...

that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


Fireworks were made in China as early as the 11th century. The Chinese used their pyrotechnic mixtures for war rockets and explosives.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Quintilis * Julius * July

According to the Gregorian calendar, July is the seventh month. On the Roman calendar, it was the fifth month and it was called 'Quintilis', meaning 'fifth'. Julius Ceasar gave the month 31 days in 46 B.C. The Roman Senate named it 'Julius', in honor of Caesar.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Watermelon Facts ~

* The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.

* Watermelon's official name is Citrullus lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitacae and it is a vegetable. It is related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.

* To save space in the Fridge Square watermelons are being grown in southern Japan

* Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn't contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium.

* Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Garden

"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden."

Sir Walter Scott

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Collecting ~ Children's Books

Contortionist and Juggler

Little Folks Painting Book
McLoughlin Brothers

Friday, June 15, 2007

"For Whom the Bell Tolls"

by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Trivels are a multiplyin' Capt'n !

"Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function."

Joseph Wood Krutch

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Collecting ~ Antiques

Village Scene
Oil on Canvas 19-1/2 x 24
Emile Barau
French 1851-1930

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Family Jewels ~ My Mother

Pamela Mary Elise
Hopewell Virginia
January 1972 by "Jiffy-Pop"
This was a regularly inflated "Do".
Maintenance included the use of a Special silk pillow case and careful wrapping in toilet paper for overnight

Friday, June 1, 2007

On Film ~ "The Namesake"

The Namesake 2006
Director Mira Nair

Irfan Khan
Kal Penn
Jagannath Guha

A beautifully rich and timeless tapestry, not only for the eyes but also for the soul.
Universal truths connect the past and present with relevance for all

See this film ..."There are no accidents"

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Facts of Life ~ The Deadly Daffodil

The bulbs of the Daffodil contain a paralyzing poison. Roman soldiers reputedly carried them into battle and if they were badly injured, they would consume them so that they might die painlessly.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Facts of Life ~ Decoration Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Friday, May 25, 2007

from ~ The Walrus and the Carpenter

" 'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things;
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And weather pigs have wings.' "

Through The Looking - Glass
Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beautiful Decorated Papers from Italy

"La Plume"

A Selection of Seventeen Beautiful Italian Papers will soon be available in the Webstore.
Incorporate these papers into your everyday life.
Enrich your Crafting Projects, Scrapbooks or Wrap that Special Gift.
See Webstore link at the bottom of this page.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Film Classic ~

Midnight Cowboy 1969
Director: John Schlesinger

Dustin Hoffman
Jon Voight
Sylvia Miles

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Collecting ~ Children's Books

Chicken Soup with Rice
Maurice Sendak

Harper & Row

Book Size 2-5/8" x 3-3/4"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Collecting ~ Jewelry as Art

Bug Pin
Circa 1930's

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hot Mexican Cheese Dip

8oz. cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 4oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon crushed red peppers
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
crackers or tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter a 3 cup baking dish (shallow)
Beat cream cheese until smooth
Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the next 6 ingredients
Spread in dish and sprinkle cilantro on top and then the remaining cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Serve with crackers, chips or veggies

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Queen and the Seven Year Fart

Queen Elizabeth the First was known for her sometimes extremely bad temper. But then, after a time, she would suddenly forgive and welcome people back to her good graces as though there had been no quarrel. Teasing slyly for what she might well pretend was a fit of sulks on their part.

She made just such remarks when a courtier, making a very low bow to her, happened to let a Fart. He was so embarrassed he stayed away from court and traveled for seven years. After his return the Queen welcomed him home and said.
"Do not worry My Lord, I have forgot the Fart"

The Virgin Queen
Christopher Hibbert

Addison-Wesley Publishing

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Confronting Monsters ~ Why I never wear Hawaiian Shirts

It was during the brutal Heat Wave of 1993 in New York City. I was delivering an Illustration job to Gourmet Magazine.
Deciding to deliver the job in person, I would take the subway for the quickest mode of transportation, and to avoid the lengthy wait on a messenger service.
After making the correct subway connections, in the extreme heat, in an "Up-Late" daze and in my New Hawaiian Shirt, I exited the train at what I thought was the correct stop.
Wrong ...
I had gotten off the train at the wrong stop and headed toward the swinging doors to go up to the street.
Realizing I had made an error, before exiting the doors I turned around to go back on the train.

At once I was grabbed by two plain cloths police officers, one on both arm.
"Oh! ... You are making a mistake !" I exclaimed
No dice ... I was going to the pokey.
Most subway stations have small maintenance rooms and narrow halls which are used by the crews to maintain the stations electronic systems, lights etc...
It was in one of these narrow halls I was taken for questioning and processing, in the heat, in bewilderment and in my New Hawaiian Shirt.

This was a "Drug Sweep"
After all ... I had the dark hair, a dark, tanned complexion and wore one of those "Hawaiian Shirts"
" This guy is a pimp or a drug dealer (Fur Sure) " I could hear them thinking.
Seems most of the police here have brains the size of peas !
Keep in mind that all this is happening because I allegedly tried to beat the dollar plus subway fare.

My (quickly becoming over-due) artwork was thrown in the corner of the dank, boiling passageway as I was questioned and processed.
A fare-beating artist ...Imagine that !
I was relieved of my money, subway tokens, identification, shoe strings, belt and dignity.
"This guy looks like a "Hanger"
I was handcuffed to a string of about nine "Subway Loons"( real fare beaters, homeless, drunks and unsavory dudes), in the boiling hot passage, in disgust and in my New Hawaiian Shirt.

There was a young Swedish guy on the cuff-chain directly in from of me.
He refused to answer any of the officers questions ...BIG MISTAKE !!!
After several rounds of not answering questions put to him, Swedish guy was stunned by the severe SLAP laid across his face delivered by the hulk-like police questioner.
This was of course followed by pulling out his revolver, cocking it and holding the loaded gun to the guy's head !
The chained "loon-gang" went into a wild panic included, and I was next in line right behind the guy.
Well, as you might imagine ...the guy quickly answered all the questions !
Thank Goodness !!! , if I wasn't wet with sweat before I certainly was now.
There I stood, soaking wet and devastated in my nice New Hawaiian Shirt.

We were all taken away in chains, shuffling in our floppy shoes and with our pants loose.
Through the crowded subway station, everyone gawking, up to the street to the awaiting police cars.
After some pleading to open the car window slightly, we got some small relief from the incoming air.

Well ... I was indeed put in a real jail cell for the first time ever.
This gets even "better"
One of the male prisoners took an instant "Liking to me"
A smelly, sweaty black dude who was near to being a three hundred and fifty pounder.
"Are you gay man ?"
I knew what he was up for... and I was going to be "The Bitch"
Oh Yeah ! ...just what I needed !!! ...NOT !!!
Must of been the nice New Hawaiian Shirt.

At that point I was the only one taken out of the cell to be photographed.
Perhaps they thought this guy might be well known enough to sell the photos ?
After showing the photo police gal how to operate the camera, I tried to explain how I was not really very photogenic and the pictures would most likely not turn out well.
I was correct ...the pictures were a hoot!
I looked like Red Skelton on a bad day.

At this point the police called Gourmet Magazine and explained that I had been snared in a "Drug Sweep" ...Great !!!
After a computer check and verification of who I was, I was released, with artwork.
Arriving in an unbelievable state of disarray at Gourmet Magazine the art director was very sympathetic.

I still had to make a court appearance ...nasty place.
After explaining to the judge what had happened the case was dismissed.
Even though I had a good case against the city I decided not to pursue it because it was all just to horrible.

A few years later, during a jury duty episode I was asked if I could be fair about the police.
I said "Yes, of Course" and then got to tell the entire story to a full jury room
I was dismissed from jury duty.
Sweet !

Original Short Story by
Michael Hostovich

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Can You find the Critters ?

(3) Owls
(5) Butterflies
(1) Praying Mantis

Original Drawing done for Scholastic Magazine

Illustration by Michael Hostovich

Pink's "Dear Mr. President"

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me.
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don't know nothing 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You'd never take a walk with me.
Would you?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Changing Seasons

Giclee Print originally done for the New York Times

Art by Michael Hostovich

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Apparition

Suddenly in the Bleak Night
His Soul lifted quickly
And vanished in the Sea of Darkness
Never to return

Original Photograph by Michael Hostovich

Friday, May 4, 2007

Film Classic

Sunset Boulevard 1950
Director ~ Billy Wilder

Gloria Swanson
William Holden

Norma Desmond: [to newsreel camera] And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after 'Salome' we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Kinda like Blogs ..."those wonderful people out there in the dark"

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Family Jewels ~ My Grandfather

England ~ 1928

Mr. Cecil Gilbert Ireland Blackburne
Pamela Mary Elise ~ My Mother
Robert Gilbert ~ My Uncle
Brownie ~ Their Housekeeper

Monday, April 30, 2007

Frog Punch

Named for the mascot (the Weather Frog) of the Times Picayune Newspaper. The drink was first served at a big charity event held for the benefit of a home set up to house the boys who sold the newspapers in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Daily Picayune’s weather frog was introduced on January 13, 1894, to accompany the daily forecast.

* 3 Cups fresh Lemon Juice
* 1 Cup Sugar
* 1-1/2 Cups Pineapple Juice
* 1 Liter Seltzer (1 Bottle)
* 18 Strawberries
* 1 Small Pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
* 2 Lemons, sliced paper thin
* 1 Block Ice
* Crushed Ice

In a punch bowl, combine the lemon juice and sugar with 6 cups of water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pineapple juice, seltzer, strawberries, pineapple pieces and lemon slices. Add a large block of Ice

To serve, fill each glass 1/3 full with crushed ice. Pour in punch, making sure to include a strawberry, a piece of pineapple and a lemon slice.

Makes about 1 Gallon

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Collecting ~ Jewelry as Art

Red Rhinestone Bracelet
Circa 1930

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Where have all the Flowers Gone ?

They're Here ~

cut and paste into your browser

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Collecting ~ Pressed Glass

Celery Vase
"Deer and Pine Tree" or "Deer and Doe"

Belmont Glass Company
Circa 1883

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fast n' Sassy Bar-B-Que Sauce

1 Cup Catsup
1/3 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
Heat to Blend Flavors

optional ~ to add extra spice
Sauted Chopped Onions and Garlic
Cayenne Pepper
Chili Powder

Monday, April 16, 2007

You too can be a Jackson Pollock

cut and paste into your browser

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Film Classic ~ Have You Seen ?


Jose Quintero

Gavin Lambert, Jan Read, Tennessee Williams

Vivien Leigh
Warren Beatty
Lotte Lenya
Jill St. John
Jeremy Spencer
Josephine Brown

Books of Note ~

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Sogyal Rinpoche

Harper Collins

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Collecting ~ Children's Books

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

A Story by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm
Retold by Jane Werner

Illustrations by Sheilah Beckett

Simon and Schuster
New York

"At bedtime the eldest brought him a hot drink,
and the soldier took it eagerly. But he did not
drink it, as they thought; he let the hot milk all
run down into a sponge he wore tied beneath his
shirt. Then he stretched himself out upon his cot
and soon began to snore."

sketch of an agent

you Know who you are
Outwardly engaging ...
in an "Oatmeal for Breakfast" kind of way
heart and spirit by Cruella Deville
not much more, I suspect
you Know who you are ...
and so does Karma

Original Poem by Michael Hostovich

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Murder at the Supermarket

Charlie was an evil Guy.
He was planning the murder of his wife Cynthia.

Charlie knew a man, Artie, that would do the sinister deed.
Artie agreed to kill Cynthia for the sum of Five Hundred dollars.
The Murder was to take place at the supermarket where Cynthia did her shopping, and Charlie would hide there to make sure that things went as planned.

On the day in question, Cynthia was casually picking over the tomatoes at the Supermarket.
Artie snuck up behind her and strangled Cynthia from behind.
The market wasn't busy so the murder went unnoticed.
Charlie rushed over from his hiding place to make sure his wife was dead, and she was.
Having done his work Artie insisted on being paid right then and there, the Five hundred dollars he had been promised.

Charlie not expecting to pay on the spot, turned his pockets out to show Artie he only had a single dollar bill to his name.
Upon seeing that Charlie only had one dollar, Artie flew into a fit of rage and strangled Charlie.
The next day the newspaper read " Artie chokes two for a dollar at Safeway"

Retold ~ Author Unknown

Collecting ~ Jewelry as Art

Turquoise Necklace
50 Beads ~ 5/8 inch in diameter

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Dinner Menu

Curried Deviled Eggs
Kalamata Olives
Center Cut Pork Loin with Garlic, Thyme and Rosemary
Potatoes Anna
Green Bean Casserole
* Beaulieu-Style Onions ~ photo above
Carrot-Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Beaulieu-Style Onions

2 tablespoon unsalted butter, or as needed
1/3 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds small white onions, peeled, with cross cut in each root end
2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup chopped fresh ripe tomato
3 small bay leaves, crumbled
3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped, or pinch of dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds
6 ounces small fresh mushrooms, wiped clean with dampened paper towel
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

(1) ~ Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat. When foam subsides, add enough onions to fit in one layer without crowding; saute, shaking pan frequently, until onions are browned on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to plate.
Saute remaining onions until browned, adding more butter and oil if necessary.

(2) ~ Combine water, wine, vinegar, sugar, currants, tomato, the 1/3 cup oil, the bay leaves, thyme, salt, black pepper, and ground red pepper in large heavy non-corrodible saucepan; heat over medium heat to boiling.

(3) ~ Transfer browned onions with slotted spoon to boiling liquid in saucepan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, until mixture has thickened and has the texture of a slightly runny chutney, 45-50 minutes.

(4) ~ Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 F.

(5) ~ Spread almonds in small shallow baking pan; toast in oven, shaking pan occasionally, until browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

(6) ~ Add mushrooms to saucepan; simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer onion mixture to warmed serving dish. Garnish with almonds and parsley and serve immediately.

Serves Eight

Lourdes, France

"In 1858, a fourteen-year-old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous had a series of eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary who appeared in a niche in the grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes, a village on the Gave de Pau river in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France. The first apparition occurred on 11 February 1858."

Text ~