Thursday, May 29, 2008

Present! I swear!

Sorry, I haven’t been around much!

There was the 17th of May weekend fun, then a glorious trip to Seattle, and yesterday a Cubs game. Plus, my pies are selling like hot cakes (or pies possibly)! Today I got an order from Germany! I figure that means I ought to use only domestic beer brands J

I’m also working on a series of dinner pies. Chicken Pot Pie is a speciality of mine in edible form (that and quiche are frequently requested by my hungrey husband), so I should be able to come up with a decent polymer clay version. Watch for pie news updates! Try to hold your excitement!

I’m also working on a custom doggy onesie. I made one with my brother’s dog with “Food Rival” written underneath, although I suspect “Pack Member” may work better for more benevolent doggies.

But today’s giant news is that I’VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO GRAD SCHOOL!!

This text is written by a future MLIS owner!! Yeah!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Quick Test: Lover or Hater?

Does this photo makes you go “awww…” or reach for your bb gun? Or does it do a little of both?

I’m a little bit of an amateur city zoologist as you may have gleaned from my previous posts. I’m genuinely a little thrilled when we see rats or possums, odd as it may seem.

I have a bird feeder on the window sill in the chicken and I’ve observed some interesting birds, including:

Starlings (yuck!)
Pigeons (blargh!)
Doves (aww…)
Red Finches (AWWWWW..)
Sparrows (aww…)

And once I swear I saw a tiny falcon nestling up against the window for warmth. It was very small and had a round little face with a wicked curved beak. I’ve heard some of the skyscrapers have them to hunt pigeons. Maybe this little guy wasn't so far from his nest.

Our alley is home to raccoons, feral cats, possums, squirrels (one of whom threw a bagel at Knut’s head. Really.) and the occasional rat. We even saw a woodpecker just a few streets away!

These little guys are not from my neighborhood, however. They are, in fact, the third floor tenants in a two story house occupied by Lauren and Eli. Apparently, when the light is just perfect you can make out their silhouettes through the ceiling.

Lauren always thought they had squirrels, but a few weeks ago she heard crying on their back porch. It was a baby raccoon who was soon whisked away by its mother. She showed a photo of it around and generally thought it was the cutest thing ever.

Then they saw several on the roof and through the ceiling. They thought it was a mother and her two babies, but at this point three raccoons have been trapped and taken away and these little guys were still staring at us from the roof on the night of Eli's birthday party. I imagine they wanted some cake and taquitos.

The question is thus: are there 40 raccoons living in their ceiling? Or are they catching everyone else’s raccoons?

We had raccoons in my parents’ attic. One summer night, we were cooking outside and three little masks faces peered down at us from the roof. Their expressions clearly said “Why, yes, I would like a bratwurst.”

I asked my dad how he had gotten rid of them and he said that when it got really hot they left and then he patched the hole. It does strike me as possible we’ve got something walled up in there.

For the record, raccoons were native only to North America, although their Manifest Destiny attitude has allowed them to populate parts of Germany (from a bombed fur farm in WWII), however, you can find them in zoos in places like Hong Kong.

It’s so odd to go see a zoo animal that’s a pest at home. But, if they aren’t living in your personal attic, their antics and cleverness are really quite charming.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top Secret Activities— REVEALED!! Part 2

Our second big secret was our gift to Eli.

Not much music is exported from Norway EXCEPT Death Metal.

Norway, with its grassy mountains, glittering fjords, and fuzzy adorable sheep is home to a surprising amount of death metal bands. These bands combine dark lyrics and heavy metal thrashing with naturally rosy cheeks and Moms who cheerfully make potato dumplings on Thursdays. They occasionally burn down churches. The musicians, not the cheerful Moms.

Eli, who loves Death Metal, proudly proclaimed Knut a Death Metal Norwegian despite Knut’s record collection leaning heavily towards Bananarama and Howard Jones. When we told him Magnus was a family name and we had thought of naming a son “Magnus Graabein” (“graabein” is an old word for “wolf”), Eli decided Magnus would be a death metal prodigy and he would be Magnus’s manager and godfather.

Fine with us!

So for Eli’s birthday Knut and I conspired to make him a t-shirt for Magnus’s fake band, MidgardsOrm. The Midgardsorm is the Norse mythological serpent that swallows its own tail and it encircles the world.

Knut began by taking cell phone photos of himself in the position in which he wanted Magnus. Then, using those as a reference, he drew the center image in pencil. After the pencil sketch was done, he went over it in ink and erased the pencil. Knut chose to draw him in a skinny goth teenager style and included the broken string guitar and Odin’s pet ravens. Interestingly, Magnus quite resembles him.

Then I scanned the drawing and added the text. The serpent that makes the “o” is itself is taken from an old Viking manuscript. We chose to have that be the only color and for Magnus to be in front of his own name and behind the band’s name. I added drop shadows to the text, and the little “Eli Martinez Productions” blurb at the bottom. That little bit is white on black because the whole image was printed on a black t-shirt and that little line of text needed to be subtle.

Pictures of the shirt itself are soon to come!

Top Secret Activities— REVEALED!! Part 1

The big secret over here at the blog was the preparations for Eli’s birthday party!

We had two big secrets.

Iron Maiden Eddie Cupcakes

These chocolate blue frosted cupcakes are topped with jaunty little picks each featuring a different picture of Eddie from Iron Maiden album covers. Eli is a huge Iron Maiden fan and he loved these.

I can’t believe I found 24 different Eddie photos without having to use fan art.

I used Google Image Search to find Eddie pics and then I cropped them down so they just

 featured Eddie’s face.

Using Photoshop, I put the images onto a letter sized file. I was able to fit 12 Eddies to a sheet.

I then printed them onto to printer friendly Shrinky Dink plastic, cut them out, and shrunk them in the oven. The printer plastic is opaque, so they had a finished Eddie side and a plain white side.

I sealed the little images (Apparently nail varnish is the thing. They even recommend certain brands!) and superglued the backs to little plastic toothpicks. I added a little pirate sticker to the back for extra support (pirates being the most metal stickers I could find).

The images translated remarkably well! Especially the Killers album and the Wicker Man.

I’m glad I read the instructions, because you have to lighten the images by at least 50% (which is easy on Photoshop. You just use the brightness/contrast levels). Some of them were a little dark even so. They also have only one side that is printable and you tell by licking your finger and seeing to which side it sticks (very scientific).

I gave them to Lauren ahead of time and she couldn’t resist showing them to Eli early. He was able to name the album each Eddie was from, including live and exports! I know he’s a member of the Iron Maiden fan club, but he probably ought to be the president. They went very well with his Iron Maiden themed birthday cake.

Pictures from the big event are soon to follow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Dazed Ramble About Clip Art

Wow, am I tired.

I need some chemical help. Ahhh, coffee. Teacher, mother, secret lover.

Actually I’m doing a decadent yet legal combination of Coffee, Coke, and Eli’s mom’s homemade tortillas. Breakfast of Boggle Champions! I may just live through the workday.

We had a serious fun overload this weekend. It combined our wedding anniversary, a visit from our engineeringly gifted friends Kjelli and Branwyn (darn! We should have built a rocket!), Eli the Magnificent’s 31st birthday party, and Norwegian Independence Day. There was a lot of zoo visiting, dog swimming, and pancake eating in there too. Since my weary bones have yet to upload any photos and I’m clearly too tired to write anything clever, I’ll save the details until later this week.

I really do wonder about the people who make the clip art for Microsoft Office. I am a confirmed Mac User so I’ve only very recently experienced this. Look at these charming retro coffee guys. Aren’t they darling? Aren’t we privileged to be able to use these cuties in our emails and documents? All for a deliciously free price (although frankly, I think the fact that you have to buy Office even though you bought a new PC is appalling.)!

What is so interesting is that the artist is completely uncredited, at least anywhere I can find. I wonder how much the artist received. Frankly, a lot of the clip art is crummy 1980s style faceless people, but these are charming. I would totally wear a t-shirt with these guys. Neat-o!

If you’d like to add to your collection (Free! Virtual! Free!) check it out here. Oddly, you can’t really search by style. I think these are under “fantasy” but not all of them in the same series are under that heading. A little treasure hunt.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Featured Artist: COZY!

This month’s featured Estyblogger Street Team member is Cozy!

Cozy specializes in beautiful crochet and knit work.

I really am envious because I am far too brainless for crotchet or knitting. I just can’t remember what stitch I’m on or what on earth I’m supposed to be doing from stitch to stitch. Knitting is the worst because I genuinely can’t tell if I’m knitting or purling. That’s what I stick to sewing. You just sew forwards. In and out. Easy peasy. Probably as a result I’m hugely attracted to knitted or crocheted stuffed animals!

One of Cozy’s signature items are these beautiful headbands. I figured I’d just choose one large image so you can see the fine detail. Please do check out her etsy shop!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Bloody Ham Fountain" is Too Awful a Pun

Okay, so I don’t have that kind of power.

Last night Knut and I took an impromptu drive downtown yesterday. Chicago is as beautiful as always.

There was a jam on Wabash and Washington. I was hoping it might be filming for Johnny Depp’s Dillinger movie, but alas it was just building construction, although it was pretty cool watching the giant cranes lift girders.

As we drove between the weaponless Indians, we saw the tableau before us. Buckingham Fountain (if you’re an out of towner but still feel you recognize it, it’s the fountain in the Married With Children intro) was lit up a brilliant red. We decided to take a little stroll around it.

It is a beautiful Art Nouveau fountain with big muscular seahorses that spit jets of water. The red lights were surprisingly ungory in person. They actually appeared jewel-like and really highlighted the strong lines of the decoration. Lovely!

We weren’t the only ones there. At some point, Knut and I argued about whether we were smelling skunk or Otto’s jacket, so recreation of some kind was clearly taking place. It’s a very romantic spot at night. It’s a shame I’m not trying to seduce anybody (besides Knut) because I know all the good spots now.

And to think we could have been home watching tv!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Urban Legends!

I woke up this morning and thought it was Friday. Then I thought it was Thursday. Now it turns out it’s Wednesday! Curse it!

Anyway, my evenings have been very busy doing some pretty cool stuff for someone of undisclosed gender who frequently reads this blog, so I can’t discuss that either.

I made a new set of bottle cap pies on Monday night (While I watched Bones! Yeah!) and I really intended them to be for my cousin Gretchen. However, less than an hour after I put them up on Etsy, they were sold to someone else. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Gretchen will get her own set personally delivered.

Now, time for Snopes! Snopes is a great website devoted to Urban Legends. I can’t imagine how hard the web keepers must work to keep it going because it’s always full of new legends and rumors. It’s a terrific resource when you get those constant forwarded emails filled with dubious information.

I love reading Jan Harald Brunvand’s urban legend books, but whereas he can really only deal with classic urban legends like the Spider Nest in the Beehive, Snopes stays up to the minute.

If there’s an article on Barrack Obama NOT being Muslim, I know a few people in the office who ought to read it.

One of their nicest features is the photo gallery.

How about a test? Which of these photos are real?

Click the link below to find out! Links go to the relevant page

True or False? Click to Find Out!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Adventures of Swordboy!

Last weekend we went to Medieval Times to celebrate Eli’s birthday and Knut and my fifth anniversary. If you haven’t ever been to one, it’s a giant Lego castle where you eat with your hands and watch a knight’s tournament. Children are encouraged to buy souvenirs and adults are encouraged to drink heavily. We had lots of fun (even though our knight was kind of a tool. He broke character! He didn’t give Eli a rose! The jerk.), but the best part of the night was our visit with Swordboy.

Swordboy was the kid behind the sword counter. It’s an area that gets many looks but not too many buyers. The swords are made in Spain and many are quite beautiful. Knut decided he needed to try out a Viking sword and he was eagerly helped by a young man known to us only as Swordboy! Swordboy was probably around 5’4” and had lank blonde hair hanging over his ears. He was in his very early 20s or late teens and was clearly very eager about swords. My favorite parts of the conversation:

1. Knut leaves his beer somewhere while he’s trying out swords. Swordboy responds “That’s always a problem when you’ve had a few too many.” I suspect this is not experience speaking. Swordboy does not look like he’s old enough to buy alcohol and even if he was, liquor store clerks would probably think twice before selling it to him.

2. Knut asks about the design of a sword. “Is it from the 1500s?” Swordboy responds “Around the 1500s.” You know, give or take a century.

3. Lauren asks which sword would be the best to hunt the raccoons in her roof. Swordboy pulls out a small Roman sword because “it’s fast.” I said that something longer might be better so she could just stab through the ceiling when she hears them running, which leads to…

4. Swordboy giving me a Claymore. It’s probably about four and a half feet long, not six as Swordboy suggests (I know this because he was a bit taller than the sword). I hold it (Grandpa was a Cameron after all) and Swordboy asks multiple times “Isn’t it really heavy?” It isn’t particularly heavy. Way less, in fact, than a large pot full of water. Knut remarks that I look strangely comfortable with it.

5. It’s late and everyone else is putting the sheets over the display cabinets. Swordboy lets us know that if we want to come back and just look at swords, we don’t have to pay the entrance fee. Thanks, Swordboy!

On the way home, we described what we thought Swordboy’s life is like. It was pretty inventive. Good luck, Swordboy! Wherever you are (Schaumburg!)!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Legend of the American Science Center

Snazzy hat, eh? I kind of wish I had bought it now.

This fab chapeau is only one item available at American Science and Surplus! I guess they have a website, but I’ve only ever gone to the store. This last week I had a shopping list of 1mm glass balls, water syringes, empty jars, and a few other things. Last Halloween, Knut bought me a gorgeous little bat skeleton there. At the moment, it’s in a little mini mall and geared towards the trendy geek. Ahh… but when I was a lass it was different…

It used to be called The American Science Center and before that it was something like Genco? Anyway, it occupied a strange building in an industrial area with only a small sign to lead you into the Ali Baba cave of nerdy wonders within.

It was a big square room with a row of glass cases marking the staff area at the front and aisles of goodies. These were roughly divided into silly stuff and evil robot building supplies by a display of telescopes. The serious stuff was mostly things like alligator clips, mercury switches, motors, cables, etc. The silly side had pretty much everything else: old glove molds, laminated animals for dissection, tiny rubber pigs, the top half of Jabba the Hutt dolls, jars, rabbit pelts, plastic organizers, magnets, and spools of mylar. Each item was in its own bin with an amusing card stating the name, price, and usually a bad pun. In the glass cases were optical illusion kits, real anatomical specimens, vintage gas masks, and sea monkeys. This was an excellent place to buy both wall-y-walkers and replacement rotary phone cords (turquoise only). Various doodads hung from the ceiling or were pinned to the walls.

I was pretty much the only child in there at the time and now it’s more geared towards science projects, but they seem to be doing well. It’s pretty darned neat.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Gosh! I never suspected I would create a miniature pie frenzy! I’d better get to work on those.

But, I’d like to introduce you to a site that I just love: Yesterland.

Yesterland is a virtual theme park that contains all of the now demolished or refurbished Disney attractions. Werner Weiss does a wonderful job collecting photos and writing amusing commentary on each attraction.

Check out this awesome menu from the long gone Tahitian Terrace:

Or you missed your chance to visit the orignal Submarine Voyage?

Or my most favorite of all, Dressing for Disneyland in the 1950s!

Can you even imagine what it was like to go to a theme park and see ladies in dresses and men in tailored trousers? I actually can’t and I have a darned good imagination!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bottle Cap Pies cont'd

I have the bottle cap pies in my purse right now. During my lunch break, I usually go to a pretty little secluded area and relax. There are lovely goldfinches, cardinals, deer, butterflies, and the occasional raccoons there and you’d hardly believe it was in an industrial area. Generally, I have the place pretty much to myself.

I thought I could snap a few nice photos for Etsy while I was there and as soon as my bunny themed bento box was emptied, wouldn’t you know it? 4 cars pulled in and essentially turned it into a parking lot.


I am a shy retiring thoughtful rabbit! I do not want sweaty men in polo shirts asking “Whatcha doing?” while I pose miniature pies on a fence post!

I did it anyway. They turned out pretty nice, I think, but I won’t know for certain until I take them home and upload them to the computer.

I really am please with the pies themselves. I really did a lot of fine detail work on them. The blueberry and raspberry pies are filled with tiny glass balls and then layered with glaze. The rhubarb is filled with tiny red plastic logs that are held with red tinted glaze. It really looked like a juicy pie that spills over when you cut a slice. The lemon meringue is nicely browned on top with brown glaze and the lemon filling is glossy with just a tiny bit of juice leaking onto the pan. The galette is tiny peach slices, each with whirls of subtle colors, coated in yellow glaze that looks like apricot jam.
And they look very cute on the refrigerator.

I tried out my professional grade Sculpey on these and I am really pleased with the quality. I think they could take a tumble and not chip


It's up:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beer Bottle Cap Pie

Jeez, that sounds like one of those horrid novelty red neck items, doesn't it?  I'll have to pick a different name when I put these up on Etsy.   
I love pies.  Baking them, eating them, and now fabricating them!
These little pies look good enough to eat, but you'd probably break a tooth.  The pie pans are literally bottle caps (MGD and Goose Island.  
Knut's choice as he's the beer drinker).  The pies themselves are polymer clay, glass beads, and tinted glazes.   They're affixed to little magnets to make sweet little fridge decorations.  Don't worry, they're good magnets.  I tested them on a heavy postcard from Istanbul.  
Our flavors are raspberry, blueberry, lemon meringue, rhubarb, and a dainty little peach galette.   Yum!
Up on Etsy as soon as I can take photos in daylight.  
I'll take pie over cake any day, so these were definitely a labor of love.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mushroom Mania!

I am not hunting Smurfs in this picture. I was never very clear on what purpose Gargamel had in mind for them.

In fact, I never knew this mushroom existed in reality before a few years ago!

It’s very prevalent in fairy tale illustrations, Christmas decorations, and, of course, as Smurf domiciles. However, I always thought they were strictly a flight of fancy. I should have known, too, because I spent a childhood obsessed with fungi. There’s a certain area next door to my parents’ home that sprang up a lovely crop of white toadstool after summer rains. I’d harvest these mushrooms, smush them into paste and pretend to feed them to my stuffed animals. I did this sort of thing with a great variety of garden plants—tulips, berries, begonia leaves, horse chestnuts, etc. I was always careful to avoid the nightshade growing all over the back fence because my father assured me it could kill little girls.

Naturally, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned just how poisonous most of the other plants I played were. How on earth did I survive into adulthood?

Anyway, these cute little guys spring up all around Northern Europe. In Norway they’re called “fluesopp” or “fly mushroom.” Knut tried explaining that people used to think they were the source of fly larva? Who knows? Their caps can grow to about the size of a spread hand and they’re generally jolly and cute. They’re also exceedingly poisonous. Knut informs me that Vikings used to take a tiny nibble just before battle to fuel their berserker rages. Apparently they trigger some sort of nasty hallucinogenic reaction—not for recreational use! As a result, Knut and I referred to them as “insanity mushrooms.”

Because I was so taken with them (Norway is an awesome source for fungi. We used to go on fungus walks in the Fall.), I had to show them to any Americans who visited. No one else knew they really existed either!

My mom still refers to these as “insanity mushrooms” which makes it very amusing when we shop for Christmas ornaments.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday list

Ahhh… Mondays. I have quite a number of things I’d rather do today:

Make a new charm bracelet for Etsy. I’m thinking of skulls and ice cream cones. Tough but sweet!

Feed ducks. I can’t explain this but I’ve have this inexplicable urge to feed ducks lately. Maybe not inexplicable. I love ducks.

Wash the dog. He’s getting distinctly gray.

Work on onesies. Must do!

Make Knut a couple of amusing new polo shirts. I take weirdo things like 1960s Norwegian sardine wrapper designs and put them as a logo on polo shirts so he can wear them to work.

Try out that professional grade sculpey.

Test out my shiny new watercolor kit. I could paint the ducks I’m not feeding.

Put out more bird seed. A cute little red headed finch comes to the window sill. I saw a funny little raptor on the window sill a few months ago too!

Watch creepy Channel 4 documentaries about the sex lives of less than averagely attractive English couples. It’s amazing how many of those there are (on both counts!).

Get around to wikipedia-ing Metalocalypse or however it’s spelled. I can’t figure out what’s going on. Is the brown haired guy Scandinavian or Canadian?

Do some hot (350 degrees) Shrinky Dink action.

Make polymer clay pie magnets. I love pie. Pi is okay too. Check out Dev’s fractal pecan pie!

Wear a nightie.

Walk the doggie. I live in a cute neighborhood. I’d like to see it in the daylight a little more.

Work on a top secret project for a person who shall remain nameless who frequently reads this blog. Keep out, person of unconfirmed gender!

Daydream about what my brother may send me from Japan (Fabric? Keychains? A whimsical adventure with adorable fuzzy woodland spirits?)

Go to the library and get a book on Seattle. I am soo excited to see my cousin Gretchen! And see plenty of Seattle fun like orca whales and Archie Mcphee!

Force my lazy self to the hardware store to buy those dog tag chains for single luchador mask necklaces. May try this with hex signs too.

Find out when Kjelli and his girlfriend will be coming up to visit. Yay!

Take my time and enjoy cooking dinner. Tonight: faux-jitas!

Remove the pockets from those pants that would be very flattering—if they didn’t have pockets!

Plan a weekend excursion to Starved Rock.

Sew the buttons on my red coat (got awesome magenta sliced nut buttons) and on Knut’s bunad. Norwegian Independence Day is right around the corner!

Help Miss Eloina Montesinos celebrate her 2nd birthday! While I’m daydreaming, let’s go to Disneyland! Yeah!

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Idnight and the Oon is Full...

I’m having a (not unusually) crummy day at work today and the weather’s dreary so I’m a little glum.

But I hate to blog about that kind of stuff because it’s usually intensely boring to read.

So, why not talk about something I really like? Like “M!”

M is a great Norwegian comic strip by Mads Eriksen This strip features himself and his girlfriend (know only as Madamen. “The Madam” is a vaguely old fashioned way to refer to your wife) and various friends, toys, rubber chickens, random Goths, Vorlon ambassadors, etc. Nearly everything is pop culture based. Star Wars is particularly heavily referenced

Unfortunately, most of the language is Norwegian, but I’ve found a few current strips that are wordless. It’s a bit of a shame because his text is every bit as funny as his drawings. What makes it extra annoying is that Norway is practically bilingual, but alas they will insist on using their native language. I’ve ended up translating M, Nemi, and Pondus strips for English speaking friends.

One great thing about M is how accomplished an artist he really is. The covers of his collect newspaper strips usually have movie poster parody themes destined to make you giggle. For instance, look at this one imitating the classic “Tales of the Crypt” comic books.

Knut and I have noticed some striking similarities between M and Madamen and Knut and me. Interestingly, once we went to one of Eriksen’s book signing in Stavanger. When we got to the store, we were told that it had been rearranged and took place the day before. So I’ve still never seen Mads and Knut in the same room together. Hmmm…

But please do enjoy these! He’s such a great cartoonist that it seems such a shame that he’s really only available to such a small percentage of readers. Also please do go to the website to look at his work. I've reproduced his strips here so it would be more accessible to non-Norwegian speakers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Birthday for a Thoughtful Rabbit!

Today is my birthday and while I was expecting a quiet day, I have been showered with attention and some really awesome presents! Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate it.

I did go to work today (and I can’t complain! People have been lovely. And the banana and blueberry muffins I baked were much appreciated), but I’ve decided to treat myself to a mental memory vacation for the day.

Got on your comfortable shoes? Camera? Your Jet Pack? Let’s go!

We wake up…

In Disneyland!! Not just regular Disneyland, but Disneyland Paris!

Don’t worry; we walked through a beautiful open air French market to get there, so you’ve got your croissant and cafĂ© au lait. First we’ll enter this beautiful castle and climb our way down to the grotto beneath it. A fierce dragon lurks there who snorts smoke and flickering his scaly eyelids. But he never eats birthday people, so we should be safe. This time. We’ll make sure to ride the Haunted Mansion many times to figure out the creepy murderous Black Widow story line. After that, we’ll ride Peter Pan and Small World. When our feet start to hurt, we’ll curl up in Skull Rock, knowing that the American Parks no longer have that attraction.

That’s enough fresh air for a little while, how about some intellectual stimulation?

Off we go to London to the British Museum.

Of course, we’ll look at the Sutton Hoo treasure and the Teddy Bear collection, but the main stop is the Egyptian collection. Take a gander at these mummified cats! What did you think of the National Geographic reconstruction of Tutankhamen’s face? Hadn’t other reconstructions suggested that the ancient Egyptians had more African features? Wait! Is that a bunny on that mummy case?

I’m embarrassed to say, that strange sweet smell from the mummy room has made me hungry.

Time for Lunch… at Sola Strand Hotel in Norway!

I can’t eat the smoked salmon myself, but I’m sure you’ll like it. That there is fenalaar, which is preserved leg of lamb, very tasty. This is flatbrod, try putting some fenalaar on that with a little of the egg? Nice? I’m going to fill up on beef tenderloin and shrimp, but make sure to leave room for dessert. There are jellies and apple cake and caramel pudding. Make sure you get plenty of the mixed berries and cream. They grow them all locally. Whew. I am stuffed. I think I need a lay down, but where should we go?

What better place for a siesta than Spain?

This Moorish castle towers over Malaga, birthplace of Salvador Dali. The roomy accommodations here include plenty of benches, lots of shady vine covered verandas, and romantic nooks. What do you say we stretch out in the garden and enjoy the sunshine? Good thing we brought our Panama

I always feel like a little shopping after a nice lunch. Let’s head to Krakow!

This charming shopping street features Polish milled silk velvet scarves, paintings by students, beautiful silver work, blown glass Christmas ornaments, and most importantly amber. Find amber in shades you never imagined existed. Amber cut into cameos. Amber with insects. Who would guess fossilized tree sap would be so beautiful and such a pleasure to wear?

There is one odd thing about Krakow. See those cute young guys in black over there? Look, but don’t touch! They’re all priests.

Whew! It’s been a great trip, but I’m about ready to drop. I think it’s time to head home to my most favorite place of all.

Thanks for coming along!

Happy Annual Bunny Day to you!!