I Knew That We Must Part

Gretchen passed away yesterday evening. We may never know the cause of her illness; she was a rescue cat with no past that we could reference. She had eye problems that were determined to be indicative of either FIP or cancer. Two weeks of syringe feeding had taken it’s toll and she began to decline rapidly last night. She was taken to Old Marple Animal Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. We will remember most her big bear-like hugs, her glowing orange fur, and the raspy voice that inspired my son to give her the name “Gretchen”.

She will be missed.

Gretchen Cat

R.I.P Gretchen March 10, 2012

I Knew That We Must Part

Charles Sprague

I knew that we must part, — day after day,
I saw the dread Destroyer win his way;
That hollow cough first rang the fatal knell,
As on my ear its prophet-warning fell,
Feeble and slow thy once light footstep grew,
Thy wasting cheek put on death’s pallid hue,
Thy thin, hot hand to mine more weakly clung,
Each sweet ‘Good night’ fell fainter from thy tongue.

I knew that we must, — no power could save
Thy quiet goodness from an early grave.
Those eyes so dull, though kind each glance they cast,
Looking a sister’s fondness to the last;
Thy lips so pale, that gently pressed my cheek;–
All told thy doom; I felt it at my heart;
The shaft had struck, –I knew that we must part.

And we have parted, sister; thou art gone!
Gone in thine innocence, meek, suffering one.
Thy weary spirit breathed itself to sleep
So peacefully, it seemed a sin to weep,
In those fond watchers who around thee stood,
And felt, even then, that God, even then was good.

Like stars that struggle through the clouds of night,
Thine eyes one moment caught a glorious light;
As if to thee, in that dread hour, ‘t were given
To know on earth what faith believes of heaven;
Then like tired breezed didst thou sink to rest,
Nor one, one pang the awful changed confessed.
Death stole the softness o’er that lovely face,
And touched each feature with a newborn grace;
On cheek and brow unearthly beauty lay,
And told that life’s poor cares had passed away.
In my last hour to Heaven be so kind to me!
I ask no more than this–to die like thee.

But we have parted, sister; thou art dead!
On its last resting-place I laid thy head,
then by thy coffin-side knelt down and took
A brother’s farewell kiss and farewell look;
Those marble lips no kindred kiss returned;
From those veiled orbs no glance responsive burned:
Ah! then I felt that thou hadst passed away,
That the sweet face I gazed on was but clay;
And then came Memory, with her busy throng
Of tender images, forgotten long;
Years hurried back, and, as they swiftly rolled,
I saw thee, heard thee, as in days of old;
Sad and more sad each sacred feeling grew;
Manhood was moved, and Sorrow claimed her due;
Thick, thick and fast the burning tear-drops started;
I turned away — and felt that we had parted. —

But not forever–in the silent tomb,
Where thou art laid, thy kindred shall find room;
A little while, a few short years of pain,
And, one by one, we’ll come to thee again;
The kind old father shall seek out the place,
And rest with thee, the youngest of his race;
The dear, dear mother, bent with age and grief,
Shall lay her head by thine, in sweet relief;
Sister and brother, and that faithful friend,
True from the first and tender to the end,
All, all, in His good time, who placed us here,
To live, to love, to die, and disappear,
Shall come and make their quiet bed with thee,
Beneath the shadow of that spreading tree;
With thee to sleep through death’s long, dreamless night,
With thee rise up and bless the morning light.

This poem was fond in a slim volume of prose and verse entitled The Cypress Wreath; A Book of Consolation for Those Who Mourn. 1844.

Pocket Watch Illustration

A free clip art image of a pocket watch. With it’s ornate case and Roman numerals, it’s a must have download for digital artists with a steampunk or Victorian bent.

Clip Art German Pocket Watch

Download this free clip art image of a pocket watch with roman numerals, just click on the picture above for the larger version.

I dislike the process of changing time. Daylight savings time, spring forward, fall back, all just a manipulation of time by “the Man”, an affirmation that the Government controls everything, even time itself. And that’s all I’ll say on the subject, I’m fully capable of launching a rant on DST of epic proportions in relation to my anger at having my personal sleep patterns shuffled around for no good cause.

But do enjoy the free clip art pocket watch. It was found in an antique German ABC book for children.

Fried Eggs with Pickles?! 17 Forgotten Ways to Cook Eggs

Old fashioned egg recipes for 17 different ways to cook eggs, illustrated with a lovely vintage Easter image that you can use as clip art. From Lett’s Household Magazine, 1884, these recipes have the potential to make your traditional Easter dinner complete!

Victorian fantasy Easter image showing a large chick in an egg

Clip Art: Vintage Easter Fantasy with an Oversize Chicken Hatching Out of an Egg. Bemused Girl Looks on in Wonder.

Eggs à la Crême – Cut some very thin slices of bread and put them in the bottom and around the sides of a moderately deep dish. Boil twelve eggs just hard enough to slice, and place them in the dish. Cover them with a layer of grated stale bread, well peppered and salted. Make several layers. Mix a quarter of a pound of butter, a table-spoonful of flour, some chopped parsley, onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a gill of cream. Mix them well and stir in a saucepan on the fire until it begins to boil; then pour it over the eggs in the dish, cover with grated bread, brown in the oven and serve hot.

Baked Eggs, Ardennes Style – Separate the whites and yolks of six eggs, putting each yolk by itself in a cup, and the whites altogether in a bowl; when all the eggs are broken, beat the whites to a stiff froth, after adding to them a saltspoonful of salt and a quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper; spread them on a buttered dish, slip the yokes on top, laying them a little apart, and bake for five minutes in a hot oven, or until they are light brown; dust pepper and salt over the top and serve them hot.

Eggs with Burnt Butter – Break half a dozen eggs, putting each one in a cup to keep them entire; put four tablespoonfuls of butter in a frying pan and brown it over the fire, slip the eggs into the hot butter and cook them to the desired degree; then take them up with a skimmer, lay them on toast and set the dish containing them where they will keep hot. Pour half a cup of vinegar into the butter, let it boil up once, pour it over the eggs and serve them hot.

Scotch Eggs – One cut of lean, cooked ham, cut very fine; six hard-boiled eggs. Cook one-third of a cup of stale bread-crumbs in one third of a cup of milk to a smooth paste, and mix it with the ham. Add one-half a teaspoonful of mixed mustard, one half a saltspoonful of cayenne, and one raw egg. Mix well. Remove the shells from the boiled eggs and cover each with the mixture. Fry in hot fat for two minutes, drain and serve hot or cold.

Eggs à la Neige – Put into a saucepan a pint of milk, two dessert-spoonfuls of orange-flower water, and two ounces of sugar, and let them boil; take six eggs, beat the whites to a froth and put it into the boiling milk by spoonfuls; stir the whole about with a skimmer; when done take the cooked frothed whites out and arrange on a dish; thicken the milk over the fire with the beaten yolks, and pour all over the frothed whites and serve.

Savoury Eggs – Boil any number of eggs hard, and when cold take the yokes and beat them smooth, with an equal number of anchovies, a little catsup, and a piece of butter. Add some lemon-juice and a little cayenne pepper. With this composition fill the whites of the eggs, and cut off the small ends so as to stand them up. Essence of anchovy will do as well as the fish. Grated ham or smoked beef may also be used.

Fried Eggs with Pickles – Put enough butter, lard, or ham-fat in a hot frying-pan to entirely cover the bottom, break in as many eggs as it will hold, dust them with pepper and salt, cook them to the required degree, and put them on a hot dish; meanwhile chop a large pickle finely and put it into the frying-pan for one minute after the eggs have been taken up, then put it on them serve them at once.

Fricasseed Eggs – Boil six eggs five minutes. Lay them in cold water. Peel them and dredge them with flour. Beat one raw egg light and dip the hard eggs in it. Roll them in bread crumbs, seasoned with pepper, salt, and grated nutmeg; cover the eggs will with this and let them dry. Fry them in boiling fat and serve them with any rich, well-seasoned gravy and garnish of parsley.

Eggs Convent Fashion – Boil four eggs ten minutes and put in cold water. Melt an ounce of butter and fry an onion cut into very thin slices; add a teaspoonful of flour, half a pint of milk, half a teaspoonful of flour, half a pint of milk, half a teaspoonful of salt, a quarter teaspoonful of pepper, and when nicely done add the flour eggs cut crossways into six pieces; toss them up and serve hot on toast.

Whites of Eggs à la Crême – Beat the whites of twelve eggs with four teaspoonfuls of rose-water with a little grated lemon-peel, nutmeg and powdered sugar. Put them in four moulds and boil for half an hour. When cold place in a dish and serve for supper with a sauce made of a half a pint of cream, a gill of wine, and half the juice of an orange sweetened.

Baked Omelet – Boil one pint of milk. Beat six eggs thoroughly, the yokes and whites separately. Put half a teaspoonful of salt, and butter half the size of an egg, into the boiling milk; stir this into the beaten eggs and turn all into a deep dish to bake. Bake ten minutes in a quick oven. It should be a delicate brown. Serve while hot.

Eggs with Cheese – Put four ounces of grated cheese, a piece of butter as large as a walnut, some chopped parsley and chives, nutmeg, and half a glass of wine; boil until the cheese is melted, continually stirring; add six eggs, beat them up and stew them altogether gently; serve on a dish garnished with fried slices of bread.

Eggs in Marinade – Poach six eggs nicely, trim them and serve with a sauce made as follows: three spoonfuls of water, a gill of white gravy, a spoonful of vinegar, a little pepper and salt, yolks of two eggs; stir these in a stewpan till they begin to thicken, but not boil, and pour them over the six eggs. Serve cold with a garnish of parsley.

Baked Eggs and Cheese – Lay some thin slices of cheese on a buttered flat baking dish, break as many eggs on the cheese as the dish will hold in a single layer, dust them with salt and pepper, put a small bit of butter on each one, and bake them to the required degree in a hot oven.

Eggs with Brown Butter – Melt a piece of butter in a frying-pan, and when it has ceased bubbling put in some beaten eggs, seasoned with pepper and salt, pass a red-hot iron—a hot poker, for example—over them to fry the yolk, and then pour over a spoonful of hot vinegar and serve.

Eggs in Cases – Make eight cases of writing-paper and butter the insides. Mix some butter with half a handful of bread crumbs, parsley, chives, cloves of garlic chopped up, salt and pepper. Put this in each case, and break an egg in. Put each on a gridiron over a gentle fire.

Eggs à la Tripe – Boil some onions with a good lump of butter very gently. When done add some salt, a spoonful of flour, a cup of cream or milk, and a piece of sugar the size of a hazel-nut. Let them simmer. Put in some hard-boiled eggs cut in quarters, and serve hot.

Baked Eggs – Put half an ounce of butter in a small tin pan, break four eggs in it, keeping the yokes whole, salt and butter and pepper them and bake in oven. They will take about six minutes.

Mule Coloring Page

Here is a vintage illustration of a mule for the children to color in. A printable coloring page from The Model Painting Book for Young People, published circa 1900.

Animal Mule Coloring Page

Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of this Mule that you can print out and color in!

Tips on Coloring in your Mule Printable

In the distance, you can see other mules as they pull carts and carry heavy loads. Mules played an important part in American history and they were vital to Westward expansion and agriculture. Our coloring page was printed in the early 1900s, and so this animal would have been familiar to most children. According to The American Mule Museum

By 1897, the number of mules had expanded to 2.2 million, worth $103 million. With the cotton boom, primarily in Texas, the number of mules grew to 4.1 million, worth $120 each.   One-fourth of all the mules were in Texas and the stockyards at Ft. Worth became the world center for buying and selling mules.

You can pretend our mule team is carting off curious finds from an expedition, a fortune in gold, an exotic and tasty harvest, or just the laundry for the week. Whatever your pleasure, you can’t go wrong with the steadfast and sturdy mule.

Dog Coloring Page Water Spaniel

A printable dog coloring page of a Water Spaniel. From the antique coloring book, The Model Painting Book for Young People, circa 1900.

Dog Coloring Page Water Spaniel

Dog coloring page of a Water Spaniel. Click the thumbnail to download the printable.

Tips for the Water Spaniel Coloring Page

Naturally imagination is the key to having fun with a coloring page. Color your Water Spaniel hot pink and bright green. Instead of jumping out of a pond or stream, add stars and color in some cosmic rays and now your water spaniel is a space dog on an intergalactic quest to save planet earth.

In reality, if you would like to color in the dog accurately, take into consideration the breed. The American Water Spaniel is a medium sized dog with a thick double-layered coat in different shades of rich brown. They are used as hunting dogs and the sprightly dog in our coloring page is no doubt leaping to catch it’s quarry. Consult the wiki entry on The American Water Spaniel for additional information and photographs to use as a color guide.

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