Saturday Surprise … A Sad Story And A Small Journey

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the …weekend-2It’s been a long and ugly week, hasn’t it?  I saw the sunshine for all of 7 minutes on … I think it was Wednesday, or perhaps Tuesday.  Haven’t seen it since.  Perhaps I scared it off when I started shrieking, “BRIGHT LIGHT … BRIGHT LIGHT!!!”

I have to tell you a sad story that crossed my path this week.  No couple gets along all the time, but most couples who truly love each other manage to work through their problems.  It seems that if a couple stays together for, say 30-40 years, they aren’t likely to split for any reason other than death.  But the couple I’m going to tell you about today are the exception.  They were together, as best anybody can figure, for around 90 years, and yet their relationship dissolved.

Both Bibi and Poldi were born in Switzerland in 1897 and became a couple during the Roaring Twenties.  They later relocated to Austria in the 1970s.  They shared a love of many of the same things, such as tomatoes.  They seemed to have everything going for them until suddenly they began having troubles.  Just a little spat, but unusual for them.  After all, this was a couple that had made it through the Great Depression, two World Wars, and the millennium. Surely one little spat wouldn’t do them in.

They tried counseling, and eventually a temporary separation, with Poldi moving into his own bachelor’s pad after Bibi bit him one day in 2011, drawing blood!  But the counseling didn’t work, and the ‘trial’ separation became a permanent one.  Today, they live in side-by-side matched condos, but rarely even see each other.matched-condosDid I mention that Bibi and Poldi are Galápagos tortoises?

Bibi-Poldi

The spat that dissolved a 90-year love affair

Bibi and Poldi reside at the Reptilienzoo Happ in Klagenfurt, Austria.  It is a sad story, but also a fascinating one, and I encourage you to read the entire story at Atlas Obscura!

Poldi-seeking-Bibi

Poldi is looking for Bibi

Bibi-tomato

Bibi loves her tomatoes!

Now that I’ve broken your hearts, let’s hop aboard the Filomobile for a quick jaunt, for there are a couple of things I really want to show you!


kelpies-1Welcome to Helix park, in Falkirk, in Scotland, and these two impressive statues are the Kelpies, sculptures that form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal, and the new canal extension built as part of The Helix land transformation project.

According to sculptor Andy Scott:

“The original concept of mythical water horses was a valid starting point for the artistic development of the structures. took that concept and moved with it towards a more equine and contemporary response, shifting from any mythological references towards a socio-historical monument intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture as well as the obvious association with the canals as tow horses.”kelpies-2kelpies-3

Pretty impressive, don’t you think?


While we’re on this side of the big pond, let’s hop over to Belgium and visit La Balade des Gnomes.  What, you ask, is that?  Well, it is a bed-and-breakfast, but a rather unique one, for it has ten themed rooms, no two alike.  Let’s take a look, shall we?Trojan-horse-exteriorThis is the exterior of the most famous suite, a stand-alone, two-story building in the shape of a Trojan Horse. The Trojan Horse suite has its own motorized drawbridge entrance.

trojan-horse-entrance

The horse’s head is a room that can be moved around by levers inside. The whole building gives the feeling of being within a mythical, medieval, wooden, post-apocalyptic mobile home. There’s also a jacuzzi tub, as an added bonus.

Other rooms include the Macquarie Island room where your bed is a boat which appears to float on real water and there is a real beach with real sand in your room. The suites are filled with wooden toadstools, starry skies (glowing on your ceiling) and crooked windows.

This one is the Legend of the Trolls room …

legend-of-trolls

Legend-of-trolls-bedroom

Personally, I don’t think I would enjoy spending a night here, but I thought it would be fun to see!b-b-1

b-b-2

Um … thanks, but no, I really don’t think I could sleep with those … things … above my head!  The price isn’t bad as these things go, although it is out of my budget … 134 €, or about $151 USD.


Well, folks, I know it was a short jaunt this week, but it’s getting late and we all have things we need to do this weekend, so we better be getting back.  I do hope you enjoyed the little trip, and we’ll take a longer journey soon … perhaps even next week!

Have a fun and happy weekend … by the way, Happy Family Day to my Canadian friends and enjoy your long weekend!

A Jolly Cold Monday …

Good Monday morning, friends!  Come on in … don’t worry about tracking snow in … Jolly will sweep it up in a minute.  Did you all have a wonderful weekend?  Mine?  Oh, well, since it stayed well below freezing all weekend, and since I’m still doing battle with a respiratory ‘thing’, I stayed in all weekend, but I did get to spend some time reading and sleeping, so that was nice.  I’ve simply got to get some energy back this week, for as you can see, we still have Christmas lights and decorations up in the living room.  I managed to ‘un-decorate’ the rest of the house, but the living room is still pretty Christmas-y.  I gave some thought to just leaving them up, since we’re already a month-and-a-half through the year, but no … they must come down this week!

Grab a snack and a cup of java or tea, and let’s see if we can find something to help us start the week out with a smile, shall we?

juice boxtea-2coffee-many-cups


Coca-Cola is rolling out a new flavour for the first time in over a decade.  I don’t drink soft drinks more than three or four times a year, but I’m likely to try this one … Orange-Vanilla. orange-vanilla-cokeThe company also considered raspberry, and lemon-ginger, but after a test run of the orange-vanilla in Canada proved successful, they chose that.  Said a company spokesperson …

“We wanted to bring back positive memories of carefree summer days. That’s why we leaned into the orange-vanilla flavor combination — which is reminiscent of the creamy orange popsicles we grew up loving, but in a classically Coke way.”

It will be in stores on Monday, February 25th, so mark your calendars!  And if you try it, let me know what you think.


Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but … I find the concept of online dating services to be just a bit creepy.  First, it seems to me an act of desperation.  Second, I’m leery of strangers, especially in this day and age.  But even with that said, this next story is just about beyond weird in my opinion.

Samsung has rolled out a new ‘dating app’ with a unique twist.  Instead of seeing a picture of the person they are trying to hook you up with, you see a picture of the inside of their refrigerator!  According to Samsung’s website

refrigerdaterDating where the inside is all that counts

Refrigerdating is a service that helps you to find love based on the content of your fridge. By uploading an image of your food, you can get in contact with others who have realized that you are what you eat!

Thanks, but no thanks.  And anyway, if I uploaded a picture of the inside of my fridge, anybody with an ounce of sense would run in the other direction very quickly!


You’ve all heard the expression, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”?  Well, David Aguilar, who is studying bioengineering at Barcelona’s International University of Catalonia, proves that to be true.  Born with only one arm, David combined his love of building with Lego blocks and his need for a second arm, and … well, watch him show you what he has done …

Pretty awesome problem-solving skills, wouldn’t you say!  I love the “can-do” attitude!


I came across a few funny meme’s on a friend’s Facebook page and decided to snag them to share with you this morning …

funny-meme

sign-1

spider-meme


By the way … before I forget!  Thursday is Valentine’s Day, so if there’s someone special in your heart, don’t forget to send a card, or just call and say, “Hey … I love you!”  You don’t have to spend a lot of money on flowers or jewelry … a card will mean just as much.Valentines


And finally … what’s not to love about these adorable Red Pandas?


jollyI hope you’ve found something to bring a smile to your face this morning, and that you’ll share those smiles with those who need them most.  Keep safe & warm, and have a great week, my friends!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!

Saturday Surprise — Weird Buildings And A Cute Kitten!

Good Saturday morning, friends!  Come in out of the cold and join me for a cuppa before you head out on your weekend errands.  I was really hoping we could take a journey today, have an adventure, but I’m still not quite up for it.  I thought about having Jolly take you, but … well … while I adore the little guy, he’s even more directionally challenged than I am, and I was afraid I might not see you again for a month!  But I did find a couple of fun things for us to start the weekend.

Ever hear of Frank Gehry?  No?  I hadn’t either, until I came across some strange-looking buildings and found that they were all designed by the same architect:  Frank Gehry.

Frank GehryFrank Gehry is a Canadian-born American architect, residing in Los Angeles.  A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world-renowned attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as “the most important architect of our age”.

Let’s take a look at some of his buildings …

bldg-1.jpg

Fred And Ginger, Prague, Czech Republic

The Fred And Ginger or The Dancing House in the Chech Capital is one of the most controversial works of Gehry, because of the audacity that he had when he thought of and implemented the idea of building two modern, dancing buildings that don’t fit in with their classical surroundings. Yet unusual shapes have enriched Prague’s old town and now it’s iconic. Oh, and the name ‘Fred and Ginger’ was chosen because of the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that inspired Frank Gehry.


bldg-2

Museum Of Pop Culture, Seattle, Washington

This massive construction looks like it’s melting under Seattle’s mellow sun, yet it’s far from that. This sheet-metal covered structure was inspired by the rock music and the energy that it embodies. Gehry even admitted that the preparations included buying and putting together guitar pieces in order to create a form which would inspire the soon-to-be the museum of pop culture.


bldg-3

Marqués De Riscal Hotel, Elciego, Spain

A small Spanish Town in a region that is famous for its wine today is probably even better known for something way more extravagant. It’s yet another boundary-breaking Gehry’s work and it’s a luxury hotel that looks like something that would make Don Quixote forget about windmills and start preparing for a much bigger battle.


bldg-4.jpg

Stata Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The full name of this building is “The Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences” and it’s was designed for none other than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was built in the place of Building 20, a place which was surrounded by legends and local M.I.T. folklore. Since 2004 the Stata Center has attracted so much attention that it’s become a legend of its own.


bldg-5.jpg

Lou Ruvo Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

This work is not a museum, nor a concert hall, in fact, it’s something quite to the contrary. It’s a center for brain health, or as the full name goes The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Lou Ruvo is a businessman from Las Vegas, who lost his father due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore he initiated the project and in 2010 it became reality.


bldg-7

Vitra Design Museum, Weil Am Rhein, Germany

Despite having completed many cutting-edge projects all over the world, this one was the first in Europe. It’s a museum that exhibits furniture and interior design pieces and solutions, yet it’s the building itself that attracts the most attention. It’s special in more ways than one – it was the first time Gehry said yes to curved forms in his project. The result speaks for itself.


bldg-8

Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

Even though It looks like something where Ice King from Adventure Time would live in if he had a house in Spain, Guggenheim Bilbao serves a big purpose – it’s a museum of modern and contemporary art which in itself is a piece of art. Named as one of the most important works of architecture in the last decades by numerous experts, this building has many reasons why it’s unique. This construction was so successful and well acclaimed that it started attracting tourists to the city of Bilbao. Lots of tourists. During the first 12 months since the museum opened, tourists generated $160 million for the local economy. This building basically revived an entire city. This economical phenomenon even received a name – the Bilbao Effect.


bldg-9.jpg

Biomuseo, Panama City, Panama

Biomuseo, an ecology museum, was yet another step for Gehry, as this was his first project in Latin America. Panamanian politicians started talks with Gehry about realizing his works in this location in hopes that this would eventually create a “Bilbao Effect” and attract more tourists and investments. The bright colors, which is not a typical characteristic of Gehry’s work, were chosen to represent the rich nature of Panama.


bldg-10.jpg

Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building, Sydney, Australia

In 2015, Gehry’s influence reached the seventh continent when he finished his first project in Australia. It’s a business school building of the University of Technology Sydney and it’s estimated that in order to create an unusual brick building like this one, they had to use around 320,000 custom-made bricks.


bldg-12

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

Fondation Louis Vuitton is a museum and a cultural center that rests in Paris, surrounded by the Bois de Boulogne park. It took 3,600 glass panels and 19,000 concrete panels to form this armada-looking structure. It opened in 2014 and is the most famous addition to the Parisian art world in the XXI century, where pieces by artists like Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein are exhibited.


bldg-13

The Fish, Barcelona, Spain

Yes, it’s what it looks like – a colossal abstract fish. This eye-catching sculpture was presented to the world back in 1992, during the preparations for the Olympics that took place in Barcelona later the same year. It’s made of metal plates so the humongous fish reflects sunlight and therefore changes its colors and looks even more vivid in real life.


bldg-14

Marta Herford, Herford, Germany

Martha Herford was a textile factory, but with a touch by Frank Gehry, it was transformed into a contemporary art museum. An art museum that looks like it was built out of clay. On Mars. By aliens.


bldg-17.jpg

Binoculars Building, Venice, Los Angeles, California

Originally known as the Chiat/Day building, it didn’t take long until people started referring to it as the Binoculars building. And it’s not difficult to see why. The whole building is more than the giant binoculars, which, actually, are an original artwork by Claes Oldenburg and serve as an addition to the building itself.


Well … what did you think?  Some pretty wild architecture, eh?  What was your favourite?  Maybe in our travels one of these days we’ll visit some of them and see them up close!  And now, because you all know how I love animals, and also for the younger readers who were likely bored by the tour of the buildings, I end with an adorable video about a kitten named Churro the Purro, born with deformed back legs, and how he overcame his disability to become a beloved family member.

Have a fun and safe weekend, my friends!

*Header image is The Iac Building in New York.  No sparkly and shiny sheet-metal in sight, which automatically made The Iac Building stand out from other creation by Frank Gehry. That’s why it’s said that above its resemblance to the sails of a ship, it’s conceptually closest to an iceberg. And indeed it looks like one, resting in the ocean that is New York.

Kind Of A Jolly Monday …

Happy Monday morning, my friends.  I’ve been a bit under the weather for a few days now, so I’m afraid I didn’t do any baking, but had Jolly run out in the Filomobile for some donuts … I hope you’ll forgive me.donuts-1donuts-2


Last week we had some of the coldest temperatures I can remember.  But then, I can’t remember why I went into the kitchen.  Still … it must have been pretty darn cold for this …pic-1

Or how ‘bout this one … Cowgirls and their horses in the Midwest?pic-2

And this …pic-6

And then yesterday, after a morning low of -6° on Wednesday, we had temps of 50°!  Needless to say, when 6” to 8” of snow melts that quickly, it has nowhere to go, so then you get flood warnings.  But no … nothing unusual about all this, is there now?


I had to laugh at this one yesterday …

Husband ‘calls police on own wife after she refuses to split bill for Chinese’

It happened in Sydney, Australia, where an unnamed man, apparently balked at having to foot the dinner bill, called “000”, Australia’s equivalent of the U.S.’ 911, or the UK’s 999.  The police arrived and reminded the man that the emergency number is for actual emergencies.chinese food“Police are unsure of who eventually paid for the remainder of the succulent Chinese meal,” North Shore Police Area Command said in a statement.

I wonder if he had egg … foo yung … on his face?


And speaking of husbands … how about this one …

Adam-Hemsley-lemur

Adam Hemsley feeding lemur.  Look at that tail!!!  (The lemur’s, not Adam’s)

The Hemsley Conservation Centre, located southeast of London, is a small zoo & conservation center started by Adam Hemsley in 2015.  They are said to have several animals you don’t see everyday, and if you check out the Centre’s website  you’ll see they have some very positive reviews and adorable pictures.

Meerkats

Precious little meerkats … I would take one for a Valentine’s Day present if anybody felt so inclined.  Though I’m not sure how they would fare with the Sig Six

For Valentine’s Day, they are offering a real deal … for a small donation of about $2, they will name a cockroach after your ex-husband!  Names will appear on the roach board next to the zoo’s cockroach enclosure. Money raised through the endeavor will go toward future zoo projects.

cockroach“For those that don’t quite require revenge, there’s another way to make you feel better about getting back at your ex this Valentine’s Day,” said the zoo in a statement about the program.

Participants will receive a certificate that reads, “I’ve named a cockroach at the Hemsley Conservation Centre in the not so loving memory of my worthless ex!”  A bit harsh?  Perhaps, but I’ve known a few who deserved it. The certificate also grants the holder half-price entry into the zoo!


pic-3pic-4pic-5


I told you a few days ago that I am trying to make note of what the ‘National Day of ______’ is this year, right?  Partly that is because our friend Ellen goaded me a few times, saying, “I can’t believe you missed National _________ Day”.  Well, today marks a newly designated day, National Hemp Day!  Mark it on your calendars, folks!  It also happens to be National Football Hangover Day (I’m assuming this has something to do with last night’s Super Bowl which yours truly did NOT watch!  And it is National Thank-A-Mail-Carrier Day, as well as National Homemade Soup Day!  And finally, it is National Create A Vacuum Day, and I have no idea what that means!

I do apologize for the shorter-than-usual Jolly Monday, but how ‘bout a cute animal video to finish off the morning?


jollyHave a great week, folks, keep safe & warm, and please share those gorgeous smiles I see you wearing.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Happy Groundhog Day!!! – Redux

This is a repeat of my 2017 Groundhog Day post.  This year, Phil will not be able to dig his way out from the deeply frozen ground, so … no worries about him seeing a shadow!


“Ground Hog Day is tomorrow. We’re the only country that accepts weather predictions from a rodent, and denies climate change facts by scientists.” – Alt-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

ghd-3Good morning!  Today is a very special day, so I am setting aside my usual fare for this morning’s post to pay due respect and homage to none other than Pennsylvania’s own … {drumroll} … {applause} … Punxsutawney Phil!!!!  A brief summary of the legend and the history for my friends across the pond who may not know about Phil:

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

ghd-5Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.

ghd-herb

According to the Weather Channel, the forecast in Punxsutawney is a high chance of cloudy skies, and even a chance of a flurry or two. According to the legend, this means an early spring is ahead. For the record, Punxsutawney Phil has only been accurate 39% of the time since 1887.

I used to say that Groundhog Day was my favourite holiday, mostly because it did not require a lot of effort on my part … no huge meal to cook, no presents to buy and wrap, no tree to decorate or lights to string.

ghd-4

I happened across a humorous piece I thought you might enjoy.  Scott Feschuk, a Canadian speechwriter, humourist and former newspaper journalist, wrote this satire piece after hearing Trump’s rather ridiculous speech on black history.  It is his take on what a speech by Trump to commemorate Groundhog Day might be like:

“Well, this is Groundhog Day, so these are just a few little notes I want to share with you. On this day, we honour the tremendous history of groundhogs throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right? Because that’s where groundhogs are and where they live. Here but also there. Everywhere, really, except not exactly everywhere but almost.

Mostly in the ground though, on or it, or in the vicinity – which is why we call them that. Groundhogs. Right there in the name.

They’re incredible animals and their incredible example is unique in many ways. So many unique ways that honestly there’s no point in me examining any of them in any detail. We all know. We all know bigly.

You’ve all heard about groundhogs. They are well known and people know about them. We have some good ones. We have the one from that place in Pennsylvania and we have other ones and we have the one from that golf movie with one of the Ghostbusters. There are others. Many others that we all know, and I also know them.

The groundhog from the movie Groundhog Day is an example of a groundhog who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Big impact. But all groundhogs – big impact on the seasons and the changing of the seasons. There are several seasons and we all know what they are.

I do very well with groundhogs, by the way, not that you’d know from CNN which is fake news and disgraceful. But I do substantially better than others have done. They hear me talk about underground life—it’s horrible, life is short, you can get killed by a wolf on the way to pick up an acorn. They hear me and they love me.

The groundhog is cherished. I am very proud of the fact that people in America can learn about groundhogs, and many other things. And they can learn about their many, many accomplishments, which we celebrate on this day, which is why it is called Groundhogs Day and is so special.

I’m proud to honour our groundhog heritage and will be honouring it more and more. Like I said before, a groundhog is an animal—much like a fox is also an animal. And Fox News has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.

Omarosa saw a groundhog once.” 

So there you have it.  Everything you always wanted to know about Groundhog Day and more!  For the record, though I am not a cute, furry little animal that lives in holes in the ground, my prediction is that the sun has taken a permanent vacation.  Here, we have had exactly one sunny day since January 20th.  One.  Just ONE!  I think the sun came out, saw something evil, and went back behind the clouds for protection.

ghd-max

Saturday Surprise — Sukeroku!

It’s funny, for I was reading a story written by a friend/fellow-blogger a few days ago, a children’s story, and I mentioned that all she needed now was an artist who could turn her characters into whimsical pictures to accompany her words.  Then this evening, as I was bopping around the internet, trying to decide with what I might surprise you guys today, I came across some of the most adorable pictures imaginable.  The Japanese artist is known only as Gotte, and his (or her– not sure which) little hamster, the subject of his art, is Sukeroku.  The pictures depict Sukeroku in everyday settings & situations, and they are absolutely guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of young and old alike!  If you enjoy these, you can check him out on Twitter,  Instagram  or on the artist’s own website.

And by the way … Jolly was bored, so I let him create the captions …  jolly

hamster-1

WHEEEEE!!!!

hamster-3

I’m late, I’m late, for a vewy important date!

hamster-4

Yum-yum-yum … er … what?  Not supposed to sample da goods?

hamster-5

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

hamster-7

Please, please, please … lemme drop it in da hole …

hamster-8.jpg

Me Hamtaro!!!  King o’ da hamsters!

hamster-9

Garçon … more bread please.

hamster-10

Wanna help me build a fort?

hamster-14-ahamster-14

Mewwy Cwistmas!!!

hamster-15

Sewf Portrait … d’ya think I’m any good?

hamster-16

Chores … sigh.

hamster-18

Gettin’ bootiful!

hamster-19

I loves a scawy movie …     

hamster-21

What kinda pie you want?

hamster-22

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

hamster-2

Nite-nite … zzzzzz

Have a great weekend, my dear friends!!!  

A Jolly Snowy Monday … Brrrrrrrrrrrr

Good c-c-cold Monday m-m-morning, friends!  Come in … just pile your coats over there … I can’t believe that last Thursday it was 64 degrees, and now it is barely 25 degrees with 8+ inches of snow on the ground!  Needless to say, Filosofa is in hibernation for the time being.  This was the scene from my kitchen window this morning …20190113_103712-1.jpgI … um … well, I didn’t feel much up to baking this morning, so I … um … put out what I could find in the fridge.  Apologies to all …

pickleeggscheesebolognacoffee


I always think of wild animals as being afraid of humans … in truth, they should be!  Heck, I’m afraid of most humans!  But take a gander at these lions … they don’t appear to be afraid or in any big hurry as they take their time strolling down the street through Kruger National Park in South Africa …


Online dating … I get email in my spam box multiple times every week wanting me to sign up for one or another of the ‘online dating services’.  Sorry, folks … no interest.  Now, daughter Chris has a friend from college days who met the man of her dreams through an online dating service, they eventually married and now have darling twin girls who are now 12-years-old!  However, there are some pitfalls to online dating, as an Oklahoman woman learned last week!

The unnamed woman had been matched with another Oklahoman, Cannon Harrison, and they were getting to know each other.  Apparently, she felt a need for a bit of bragging, perhaps to highlight her skills, and told him she had just killed a deer … after hunting season had ended, and using spotlighting to confuse the deer, freezing it in its tracks and thus making it an easy target.  Sure to impress Mr. Harrison, right?deer-killer.jpgOnly thing is that Cannon Harrison wears one of these uniforms …game-warden.jpg

She even obliged by sending him a picture and everything!  Smart lady, eh?  Annnnnd … the next morning, the game wardens showed up at her home, ultimately costing her $2,400 in fines.  Sadly, even that cannot bring back the life of a beautiful animal.  Needless to say, that budding romance is no longer.


I may have mentioned before that I have no artistic talent.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  So, I am in awe of those who do, but even with that said, this one knocked me off my feet. Octo-1.jpgMost of us have heard of Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures.  Some are very good, very detailed …

But the octopus in the first picture is Kirigami, a variation of origami that includes cutting of the paper, rather than solely folding the paper as is the case with origami, but typically does not use glue.  Consider this … the octopus is all done from a single sheet of paper!Octo-2.jpgThe artist, Masayo Fukuda, says it took her about two months to complete this project.Masayo-Fukuda.jpgAnd here are a few of her other designs …


What would you do if you were out for a walk one evening, and as you passed by a house you heard a man screaming, “Why don’t you die?” repeatedly, and a small child is screaming?  Yes, you would likely do what most of us would … call the police!

It happened in the west coast city of Perth, in Australia last Wednesday when a man walking past his neighbor’s house heard the above commotion.  He did call the police and they came in a hurry, only to find that the man, who has a serious case of arachnophobia, was trying to kill a spider!

Be careful what you say when the windows are open!


Well, folks, it’s that time again … time to start another week.  I’m going to get busy around this house and try to be active enough to get warm!  Otherwise, I’m just giving up and going back to bed, under the nice warm mound of blankies … close my eyes … zzzzzzzzzzz

Oh!  I almost forgot … I snagged this adorable picture from our local zoo’s Facebook post the other day … it is a 3-day-old penguin … isn’t he just adorable?3-day-old-penguinHave a safe and happy week, dear friends, and please don’t forget to share those lovely smiles you’re wearing … they are beautiful and will warm somebody’s heart on this otherwise-cold day!

maxine-toon-sno

Saturday Surprise – Pothole Art!

Whew … finally, the weekend!  That first full week after a couple of short weeks and all the holiday hustle and bustle always seems longer than average.  Back to the grind, catching up, making up for lost time … Friday afternoon always seems like a long way off.  But, we all survived another week and now it’s time for a bit of fun, yes?  Jim Bachor is 52-years-old, lives in Chicago, Illinois, and is known locally as ‘the pothole guy’.  Now, you might think that’s not a very becoming nickname, but just wait ’til you see what earned him that title.  Jim is a professional artist, stay-at-home dad and former corporate branding executive who turns ugly potholes into mosaic art.  It was in 2013 when Bachor began filling potholes with a clever 16-by-24-inch mosaic, modeled on the design of the official Chicago flag but with the word “Pothole” through the center.pothole.pngIn a 2014 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Jim said …

“This started a year ago. I watched these pothole crews going up and down my street, and there was a defiant pothole in front of my house that was just staying, that wasn’t being fixed. I thought I should fill it in. So I waited until nightfall. I was paranoid about attracting attention, and because it was toward the center of the street, I wanted to be careful. My wife asked me if she should set aside money for bail. Our 87-year old neighbor, from his porch, served as my spotter. I mixed cement, poured it in the hole, let cars go by, poured some more. It worked great. The thing is, these mosaics would last forever if I could just control the canvas.”

Since then, Jim has taken his show on the road, filling in potholes in New York City with his mosaic tiles in a project he calls “Vermin of New York”pothole-2

pothole-5.jpg

pothole-3.jpgBut last July, an interview with the New York Post gained him some unwanted attention by the city, and they began ripping his work out of the ground.

“It’s unbelievable. And they’re not just pouring concrete over it, they’re using a jackhammer to actually dig it up and that takes work.”

jim-bachorIt’s especially sad since each one costs Jim around $50 to create!  The city claims that the mosaics were a safety hazard — because drivers might be distracted.  Um … hello???  And the potholes that nearly swallow a car alive aren’t a distraction and a safety hazard???

At any rate, Jim has done several series of Pothole Art, mainly in Chicago, so let’s take a look at a few …

pothole-6pothole-7pothole-8

pothole-9

Aretha Franklin

pothole-icecreamconepothole-chicken

I found a rather interesting interview with Jim, if you’re interested, and of course, he has a website!  On arriving at his website, you will notice a mosaic picture of an old fashioned ‘tv dinner’ that he has for sale … only $2,400!

And finally, in case you’re in need of just a bit of animal humour …

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Jolly First Monday of a New Year!

Well, it’s finally here … that year we all couldn’t wait to see replace the past one and now that it’s here, we’re already talking about the next.  There’s something flawed about humans and their concept of time … but that is a topic for another day.  Today is a day to relieve our angst a bit and find a reason to smile!

A friend sent me something last night that lit my heart up like a flame, and I immediately thought … Jolly Monday!  Well, no, that’s not quite right … I immediately thought “awwwww”.  And then, I thought it was perfect for today’s post.  First, though, I have a special treat for a young man, Benjamin, who turns five years old today!  Benjamin is friend Ellen’s grandson and a special young reader on Mondays and Saturdays, so I made a special cake out of sprinkled donuts, Benjamin’s favourite!

birthday-donuts

Happy 5th Birthday, Benjamin!  From Miss Jill and Jolly

And of course, can’t forget our coffee, tea and more …

juice boxcoffeeMonday-coffee-potcuppa teaAnd now, grab a piece of  birthday cake, a drink, and prepare for one of the most heart-warming things to start your year!

simon dell


Simon Dell is a nature photographer who has done some marvelous, whimsical work, but today I want to focus on one project that, in addition to providing us with some beautiful pictures, tells us the story behind the pictures, and I was enchanted … I hope you will be too!


Recently, photographer Simon Dell stumbled upon a family of mice running around his garden. Instead of reaching for the traps, however, he took out his tools. Dell built the mice a miniature village and they repaid him by posing in front of his camera.mice-1.jpg“I was out one day just taking photos of the birds in the garden and having just cut the grass I noticed something moving on the ground,” Simon told Bored Panda. “I pointed my camera at the ground and was shocked but very happy to see a very cute little house mouse standing up just like a meerkat in the fresh cut grass.”mice-2.jpg“I knew instantly he was a star and ran back inside to get a couple of peanuts to put down for him. Sitting there, waiting, it was only minutes before he came back out for the treats.”mice-3.jpg“It was at that point I thought I would give him a little shelter and safe place to hide and feed.”mice-4.jpg“I had a bit of experience taking photos of wildlife and mice as I also had another mouse that used to live in my garden shed and only come out after dark. He was a wood mouse and we named him Stuart.”mice-5.jpg“He was once a single mouse but he left at the start of spring 2018, maybe to find a mate. Hoping he comes back this winter and maybe he could get to know the new mice in the garden.”mice-6.jpg“We get all kinds of wildlife in the garden. Many types of birds, such as starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds, robins, and more. Even a grey heron who has taken most of the goldfish from my ponds.”mice-7.jpg“We also have a fox that visits every night and a lot of hedgehogs and squirrels.”mice-8.jpg“At first there was just the one mouse. He had a cut in his ear and we called him George. I piled some small logs around a box as a home for the mouse and covered it with moss and straw to give him a little shelter.”mice-9.jpg“I could see the cats sitting just feet away at the other side of a fence so the log pile also gave him a bit more safety.”mice-10.jpg“I then put up some wire fencing along the fence so there was no way the cats could get to the mouse. I also have a small Jack Russell Terrier dog so the cats know not to come in the garden and the dog pays the mice no attention.”mice-11.jpg“A couple of days later, I noticed there could be more than one mouse inside the log pile and it was not long ’till they both came out for a bit of food.”mice-12.jpg“I decided to build them a home as I wanted to give them a safe place in the garden and not fall prey to cats or other animals. Also, as I was feeding the mice it was the right thing to do as I would feel it was my fault getting them to come out if they became prey. Being a wildlife photographer, I wanted to create a nice looking habitat for any pictures I would take.”mice-13.jpg“The first stage of the log pile was very easy and only took an hour or so to make. As more mice came the following days, however, I made changes, adding more rooms. The inside of the box structure has 2-3 ways in and out, so they can escape if need be. Over the weeks and months, the log pile village has been steadily growing.”mice-14.jpg“I added more space and made it ready for a cold winter, giving the mice the best chance possible to survive. I have counted around 5 or more mice and the female, Mildred, is looking very pregnant so hoping we will have a large litter of baby mice around Christmas.”mice-15.jpg“Knowing mice can have up to 14 babies, I could be building many more log pile rooms. But I have space and don’t mind living alongside such cute and very photogenic little critters.”mice-16.jpg“The mice seem to love the log pile homes and wasted no time in moving in. They are wild animals so they still run if I get too close or move too fast but often I manage to sit down just a few feet away with a zoom lens and they seem happy to pop in and out for nuts a seed.”mice-17.jpg“The food I give them is usually all natural. I pick or collect berries, nuts, and fruits that grow wild just over the road in the Shire Brook Valley Local Nature Reserve. I also give them the same mix of seeds that I put on the bird tables along with sunflower seeds and other hazel or walnuts. As a treat, I give them a couple of dry mealworms and some suet pellets but do try and stick to a natural healthy food.”mice-18.jpg“I have always liked photography but have only owned a DSLR for around 3 years now, slowly building up my kit and upgrading cameras to improve my skills and also help get better images of wildlife.”mice-19“A better kit and a good lens help but nothing beats learning how to control the camera understand the settings and learn to understand the wildlife you are taking photos of. To help get closer or know where and when to find your subjects.”mice-20.jpg“The mice are still here and living a very happy life. It is winter now, so the days are shorter and they come out less often. Once it gets dark, it can be hard to see them. However, I see them come out in the day for food and it is always all gone by the next morning. I also give them handfuls of feathers from an old pillow and they take that to line their beds inside and keep them warm on these cold UK winter nights.”


How many people would go to all that time and trouble to protect a few mice?  Most people I know would be putting out poison instead of berries! simon dell calendarMr. Dell has even made a calendar of his pictures and it is for sale on his Facebook page for only £15.00 ($19 USD)!  I am ordering one!

jollyWell, it’s off to work for some of you … the first full week for a while.  Try to have a happy week, keep a smile on your face and most importantly, share that smile with others, for these are tough times and we could all use a bit of good cheer.  Keep safe and have a great week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!!!

Saturday Surprise — Winter Birds!!!

A fellow critter-loving friend of mine posted a few pictures of winter birds a few days ago on Facebook, and a link to an article featuring lots of such birds.  Some of them are so gorgeous that I knew right then I would share them for Saturday’s surprise!  It amazes me that these small, seemingly-delicate creatures can withstand the cold of winter, but somehow they do!


American-Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

American Robins

Annas-Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Barred Owls

Black-Capped Chickadees

Blue Jays

Bohemian-Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing

California-Scrub-Jay

California Scrub Jay

Cedar-Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Common-Grackle

Common Grackle

Common-Redpole

Common Redpole

Coopers-Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Downy-Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebirds

Great-Grey-Owl

Great Grey Owl

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

Mourning Doves

Northern Cardinals

Northern Flicker (left); European Starling and Northern Flicker (right)

Snowy-Owl

Snowy Owl

Tufted-Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Yellow-Shafted-Flicker

Yellow-Shafted Flicker

Aren’t they beautiful?  I hope they made you smile this Saturday winter morn!  Be sure to check out the website for some tips about feeding winter birds and winter bird photography.  Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!