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Anatomical Doll / Valentine's Day 2019
« on: February 12, 2019, 08:58:40 PM »
Valentine's Day 2019

     Feodora was ready for a change, so I managed to get her into a couple of her other new dresses. All of these are in the Dressember 2018 Collection.

Anatomical Doll / A Happy Beginning
« on: January 08, 2019, 06:34:22 AM »
     Killian (Captain Hook) Jones: "You did it Swan! You got your happy ending!"
     Emma Hook (née Swan): "That's not what this is! It's something else!"
     Killian: "What then?"
     Emma: "A Happy Beginning!"

"Cocktail Time"

The "Ask Me About My Dress" button is for the Dressember Foundation.

 :-* :-* :-*

Anatomical Doll / Dressember 2018
« on: October 25, 2018, 08:36:39 PM »
Dressember 2018

     I support the Dressember Foundation (see my forum post here) which works to free people from human slavery and sex trafficking. Ladies who join Dressember wear a dress every day throughout December (Dress + December = "Dressember") and men wear neckties or bow ties every day. Advocates donate and raise funds to support Grant Partners who work to prevent people from being trafficked and to aid those who are already trapped in this indignity. Since the program began, over $5 million was raised. During 2017 they raised $2 million. The 2018 goal is $3 million.

     Dressember partners with Elegantees (and other Brand Partners) to help provide employment for those rescued from slavery and sex trafficking and to prevent others from being forced into those indignities.

     The Dressember 2018 Collection includes several Elegantees dresses that were designed by celebrities. Jennifer's Dress that I acquired in January 2017 was designed by Dressember Founder and CEO Blythe Hill.

     I purchased four dresses from the Dressember 2018 Collection. They were expected to arrive in November, but the first one arrived on October 11. It is the Danielle Dress in Indigo, designed by Danielle Urban.

     The first dress that I ordered was designed by Jennifer Morrison. It is the Jennifer Dress in Blue Slate

     I also ordered the same dress in Ruby Red.*

     Among the other dresses that I like is the Jes Dress in Aubergine, designed by Jessica Rey. The response to the new collection was so great that this dress SOLD OUT in the first week! Once the sewing team gets caught up, they will be taking new orders for this dress.

* Jennifer Morrison stared in the ABC drama Once Upon A Time. Meghan Ory played the characters of Ruby and Red Lucas. (Ruby / Red) I have to wonder if the design team chose that color name for this coincidence.

     If this looks like something that you would like to support, go to to donate or register. My Dressember page has my real name on it. Send me a PM if you would like to donate through my page.

:heart: :-* :heart:

Anatomical Doll / 2018 Fundraisers
« on: September 23, 2018, 11:38:10 PM »
2018 Fundraisers

     Jared Gilmore recently starred as Henry Mills on the ABC drama Once Upon a Time. As a ten year old boy, Henry was given a book of fairy tales which he believed were all true. No matter what people said, he remained steadfast in his belief.

     Jared took part in a fundraiser for Random Acts' Crisis Support Network, which "helps bring support to those in crisis or suffering from mental health issues".

The inscription on the book reads, "I'm done reading about heroes. I wanna be one."

     I pre-ordered a few dresses from Dressember's new 2018 Collection. They will ship in November. I will most likely work up another picture for Halloween. If not, then Feodora will be wearing this until those dresses come in.

     The Ovarian Cancer Connection holds several events in the Toledo area. One is the annual Ellen Jackson 5k Walk at the University of Toledo Medical College (UTMC). I rode my bicycle there and back (three miles one-way). I wore last year's tee shirt for the ride there, got this year's tee shirt there, and wore the new shirt for the ride back. Both were soaked with sweat. I waited until I did some laundry before doing this photo shoot.

     I am a bit of a snob about Feodora's clothes. Other than the tee shirts for this event, and Jennifer's Dress, I never put used clothing on Feodora.

14 annual walk on September 15, 2018

     Years ago, I was a member of The Planetary Society, but I let my membership lapse. They support private research and development for space exploration. "In 1980, Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray founded The Planetary Society. They saw that there was enormous public interest in space, but that this was not reflected in government, as NASA’s budget was cut again and again."

     When I re-joined, I got a dual membership (one for myself and one for Feodora). That level of membership comes with two tee shirts. Here we are in those tees.

I am holding a pewter replica of the Starship Enterprise - NCC 1701.
Feodora is holding one of her Zoo pets, a seal.

     I have long been a supporter of Susan G. Komen, which provides support for victims of Breast Cancer, and helps fund research to combat the disease.

25th annual Race for the Cure, Toledo
September 30, 2018

     I have also long been a supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I did not purchase any items from them, but I did buy a $100 ticket for a house that they raffled. I was glad that a family won the house. I was also glad that my donation helps the children who so desperately need that help.

     Earlier this year I supported Jennifer Morrison's fundraiser Be the Hero of Your Own Story. That campaign helped support Dr. Paul Grossfeld's Jacobsen Syndrome research. I also got involved with Rebecca "Bex" Mader's campaign for Lollipop Theater. They bring current movies "to those children and their families at the hospital", helping the children feel better and maybe aid them in speedier recoveries.

:) 8) :)

Anatomical Doll / Feodora Models Jennifer's Dress
« on: September 11, 2018, 07:30:58 AM »
Feodora Models Jennifer's Dress

     This is Jennifer's Dress that Jennifer Morrison wore for the December 2017 Dressember fundraiser.
     Insert: Jennifer Morrison wearing this very same dress, acquired through an eBay auction.
     This picture was created for the Our Doll Community September 2018 Photo Challenge.

Anatomical Doll / Jennifer's Dress
« on: January 22, 2018, 08:17:12 AM »
Jennifer's Dress

     On another topic, I detailed how actress Jennifer Morrison and others support the Dressember Foundation, which advocates for human rights by fighting slavery and sex trafficking.

     Jennifer donated seven of the dresses that she wore and signed back to the charity. Those dresses were put up for auction on ebay. I managed to secure one for Feodora. "The Blythe" was designed by Blythe Hill, the founder of the Dressember Foundation. It is made by Elegantees (Elegant Tee shirts) and comes in White (which I got), Black (which was also auctioned), and Poppy.

Jennifer Morrison "sleeping" in the very dress that I acquired.

Thank you card and Jennifer Morrison's block printed name

Here is a shot of Feodora holding the dress and Thank you card.

     This dress was listed as a size XS (Extra Small), so I was a bit concerned that it might not fit Feodora. Not taking any chances, I took Feodora's head off before trying to put the dress on  her. I also put socks on her hands and freshly powdered her arms.

I wanted a portrait of the two of us, so I took a few timed shots. Here is one of them.

     The Our Doll Community January 2018 Photo Challenge is to have our dolls "do something". I already had Feodora do most domestic things like cooking, laundry, and washing dishes. She went Cruising with Camp. She went on a world tour. She has been to a County Fair. Once she took a Visit to Chichén Itzá. She was in the play "Too Much Spring". I knew this was going to be quite a challenge. Did I mention her Adventures on the Holodeck? The girl gets around!

Feodora has beaten me at every game, but here we are playing chess.

     Maybe one of these days I may get the upper hand, but so far it does not look like it is in the cards.

:) :) :)

The Art Gallery / Happy New Year
« on: January 01, 2018, 05:02:20 PM »
Happy New Year 2018!

     Feodora: "Happy New Year, noq!"
     noquiexis: "Happy New Year, my Queen! What are you drinking?"
     Feodora: "It is called a Tropical Depression. What is yours?"
     noquiexis: "I am drinking a 'My Tie', but it is a little flat!"
     Feodora: "Your humor is a little flat!"

     noquiexis: "Do you know that your glass is empty?"
     Feodora: "That is why it is so depressing!"

General Discussion / Dressember
« on: December 09, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »

     One thing always leads to another. The commercials on commercial television annoy me to the point that I almost never watch it. I watch the local and national news, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy! on weekdays. I seldom ever turn on the TV on weekends.

     A kid at heart, I have always been interested if fairytales. Sometime in 2016 I was browsing through Amazon and ran across a television drama called Once Upon A Time (OUAT). I added the Season 1 DVD to my wishlist, and then promptly forgot about it.

     Sometime in late February of 2017 I decided to order OUAT Season 1 to see if was any good. I was blown away by the theatrical quality of the production, the interwoven stories of fairytales and 'the real world', and the costumes. Over the next few months I ordered the rest of the DVDs through Season 6. I also bought Seasons 6 and 7 on Amazon video so that I could see those while waiting for the DVDs to come out.

     Naturally, my interest in the show lead me to several fan websites, one of which is OUAT-ES. That blog ("web log") links much of its content from Twitter, Instagram, and other "social media" websites. A lot of what is there has to do with things that happen off-camera and in the lives of the actresses and actors on the show.

     I discovered that actress Jennifer Morrison supports the Dressember Foundation, which advocates for human rights by fighting slavery and sex trafficking. A couple of the links on OUAT-ES led me to Jennifer Morrison's Dressember Team.

     In 2005 Blythe Hill became aware of the global problem of human slavery, forced labor (especially in the garment industry), and sex trafficking. She adopted the idea of wearing a dress every day throughout December.

     Some of her friends started doing the same, and they gave it the name "Dressember". A few of Blythe's male friends got wind of the idea and wanted to help. She suggested that they wear a bow tie, since regular neckties are more common and do not attract that much attention. By 2009 she formed the Dressember Foundation with the goal of raising funds to combat this problem and give aid to those affected by it.

     Dressember Foundation
     PO Box 1092
     Ashland, OR 97520
     TAX ID #46-4704743

      One of my favorite Christmas songs is "O Holy Night". Two lines of that carol are:

          Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother
          And in his name all oppression shall cease.

      Together we can break those chains and free people from oppression. You don't need to be religious or spiritual to help others. All you need is a loving heart.

     I already support the the Susan G. Komen® organization and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so it was natural for me to be drawn to this effort. I built a page at Terry's Dressember Page, where I will begin donating on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017. I set my goal a bit high, but over the course of the coming year, I hope to meet or exceed that goal. Below is a picture that I made for my online Christmas Card for 2017. I got used to wearing that tie, even on days when I do not expect to see another human.  I chose to wear a white tie throughout December, since this is not a "Black Tie Affair".  ;D

     Feodora Verochka Tychovich is a life-sized platinum-cured silicone rubber doll. She was produced by Oleg Bratkov (a gifted sculptor) and his beautiful wife Irina (excellent makeup artist), at their workshop, Anatomical Doll in Vladivostok, Russia. Feodora has Face 3 and Body 3 of their product line. She has a fully articulated skeleton and can pose in most natural ways that a human can pose. There are 'stops' on the skeleton that prevent her from posing in unnatural ways. This also helps to prevent damage to the silicone.

     Feodora is wearing the Red Ruffle dress, the Shades of Brights necklace and earring gift set, the Heart of the Crusade Pin, the Scroll Cuff Watch, and the Goldtone Marquise Ring, all from Avon. Her White Stag ballet flats are from Wal Mart. Her Forever Young wig was given to her by Irina at Anatomical Doll.

:-* O:-) :-*

     Unfortunately, Oleg passed away in February 2017. It does appear that Irina is either unable or unwilling to continue the business. As of this writing, no one knows what has become of the molds and materials used in the construction of these dolls. We can only hope that Irina can find someone to purchase these items from her, and that the Anatomical Doll line will continue sometime in the future.

The Library / The Lady of Charlotte
« on: October 13, 2017, 06:12:50 PM »
The Lady of Charlotte
(pronounced shar-lot')
or "Out flew the web and floated wide"
written on Friday, the Thirteenth of October

     Note to the reader: This is a derivative work based on the poem "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (both the 1832 (seen in blue) and 1842 versions). It also has lines from "The Last Rose of Summer" by Thomas Moore. This short story is not intended for sale, and therefore breaches no copyright law.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The Lady of Shalott (poem)
WAG Screen video
     produced by the Washingborough Archaeology Group, Lincolnshire
Loreena McKennitt song video
The Lady of Shalott (painting)
The Lady of Shalott 1832 and 1842 comparison


Charlotte's Web
E. B. White

The Last Rose of Summer (poem)
Celtic Woman video
Thomas Moore

The Lady of Charlotte


     While reaching for a book on the high shelf, a flash of light caught Al's eye. He could not see the window from this part of the room, but the hallway mirror reflected an image of what lie just outside. Something else caught his attention. He stepped higher on the ladder to get a better look.

     A spider had woven a web between two of the four finials at the top of the bookcase. The finials bore a resemblance to a pair of towers, such as one might see on a castle. Coupled with the rosettes carved into the wood of the bookcase, they reminded him of "Four gray walls and four gray towers {that} Overlook a space of flowers".

     Light reflected by the mirror passed through the spider's web, making it glow slightly against the dark paneling of the wall. Al marveled that such a thing of beauty could mean life to the spider, but death to all else. Briefly, he wondered what the spider thought about in it's solitary existence. Al had his friends, his books, and many other diversions. The spider had nothing but the web.

     Some people fear spiders, and would kill them on sight. Al thought that they "keep down the other bugs", and therefore did serve a purpose. As long as this spider kept to it's web, he has happy to let it stay where it was. Curiously, the spider reminded him of a children's tale that he had read years before. Al greeted the spider, calling it "Charlotte", but the spider took no notice of him.


     A river gently flows between lush fields and on to pass through a great city not far away. There is an inn and village some short distance upstream. On both sides of the river, beaten paths serve as roads that run from the village to the city and beyond, where farmers market their crops. Horses on these roads would tow river barges along the river to and from the city and village. Sometimes a small boat with sail would ply the waterway, as gentle breezes would allow. The occasional farmhouse and barn can be seen along the length of the river.

     The King's knights, always riding in  pairs, patrol these roads to protect the people and the land. They frequently stop to speak with those toiling in the fields. This way they could learn what those people might have seen, catch up on the latest bawdy tales, and swap lies about their amorous conquests. For the most part, the workers in those fields enjoyed the small break from their work. There were always some few who took the opportunity to complain about things that the knights had no power to change.

     Henry fancied himself an amateur astronomer and naturalist. He had taken up residence in the loft of one of the farmhouses, mostly to be further away from the light and noise of the city. He helped around the farm to earn his keep. By day (when he could) he would train his modest telescope on the river and countryside. By night he would try to eke out the secrets of the heavens.

     In the midst of the river is a small island populated by willows, aspens, various flowers, and whatever wildlife that managed to cross the stream.  A wealthy businessman, a merchant by trade, had built a retreat for his family on the island. The retreat served as a refreshing getaway when the merchant had some time. He and his lovely wife planted gardens all around it. For reasons known only to him, he named the retreat "Shalott". People who knew that began to refer to the island by that name.

     The merchant had acquired a large fountain and some statues, which he placed in the meadow and gardens around the retreat. These statues all faced the retreat, but for a single pair. Those two were placed on either side of the path leading from the dock to the retreat. They were set facing toward the river.

     Henry often wondered what powered the fountain, but guessed that there might be a waterwheel on the far side of the island. There may be a windmill also, as there was almost always some breeze blowing. Windmills were popular inland, away from the river.

     There was no bridge to the island, but it could be easily accessed by boat or barge. A path led from the dock through some willows to the meadow before the retreat. Oft times the retreat bustled with the happy activities of life. At other times the island was silent but for the songbirds and geese.

     The merchant's lovely wife sold some of the island's flowers in a small shop in the city. The bulk of their earnings came from her husband's crops and other businesses. A young lady, equally beautiful and probably a daughter, worked at the woman's flower shop. The shop also sold cloths made for tables, an odd tapestry or two, and trinkets that the merchant acquired as barter for some of his goods.

     Those who worked the fields near the island knew the merchant's family name, but not the names of all of the family members. They could only see the family and hear their music and laughter from a little distance. The couple occasionally brought guests to the island, so the field workers never knew which of those were his brothers, sisters, sons or daughters.

     A room high in the retreat often rang with the sound of a woman singing or reciting poetry. While working the fields, Henry and his co-workers would enjoy the silken voice and song wafting through a large window of that room. Back at his telescope, he tried to spy the lady who owned that voice, but he could never see her.

     The high room where that angelic voice originated was quite small. A large mirror was either standing near or mounted on the far wall. From his perch in the farmhouse loft, Henry could see a spinning wheel and a loom in that secluded hideaway. The loom was angled so that the weaver could see the other side of the work in the mirror, and beyond that the reflection of the outside world. Henry surmised that the mirror was angled to bring in light for the lady weaving with the loom. The spinning wheel sat near the mirror, and a small table next to that.


     A certain young lady, modest and very shy, had occasion to do work in the great city. She had at many times the task of delivering flowers and other goods to the King's castle. In the near distance she would by chance catch a glimpse of the lords, ladies, knights, and burghers as they attended to their various affairs. She became enraptured with a knight, although she knew in her mind that she could never hope to be courted by this Adonis. It was rumored that he had been seen alone in the company of the Queen, but this could have been attributed to his normal duties.

     The young lady never missed a jousting tournament. She loved seeing this brave knight clad in his polished armor, mounted on his steady steed, and working his charms on all who watched. She laughed to see other young girls swoon, knowing full well that she herself could have done the same. She learned the shape of the knight's every feature, his speaking and singing voice, every sound of his armor, and the sound of his steed's bridle bells. Before she could see him approaching, she could tell that it was him just from the collection of sounds that she gathered.

     A kindly matron, herself the mother of three grown boys, saw how the young lady yearned for the knight. As gently as she could, the matron pleaded with the young woman to discontinue dreams of winning his favor. Even before she began, the matron realized that her efforts would be in vain. The human heart is often at war with reason and logic.


     Months later, a time of distress came upon this brave knight. The young lady knew not of his trouble, but did see it in his face and in the slowness of his movements. She approached the knight to offer comfort, but he dismissed her curtly. He never even looked upon her face. If he had, he would have seen how his dismissal of her pained her so deeply. She did reason that his rudeness was not his natural character, but the slight still wounded her. She finished her tasks quietly, thinking that she should leave as quickly as she was able.

     Another woman, known to be stern and rigid, had seen this exchange and sorely berated the young lady. As the young lady began to weep, the older woman piled shame upon shame against the younger girl, who fled the castle in blinding tears. She ran to the river with the intent of throwing herself in.

     A fisherman was by the river mending his nets. He heard the young lady wailing loudly before he saw her. He watched in horror as this beautiful girl ran headlong toward the water. Diving after her, he caught her before she reached the end of the dock. Himself a father, he had some experience with a heartbroken daughter.

     The fisherman took her back to his nets where he offered her bread and wine, but she took neither. He listened patiently to her tale, then advised her as best he could. He asked her to come meet his own daughter, but she would not. Lastly he suggested that she try to get away for a few days to sort out her thoughts. In addition to his fishing boat, he had a small skiff, which he invited her to borrow.


     On a day in late Autumn, harvesters reaping the fields took notice of a small boat at the island dock. This was not unusual, as the merchant or a hireling occasionally stopped in to check on the property, or to prepare the retreat for a family visit. Toward evening of that day, the reapers saw a single light in a high room of the retreat. All of the other rooms were dark.

     A harvester close to the river thought that he heard the faint sound of sobbing, but no one else could hear it. He peered up at the casement, but could see no one there. The harvester shared his observation with his fellows at the pub that evening. Henry vowed to look in on the room when he had the chance.

     Upon returning to his rented loft, Henry could see that someone had been working at the loom, but the light was too dim to make out the pattern in the cloth. He would try to catch a glimpse the next morning when the sun made it's return. He wished that he had a better telescope.

     A damsel sat at the spinning wheel spinning yarn from fresh cut wool. She had combed and carded the wool on previous visits, and colored the finished threads for her project. She had several shuttles loaded with these colors, and placed them on a small table within easy reach of the loom seat. Over the space of a few days, she would work these colors into the image formed in her tapestry.

     Her singing had lessened as of late, but was beginning to grow stronger as the days progressed. Life along the river and in the great city went on as usual. Harvest season was a busy time for everyone, as the crops were coming in and people began preparations for the coming winter.

     The merchant who owned the island in the river had no time to spend there, and likely would not until after the harvest was done. Even then he would remain busy buying and selling or bartering his wares. If the river should freeze over, he would be unable to safely navigate to the island until springtime. The lone light continued to glow in the high room of the retreat, and those below in the fields of gold wondered who had been left there.

I am half-sick of shadows (Wikipedia)

          Or when the moon was overhead,
          Came two young lovers lately wed;
          "I am half-sick of shadows," said
               The Lady of Shalott.

     On a sunny and unclouded day, the knight who had won all of the tournaments rode by on his way to the great city. He was adorned in his best armor and had a large plume for his helmet. Apparently there was to be some celebration in the city. The knight was singing a spritely tune as he rode, and greeted those who were reaping the barley and the rye. All saluted him and some cheered as he rode by.

     When other knights pass by, the damsel at the loom would pause her work long enough to watch them in the mirror. When she heard this knight's melodious tune, she recognized him and his horse from the other sounds lilting up to her window. She jumped up to see her handsome hero directly.

          She left the web, she left the loom,
          She made three paces thro' the room,
          She saw the water-lily bloom,
          She saw the helmet and the plume:
             She look'd down to Camelot.

The Lady of Shalott looks down at Lancelot (Wikipedia)

     In her haste to see her favorite knight, the damsel knocked a heavy chair against the mirror, cracking it from one side to the other. She had always believed that breaking any mirror would bring bad luck or a curse. The bigger the mirror, the worse would be the curse. Without even thinking, she cut the web from the loom and threw it out the window. The field workers, bent over at their tasks, had not seen it float to the ground.

          Out flew the web and floated wide;
          The mirror crack'd from side to side;
          "The curse is come upon me," cried
             The Lady of Shalott.

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse (Wikipedia)

     Believing herself cursed, the damsel saw dark clouds in the far distance. She convinced herself that they were coming for her. She sat in the heavy chair before the broken mirror for a time, contemplating the possibilities of her curse.

     By chance, Henry and some others were working near the road when the knight passed. Henry remarked that the elfen song from the island had stopped, but the others had been too interested in the knight to pay him any mind. Now that he mentioned it, they too realized that the singing had stopped. Henry stood upright to look in on the island, but the others chided him back to work.


     In the late afternoon, the Autumn weather turned decidedly chilly with a cold, heavy rain. The harvest was nearly done and the fields were largely empty. Henry turned his telescope to the roses that climbed the low fence around the retreat. Rain on the window pane made viewing difficult, but he was bored and had little else to do. Thomas Moore's poem "The Last Rose of Summer" came to his memory.

          'Tis the last rose of summer,
           Left blooming alone;
           All her lovely companions
           Are faded and gone;

          Down she came and found a boat
          Beneath a willow left afloat,
          And round about the prow she wrote
               The Lady of Shalott.

          A cloudwhite crown of pearl she dight.
          All raimented in snowy white
          That loosely flew, (her zone in sight,
          Clasped with one blinding diamond bright,)
               Her wide eyes fixed on Camelot


     Henry saw a new statue by a willow near the dock. He thought it was odd that he had not seen it while working in the field. Odder still, none of the other statues were erected that far from the retreat. All but two of the other statues stood facing toward the retreat, but this one was positioned facing toward the great city.

          Though the squally east-wind keenly
          Blew, with folded arms serenely
          By the water stood the queenly
               Lady of Shalott.


     The work appeared as a young woman in flowing robes; her arms crossed as if in deep contemplation. Henry decided that the workers who brought the statue got caught in the rain and left it there. Still, he thought, one should have seen the barge that brought this statue, or the horse and cart that would have carried it. Surely no one carried the heavy marble by hand.

          I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
           To pine on the stem;
           Since the lovely are sleeping,
           Go, sleep thou with them.

     The wind looked to be blowing the garments of the statue left and right, but this could not be true. Henry wished that he could wipe away the rivulets of water running down the glass. They must have been responsible for this illusion.

          So soon may I follow,
           When friendships decay,
           And from Love's shining circle
           The gems drop away.

     A pang of sorrow gripped Henry as he recalled those lines of the poem. He had known the pain of lost love and friendships gone sallow. With the darkening sky, he almost missed seeing the small boat moored to the willow. With this rain, there should have been a canvas over the boat to keep out the water. Instead there looked to be a brightly colored cloth in the boat. He thought this most curious.

           When true hearts lie withered,
           And fond ones are flown,
           Oh! who would inhabit
           This bleak world alone?

     Henry could not shake the pervading sense of doom. He knew that something was out of place, but did not know what. The darkening skies and Thomas Moore's poem deepened his anxiety. Against the protests of the farmer and his wife, Henry donned a heavy coat to brave the chill weather. He had to get a closer look at what was on that island in the river. The farmer did persuade Henry to fetch up his heavy boots, lest the lad catch his death of the cold. The boots were a bit large for the lad, but the farmer's wife arranged a pair of suspenders through the bootstraps. She also tied the tops of the boots to keep water from running down inside them.

     The heavy rains caused the river to swell in it's banks, and the gentle current became stronger. A few geese braved the storm and were gliding with the stream, but most had taken refuge on the land. A surlier day Henry had not known, and he doubted his wisdom of braving this weather.

     Plodding over field stubble, he thought the rain was easing up a bit. The path to the road by the river would have been easier, but longer. Henry did not know what drove him on with such determination. Surely the statue and boat were not going anywhere this day. The brim of his slouch hat helped a little to keep the rain out of his face, but he trekked forward with his face downturned regardless.

          Down she came and found a boat
          Beneath a willow left afloat,
          And round about the prow she wrote
               The Lady of Shalott.

     The approaching darkness made visibility harder. By the time he reached the road and drew closer to where he could see the dock, both the boat and the statue were gone. Extreme fear and grief shook him as he realized that this must have been a real woman. Her garments would have to have been snowy white to appear as marble, and her face very pale.

     The rain was indeed lessening and would stop soon, but a cold wind continued to blow toward the great city. In the distance, Henry could hear a carol playing over the fields. He recognized the voice from the high room in the retreat, and knew it was the lady who worked the loom at Shalott.

     The muddy road and the too-big boots made land travel slower than usual, but Henry walked as quickly as he could. He dared not run on the slippery path, lest he lose his footing altogether. Twice he caught sight of the skiff, but could not see the damsel. She must have

laid down upon the cloth that he had seen from his room. That cloth would have to be wet and cold, and doubtless provided no comfort to her.

     Her carol continued, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. It reminded him of a story that sailors would tell of a dying swan's last song. He could not believe such a thing possible, but the image stuck in his mind. The great city was still a ways off, but Henry set his thoughts on walking the entire distance, if need be. He had hoped to catch the boat at one of the gentle curves of the river, and possibly bring the lady to safety.

     At one such curve, the skiff did come close to the river bank, but the current was stronger here. It whisked the small craft away before Henry could reach it, and he dared not swim the tide. He thought to himself that he should have brought a rope. With this he might have been able to snag the prow of the skiff.

     He did catch a glimpse of the lady, lying in her robe of white. Her eyes were closed and her face dead-pale. Some leaves had fallen on her, but their dark forms only accented the starkness of her appearance. Moonlight breaking through the clouds gave her an overall ghostly appearance. Henry called to her, but she gave no response. Her song stopped before the boat reached the first house by the water. Henry would have been the only living person to have heard it.

     He knew instinctively that he was too late to save her. The cold would have frozen her blood and taken her breath. Profound regret seized Henry, and he walked dumbfounded following the lady. The clouds parted enough to allow moonlight to spill over the scene. There was an inscription on the prow, but Henry could not make it out.

     Those windows that were closed and shuttered against the storm were beginning to open. Some people saw the boat drift by, and the dead form inside. Muddy Henry came upon them shortly thereafter. The boat drifted slowly through the noises of the night.

     As he drew nigh to the King's castle, Henry heard the jubilant sounds of celebration. The king may be entertaining guests at banquet. Henry did see that the boat came to rest against a piling, and he would be able to draw it closer to the wharf.

     He sat on the planking near lady for a time, then stumbled up to speak to a palace guard. His voice had left him, and all he could do was point. The guard dutifully investigated, then returned ashen-faced. He reported his finding to his superior, who passed the word along to a knight.

          Out upon the wharfs they came,
          Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
          And round the prow they read her name,
             The Lady of Shalott.

     As the guests and staff moved out to see the trouble, the knight that had captured this lady's heart pushed through to the front. Even now he did not recognize her from among those who served at the castle, but he did exclaim that she had a lovely face. For a moment, he thought of his own misdeeds. He uttered a prayer that she find grace.

     No one there could put a name to the young lady. They tried to question Henry, but he was anguished and inconsolable. A soldier led him to a warm and dry room in the barracks. He offered food and drink, but Henry would have neither. The soldier laid him on a small cot, stripped off his too-large boots, and covered him with a blanket. Henry did not sleep, but stared blankly across the room.



     Some days later, Al returned the book that he had been studying. He remembered "Charlotte", but she and her web were gone. He thought it possible that someone removed the web while dusting. There seemed to be nothing else that could have disturbed it. He thought to the absent spider, that at least someone had taken note of her existence.

Anatomical Doll / Charity Events
« on: September 24, 2017, 08:17:17 AM »
     People who follow my posts know that I participate in a couple of annual charity events. These events promote research for health care of women. The first is a 5k walk for the Ovarian Cancer Connection held at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center on the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (University of Toledo Medical Center).

     This year's event was held on Saturday September 16, 2017. Since I have no vehicle, I use taxi cabs to get around. For the first time ever, I had to wait an hour for the cab to arrive, so I missed most of the preliminaries. I got there just in time to see the last of the walkers leave for the 5k trek. I managed to get a few pictures, then walked across the street to Wal Mart to do a little shopping before calling for another cab.

13th Annual Ellen Jackson 5k Walk

     The second event is the annual Northwest Ohio Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (Toledo) held downtown. This year's event was held on Sunday September 24, 2017. In this event, participants may elect to run or walk the 5k route. There is also a 1k "Family Walk" route for those who have young children with them. The third option is laughingly called "Sleep In for the Cure" for those who elect to stay home and watch the proceedings on television. Due to a prediction of near-record high temperatures, I have decided not to attend. I want to promote health for the women and girls that I love, but not at the expense of my own health.

24th Annual Race for the Cure

     I also support the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded by Toledo's own Danny Thomas. His daughter Marlo Thomas serves as National Outreach Director for the hospital. His son Tony Thomas serves as a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors, directing the operation of the hospital.

     Cancer "is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body." (Wikipedia) A treatment and possible cure for any one of them has the potential for leading to treatments and possible cures for them all. In the history of medicine (and other human endeavors), many discoveries were made by accident.

:coffee: 8) :coffee:

Anatomical Doll / Rearranging the furniture
« on: September 03, 2017, 04:16:21 PM »
Rearranging the furniture
"Where do you want this piano, lady?"

Related to: Feodora's New Computer

     Feodora and I discussed rearranging the furniture so that she would be comfortable using her new computer. The original plan was to move the old computer desk across the room to the corner beside the television, which I did. The first time I moved her crate, I put it beside the microwave oven with the short side toward the wall. The crate is tall and wide enough that it blocked her view from the computer desk. She could not see the monitor screen from the Lay-Z-Boy, either. The crate sat there for a few days while I mulled over the possibilities.

     Here are some pictures of how the apartment looked before. Right-click the pictures to "Open link in new tab" for a larger view. When I first moved in, I used Feodora's crate as a coffee table.

Crate used as coffee table (May 2011)

North wall: rolling garment rack, Inspiron 530 and desk (August 2013)

North wall: candle sconce, Feodora's crate, Inspiron 530
(March 2015)                               (February 2017)                     

East wall: apartment door and kitchen (May 2011)

West wall: TV / stereo desk, window, bird cages, filing cabinet
(December 2016)             (December 2014)

Southeast corner of the apartment: kitchen and a modified rolling garment rack (February 2014)

South wall: original location of the Gateway computer desk (May 2011)

Southwest corner: location of the clothes rack (June 2014)

Southwest corner: location of the crate (August 2013)

South wall East corner of living room
(September 2013)     (June 2015)

The Living Room, August 2017

     After some trial and error, we settled on an arrangement of the room contents. Feodora's crate was still beside the microwave oven cart. First I moved it out of the way. Next I slid the XS 8920 system unit (on top of the printer box) next to the microwave cart.

     Eventually I decided to put Feodora's crate in the northwest corner. To do that, I had to move the filing cabinet out so the bird cages could remain by the window. I decided that the best place to put the filing cabinet was in the corner beside the old computer desk. This meant that I had to take everything off the computer desk, move it out of the way, put the filing cabinet in the corner, then put the computer desk next to the filing cabinet, and lastly put everything back on it again.

     TV cable was installed in the apartment before I moved in. Wiremold runs along the wall surface from the front door to the corner, terminating at a utility box. The Gateway tower case fits nicely under this utility box, so the space under it is not wasted. Feodora's crate fits flat against the Gateway tower. I would like to say that I put the Gateway tower back there before I moved the crate, but I had forgotten about it. I had to move the crate out, put the tower in place, then put the crate back again. I got some good exercise that day, and Feodora got a good laugh watching me.

     There is a five-light candle sconce on the north wall of the apartment. It has almost always been partly hidden by Feodora's crate. Now that the crate and the rolling garment rack are on that wall, it is completely hidden from view. {sigh} The garment rack is closer to the wall than was the crate, so I still use a photo umbrella to keep light off the 17" monitor.

     These pictures illustrate the current layout of the living room (September 3, 2017). Right-click the pictures to "Open link in new

tab" for a larger view.

Northwest view                                                   Northeast view

Southwest view                                                   Southeast view

 ;) :) ;)

Anatomical Doll / Feodora's New Computer
« on: September 01, 2017, 05:45:12 PM »
Feodora's New Computer

     Right-click any picture below to "Open link in new tab".

     Feodora got tired of waiting for her turn to use the computer, so she bought herself a new one. The 27" monitor was 40% off on the day that she bought it. She bought the computer a week later. The computer system (Dell XPS 8920) has more memory, a better graphics card, and an internal hard drive that is faster and larger than is in 'my' computer (Dell Inspiron 530 with a 17" monitor, circa 2009).

     We talked about where she would put her computer long before she ordered it. Before the monitor arrived, I started moving things around so that she could use the other computer desk. On the first day of this project, I started re-arranging the living room at 6 am. It was noon before I got out of the shower. I moved the Gateway computer, the other computer desk, Feodora's clothes rack, her crate, my bicycle, and the filing cabinet. It took me a few tries over a period of three days to make things fit.

Before re-arranging the living room.

Feodora's clothes rack was next to the television.

Feodora's crate is behind her. The other computer desk is behind her crate.

     You can see the top edge of my computer (gray tower case) in front of Feodora. The Gateway computer (circa 1999) was on the desk behind Feodora's crate. I moved her crate a couple of times before I decided where best to keep it.

Making things fit in the available space.

     My bicycle was behind Feodora's rolling garment rack when it was on the other side of the room. I placed them both here temporarily to get a feel of how they would fit. That plastic window film is intended to keep dust and cat hair off of the clothes. There is a large cardboard box (flattened out) on top of the rack where I keep a few of the wigs. Some time ago, I damaged the rack when I tried to move it. Now it needs to be braced or it will fall over.

     I have two other rolling garment racks that I keep for things like Dollstock. They are disassembled and stored until needed. I had to relocate all of the clothes to these racks before I could move the one that Feodora uses. After this picture was taken, I moved the filing cabinet across the room.

     I put the Gateway computer tower back in the corner (behind the filing cabinet in the picture above). The Gateway monitor (big old CRT) is now on the floor in front of my bicycle's front tire. After this picture was taken, I put Feodora's crate where the filing cabinet is in the picture above.

Once I was satisfied as to where to put the clothes rack, I put her clothes back on it.

Feodora checks on her Zoo Pets.

Feodora taking some notes.

     There is a flatbed scanner on top of the filing cabinet. It is old, slow and requires a printer port that is no longer supplied on modern computers. My HP 7510 All-In-One printer has a scanner built in that is much faster. 'Princess' Feodora likes the Princess telephone, so I gave it to her.

The DAZ Dream Home, exterior view.

     The Dell XPS 8920 has a shiny black case. It shows fingerprints and gathers dust like a magnet. The headphone and microphone jacks are immediately above the DVD tray. It might look good on paper, but you have to find creative ways to keep the cords out of the DVD tray. I noticed that the back of the 27" monitor also collects a lot of dust. I will have to keep an eye on that. The 17" monitor on the Inspiron 530 does not have the same problem.

Great Room in the DAZ Dream Home.

     Now that the computer desk is out in the open, I had to be creative about where I put other things. The DVD rack on Feodora's right is in front of the filing cabinet. Another DVD rack is in front of the cabinet where I keep the microwave oven. I used the box from my printer as a stand to elevate the XPS 8920 up to where Feodora could reach it easily. Part of a wooden chess table is on top of the printer box to make a firm platform for the computer. The Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) is behind the computer tower.

Great Room in the DAZ Dream Home.

     That cute little smiley face was only a buck. It has a photo cell and circuitry that is supposed to make the eyes 'dance', but it never worked. If I bump it, the eyes will wiggle around for a few seconds.

Breakfast Nook in the Great Room of the DAZ Dream Home.

     The old computer desk came with a pull-out tray where I used to keep the keyboard and mouse pad. After getting the new computer installed, I remembered that the tray got jammed and was hard to move.  I replaced it with the same type of white plastic tray as is on the desk for the Inspiron 530. I had to move all of that stuff again. Tipping that desk upside down was the best way to work on the underside of it.

Breakfast Nook in the Great Room of the DAZ Dream Home.

The DAZ Dream Home, exterior view.

DAZ Bailarin Del Fuego

DAZ Bailarin Del Fuego

Note: My Will states that Feodora and all of her stuff ("the doll wardrobe") goes to Our Doll Community when I kick off. That does NOT include this computer system. I only call it "Feodora's computer" for the fantasy.

Tech Talk / Re: Unplanned outages
« on: July 30, 2017, 11:12:07 AM »
     This morning (30 July 2017) the MySQL databases were inaccessible again. This is a screenshot of trying to access the forum, and showing the problem.

Unplanned outage 1

     This is a screenshot of the cPanel, showing what caused the problem.

     This is the latest excuse I got from the web host:

"Sincere apologies, I could see the 500 internal server error was due to a temporary issue with cagefs of Cloudlinux system. This has been corrected now."

     I used to know DOS (Disk Operating System) and I know a little about the Windows Graphic User Interface (GUI) that rides on top of DOS, but I do not know jack about Linux or what "cagefs" might be. All I do know is that the webhost FUBARs this forum once a month.

>:( >:( >:(

The Fire Pit / Re: Paradise Club Drink Menu
« on: July 10, 2017, 11:26:30 PM »
Bushwackers Drink Recipes

image from:

List of Ingredients

Bushwacker from St Thomas.
 2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
 1 oz Amaretto
 1 oz Kahlua
 small splash Vodka
 small splash Grand Marnier
 sprinkling Nutmeg
 lots Ice
 Fill blender 3/4 with ice (small cubes best).
 Add a small splash of vodka, a small splash of Grand Marnier.
 Add Kahlua & Amarreto. Fill the blender with Bailey's until liquid is 1/2 inch from top of ice cubes.Mix until smooth. Pour in hurricane glass and sprinkle some nutmeg on top!

 BUSHWACKER – Paradise Point
 We were at Paradise Point in Oct. on the Caribbean Princess, the Bushwackers were great. If this attachment works it is the recipe that they have at the bar.
 2 oz. coconut rum
 6 oz. bailey's
 4 oz. amaretto
 4 oz. kahlua
 2 oz. vodka
 blend with ice, top with whipped cream and nutmeg... serves 4

 BUSHWAKCER - Ingredients:
 4 oz Cream of coconut (CocoLopez)
 2 oz Kahlua
 1 oz Bacardi Black rum
 1 oz Dark Creme de cacao
 4 oz Milk or half and half
 2 cups Ice
 Mixing instructions:Combine in blender, blend until smooth, serves two in 12oz cups

 Pensacola Bushwacker Recipe
 2 oz Coffee Liqueur
 2 oz Coffee Liqueur
 1 oz Dark Rum
 1 oz Creme de Cacao
 Vanilla Ice Cream
 4 oz Half and Half
 Pour all ingredients into a blender (ice cream optional) with two cups of ice, and blend until mixed. Serve in a hurricane glass.

 Coki Beach - Bushwacker
 Equal parts of:
 Coco Lopez (cream of coconut)
 Blend with ice and top with nutmeg. We usually put an extra shot of kahlua & baileys for an extra kick! enjoy!

 Florida Bushwacker Recipe
 1/2 oz. Bacardi 151
 1 cup Vanilla Ice Cream
 1/2 oz. Bacardi Light Rum
 3 oz. Milk
 1 oz. Cointreau
 1 oz. Coconut Liqueur
 1 oz. Dark Creme De Cacao
 1/2 oz. coconut flavor Rum
 Mixing Instruction
 Combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Garnish with chocolate shavings or Hershey Chocolate syrup if desired.

General Discussion / My Second Childhood
« on: June 22, 2017, 09:54:02 AM »
My Second Childhood

     For this post, movies are linked to where I bought them followed by the listing at (IMDB). Actresses and actors are linked to their Wikipedia page followed by the listing at (IMDB).

     Some folks know that I have had a renewed interest in live-action fairytale movies. I looked up the Once Upon a Time (TV series) well over a year ago and put it on my Amazon Wish List. I had never seen the show on broadcast television, and I was unsure if it would be any good. See the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing.

     I decided to give it a try, and bought Once Upon a Time: Season 1 on February 28, 2017. I was immediately hooked. Watching the series without the hassle of commercial interruptions made it more enjoyable. The theatrical-quality production made it look like I was watching a series of big-screen movies rather than a TV show. I also had a minor crush for actress Jennifer Morrison (IMDB).

     I liked it so much that I bought the DVDs for Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, and Season 5. Season 5 is "Exclusively for Prime Members" at Amazon, so I got it at Best Buy. I started watching Season 6 part way through the season, so I bought it on Amazon Video while I was waiting for the DVD to come out.

     Once Upon a Time "borrows elements and characters from the Disney franchise and popular Western literature, folklore, and fairy tales." (Wikipedia quote) That being said, I would not recommend this series for children under the age of thirteen (PG13). Some of the language and some of the themes are a bit harsh compared to the sugar-coated Disney versions. IMDB has it listed as "TV-PG".

     Having read the Grimm Brothers and Mother Goose, I can attest that the original stories were darker than the Disney versions.

     Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 2013 (IMDB) is a 13 episode spin-off series. Once Upon a Time character Will Scarlet  / Knave of Hearts (played by Michael Socha - IMDB) has a major part in the series.

     This series sparked my interest in other fairytale movies and television shows. I also picked up:
Labyrinth 1986 (IMDB)
Snow White: A Tale of Terror 1997 (IMDB)
Tale Of Tales 2015 (IMDB)
Ella Enchanted 2004 (IMDB)
Disney's Enchanted 2007 (IMDB)
Mirror Mirror 2012 (IMDB)
The Brothers Grimm 2005 (IMDB)
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2013 (IMDB)
Language in this film is not appropriate for anyone under 21
Snow White - The Fairest of Them All DVD date: 2002 (IMDB)
Obviously 'made for children', but it was OK

I got these two to replace my aging VHS tapes:
Ever After - A Cinderella Story 1998 (IMDB)
The Man in the Iron Mask 1998 (IMDB)

Added June 29, 2017
Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice 2010 (IMDB)
Legend 1985 (IMDB)

     I saw Beauty and the Beast 1987 (IMDB) with Ron Perlman (IMDB) and Linda Hamilton (IMDB) on TV. I bought the series on DVD years ago.

     Some of the people involved in the production of that series also had a hand in Beauty And The Beast (2012): The Complete Series (IMDB), which I bought recently.

     I saw a youTube video of Beauty and the Beast Music Video "Tale As Old As Time" by John Legend and Ariana Grande. I was very happy to find this video on Disney's 2017 version of Beauty And The Beast - IMDB.

     One is never too old for a good fairytale. When you stop dreaming, you stop living. Reality is over-rated! In addition to these movies and TV shows, I bought a few books on Amazon Kindle for PC:

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