Wednesday, July 29, 2015



It turns out that Mom has 4 muffineers in her antique booth, and she did not even know it!  Well, she knew they were there, but she did not know they had a special name.  Anyway, what they are is containers like big salt shakers, except they hold sugar or cinnamon or some such thing, and you sprinkle this stuff on your muffins at the table, before you eat them.

Muffineer ( possibly ) of 1779
by Charles Aldridge & Henry Green

This was a practice that the Victorians apparently did a lot.  Muffineers were often found on dining tables during the Victorian age.  Later on, after WWI, they were just called "sugar shakers."  Eventually, muffineers moved from the dining room to the kitchen, where they were used by the cook to sprinkle spices on the food as she was fixing it.

Mom's set of muffineers has two sugar shakers, a salt and pepper shaker, and two flour shakers.  Flour?!  We are not sure why anybody would want to sprinkle flour on anything at the table except maybe if your gravy was not thick enough.

Another meaning for muffineer was a covered dish used to keep muffins and biscuits hot.


Mid Century STEDE Pewter Porringer Bowls SET;  eBay

A porringer is a shallow dish, 4" to 6" in diameter, and 1.5" to 3" deep.  It has a flat, horizontal handle.  Porringers were used a lot during Colonial times.  The most famous ones were made by Paul Revere.

The earliest porringers were made during the medieval period in Europe.  They were made of wood, ceramic, pewter, or silver.  European porringers usually have two handles, but American ones just have one.  The owner's initials might be engraved under the handle.  Sometimes there was even a lid.

What you did with your porringer was eat stuff like porridge or soup out of it.


If something is ductile, that means you can change the shape of it without having it break.  Like for instance, wire is ductile because it can be bent or hammered to make it thinner.  Things that can be shaped with a mold, such as iron, are also ductile.

A person who can be easily persuaded or influenced can be described as ductile.

Another word for ductile is malleable.

Longquan celadons produced in Longquan, Zhejiang, China.
They were made in the 13th century during Song Dynasty of China
and are currently exhibited at Musée Guimet, Paris.

Celadon is the name of a color that is a grayish-yellow green.  It is also a glaze from 13th century China, or an article made with the celadon glaze.

Traditional Korean Wedding Couple

The word celadon came from the story L'Astrée by French writer H. d'Urfé.  In this story, there is a character named Céladon.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Mom keeps buying antique photos because she thinks they are interesting.  She didn't used to know what to do with them after she had scanned them, but now she can try to sell them in her booth.  And some of them actually have sold -- mainly because Mom usually sells them for $2 each, which is cheaper than you can buy them for at most antique stores.

But anyway, here are some new photos that I haven't shared with you before.  This first one shows a girl standing on the steps of a building, holding a copy of The Saturday Evening Post.  On the back, it says that the girl's name is Reta Coffin, and that the photo was taken on March 23, 1910, when Reta was 10 years old.  This is lots more information than a person usually gets on one of these old photos.

It looks like maybe Reta was not planning to have her picture taken, because she is wearing a fairly ordinary dress.  Also, her shoes are all muddy.  But she has a very nice bow in her hair, like all the girls used to wear back in those days.  I think this is a very charming photo, and I guess somebody else did, too, because they bought it within a day or so after Mom put it in her booth.

This photo was also labeled with Reta Coffin's name, so maybe it is her with her siblings.  The girl in the middle has a really round face that doesn't seem to match the face in the photo above.  So I am thinking the girl on the right is Reta.  But I could be wrong about this.  The photo was taken at a studio in Washington, Kansas.  I had never heard of this town, so I had to look it up on the map.  It turns out it is on Highway 36, about 20 miles west of Marysville, and 15 miles from the Nebraska border.

Okay, so here's a woman named Pansy Roberts, and she is wearing a really nice hat.  It might have even been made of silk.  I think Ms. Roberts looks very kind and also intelligent, so maybe she was a schoolteacher.  She probably also liked dogs.  If she was a teacher, she must have saved up her salary to buy herself that hat so that she could wear it on special occasions such as going to church or having her picture taken.  Or maybe she had a rich husband, and he bought her the hat.

This picture shows a woman sitting in a chair, reading a book.  She seems to be in her own house with natural light coming in through a window.  The photo is kind of old and smudgy, but it is nice because it does not have that stiff, formal look that a lot of old photos have.

Here are some young people posing on a big piece of farm equipment.  I am guessing that these people just finished a week's work on the farm, and now they are dressed up and going to town on a Saturday night to a dance or to the movies.

This is the best picture of all because it has a dog in it.  There are three women with fancy dresses and hats, and a man in a suit.  You can also see the shadow of the photographer, who is probably a man.  The dog is getting a lecture of some kind.  Maybe the man is saying "Now, you be good while we're gone!"

And finally, here are four men in a car.  I thought they were getting ready to go for a drive, but something looked kind of fake about the background and also the spare tire.  Mom turned the card over and found out it was printed in an arcade in Chicago or someplace like that.  Which means the car was just a prop where people could get their picture taken -- kind of like a photo booth, except it was photo car.  I think what they really needed was a little dog to pose with them in the car.  I would have been willing to do it, for the right kind of treats!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maybe, if you look closely at the photos, you will be able to guess how the Blackhead Persian Sheep got their name.  Well, at least the "blackhead" part of it.  The sheep are actually from Africa, though, and not from Iran, so I am not exactly sure why they are called "persian."

This breed of sheep mainly comes from Somalia, which is in the Horn of Africa.  Instead of having wool, Blackhead Persians have hair, like chihuahuas.  This way, they can tolerate the heat of East Africa much better.

A Blackhead Persian ram imported from Zimbabwe
to Kongwa in central Tanzania in 1963
Blackhead Persian Sheep were first brought to South Africa in 1869 by Somali traders who shipwrecked on the Cape there.  Now the breed is quite popular in that country, and is sometimes known by the Afrikaans name Swartkoppersie.  Blackhead Persians have also been introduced to the hot, tropical regions of the Caribbean, where have done well.

Sheep market in Kenya, 2012
The sheep have a white body and a black head, with the two colors sharply divided.  They have a compact build, fat rump, and short legs.  They are grown mostly for their meat, but also for their milk.  In addition, their skin can be made into a number of fine leather products.

The ewes are especially valued because of the fact that they can breed every eight months, and they often give birth to twins.  They continue to produce milk for about 84 days, for a total of 110 pounds of milk.  The fat content of the milk is 5.9%.

When they are born, the lambs weigh about 6 pounds.  At maturity, ewes weigh 115 pounds, and rams weigh 150.  Both sexes are polled, which means they don't have horns.

In my opinion, these are very interesting-looking sheep.  I like their black heads, and I especially like their fat little rumps!

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Okay, well, I totally meant to write this entry days ago, but Mom has been hogging the computer and being very uncooperative.  She thinks that working on her freelance writing assignment is way more important than helping me with my blog, but she is wrong about this!

Anyway, I did finally manage to get to use the computer last night so that I could write a blog entry for today, so I am feeling slightly less growly.

Now I will proceed to show you the rest of the pictures Mom took at the zoo in Omaha, starting with a Blue Monkey.

There were also some orangutans there, and a mama orangutan came out with her baby and sat down in a corner of the display, right in front of where the people were watching.  First the baby just looked at all the humans, and then it decided it was hungry.  Luckily, mama was right there with some yummy orangutan milk.

Here's a cute little Prevost's Squirrel that jumped around so much that Mom had a hard time getting a picture of it.

There are several kinds of bears at the Omaha zoo.  This one is called a Sun Bear, and it comes from Southeast Asia.

There are also some polar bears.  Mom wasn't sure how many there were.  She could only see one from where she was.

Here are some people watching the bears.

The rest of these pictures are of big cats.  There were many big cats at the zoo, probably more than the Kansas City zoo has.  

Here's a lion and a lion cub.  There were actually three cubs, but only one was posing for photos.  The others were too busy playing.

Not all Bengal Tigers are white, like this one.  Some of the tigers have a genetic defect, and that's why they are white instead of orange.

Snow Leopards are always kind of whitish, but this might be because they live in Arctic tundra regions, so being light in color keeps predators from seeing them.

And finally, here is a very handsome jaguar.  This cat was quite willing to pose for people to take pictures.  The Ancient Olmecs in Mexico worshipped the jaguar, and they chiseled their teeth to be pointed, like jaguar teeth.  This sounds painful to me, but nobody asked my opinion.  And anyway, I already have pointy teeth, so it is not an issue for me!