Tag: elephant

Moment of Frivolity and Elephants

I love elephants.

I really enjoyed the giant trampoline the Incredibly Patient Mother bought when I was in junior high.

Elephants on Trampolines? Even better….

(Thanks to ICanHazCheeseburger for the gif and Sibling-the-Elder for finding the full video)

And she’s back…overview and Friday

Hi! Welcome to everyone dropping by from the LITA blog, other blogs, various tweets, tweeple, meet ups, I handed you a business card, we shook hands, we danced, we had a meal…..all of that.

I saw a delightful number of friends and met a whirlwind of people in four days, many of whom I have business cards for and really should be sending personal emails.  Hmm…maybe I could send nice snail notes instead, would that be too 1.0 or creepy? I think it’d be fun to get snail mail that isn’t annoying post-conference stuff.

Headed towards DC early on Thursday morning. As anyone who follows along on Twitter or Facebook knows, I got caught behind the storms that ravaged Chicago and then stomped all over DC. Such it was that I got in a full 8 hours later than originally planned.  While I did get some quality time with three of my friends in Chicago, it wasn’t exactly how I’d planned to spend the day. Still, having time to get a pedicure was nice and I’m grateful to the friends who were flexible enough to meet up, offer up couches, and bear with 15 phone calls in five minutes when it seemed I might not make the 9:15 flight due to overbooking.

I stayed in a garden apartment about three blocks away from the Convention Center and it was phenomenal.  Having my home base *right there* and it not being a hotel room was spoiled rotten incredible. I stayed with Madame Storyteller and a friend of hers and our schedules were off enough that we had no shower conflicts…. Full kitchen, washer/dryer, back patio, closet space.  I wasn’t really there except to sleep but still…

Friday was my day to run over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  When two GIANT blue diamonds are in that close of proximity to each other, a girl really must go. I’m not even that big a fan of diamonds, sapphires being my preferred sparkly of choice, but it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The huge elephant in the lobby made me sad.  I love elephants and have many figurines and stuffed animals that have various memories of special events and the Incredibly-Patient-Mother. Reading the description was heartbreaking though: the hunter found the tracks of the large elephant on one trip to Africa and returned the following year with a hunting party to specifically track down and shoot the animal. No villages were being razed, the elephant wasn’t causing problems. He was just big and, therefore, a worthy trophy. I stood on the balcony and took several pictures, hoping perhaps that in memory, at least, he was being thoughtfully admired.

Per the recommendation of my friend Travis, I went to Zaytinya for dinner.  The food was incredibly good, I ate far too much. I was reminded too just how much I like hummus. I really need to stock up on that at the grocery.

After dinner it was off to the LITA Happy Hour, which was lovely! I caught up with several friends from last year, several friends in the computer, and met a lot of new people. We talked about book vending machines, plans for the weekend, best programs to hit, all sorts of things. I was identified by necklace at least by the redoubtable Aaron Dobbs.  🙂

Back “home” to change and then it was out to the ALA Dance Party.  Though directionally it was a bit challenging (apparently some of the locals even struggle with where 22nd street is off Dupont circle), I did finally get oriented and was able to meet up with old and new faces.  I think we can successfully say the bar was surprised and amused, and the DJ did a decent job for the first couple of hours. I could have lived without the soap bubbles they kept blowing into the air though–it made the floor slippery and I was in four inch heels.

Grabbed a cab and headed back…

Heffalumps… the Acquiring Of

I have a somewhat limited tolerance for street and other sorts of park festivals. I suppose I would enjoy them more in the throng of other people of similar age with whom I might attend but in the last few years, I’ve generally found myself wandering about them alone. Varying only slightly depending on the city (NYC, CHI, LSE) and time of day, this has seen me surrounded by people who aren’t wearing quite enough clothing, people who don’t understand being polite in their usage of shared space, overpriced but sometimes quite yummy food, the occasional interesting craft booth, alcohol of various varieties, and loud music that is only sometimes to my taste.

Still, they are popular and with the gorgeous weather we had this weekend, I ventured out to one of the ones here. We have many festivals in this locale, with thousands of Harley-Davidson (and other motorcycle) owners descending upon on last weekend and more festivities forthcoming later in the year. Btw, if you’re coming for Oktoberfest, I need to know in the next month so I can plan accordingly.

After meandering about the current festival, sitting down by the river to enjoy the view, and rejecting the beer tent on the knowledge that I had to drive myself home, I headed back towards my car. I detoured upon seeing an “Antiques” sign on the sidewalk outside of one of the buildings. It is named, my receipt tells me, the Antique Center of La Crosse Ltd.

The city has a number of antique shops both downtown and on the north side. But this was one I’d not been into before and truly, it is a gem that should not be missed.

The buildings on that section of Third Street were all built together–so the north wall of one is the south wall of the next and, while giving you a lovely continuity, it hides the size of the building. One sees cluttered windows from the outside but stepping in–one could be transported.

Now, keep in mind this transportation takes some heavy imagination. Bear with me if you will and picture walking into an extremely successful dry goods type of store from the turn of the century. An enormous room with ceilings probably of the fifteen or twenty feet and a lovely red staircase at the middle back that takes you up first to a mid level room (currently has security system in it) and then another full floor, or down to a basement probably mostly for stock in the old days. The upstairs is sectioned into two rooms while the basement has the damp mustiness that basements almost always seem to have. But coming down the stairs from the second floor you are struck by the magnificence of the staircase, the glorious sunshine streaming in large front windows, the spaciousness of the room–and a strong feeling that there should be floor to ceiling shelves and glass counters where men in collars and vests or neat shop girls are attending men in suit jackets and bowler hats or ladies in long sweeping gowns with Gibson girl hair. I kept waiting to find myself swept at very least into a film set or to have some nice young man with oil slick hair and mustache offering to assist me. Considering I was in a knee length cotton sundress, I would have been most out of place, but the idea suggested by the building was certainly there.

Into this space there are CRAMMED antiques. Thirty-five different independent dealers is what I was told. Their cases are open or locked, stacked or shelved. China cabinets and curio cabinets and everything packed to the gills. Furniture, figurines, china, toys, spoons–not much in the way of costumes or clothing but all other manner of things.

And not a hedgehog in the place. I know. I looked.

Fortunately, I do also collect elephants. This is a much longer standing collection which the Incredibly-Patient-Mother has been helping me develop for years. I have elephants that are representative of many times in my life: the tiny green figurine purchased from a street vendor near the Met, the stuffed elephant received for my senior recital, the elephant creamer from my visit to M last fall, the elephants said Mother brought back from a trip to South Dakota–one on purple stone (amythest or quartz?) and the other carved of a stone that hopefully she’ll identify in the comments (cream ish?).

So here I was sailing through, lost in thoughts about the building and eyes sharply peeled in search of an elephant. There were many that were not what I wanted to follow me home, though I could have easily picked up fifty new pachyderms to add to the herd. Apparently I like Japanese elephant figurines, although one heavy pottery teapot that I picked up was probably the most hideous elephant I’ve ever seen. The elephant looked like a pig with a trunk–white with gold tusks painted on and floral blanket on the back with figure sitting on top. There’s one for sale on ebay at the moment. The one I saw didn’t look that nice and was much more expensive.

I did come away with five new elephants. One, which isn’t photographing well, is a Wade Whimsie. Another is glass–which my camera is not pleased to show off. But I will share the coolest one that followed me home. It’s a mug, though I won’t be drinking out of it anytime soon, and it’s was made in Occupied Japan–according to the bottom.

Indulge me my adoration of elephants. Isn’t he cute?

Feeling Super Special!!!!! (Picture Heavy)

This post is very picture heavy. If you receive the blog via email (*cough Andrew cough*) it will probably behoove you to click through to the site. Not sure if everything will email through.

I got home today to an especially nifty little package waiting at my door!

It had quite the postmark:
(Great Britain if you can’t read it…sorry, camera wasn’t cooperating)

Totally awesome packing tape

And AMAZING goodies inside!!!

Jennie sent me most excellent treats–including really good chocolate and some totally awesome quilled animals and flowers! She has lots and lots of skill and quite the eye for detail.

There was a sheep (now frolicking in the stash)

Many tiny ducklings

This is the tiniest duckling on my thumbnail…so you get an idea of just how small and delicate these are:

Two of the most adorable elephants on the planet (big soft spot for the pink one….he’s getting specially displayed…just have to figure out how)

And last…but certainly not least….
Check out this hedgehog!!!!


Jennie—I promise to hit publish post and then go send you an email but thank you so very much. I’m truly touched!