Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2009~My Inaugural Birthday Luncheon~

May 17,2009_I celebrated a milestone birthday.To mark the occasion,I decided to pattern my party in the likeness of President Obama's First Inaugural Luncheon held in Statuary Hall January 2009.First a little History_if you don't know by now,I'm pretty much a History-Buff_History was my Minor in University studies.

Part I

The Program

                                                                    The Decor


The Painting

"View of Yosemite Valley" by Thomas Hill

Seen in the above photo #3 & below_The subject of the painting, Yosemite Valley, represents an important but often overlooked event from Lincoln's presidency—his signing of the 1864 Yosemite Grant, which set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as a public reserve.

                                                                    The Music
The Smithsonian Chamber Players have provided music for the inaugural luncheon since 1981. Directed by Kenneth Slowik, the group specializes in performing historical masterworks of the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. The music they performed was a mixture of American repertoire pieces written for early nineteenth-century presidents, as well as some of the European compositions found in the extensive music library of Thomas Jefferson.

Part II

With the above tools in hand,my creative juices began to stir.My husband had ordered our Lincoln White House China sets in February 2009_he's a Lincoln-History-buff! Check that off the list! I found the silky blue fabric on sale at my local Fabric Shop (made Tablecloth & Chair seat covers),called the Smithsonian Chamber office to find out about the music,did research on Historical Menus used by President Lincoln at his Luncheon,found a template on Martha Stewart's web page for labels to use on Wine Bottle/Place cards,searched my collectibles for things I could use,my husband made the Civil War chest many years previous(that's a hobby of his,making stuff & collecting!),purchased Lincoln Stationary for invitations,recorded "Hail To The Chief" for my entry into the Dining area of my home(Ha!),...ready,set go! Here's are the results!

The Invitation:

The Menu:
With much thanks to "The Joint Congressional Sisterhood"(Committee Chair,Jill)_for the painstaking efforts to create this Historical menu...I've got some Good Friends!

The Music:

                                         Listen here toConcerto No.1 in D major...LOVE this CD!!!

The Painting:
My dear husband purchased this Thomas Hill painting ," Bridal Veil Falls,Yosemite Falls"(1829 reproduction) as a birthday gift for me!! It's an unframed wrap around canvas...nice!

Permanent spot in the living room_present day.

The Decor:
                       Inaugural template used on Wine bottle as label & Place-cards.

                                         Lincoln China Table setting & accessories

Another view....

Thomas Hill painting in Dining room 

Lincoln's Family Cutouts,Civil War Hat,White House photo,and My Inaugural Program Booklet(2009).

To the left_on the top_a copy of "The Emancipation Proclamation".John made and painted the Civil War Chest. The Lincoln Log Cabin on top.

                                                           Tribute to Lincoln

White House 3D puzzle in center,18th/19th century replicas of flower vase for arrangements.White House Historical Cookbooks upper left hand w/ vase on top.

My  Gifts to the "Sisterhood"for their endearing Spirit!!Guest Sign-In/Comment book(we've used that sign-in book for at least 8 yrs!!!!)   

The Food:
Check Menu above for entries.

The 2009 Joint Congressional Sisterhood Committee:
Violet,Terri,Jill_(Pam,Birthday Girl) and Joy!Thanks for a wonderful time,Girlie's!

                                                Terri,Pam,Jill,Violet and Joy

  Fabulous Party,Fabulous Friends...Good time had by all!!!!!!


Do you think I came close to replicating the Inaugural Committee Luncheon of 2009 for President Obama????

Much Love,The SageBookWhisperer~

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

~Work,Hope and Dream 2013~

The work goes on,the cause endures,the hope still lives,and the dream shall never die.~1980
The work begins anew.The hope rises again.And the dream lives on.~ 2008
                                        ~ Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy~

Monday January 21,2013_Americans of all backgrounds will join together to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack H.Obama and Vice President Joseph R.Biden,Jr.Here's a view of the invitation_
Inauguration weekend will begin with a "National Day of Service" on Saturday,January 19,2013.To honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The President,Vice President and their families will participate in service projects in Washington DC,and they will be joined by Americans in communities across the country.Visit the National Day of Service page at to learn about how you can sign up to participate.
The President will use two "Historical Bibles" for the swearing -in ceremony. There is no written constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in_it's more of a tradition.
The Lincoln Bible will be used again by President Obama as he did in 2009.Prior to that the Lincoln Bible had not be used since 1861 at President Lincoln's(16th President) inauguration.
President Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama holding Lincoln Bible 2009 
The second Bible to be used will be Rev.Dr.Martin Luther King Jr._MLK Bible.It will be on loan from the family.It's in very rigid condition_if this is the one pictured below for use...shows it's frailty. Rev.Dr.King took the Bible with him always.His most famous speech "I have a Dream" speech reflects the words of  prophet Isaiah: "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low....His official birthday was January 15th_but we celebrate on January 21st_it is fitting to use his Bible for the swearing-in celebration. 
Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the swearing-in at a private ceremony Sunday Jan. 20(Official Inauguration Day which falls on a Sunday), the public inauguration ceremony takes place at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Jan. 21.  
Vice President Joe Biden will use his Family Bible dated 1893_that has been used for all his swearing-in ceremonies from his days as a Senator from 1973 to 2009 when he became Vice President.It is five(5) inches thick an bears a Celtic Cross Cover.Justice Sotomayor will administer the oath of office to Biden at a private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 20, and at a public ceremony the following day on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
Inaugural Trivia


First outdoor ceremony: George Washington, 1789, balcony, Federal Hall, New York City. George Washington is the only U.S. President to have been inaugurated in two different cities, New York City in April 1789, and his second took place in Philadelphia in March 1793.

 First president to take oath on January 20th: Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937, his second inaugural         
Presidents who used two Bibles at their inauguration: Harry Truman, 1949, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, George Bush, 1989.

Someone forgot the Bible for FDR's first inauguration in 1933. A policeman offered his.

36 of the 53 U.S. Inaugurations were held on the East Portico of the Capitol. In 1981, Ronald Reagan was the first to hold an inauguration on the West Front.

First Ladies 

First First lady to be called a "First Lady": Lucy Webb Hayes, 1877. [Also the first college educated]
First First Lady to attend an inauguration: Dolley Madison, 1809.
First First Lady to ride with her husband to the ceremony: Helen Taft, 1909.
First First Lady to participate in the swearing-in ceremony: Lady Bird Johnson, 1965, held the family Bible.
First First Lady to go to an inaugural ball alone: Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933.
Wives not present: Martha Washington (George), Abigail Adams (John), Louisa Adams (John Quincy), Anna Harrison (William Henry), and Jane Pierce (Franklin). 


Longest address: William Henry Harrison, 1841, 8,445 words. The new President insisted on delivering his lengthy address without an overcoat or hat. He consequently caught pneumonia and died a month later. (First Lady Abigail Fillmore caught pneumonia and died after attending Franklin Pierce's inauguration in the bitter cold.)

Shortest address: George Washington, 1793, 135 words.

Only president to interrupt his inaugural address: William Henry Harrison, 1841, stopped to take the oath of office in the midst of delivering his address.

Only President to use "affirm" rather than "swear" in the oath: Franklin Pierce, 1853.

Variation in oath: Chief Justice William Howard Taft replaced the phrase "preserve, protect
and defend" with "preserve, maintain and protect" at Herbert Hoover's 1929 inauguration

Oldest president at inauguration: Ronald Reagan, 69 in 1981; second oldest is William Henry Harrison, 68.

Youngest president at inauguration: Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he was sworn in on September 13, 1901 after the death of William McKinley. At 43, John F. Kennedy was the youngest President to be formally inaugurated on January 20, 1961. Bill Clinton became the third youngest President in history, at age 46 when he was sworn in January 20, 1993.

In 1841, William Henry Harrison had an inauguration that literally killed him. Harrison caught pneumonia after braving the elements with no coat or hat and delivering an especially long (8,445 words) inaugural address, and died exactly one month later.

First president inaugurated in Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson, 1801.

First time Washington, DC city officials participated in an inauguration: Andrew Jackson, 1833.

First President to ride to his ceremony in a car: Warren Harding, 1921.

First to ride in a bullet-proof car: Lyndon Johnson, 1965.

The carriage built to transport Martin Van Buren to his inauguration on March 4, 1837, was constructed of timber from the dismantled U.S.S. Constitution.

First president to escort a president-elect to the ceremony: James Monroe escorted John Quincy Adams, 1825, rode in separate carriages. Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, 1837, rode in the same carriage.

All but four presidents attended the swearing in of their successor: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Johnson, and Richard Nixon.

First mother to witness her son's inauguration: Eliza Ballou Garfield, 1881.

Only President to be elected and inaugurated four times: Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1945.


President Lincoln delivered an eloquent inaugural address (its concluding passage, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds...", is carved on the Lincoln Memorial), which commemorated the close of the Civil War. 
Two companies of Black troops and a lodge of Black Odd Fellows participated in the

official inaugural parade. Despite the new spirit of Emancipation, blacks were denied tickets to

the inaugural balls (held on March 6.) On the afternoon of the inauguration, several thousand

people attended the Lincoln's reception at the White House, including former slave and

freedom fighter, Frederick Douglass.I feel honored to have received my invitation.



~"My fellow Americans,ask not what your country can do for you:ask what you can do for your country.My fellow Citizens of the world,ask not what America will do for you,but what,together,we can do for the freedom of man."~John F Kennedy,1961~



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Flight 2013~Destination "Greenlands"~

"Zero-Dark-Hundred-Hours"...pending 01-13-13......Entering the Greenlands Zone....                                   
I've been wanting to "visit" the "Greenlands" area for sometime.I am a curious person! It occurred to me that travel in the first part of the year would be a wonderful relief.Considering the "Dark Corners of the World" I've been traveling down since my vacation in October to Wine Country in Paso Robles, California via Amtrak.Amtrak had the most delicious treats for extracurricular eating activities! Upon arrival,I tasted many kinds of wine containing many calories...given the name...Ms.Triglycerides_a fancy name for Mr.Fat.  
Returning to only start planning another adventure_Thanksgiving 2012!That was the beginning of "Free-Fall Season"...plunging oneself down those slippery slopes,reaching voluminous levels of heaping fat grams,sugar induced comatose as my Inner Self & Inner Child looked on with a happy face! Then there were parties in these vacation lands,dressed in Saturated fats,sporting artery clogging attire beyond what the heart could imagine_as if they were runway models.I applauded their Runway Finesse. I did not disappoint them! I came,I saw,I ate!!! Then there was B-A-C-O-N_ ErMG! had me at the smell when the heat met the pan..while BACON, just laid in the fat,glistening all nice,dripping with goodness.I started to drool,a lot...a whole lot!..I was determined to_  
So,in rolls New Year's Eve and Day! At this point,I was thinking_I'm really getting tired of this Vacation thingie_don't know if I want to take any more trips real soon! But,one last adventure_I was up to the task....boarded the flight,First Class ticket in hand_took off _landing two days later on some unknown Island_that I was sure I'd visited in the past.It was "Digitally Accurate" Scale Island!! .....This was gonna be scary_but I scaled the height of that mountain_Mt.GainWeight without fear,steadfast,unwavering in submission to the verdict!I knew those vacations had done me in...I needed rest from my weary ways & extra load!
Therefore,I'm going to "Greenland"...right Now,...right Here..until I can physically climb off Mt.GainWeight on Scale Island with my Honor intact!
This is one Destination_that I thought I'd near E-V-E-R board.If I did_ I'd be the last to board the flight! But, I happen to like Green and Fruit Land,it might not be so bad! It's not like I'm going to Greenland all at once_I figured I'd explore the Beaches of Arugula,Basil,Beet Greens,Bok Choy,Cabbage,Celery,Broccoli,Swiss Chard(LOVE),Collards,Dandelion,Kale,Mint,Spinach,Turnips,Watercress,etc.Maybe ,I'll hang out at Fruit Hill_taking in Apples,Avocado,Blackberries,Cranberries,Cucumber,Kiwi,Papaya,Peach,Star Fruit,Limes,etc..Then there's the Super Food Beaches_Acai Berries,Aloe Vera,Bee Pollen,Cayenne Pepper,Almond Butter,garlic,Ginger,Flaxseed Oil/Seeds,Pumpkins and CHOCOLATE. It's my understanding that only VIPs get to chill on occasion with this one_CHOCOLATE_imagine  a few organic raw cocoa nibs to a green drink while chill-laxing on Fruit Hill!!!
This might be fun!I'll still be able to .......

I shall whisk the Green Matcha Powder until frothy...kick my feet up with a book in tow_and restore my Mind & Body including the "E" word..exercise)! I'm starting to like the sound of this vacation.My body will appreciate getting rid of all the toxic foods during my Dark Days since October! My IV Infusion of new nutrients_minerals,enzymes,fiber,vitamins,amino acids,etc...who knows what kind of marathons I might be tempted to run while on vacation_NOT! Walk maybe but NOT run!
It is my understanding that all Guest at this vacation Destination_"Greenland"_can chose to use this great product instead of calling room service for fresh products with the same results_ as it's organic & freeze dried!
Heck,they've even got this for "Happy Hour"in Greenlands.......Cocktails...
Here's a great Book I found while browsing on vacation....
A ~ Helpful~ Chart...
So,you can safely say_I've got Greenland on the Brain... 
We will see how this vacation goes_lasting until March_St.Pat's Day Party!Just sayin'...I'm planning ahead! Will let y'all know about my Destination Greenland progress....later on.But,for the time being_think I'll grab a drink and get this Green Party started in Greenlands!
~You are what You Eat !~

Thursday, January 3, 2013

~My Secret Holiday~Epic Entanglement~with Johannes!

What began as an innocent tete-a-tete escalated into an "Epic Entanglement" of the heart!Okay_so I have a vivid imagination! Johannes or Jan_as in Johannes Vermeer(1632-1675),was a famous Dutch Painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life.He lived in Delft,a city in Amsterdam,now Dutch Republic(Netherlands). It is an historical Dutch towne center with canals(just like Venice,Italy),Delft Blue pottery and the Dutch Royal family,the House of Orange-Nassau.

"View of Delft" by Vermeer(1660-61)

View of Delft_Today!

What would his works say to me? How would I respond? Will I be able to resist this brilliant man's hold on me? The thing is_at our first dalliance, Jan's back was to me_so I wasn't able to know this Creature.He sat painting... I noticed the carefully slashed doublet jacket's back and sleeves_a costume of  his times.Although,I'd wear a jacket(doublet) of this style today_a fashion statement,indeed! Is this really Johannes self -portrait of his back no less!Some believe it so.I peered a little closer to reveal...
 ..YET,another famous painting of  Jan's_"The Art of Painting"(1666-1673).The woman wears the crown of leaves,holds a trombone in her right hand and a book in her left.Ahhhh,yes that is a symbol for_"Clio The Muse of History"! It is rather thought of as a painting depicting an historical event as opposed to the praise of the art of painting.The  map on the wall depicts old Netherlands,the golden glittering chandelier with a double-headed eagle is a symbol for sight,the manipulation of the folds,tucks and textual qualities of her blue dress,his use of a camera obscura(a precursor of modern photographic camera)in the not so in focus folded fabrics and the use of a drawn-back tapestry _enticing me to pull the curtain back a little farther...How clever of you Johannes!

The first week in December was when this tete-a-tete started.I read the fictional novel "Girl in Hyacinth Blue"by Susan Vreeland,followed it up with the movie based upon the novel,_"A Brush of Fate"(Glenn Close,Ellen Burstyn,Thomas Gibson)_then I completed the book "Vermeer(The Complete Paintings)" by Norbert Schneider_followed that up with the movie,_"Girl With A Pearl Earring"(Colin Firth,Scarlett Johansson)all in the span of two weeks! Both the Books and Movies were Holiday gifts from a girlfriend and my husband_they know I love Vermeer! Now,I'm reading "Girl With A Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier_AND_ "Luncheon of the Boating Party "by Susan Vreeland based on the Auguste Renoir's  masterful painting of the same name...I smell another "affair of the heart" coming on!

Now this...

BUT,Still no face to the man whose paintings have intrigued me for years! I fell in love with Johannes many years ago_in the early 70's, when I first laid eyes on ...

                                    "Girl with a Pearl Earring",c.1665

Johannes portraits of women_young women_were mostly in a narrative situation.Activities such as musical instruments,scales,playing the Virginal,etc.The above painting plus two others lack those situations.

THE GIRL, above is sat against a neutral,dark background,nearly black 3D effect.She gazes at us,lips slightly parted_as if to speak,head inclined to suggest a girl in thought_yet she has a very keen gaze!Dressed in an unadorned,brownish-yellow mustardly jacket,shiny white collar contrast,blue turban,lemon -yellow,veil-like cloth falls from the peak of the turban_all give an exotic effect.Turbans were a popular fashionable accessory in Europe as early as 15th century.BUT_a large,tear-shaped pearl hanging from the girl's ear with a golden sheen_is the standout,the focal point!

From that day forward this Mustard color combined with the Cornflower Blue became my favorite colors to wear.It is still a fashionable color today! We can learn  about fashionable color combinations and dress from the Old Master Paintings!  The PEARLS_well...that's another story.I've loved Pearls since as a small child my Grandmother said,"A Lady is not dressed properly until she has on Pearls". I prize my sets of pearls..especially the "Black Pearls" my husband gave me for an Anniversary present one year! My favorite to wear is the triple string of Pearls_I gave myself one year after a "very,very"successful year in Medical Sales!

                                                 "Tahitian Black Pearls"

Vermeer's painting always depicted some form of symbolism for the time.Women were painted doing some sort of chore,i.e."The Milkmaid",The Lacemaker"_to teach the virtue of work,or they might demonstrate their skills in music as in_"The Concert" or "Lady Seated at a Virginal"_or the more devious behaviour as in "Girl Asleep at a Table" or genre painting of women in brothels! Musical instruments were popular during this time.Jan even painted a "Girl with a Flute"_ an instrument associated with orgies and erotica...who knew that about the Flute! And_guess what? The wearing of pearls symbolized a negative attribute in a female_considered to be a vain person...WTH? Come on Johannes,really?

Finally,in what some consider a Self-Portrait in his painting of "The Procuress"(1656)_oil-on-canvas  shows a genre scene in a brothel_one of the two women is the eponymous procuress,while the figure on the left has been identified by some as main man!
The "Brothel Paintings"_a subcategory of Dutch genre paintings_ proved to be a fascinating theme for many Painters of that time.They were meant to teach a lesson_to convey norms and valuable lessons of moral living!

The drinking of Wine,the table parallel to the frame acting as a barrier between the observer and the participants in the scene,the young woman in yellow,her flushed cheeks,holding a glass of wine,as the creature above rest his hand on her bosom area and the reveller on the left sits in dark clothing suggest_everything can be bought,including LOVE! Her tipsy smile,the open hand to receive the coins in payment of her services from the cavalier with his decorous feathered hat & vermillion jerkin_as the procuress,the old woman in black looks on to perhaps to the completion of her successful scheme_Head Madam if you will! Moral lesson learned....fill in the blank space provided:______________________________.

Enough I proclaimed! I had fallen deep into Johannes compositions,the depiction of light and his gentle brush techniques_that gave such a high degree of realism I clung to his beautiful slashed doublet as if  for my life! I imagined a Duel between Johannes and John(my husband)_choice words were spoken_weapons of mass destruction were chosen...John has many "Marksmanship Ribbon Awards" while in the military...I was not worried!

The duel being based upon a code of honour..not so much to harm the opponent as to gain "satisfaction"_ to restore one's honour by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it all...just for ME!

It seems I'd fallen into a deep,deep sleep with Vermeer (The Complete Paintings) book laid across my chest...his complete works open to my Soul.

My abyss...bottomless pit to my heart was tumbling,tumbling fast...

Until...Awaken from the throes of this moment of reckoning_I heard a distant first I couldn't make out the voice, I'd heard it before I was sure..what were those words?????

            "Honey Doodles,What's for Dinner"?

And so my "Epic Entanglement Ended"...Saved by "My John". 

That's a Good Thing!...because,I was trying to figure out how to be a Stepmother to Johannes 15 children...

And it was not a pretty picture! But,I am...

Forever Yours Johannes!!!!!!!!