Thursday, February 22, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 339

Orléans Cathedral, Orléans, France

A front view of the Orléans Cathedral, Sainte-Croix, is pictured above on this unused postcard from M.G. Editions.  The card has the number 45 234 058 at the lower left corner on the reverse. 

Joan of Arc is said to have attended Mass in this cathedral on 2 May 1429 during the siege of the city.  The story of Joan of Arc, called the Maid of Orléans and also called the defender of Orléans, is told in the stained glass windows of the cathedral.  She said she had visions telling her to support the French King Charles VII in the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.  The as yet uncrowned king sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission.  She became a prominent figure when the siege ended 9 days later followed by several additional victories and the eventual coronation of Charles VII in Reims.  Joan was captured in May 1430 by the Burgundian faction, allied with the English, and put on trial where she was found guilty and then burned at the stake on 30 May 1831.  She was 19 years old at the time of her death.  The trial was re-examined in 1456 and she was pronounced innocent.  She was declared a martyr.  She became a symbol and popular figure in literature and art.  After a long process, Joan was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 1920.

Like many very old churches Sainte-Croix was built, added to, restored and rebuilt over a period of several centuries.  The first construction of Sainte Croix began in 1278 until 1329.  That building was partially destroyed in 1568 and rebuilt from 1601 to 1829.  It is in the Gothic and Gothic Revival architectural styles.

Orleans is located on a bend of the Loire River in north-central France about 60 miles or 111 kilometers southwest of Paris.  

As always, thanks to my friend who sent the card.

For additional information, see:éans_Cathedraléans

Thursday, February 15, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 338

 Limoges, France

This new, unused, postcard is numbered 87006, and has J. Forestier photographs of Limoges, France including the Cathedral and the St.Étienne bridge over the Vienne River.   Editions RENE published the card. 

Limoges is a city of about 300,000 located in west-central France.  In medieval times it was known for the making of enamel work on copper.  Later in the 19th century fine quality porcelain became one of its most famous products.  Porcelain production was made possible by the discovery of white clay found in kaolin rock in 1768.  Several porcelain factories in and around the city of Limoges make items.  Today more than 50 percent of porcelain made in France comes from Limoges.  Also manufactured are oak barrels used for Cognac and Bordeaux production.  The outer rural area has a long history of breeding sheep and cows.  That plus the associated leather industry allowed the production of luxury shoes, gloves and bags that are still made today.

The Romans founded a city here in 10 BC and called it Augustoritum after the emperor Augustus and as a place to ford the river, “rito” being a Gaulish word for ford.  This early city had baths, sanctuaries, an amphitheater, and a temple.  The temple was located near where the cathedral stands today.  It also had its own currency and a Senate.

Christianity arrived around 250 AD with Saint Martial and his two companions, Alpininaus and Austriclinienus, but was more or less abandoned toward the end of the 3rd century due to unsafe living conditions brought about by invasions of Germanic tribes.  In the 9th century the Abbey of St. Martial was established and a settlement began to re-grow around the tomb of the saint.  The Abbey had a large library that helped Limoges become a flourishing artistic center with a school of medieval music composition. 

By the 13th century Limoges was at the peak of its splendor and had two fortified settlements, a walled town and a castle.  Edward, the Black Prince, occupied the city in 1370 massacring some 300 residents or about 1/6 of the population.  The area struggled following that event but in 1792 the castle and the city united to become one single city called Limoges.  In the 19th century much of the city was rebuilt to correct unsafe living conditions. 


Thanks once again to my kind friend who continues to send such beautiful postcards!

For additional information,  see:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

No longer a radioactive cat -- post op #1

“I want to be perfectly clear, I’m not going through that again!”  

Current non-radioactive phase – “Where do I file the complaint about cruel and unusual treatment?”

TBS had her first post op exam.  She had a dose of Gabpentin the evening before and another dose a couple of hours before the appointment.  That should have made her really relaxed.  Not. 

We try to put her in the office about ½ hour before the vet arrives and normally leave her in there for about another ½ hour after they leave.  Didn’t quite work that way this time.  Once the desk chairs, waste baskets, printer, and other items started getting moved out of the office she decided nothing good was going to happen and zipped off to an unknown hiding place upstairs. 

As the appointment time drew near we feared we wouldn’t get her confined in the office in time but fortunately she came out of hiding long enough to catch and put in the now empty room.  Once the doors were closed, some mewing began followed by stronger protests.  We ignored those pitiful sounds.  

“Go away.  I’m invisible!  If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right?”

Ready or not here they come . . .

 Long protective gloves

Vet bag
Dr. K arrived with an assistant who produced a pair of long protective gloves and a towel.  The assistant went into the office.  Silence.  A few seconds later a tremendous racket of snarls and screams ensued accompanied by many scuffling sounds.  This lasted for a couple of minutes before the assistant asked Dr. K to come in for the exam and blood draw.  Blood draw successful, urine specimen successful and exam completed.  We really wanted to know if TBS had gained weight as her pre-treatment weight was down almost a pound from what it should be but they were not able to hold her long enough to weigh her. 

The office door unexpectedly opened and TBS shot out like a cannon ball, puffed up to twice her size and growling and snorting, hissing, and making terrible meows.  She was frantically looking for anywhere to hide.  We opened the bathroom and bedroom doors to give her a choice and she slunk away into the bedroom where she can hide behind the platform bed.  

No suspicious additives, safe to eat . . .

We received the test results!  All good news—thyroid levels normal, kidneys normal, and liver levels normal.  There will be one more post op in 2 months but we will worry about that later.  She was supposed to be fasting before the blood draw but we had to give her a little food in order to get the Gabapentin down.  Nevertheless, after all the commotion was over she was more than ready to have a hearty full breakfast followed by a long nap.  It was an exhausting day for all of us.

PS  Don't know what we would do without the At Home Vet service.  They are wonderful, patient, and unflappable when faced with the likes of TBS.  Thank you Dr. K and Assistant!!  And thanks to the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center & Dr. V who have given TBS what we hope will be several more years of healthy life. 

TBS may be difficult and cranky at times but she can also be sweet. We love her and are happy to have her feeling better. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 337

Nine doors

This week’s postcard is a little different.  It is an unused Image de nos Campagnes, photo edition “France Regard,” with the reference #121708 in the upper right corner on the reverse.  The picture shows nine different doors.  When I travel I frequently take photos of doors just because I find them interesting and it is fun to think of what might be on the other side of the door.  Also the knobs and hinges, the lintels and frames can be varied and works of art at times. 

My friend, who often sends me postcards, chose this card without knowing how much I enjoy interesting doors.  It turns out that he also finds them fascinating.   So, I suppose, this is an invitation to others to look for interesting, ordinary items and appreciate them. 

This doorknob was located in the center of the door to our hotel room in Nîmes, France and proved to be quite pretty when examined up close.

How many times have we seen a loyal dog waiting patiently by a door?  This pooch was near a shop in Les Baux, France.

 Also found in Les Baux, France is this old studded door with the knocker in the center

 A very simple door with long hinges and a lever instead of a knob is near Hornnes, Norway on a small hunting hut.

 This door dates from the 1600s and is on a storage building called a Stabbur in Hornnes, Norway where my great-grandfather, Mikal Alfsen Hornnes lived at one time.

 Gorgeous carved lintel and door posts bracket the massive wooden doors found on this building at the Bygdøy folk museum, Oslo, Norway

 We saw more than one of these raised doors with no stairs.  This one is on a castle wall in Salzburg, Austria.  Notice the slit in the wall for arrows

 A door within a door at the Festung, Salzburg, Austria

 This doorway was discovered within a wall of the Festung.

An elaborate doorway within the Festung

 Fancy ironwork on this door

 A door with a small peek hole at the upper left found in a wall

 The door above was from the living quarters in the Festung.  The door below is also found in the Festung.

A new modern wooden door in the style of the very old doors.  Found on a house in Hallstatt, Austria.

And last, but not really least, the tiny door into the children's room at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Preserve in Austin, Texas.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 336

Turin, Italy

Last week’s postcard had a black and white photograph of the Royal Gardens of Turin.  This week’s card shows the Turin cityscape with the Mole Antonelliana prominent on the right side.  My friend who lives in Italy sent the cards when he was visiting Torino last November.

The photograph on this card, like the one last week, is also attributed to Piero Ottaviano and is a POPCARD publication.  It has a small number on the reverse at the lower right corner:  ob15.

The Mole Antonelliana takes its name from the architect, Alessandro Antonelli, and is a major landmark in Turin.  A “mole” means it is a building of monumental proportions.  The building took approximately 26 years to complete, between 1863 and 1889.  Antonelli died before completion and did not get to see the finished building.  It was originally conceived as a synagogue but now houses the National Museum of Cinema.  It was renovated in 1953.  Including the dome and spire the structure stands 550 feet or 167.5 meters tall and was once was believed to be the tallest building in the world.  It appears on the obverse of the Italian 2 cent euro coin.

Cost overruns due to continuing modifications by Antonelli finally caused a break in 1876 with the Jewish community that had started with an estimate of 280,000 lire and had already spent 692,000 lire and the building was not yet finished.  The people of Turin who had watched the building rising to a great height demanded that the city take over the project.  An offer of property by the city resulted in a new synagogue quickly being built and the city completing the building. 

Originally Antonelli had wanted a five-pointed star on the top of the spire but later changed the design to a winged genie, one of the symbols of the House of Savoy.  The genie holds a lance in one hand and a palm branch in the other.  On his head is a small five-pointed star.  The Mole Antonelliana is the tallest building with no steel girder reinforcements in the world.

The winged genie collapsed during the storm in 1904 and was replaced by a 5-pointed copper star.  A smaller three-dimensional, 12-pointed star later replaced the copper star. 

During a tornado in 1953 the upper 47 meters or 154 feet of the pinnacle was destroyed.  In 1961 a metal replacement structure faced with stone replaced the storm-damaged section.

For additional information, see: