Children’s Book: We Were Tired Of Living In A House

Today in my vast collection of  books I found an interesting 1969 edition by the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club.


“We Were Tired Of Living In A House”  was written by Liesel Moak Skorpen, a German born author, and illustrated by Doris Burn who always wanted to live on an island.  I think the illustrations made by Doris Burn are great.  Even though I never created a home in a tree or lived in a cave when I was a child, I did spend many hours outdoors creating a magical childhood filled with play and imagination. And, afterwards I always returned to the best place to live and that was “in a house”.

Written by Mary Gilmartin, April 7, 2015

Art, Books and The Seashore

IMG_0054-cropA framed watercolor print by Edward Van Goethem caught my attention in a thrift store today and now hangs on a wall in my office. It reminds me that Spring is scheduled to begin soon, March 20th, and I can hardly wait for the crowds to flock to the seashores and for longer days with warmer temperatures.  Whenever I find a drawing or a painting that I like I usually try to find out something about that person. But, my brief search only revealed this artist was possibly from Belgium and lived from 1857 to 1924.  One source for this watercolor stated that it may have been painted in Frinton-On-Sea, a small seaside town in the Trending District of Essex, England.  My thoughts are that it could have been painted On-The-Seashore located about anywhere and the children are perhaps an older brother and younger sister.  What a great place to stand and watch the waves at any age.  Anyone ready to go barefoot and walk on the sand by the sea?

And, this painting also reminds me of one of my favorite stories when I was eight years old :  “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore“.

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Did you know that Laura Lee Hope is the pseudonym for numerous writers under the Stratemeyer Syndicate including Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) himself, his daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (1892-1982), Howard Roger Garis (1873–1962), and his wife Lilian McNamara Garis (d.1954) who wrote the Bobbsey Twins juvenile series. Laura Lee Hope was first used as a pseudonym in 1904 for the debut of the Bobbsey Twins and the author/s for the Bunny Brown series (20 vols. 1916-1931). Reference:

Written by Mary Gilmartin, February 28, 2015

Travels through the Southwest USA

My recent travels through Texas, New Mexico and Missouri left me with some interesting photographs.  Here are a few that capture some of the places I visited to celebrate my birthday this year.

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Have you ever taken a boat ride down the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas?  Maybe next time I will but my recent visit took me only along the walking path beside the river.  When the afternoon temperatures reached 94 degrees, I headed indoors where it was cooler.

862- St. Francis of Assisi statue

A visit to Catheral Parish of St. Frances of Assisi in Sante Fe, New Mexico was a treat.  The church was established in 1610.

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Inside the Catheral Parish of St. Francis of Assisi, Sante Fe, New Mexico.

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Wild horses grazing on field near Las Vegas, New Mexico

1990- Sumset. Taos, NM

Evening sunset in Taos, New Mexico

 2054- Rio Grande Gorge of Colorado River copy

View of Rio Grande Gorge from the bridge (* shows the Colorado River : spans the Rio Grande)

 2109-Earthships, NM' copy

Earthship Biotecture Center, Taos, New Mexico

2596- The Arch, St. Louis, MO

The Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

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Fall in St. Louis, Missouri

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, October 31, 2014

Atlanta Native Waters Mural


1-St Claire Mural Pano View

Today while driving through an area of East Atlanta  I found an outdoor mural that runs “343 feet” east to west. This “Native Waters, A Watershed Mural,” was dedicated to the community of Lake Claire in 2007.

The center of this wonderful mural represents nearby communities on the Eastern Sub-Continental Divide with rivers flowing to the Gulf of Mexico: Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola on the left side. To the right you will find rivers flowing to the Atlantic Ocean: Oconee, Ocmulgee. There are a number of people represented along with accurate depictions of native flora and fauna.

To really appreciate this mural you must look closely at each section, like I did when I stopped and parked my car. Here are some photographs I took that give you that closer look.


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Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, August 6, 2014

Books, The Raven & Other Poems and Tales by Edgar Allan Poe


The Raven & Other Poems and Tales bookThe poem “The Raven” published by Edgar Allan Poe back in 1845 is one of my favorites. The author orphaned at the age of two in Boston lived a short life dying at the age of forty in 1849. Even though his poetry and short stories never received the popularity they did until after he was gone, I believe have now found their place in literature.

This week it was my good fortune to discover in a thrift store a hardback book compiled in 2001 by Bullfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company that I purchased for only twenty cents.  Inside this book I found the full version of “The Raven” along with many other stories written by Poe, i.e. “The Black Cat” – “The Pit and the Pendulum” – “Annabel Lee” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” All the illustrations inside this wonderful book are by Daniel Alan Green.

Below is the poem, The Raven, for your reading. You did know “Tis the wind and nothing more”  – didn’t you?


The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

 Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door – Only this, and nothing more.”

 Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore – For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore – Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, “‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door – Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; – This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door; –  Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” –  Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore – Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; – ‘“Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door – Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door –  Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore – Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”  Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door – Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered – Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown before – On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.” Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, “Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore – Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of  ‘Never – nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore – What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee Respite – respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore: Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”  Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! – Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted – On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore – Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil – prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore – Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore – Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”  Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting – “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted – nevermore!

 Written by Mary Gilmartin, June 9, 2014

Touring Historic Pensacola Village

My recent travels through Florida took me to Historic Pensacola Village. I first arrived at the Trivoli House that was originally a boarding and gaming house back in 1805. Across the street I found the Lavalle House (1805), Manuel Barrios Cottage (1888), Lear-Rocheblave House (1890), Dorr House (1871)and Old Christ Church (1832) with guided tours inside.  Taking a self-tour of the Museum of Industry (187o) was a real treat. The sites, history and art with attractions surrounding this gulf coastal town with miles of white beaches is an interesting place to visit.

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Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, May 21, 2014

Mother’s Day 2014

The White and Red Rose”:  Mother’s  Day014-copy was the one day that was very special for me when I was a little girl  because my mother would ask me to go outside and pick only two roses from her rose bushes. One was a red rose and the other was a white rose. On her dress, she would pin the white one and to my dress she would pin the red one. When we arrived at church, the congregation blossomed with other members wearing their white rose or their red rose. I will always remember this Southern tradition.


This year is now the fifth year that I will be wearing the “white rose”, but I will always cherish the memories of those  years when I could wear the red rose.

In memory of my mother, I  think of you often and especially on Mother’s Day when you pinned that red rose on my dress all those years when I was growing up.


Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, May 09, 2014