Bessy Marie and Olga do New London

Posted: July 2, 2014 in For your information, From us to you

Off we go to the city that is number one on our short list of places to go to retire. Someone said “What!, you should go to somewhere where it is warm.” Well we don’t care all that much for warm and sooner winter to summer any day even though we like to walk around and sit outside in the summer. No we don’t go to the land of alligators in your swimming pool, bugs and more bugs, and a system of justice that is racist and smells of the dirty south. Now one lady at work told us, “Oh come on you’ll love the warm weather and if it gets too hot you can stay inside under the AC.” WTF then lady you really don’t like it all that much now do you.Well off to New London, Ct. to see what we can see, find a pleasing area to live, and hopefully the city will stay at the top of our list. Why Mary Lou asks would you like to live in New London and we say, “we love the old buildings, they are smart there and haven’t knocked them down.” Its near the water and we can take the ferry over to Orient Point, jump on the bus to the East Hampton railroad station and take the train into the city to visit you.  Of course it could get to be a bit scary if a cold war starts up again and there is a chance of dropping a bomb on the Sub Base right across the river, and of course that is in the back of my mind but gotta stop inventing things to worry about. If anyone drops a bomb so be it, we all will be off to somewhere else swiftly.

sub 2

USS Cavalla, a nuclear attack submarine was launched at General Dynamics Electric boat Division in Groton Ct. This sub is one of 37 in its class designed to seek out and destroy enemy shipping.   WHAT???? with nukes??

Before going anywhere on vacation Olga always makes a list of everything that she thinks should be included on our “bring a longs” list. Things outside of the outfits, things we need to help make our vacation fuller and things that we know we will need during the course of our stay.

******Here is a copy of our list of things that we bring. It is just of course a short list.

list 2

Toot Toot All Aboard

When Public becomes private or beached whale over 2 seats. The train was full. Yea full when we got on in New Haven. Ever notice some folks who think because they have paid for a ticket that they have the right to take up 2 seats. Well here was this big, really big woman who was laying across 2 seats with her bare feet out in the aisle. “Surely, thought Olga, by the look of that beached whale, we are heading in the right direction, as New London was famous for whaling at one time. Dangerous position to be in especially when folks are struggling to get on the train and find a seat and are already hot and pissed off that they have walked through 3 cars and none are available and then to come upon this. Well if this person is going to think that public space is her private bedroom then I am going to run over her fat little piggies and get her to sit the hell up straight thought Olga. Bessy told me, “Watch out for that ladies feet,” bullshit,” I said and knocked right into them. “She should keep them where they belong not right out in the aisle.” This concept of private, like those who won’t move over on the bus or train is one of bourgeois mentality that must be done away with along with what spawns it. Let’s think here of public knowledge, that of there is someone else beside me and the world is not only mine. Let’s look at sharing, the sharing of a train seat, the sharing of land, the sharing of space yes there is lots of room to share and you know greed is a nasty thing that dooms not only the greedy but nations as well and could damn well get the greedy killed.


Crossing the street from the train. Where is Bessy Marie?

We land at Union Station. Let’s get a taxi right away and go to the hotel and if we want to take a walk later we can go out and then come back here and look around. Taxi, taxi and he tried to take us on a long ride outside of town and Olga dear Olga said, “Sir, if my memory serves me correctly you should have taken the last left and gone up Governor Winthrope Blvd.” Turning around we heard a bit of cussing under his breath.

File:New London Union Station.JPG

 Union Station, New London Ct.

(The blue cabs became our favorite cabs to use while going around New London after our first encounter with a cabbie in the yellow cabs upon arrival.)

New London 2

whale flip 2

Riding the Whales tail.

tugs in the harbor 2

Tug boats in the harbor.

No 2

No To Panhandling (funny we didn’t run into anyone who even looked at us like they wanted or needed something. We even were in the area where the folks who live at the Harbor View Apartments have complained about aggressive panhandlers, went to Ravi’s Convience Store and got or lunch of grinders and no one even said  “How do you do and there were folks out and about. Have they really put the fear of a $250 fine in people who have nothing to start with. For more information on this see HERE.  and HERE for what is aggressive panhandling.

Dig this from one of the residents of Harbour Towers: “A normal part of my walks is to see people urinating, defecating, vomiting, panhandling, intimidating … ,” said Bank Street resident Michael McJunkins. “It happens continually.”  (We must add we saw nothing of the kind when we were in that area, but did see some folks hanging out in the shade, on a hot summer day no less.)

Our New London Collage from our scrapbook pages.

new london collage 2

The Holiday Inn. Nice place in the short run, but the food was dreadful. The service terrible, and we will not eat there ever again.

6 ****** out of 10.

You know after a day of travel one just wants to eat a nice dinner and relax. Well were we in for a surprise when we went down to the restaurant at the Holiday Inn. We should have taken a cue from the fact that no one was eating and their was no hostess or any wait staff to be seen. So we waited and we waited and finally a man came out from the back to seat us. He was the bartender. Well okay, he’s cute, he’s gay let’s see what he can do. He promptly filled our water glasses, gave us a menu and left not to be seen for a good 10 minuets. Now the menu isn’t a ten page book with foot notes and we wondered as we sipped our water where the hell did he go? Does he think that we struggle over what to choose for dinner? Finally a waitress came around and took our order. Now I don’t know where some folks come from but when 2 people order an appetizer than it would follow that both appetizers are served at the same time. Bessy Marie’s bland clam chowder came and Olga sat and waited for her salad. She sat and sat. Looking around no waitress or bartender was to be seen. Grab her there she goes past the bar, Oh Miss, I ordered a salad and am wondering if it is coming over on a slow boat from China or are you waiting for the greens to grow? Mumbling something about forgetting and not offering any apology she went to get my salad. Now even at home if I buy the bag salad I pick through the greens to be sure there is no wilted or slimy greens hiding among the good one. Guess the cook is a dump and go sort, or maybe as I said the waitress is also the cook and dishwasher. Oh yes the silverware was spotty and needed a good wiping. Finally the entries came, one bland dry codfish dinner and one awful tasting strong tuna melt that after one half Olga left the rest. This restaurant will be placed on our list as one of the most disgusting, irritating, poor service restaurants that we have eaten at.


The bed room.

What could save this place from no stars was how nice and clean our suite was. Nothing out of place not a hair on the bathroom floor, very clean carpet, no dust to be found and the housekeeper was very attentive. Our suite was spacious and just right so we didn’t experience that cramped feeling of staying in a smaller room. You know those room, what do you do, sit there and stare at the TV or walls? Our suite was two rooms and was large enough to feel that one could get away from one’s traveling companion without being rude and telling them to take a hike. But our other troubles started that night when we turned on the AC. A loud rattling noise came out and accompanied the AC for 10 mins or so.  Now we like standing in water up to our ankles as long as it is a nice running stream, a pond, the ocean, on a river bank but in the bath tub. No No. No one wants to stand in bath water while taking a shower. Bath water up to their ankles. Suppose one could be lounging around in bath water but that seems to us like icky. So Holiday Inn fix the AC and fix the bath tub drain. We would stay in the Holiday Inn again just because of its location to downtown and our lifestyle of taking public transportation,we  just won’t eat in the restaurant and give it 6 stars out of 10.( we still gave the waitress a $10.00 tip as we are sure like must of us in the service industry she doesn’t make all that much) all though she really didn’t deserve it for forgetting she even has customers.

Ocean Beach Calls and we don’t answer. We only saw it from the Mary Ellen crossing the Long Island Sound.

Olga was looking through the old postcards from Bessy Marie’s family and she found this one of old timers at Ocean Beach. It was sent to Bessy Maries Grandmother back in 1908. Can you imagine folks on the beach like they are walking down the street. Just look at them all dressed some of them sitting in the sand out under the hot sun, shit it would make me itch for sure and sweat you bet. I would be in the water so fast.  So glad we don’t live under such strict and  proper rules and regulations.

ocean beachNow here is what you gals would wear if you went out on the beach to take a swim.

Here you go Men in 1908 look so funny.

and get it, you could be arrested for indecent exposure if you didn’t wear a top. But everyone loved looking at the bulge in the bathing suit.

Goodness how things have changed. Need I say any more? Don’t think so. But except for the nude beaches we still hide a little bit and everyone still enjoys looking at the bulge in the bathing suit.

The yum yum boys. Do you think these veal loafs have brains to match their bulges?

Money money money

From the Murder of the Whales we got an art museum.

The Lyman Allyn and whaling are inextricably linked, Lyman Allyn earned his fortune from whaling, which in turn allowed his daughter Harriet Upson Allyn to fund the construction of the museum in 1926. It houses the most significant art collection in Southeastern Connecticut, including European and non-Western art as well as American fine and decorative art. “This museum was founded on whale oil,” said Jane LeGrow, the curator of “Greasy Luck: The Whaling World of the Charles W. Morgan” a current exhibit at the Lyman Allyn. Ms. Allyn built the museum to offer the citizens of New London the chance to learn about art and culture. It seems to be the same old, same old, always something has to die, or some area is devastated just to give the citizens the chance to learn about or to see art. Do we use the final outcome as an excuse to forget or to sanitize the how? From death and destruction comes our art museums, libraries, universities, churches, and all sorts of other things provided to us by the filthy rich. Do these practices of the wealthy pacify the people from questioning the why, and mitigate the crimes that have been committed, and are still going on here today with companies and business executives who are making millions on death and destruction. Art and murder funny bedfellows.

Whales in new london

Early whaling efforts were concentrated on right whales and humpbacks, which were found near the American coast. As these populations declined and the market for whale products (especially whale oil) grew, American whalers began hunting the Sperm Whale. The Sperm Whale was particularly prized for the reservoir of spermaceti (a dense waxy substance that burns with an exceedingly bright flame) housed in the spermaceti organ, located forward and above the skull. Hunting for the Sperm Whale forced whalers to sail farther from home in search of their quarry, eventually covering the globe. (1)

In the 1600s the American colonists hunted right whales off New England for their oil and baleen. The baleen was made into corsets, umbrella ribs, and buggy whips. The right whales were brought back to the shore for processing where the blubber was boiled for the precious oil. But by 1700 the number of coastal right whales was dramatically declining.

A few products from Whales on which fortunes were made.


The lure of hunting whales in the past can be explained when we consider the high value placed on the raw materials that could be extracted from them. While in earlier times the whales were stripped of blubber and whalebone (baleen), and the rest of the carcass discarded at sea, technological advances in the twentieth century made it possible to utilize the entire whale. From whalebone corsets to spermaceti candles, from military explosives to cattle feed.

and today we protest all over the world. Sending a message to Japan to stop the slaughter of whales in the oceans

“Japan’s bloodbath, ban whaling”  (2 )

Still going on here today you bet.

Contemporary Art at the Lyman Allyn Museum.

Jan Beekman 2

By Bessy Marie

The works of art on view are an amazing collection of paintings which somehow combine both the complexity yet simplicity of organic forms with color and texture contrasts which evoke both the strength and fragility of nature. Overall, a very sympathetic view of nature and the living world. Beekman’s paintings absorb us in subtle textures and shapes of the natural world.

Beekman was born in Belgium and has lived and worked in rural Connecticut since 1997. Until 1983 he also designed sets for avant garde theater in Belgium and in the United States.  Beekman say’s about his work: ” The Industrial Revolution reinforced our belief in the exploitation and domination of Nature with positive and negative results. Today Nature seems to be taking its revenge in a worldwide series of disturbing natural disasters. Through my work, I try to understand nature and to live with it.”…Jan Beekman (3 )

Outside: The Natural World of Some Street Art, New London Ct. 2014

New London has quite a bit of street art that just is not the type that someone has made but the type that pops up and questions if the viewer can see what it is, there in its glory. Here is one nice example that is located on Greene Street going south from Northern India.

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Greene Street Wall

greene street art 2

Going Out To Eat

One of our hobbies is going out to eat and we don’t eat Whale Meat! We love to try what chefs in different places do. Now we do not cotton to some of the fancy food that is food that is trying so hard to be arty with its little bit of this and that with sauce squirted around the plate ala Jackson Pollack and nothing to fill up us big gals. Nope give us some good portions even if we can’t eat it all and bring some home for the next day or latter.

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Northern India ******-6stars and ******-6 for the waiter.

Want some good food. Check out Northern India. It is on the corner of State Street and Green Street. We ate there twice liking the food so much the first time. The food served was very fresh and excellent. On our first visit we dined on Vegetable Soup made from Lentils and vegetables, Chicken Mango, Shrimp Tandoor Masala with white fluffy jasmine rice and to finish it all off some very delicious Mango Ice cream. We were not disappointed at all. The one waiter had his hands full waiting on all the customers in the place but did an excellent job with very friendly and courteous service, always filling our water glasses and joking about us being hot but not liking hot food. My goodness dear man I would take you home in a second flat. Never had a gentleman from Nepal before and would be more than willing to try as long as you didn’t giggle the whole time we were doing the wild thing.   We would recommend that one goes for dinner as things are really fresh as this food should be, not sitting around in a steam table like so many lunch buffets. Here the food was made fresh. The second night we dined on Mullgataway Soup, Garlic Nan, Chicken Curry, Tandouri Shrimp, white jasmine rice and since we loved the freshness and creamy flavor of the Mango Ice Cream served with mango sauce and shredded coconut we had more. We sat n the window this time and watched a film crew filming the same scene over and over, so many retakes of the girl getting out of a car and the boy standing near his car and she yelling to him and looking all mad at first and then smiling. The boy peeping in the window of the grocery store and the girl coming out with milk. “Just by the looks of that simple take I don’t think I will cross the street to see that movie,” snorted Bessy Marie. Bessy Marie and Olga had a good laugh on that one as they were perched right across the street watching the filming of the same old take over and over. “Hell that’s enough of that movie and then some.”  “Waiter close the curtains in the window, if you please.” Yes stop by Northern India we can’t promise you will be boringly entertained by some young folks making a movie but we promise you the food will be fresh and good. Northern India is located on the corner of Green and State Street.

Lunch at the Connecticut College isn’t all that bad. All you can eat for $8.50.

We decided that when we visited the Arboretum that we would walk over to the college for lunch as there didn’t seem to be anything else out in that area and we planned to go from lunch over to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum which is across campus. What a long hot walk that was.

The Harris Dining Hall was cheap, $8.50 for all you can eat and nobody is watching. The daily menu does feature some vegan and vegetarian food. But that doesn’t bother us as you know we will eat anything as long as it is edible, fresh, tasting good, and very presentable. We don’t eat anything that is arty looking or presented as if we were a mouse.

The Harris Dining Hall is open for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner with a daily salad bar, hearty breakfasts, a grill station, vegetarian items, pasta, soup pizza, comfort foods and a hot line serving a different menu daily. The day we were there the items in the hot line were, White rice, pasta, French fries, red sauce, stir fry vegetables with beef, muscles, the offerings at the grill were, veggie burgers, grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs.  A salad bar offered dozens of ways to make a salad and Olga grabbed 4 hard boiled eggs to take back to the hotel room to make egg salad sandwiches. Hey, eat it here or take it home its all going to the same place and didn’t the woman who ran the cash register say that students sometimes take their food back to their rooms. The egg salad that Bessy Marie made for our Long Island Sound trip was so very tasty. For dessert there was ice cream, cookies, cake, pie and homemade cobblers. Yum, Yum we certainly ate our fill and then some and had to loosen our griddle just a bit.  We would have to say that for college cafeteria food this food was very good, fresh, clean tasting and no one stared at us older folks among all the young hot edible, sexy boys and girls running around in their short shorts.  The Connecticut College ranked 38 out of 60 Best College for Food in America and we saw why the day we ate there. Here is a little video that we found about the garden at the college. We also like their ideas on environmental stewardship with programs that reduce waste, and composting for their organic garden Sprout. (4)

Want a good cheap (all dishes priced under ten dollars) place to eat when your feet are tired of shopping at Olde Mistick Village? Then check out Ten Clams. After shopping all morning it was time to find some food and we had heard that Ten Clams was the place to eat.  Ten Clams reminded us of down by the sea shore and we ordered, New England Clam Chowder, Bowl of Chili, Hot Lobster Roll, Veggie Burger, all cooked just right and as Bessy Marie remarked, “the cook knows how to cook and knows what he is doing, ” and for dessert Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream and a dish of Butter Pecan ice cream. All nice fresh food, cooked perfectly to order with a staff that knew what to do and how to do it.

to the ferry 2

To Orient Point Crossing the Sound as our yearly boat ride.

We love to take a yearly boat ride just for the kick of it. Next year we may take a cruise up to Canada and back again.


We set sailing on the Mary Ellen and noticed that the soft chairs were a bit grungy. Nope said Bessy Marie, can’t sit in those as no telling what has been left behind by the last person who plunked their ass down and took a ride. So we chose a booth setting with a view out the window. We enjoyed our lunch of egg salad sandwiches, Pringles, tea and pound cake while watching the sea and clouds roll by. Going home we will have to sit on the other side and sit out on the deck.

Ferry 2

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Race Rock Light House, New England Maritime Society Collection. (5)

Cross sound ferry 2

Walking the Country Park Nature Trail to the tip of  Orient Point.

New park sign

We decided rather quickly that we did not want to walk all the way to the Ocean State Park which was according to the Park Ranger a good 2 miles in and then 2 miles back again on such a hot muggy day. Across the street from the ferry landing was the County Park and Olga and Bessy Marie agreed to try that nature walk. and it ended on a beach and one could walk out to the very point of that part of the Island. A map was stationed near the gate entrance but not being very good at map reading we just glanced at it. Yeap, we will just stay on the path and go down to the rocky beach and walk along  picking up rocks and shells as we go to make a summer bowl for our table.  The sound of birds chirping was every where on the trail and we stopped to listen more than once. Rabbits, baby rabbits were sitting in the middle of the trail and didn’t seem too alarmed at our presence. Onside of the trail we spotted healthy healing herbs of yarrow, tansy, milkweed, sour grass, red clover. The wild white roses hung everywhere filling the air with their sweet perfume.

We were out there on the point. Looking out towards Plum Island (hoping that anything from that place wouldn’t come floating our way) and the Plum Gut Light House.

ocean 2

The beach where we went walking picking up smooth rocks and shells.

Plum Gut is the narrow gap between Orient Point and Plum Island. Oyster Pond Reef, a hidden but dangerous obstacle, lies just beneath the water and extends one-third of the way across Plum Gut. At ebb tide, the waters of Long Island Sound rush through this mile-wide passageway creating fast currents and dangerous riptides.  On return we watched the waters race through this area.

Nature boys and girls again go out walking

tree walk 2

A friend told us if you go down to New London be sure to check out the Arboretum at Connecticut College. Well we love nature walking and living in the city we very rarely go out into the woods, Bessy Marie being a firm believer in controlled nature said “Why not, let’s check it out. Armed with botanical bug spray, sun screen, bottles of water off we went, hailing a taxi to the Williams Street Entrance to the Arboretum. What a pleasant surprise even though the day was hot the area where the Arboretum was was being cooled by a steady breeze almost a wind. Watch out for falling branches from trees that may work themselves loose and come crashing down to the ground. “What a way to end it all, sighed Olga, “flattened by a branch at the Arboretum. There is a notice board of interesting topics, such as birds of the Arboretum, upcoming events, a large map that us old gals found not very easy to follow, and a box with small maps to take with anyone who is touring. The Arboretum was established in 1931 and is owned and operated by Connecticut College. The Arboretum is a living classroom. Since its establishment in 1931, generations of students and professors have used the Connecticut College Arboretum as a living laboratory to learn about the natural world. With a wide diversity of natural and managed habitats a few steps away from the lecture and residence halls, over 20 courses regularly use the Arboretum.

Walking down the stone steps we spotted a beautiful Laurel Walk. All the Mountain Laurel was in full bloom.

laurel-walk 2

We headed left towards a gazebo to take a little rest and look around from there. Sometimes we just like to sit and look. A bright yellow bird flew by and sat on a branch. Oh, my said Bessy Marie I do believe that is a Hooded Warbler.


We went walking down towards the wildflower wetland area. Not much was blooming at this time but we spotted Skunk Cabbage, Jewel Weed, Twin Leaf, Wild Columbine. The rock formations along with the wild plants made for a very enjoyable walk. Of course as a reminder bring along some good bug spray as the deer flies were out in full force. We have always love the dappled sunlight on the woodland floor spotting and shimmering along the rocks and stonewalls up and down the ferns, lighting the sides of tree trunks. Something so magical as the light dances here and there shifting its changing patterns.

nature walk 3

We loved the sign that cautions us about falling trees and right beyond on the Bog Loop we saw this large tree that had fallen.

Olde Mistick Village Let’s shop till we drop!  (6)

A street in Olde Mistick Village

Duck Pond 2

The duck pond.

The duck pound at Olde Mistick Village. The pond wasn’t this full of ducks when we were there.Sometimes we love to shop as long as the shops that we are shopping at are interesting shops and not the same old shops that one finds in every mall all across the country. You know there was an old song sung about towns being all the same well we can say in this case, “I’ve seen your malls they’re all the same, the only difference is their name. No we like shopping for the different, for something that one doesn’t get everyday when one goes shopping at any shopping mall in anywhere USA. We headed out to Olde Mistick Village on the city bus that only runs once every 2 hours. Now the buses in New London are a whole other story they certainly are not set up to be so called user friendly. But having to take public transportation we have to take what we get. Now now Bessy Marie just said, if we move down here we will do some type of a study as to why the bus service is so crummy and then set out to see if we can change it for the benefit of the people. The bus in New London reminds me once again that the service that we have found in other cities is 100 times better. So we took the every 2 hours Bus #108 and after a ride that made Groton seem like the biggest town in the world, Man will we ever get out of Groton, just when we thought we were out and in the next town another sign popped up, Groton this or Groton that. We finally arrived on the outskirts of Olde Mistick Village and wouldn’t hve known it if Bessy Marie hadn’t spotted the sign.  Olga always the one to be prepared had a whole list of must see and shop at shops and now the trick was to find them. The village is very walk-able and nothing is spread out in such a way that one gets tired out just going from shop to shop. We loved it when we were there, the sun was shinning, a nice cooling breeze was blowing and we saw a chipmunk while sitting outside taking a little rest on the benches.

and what did we buy on our lovely trip.

Yum, Yum very very tasty vort limpa like grandma use to bake.

A beautiful Ekelund weaving from Sweden. (8)

We loved to choose some mini’s for our china cabinet at home. Penguins, Otters and Others is the place for them and then some.

penguins-product 2

2 very handsome hand woven textiles from Sweden, a loaf of Vort Limpa, 2 new Christmas decorations, small animal nick knacks, some summer shells  for our Summer Bowl that changes with the season, a new manicure kit for Olga, post cards for everyone, cards for future mailings, and we mailed everything home with insurance for only $12.00. Links to some of our favorite shops can be found in our NOTES. (7)

Where would you live in New London ?

We didn’t find out too much. We were so busy being tourists and checking out areas when we were walking about that we forgot to check out many places to live. We did check out the Crocker House which has a large Sol Le Witt lobby that is wonderful but dear one doesn’t live in the lobby and one doesn’t always like art and the building doesn’t have central air. We saw some shady folks coming and going and didn’t like it that the business office was away from the lobby and the door to the building was unlocked. Sort of a welcome to any thief or rapists who wanted to get inside and do what they do. Cross off the number one choice for downtown housing that we had on our list. We had a good laugh when on the web site it says Controlled Access Security when the doors were wide open. But check it out if only to look at the Le Witt Lobby HERE. So in October we will go back down to New London and spend 3 days looking into apartments. We made several contacts while there who will help us with information on where to live in New London.

A Bus from Hartford To New London for 70 cents. Senior Fare is the way to go.

Well, well, well said Olga. We can get on a bus in Hartford using our senior bus pass, get a transfer in Middletown get on the bus to Old Saybrook and then get on the bus to New London. WOW! and what did us foolish old gals spend on the train? So that is what we will do next time.


(1) History of Whaling

From Whale Products

Baleen whales such as the right whale, favorite quarry of the early whalers, provided meat and oil suitable for human consumption. Baleen whale oil was used in the manufacture of margarine and cooking oils. Russians did, and the Japanese still do, eat whale meat in large quantities. It was also incorporated into pet foods, but this was stopped after international outcry.

In the old days the baleen plates (whalebone) from the mouth of the whale (formed from keratin like our hair and fingernails) were quite valuable. They were widely used in ladies’ corsetry providing the unnatural, rigidly-constricted shape of the bodice of ladies’ dresses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Whalebone also made spokes for the ladies’ parasols. The fibre from the baleen plates was used for padding of all kinds.

The financial lure of whaling may be understood when one considers the market value of a single whale in past years. Every part of the massive carcass was used, though some for little more than frivolous luxuries. It is a popular and mainly true conservationist argument that today almost any whale product may be replaced by an equivalent which does not involve killing animals. Not all the alternatives, however, have the same properties as the original whale products. In previous centuries there was much less choice, and whale products were highly valued.

The teeth of the sperm whale, known as sea ivory, were the raw material for ornamental carvings and for the traditional seafaring art of scrimshaw – tooth engraving. The clean tooth was polished and the design then etched in ink for emphasis.

Scrimshaw is thought to have originated in America, first practiced by sailors working on whaling ships out of New England. Sailors could be at sea for many months at a time, they needed a hobby to pass thier time away, the art of Scrimshaw was born. The word Scrimshaw is a slang expression used to refer to anything that was a product of a seaman’s idle time.

(2) Animal Liberation protests whaling slaughter at Japanese Consulate from International.

Japan takes aim at Whales in North-West Pacific  has an excellent video about the current crisis for whales in the world.

(3) ( ) To see more of Jan Beekman’s work go to HERE.

(4) Sprout Organization Garden Blog for more information on the program click HERE.

(5) Race Rock Light House:

Race Rock Light is a lighthouse on Race Rock Reef, southwest of Fishers Island New York.  The reef is a dangerous set of rocks off the coast of Fishers Island on Long Island Sound and was the site of many shipwrecks.

Race Rock Light was built between 1871 and 1878. Designed by Francis Hopkinson Smith (1838–1915), the lighthouse is an excellent example of 19th century engineering and design. The massive masonry foundations on the reef required seven years to complete. Once the foundations were secure, the stone structure, including the keeper’s quarters and the tower, were built in only nine months.  Race Rock Lighthouse is off Fisher’s Island Sound, at the mouth of the Race, where the waters of the Sound rush both ways, according to the tide, with great velocity and force, and where, in heavy weather, the waves run high. By 1837 eight vessels had been lost in 8 years on Race Point reef.

We did notice on the day that we crossed the sound that the waters in this area were indeed rushing both ways as the tide was coming in. Sort of interesting to think about a place as this where the ocean water is pushing up against the water rushing into the sound. We like this and feel that places such as this are high art places that we have always loved to travel to and visit.

(6 ) Olde Mistick Village

(7) Some of our favorite shops

  1. Penguins, Otters and Others
  2. Bestamore
  3. The Boardwalk
  4. Sofia’s Magical Christmas


(8 ) Ekelund Weavers:     Be sure to watch the video and see how weaving is done today.

Our first President was a woman. It was in 1692 when Ingemar’s daughter Marta was born in the county of Marks; the heart of where the art of Swedish weaving originates. This was also the time of renewed enlightenment. Over time, her meticulousness and ingenuity resulted in the start-up of a significant Swedish textile business.

During the early years, the raw material for all textiles was cotton and flax. This material was processed to achieve all the necessities of life. The vanity and the needs of the humanity soon added color and design to create happiness. Home production used the simplest looms, where technical improvements during time made the process easier and easier. What is called damask-weaving, using only a shaft to weave complicated pattern, was a technology developed to its fullest in the Horred area. Around 1850 we started to use the jacquard weaving method which uses patterns on punched cards to control the threads of the loom. Today we have the most modern computerized jacquard looms offering weaving in all the colors of the rainbow.


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