Friday, 18 June 2021

A Postcard A Day - Friday 18 June 2021 - Friday Smiles

 Hello lovely ladies,

here we are again  on Friday. Have you all had a good week? Have you got something nice to look forward to this weekend? What made you smile this week? I will be joining Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Rocking Your World Friday. (Virginia has some great news this week....No, I'm not saying)

For me, mail in my postbox always makes me smile and this postcard is one of my recent ones. The sender, Jennifer, says she just loves LouPaper cards. And I must agree. I like this card very much. 

Maryland is a state in the mid atlantic.  It is named after the English Queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary (Queen of Scots), who was the wife of King Charles I.
If, like me, you don't know where Maryland is, here is a map:

The state flag is visible top right of the card.

It is a combination of the coat of arms of the Calvert and the Crossland families.
George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, and his family, who were the colonial proprietors of Maryland. His mother, Alicia Crossland, was an heiress to the Crossland line, meaning that Calvert was free to use her coat of arms as well.

Then on the left there is a yummy looking dessert called a Smith Island Cake:
Smith Island is located at the most southern end of the state on the Eastern Shore.

Annapolis is one of the cities in Maryland and is nicknamed 'America's sailing capital'. (Hence the sailor's hat). 

Next to the cap is Natty Boh. 

National Bohemian Beer, colloquially Natty Boh, is an American lager[2] originating from Baltimore, Maryland. It was first brewed in 1885 by the National Brewing Company, but was eventually purchased by Pabst Brewing Company.

The bird next to that is an oriole. 

The Baltimore oriole is the state bird of Maryland. It is also the namesake and mascot for the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. 

The flower bottom right is a black eyed susan.

 The black-eyed Susan is Maryland's state flower and one of our most striking summer wildflowers, blooming in meadows and fields and along roadsides throughout the state. This plant is a member of the aster or daisy family, a large and highly evolved family of plants.

The white oak (quercus alba) is Maryland's state tree. 

Handsome and sturdy, the white oak is named for its whitish bark and grey twigs. White Oaks are large, long-lived, and slow-growing trees, reaching heights of 60 to 150 feet, with diameters between 3 to 4 feet. Their glossy, bright green leaves have rounded lobes, five to seven per leaf. The species is found commonly throughout Maryland.

In the middle is white corn. 

Up until fairly recently, Americans’ favorite sweet white corn was Silver Queen. Today, this hybrid is queen in name only and has been usurped by other sweeter, stronger and more resilient strains of corn.  For over 20 years, Silver Queen reigned supreme and was the biggest name in corn production in Maryland. A long season corn, the sweet plump kernels were well worth the wait. Harvested from June to early October, Silver Queen was THE corn everyone wanted, as steeped in tradition as other stalwart rituals such as Maryland blue crabs and black-eyed susans.  

Maryland is known for its Blue Crabs:
Callinectes sapidus (from the Greek calli- = "beautiful", nectes = "swimmer", and Latin sapidus = "savory"), the blue crabAtlantic blue crab, or regionally as the Chesapeake blue crab,       

                Why is Maryland known for Blue Crabs?In fact, they can be found from Nova Scotia all the way down to Uruguay! But many connoisseurs consider Maryland blue crabs to be superior to all other varieties thanks to their delicate texture and buttery taste. Turns out that these features are thanks to their upbringing in Maryland waters.

In 1994 the Maryland state legislature designated the Gastropod (Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae) as the Maryland state fossil.

Ecphora gardnerae is a species of large (up to 5 inches) carnivorous sea snail lived during the Miocene epoch, and became extinct around five million years ago. Shells of Ecphora are common 
fossils in Maryland and Virginia. Ecphora was one of the first fossils from the “New World” to be illustrated in a scientific work in Europe (England, 1770). The best specimens of this fossil gastropod are reported from the Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County, and from Chancellor Point, in St. Mary's County.

The stamps are beautiful. 

The Eastern Hercules Beetle is quite big:

And guess what? It lives in Maryland!
The Western Meadowlark is on the next stamp:
The western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) is a medium-sized icterid bird, about 8.5 in (22 cm) in length.

The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant native to subtropical wetlands on the East Coast of the United States in North Carolina and South Carolina. It is visible in another stamp.

Together with a Tiffany lamp stamp and a Nemo lookalike fish stamp. 

Phew! All that from one postcard!

If you haven't fallen asleep already, here is what I have been up to this week:

I had made a cake for my friend's birthday. It was a layered cake, and had a sort of thick custard in between each layer. I made separate batches and let the previous on cool down before I made the next batch, so it took me all day to make this cake. I forgot to put sugar in the last batch. Then one layer I had drenched with a liquor, when I remembered there would be children present. Then at the end I used a template 'Happy Birthday' letters with brown sugar to compensate for the lack of sugar. Of course the brown sugar just melted away... It was a bit of a disaster to be honest. In the end people had second helpings which meant that the cake was not all bad.

Hubby is still not having any treatment (Platelets too low) so he is always on the go. (Next chemo 24th June).

We had a Dutchman visiting (a friend of a friend) on Tuesday.
It rained on Wednesday!

Yesterday we went to Baza as we had an appointment at the local police station, who have a department for foreigners. Now that Britain is no longer in the EU, Brits need a special card to prove they are residents. We had all the paperwork (plus the appointment) done by a 'gestor', a person who deals with administrative bureaucracy on behalf of a client. I suppose it was done in the old days for people who could not read or write, but with the Spanish bureaucracy, they have still an important role to play for everyone.

I was very impressed with Kate's bottle lights, and I have now bought some too. I found an old liquor bottle, rinsed it out and put lights in it. It looks really nice.

That is all from me this week. Sorry it was rather long (again!)

We are looking forward to going to eat fish & chips later today. We have to drive more than an hour to find a place, but it is well worth the drive. Photos next week.

Of course I will put some funnies at the end.

Have a lovely weekend all! 

Take care,



PS One of my US friends, Elizabeth, had important info to add about Annapolis. She writes: "Annapolis is NOT just one of the cities in Maryland, it is also the state capitol. Every state has a capitol and theirs is Annapolis. Kansas's state capitol is Topeka. Each state's capitol does all its state business there. There are different forms of government and each house has its own job to do in every state." 

Thank you Elizabeth.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 15 June 2021 - T for babies and beer

 Hello lovely ladies, How are you all? It's Tuesday again (The weeks fly by so fast!) and time to share a drink at the T-Party organized by Elizabeth and Bleubeard.

I have two postcards for you today. Both with a baby on it. The first one comes from the Netherlands and features this gorgeous baby:

The card was issued by a charity called (Orange Babies helps pregnant HIV-infected women and their babies in Africa. Because they are the most affected by the AIDS epidemic and the last to receive aid.)
They have now also added Covid mothers to this remit.
Aids is still very much rife in Africa.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Someone infected with HIV is called seropositive. Once you are seropositive your immune system doesn’t work properly anymore.

You speak of AIDS when your immune system cannot protect the body against all kinds of infections and conditions anymore. The body becomes weaker and without treatment a person will die of the consequences of AIDS.

The second postcard has a very privileged baby indeed:

The caption reads: "Our crown princess with her two little sons." 
Ruth, who sent this to me, says it is crown princess Cicely of Prussia, the last crown princess of the German empire. She is seen here with her two sons, prince William of Prussia and the baby, prince Louis Ferdinand, born in November 1907. 
The number 1820 at the bottom of the picture is not a date but a serial number of the card. (It did confuse me to start with). The baby in the photo is Louis Ferdinand.

Louis Ferdinand was born in Potsdam as the third in succession to the throne of the German Empire, after his father, German Crown Prince William and elder brother Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. The monarchy was abolished after Germany's revolution in 1918. When Louis Ferdinand's older brother Prince Wilhelm renounced his succession rights to marry a member of the untitled nobility in 1933 (he was later to be killed in action in France in 1940 while fighting in the German army), Louis Ferdinand replaced him as second in the line of succession to the defunct German throne after the Crown Prince.

Here is another image of the princess with her two sons. She went on to have two more sons and two daughters.

Louis Ferdinand was educated in Berlin and deviated from his family's tradition by not pursuing a military career. Instead, he travelled extensively and settled for some time in Detroit, where he befriended Henry Ford and became acquainted with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, among others. 

Here he is as a boy:

He held a great interest in engineering. Recalled from the United States upon his brother's renunciation of the throne, he got involved in the German aviation industry, but was barred by Hitler from taking any active part in German military activities. Louis Ferdinand dissociated himself from the Nazis.
This photo is from ca 1931.
Apparently he was very popular in Germany after the war.

I also found a photo of him with Prince Charles:

The stamp is lovely. It shows Meadow knapweed.

My drink for the T-Party is some beer that we had with our friends on their terrace. There is a story to those beers.....
We have a glass table on the terrace on the 3rd floor. As we no longer live there and don't use the terrace, it is a waste of a table. It doesn't fit in our tiny patio, so we were going to get rid of it. I was going to advertize it on the Spanish equivalent of Gumtree, but with hubby in the hospìtal I never got round to it. Now it's too late as most people have got their patio/terrace furniture. 
When our Danish friends mentioned they were looking to buy a table for their terrace, we went: Yesss!
The frame is solid metal and weighs a ton. So it was quite an operation lowering that down all the floors.
My friend and I had to keep the table from scratching the ledge by pulling on the ropes.

We got it safely to the ground. Phew!
Then it went in the back of the car (an old Mercedes stationwagon)

We didn't dare do the same thing with the glass top. That had to be carried by hand down the stairs.
It also went into the back of the car. We had a giggle as the Mercedes is black and we always joke that he has a funeral car. (It's not as it has normal windows in the side). We were walking behind the car to prevent the trunk/boot lid from damaging the glass when the car goes over a bump. They only live round the corner, but we did laugh as we looked like a funeral procession. 

The glass got carried indoors and onto the terrace.

Here we are on the terrace. The orange colour is caused by the sun screen.

After all that work we had a cold beer at the new table. I'm on the right and above my head you can see a piece of our house (the white one).

That is all from me today. 
Happy T-Day all of you,
Take care,