May 30, 2014

Red-Poodle Reunion

Door County, Wisconsin, July 2004. Mr. Irene used to take Pupa and Baci on two 90-minute walks per day when we spent time in Door County. Here, Baci relaxes after one of those hikes.

Another Walk with Dad

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1964. I'm always startled by how an old home movie captures someone's body language.

A Weekend in the Reeds

 Near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1949. Toronto Al's Dad, Vladas, considers the turn.

Thanks to Vladas's son—Toronto Al—for making this photo available to us.

"The choice to leave academia does not have to mean life as a barista."

"So why are humanities Ph.D.s outside academia so invisible? One reason is that within academic departments there is a culture of stigmatizing doctoral candidates who take non-academic posts, making them less inclined to stick around and contribute to debates about the future of the field."

A professor told me if my dissertation were dull, then I would work at an insurance company.


"The Zemaitukas is a breed of pony from Lithuania. Known in written documents from the sixth and seventh centuries and used during the Northern crusades as a war horse. During this time the pony had a widespread population, but over time the breed almost became extinct three times."

May 29, 2014

Container Gardening, in Three Takes

*     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *

Madison, Wisconsin, June 2004. I used to plant many containers. We've scaled back.

Publicity Portrait

Russian Soviet Socialist Republic, November 6, 1969. Elena, one of the two younger sisters of my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, writes, "To Tanusha, my little sister.* I am posing in costume. This is how I earn money. I am living the life of a widow."

Thanks again to my friend, D, for translating the text from Russian to English.

*[My paternal Grandmother was the eldest of six children; Elena must refer to Tatjana's size, not her age.]

Anatomy Class

Kaunas, Lithuania, 1940. Here's another image of my Dad's twin sister, Jonė, from the time she attended medical school. (I earlier posted a photo of my Mom's anatomy class.)

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

It's reasonable to fear and avoid heights.

Skydeck glass on Sears Willis Tower's ledge cracks.

May 28, 2014

The Path Behind the House

Penza, Russian Soviet Socialist Republic, about 1962. Natasha, a sister of my paternal Grandmother, Tatjana, wrote, "Path beyond the house where we live. Our house is on the left, behind the trees."

Thanks (again) to my dear friend D for translating the text from Russian to English.

Spring Trio

Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois, Spring 1962. It's warm enough to step out without a jacket.

We're managing.

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, about 1960. My Dad's cousin, Henry, and his wife Suzanne visit at the apartment of their daughter, Kaunas Nina.

May 24, 2014

The Multi-Dog Household

Mr. Irene and I have owned multiple dogs since 1994. During that time, we've had three dogs for six years: Rex joined Pupa and Baci in 2005; Pupa died in 2008, and; Poppy arrived in 2010.

Consider the cliché about "third wheels." We noticed two dogs pair off for affection and play, and the third dog disengages. Pupa and Baci, for example, used to wrestle with gusto, but when Rex came into the picture, Rex and Pupa bonded, and the new lovers ignored Baci. After Pupa died, Baci and Rex became playmates, but that status lasted only until Poppy's arrival, and now Rex and Poppy are the rompers.

Baci is fine because he's still the dog boss around here. He's usually the only animal on the bed: we don't keep the other dogs off the mattress—Baci does.

Here's a clip of Baci and Rex from March 2010, before we acquired Poppy:

It's foal season in the Shetland Islands.

Diminutive diminutives.

Kelpies, rising.

"Kelpies are mythical Scottish water beasts, generally malevolent in nature, and able to assume many different forms. The Loch Ness 'monster' should perhaps be more accurately described as a kelpie, and in Scottish song, art and literature, kelpies most often take the shape of a horse."

Holiday Weekend

Yesterday I saw a young man, wearing swim trunks, sunbathing outside of an apartment building. He had stretched a large towel onto a strip of grass along a busy street. Two things came to mind: (1) May is melanoma and skin cancer awareness month; and (2) it's little early for that, isn't it?

Door County, Wisconsin, July 1977. Dad waited until the weather warmed up.


An unexpected soloist surprises a middle-school band.

Memories surface.

"'We see NATO airplanes, we hear them, and it reassures us a little - but will they protect us? I've been a peaceful person all my life, but now the thoughts keep bubbling up: What if…?'"

May 22, 2014

Golden Reunion

Brookfield Zoo, 1966. It's a Golden Lion Tamarin ("Golden Marmoset"). For a time, this photo also hung on the Rec Room wall (although it doesn't appear in these photos).

Setting up the hot-springs shot.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, July 1966. It's easy for Dad to set up a shot because few barriers obstruct the hot springs.

Izzy loves Jake.

Verona, Wisconsin, December 2012. You've seen Izzy earlier. Here, Izzy interacts with her adoptive cousin, Jake. (Here's another Papillon.)

May 21, 2014


Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta, Canada, July 1968. It's good to practice.

A Pause

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada, July 1965. Mom takes a break while she waits for us to catch up with her. (More images from this walk here, here, and here.)

Sun Kissed

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Summer 1959. My Dad's twin sister, Jonė, and her daughter—my Toronto Cousin—pause in front of their home.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Training dogs to detect ovarian cancer.

This story isn't new, but I just saw it today:

May 20, 2014

Presidential Palace

Vilnius, Lithuania, August 2011. Today's post about Steven Tyler's visit to Vilnius reminded me of the image of the Presidential Palace my Toronto Cousin took when she visited Lithuania.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Volleyball or Table Tennis?

Camp Aušra (later Camp Kretinga), Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada, 1957. The weather is warming; sharpen your game.

On the Deck

Atlantic Ocean, Summer 1955. My Best Friend's Parents, Dolfo and Louise, are ready to sail back to the States.

Thanks to my Best Friend for making this photo available to us.

Here's another reason why I like Steven Tyler.

Aerosmith is performing this week in Vilnius. While sightseeing in the city, the band paused in front of the Lithuanian White House. Steven Tyler stopped there to sing with some musicians.

Later, Tyler toured the White House and met with President Grybauskaitė ("We saw you around palace, and we decided to catch you").


May 18, 2014


Kaunas, Lithuania, August 2011. It's too early to check out.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

Weekend Weary

Suburban Chicago, June 1964. I'm ready for a nap.

Thanks for the Company

Breslau, Germany, 1944. This fellow was among the refugees with whom Mom rode in the cattle car as she fled Lithuania. Here they are in Brelsau. When the travelers dispersed to different Displaced Persons camps, the man gave this photo to Mom as a memento.

Wright Walk, in Three Takes

*     *     *     *     *

*     *     *     *     *

Oak Park, Illinois, May 2008. Mr. Irene and I return to home territory to tour Mr. Wright's works.


Moving On.

May 17, 2014

RIP Miss Beazley


Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, August 2011. Part of our dog breeder's poodle pack waits while ...

*     *     *     *     *

... Poppy gets her first bath.

Spring Chill

Near Kaunas, Lithuania, about 1940. Dad and a friend walk through a manicured forests.

"Jump Around," Graduation Edition

Madison, Wisconsin, May 17, 2014. Graduation Speaker Jon Huntsman jumped around, too.

Henry, Later

Kaunas, Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, about 1970. This is my Dad's older cousin, Henry.

Thanks to Henry's Granddaughtermy Kaunas Cousinfor making this photo available to us.

May 16, 2014

Stork Reunion

Near Šiauliai, Lithuania, August 2011. It's the time of year when storks return to their nests.

Thanks to my Toronto Cousin for making this photo available to us.

(The sign reads "Private Property." Haha.)

Related by Marriage: Dinner Service

Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, January 1958. Guests at the wedding reception of Mr. Irene's Parents focus on the food.

Graduation Weekend

Suburban Chicago, June 1964. Congratulations to the graduates.

May 15, 2014

Friends at the Feeder

Verona, Wisconsin, May 2014. A fledgling Oriole and a Rose-Breast Grosbeak share the space.

Exchanging Portraits (Part 25)

Kaunas, Lithuania, February 27, 1940.  A friend gives my Mom another "senior portrait."

Sixty-Six Years

Schweinfurt, Germany, May 1948. My Parents celebrated their wedding anniversary on May 15 and May 16. They first contracted the marriage in a civil ceremony, and the following day, they sealed the union at a religious rite.