Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Recipes for Happy New Years! For Dolls and People...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Recipes for Happy New Years! For Dolls and People...: Here is a link to Dr. E's Greening Tips for the Common Person, where I often post my own original recipes.  Happy New Year; Peace in 201...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Some Comments on PW's "It's Still Complicated; A R...

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Some Comments on PW's "It's Still Complicated; A R...:  I am the author of a book that is a literary critique of romance novels and Barbara Pym's books called The Subversion of romance in the...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: November Sneak Peek!!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: November Sneak Peek!!: November Sneak Peek   Our wonderful  cover is fairly dancing with automatons is just a hint of what’s waiting in this issue.   The...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Love Unravels

July 30, 2017,  our 11th Wedding Anniversary

My parents’ 58th Anniversary



Love unravels

It entangles you into a pile of loose threads,

The shock turns you into a pile of we noodles,

Wet with grief,


You slither int0

An Almost straight line,

But no,


Love ties little knots,

Tiny clots to your heart.

You will never be long, loose

Strand again.


Love unravels you.

You come unknit.

Even if you straighten out,

You know that yarn that

Has been raveled can


Never knit itself whole again.




Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: The Solar Eclipse and Maria Mitchell

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: The Solar Eclipse and Maria Mitchell: Maria Mitchell, Astronomer, Public Domain  The Solar Eclipse and Maria Mitchell By Ellen Tsagaris Popular Astronomy Clu...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Publishing Opportunity

Subject: Student Writing/Publishing Opportunity: The Dangling Modifier Newsletter is Accepting Submissions!
From: Karen-Elizabeth Moroski <kxm5044@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:24:54 -0400
X-Message-Number: 3

Hi, friends!

The Fall 2017 Issue of Penn State/NCTPW's Peer Tutoring Newsletter -- The
Dangling Modifier -- is now accepting submissions. Please encourage your
tutors to submit!

This year's theme was inspired by the upcoming MAWCA 2018 Conference themes
of identity, narrative and honoring intersectionality/voice in writing
center work.

*What is The Dangling Modifier?*
Why, I'm glad you asked! The DM is a peer tutoring newsletter by peer
tutors, for peer tutors. It's a fantastic opportunity for your
students/tutors (grad and undergrad alike) to get published and to be part
of a rich history of tutors writing about tutoring.

*How does it work?*
Explained more in full on The DM's website, peer tutor authors will submit
works via email. Selected writers will be contacted by our editorial staff
(comprised of PSU tutors) and our editorial staff will collaborate (through
Skype, Google Docs, email, etc.) with the writer to refine the final piece.
Then, we publish it to the web!

*If you're interested: *
In the Spring, we offer the possibility for The DM to be hosted by a guest
university. It's great experience for the tutors who work on the newsletter
-- if you're interested, let me know: kxm5044@psu.edu.

*And now... the CFP! (Also attached as a word document)*

*Issue Title: Keepers of Collaboration: Upholding Civil Discourse in
Writing Centers*

*What does collaboration mean to you? To your Writing Center? How do you
define “discourse” in a tutorial? There are times where tutees and
professors both might push against our approach to working with writers
rather than solely working on papers: How does collaboration engage
conversation and growth in ways that line-editing cannot?*

*Sometimes, that conversation and growth can be tough to navigate: as
writing tutors, we sometimes encounter hostile papers, hostile students –
maybe even moments our own beliefs, experiences or backgrounds are called
into question. But a spirit of radical openness runs through the current of
writing center work, and there are ways in which foundational parts of
tutoring pedagogy enable us to be good listeners, good community members
and good humans when we engage in challenging tutorials. The
Dangling Modifier wants to know about times when you’ve felt challenged to
grow during a tutorial, as well as times you needed to use your writing
tutoring skills to navigate a controversial difficult moment in the Writing

*Writing tutoring, civil discourse and collaboration all share the core
tenets of respect, listening, and engaging. What does it mean to be a
Keeper of Collaboration? How can writing tutors use these skills to
preserve and promote community in a tempestuous world?*

*We are also open to creative submissions of artwork, poetry, photography,
book reviews, etc. related to our Fall 2017 theme. If selected, these
submissions will not be listed as newsletter articles but will appear on
our website in our Entertainment Category. Writers can submit to both the
Entertainment and Article sections!*

*Submissions are due no later than November 15, 2017.Email submissions to
danglingmodifier.psu.edu@gmail.com <danglingmodifier.psu.edu@gmail.com>*

*Click here for submission guidelines.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Felony Family Chronicls, as told by The Broad from Abroad

The following is a copyrighted work of fiction; none of the Felonis are real.  They are the product of the author's sick but brilliant imagination.  Please do not copy or reproduce without the author's position.  If you are a publisher, contact me directly, and check out my work on my Amazon.com author's page, LinkedIn, Goodread's Authors Page, and 917studio.  You can also find my work on Dissertation Abstracts International.  I can be even more shameless; just contact me :)

The Feloni Family Chronicles as told by The Broad from Abroad

                Let me tell you a little story about a family named Feloni, who also happen to be my former in-laws, some three husband’s ago.

                Since meeting them and suffering two other bad marriages, I’ve taken a vow of celibacy and have taken up race cars.  Actually racing them, not collecting little plastic models with teeny metal wheels.

                I’d like to start with a portrait of my ex-sister-in-law, Brindle Zima Feloni, mother of the Feloni heirs to the Feloni Family Trailer Park and Olive Oil Conglomerate, the Lovely Agnetta and Belladonna Feloni.

                Brindle has been married between boyfriends to the second eldest Feloni son, Grunt Feloni.  His real name, as you’ve guessed, is not Grunt.  It’s Giovanni Carlissimo Feloni.  We call him Grunt because, well, he grunts instead of talking.  Meet Grunt and you know where the missing link between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens seeded itself and flourished.

                When he isn’t grunting approval to himself at the Conservative talk radio shows he loves, Grunt is out hunting squirrels.  Brindle likes to sell the skins online.  She uses her proceeds to stock her subzero with Zima and to buy matching seat cushions for the window seat in her double-wide trailer.

                Carlissimo and Brindle Zima put the “fun” in dysfunctional before the word even gained common, household use.  Brindle, devoted daughter to her Daddy Craig Abhoresen, prefaces every sentence with “My Daddy says!!!”  At which point, you, the listener/opponent are meant to crumble in fear.  No one wants Daddy Craig and his child bride Jennifer waiting for you on the porch of your double-wide on a lonely, dark night.  No, the thought of Craig with his belt hiked up to his armpits, rheumy eyes bleary with rage and cheap beer, fly swatter in hand, was terrifying.  Jennifer alone was enough to strike terror into an in-law’s heart; you lived in fear those tight spandex shorts would one day pop off her and slap you right in the face.  Heaven knows what abrasions they might leave.

                Brindle managed Mamma’s Feloni cupcake/savings&loan business on the side.  She managed to skim off her own frosting fund to the tune of several thousand dollars. She could buy a lot of cases of Zima, her namesake beverage of choice, and throw pillows for that.  A lot of make up at the local dollar store, too. She had to look pretty for her guys, and she didn’t mean Grunt.  And then of course there were the girls.  Belladonna’s combination 8th grade graduation/sweet sixteen party hadn’t come cheap. And of course, Agnetta had that wedding- christening thing coming up.  It was great being able to combine events, and Mamma Feloni always let them use her own double-wide as a guest house for Daddy Craig and the other relatives.

                Yes, I remember Feloni family gatherings well.  We were great at multitasking and even planning. Combined celebrations were our specialty.  One of the triumphs of the social season was the combination Papa Feloni’s “I was finally granted Parole party” with the 50th Anniversary of the elder Felonis, Mama and Papa.   After we watched a “Desperate Housewives” narrative on the movie-sized flat screen, Brindle passed out the role we would play the ensuing, well – planned family fight.  Mine role was usually scapegoat; whatever everyone else did that could not be handled for any reason became my issue.   The script of answers I was given read “Yes, Brindle,” “Of course it’s my fault, brindle”, “You’re right, Brindle,” and “Yes, of course we should listen to Daddy Craig.”

                After years of such family fun, and enough heartburn from badly cooked pasta and flank steak diluted with the cheapest beer available and Two Buck Chuck, I divorced their oldest son, Danny Delight Feloni, much to their disbelief.

                When the ink to our divorce papers dried, my story really began.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Girl of Glass and Snow

The Girl of Glass and Snow:
Feminist revision of fairy tales is not new.  Interpretation of any story is to be expected.  Literature dies without vision and revision. 
Pointing out the negative archetype aimed at older women in fairy tales is not a bad thing.  Remember, “older” could mean late twenties.  I was shocked last week at a wedding shower of friends whose family belongs to a strict religious denomination.  I heard comments describing her as an “older” bride.  She’s 26.  I was older than that when I married.  I must be a Methuselah bride.  Or corpse bride.  Another friend at 30 said she was called a Cougar.  My response was, “If you’re a cougar, then I’m a saber-toothed tiger!”
Seriously, I’m not considered old.  I still think the way I did in my twenties, and I don’t dress like I’m old. 
Yet, there is a stigma that is ancient against older women, however older is defined.  There is not enough room here to explore the hag archetype, and how it has affected literature, myth and history.  Certainly, that archetype was aimed at Erzebet.  When her husband died, she was somewhere in her 40s, wealthy, alone, of a different religion.  Other women in her position were also accused of witchcraft and perversion as she was, their properties forfeit.
The same thing happened to accused “witches” everywhere.  Our own Salem Witch Trials followed the same pattern.  The old, the poor, the healers, the single, the too wealthy, the outsiders, these were denounced.  Sarah Good, the pauper of Salem, is regularly described as an old hag, yet she was young enough to have a five year old daughter.  The best account is Marion Starkey’s, The Devil in Massachusetts.
On a PBS special of Walt Disney last night, I watched their account of the making of Snow White, and the implications of the magic mirror.  Mirrors are huge in feminist studies, and in the myth of Erzebet Bathory.  In a play by Velasquez, Las Meninas, the painter was brought before The Inquisition for a painting of Venus in front of the mirror.
The hag, or evil witch, and Maleficent, were straight out of the examples in Sheila Jeffries’ excellent book, The Spinster and her Enemies.
Older women, widows, those retired in late Middle Age, the Marcia’s and Leonora Eyre’s of Barbara Pym’s works, her Miss Clovis’ and Excellent Women, there has often been no room for these in societies all over the world.  Native American peoples in some cases left widows out to die among the elements. James Michener told their story in fictional with his novel, Centennial.  Some Hindu societies had them die on their husband’s funeral pyres.  Even well meaning modern societies for orphans and widows marginalize them.  They are usually older, over 25, let’s say, and may have property which everyone else is only too happy to divest.
The story of Erzebet is a cautionary tale, universal in its tragedy, embodied in our fairy tales and retellings of “Snow White.”

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: September Sneak Peek!: September 2017 Sneak Peek   Our cover this month features a beautiful duet of two rare and wonderful Izannah Walker dolls.   The...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Playwright Departs this World

In so many ways, this is a blog for writers, too.  Here is a legend who has left us much to early:


Writing plays, in particular, garners my respect.  It's a special writing all of its own, and dialog, to me, is the most difficult thing to conjure.  In a digital world, who will write plays?  Who will consider the moment, and adapt scripts, props, and scenery with just the right direction to create verisimilitude?

In musicals, the songs bolster the story, often carrying it.  I love the music, always, but not always sitting through the story which can be pointless.

Plays are different.  There is a magic to sitting and reading them, too,  and the infinite possibilities for interpretation, live, with the magic only the theater can give.

I understand Shakespeare is not being taught much any more.  That is a crime, for he teaches us to live in the moment, and all good actors act his plays, if only once.  He spawned all great playwrights, like Sam Shepard.  When another one is gone, who will take up the pen?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!: The Star Spangled Banner Find all things patriotic at USA-Flag-Site.org Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly w...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Doll Museum: Promise Dolls

Doll Museum: Promise Dolls: Keeping Doll Promises   We collectors are like elephants [another collection of something I don’t collect], we never forget a prom...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek of our July Issue!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek of our July Issue!: Remember to sign up on our website, Antique Doll Collector Magazine, for a free emailed Sneak Peek! of each upcoming issue.  Did I mention i...

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek of our July Issue!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: Sneak Peek of our July Issue!: Remember to sign up on our website, Antique Doll Collector Magazine, for a free emailed Sneak Peek! of each upcoming issue.  Did I mention i...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Have a Safe and Blessed Memorial Day, and We thank Those who Have Served

Decoration Day

I recited this poem at a Memorial Day school program in sixth grade, wearing a prairie dress my mother sewed for me. I don't remember the author, or one line of the poem, but here it is for all veterans, and for my grandfather's an everyone else in my family who served, and for my students in the military:

PD image of the Star Spangled Banner

My Grandpa’s old and kind of lame,

He doses in his chair,

And when the family goes some place,

He stays and doesn’t care.


He’d rather stay at home,

He says,

Than dress to go uptown,

And when he knows there’s

Company come,

He’s always lying down.


But once a year there’s quite a change on

Decoration Day.

Then Grandpa wears his uniform and

Hurries me away,


[To see a big Parade] . . . .


The shiny cars with great folks in,

The flower girls in white,

The bands that play the national airs,

With all their wind and might,


And the boys that wear OD

Come through,

And straight and tall,

The wind a blowing

Through his hair,

My Grandpa Stands Through it

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: May 2017 Sneak Peek!

Antique Doll Collector Magazine: May 2017 Sneak Peek!: Spring has sprung, and along with it, wonderful dolls are popping up everywhere.  Try not to drool on the magazine as you take a leisurely t...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Marquis Automaton with ; Dolls Reach for the Stars!

Below is a fantastic automaton from the Upcoming Interlude Marquis Auction.  This young man is dear to me, because my family belongs to our local Popular Astronomy Club and is very active.  I've written articles for our local paper on Falling Meteorites and Maria Mitchell and the Solar Eclipse, and we're as much about our telescopes as we are about our dolls.  This remarkable figure is on our future wishlist for Dr.E's Doll Museum, and we hope he goes to a home of kindred spirits, and that they and he will never stop reaching for the stars!  Ah, fly me to the moon!!!!!

French Automaton "Marquis with Telescope" by Roullet et Decamps 8000/12,000

View Item in Catalog
French Automaton "Marquis with Telescope" by Roullet et Decamps 8000/12,000
Courtesy, Theriault's

  Lot #38  (Sale Order: 38 of 306)  

"Tax, Shipping & Handling and Internet Premium not
included. See Auction Information for full details."

Payment Type:


Description Terms of sale
Item Description: Translate description
24" (61 cm.) Standing upon a velvet covered platform is a gentleman with bisque portrait head, large blue glass paperweight inset eyes, dark eyeliner, painted lashes, mauve blushed eye shadow, brushstroked brows, shaded nostrils, slightly-parted outlined lips, carton torso and legs, wire upper arms, bisque forearms, with cigarette holder in his right hand, and a gilt-tipped wooden telescope in his left hand. Condition: generally excellent, smoking tubing needs restoration. Marks: Depose Tete Jumeau SGDG 7 (head). Comments: Roullet et Decamps, circa 1890. When wound, the gentleman alternately lifts cigarette holder to his mouth, and then, turning his head, lifts telescope to his eye. Value Points: rare model with regal presence, the Marquis is wearing a superb gold silk and black woolen costume with elaborate gold metallic embroidery, tricorn hat, tasseled shoes.

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This item is part of Interlude - Marquis Auction of Dolls and Automata
 Saturday, Mar 11, 2017 | 11:00 AM  Eastern