#ThursdayDoors: Mystery Room

I was surprised to find these doors and the room they lead to in an art museum. 

Probably because the original purpose of this room is not equated with art, unless it’s the art of the deal.  If you have good vision you can probably read the writing over the door. If not, here’s another shot, this time from inside the room. 

Pretty fancy room, hey? Below is another picture which definitely gives away the room’s historic importance.In the 1970s the original Chicago Stock Exchange was in a building built in the 1890s and it was falling apart. However, due to the efforts of preservationists in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago the actual room where stock transactions took place was rebuilt in a new wing of the museum. Today, instead of being a place where fortunes are made and lost, this room serves as an event center.  Here’s is the story of how the room was reconstructed, if you’re interested.

Around the corner from the event center is a one story stained glass window installation by Marc Chagall. Check out other doors at Norm’s place and Happy Thursday!

#ThursdayDoors: Cloud Gates and Pierogies

I wish I could say that I start each new vacation looking forward to expanding my horizons, meeting new people, riding a zip line through the jungle, or even joining an archeological dig.

The Cloud Gate in Millenium Park – if you could find the “gate” where do you think it would lead?

But alas, I’m a person ruled by my taste buds and not my head. Before even heading for the airport, I’m thinking of all the food adventures awaiting me. You might deduce that I’m some sort of a foodie interested in haute cuisine.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.

From the original doors

I’d rather have Potato Pierogies and Gedadschde at a place like Berghoffs  (above) than nibble on an elegantly presented morsel of steak tartare served on ginger-roasted sea urchins. Berghoff’s Grill, one of the oldest in Chicago, is the sort of place where they don’t make you feel like old Aunt Nellie who lives on fried spam and canned peas if you ask about the ingredients. The matronly waitresses call you “honey” and it’s assumed you want a beer to go with that humongous Bavarian pretzel hanging in the middle of the table for sharing and dipping.

My favorite eatery in Washington DC is also a “grill:”  The Old Ebbitts Grill.Aside from its long list of famous regulars, this establishment (which claims to be Washington’s Oldest “Saloon”)  is famous for its decor. the game heads hanging on the walls were supposedly bagged by Teddy Roosevelt.

The Cabinet Room is famous for its collection of  paintings of tropical birds by Robin Hill.  However, it’s used primarily for private parties and thus we were unable to get a peak inside.

How about you – are you a pierogie or tartare sort of traveler?

Check out other doors at Norm’s place.

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I Smell Like a Skunk

Pepe

No! I don’t smell like this skunk…

 It’s a terrible thing to smell like a skunk.  To have your cat smell like a skunk and your house smell like a skunk.  And nothing I’ve tried thus far has had any effect at all…

skunk

…but this one!

From what I’ve read – here, there and everywhere – skunks are not aggressive animals.  They only use their special scent when threatened, the reason being that once the spray is gone, it takes up to ten days for the gland to fill again.

Of course, the first thing I did upon realizing some skunk had sprayed our front door was to find every scented candle I’ve ever received – generally at Christmas gift swaps – and set them ablaze around the house.  The living room got Cappuccino, the bedroom

Didn't do a thing to distill the smell but did manage to set off the smoke alarm.

Didn’t do a thing to lessen the smell but did manage to set off the smoke alarm.

where I write, Scents of the Sea, the kitchen Cinnamon Delight, etc.  This method for skunk smell removal only works if you’ve got your nose in the candle which I do not recommend as I burnt the tip of my nose and almost caught my nasal hairs on fire.

Next I googled “how to get rid of a skunk smell.”  As expected, the first links that popped up were Pest Removal ads.  Yikes!  Can you imagine spending your days removing skunks from basements and attics?  Still, if you are a successful skunk removal expert I bet you could interest Hollywood in a new reality show “Skunk Dynasty.”  I mean the duck men have their dynasty, why not the skunk men? 

The ads were followed by several home-spun remedies, some resembling chemistry experiments.  Having done poorly at chemistry, I passed on any remedy that could potentially blow the roof off the house.

This one from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures looked safe enough.  So I filled every small bowl I could find with vinegar and set them around the house. This, for some reason, drove my husband crazy.  He hates the smell of vinegar even more than eau de skunk.  So I returned to my scented candles.  The hope is eventually they will work.  Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to get used to smelling like a skunk.

Here are some interesting things about skunks I found during my research:

  • The name “skunk” has Native American roots: skonks in Mohegan, škakw in Lenape, squnck in Wampanoag, zhigaag in Ojibwe, etc. The Indians have countless tales about the skunk, some tribes believing them to be monsters and others, good luck.  The Cherokee hung dead skunks outside their teepees believing they would ward off disease. Sounds very hygienic!  But the myth I found most disturbing was of a giant skunk so powerful he could shoot his spray across the ocean.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather face King Kong than Stinkzilla. 
  • Early Jesuits believed that when Saint Catherine de
    I feel your pain!

    I feel your pain!  Painting is the Passion of Saint Catherine

    Sienna smelt sin it had the same “vile odor” as the skunk.  Poor lady, no wonder she suffered so.  There was probably a lot of sin going around.

  • Charles Darwin encountered stink clouds – from the zorrillos (Spanish speaking skunks) – so virulent that their entrances into MonteVideo harbor must have been very pleasant indeed.  MonteVideo looks like a beautiful town but I think I’ll pass on a harbor cruise!