Learning how to surf the waves of time

Growing old–it’s mandatory if you want to stay alive.  Some people do it with more style than others.

Here are a couple of examples to take into consideration.  The first is that of Mick Jagger singing No Expectations. The song was first released in 1968 and was the flip side of Street Fighting Man. The highlight of the song was Brian Jones playing the steel guitar. But the song was never one of my favorites.  That is, not until 2003 when Jagger gave the song, and his voice, pathos.  Thirty-five years had past since the initial version yet Jagger, instead of giving the idea of having aged, gave the impression of having matured.



In 1971, Led Zepplin released Black Dog. Robert Plant a.k.a “I’m Sexy and I Know It” loved to sing “Gonna make you burn, gonna make you sting” wearing tight fitting pants and an unbuttoned shirt. Yeah, because singing a song with words like that was pretty sweaty stuff.

Robert Plant BEFORE

Thirty-five years past here, too, and, around 2007, Plant began performing with bluegrass star, Alison Krauss. And one of the songs they sang together was Black Dog.  But this time Plant kept his shirt buttoned. Because when you reach a certain age, love is no longer sweaty.

Robert Plant AFTER

So what’s the purpose of this post? No real purpose. Just a simple reflection  about growing older.  And about affronting the inevitable change.

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Volver, cats and retablos


Our cat Volver and friends

A Gemini like my son, on June 6, our cat Volver will be 2 years old. A stray, when he was just a tiny little kitten, Volver would come to our veranda every day and, maybe because we fed him, decided to adopt us.  His name, Volver, comes from the song VOLVER VOLVER.– he just had to come back.

Unlike Pierluigi, I’d never had a cat before (although I’ve had 2 important dogs in my life:  Hero and Nala). That’s why I couldn’t understand Catmania.


“Thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe the two cats stopped fighting and became friends once again”

I found the above retablo on a Russian site FULL of cat related retablos: Демоны, Святые и коты.  If you like cats, you will love this.

I know that cats were well respected in Ancient Egypt but thought it was because the cats ate the rats that ate the food. However, it seems their popularity was due to the goddess Bastet cult.  That’s why so many cat amulets were made.


a mummified cat via

Cat cemetaries with mummified cats were abundant in Ancient Egypt.  But  not because they were loved house pets.  Cats were bred specifically  to be buried: these practices seem to have been encouraged by Egyptian rulers for economic reasons. The ‘sacred animal industry’, supplied considerable employment and also provided tax income to the Pharaohs.

foto of Volver by Chiara Pilar

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Infinitas Gracias …more retablos

Art for Housewives:

Today I just can’t get enough RETABLOS!

And, in edition to the article reblogged (below), here are a couple of other iteresting article:  Art and the Spiritual Realm – Background Part 1 + Votive Offerings +

Originally posted on Birding Walks in RXland:

Just up the road from the British Museum. there’s a moving exhibition at the Wellcome Institute of Mexican ex-votos. These are mostly hand-painted tin panels given in thanks for the intercession of saints when called upon in cases of extreme jeopardy from accident, sickness or crime.

In mid-fall from a building, a workman would cry out to S Anthony and would survive with minor injuries. A wife would pray fervently from her sick-bed to the Virgin, a family from their drowning car, a mill-hand as his arm was caught in pre H&S machinery.

The retablos are naive, sincere images expressing the gratitude of ordinary people for the blessings bestowed upon them, but their quaint simplicity distances them from our cosy, secure lives.

In an adjoining room is a wall reconstructed from more recent ex-votos harvested from the walls of a church. These are letters – hand-written or typed – drawings…

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Ex Voto Retablos

Art for Housewives:

Back to Frida via back to RETABLOS:

see also this related post:  The term “ex voto” is translated as “my vow.”  The form represents a vow of acknowledgment and testimony for the granting of a miracle of divine intervention.  Typically these tributes were created and gifted to the community church after a turning-point episode in the life of a community member – whether it be recovering from typhoid fever (as is the case in the first ex voto below) or surviving a robbery at gunpoint as is depicted in another of the images below.    + Mexican Retablos + Retablos: ex-votos y santos + La Guadalupana + retablos, Museo de la basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico + another retablo related post



Originally posted on Potato Art Views:

In modern philosophical theory, an acknowledgment of power beyond human understanding is largely absent. Ex Votos however are votive offerings of gratitude for a vow or prayer fulfilled. Votive offerings are given before prayer fulfillment as appeasement or veneration. Depicted are life-threatening or catastrophic experiences and a subject(s). Votive offerings are ubiquitous, these examples are from Mexico and Spain. For more information see:  Everyday Miracles .

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ancient weavings and Chancay dolls

Art for Housewives:

Chancay dolls! Chancay dolls are named after the Chancay culture of Peru AD 1000 – 1476



Originally posted on Weefsels van jeannine:


I have found a picture of Chancay dolls in a book , motieven uit Peru from Margrit Reij(1975).
It says the dolls are found near the village of Chancay;the frame is made of reed and shaped by winding yarn and rag around it ;the face is painted or embroided.the face of one doll is woven in some kind of tapestry technique; the doll seen from the back has hair, and a hairnet or shawl.the doll are items of the tropical museum of Amsterdam.
I found the same picture in a book I bought at that museum;it says it dates from +/-900-1450 AC and belongs to coll of the tropical museum ,Amsterdam.I hope they don’t persue me for using the photo as it is just to show an example of the real archeological finds.
that museum is just great. i went there round 1988and have seen there how different cultures use backstraplooms ; it…

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Hillary Steel on the Endangered Mexican Rebozo

Art for Housewives:


Originally posted on R. John Howe: Textiles and Text:

On February 9, 2013,


Hillary Steel presented a Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning program on the Mexican Rebozo, a traditional Mexican shawl, woven in warp faced,  resist-dye ikat, that is in danger of disappearing. 

Hillary Steel is a handweaver. Her work has been featured locally in solo exhibitions at Glenview Mansion Art Gallery, Rockville, Maryland (2011, 2002, 1999) and in numerous group exhibitions in such venues as the Blackrock Center for the Arts ( 2013),  Artists’ Museum, Washington, D.C. (2003), and Snyderman/Works Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 2000. Her work is also held by several public collections including that of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C. and in our embassies abroad through the US State Departments “Art in Embassies Program”. 

Hillary is involved with cultural preservation efforts with regard to Mexican rebozo weaving, the subject of her presentation here. More of Hillary’s work can be seen on her…

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Art for Housewives:

Weaving and Oaxaca

Originally posted on Black Sabbatical:

Arbol del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico Artesena Zapoteca weaving, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Artesena Zapoteca weaving, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca Mitla ruins, Oaxaca Mezcal distillery, Oaxaca

We joined a tour from the hostel today with the main aim of visiting Hierve El Agua (more on which to come) but ended up on a bit of a school trip to all sorts of interesting places.

Stop one was the village of El Tule, home to Arbol del Tule, the biggest tree in the world – in terms of circumference, anyway. Who knew! It’s about 60m all round, 42m high and approximately 2,000 years old. Also; impossible to photograph.

Next we trundled along to Teotitlan del Valle, a weaving village where you traditionally start in the family trade at the grand old age of six. It’s not a sweatshop set-up though, more family groups working from courtyards their homes to preserve an ancient skill – the place we stopped at, Artesena Zapoteca, certainly seemed to be a happy and profitable set-up anyway.

We had a quick masterclass…

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