Tying the loose ends….

Okay, one last thing today…

When I was searching for door pics for Thursday Doors this week, I searched through my hundreds of pictures from our trip to Wales & Ireland from last year. I found the doors I wanted in the series from our visit to Wyndcliffe Gardens. There were so many cool pictures (and wonderful memories), so I included a few non-door pics. Loose end #1 is all the other pictures I didn’t include from Wyndcliffe. Earlier this morning I read and replied to a comment from Gordon about my Thursday Door posting, and that spring-boarded me into making another posting about about Wyndcliffe including pictures of a non-door although-another-sort-of-portal. Loose end #2 is one MORE picture from Wyndcliffe I really really want to post. So to make this last photo posting flow in with these recent postings, I defer back to my posting about the 27th letter of the English alphabet dated Dec. 28th… All tied up now….

and per se and

The Crapper

In my previous post (Thursday Doors edition), I posted a picture of what I suggested could be a Hobbit Door, and in the comment section, that concept got a lot of traction. It is kinda neat to have a thread of commentary take off on its own. So this morning when I got up and started clearing my email Inbox out, I had a notice of a new comment from Gordon at undiscoverdimagesamongstus . Gordon asked if we had found the Hobbit since we had the door. I said no, but we had found the Crapper… a fair dinkum CRAPPER!! WooHoo!!!

and on that note, Fare thee Well, 2016… Hello 2017!!

Thursday Door – Wyndcliffe, Chepstow

First order of business – Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details.

Second on the docket – My door this week is from our trip to Wales last year. We had a plan to visit the Gardens at Veddw one afternoon, and have tea with the owners, Charles Hawes and Anne Wareham. The Mrs had discovered a nearby Sculpture Garden during her research phase, so we planned to visit there in the morning. We arrived at Wyndcliffe Court Gardens, near Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, Wales late morning. Clouds were building, and it started to rain so we stayed inside for just a bit waiting for the rain to ease up before we began our tour of the gardens. There is a wonderful little summerhouse, and photo one is of the doorway on the upper level…


On the lower level on the back side of the house is what I surmise to be some sort of Hobbit Door. (The Mrs insists it is a window, but since this is my Thurs DOORS posting, it is a door for today…)


Following our tour of the gardens, we sat on a very comfy sofa next to the fireplace and enjoyed tea and scones while the rain tapped on the windows…


Note #1 – The china pattern of that little teapot is the same pattern as my mother’s china set!!

Note #2 – I just found out today that Wyndcliffe Court Gardens permanently closed their doors on 25 September, 2016…

Note #3 – After enjoying our tea, we went and spent a wonderful afternoon at Veddw!!


and per se AND…

I have loved reading & writing since, well, since I was learning to read via “Dick & Jane“. Not only did I love learning the words that were made by the infinite combinations of letters, but it was, hmmmmm, tactile! I loved feeling the words forming on my tongue & in my throat, & later feeling the creativity of my hand forming words on paper.

I attended a Catholic School (St. Mary’s) for grades 1 – 6, & we had a very strong readin’ writin’ & ‘rithmatic background. I transferred to the public junior high for 7th & 8th grades, & my language arts teachers for both grades gave me accelerated work to do cuz I already knew the stuff they were teaching the other kids. I was introduced to the poetry of ee cummings. WOW!

In high school, I was bored in my english class most of the time, & in my junior year I was failing at midterm. I had the worst “teacher” I had ever experienced… She was tenured, old, worn out, & would stand in the front of the classroom everyday blabbing on about stuff we had learned or read in grade school. My Mom made a deal with me… Bring up my grades in the class (“You could be teaching this class, so just PASS the damn tests!”) & she would let me take night english classes at the junior college nearby! I agreed, passed junior english with a C, and started taking college classes. I always got A’s in my college english classes, btw. (yay for me!)

I initially planned to study journalism in college (I worked at a radio station for 2 years in the news department during my junior college years). But when I transferred to Northern Illinois University, the journalism we were “learning” about was a bit different than what I had done in the field, so I changed my major to psychology because I found the field interesting & it came easily for me… Except I had to take Statistics. I tried 3 semesters, & dropped it 3 times. Then changed my major to History, with a strong minor in Psych. Well, the more history classes I took, the more papers I got to write! I was thrilled! Only thing I struggled with was the fact that most of my profs got their PhD’s from the Columbia school of historical interpretation via Marx. Except my Russian/Soviet history prof… He escaped his home nation of Georgia during the Stalin purges, and was not very impressed with communism/socialism.

I worked in the university library for a year & a half after getting my BA before I started a career in law enforcement, & it was fantastic! I was surrounded by books, I got to read on my breaks, & had started working on a master’s in library science. Once I became a cop, my focus changed, although during my career, I did spend a total of 6 years assigned to the state police academy. I taught, tested, supervised, & tutored cadets/recruits. I supervised Academic Development, Instructor Development, Curriculum Development, Legal Training, Testing… & a bunch more stuff. I oversaw the revision of all the academic/legal training curricula into a standard measurable Goals & Objectives format. & I taught Report Writing. & Remedial English. I taught these college graduates how to write a sentence. I taught cadets how to write a police report in first person, making sure they knew how to use correct punctuation. & I was working on finishing my Master’s in history through the University of Illinois at night. & I discovered three of my all-time favorite books during this time: The Transitive Vampire – A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (Karen Elizabeth Gordon); The Well-Tempered Sentence – A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (Karen Elizabeth Gordon); & Writing Down the Bones – Freeing the Writer Within (Natalie Goldberg).


Which brings me to…. and per se and. TRIVIA ALERT!!!!! This was the 27th letter of the english alphabet into the mid/late 1800’s. It supposedly originated with Roman scribes in the 1st century AD who, when they wrote the Roman word “et” (and) in cursive, they would use “&”.

According to Dictionary.com: “The word ‘ampersand’ came … when ‘&’ was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say ‘X, Y, Z, and.’ Rather, the students said, ‘and per se and.’ ‘Per se’ means ‘by itself,’ so the students were essentially saying, ‘X, Y, Z, and by itself and.’ Over time, ‘and per se and’ was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand. “

MORE TRIVIA!!!! The “&” is, therefore, a MONDEGREEN!!!!  A mondegreen is a word or phrase resulting from a misinterpretation of another word or phrase that we hear… You know, “There’s a Bathroom on the Right”… by Three Dog Night…

Final thought…. I love books & reading. This past year I downloaded the Kindle application to my computer & started reading on my laptop. For Christmas, The Mrs, her Mom, Sis, & Bro-in-Law chipped in to buy me an iPad so I could read on that. So now THIS >>>> 068

is gonna replace this>>>>>>

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Thursday Doors – Spencer House Barn

The building known as “The Spencer House” is situated on the northeast corner of the campus of the University of Illinois – Springfield. The Spencer House served as the home of the university presidents in days of old, later serving as the offices of the Campus Alumni Association. Before the State of Illinois took possession of the land in 1969, the property was a 465 acre farm belonging to the McClelland family. The original McClelland home on the farm was a walnut 2 room, 2 story log cabin, built in 1836. The log cabin was eventually expanded to a total of 8 rooms, 4 downstairs and 4 up. This home was torn down to be replaced by the Spencer House.

My doors today are the three doors on the McClelland barn (the doors on the Spencer House are plain and boring modern jobbers…).

Door #1


West side of barn.

Door #2


South side of barn.

Door #3


East side of barn.

One final historical note…one of the McClelland nephews, Thomas McClelland, was a volunteer in Company C, 114th Illinois Infantry, during the American Civil War. He was captured at the the battle of Guntown, Mississippi, on June 11, 1864, and spent four months in Andersonville prison, where starvation reduced him from 160 to 100 pounds.  If you read my previous post, you might recall that I am a private in the Reactivated 114th Illinois Infantry… And I am not on starvation rations and weigh above 100 pounds.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Visit Norm 2.0 for more doors and details.