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You may know him as the "Pee-pee Boy". We know him as the Mannekin Pis. Records indicate the original Mannekin Pis was created in 1388. It was destroyed many centuries later. By popular demand, the City of Brussels commissioned Jerome Duquesnoy to build another in 1619. This statue is alive and well today, situated in the labyrinth of little shops that surround The Grand Place in Brussels, Begium.
Sometime after Easter of last year Gert Knight noticed The Frog’s disappearances. "My husband was on the lawn mower and I yelled ‘Hey, John, we got a frog missing.’" Ms. Knight told reporters. They both thought that it was a simple case of "frognapping" and that they’d never see The Frog again.
They hang around town on old buildings, hide away on garden paths and come alive on movies about Ghostbusters. Many of these creatures were originally designed during the Medieval Period as very ornate rain spouts. The word "gargoyle" (along with the word "gargle") was derived from the French word "gargouille" meaning "throat". Stone carvings of these ugly creatures that do not serve as rain spouts are more accurately called "grotesques". Grotesques that combine two or more beasts are called "chimeras". We conveniently group them all under the Gargoyle heading.
No matter what religious affiliation you are, it’s always fun during the holidays is to ride around and look at all the nifty (sometimes gloriously tacky) holiday decorations. Once upon a time — when we had time — Doc and I were known to lead the pack in our neighborhood in a holiday display competition. It got pretty wild! We decorated a toilet with a candelabra — a long story — and constructed our own street sign which we proudly displayed on our corner lot that pointed the way to such places as “Bethlehem” and “Crapperville” — more of the long story.
It's surprising that Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” has not titled one of his episodes “Ponds of the Rich & Famous”, especially since Robin Leach enjoys his own koi pond in the gardens of his mansion on a remote island in the Caribbean. Many celebrities have koi ponds or water gardens but finding out about them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was, however, able to come across a few interesting and somewhat surprising tidbits — enough information to leave us all wanting more.
Incorporation of the element of water into residential landscaping is not a new idea. Ancient fountains were found in the ruins of Pompeii and one only has to witness the extravagantly crafted fountains of Versailles to realize the importance 17th-century France placed on water in the garden. Perhaps ancient Oriental cultures were the first to use the element of water in landscape design. The roots to our modern koi ponds are richly imbedded in Japan while the roots of our water gardens are probably more from Europe and more specifically the United Kingdom. It was in these areas of the world where the first cases of Pond Fever were reported.
During our recent stay in London the Doc and I found out the “fun way” just how the English compare to Americans through the antidotes of a gregarious, cockney-accented taxi driver named Kevin. Kevin picked the Doc and I up outside our hotel in London and adjusted his rates so that he could escort us around all day. He must have seen that we needed guidance — and guidance was his middle name.
Lately, I’ve been confused about the double standard concerning fish. Are we supposed to take care of them, like the whole Save the Dolphins thing, or just torture them before swallowing, like the standard All You Can Eat Fish Fry thing? Around our house, we do both. For example, take the fish in our backyard, which live in luxury in our three nice ponds. My husband is obsessed with their welfare. He starts each day by going out for a gill count. Then he feeds them, turns on a little waterfall so they won’t be bored, changes the water and general fusses over them like a mother hen.
Stress gives us headaches, makes us feel lousy, tears down our systems and causes heart attacks that can lead to death. We get our stress from missed deadlines, traffic, arguments, tragic events — you name it! We often ignore the warning signals and will live many years under stress.
One of the aspects of fish health that never ceases to amaze us is the resilience of fish and their strange ability to seemingly come back from the dead. Even fish that have jumped out of the pond and are beginning to stiffen have a chance for survival! I know of several incidents when a fish jumped out of his pond sometime during the night and appeared dead the next morning. Amazingly a single shot of steroids brought him back!