Do you remember Mr. Potato Head? I thought that Mr. Potato Head was long gone until I was playing with my youngest granddaughter a few months back. Much to my great surprise and delight, she pulled out Mr. Potato Head and we played with it for a while! Yeah, I grant you that it doesn’t take great genius or even serious thought…but it was…and to my surprise still is….fun!
Well, today’s photo isn’t one I took of Mr. Potato Head, but this image reminded me of Ms. Asparagus Head. Doesn’t it sort of look like asparagus that is growing out of the top of her head? Or at the very least, some kind of green, leafy vegetable? No, this is not a chia head…it’s plaster of Paris and is a decoration, but I was asking myself (in spite of the bright colors which I like), “Why?”
I got no answer. So now you must be plagued by it, too. Oh, by the way, you’re welcome! (Misery loves company!)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1812, one month after Napoleon Bonaparte’s massive invading force entered a burning and deserted Moscow, the starving French army was forced to begin a hasty retreat out of Russia.
Following the rejection of his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, French Emperor Napoleon I invaded Russia with his Grande Armée on June 24, 1812. The enormous army, featuring more than 500,000 soldiers and staff, was the largest European military force ever assembled to that date.
During the opening months of the invasion, Napoleon was forced to contend with a bitter Russian army in perpetual retreat. Refusing to engage Napoleon’s superior army in a full-scale confrontation, the Russians under General Mikhail Kutuzov burned everything behind them as they retreated deeper and deeper into Russia. On September 7, the indecisive Battle of Borodino was fought, in which both sides suffered terrible losses. On September 14, Napoleon arrived in Moscow intending to find supplies but instead found almost the entire population evacuated, and the Russian army retreated again. Early the next morning, fires broke across the city set by Russian patriots, and the Grande Armée’s winter quarters were destroyed. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoleon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving army out of Moscow.
During the disastrous retreat, Napoleon’s army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November but found its route blocked by the Russians. On November 26, Napoleon forced a way across at Studienka, and when the bulk of his army passed the river three days later, he was forced to burn his makeshift bridges behind him, stranding some 10,000 stragglers on the other side. From there, the retreat became a rout, and on December 8 Napoleon left what remained of his army to return to Paris with a few cohorts. Six days later, the Grande Armée finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of more than 400,000 men during the disastrous invasion.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Elias Howe (1819-1867) said one inspiration for his invention of the sewing machine came from a nightmare he had about being attacked by cannibals bearing spears that looked like the needle he then designed.