Monday, December 18, 2017

Old Fritz Is Really Old Today

Fritz Himself.
He might be 65 years old, but he still loves to play with his toy soldiers.
Well, today is my 65th birthday and that kind of takes me aback when I think about it. I guess that I am now officially a Senior Citizen. As my father always used to say about getting older is that "it sure beats the alternative."

OMG! Old Fritz is really old, old Fritz. Sheesh.

I don't feel any different today than I did yesterday, when I was a young pup all of 64, or for that matter, ages 60, 50, 40... 10. I still enjoy playtime and goofing off every now and then. The only difference is that now I know when it is time to act responsibly. Sigh.

Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe
Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe and I spent Sunday afternoon doing daughter-dad activities, first and foremost of which was building a gingerbread house. One would imagine that a skilled modeler and craftsman (ahem, me?) would be able to decipher instructions and build a professional looking gingerbread house. Then again, maybe not.

I was having trouble manipulating the icing cone, from which one draws a bead of icing onto the gingerbread parts with the icing acting sort of like glue. The application should be as easy as using a caulking gun (can't recall the last time that I actually used one), but I was having problems getting a nice straight bead of icing on the walls of the house.

We have framed the house and put the walls up. So far, so good.
Needless to say, I shant be competing in the National Bake Off Competition anytime soon. Once the walls and roof were assembled, I turned the job over to Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe forthe decorating part of the task.

We had a little bit of difficulty with the windows and doors, but hey, look at that roof!

Always put a Golden Retreiver or a beautiful model in the picture
 and nobody is going to notice the gingerbread house.

The obligatory Golden Retriever:

The Royal Hound: Tiberius

Mrs. Fritz decided that since it was my birthday on the morrow, that I had earned some painting time in the Man Cave. For that I was most appreciative and so I put my time to good use. I painted and based a Russian officer stand vignette and did the same with a Prussian munitions wagon.

Lt. General Saltykov, one of the Russian commanders at the Battle of Zorndorf.

Another view of the vignette - note how holes have been drilled through the snout of the horse so that wire reins could be leading to the hands of the horse holder manservant.

The manservant is one of the Minden horse holders, the horse is from Crann Tara, and the two gentlemen perusing the instruction book for building a gingerbread house are from the Minden Duke of Brunswick and staff set.

Prussian munitions wagon for the infantry. The wagon model is from Berliner Zinnfiguren
and the  horse and rider are Minden Miniatures.
The view from the front.

Next on my Russian to do list, paint limber horses and riders to lead the Russian 2-wheel and 4-wheel wagons that Ed Phillips made for me.


  1. Angela Lansbury was asked in a recent interview what she regarded as her most important accomplishment. She answered by quoting the BeeGees, "Staying alive".
    Congratulations on reaching a milestone.

  2. A very happy birthday to you sir!

  3. Happy Birthday Jim! Hope you have a lovely day.

  4. Happy birthday Jim. May you grow older and older for years to come and still derive pleasure from family, friends and toy soldiers.

  5. Happy Birthday and thanks for all your contribution to our hobby.

    I guess at 65, it's better to be sitting on the table than lying under it.

  6. Happy Birthday .... and as to getting up on the table and sitting like that, I think that makes you 65 years young!

  7. Give you joy of your birthday! Good to see Lady Emma and her splendid efforts.

  8. Have a great day, treat yourself! Lady Emma is a very photogenic!

    1. Thank you, I will pass your compliment on to Lady Emma. 😀

  9. Happy 65th birthday! Oh, "get your boots off the table!"

  10. Happy birthday!
    I agree with your father's statement about the alternative to growing older; it's what I tell people, too.
    I also agree with the others, that if you can get up on a table and sit like that you can't be doing too badly.

    1. I had to sit on the table because it was too hard on my knees. 😄

  11. Enjoy your birthday! I've got three years on you and it doesn't get any better. Just keep enjoying the hobby. It's what keeps us old geezers going.

  12. Happy Birthday, Jim! You can't possibly be old since you are spry enough, light enough & flexible enough to sit cross legged on a table, even with the knees! Who said anything about acting responsibly.. the benefit of age is the knowledge of when & how not to!! Great job you & Lady Emma have done on the cake...though I suppose it took much longer to make than it will to demolish it! :-P All the best, Rohan.

  13. Lovely story and photos Jim.
    Say hi to Lelia and give Tiberius a pat for me..
    Bill P.

  14. One day to late, but anyway.... Happy 65.!

  15. Happy birthday Jim and many happy returns. Wonderful to see your daughter growing up so beautifully and quickly as well as it seems just like yesterday you were posting photos of games on your table with those wonderful teddy bear figures

  16. Can't be any age to speak of as you are just less than a year younger than me and look much fitter - well done. Clever ploy using a beautiful model in your photos - maybe we will see a portrait of Lady Emma by Sir Joshua Gregg one day? :-) But a "how-to" tutorial on gingerbread houses was not something I would ever have guessed to see on your blog.

  17. Happy Birthday, and nicely done with Saltykov!

  18. Happy birthday! But more importantly, great use of the Duke triple face palm... K, Wojo, and Chris!

    1. It is one of the best pictures I've ever seen and I've been waiting for an opportunity to use it on my blog.😄