Hart & Soul

13 Jun 2007 1,128 views
 
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photoblog image Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me

Yup, 62 big smackeroos!  :D   And thanks to all you who have already sent your best wishes!

As I thought about today, how could I NOT choose to show you another collection!  A collection that has been one of the most soulful of my life, and I mean that sincerely.

All throughout the city of Amsterdam, you can find these gable stones or wall tablets (gevelstenen).  They're carved and painted stones that were used to identify houses before street numbering was introduced in the 16th century.  Many reflect the owner's occupation.

So when I'm out-n-about on my walks, I'm ALWAYS looking up to find a new one (just ask Ade or Petra!).  Thus far I've collected 346 of them, which I'm putting into an online album, adding them as I go.  Supposedly there are 850 of them in Amsterdam, so I'm well on my way to finding half of them thus far.

It's my birthday present to me. :)

[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


Happy Birthday to Me

Yup, 62 big smackeroos!  :D   And thanks to all you who have already sent your best wishes!

As I thought about today, how could I NOT choose to show you another collection!  A collection that has been one of the most soulful of my life, and I mean that sincerely.

All throughout the city of Amsterdam, you can find these gable stones or wall tablets (gevelstenen).  They're carved and painted stones that were used to identify houses before street numbering was introduced in the 16th century.  Many reflect the owner's occupation.

So when I'm out-n-about on my walks, I'm ALWAYS looking up to find a new one (just ask Ade or Petra!).  Thus far I've collected 346 of them, which I'm putting into an online album, adding them as I go.  Supposedly there are 850 of them in Amsterdam, so I'm well on my way to finding half of them thus far.

It's my birthday present to me. :)

[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


comments (40)

Happy birthday to you Ginnie! Pretty shot.
Ginnie Hart: You are such a sweetheart, Bridge, especially for your gifts to me on your own post today. THANK YOU!
  • Jimbo
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 13 Jun 2007, 00:45
Lots and lots and lots and lots of HUGE congratulations. Have a soooooooper birthday.
Ginnie Hart: That feels like a LOT of congratulations, Jimbo. I feel so full. Thank you!
  • Ellie
  • 13 Jun 2007, 00:51
Happy Birthday Ginnie. I hope you have a fabulously enjoyable day. smile

Great picture to celebrate with too, I dooo like the way you've framed it.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly for stopping by early (or in your case, late last night!!), Ellie! smile

I will be alone today while Donica flies off to Brussels till Friday. But we celebrated with a fabulous dinner at an Indian restaurant here in Amsterdam last evening. And she says there is a surprise for the weekend. Guess I'll find out soon. The thing about Donica and surprises is that you never really know what she's gonna do!! But you usually never forget it. smile
Happy birthday (even though I said that already)! This is a good way to celebrate: gables, windmills, etc smile
Ginnie Hart: The birthday pleasure is doubly mine, Martin. Thank you.

I know that these are called gable stones but they can still hang pretty low on a builing, which feels a bit like a misnomer. But that is what they're called, so we will trust them. smile
Warmest wishes for a lovely birthday, Ginnie. smile

Amsterdam must be the most fascinating city. I hope I will visit someday. This is a great image, and I took a peek at your online album. Wow! Amazing.
Ginnie Hart: These stones just utterly floor me, Red Pen. I really can't think of a collection that has this same effect on me.

Thank you for your kindest birthday wishes! As I told Ellie, Donica is off to Brussels this morning till Friday. But we celebrated with a fabulous dinner at an Indian restaurant here in Amsterdam last evening. And she says there is a surprise for the weekend. Guess I'll find out soon. The thing about Donica and surprises is that you never really know what she's gonna do!! But you usually never forget it!
Happy, Happy, to you...
Happy, Happy, to youuuu!!
Happy, Happy...
Happy, Happy....
Happy, Happy toooo youuuuu !!

MUCHAS FELICIDADES G I N N I E !!

Today the photo is not important! The important, you are.
Improved 100 years! smile
Ginnie Hart: You are such a sweetheart, Jose. Thanks a million! I can hear you singing right this very minute. smile
As promised, I saved my birthday wishes to you for today. Happy Birthday, Ginnie! And many more to come. smile
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Lady!
Ginnie, he estado visitando tu enlace y me he quedado prendado del trabajo tan enorme que estás haciendo. ES UNA MAGNÍFICA COLECCION !!

Ginnie, I have been visiting your link and I have remained pledged with the so enormous work that you are doing. IT IS A MAGNIFICENT COLLECTION! smile
Ginnie Hart: It HAS been a lot of work, Jose, but it's work that totally thrills me. Thank you so much for checking out the collection.
  • Ted
  • 13 Jun 2007, 04:25
Happy Birthday, Ginnie! Are you sure you didn't swap around the numbers in your age?
Ginnie Hart: HA! I think I may be in the beginning stages of Alzheimers, Ted, but I'm not THAT bad yet. grin
  • Kay
  • Portland
  • 13 Jun 2007, 04:51
Happy Birthday to you, Ginnie! I hope your birthday went well, and you had a very nice day.

Great photo too I love those gable stones. They really do tell a story about humanity through the ages. I will definitely visit your online album to take a good look at them. Very nice!
Ginnie Hart: My birthday is still happening, Kay...since it's still morning, but I'll accept your wishes for the rest of the day to come. grin That means a lot.

These gable stones DO tell a story. That's what's so fun about them!
Happy birthday Ginnie !! My best wishes to you !
Your picture is ver sharp and have very soft colours...
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Flo. That means a lot!
  • Petra
  • 13 Jun 2007, 06:04
Ginnie, i want to wish you all the luck in the world for this new year of your life...
I am looking outside now, and the sun is not shining yet, but i hope today will be a bright and sunny day for you!
Petra
Ginnie Hart: You're a sweetheart, Petra. Thank you.

For me, it's quite okay if the sun doesn't shine since I can't handle too much of it (fair-skinned, as you know). It's cool and there's a gentle breeze coming through the window right now. My kind of day!
  • Thomas
  • India
  • 13 Jun 2007, 06:08
Happy Birthday Ginnie. And a nice shot to celebrate the day, I like the experiment you have done here with the framing. Thanx for sharing these wall tablet pics with us. Have a great day and a wonderful year smile
Ginnie Hart: You are so welcome, Thomas. I have LOVED working on the gable stones. So soulful!

Many thanks for your birthday wishes!
  • Donica
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 13 Jun 2007, 06:37
First of all, Happy Birthday!!

Secondly....watching you find all of these gevelstenen has been like watching a child on Christmas morning. You have mentioned many times that finding one of these is like finding money on the ground...it brings you joy!! Hopefully you will find much more joy as you continue to add to your collection!!
Ginnie Hart: Woman! You do know how to make my day! Leaving a comment like this may be the best gift you could give me today. Thank you!

I'll miss you while you're off in Brussels but the Indian dinner last evening was to die for. Thanks again!
  • Judy
  • So Californina - United States
  • 13 Jun 2007, 06:44
Ginnie - I hope this is the best ever birthday. You know YOU are not getting older only BETTER! Your photography certainly is too for sure. I looked at the album and those are amazing as are your pics of them all. Good luck in your pursuit of finding the rest of them and may you have a truly wonderful year ahead!
Ginnie Hart: HA! You and I both know that we're only getting better! I love it. That's why I never worry about telling my age. I cherish every new year that gets tacked on, right?? grin

Thanks a million for commenting here today. That means the world to me. Soon Amy will be with you there. I know you're all excited.
Dear Ginnie: many happy returns of the day! I hope you have a very nice time today on your 62nd birthday!
I have a link fot you here: http://www.hanstmannetje.com/
Hans if a professional gable stone maker and he is also my neighbour here in Zutphen. I myself have two gable stones in my house (one in the front, one in the back wall) and many of the stones you spotted in amsterdam are by his hand: you will recognize them in the catalogue attached to his site.
Ginnie Hart: You have absolutely made my day, Wim, with this link. OMG! I have looked through his entire collection and see all the ones that he has made. I can actually pick them out without knowing, because he has a distinct style. And you are right, I have several of his in my collection, one of which I plan to post tomorrow.

Does he have an e-mail address? I have questions about some of the stones I've included in my album, not sure if they are true gable stones. For instance, there are severl that have only dates. Are those gable stones? Anyway, I am in heaven today with this link and have written down a couple that I will go off to find today (because he has included the street address)!

What a birthday gift for me! A thousand Thank-Yous!
Happy birthday Ginnie mummy sweetheart lovey everything sweet and supple (graceful). Many happy returns. Im sure your day will be special.
Ginnie Hart: YOU are the sweetheart. Thank you kindly!

As I've told others, Donica is off to Brussels this morning till Friday. But we celebrated with a fabulous dinner at an Indian restaurant here in Amsterdam last evening. And she says there is a surprise for the weekend. Guess I'll find out soon. The thing about Donica and surprises is that you never really know what she's gonna do!! But you usually never forget it! smile
Ja, må hon leva!
ja, må hon leva!
ja, må hon leva uti hundrade år!
javisst ska hon leva!
javisst ska hon leva!
javisst ska hon leva uti hundrade år!
Just singing in Swedish for you, Happy birthday Ginnie smile
Ginnie Hart: Ohhhh. The only thing missing is hearing your voice singing this, Magnus. smile What a nice birthday gift for me. Thank you!
Well well... Isn't it truly wonderful to know how much you are loved, even by those who have yet to meet you Ginnie?

I wish you a day abundant with fulfilled dreams, and overflowing with joy!

Happy Day!
Love, Kim
Ginnie Hart: And YOU are one whom I have yet to meet, Kim...but I've definitely known you longer! So, when was it that you said you'd be coming for a visit? smile Seriously, that will be some special day. I hope it happens sooner than later!!!

Thanks for you kindest birthday wishes and for stopping by to comment!
  • mal
  • 13 Jun 2007, 08:51
Happy birthday dear Ginnie, I hope that you have a fantastic day. Maybe you could bag the remaining 504 by tea time?.... lol

All the best
mal
Ginnie Hart: HA! Don't I wish, Mal. On YOUR birthday, Monday, I walked for 3-1/2 hours to find another 137. It just about killed me. But totally worth it. smile

Thanks for your birthday wishes, Mal. I kinda like it that our special days are so close together. smile
Happy Birthday to you, Dear Lady. I hope you have a wonderful day and don't get a sore bottom from all those spanks. Here's a couple of songs to help you celebrate.
http://media.putfile.com/The-Happy-Birthday-Song---Andrew-Bird
http://media.putfile.com/Catch-a-Falling-Star---Perry-Como

Many Happy Returns!!!
Ginnie Hart: HA! I knew someone would say something about all those spanks! grin

Thanks for the delightful songs, Mary, which I have listened to from beginning to end. That's so perfect from you and means a lot!
  • Ruth
  • Michigan, USA
  • 13 Jun 2007, 10:32
I'm feelin' the love! It seems that on your birthday you are giving us all a gift of yourself and your talented eye. Let me be the 23rd to wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY on this your 62nd. I wish we could spend the day together, but soon, very soon. We will just have to celebrate together then. (And you will have something to open. hehe.)

These gevelstenen are just a wonderful, soulful piece of history and art, and you have found such joy finding them. I hope that you will find them all before your next birthday. Do you know if this one reflects the owner's occupation?
Ginnie Hart: Your words are more than gift enough to me, Ruth, as is your friendship (let alone your sisterhood!). I know you know this! You have been one of my "bestest" friends in the whole world for a long time! I cherish that.

Good question about if this stone represents the occupation of the ownwer. Maybe years ago? That DID used to be the purpose, for sure. Did you happen to see the link that Wim included in his comment? OMG. Now I have a real person who not only knows about these stones but MAKES them...even some of the ones in my album! I'm hoping some day I might be able to meet him and ask him all my many questions!! Wouldn't THAT be a gift!
  • Chantal
  • Netherlands
  • 13 Jun 2007, 11:17
good symmetry
Ginnie Hart: Thank, Chantal.
Happy birthday! Gefeliciteerd!! If you are interested in gevelstenen from Zwolle I can make some pictures for you. But I think finding them yourself is much more fun.
Love your collection.
@ Ruth: De Roo Oly Molen means the red oil mill, so I think the owner was a miller. Or maybe he owned a lot of mills and actually was a tradesman which I think is more likely because he lived in the city.
Ginnie Hart: After looking at Wim's link of the man who actually makes these stones now, I would LOVE to go to Zwolle and find them for myself, Frank! That will be one of my "missions" one day while here in Holland!

And thanks for answering Ruth's question. She's my sister, so I'll let her know you commented on her question. smile

Thank YOU for stopping by and commenting, Frank!
  • L.Reis
  • Portugal
  • 13 Jun 2007, 11:58
Happy birthday Ginnie!! I'm wrapping up a box full of smiles just for you. I wish you all the best in your life. Lovely detail on this shot!
Ginnie Hart: What a lovely thought, Lina. Thank you so much!
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Ginnie, happy birthday to you!

Have a fantastic day.

You certainly have a good collection going there - I hope you get to find them all.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you so much, Bernie. I really don't hold out for finding them all, since some are tucked away in private gardens. But my goal is to find at least 500 of them. smile

So glad you made it on your race yesterday. Congratulations, again!
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 13 Jun 2007, 12:58
Veels geluk liewe maatjie, omdat jy verjaar tongue It doesn't translate easily, but something like 'A lot of happiness little friend on your birthday'. Language = afrikaans. Next year remind me and i will do the zulu one.

Gable stone went to my likeys.

Another interesting little historical piece. It was the french who forced the dutch to take a last name "achternaam in dutch" during occupation days. So at some time before and into the 17th century it could have been quite difficult to find Jan - somewhere in Amsterdam. Jan being the most common name after Piet.
Only the rich and royal had some kind of an indication that could be construed to be a last name. It was either an indication of where the person lived or occupation. Van der Meulen (from the mill) would be a well-off miller or Van der Westhuizen (from Westhuizen) would be some important person in the town of Westhuizen.
If you have some upperclass blood you will have prefix handles like Op't instead of Van.
Many people were not happy to be forced into a tag. So they registered with last names like Naakgeboren (born naked), which you may still find in the modern dutch telephone books.

So the need for the gable stones were definitely accute at the time.

Enjoy the day Ginnie, and treat yourself to and Indonesian rice table tonite.
Ginnie Hart: A fount of knowledge you are once again, Louis! Thank you. That's a very nice birthday gift for a Gemini who likes to know as much as possible. smile

Donica flew to Brussels this morning and will be gone till Friday, so we celebrated a dinner out last evening at a wonderful Indian restaurant within walking distance. We have eaten at an Indonesian place here but not Indian, so that's what I chose...with enough left-overs for the next two nights! Donica says she has a surprise for me for the weekend. Knowing her, it will be very special! smile
wow, that is some collection!...hats of for dedication and best wishes for ur 62nd...
Ginnie Hart: Thanks a million, Sam!
  • alex
  • 13 Jun 2007, 18:52
hey ginnie, interesting shot. my birthday gift to you is posted on my blog today. have a good one! alex...
Ginnie Hart: You are such a sweetheart, Alex. I LOVE it! smile Thank you.
Trust me to be late but : Happy Birthday to you.. stick in a shoe .. balderdash I forgot the rest. As you make me smile like no other here on the chance, I too have boxed up a ton of smiles for you from my grandson and me. So here's the rest HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Ginnie and I hope you enjoy your surprise at the weekend !

J

ps. I'm looking forward to seeing your new almost half done collection !
Ginnie Hart: As far as I'm concerned, Johnny, birthday wishes are never late, even when they are, and yours aren't! HA! Did you follow that? I'm so glad I make you smile, which is definitely better than the alternative. grin

I found a whole bunch more stones today after a 2-1/2 hour walk. I'm one tired but happy puppy, believe me. What a great birthday. I feel so loved. Thanks!
Well, better late than never always seems to be what I am consoling myself with these days but it does not mean that my birthday wishes are any less than mega. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU GINNIE! You are one hell of a person, you make me laugh and somehow you inspire confidence and belief in me and I'm just so happy to have made your acquaintance here on Shutter. Long may it continue.
Ginnie Hart: As I told Johnny, PP, as far as I'm concerned, birthday wishes are never late, even when they are, and yours aren't! grin Donica still has a birthday surprise for me this weekend (she's in Brussels today thru Friday), so I'll feel like the whole week is my birthday.

Thanks for YOUR part in making me feel like one lucky lady! Your words are very kind and humbling.
Love the image. Happy Birthday!! 62 years young. All the best, Dave
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Dave. Very young at heart, for sure! smile
Keep on looking Ginnie, there are a few to go! Many happy returns of the day - better late than never wink
Ginnie Hart: I found 55 more on my birthday yesterday, Chris. smile

And as I always say, one's never late with birthday wishes, even if they are. Birthdays have no time limit, as far as I'm converned! So, thanks!
  • Steve
  • 13 Jun 2007, 23:32
Happy Birthday Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Steve.
Happy Birthday Gemini Girl. Mike
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Mike. And to YOU today (Thursday)! We Gemini have to stick together. smile
  • Julischka
  • the fairy tale road
  • 14 Jun 2007, 17:38
Better late than never. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Ginnie! May all your wishes come true!
The image is absolutely lovely. I like your framing.
Ginnie Hart: Well, as far as I'm concerned, Julia, you're not late. Donica still has something up her sleeve for the weekend. But thank you nonetheless. It's been a birthWEEK. smile Thanks for backtracking thru all these posts!
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 14 Jun 2007, 22:40
belated happy birthday wishes to you Ginnie. Your tablets pages wonderful. If you didn't get a birthday present already i might suggest a Navman GPS with the inbuilt digital camera in it. You take the shots and it records the GPS position of the photo. Perfect gift for a techie grandma.
Ginnie Hart: OMG, Neal! I didn't know such a thing existed. I'll have to tell Donica about that! grin
Oh Ginnie! I'm so sorry I missed the actual day! I hope you had a great one and will have a wonderful weekend too celebrating you in all your glory!
Great big HUGS and KISSES!!

Love,
Madeline
Ginnie Hart: As you can see, Mad, I'm having a birthWEEK, so the actual day is immaterial! Thanks so much for your birthday wishes!! I actually like getting older (some kind of weirdo, right?). smile
And I miss that !!
Happy birthday Ginnie and 62 kisses for you smile
Great shot !!
Ginnie Hart: 62 kisses is so much better than 62 smacks! grin Thanks, Zeb. Since I'm having a birthWEEK, you didn't miss a thing.
I am visiting you almost every day, and I missed this day.... I'm not happy....

Hope you had a great day - and I send you an imaginary field of beautiful flowers smile
Ginnie Hart: You can be happy, Aksel, because I'm having a birthWEEK! Donica has brought me to Brugge, Belgium, for the weekend. So your birthday wishes are totally on time. Thanks. smile

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