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Archive for May, 2010

The Other Side of The Fence…Aspiring to Published Writer

I’m guest blogging at Manic Readers today about the changes of going from an aspiring writer to a published one. Here’s the link to The Other Side of The Fence.

Men Are Like Wine….

Thursday Thirteen

I was having a glass of wine a few nights ago and decided wine would make a great topic for a Thursday Thirteen. So, here goes…

Thirteen Interesting Facts About Wine

1. The Irish believe fairies are extremely fond of good wine. They have come to this conclusion because in the olden days royalty would leave a keg of wine out for the fairies at night. It was always gone in the morning – Irish Folklore

2. Cork was developed as a bottle closure in the late 17th century. It was only after this that bottles were lain down for aging, and the bottle shapes slowly changed from short and bulbous to tall and slender.

3. Poor soil quality tends to produce better wines. The trick is to “challenge” the vines by making them “work” harder.

4. Although red wine can only be produced from red grapes, white wine can be produced from both red and white grapes.

5. The wreck of the TITANIC, holds the oldest wine cellar in the world and despite the depth and wreckage, the bottles are still intact.

6. Wine is considered more complex than blood serum because it has so many organic chemical compounds.

7. A glass of wine (about 4 oz.) contains about 85 calories.

8. The lip of a red wine glass is sloped inward to capture the aromas of the wine and deliver them to your nose.

9. In King Tut’s Egypt (around 1300 BC), the commoners drank beer and the upper class drank wine.

10. When Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii in volcanic lava in A.D. 79, it also buried more than 200 wine bars.

11. Grapevines cannot reproduce reliably from seed. To cultivate a particular grape variety, grafting (a plant version of cloning) is used.

12. Rose bushes are often planted at the end of a row of grape vines to act as an early warning signal for infestation by diseases and insects like aphids. A vineyard manager who notices black spots or root rot on the roses will spray the grape vines before they are damaged.

13. Labels were first put on wine bottles in the early 1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that suitable glues were developed to hold them on the bottles.

And a final quote because it made me smile – “”Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” — Pope John XXIII

Sources:
www.800wine.com
www.greekwine.gr
www.articledashboard.com
www.beekmanwine.com

A Tick Off The Bucket List

One of the things that hubby and I have wanted to do for ages is drive around in a convertible. We didn’t want just any convertible. We wanted to drive a Mustang convertible. In fact a Mustang was my husband’s dream car when he was a teenager.

Fast forward to our stop in Hilo, Hawaii. We hired a nice fire-engine red Mustang convertible for the day.

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It was a gorgeous day, and we had great company (another couple we met on board the Dawn Princess). We drove from Hilo up to the Waipi’o Valley.

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Did I mention we drove a Mustang? It was a really smooth ride, and according to hubby, great to drive.

The Waipi’o valley is beautiful – the road ends and you look down on a wide, flat valley. There’s a black sand beach and the surf crashes onto it. Here’s a photo of me (in the hat I purchased at the Sydney Royal Easter show) with the valley behind me.

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It was a fun day, and we have one less thing on our bucket list.

What is one thing that’s on your bucket list?

Lies Men and Women Tell….

Thursday Thirteen

This morning the announcers on my favorite local radio station were talking about the top ten lies that men and women tell their spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends. I thought the topic would make an interesting topic for my Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Lies Men and Women Tell

1. Both Women and Men: Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.

2. Men: This will be my last drink.

3. Women: Oh, this isn’t new. I’ve had it for ages.

4. Men: Sorry, I missed your call.

5. Women: It was in the sale.

6. Men: I’m stuck in traffic.

7. Women: I’ve got a headache.

8. Men: I didn’t have that much to drink.

9. Women: It wasn’t that expensive.

10. Men: I’m on my way.

11. Women: I don’t know where it is, I haven’t touched it.

12. Women: No, I didn’t throw it away.

13. Men: No, your bum doesn’t look big in that.

Okay, I confess. Basically I’m a very honest person. I can’t lie to save myself, but I might have used a couple of these white lies in the past.

What about you? Have you used any of these white lies?

All Roads Lead to Walmart

There were almost 2000 passengers on our cruise ship with most of them coming from Australia. A few days before the ship reached Hawaii, we all started to talk about the excursions we wanted to do while stopping at our four Hawaiian ports.

The number of passengers who said they were going to Walmart astounded me. I mean Hawaii is a beautiful place—one of my favorite island destinations—with so many interesting things to see. Volcanoes. Sea horses. Snorkeling. Whales. Turtles. Gardens. Waterfalls. And the list goes on.

We arrived at Kona (our first stop) and, to my surprise, there was a special bus that transferred people from the ship to the nearest Walmart. Passengers returned to the ship loaded with Walmart shopping bags. Really, in some instances I thought the shopping bags were walking by themselves because I couldn’t see the person carrying them!!

Our next stop was Hilo and the word had spread about the bargains available. Everyone was desperate to visit Walmart, even the crew who wanted to stock up on toiletries and small items etc. It became a sort of a joke on the ship. Have you visited Walmart yet? ( In our defense—we don’t have a shop quite like Walmart in Australia or New Zealand.)

And if you’re wondering, did I visit Walmart? Why yes, I did. Just briefly to get something for my cold and sore throat (to combat the buggy thing I picked up on the ship) and to check out the Sony ereaders. I didn’t stay for long though, since there was a Borders nearby. I left my husband and friends to their wandering in favor of checking out the latest romance releases.

Do you shop at Walmart? And, out of curiosity, what do you tend to purchase there?

Spotlight on Tonga

The first stop of our cruise was the Kingdom of Tonga. The group of islands is known as The Friendly Islands and the people we met were lovely. It was pouring with rain during our day in port, and I have to admit that this wasn’t my favorite destination. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin. We visited Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu and Vava’u. I liked Vava’u best since it was more picturesque. It’s a very popular place with boaties and there were many yachts moored around the port.

Fishing Boat, Tonga

Fishing boat.

Taro, Tonga

Taro, at roadside stall.

Carving, Tonga

Carving outside home in Vava’u.

Flower

Flower after the rain.

Pointy Toilet Paper

During our recent cruise, Edward our stateroom steward used to service our room in the morning and do a turn-down service at night, complete with chocolates on our pillows. As part of his visit to our room he’d make the tissues and the toilet paper pointy. Every time we went into the bathroom, he’d folded the toilet paper to a point.

When we arrived home, I complained to my husband that I wanted to be on holiday again and boo-hoo – my toilet paper wasn’t pointy. I wanted pointy toilet paper!!

I know most hotels and motels make their toilet paper pointy, and I wondered why. It came up in conversation when my brother-in-law and his wife came for dinner a few nights ago. My sister-in-law used to work as a Meticulous Maid and she said they made the toilet paper pointy so they knew they’d cleaned the toilet.

Yesterday I went to the restroom and low and behold, my toilet paper was pointy. I looked around for Edward, who I seriously loved and wanted to bring home with me, but alas the paper folder was my hubby. He knew how much I wanted pointy toilet paper and had crept in and done it for me. He’s such a sweetie, and he definitely made me laugh.

What is your theory on pointy toilet paper? Why do you think the hotel room attendants fold the toilet paper to a point?

Catch of the Day

Camera Critters

We saw these fish at a stall in Bora Bora. I don’t suppose these tuna are exactly happy fish, but they were certainly eye catching.

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To see other animal photos visit Camera Critters.

Quick Six with Tawny Weber

I’m visiting Tawny Weber today and giving away a print copy of Tea For Two. Come and say hello.

Link to Tawny Weber’s blog

(scroll down for today’s post)

The Best Holiday Ever

Thursday Thirteen

Since I’ve just returned from holiday I thought I’d use my Pacific cruise holiday as my topic for this week’s Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things I Did During My Cruise Holiday

1. I tried Line Dancing for the first time ever.

2. I went to my first art auction.

3. I went helmet-diving in Bora Bora, Tahiti. I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was fun looking at the fish face-to-face with nothing but water between us.

4. I went to a series of lectures by a marine biologist and inspiration struck for one of my stories. The lectures were great.

5. I sat under the stars on a lounger, watched some recent movies on the big screen and ate popcorn. My favorite movies were Sherlock Holmes and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

6. I went to the Apple store in Honolulu and played with an iPad. I want one!!

7. I went to the gym every morning.

8. I took some Photoshop classes.

9. I climbed and descended lots and lots of stairs. It was 107 steps from the Patisserie (where I had my mid-morning coffee) to our stateroom and 140 steps to the Horizon buffet at the top of the ship.

10. I went to the casino and donated $5 most nights. Last of the big spenders, that’s me.

11. I met the captain and several of his officers when we visited the bridge. These days the security is high and security guards accompanied us.

12. I went to a theatre show every night and saw singers, dancers, comedians, ventriloquists and magicians. Some were better than others, but my favorites were the Princess singers and dancers with their excellent stage shows.

13. I visited 13 ports and explored Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, American Samoa and Fiji. We also had two nights in Sydney and attended the Royal Easter show and explored the central city and Darling Harbor.

Your best holiday ever – where did you go?