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Archive for the 'Potpourri' Category

We All Scream Ice Cream

Mr. Munro and I watched a food documentary about the history of ice cream during the weekend. It was fascinating, charting the history of ice cream in Britain and giving us a glimpse of Walls, the ice cream people.

It’s said that ice cream was first invented by Roman Nero when he combined ice and fruit toppings. In China they combined milk and ice, and it’s thought that this method eventually made its way to Europe, the harbinger of our modern ice cream.

A lady called Mrs. Marshall invented an ice cream freezer. She was a famous cook, along the lines of Mrs. Beeton, and wrote four cookbooks. She also invented the edible ice cream cone, the recipe published in an 1888 recipe book. A very clever lady.

Check out this link for making Asparagus Ices. They look amazing and the recipe is from one of Mrs. Marshall’s books.

During the documentary they said that worldwide the favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla. Personally, I only eat vanilla if it has chocolate sauce with it. I much prefer a flavor such as hokey pokey or something with chocolate or fruit in it.

Do you like ice cream and what is your favorite flavor? What did you think of the Asparagus Ices? Would you try them?

The Vulcan Salute

There are some things my husband can do that I can’t, and it just drives me crazy.

One, there’s the Vulcan Salute. That’s the gesture Mr. Spock and his fellow Vulcan do as part of their greeting. There’s a photo and a description here. No matter how I hold my mouth and pucker my brow, I can’t do it! And speaking of open mouths, yes, I do that when I’m applying mascara as per yesterday’s Ever Wonder.

Two, I can’t touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my nose. Now, there probably isn’t a good reason to actually do this. I mean it looks stupid. Hubby can do it and I can’t. Annoying because he gets this smug grin that drives me crazy.

I can, however, tongue curl. Not everyone can do that so there! Evidently, it’s a genetic thing.

Can you do the Vulcan Salute, touch the tip of your tongue to your nose or do the tongue curl?

Holidays and Ever Wondered?

I’m so excited – no, I haven’t sold another book. In fact I’ve been receiving a lot of rejections, but I’m not talking about those today. No, I’m not. Hubby came home last night and said, “How would you like to go on holiday in September?”

“September?” I said. “I thought we weren’t going on holiday again until next September.”

He grinned at me and said, “How would you feel about Phuket in Thailand?”

My answer was yes. (of course!) and so long story short, we’ll be jetting off to Singapore and Thailand in September for 11 nights. I’m really excited since we haven’t been to Phuket. We’ve visited Bangkok and also Singapore, but Phuket is new territory.

A few days ago Sandra Cox posted the following called Ever Wonder? It made both hubby and I chuckle, so I thought I’d repost for your enjoyment.

EVER WONDER …

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?
Why don’t you ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?
Why is ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? –
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

I wondered recently what Samoan men wear under their lava-lavas. In fact, I’m still wondering because I didn’t like to ask…

What have you wondered recently?

Comfort Foods

I’ve been thinking about food a lot this week, mainly because I’m having a bit of cut back and watching what I eat. I like food. One of my favorite meals is pasta. I love pasta and can eat it for several meals in a row. It’s a real comfort food for me. I’m also a big soup fan. There’s nothing better than a big bowl of soup with a couple of pieces of Vogel’s toast when the weather gets cooler. When it comes to dessert, I’d have to say ice cream, although I’m savvy enough not to buy ice cream these days. It doesn’t stay in my freezer for long!

What are your favorite comfort foods? Does your preference change with the seasons?

Clever Fingers

A complimentary fifteen-minute massage came as part of the package on our recent holiday in Samoa. Massage isn’t something I’ve had a lot of experience with in the past. I get a head massage whenever I have my hair done, and when I injured my shoulder in a fall, the physio treatment included massage.

On the first day of our holiday, one of our friends and I went off to check out the spa while the others attacked the golf course. (I say attacked because it was a brutal course and the sand bunkers were so deep, the players had to use the ladders provided to climb down inside to play their golf balls out of the bunker.)

My first real massage was great. I stripped off and wrapped in a towel before being escorted to the open-sided huts where they did the massages. They used coconut scented oil and below the table they had sweetly scented flowers and oils. The entire experience was wonderful. I thought about having another massage, but I have to admit the cost put me off a little. Feeling good is not a cheap business. Maybe when I win lotto I can have a massage every week.

Have you had a massage before? Did you like it?

Enjoyable or Horrid?

A lot of people love visiting museums and art galleries. They can spend hours wandering through the various displays and visit a different museum each weekend.

Not me.

I visited Te Papa this weekend, New Zealand’s big museum in Wellington. I checked out the colossal squid exhibition (very cool) and the Monet art exhibition in one of the private galleries of the museum. I also enjoyed this very much, but that was enough for me. I was ready to leave.

I’ve always been like this with museums. An hour or two is my limit. Knowing my limitations, I tend to pick the galleries that interest me most and head straight there. I loved the historical costumes in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The bog man in the British Museum and the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum in London all attracted my attention.

Any exhibitions that have things I can touch make me want to linger. I went around the colossal squid exhibit touching everything we were allowed to study at close quarters. A little girl followed me and we touched squid beaks and tentacles, grinning at each other the whole time. It was great fun. I didn’t touch any Monet paintings—all the guards put me off, but those “do not touch” signs really made me want to touch.

Do you like visiting museums? Do you have any favorite museums or things you love to see?

Upside Down Tomato

Today I have a gardening post about how to plant an upside down tomato, courtesy of Mr. Munro.

UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER by Mr. Munro

What to do with that old paint pot or unwanted container.

It may seem strange to plant a tomato in an UPSIDE-DOWN container, but there are benefits. Very little soil related disease as the plant and its leaves have minimal contact with the soil. Roots easily absorb the nutrients as gravity provides a constant flow. Regular watering is crucial as gravity not only feeds but drains – there are larger than normal holes at the bottom of the container.

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To make an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER procure a suitable vessel. A 10 liter (2.5 gallon) pail is ideal. Whether it is a new or old paint container, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it has a lid and a handle. The lid can be adapted from anything but it must be able to retain the soil / potting mix once the container has been inverted. You are now wondering why we are turning the container upside-down. Think about it, it is an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER!

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We are getting ahead of ourselves. Before inverting the container we have to fill it with suitable material, potting mix would be preferable with a slow release fertilizer. Put the lid on and turn the container upside-down. Cut 3 x 30mm (1&1/4inch) holes in the bottom, which is now the top!! A 10 liter container should be able to cope with 3 plants, smaller containers perhaps only one plant. Now plant your seedlings in the small holes.

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After a week or two the plants should be established and able to cope with the next procedure. This entails the container to be raised up, turned over and held by the handle, discard the lid and hang by the handle. The plants are now hanging from the bottom of the container but will soon head outward and upward.

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DON’T FORGET TO FEED & WATER!!!!!

Enjoy your UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER suitable for any sized garden or apartment.

I know some of you are gardeners. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you prefer to grow flowers? What do you enjoy most about gardening?

Horse Pills

I had to go to the doctor this week, and I arrived home with a bottle of large pills. I know the pills will make me feel better, but I want to know why they have to make them in a size that’s more suitable for large animals. I choke and gag and stress out every time I have to take pills of any description. I’ve always been like this and remember having an ear infection when I was a kid, and my father becoming exasperated with me. In fact, he told me I’d go deaf if I didn’t take my pills. I’d frustrated him that much.

I’ve passed my dislike on to some of my characters. This is Kate from Playing to Win.

The nurse returned, handing her a glass of water and two white tablets of a size suitable for horses and other large animals.

Kate eyed the water with welcome but not the medication. “Don’t you have injections?”

The nurse shook her head and stood her ground.

Kate looked at the pills again and decided to do without.

“Katherine Giovanna Sophia Merryweather Alexander,” the nurse warned, her voice tart as a Meyer lemon, but a smile lurked in her brown eyes. She turned to Lane and Jamie. “Children are much better patients.”
After rolling her eyes at Kate’s muffled protest, she turned back to her patient. “I’ll help you sit.”

Kate clenched her jaw and allowed the nurse to assist her. When she pushed a button on the control unit, the bed rose so Kate could sit. She accepted the glass of water and took a sip, ignoring the pills. The nurse coughed and Kate held out her hand to accept the horse tablets.

A snigger escaped Lane. Kate noticed even Jamie smiled. She took a big breath and choked the pills down one at the time.

“Ugh.” For one awful moment, she thought the second pill would make a return visit. Her eyes watered as she swallowed in panic.

The nurse chortled. “There now. That wasn’t so bad was it, dear?”

“Thank you,” Kate said, with just a trace of sarcasm.

I’m with Kate all the way. Pills are not made for human consumption or at least our consumption!

How are you with taking pills?

Stereotypes

Have you seen the YouTube featuring Susan Boyle? The judges took one look at Ms. Boyle, listened to her talking and decided she wouldn’t be able to sing. The music started, Ms. Boyle started singing and smashed apart every one of the judges’ preconceptions, showing true talent. The audience loved her. Millions of people have watched the performance on YouTube. I’m one of them, and I smiled the entire way through. Her performance was amazing.

It made me think about stereotypes when it comes to the romance community. Don’t authors lounge around wearing flowing pink dresses (sometimes with ruffles) and eat lots of chocolates while they’re writing about arrogant alpha males and quivering virgin heroines? And don’t romance readers wear thick glasses, fluffy bathrobes and stay at home with their fictional friends on a Saturday night, eating lots of chocolate while they’re reading their chosen genre?

We know these stereotypes are wrong. Lots of people don’t and accept the above descriptions (or something similar) because they don’t know any better. Well, the chocolate part might be right, but you understand what I mean. We’re all individuals who love the written word and reading/writing about love and romance. Stereotypes are wrong, and we should wait before judging anyone. First impressions aren’t always right, but we’re probably all guilty of judging or applying sterotypes at some time or another. I know I have.

A few days ago, Julia tagged me with a meme called Keeping It Real. I had to post a photo of myself taken without primping and doing ordinary things. The photo caught me on a day when I wasn’t wearing pink, but I’m in my second office i.e. my chair with my laptop. As you can see – no stereotypes here.

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I’m meant to tag people, so if you’re brave enough, consider yourself tagged. Follow the Keeping it Real link above and scroll down to the bottom of the post. I have to say that Julia takes a great photo.

How would you describe a writer or a reader? (You can have fun making up a stereotype or you can do a truthful description of a writer/reader as you see them)

Random Thought…

Butt cracks in a public place. Not a pretty sight…

Guy in Jeans

Big shudder. I need to scrub my eyeballs. Just sayin’…

What say you?