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Archive for the 'Potpourri' Category

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?

Messy!

As part of his job my husband has to go into people’s houses. He’s always amazed at how messy some of the teenagers’ bedrooms are with so much stuff on the floor he can’t do his job. I think he’s actually scared to go into some of the bedrooms because of the lurking laundry and undies around the place. He’s never sure exactly what he might find.

I’ve always tended to pick up after myself, even when I was a teenager. I shared a room with my sister. She wasn’t as tidy as me and we argued. When my mother suggested we tidy our room, it truly wasn’t my fault. Really!

When it comes to my writing stuff, it all looks fairly tidy, but the sheer number of piles on my desk irritates my hubby. I tell him I know where everything is, but he thinks one pile would be best, or better yet, no piles at all.

How are you when it comes to tidiness? How are your children?

Do You Hoard?

A news item caught my attention last night. On 31 July 2006 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand introduced some new coins. The 5c coin was made obselete, and they resized the 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces. I forget how many million coins they put into circulation at this date. I know it was a lot, but it seems a few million coins have gone missing.

The Reserve Bank are appealing for people to empty the jars of coins they collect and spend them so they go back into circulation. If people do this, they won’t have to spend money minting new coins.

According to the Reserve Bank the average person has two hundred coins on hand at once, and men are worse than women at hoarding coins. They empty their pockets and put the coins in a jar.

I have to say that I don’t hoard coins. I’m not one of the people who have two hundred coins hanging around. I use my coins to buy papers and milk, the odd ice cream, and I use them for bus fares. Nope, you won’t find stray coins hiding down the back of my couch!

What about you? Do you have two hundred coins hiding around the place? How is your partner with coins? Are you…gasp!!…a coin hoarder?

Body Parts

I’ve been researching body language recently. It’s a fascinating subject, and I’ve learned all sorts of interesting things.

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara Pease has a section on the things men and women first notice about prospective partners.

Butt, Breasts or Legs?

When it comes to men and favorite body parts, they normally fit into three categories—breasts, butts or legs. This is all tied up with reproduction, believe it or not.

1. Butts – men find rounded, peach-shaped buttocks the most attractive. Female primates display their buttocks when they’re ready to mate. It shows they are receptive and available. Human females display their buttocks all the time, and this gives the males the impression she’s available. Women also store fat in their buttocks for breastfeeding and as an emergency food storage in lean times.

2. Breasts—they serve as a sexual signal. Men are attracted to cleavage.

3. Legs—long legs are a non-verbal signal telling a male a woman is sexually mature and capable of childbearing. Men like high-heels because it gives the illusion of fertile looking legs.

Chest, Legs or Butt?

Masculine body parts trigger a women’s sexual response as well.

1. Chest—a wide chest tapering to narrow hips allows a man to lug heavy weapons over long distances and to carry home their kills. (always handy, I think!)

2. Small, tight butt—a tight, muscular butt is necessary to make a strong forward thrust that’s needed for sperm transfer during sex. A man with a flabby butt has problems with this and tends to through his entire body into the thrust. Not comfortable for his partner.

3. Hips and muscular legs—symbols of masculine power and endurance. Long, muscular legs allow a man to run swiftly, chase and hunt.

Interesting stuff, huh? I tend to check out a man’s butt—don’t tell hubby. I had no idea I was thinking about forward thrusting at all. Really! No idea at all…

If you’re looking at a person of the opposite sex, which body part do you check out first?