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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Killer Heels

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about High Heel Shoes

I came across an article in our local paper about killer heels and how quite a few models were falling off their heels on the catwalk. This article inspired my TT today.

1. In 1533, Italian born Catherine de Medici brought high heels into vogue for women when she insisted on having heels made for her in Florence prior to the wedding. The 14 year old vertically challenged bride set the rage in Paris for the new “It” shoe.

2. Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci is rumored to be the inventor of high heels.

3. In the mid 1500’s, chopines became popular. Chopines are an extremely tall shoe that reached heights of 24″. The higher the woman was in social status, the more restricted her movement was, forcing woman to carry canes or servants to help them.

4. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion of longer, slender and more toned legs.

5. High-heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump, block, tapered, blade, and wedge.

6. Reasons for not wearing high-heels include:

they can cause foot pain
they can create foot deformities, including hammertoes and bunions
they can cause an unsteady gait
they can shorten the wearer’s stride
they can render the wearer unable to run

7. Reasons for wearing high-heels, which are almost exclusively aesthetic, include:

they change the angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg, which accentuates the appearance of calves.
they change the wearer’s posture, requiring a more upright carriage and altering the gait in what is considered a seductive fashion.
they make the wearer appear taller.
they make the legs appear longer.
they make the foot appear smaller.
they make the lower leg muscles more defined while wearing tight pants.
they make the wearer look flexibly strong.

8. Podiatrists often comment that 75 percent of their business is caused by females wearing tall high heeled shoes.

9. There’s nothing worse than a woman who can’t walk properly in a pair of heels. Practise! In How to Walk in High Heels Camilla Morton recommends the supermarket aisle as a place to practice your high-hell glide, with the trolley as your balancing tool.

10. Wear shoes that fit! Shoes that don’t fit are one of the biggest causes of blisters, calluses and corns. Shoes that are too big will make you stretch your feet out and may lead to an unladylike trip. shoes that are too small hurt like hell.

11. Don’t wear your heels all day and all night. Give your feet a break. You need to know when to call it quits and pull out the flats.

12. Scholl Party Feet (or any similar gel pad) should be a close acquaintance when wearing high heels because they help to minimise the burning pain on the balls of your feet.

13. Don’t drink and heel. It’s a fact that killer heel face-plants are more common after a few drinks. If you’re planning a night out maybe try shoes that don’t require you to concentrate to maintain balance?

And a final extra:

If you’re a shoe fan, check out Gemma Halliday’s High Heel mysteries. Here’s the link to the first book in Gemma’s series. You could also check out a DVD called Kinky Boots. It’s a really funny look at cross-dressing and an English shoe manufacturer. I highly recommend both Gemma’s books and the movie.

I have to admit, I’m not a shoe person. All my life I’ve had trouble finding shoes to fit because I have big feet. When it comes to shoes I go for comfort but I do suffer from shoe envy at times. Some of them are very pretty.

Are you a shoe person? If so describe your favorite pair of shoes. If not, tell me your worst shoe experience.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Deadwood, South Dakota

I first heard of Deadwood when the HBO show of the same name came out. I started to watch the first one and the swearing horrified me. I think I watched about the first ten minutes before I gave up.

When we decided to visit South Dakota we discussed Deadwood and put it on our itinerary because it sounded interesting. Some people call Deadwood a place where Las Vegas meets the Wild West. There’s certainly lots of history in the town with names like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock attached to it.
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Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
Beards – oh, my!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Types of Beards

In local news the Warriors, our New Zealand rugby league team, all grew facial hair leading up to the playoffs for the NRL. It was the source of much comment and took them all the way to the semi-finals before they were knocked out of the contest. Yesterday they all shaved off their beards to raise money for charity. So, in honor of the Warriors I give you thirteen types of beards.

1. Ducktail – a long slender, neatly trimmed beard reminiscent of the tail of a duck.

2. Muttonchops – thick sideburns trimmed to resemble mutton chops.

3. Van Dyke – a short, pointed beard without sideburns.

4. Assyrian – a long beard with plaits or spiral curls.

5. Barbiche – a small tuft of hair under the bottom lip. Also known as a barbula.

6. Cadiz – a pointed, medium length beard, originating in Spain.

7. Rat’s nest – a descriptive term for an uncombed or ungroomed beard. Also described as a bird’s nest.

8. Peach fuzz – light, pubescent whiskers.

9. Screw – a short, slender beard that is twisted or twined, popular in the seventeenth century.

10. Old Dutch – a short, square-cut beard with a clean shaven upper and lower lip.

11. Trojan – a thick, curly beard of medium length.

12. Satyric tuft – a chin tuft named after Satyr, the half-goat, half-man from Greek Mythology.

13. Miami Vice – the unshaven look, more than five o’clock shadow but less than a beard. Popularized by the 1980s cop show.

Source ~ taken from one of my favorite writing books, Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon.

What do you think about beards? Would you like your man to wear any of the above? Would you inflict any of these on your characters?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Friday, September 26th, 2008
Mug Cake

You might have seen this recipe on the loops recently.

5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that’s plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

I decided to try the cake and hubby and I both enjoyed it for our dessert, served with yoghurt.
It’s quite a dense cake because there’s no baking powder, but it definitely rises. A little too well. If you make it, put a plate under your mug when it’s cooking in the microwave to save on cleanup. Also make sure you clean your plate and mugs straightaway because the mixture adheres rather well! I mixed the egg, oil and milk in a separate mug and added to the flour mix. Hubby and I also decided that one mug cake was enough for two.

I decided I’d try a variation:

Leave out the cocoa and chocolate chips. Grate in the rhind of half a lemon and add a handful of berries. I added raspberries because I like them but blueberries would work. Mix in the same way with all the other ingredients. Once your mug cake is cooked – squeeze half a lemon into a cup and mix in two teaspoons of sugar. Stir and spoon over your cake before eating. Serve with cream, ice cream or yoghurt. This was yummy!!

A third variation would be replacing the chocolate and chocolate chips with instant coffee and a few chopped walnuts.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 18th, 2008
National Parks in America

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen National Parks I Visited Recently

1. Yosemite, California – just beautiful. I’d visited before but it was much quieter this time due to both the petrol prices and a recent fire that had scared visitors away. We had a perfect day with excellent visibility.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona. This canyon is awe-inspiring.

3. Petrified Forest, Arizona. My husband and I both enjoyed our first visit to this park. The petrified forests were fascinating.

4. Mesa Verde, Colorado. Hot and dry. Busy but well worth a visit for the peek into the cliff dwellings of the Puebloans.

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5. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado. I didn’t know anything about this park until I visited but I loved the black rock and the deep canyons. It was stark and beautiful.

6. Rocky Mountains, Colorado. We didn’t have the best weather here. At the top of the pass it was freezing and sleeting. Ranger Michelle answered some of my many questions while I was here and we saw lots of animals at the lower levels before it started raining. A lot of trees are dying here after being attacked by the pine beetle.

7. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. We walked around the base and saw our first snake here.

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8. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana. An interesting place to visit although, man was it hot on the day we visited!

9. Yellowstone, Wyoming. This is a huge park and you need to spend a few days to explore it fully.

10. Olympic, Washington. This park covers both forest, lakes and mountains as well as part of the coast. Crescent Lake was gorgeous and we also enjoyed exploring the coast.

11. Mt. Rainier, Washington. I loved my visit here. The spring flowers were in full bloom and it was really pretty.

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12. Lewis & Clark, Oregon. We didn’t know much about Lewis and Clark and after visiting Fort Clatsop we came away much wiser. This pair of explorers had great people skills and seemed well liked by everyone.

13. Crater Lake, Oregon. One of my favorites. It’s so pretty here. I could look at the lake for hours.

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Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
Crater Lake National Park

Our holiday is almost over and I won’t post again until we’re at home. We’ve had such a great time and seen so many wonderful places.

Yesterday morning we wandered around the gardens at our hotel. Here’s a sunflower shot. I like sunflowers. They always make me smile when I see them.

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Crater Lake is beautiful. Mr. Munro and I have visited before and this time we stayed at the lodge. A forest fire made the air hazy but it was still very pretty. We wandered along one of the trails and relaxed, soaking in the views. It’s a lovely place to chill out.

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Mr. Munro has caught the flu and spent all night (or what felt like all night) coughing, sneezing and blowing his nose. He’s a little better today. Hopefully he’ll shake the worst of it off after a good night of sleep. We’re driving back to San Francisco tomorrow to catch a flight home. I can’t believe how quickly the last six weeks has gone.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Covered Bridges and Lava Fields

Another short post today. Yesterday we drove from Prineville to Cottage Grove, passing through lava fields and in the afternoon driving around to see covered bridges. We’re staying the night at a lovely resort called Village Green. We have our own private garden plus there are 14 acres of garden for resort visitors to wander around. It’s really lovely and deserving of a post of its own.

Here’s a shot of the lava fields. You can see where they have flowed around some trees, leaving them standing while the rest of the area was destroyed.

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And here’s a shot of the Stewart Covered bridge with our rental car. The bridge was constructed in 1930 and restored in 1996.

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We’re off to Crater Lake National Park tomorrow. Unfortunately there are wildfires around and some of the roads have been closed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Monday, September 8th, 2008
John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The internet link is really slow today but I think I can load one photo. We visited the John Day Fossil Beds yesterday, which were really fascinating. Scientists are still discovering new species of plants and animals on a regular basis.

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This is a shot of one of my favorite beds. The minerals in the soil (from volcanoes) make the rocks look blue/green in color.

We’re off to look at covered bridges today. Guess what will be in the next blog…

Friday, August 15th, 2008
The One About Animals

No photos today since I’m tired and can’t summon the energy to download my camera to my laptop. Last night we stayed at Grand Lake – actually outside Grand Lake – at a campground called Elk Creek in some darling little cabins. Mr. Munro has been very clever with our accommodation and we’ve stayed in a real mix. I was sitting our our terrace having a beer and watched a mouse run across the steps. Mice don’t scare me (unless they choose to run over my feet) so I continued sipping my beer and casually mentioned it to hubby. When he investigated, he found more mice. A family of the wee things. Later that night I kept hearing noises and at one stage shot upright in bed and woke Mr. Munro. It was raining and the patter on the roof had woken me. The mice hadn’t decided to come inisde out of the cold, so I went back to sleep.

Today we drove through the Rocky Mountain National Park. I purchased a book on mountain lions and questioned the ranger for some time. Ranger Michelle was lovely and my story idea is fermenting nicely after all the info she gave me. We saw some moose and stopped to take photos. We also stopped to take photos of some elk. Their antlers were HUGE. I don’t know how they manage to hold their heads up. When we traveled farther into the park, it started sleeting – freezing when you’re wearing shorts! I yanked more clothes out of the suitcase and layered. It worked all right and a hot cider at the information center at the top of the mountain completed the thaw. We enjoyed all our wildlife sightings. Next on the list is bison and beers. We have a list and we’re ticking it off. :grin:

Tomorrow we’re driving into South Dekota. Deadwood – here I come!

Oh, I forgot to say that we had a fun time in Cripple Creek and for the first time in history Mr. Munro and I won some money at one of the casinos. Me – the last of the big spenders who puts $1 at a time in the machines, played poker and won. I’m still in shock.

Sunday, August 10th, 2008
The One About the Wallet

We’re in New Mexico at the moment and visited Santa Fe yesterday. It’s a beautiful old town and my credit card received a bit of a work out since the shopping was excellent. I’m crossing my fingers that I win lotto because there are a few other things I would have liked to purchase. The art galleries had some amazing stuff – paintings and sculptures.

While I’m talking shopping we also visited the Hubble Trading post. (That’s in Arizona) The original buildings are the same as they were in the late 1800s to early 1930s. The floor creaked underfoot with every step, and as well as things to buy, there were displays of rifles and memorabilia. I like the way the buildings blend into the setting. The outbuildings were interesting too and smelled of hay and horses. They even had a chicken coop. I didn’t get close enough to smell that.

Mr. Munro lost his wallet yesterday. He was frantic and couldn’t remember when he last had it. We turned the hotel room upside down and retraced our footsteps by going to the bar where we’d had a drink. No luck. He didn’t have a lot of cash in it, but the credit cards and driver’s licence were a problem. Last night we did a final search before reporting it to the police. And this is where I start blushing…he discovered it inside my laptop bag. I’ve no idea how it got there, but we were both so relieved we had a celebratory drink. Talk about a stressful day!

No photos today since I need to jump into the shower and pack. We’re heading off to another National Park. Don’t forget I have a guest blogger coming tomorrow, so do pop by to say hello to Nancy Henderson.