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A Load of Hot Air

Thursday Thirteen

The subject of farts came up in our house this week. If you have children, especially boys, they probably think this topic is hysterical. Grown up boys are just as bad, and they put the blame on everyone else in the room. Not even the dog is safe. I thought – why not? So here you have a TT about farts.

Thirteen Things About Farts

1. According to the dictionary a fart is an expulsion of intestinal gas.

2. When we eat we swallow air. Some drinks are fizzy. Gas is created when food is digested. All this air and gas has to escape our body and it leaves as a fart.

3. Everyone farts. No one is immune from farting. The foster dog also farts. Picture me holding my nose this week.

4. Farts smell mainly because of the hydrogen sulfide gas. There are also other elements in foods, which make bad smells. Sulfur rich foods create smelly farts.

5. The average person creates around half a litre of gas each day – that’s around 14 farts per day.

6. Men do not fart more than women. It just seems that way!

7. Farts are actually flammable.

8. Beans do make you fart more.

9. Holding back a fart won’t do any damage.

10. A fart has a temperature of 98.6 degrees when it emerges.

11. Excessive gas is actually called flatulence.

12. The farts of dogs and cats smell so bad because of their protein rich diet.

13. The fart sound effect is produced by the vibration of the anal opening. The loudness of the fart also depends on the velocity of the gas exiting the body.

Discuss :mrgreen:


Taming Toddlers During Road Trips with Kathleen Dienne

Thursday Thirteen

This week, I have a special guest–Kathleen Dienne, one of my fellow Carina Press authors. When I asked her to do a guest post, she volunteered to do a Thursday Thirteen. I think road trips with children sound quite interesting… :grin: Don’t forget to check out Kathleen’s new release Her Heart’s Divide!

Thirteen Things I Didn’t Know About Road Trips With Small Children

by Kathleen Dienne

Hello, Shelley readers! Your hostess, whose mountain of marvelous books is impressing the socks off this beginning author, was corresponding with me over author resources. She kindly invited me to contribute to this community.

To be honest, I’m kind of awkward in new communities. I didn’t used to be this way, but I decided to go pro with my writing ( at the exact same time that my sweet and tractable baby decided to become a toddler. As all you working moms (and if we’re moms, we’re working!) can attest, your world can get a little narrow when you’re trying to keep up with everything. I sure appreciate Shelley bringing me out of my cave to meet you :)

After my first book launched last month (Her Heart’s Divide), my husband and I decided to go on a family vacation. We hadn’t taken one since our son was born. We love road trips and living history, so the inaugural family trip was an eight hour drive to Dearborn, Michigan, and the Henry Ford museum and village.

All of you experienced parents are already laughing.

For those of you with no kids, read on.

1. Raisins seem like a wonderful car food, but they are not.

2. Anything that becomes sticky when you grind it into upholstery is a bad car food.

3. Especially bananas.

4. One should not feed a diaper-wearing toddler nothing but fruit for two hours.

5. If a small toy is dropped, you can find it by identifying the one spot no one in the car can reach without pulling over.

6. Every rest stop in Ohio looks identical. This will comfort your toddler and cause him to associate the graceful little dome with “getting out of the car.”

7. A child who sees the little dome as it passes by his window can be astonishingly loud.

8. There are a lot of eighteen-wheelers on our nation’s highways, and a toddler can say “Bye bye big truck!” to every… single… one of them.

9. You don’t think you can sing Old MacDonald’s Farm more than twenty times in a row until you’ve done it.

10. A child who wakes up if an ant sneezes can sleep through a storm beating down so hard that every vehicle on the road is forced to pull over and stop on the shoulder.

11. The hotel’s minifridge is just as fascinating as a costumed interpreter running a loom.

12. It is good to make time for a toddler to just run across a big lawn and shriek with glee.

13. If you’re genuinely trying to keep your kid happy and behaving well, pretty much everyone in the world wants to help you… so let them.

What are your favorite tips for toddler travel? Got any good disasters to share?

Her Heart’s Divide

Lila was a faithful, loyal wife.

Ryan was her sexy, loving husband.

And so was Jack…?

Jack, however, was her boss, not her husband—why was he claiming her as
his own? Lila had been passionately happy with Ryan for more than
seven years. Yes, there’d been a moment when she’d first been attracted to
Jack, but then she’d met his best friend, Ryan. They’d fallen in love and married.
Jack claimed that in his world, their attraction had led to the altar.

And now she was caught between two men—two husbands—in the wildest situation Lila could ever have imagined. But what she wasn’t imagining were the two men touching her, pleasing her, caressing her…

Purchase from Carina Press

Things That Are Green

Thursday Thirteen

Today I was pondering this week’s Thursday Thirteen. The first word that came to my mind was green. A perfect topic, I decided, and I started my list.

Thirteen Things That Are Green

1. Emeralds – much prettier than diamonds in my opinion.

2. Limes – perfect for cooking and adding to drinks.

3. Shrek – the most famous ogre of all.

4. Greenland – green in name but not in nature.

5. Kermit – my favorite muppet (apart from Miss Piggy) from The Muppet Show

6. Jealousy – an emotion that’s often called green.

7. Grass – good for cows.

8. Green Eggs and Ham – of Dr. Seuss fame.

9. Ireland – the Emerald Isle.

10. Guacamole – avocado goodness

11. Green Park – one of London’s many Royal parks

12. Greenwich, London – the home of Greenwich Mean Time or GMT

13. The theme color for my website and blog – explore and wallow in the green.

What are your favorite green things? Do you have anything green to add to my list?

A Wealth of History on the Thames

Thursday Thirteen

I’ve read a lot of non-fiction books about England and England history recently. Thames: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd inspired my topic for Thursday Thirteen this week.

Thirteen Facts and Interesting Tidbits About the Thames River

1. The Thames is the longest river in England but not the longest in Britain. The Severn is approximately five miles longer.

2. The Thames is 215 miles long, 191 miles of it navigable.

3. The royals used the Thames as part of their celebrations. During the sixteenth century Henry VIII and Elizabeth I sailed down the Thames in luxurious barges. It was a way of interacting with the people. When Anne Boleyn sailed down the Thames for her coronation, it was said that the barges following her stretched for four miles. She also sailed down the Thames a few years later to get to the Tower.

4. During the sixteenth century the Thames was full of ships. People said the Thames looked like forest of masts. In 1724 Daniel Defoe calculated that at any one time around two thousand vessels were on the water.

5. The Mayflower sailed from Rotherhithe on the Thames.

6. In 1665 and 1666, during the time of plague and the Fire people took refuge on the Thames.

7. The river was linked with excess and bad language, smuggling and theft. People who worked on or near the river were considered disreputable.

8. The workers in the grain and corn warehouses of Milwall Docks were known as “toe-rags” because of the sacking they wore over their boots. The word became a synonym for a despised individual.

9. Mud-larks were usually very young children or old women who spent their days wading through the mud banks during low tide for bits of coal, wood or metal.

10. Venetian galleys brought in sugar, spices and silken garments and returned to their home ports with raw wool from England. By the fourteenth century around one hundred thousand sacks of wool were transported each year.

11. The first steamships appeared on the river in 1801. They were used mainly for towing larger sailing vessels.

12. The Thames is a tidal river, which means high tides and floods are a danger to Londoners. There were major floods in 1809, 1823, 1849, 1852, 1877, 1894. In 1927 fourteen people drowned during floods. The Thames Barrier was built to counteract the effects of the tide. The barrier can hold back 50 thousand tons of water, but it’s said it will be obsolete by 2030. Meanwhile the tides keep getting larger.

13. Between the seventh and seventeenth centuries the Thames froze on eleven occasions. The worst was in 1434-5 when the river froze from the end of November to mid-February. When the Thames froze Londoners celebrated with Frost Fairs. There was food and entertainment on the ice, the last taking place in 1814. When the thaw started, it always happened quickly and the ice broke up in hours.

Have you visited London and seen the Thames?

Kiwi Fruit: It’s More Than a Pavlova Topping

Thursday Thirteen

I watched a documentary about kiwi fruit this week and immediately thought it would make a great topic for a Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things About Kiwi fruit.

Kiwi Fruit

1. The Kiwi fruit originally came from China and was named the Chinese Gooseberry.

2. It was grown successfully in New Zealand and was renamed the Kiwi Fruit when New Zealand started to export the fruit to America. A New Zealand export couldn’t be called Chinese!

3. The Kiwi fruit got its name from New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. The fuzzy-looking fruit looks a little like the kiwi. I’ve always thought you need a good imagination to see the similarities.

4. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition and full of vitamins and minerals.

5. Kiwi fruit contain more vitamin C than oranges.

6. Kiwi fruit can help improve your immune system, helping you to ward off the affects of stress.

7. Kiwi fruit are good to remove that bloated and blocked sensation. :grin:

8. It’s okay to eat the skin, which contains high levels of flavonoids, insoluble fiber and antioxidants, although I don’t know why anyone would eat it.

9. Kiwi fruit is good for tenderizing meat because it contains an enzyme called Actinidin.

10. Kiwifruit is a member of the botanical family Actinidia and there are 400 different varieties.

11. The flavor is a mixture of peaches, strawberries, and melon with a soft and juicy texture.

12. Kiwi fruit grows on a vine, which can be as high as 15 feet.

13. Kiwi fruit require full sun for growing and thrive in richly composted, deeply dug and well watered soils. They have male and female plants Ideally, male and female plants are planted together about 1meter apart on sturdy frames or arches or wire rows. Kiwi plants require light pruning and protection from frost.

Extra: Down this end of the world they’re an extremely popular garnish for a pavlova.

Do you like kiwi fruit?


The Big Cheese

Thursday Thirteen

Last week my topic for Thursday Thirteen was wine. Since wine and cheese go so nicely together it, therefore, makes sense for me to talk about cheese this week.

Thirteen Types of Cheese

1. Cheddar
2. Cream cheese
3. Cottage cheese
4. Stilton
5. Camembert
6. Brie
7. Gorgonzola
8. Ricotta
9. Parmesan
10. Mozzarella
11. Cheshire
12. Gruyere
13. Wensleydale (Wallace & Gromit’s favorite)

Cheese is one thing I really enjoy eating, and there aren’t many types I don’t like. Give me a cheese and pickle sandwich, and I’m a happy camper.

Do you like cheese? What is your favorite type? What is your favorite way to eat cheese?

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


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?

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?

A Woman’s Work Is Never Done

Thursday Thirteen

I hate doing housework. I’d better admit that upfront, but it’s the subject of my Thursday Thirteen this week.

1. A few hundred years ago all members of a household worked together to make everything they needed. Within this productive unit, housework contributed to the production of goods for internal use as well as for sale to others.

2. Housework in nineteenth century America was harsh physical labor. Preparing even a simple meal was a time and energy consuming chore. Prior to the twentieth century, cooking was performed on a coal or wood burning stove. Altogether, a housewife spent four hours every day sifting ashes, adjusting dampers, lighting fires, carrying coal or wood, and rubbing the stove with thick black wax to keep it from rusting.

3. Cleaning was an even more arduous task than cooking. The soot and smoke from coal and wood burning stoves blackened walls and dirtied drapes and carpets. Gas and kerosene lamps left smelly deposits of black soot on furniture and curtains. Each day, the lamp’s glass chimneys had to be wiped and wicks trimmed or replaced. Floors had to scrubbed, rugs beaten, and windows washed.

4. Well-to-do familiescould afford to hire a cook at $5 a week, a waitress at $3.50 a week, a laundress at $3.50 a week, and a cleaning woman and a choreman for $1.50 a day, but in most homes, the chores were carried out by the wife and daughters of the household.

5. Before indoor plumbing, all chores that involved water such as laundry, dishes, cleaning floors etc were extra difficult and time-consuming.

6. Washing used to take all day.

7. In 1924, a typical housewife spent about 52 hours a week in housework.

8. A housewife today spends less time cooking and cleaning up after meals, but she spends just as much time as her ancestors on housecleaning and even more time on shopping, household management, laundry, and childcare.

9. Women traditionally did most of the home’s cooking, so historical cookbooks often shed light on the ordinary lives of women. Recipes show the preparation methods common in historical times. Many cookbook authors were women. Cook books of history included directions for many household activities beyond the preparation of meals.

10. The first electric washing machine was invented in 1906 but at first washing machines were very expensive in the early 20th century. They became more common in the 1930s, though they were still expensive. Washing machines did not really become common until the 1960s.

11. A woman named Josephine Cochran invented the first practical dishwasher in 1886. Hers was worked by hand but an electric dishwasher was made in 1922. However in Britain dishwashers did not become common until the late 20th century.

12. Dust bunnies shelter themselves under more American beds today than ever before. That’s according to a University of Maryland study about how people use their time. Whatever the reason — two income families or accommodating multiple schedules – American homes are not as spanking clean as they were a decade ago. In 1965 women spent 27 hours a week on housework. Today that figure has dropped below 16 hours.

13. It’s not that men can’t clean, it’s just not in their nature. The male perception of what constitutes a dirty house is far different from a woman’s. Like other major female-oriented issues, men seem oblivious to the value of cleaning. But amazing as it may seem the woman of the house may be learning a thing or two from men.

I don’t mind laundry, but I dislike the folding and putting away after it’s done. I don’t mind taking out the rubbish or stacking the dishwasher. I hate emptying the dishwasher once the cycle is finished.

What household chores do you dislike most?

Sources: Housework – History Of Housework
Digital History
Historical Cookbooks
A History of Housework
Household Tips