Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Good Jester Is a Leader of Men.

Jesters have played a brilliant role in society since the 13th Century.

They are the only ones who would be able to criticise a king through their foolery and comedy and get away with it.
A good jester was much in demand.
He wore colorful clothing, bells, feathers, did magic, acrobatics, sang, played music, performed plays. (kinda like from the ant and grasshopper story).

They were witty in displaying themselves as fools but in reality were not fools at all.

Todays comedians replace jesters.
We never think of them as jesters, just normal people who do very well criticising what they see wrong with society and themselves.

Some well known jesters are Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton,Laurel and Hardy,Mr Bean, French Mime Marcel Marceau,Russian Clown Slava Polunin.

Famous Quotes on Jesters:

Always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.
- William Shakespeare in 'As You Like It'

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) in 'Self-Reliance'

You must not think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you necessarily wise because you are grave.
- Sydney Smith (1771 - 1845)

The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come.
- Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all doing direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
- Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) in 'A Tale of Two Cities'

No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
- Hunter S. Thompson (1939)

Foolish writers and readers are created for each other.
- Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)

Perhaps we are wiser, less foolish and more far-seeing than we were two hundred years ago. But we are still imperfect in all these things, and since the turn of the century it has been remarked that neither wisdom nor virtue have increased as rapidly as the need for both.
- Joseph Wood Krutch (1893 - 1970)

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
- Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD

Picture 1: Jesters on The Betley Window

Picture 2: A jester by Picasso: Harlequin seated in a cafe

Picture 3: Another jester from Picasso: The head of Harlequin

Picture 4: Bohóc (Jester) by Egry

In Tarot cards, the Fool plays a special role as being a card that looks for deeper meaning, inner wisdom, philosophy dealing in the creation of God. It gets into the shadows of a persons personality constantly seeking the truth to unfold itself.

It is no wonder Jesters were often taken as confidants of Princes and Kings. Who knew Kings made decisions based on a jesters views.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Democratic Genghis Khan?

Mongolia’s Ghengis Khan of the 12th-13th Centuries is now renown for spreading Democracy.

In 1990 Mongolia held a multi party election and by 1992 obtained itself a constitution.

According to history, Ghengis Khan promoted participatory government, rule by law, equality under the law,

and basic personal and human freedoms.

Portraits of Genghis Khan are common in Mongolia today.

Painted Cats

This is a painting in progress of two fluffy cats lol

My work is always in progress as it continues to evolve throughout time.

No where to rush. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Are Women Superior to Men....?

What kind of brain do you have? There really are big differences between the male and female brain, says Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University.

In his new book, the Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain (published by Penguin) Baron-Cohen shows that, indisputably, on average male and female minds are of a slightly different character. Men tend to be better at analysing systems (better systemisers), while women tend to be better at reading the emotions of other people (better empathisers).

Baron-Cohen shows that this distinction arises from biology, not culture.

Cell numbers: men have 4% more brain cells than women, and about 100 grams more of brain tissue. Many women have asked me why men need more brain tissue in order to get the same things done.

Cellular connections: even though a man seems to have more brain cells, it is reported that women have more dendritic connections between brain cells.

Corpus collosum size: it is reported that a woman's brain has a larger corpus collusum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemisphere faster than men. Men tend to be more left brained, while women have greater access to both sides.

Language: for men, language is most often just in the dominant hemisphere (usually the left side), but a larger number of women seem to be able to use both sides for language. This gives them a distinct advantage. If a woman has a stroke in the left front side of the brain, she may still retain some language from the right front side. Men who have the same left sided damage are less likely to recover as fully.

Limbic size: bonding/nesting instincts - current research has demonstrated that females, on average, have a larger deep limbic system than males. This gives females several advantages and disadvantages. Due to the larger deep limbic brain women are more in touch with their feelings, they are generally better able to express their feelings than men. They have an increased ability to bond and be connected to others (which is why women are the primary caretakers for children - there is no society on earth where men are primary caretakers for children). Females have a more acute sense of smell, which is likely to have developed from an evolutionary need for the mother to recognize her young. Having a larger deep limbic system leaves a female somewhat more susceptible to depression, especially at times of significant hormonal changes such as the onset of puberty, before menses, after the birth of a child and at menopause. Women attempt suicide three times more than men. Yet, men kill themselves three times more than women, in part, because they use more violent means of killing themselves (women tend to use overdoses with pills while men tend to either shoot or hang themselves) and men are generally less connected to others than are women. Disconnection from others increases the risk of completed suicides.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Origins of Smoking

Smoking was introduced to Europe in 1550, by Francisco Fernandez, who brought tobacco to Spain.
Jean Nicot, French Ambassador to the Court of Lisbon, sent seeds to France and 26 years later
Sir Francis Drake and Ralph Lane also brought tobacco and seeds to England.

Tobacco belongs to the potato and eggplant family. It’s existence was known from around 300 BC.
There are around 60-70 different varieties of tobacco.

Migrating Mayas from Central America, introduced the art of smoking to North American Indians.
Indians used cohoba as hallucigenic snuff
Some swallowed smoke
Some made cigars
Basically it was a revered herb and used in every household as medicine against all kind of diseases, fever, plague, sores, wounds, chest and throat discomforts.

Jacques Cartier saw Iroquois inhaling smoke through elbow shaped pipes in 1545 but
they were in no way limited in shape as we can see from the above pics.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where does time go....?

My Friend...Golden Nugget
He is 12 years old. 13 in June Where does the time go?
Swimming, fishing, playing soccer,volleyball, he was a pro.
Mr Hugs, Mr Kiss, Mr Give Me a Second Bowl.
Mr Apologetic for things he didn't do.
Mr Rub Me Behind my Ears.
Mr Are You Ready to Go? I am.
Mr Keep My Feet Warm
Mr Companion, Mr Keeper, Mr Protector, Mr Defender
Can we ask for more from a dear friend?
Now he needs a friend.
Give him a soft bed to sleep on
Instead, he sleeps by your feet.
Instead he sleeps watching the front door at night.
Old Habits.
How do I love thee, let me count the ways.
I peed first so you could take me home
cause this was your condition for choosing me
I was a good boy.
Yes, you always were and still are, my beloved pet.
Always a puppy
Always making me smile
By always being yourself.
Wish Time would stand still
and stayed day and day and day.

HIGH SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2007

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1957 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2007 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.

1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college..
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1957 - Ants die.
2007 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rattler Lyrics.

Rattler was a good old dog, blind as he could be
But ev'ry night at suppertime, I believe that dog could see

Here Rattler, Here Rattler Here!
Call Old Rattler from the barn
Here, Rattler, Here!

Grandma had a yellow hen, she set her eggs you know
Set her on some buzzard eggs, she hatched out one old crow.

Here Rattler, Here. Here Rattler Here!
Call Old Rattler from the barn
Here, Rattler, Here!

Grandpa had a muley cow, muley when she was born,
Took a jaybird forty years, to fly from horn to horn

Here Rattler, Here. Here Rattler here!
Call Old Rattler from the barn
Here, Rattler, Here!

Late one night I heard him howl, I thought he'd treed a coon,
When I went out to see what's up, he was barkin' at the moon!

Here Rattler, Here. Here Rattler Here
Call Old Rattler from the barn
Here, Rattler, Here!

Now old Rattler's dead and gone, where all good dogs go
You keep playin' the dog yourself,
you'll be goin' there too I know!

Here Rattler, Here. Here Rattler Here
Call Old Rattler from the barn
Here, Rattler, Here!
#RECORDEDBY:Grandpa Jones#

Habits are Hard to Change

Top 15 best things to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk:

15. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."

14. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to."

13. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper."

12. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"

11. "This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"

10. "I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance"

9. "Actually I was doing a "Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan"(SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend."

8. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory towards people who practice Yoga?"

7. "Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

6. "The coffee machine is broke...."

5. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot."

4. "Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"

3. "Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!"

2. "I wasn't sleeping. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without using my hands."

And the #1 best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk:

1. "Amen."


The following ad appeared in a newspaper:


SBF Seeks Male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a svelte good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love: long walks in the woods, hunting, camping, riding in your pickup truck, fishing trips, cozy winter nights spent lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I'm yours. Call 555-2121 and ask for Daisy.

(The phone number was the Humane Society and Daisy was an eight week old black Labrador Retriever.) Chuck...

I got my shepherd, Chucky, from a woman who raised guard dogs, in Montreal.
She dealt mainly with Dobermans and Shepherds.

We didn’t know who she was when we entered this small house, which I am now not so
sure she really lived in, but maybe she did.
There were two black Dobermans sitting on the couch, staring at you like Bobsey twins but they didn’t move.
She welcomed us in and then she called her friend to bring in the puppy.

Well, this so called 8 week old puppy, was huge!
She plopped him into my arms and I had a hard time holding it. He was so heavy.
My husband and I immediately fell in love.
He had a great looking black nose, huge fat paws,his exoskeleton felt like he would
grow up to be humungous and I was assured he would also have some brown on him.
His eyes looked up at you in this helpless, baby fashion, like the, I want my Mommy, look.
He was such a cute, big bear, ……baby.

I tried putting him on the floor to have a better look but the woman said no. If he does it once on the floor,he will always do it.She said with so many dogs, she could not afford this to happen.
She asked if I would like to meet his grand father. I said sure.
Once taking the pup away, she called ol granpa and he came in all wagawagging,full of kisses.
He rubbed himself around your legs like a cat.

He was huge, with a very big head. He’d roll over and was just such a pleasant fellow
I figured, gosh... this is just what I wanted.

She asked me… you like him?
I said yes! Very much so.
Then she said, I will show you something.
She took us into the basement and she said whatever happens …..don’t move.

She brought her friend in and he had this pad over his arm.
She bade the dog to “watch” and ol grandpa turned into this wicked, ugly looking, fierce monstrosity, I had ever seen.

She told him to attack and he attacked the arm of the man.
The man pushed an old thick telephone book, 3 - 4 inches thick,at him. With one bite, he bit right through….The book was now... in half.
I winced.

No leg or arm, would withstand a bite such as this.

Even if we wanted to, my husband and I could not move.
Once the show was over, she told him “at ease” and he immediately turned back into loveable ol granpa.
Not a mean streak in him.

She explained that this dog had no mean streak in him.
He was just following orders and all her dogs are the same.
She trains them and rents them to businesses.
She said one D’Epanneur rented her dog and the dog was
fine until one fellow came in and the dog immediately knew something was not right
about him. He gave a small growl, enough for the owner to stop and pay attention to something going wrong.
The dog, prepared the man for something bad to happen.

The customer was a thief and the man was able to get the police to come before he left the store or even know the police was called.
The police arrested him and found he was armed.

Training and control, was what her dogs were all about.
Then she asked me again, do you still like this dog?

My husband and I were so impressed we said yes, we want a dog exactly like grand pa and she laughed. Loll
So we took Chucky home . At home, he huffed and puffed, trying to get into a flower pot.

We took him outside but he did not do anything. We brought him inside and he ran around whining and crying.
We had another dog at home and I told my husband to take her out so she pees.
He did that and then we took Chucky outside to smell. He put two and two together, that it was ok to pee on the grass.

So he peed and peed and peed and that fat, huge puppy, shrunk in size, to the normal size a puppy his age should be.

We laughed thinking boy, did his nostrils flare. He must have been suffering.
But he never peed in the house, made no damage anywhere and he was exactly like grandpa.

Kids played on him. If my baby boy pulled his fur too much, he’d take his little hand gently into his mouth and pull it off as if to say..... no.
The mail man, at first, was not happy when we would tie the dog to the front door but he understood, Chucky was there for him. Every day he and Chucky had a relationship going on and he really loved the mail man and vs.
Once when we were clipping our hedges, Chucky growled and we looked up and saw some
guys we didn’t know, going into a neighbors' back yard.

She wasn’t home, so we called the police and they came and arrested them.
They were trying to break in and they were not even a day out of prison.

So the woman’s story about her dogs came true, in Chucky as well.

My husband soon learned he had a good jogging companion. They had the same coloring, black and tan (my husband wore a black beard then) lol. When they ran, they looked like twins. Being a long distance runner,my husband had to carry the dog back on his back, the first time they went out but after a few runs, Chucky was right there, knowing the score.
Chucky knew how to climb ladders and my husband, who travelled a lot, knew not to mess with me when he got
As soon as he’d come to hug me from behind,
Chucky would get up, slowly circle round him, stand up on his two hind legs and dig his nails into his back to say...... No.

My husband had to watch his back..........but I loved my dog.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I suspected that my husband had been fooling around, and when I confronted him with the evidence he denied everything and said it would never happen again.
DEAR ABBY: Will you please rush me the name of a reliable illegitimate doctor?
DEAR ABBY: Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?
DEAR ABBY: I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?
DEAR ABBY: I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.
DEAR ABBY: Do you think it would be all right if I gave my doctor a little gift? I tried for years to get pregnant and couldn't and he finally did it.
DEAR ABBY: I met this nice guy who was in the service. He's the chief petting officer.
DEAR ABBY: This is the second marriage for both of us. And when my husband said "I Will" he knew damn well he couldn't.

Deer Racing. Santa is not Alone.

One of my Soccer Moms has introduced me to Finland.
Finland has Northern Lights which can be seen in Saarisela .
It’s a land where Tango’s keep people warm and
Summers in Helsinki have wonderful arts and music festivals.

It is a land with its own safaris where people are taken on nature treks to see bears and
it also, being the land of Elves and Santa, has my favorite thing of all ,
Reindeer Racing.

Now I don’t know why Canada doesn’t employ it’s deer in this way. It’s not like we don’t have any.
Finland has deer farms in the Lapland run by Sami’s, whose livelihood depends on deer.

Not only do they love deer but they sell deer meat and products from deer.
PETA and Green Peace is against them but sheep farmers in Australia ask what
is the difference between sheep farming and deer farming?

As long as the animals are looked after, Venison is very good meat to eat, as is lamb and would probably give
cows a chance to grow slower so the meat we eat from them is more natural with less hormones in them. They
also have less calories, cholesterol and fat than most cuts of beef, pork, or lamb.
Unfortunately only New Zealand has
mad cow free animals. Other countries still need to be careful when eating meat.
Maybe we all have alzheimers because we eat bad meat.

When I look at these beautiful deer with their long antlers being so friendly with children and at all the fun people have with them pulling sleds either in races or just for normal
slow trekking through fields and woodlands, I think this is a wonderful idea and a good reason for raising more and more deer.

From the pictures it looks pretty safe and the deer are not abused.
I wouldn’t mind a deer ride through winter snow.
With their wide feet it would be safer than riding a horse.
What a wonderful way to get fresh air and keep an animal alive because it can fill
a need in society to be nicely entertained

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mango Seed or Picasso?

Art is all about perception and feelings and sometimes when I am looking at a piece of abstract art.

I wonder where the person gets all these ideas…… to make the lines the way they are made and the colors and

the whole composition in the end, is what the person is trying to express.

I like to look at rocks I pick up from sea shores and upon investigation, I can see stories in them,

pictures of something an artist like Picasso would paint or Chagall.

I am not the only one doing this sort of thing, trying to make something out of nothing . There was a woman who collected odd shaped chips. and there were others who have seen the Virgin Mary on walls and places where only nature could paint them. Our own church had an Icon which cried tears and we all went to see it.

This Icon is taken from church to church so it isn’t like the sun hits it a certain way or water somehow gets to it because no matter where they take it and hang it, it does the same thing.

Yesterday I ate a Mango. I never seem to be able to help myself from cutting into the outer part of the seed and taking it out to help it root and grow. I also like it because it is shaped like an ear .

Yesterday’s seed was special in that it had lots of pictures in it.Sometimes they over lap like some of these psychological shots, where they ask you what do you see , a young woman or an old one, a vase or a face?

I will try to take a picture to see if you can see what I see.

It makes food so much more appetizing and exciting, like opening up a fortune cookie,

you never know what you will find. I am sure it will continue to change the pictures as it dries because last night it had different ones.

Since I took these shots a B and an e popped up.

At the top left hand corner is a small head with a womans body. Below a flying dragon and horse followed by many faces.

The right bottom hand side has a very clear face and on the top right hand side you see the beginning of what looks like a mans chest and belly button. It may come out clearer as the seed keeps drying.Turning the seed around upside down, gives you new perceptions of other pictures.



Can ColdWater Clean Dishes?
This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.
John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan ..
After spending a great evening chatting the night away, The next morning John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.
However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking,
'Are these plates clean?'
His grandfather replied,
'They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!'
For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked,
'Are you sure these plates are clean?'
Without looking up the old man said,
'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!'
Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.
John yelled and said,
'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.
Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted.
'Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!'

Monday, April 20, 2009

Joss Sticks and Wild Cinnamon

Joss Sticks are a very big part of Asian life.
They come in all sizes ranging from bamboo thin, sticks, to huge thick sticks which burn for months in temples.
They are used in daily prayers as well as Ghost festivals and funerals.

The name Joss comes from a household deity god named Joss.
They are not all made the same. Some have clay and perfumes in them which are not good for the health.

I came across one family joss stick business in Singapore, which went public with this art because no one wanted to continue it in the family. They called it a dying art.

They made joss sticks out of wild cinnamon saw dust. But they did even more.

They would add water to the wild cinnamon saw dust and then kneed it like dough.
It became exactly like dough, on which they then used a rolling pin, to roll out into a nice thin piece, and then proceeded to make statues of anything you liked from Chinese warriors on horses, different deities, animals etc....
The products, when dry, go back to the original wood state.

They then shellac it and you take it home.
I have a few pieces in boxes I still have to dig out but I found this wild cinnamon wood art to be quite extraordinary.
The cinnamon saw dust had natural glue in it which allowed it to be used in this manner.

We took some home to make Christmas decorations for our tree. It was fun to do.

Cinnamon has a wide variety of uses including medicinal. The red cinnamon is very good and many Chinese drink it in tea mixed with honey or apply it as a paste onto the skin.

2 tsp of honey to one tsp of cinnamon is used as medicinal aids to cure heart disease, arthritis,colds, hair loss, bladder infections, tooth ache, upset stomach, gas ,cholesterol, weight loss, skin infections, pimples, cancer, bad breath, fatigue, immune system, infertility.
Hot water is always used to combat thirst out there, as opposed to cold and hot water also dilutes fats in your system, so they are flushed out.

Nature provides us with soo many interesting things to discover . Trained, old people, carry these old arts holding answers to many secrets doctors are still ignorant of.

It is too bad the young do not value the teachings of their old ancestors.
The info should be carried on throughout time as it can be useful one day to know.

In the meantime I am glad to have learned this wonderful art of wild cinnamon statue making and search to find more info about this wild cinnamon tree, to make saw dust out of.
The old people in Singapore, are quite upset with their kids, in that they began using knives and forks as opposed to chop sticks.

They constantly pointed at foreigners, saying we had more respect for their traditions than their own kids did.
I just love chop sticks because it makes you eat food one piece at a time, so you enjoy it a lot more.
Plus its fun to be able to hold food in a different way.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tea anyone...have a Samovar

I have always loved the idea of making tea in Samovars.
My cousin, once upon a time ago, brought me one antique, having no idea of how much I would love it.

I never used it as I wouldn’t even know how, but I polished it and cleaned it and then would sit for hours admiring its’ handicraft.

In my imagination I could see this Samovar in it new shiny state being used where?
Maybe in a nice cultured home where tea was prepared, in the English afternoon fashion, or maybe it lived in a poor old farmhouse, keeping old hands warm or maybe it lived in a teahouse (called a traktir), and its tea was sold like we sell coffee today in the shops.Or maybe it had a fair amount of travelling to do since coming from the 18th Century, it went through civil wars, the Russian revolution and two world wars.

Maybe it had several owners who died many times over and now it came to me, here, all the way to Canada. If only it could talk….. what stories it would tell.

The very first Samovar was created in Tula, Russia, in the 1800’s by a man named Lysitsyn
( by the way, the root word, lysa, means fox loll).
Lysitsyn was a gun smith. He designed this samovar for him self, to run on charcoal.
The tea from it was sooo delicious, that the idea caught on and spread like wild fire and before you know it, Tula became famous for its’ Samovars.
Today’s Samovar is used as a decoration piece or it can be bought in an electric model. Like the Faberge Egg, it comes in many styles and colors. They are still wonderful topics of discussion, as you sit serving your guests, the best cup of tea in the world.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Have some fun....

Why are husbands like lawn mowers? They are difficult to get started, emit foul smells, and don't work half the time.- Author Unknown

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

My wife's a water sign. I'm an earth sign.
Together we make mud. - Rodney Dangerfield

A Riddle: There was a green house.
Inside the green house there was a white house
Inside the white house there was a red house.
Inside the red house there were lots of babies.

Answer: A Watermelon.

Gardening .....

This interested me and so I thought I’d share. It has to do with Garden ph testing. How do you know the difference between a base and an acid?

You can test the ph level with:

Beets,which will change color from acid red to purple in a base solution

Blackberries,will change from red (in acidic soil) to blue in a base environment

Blueberries,are blue at a ph level of 2.8 – 3.2

Cherries,are red in acid and turn purple in a base solution

Yellow curry powder at a ph 7.4 changes to red at a ph of 8.6

Delphinium petals are bluish red in acid and violet blue in a base.

Geraniums are orange red in acid, change to blue in a base.

Grapes are red in acid, changes to violet blue in a base

Friday, April 17, 2009


What gets wetter and wetter
the more it dries?

A Towel.


What is greater than God

More evil than the devil

The poor have it

The rich need it

And Those who eat it die.


Press shift key for the answer.

Technology has its advantages

Take a look at the Electrical wiring running from building to building on the street...Scary thoughts of a short circuit run through my mind...But apparently this electricity grid miraculously works and supplies some households free electricity, which they would otherwise not have access to

Human powered Electrical Generator running Lap Top

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weeping Willow Helps You...... to Stop.

One of my favorite trees is the Weeping Willow tree.

I had one in my back yard and lamented the day my Dad decided to cut it down
because of it’s aggressive root system’
It was a hard tree to kill and the more they tried, the more it hurt me.

I spent so much time up in that tree so it was more than just a tree to me.
It was my friend.
Sometimes I felt like Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland hiding up in its’ branches.

This tree was used by many, from old days in Mesopotamia.

Aspirin came from it
They made tea from the bark, for rheumatism, indigestion,
gum and tonsil inflammation, whooping cough.

The tannin was used to tan animal hides and the roots protected from water erosion.

So although many call this tree a weed, in actuality it is not a tree we should be destroying. This tree weeps for you.:)

William Yeats wrote a poem

Down by the Salley Gardens: (Salley is another name for WILLOW)

Its about unrequited love.
She offered herself to him and he refused and then he regretted it and
it happened under the weeping willow tree.

Down by the Salley Gardens.

It was down by the Salley Gardens, my love and I did meet.
She crossed the Salley Gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree,
But I was young and foolish, and with her did not agree.

In a field down by the river, my love and I did stand
And on my leaning shoulder, she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy , as the grass grows on the weirs
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

Down by the Salley Gardens, my love and I did meet.
She crossed the Sally Gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree,
But I was young and foolish, and with her did not agree.



Civic Lesson
In a high school civics class, they were discussing the qualifications for becoming President of the United States.
The requirements are pretty simple. The candidate must be a natural born citizen and at least 35 years old.
A blonde girl in the class piped up and began complaining about how unfair it was to require the candidate to be a natural born citizen. In her opinion, that made it impossible for many qualified people to run for the office. She went on and on, wrapping up her argument with
"What makes a natural born citizen more qualified to be President than one born by C-Section?"

A Tom Cat was running up and down the alley meowing.
An unhappy neighbor asked what was wrong with the cat?
The owner said he was neutered today and he’s cancelling all his engagements.

Parachute Jumping
On the first day of training for parachute jumping, a blonde listened intently to the instructor. He told them to start preparing for landing when they are at 300 feet.
The blonde asked, "How am I supposed to know when I'm at 300 feet?"
"That's a good question. When you get to 300 feet, you can recognize the faces of people on the ground."
After pondering his answer, she asked, "What happens if there's no one there I know?"
The True Hunter

Dancing warriors flirt
With death on the horizon
Their hefty steeds stand breathing
Through swollen flaring nostrils
Their wild eyes see the swords flash
By raging crackling fires
Sending sparks into the wind
Whistling to inspire

Across the field another group
Sits hungry eyed and lean
All dressed in black they hide in
Mountain caverns, cold and clean.
There is no fire, no mirth, or sadness
Just determination, to win the battle
Close at hand, against trespassers of nations.

The patient wolf stalks the grassy turf.
Pangs of hunger fill his jowls
The nervous steeds stamp their feet and whinny at his scent
The warriors search the midnight air
In hopes to find what ails them.
They do not see the lonely hunter
Hidden in the wail land

The Black eyed groups in caverns,
Well hidden and discreet,
Impatient for the break of day say
There would be no retreat.
The smell of blood was in the air but
one could not determine
Who be the hunter and who the prey.
Who the strong or weak.

At dawn the soaring Eagle’s cry,
Awoke the warring parties
Both sides rode to meet the fate
Destiny had written.
They fought a gallant battle
They died a gallant death
Just causes were united in
Dirty mud and sweat

The lone wolf was the winner.
Had trophies all around
He howled into the cold wind, inviting friends to come
For here they would have plenty, to feast on and to share
Thanks to these just causes which brought this prey so near.

True hunters hide in grasses.
They prey on strong and weak
The true hunter is the watcher.
Who has no fighting streak.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The 16th Century revisited

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It’s raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house..This posed a real problem in the bed-room where bugs and other drop-pings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was
placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving left-overs in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been
there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat..

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, thus someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ..dead ringer..