Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Who Loves their vaVesta? –I Do!


I've had my vaVesta for several weeks now…and I absolutely love it! I sometimes wear it outside as a scarf…but more often than not -- I snuggle down into it for those long, uncomfortable overseas flights. Since I also have problems with arthritis, the arm supports are especially helpful when reading my Kindle.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Iron Butterfly, Maggie the Maurauder and the Iron Lady


Maggie Thatcher, the daughter of a shopkeeper became one of the most powerful women in the world. Not always liked, she was often referred as the “Iron Butterfly, Iron Lady,” and “Atillas the Hen” (because she was known to have a good cry when needed.) She also would rather wallpaper her kitchen than have dinner with the Heads of State.

Just lately, I’ve been thinking of the two most powerful women in my life…my mother and Maggie Thatcher. I remember telling my mother that I wanted to “help people during my lifetime” – her response – “Charity begins at home my love. If families took care of their own, the world would be a better place.” And another – “I’m scared of ghosts mummy.” Once more, her response was quick and to the point. "It’s not the dead that hurt you my dear…but the living.”

Follows just a few from Maggie:

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”

“If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and would achieve nothing.”

“I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Wattle Wall/Enclosure


Sir Walter Scott brought the technique (wattle) back to popularity in England when he described such a fence in The Fortunes of Nigel, but the practice of using indigenous trees such as the willow and alder for use as fencing material is a centuries old custom. Although an ancient art, the following site gives us a detailed, practical account of how to make these wonderful (and natural) enclosures that would enhance any garden or orchard.
Go to:  http://www.alaskabg.org/Education-Learn/HowTo/WattleFence.pdf

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Devil's Wine


In France the first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally; the pressure in the bottle led it to be called "the devil's wine" (le vin du diable), as bottles exploded or corks popped. In 1844 Adolphe Jaquesson invented the muselet (a wire frame) to prevent the corks from blowing out. Initial versions were difficult to apply and inconvenient to remove. Even when it was deliberately produced as a sparkling wine, Champagne was for a very long time made by the méthode rurale, where the wine was bottled before the only fermentation had finished. Champagne did not use the méthode champenoise until the 19th century about 200 years after Christopher Merret documented the process. The 19th century saw an explosive growth in Champagne production, going from a regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Across the Wide Missouri

Quilt Designer: Jan Patek
Quilt Maker: Marion Watchinski
Photo Courtesy: Marion Watchinski

Jan Patek, a local long-time designer of quilts designed this beautiful pattern entitled Across the Wide Missouri. It was in the Kansas City Star Block a Month series. Back in 2010, a local quilt shop put together two styles and two fabric kits, which were dispensed in monthly installments...however, as nice as they were, Marion decided on a couple of substitutions. The quilt was completed recently and Marion shared it with me.  I might add that she is one of the best quilters I’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

1950 Buick Rivera Super Model

Photo courtesy: Private Collection

This Buick Rivera was Roy Best’s pride and joy. He was the Warden at Canon State where he was well-known to meter out punishment to those who disobeyed his rules. His basic tenets were that "prisoners are human beings" and should be treated as such. However, if they were not respectful, then they were punished. His belief that inmates were expected to work hard, "lots of work and lots of play; no work, no play." Although he had the reputation of being a fair man, he used the "Old Gray Mare" (a sawhorse over which a prisoner was forced to lay and receive lashes from a wet leather strap) for discipline. One day, two prisoners escaped from Canon Prison and stole Roy Best’s car. They cruised around for a few hours before finally getting caught and returned to Canon Prison where they must have received severe punishment from Mr. Best himself.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Colman's Mustard


If you like hot mustard…then Colman’s Mustard is the one for you. In 1814, Jeremiah Colman began making mustard at a water mill near Norwich, England. To give it that distinctive flavor, he blended brown mustard with white mustard. That combination has been a favorite for 200 years. Around 1855, the firm introduced its characteristic packaging in a tin of bright yellow still in use today.
Many people ask what I use in my quiches...it's no secret...one teaspoon of Colman's Mustard!