Saturday, December 28, 2013

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

This pudding is a favorite of mine and my family too. It can be made plain (without the jam) and a chocolate sauce can be poured once the pudding has been cooked, and turned up-side-down. In England, we used a thick golden syrup (Tate and Lyle) which provides a wonderful change to the jam at the base. Then the pudding is called Golden Cap Pudding. The syrup can be purchased at specialty English shops. 
Note: If you don't have a pudding basin...make individual puddings using teacups. Only fill the cups about half way to allow for expansion. Sorry, I’ve never converted this recipe from Imperial measurements to cup measurements.
4 oz. margarine
4 oz. sugar
2 eggs
6 oz. self-raising flour OR ad 1 ½ level teaspoons of baking powder to plan (all purpose) flour

Cream the margarine and sugar. Add beaten eggs slowly and fold in the flour. Add just enough milk to give a dropping consistency (dollop on a spoon drops by counting 1,2,3) Grease a pudding basin, place about 3 tablespoons of jam in the bottom, and place the creamed mixture on top. Cover tightly with foil and place in a saucepan of boiling water about 1/3 up the side of the pudding basin for about 1 ½ hours. Remember to add boiling water, but never allow the water to get over the side of the pudding otherwise you’ll have a soggy mess. After 1 ½ hours of steaming, turn the pudding out onto a plate and let the jam run down the sides. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

High Altitude Cocoa Fudge Cake

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've attempted to bake a cake from scratch in Denver...and felt the disappointment. It always starts off the same -- on goes the pinny (apron) and with every good intention I enter the kitchen area, humming a little tune, pull out the scales and measuring cups, and begin with a flourish. I've measured the ingredients diligently, weighing the eggs along with other fluids, etc., and followed my recipes to the letter, but alas, failure is not too far behind. But recently, I found a recipe for a chocolate cake for high altitude cooking. It's easy and delicious! 

Cocoa Fudge Cake
For altitudes of 4,000 to 6,000 feet

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (don’t use self-rising flour in this recipe)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 ¼ teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan, 13x9x2 inches or 2 rounds layer pans, 9x 1 ½ inches.

Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans(s).

Bake oblong about 35 minutes, layers 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
For convenience use a packaged frosting or your own favorite recipe. I'll include my own in another post.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stephan Swanson -- Personal Trainer

Originally from Jupiter, Florida, Stephan has clearly taken a liking to the mountain life! He used to perform in the circus and now seems content just making his co-workers smile everyday with his fun-loving and athletic antics. It is fitting given his philosophy that "those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." If you have questions about staying prepared for snow season and avoiding injuries on the slopes, email Stephan today at

On a personal note: Stephan has worked with me for some time to strengthen my core muscles. He is particularly careful and diligent, and makes sure I’m following his direct instructions so as not to re-injure myself. By doing so, I’m gradually getting stronger, and have been able to return to my favorite sports.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Popular Sayings and Expressions

Back in the 90s, I suggested an idea to the producer of the Walt Bodine Show, a daily radio show on KCUR, PBS's affiliate in Kansas City, Mo. The producer loved the idea of discussing the origins of everyday sayings, and agreed to go ahead. Evidently during the first show, the telephone lines lit up “like the 4th of July” and so it turned into a monthly slot. I appeared with a professor of law, and a professor of English. Since the show was live, I did extensive research because so many callers wanted an answer from “that English woman.” Even so, I was stumped many times, and looked to the professors for help. We were known as the Word Mavens. I heard some of following expressions over the last few weeks and thought readers might enjoy reading their origins.

Paying Through the Nose - To pay exorbitantly
During the 9th century, when the Vikings imposed a poll tax on the Irish known as a ‘nose tax’ because people who failed to pay had their noses slit as punishment.

Back to Square One - Starting at the beginning
This expression was often used during board games and hopscotch, but nowadays it’s used in common language to describe anything that needs a ‘do over.’ The saying appears to have originated in England during the early days of radio (before television.) Obviously, it's very difficult to describe what's going on during football (soccer) matches if a person can't actually see the pitch (field), so a diagram of the pitch was published in the Radio Times each week wherein the pitch was divided into numbered squares. Then, as the match progressed, the commentator would continually refer to the square that each player was in, and to whom the ball was passed. Should a defender pass the ball back to his goalkeeper, the commentator would say the ball was passed back to 'square one.' Even today, most goalies wear the jersey #1. 
Dead as a Doornail - No sign of life
This goes back to ancient times when a doors had a heavy metal knocker which was swung and struck a heavy knob or doornail. Since the doornail was regularly rapped, after some time there was no life in it, hence "dead as a doornail".  Dickens used the expression - Old Marley “was as dead as a doornail.”

Down in the Dumps - Unhappy, miserable
Dump is thought to be derived from a Dutch work domp (meaning haze or dullness). During the Elizabethan period a domp was also any kind of a slow, mournful song or dance.

Face the Music - Accept Punishment
In most Western armies, any officer being cashiered from his regiment is required to stand on the parade ground and face the drum squad who tap slowly while the reasons for the man's dismissal are read out and his uniform defaced and stripped of insignia.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bubble and Squeak

Many of my American friends have asked, "What exactly is bubble and squeak..." Well, it's a vegetable dish mostly prepared from leftovers, often served the day after Christmas, with slices of cold turkey. I have no idea where the recipe came from...only know that it's always been part of Christmas in most families throughout England. I include my recipe.


Mashed potatoes
Chopped cabbage or Brussel sprouts (cooked)
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Combine mashed potatoes with the cooked cabbage or Brussel sprouts, and season to taste. Fry in the oil until crispy. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Medieval Superstitions and Folklore

Photo of re-enactment -- The Tower of London

During medieval times, gemstones were believed to hold magical and even medicinal powers. The men and women who could afford such luxuries adorned themselves with brooches, rings, clasps and badges as a kind of talisman to ward off bad omens and spirits. At the top of the list are rubies which were believed to protect the wearer from poison, emeralds helped ward off madness and illness, and diamonds helped to make a person wise and protect against nightmares.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guy Fawkes - Remember, Remember - the Fifth of November



An excerpt from Extraordinary Places...Close to London
Photo: The Leather Bottle Inn, Cobham, Kent.

“Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.” This ancient rhyme is one that was sung by English children as they prepared an effigy of Guy Fawkes and place him atop a bonfire before setting the fire ablaze. An heir of the de Cobham family was tried for treason because of his supposed involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 - an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and destroy the monarchy.

The village and much of the surrounding countryside were home to the de Cobham family who dominated the village for nearly 400 years. The name of Cobham is considered to be of Anglo-Saxon origin and possibly derived from a personal name such as Cobba. During the period from 1360-70, the village grew in size under the direction of Sir John de Cobham, who rebuilt the parish church of St. Mary and built the College that stands in the rear of the church in the village.

The Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament and destroy King James I was thought by some to be a wicked scheme organized by Jesuit priests in retaliation for the government’s anti-Catholic ruling. To this day, there are suspicions about Robert Cecil’s part in the plan. Some believe it was a plot instigated by Cecil himself to gain appreciation from the king and further secure his political ambitions. In all, thirteen men were accused of treason after torture and a written confession by Guy Fawkes, who was caught red-handed in the cellars of Westminster trying to ignite barrels of gunpowder. The close relationship with William Parker, Lord Monteagle, who was later identified as a prime conspirator in the plot, did not help the clouds of suspicion hanging over Cecil. Cecil’s brother-in-law, Lord Cobham, as well as Cobham’s younger brother George Brooke was implicated in the conspiracy. Cecil and Lord Cobham escaped execution but George did not.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Countess Katrina Murat Before and After

Photo courtesy:  Lucretia Vail Museum, Palmer Lake.

Following is an excerpt from Hidden History of Denver.
ISNB: 978-1-60949-350-9.
The pioneers came from every walk of life. Count Henri Murat and his wife Countess Katrina arrived in Denver in 1858 from Baden-Baden, Germany. Why the couple would leave the relative comfort of their homeland to live in the harsh environment of a fledgling town can most likely be attributed to the lure of gold. Count Murat often boasted of his close relationship to Napoleon Bonaparte, but there is little evidence to support his claim. However, the Murat’s name is synonymous with nobility and royalty to this day, and is mentioned often in the The History of Germany; From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, by Frederick Kohlrauscy.

Count Murat was determined to be a success, and joined forces with another pioneer, David Smoke. The two men built a cabin calling it the El Dorado Hotel. It was an impressive name for the twenty by seventeen feet building that was made of cottonwood planks and dirt floor. However, what the hotel lacked in homely comforts was more than compensated for by Katrina’s cooking and hospitality. Every day, she served wonderful home cooked meals to weary travelers, and prepared magnificent apple strudels for dessert.
It appears Countess Murat; fair haired, blue eyed beauty was well liked in the community. She had set down roots, unlike some people who gave up easily and returned home. These people were nicknamed, “Go backs” a somewhat derisive term meant to embarrass those people considering leaving. Katrina further endeared herself to the people of Denver by sewing the first stars and stripes flag to fly over the town, giving her the title of “Mother of Colorado.”  

Photo courtesy:  Lucretia Vail Museum, Palmer Lake.

Countess Murat was 63 years old in the spring of 1887 when she decided to leave Denver and her husband to travel the fifty miles south to Palmer Lake. She immediately fell in love with the area and built a little cottage just below Sundance Mountain. Using her past experience in Denver, she worked hard and used her home as a guest house, cooking and cleaning for her visitors. She also had a well dug close to her house to provide cool, sweet water for her guests, but allowed other residents to use it at will. Lucretia Vaile and her sister, residents of Palmer Lake often called on Mrs. Murat (as she preferred to be called) for permission to use her well. Lucretia recalls that Mrs. Murat was always most gracious and accommodating, but doubted she was worthy of the title Countess Katrina Murat. "...she was always very nice about letting me get it, and finally won my reluctant conviction that she was really a countess - though I was pretty sure then that countesses were about as rare as fairies in Colorado.”

During the following 23 years, the people of Palmer Lake watched over their countess. They had water piped directly to her house, and watched over her health. As she grew older she suffered from rheumatism and her eyesight was poor. She had many visitors who travelled by train from Denver to see the Mother of Colorado. She supposedly always greeted her visitors with grace and bearing.
There are interesting stories surrounding the countess and count. Some say the count married beneath his station in life, and therefore escaped family criticism by leaving his ancestral home. However, Katrina appeared to be the practical wife who cooked and cleaned while he the more flamboyant of the two, dressed impeccably, and had a high opinion of himself. Several years later, Countess Murat left her husband in Denver and moved south, but perhaps she did so with a little financial help. In those early years, expenses were often paid in gold dust. It is rumored that Katrina sewed some of that dust into her clothing for safe keeping. This of course adding much weight to her person, and on one particular occasion, it supposedly took several men to hoist her into a wagon. Countess Katrina died while living in Palmer Lake on March 13, 1910. Henri died penniless in Denver, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bakewell Tart

The Bakewell pudding and tart derives its name from the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England.

Bakewell pudding is a jam pastry with an egg and ground almond enriched filling. It is not to be confused with Bakewell Tart which is has a short crust pastry base, and an almond topping and a sponge and jam filling. As with most dishes, I’ve adapted the recipe to suite my family’s needs. It follows:

Base - Short crust pastry
4 oz. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 oz. Crisco

Place all ingredients in a bowl; mix with a fork and add enough cold water to make pliable dough

2 oz. butter
2 oz. sugar
2 oz. ground rice
1 oz. ground almonds
1 egg
2 tablespoons Jam
Few drops of Almond Essence
Slivered Almonds for decoration

Roll out pastry and line a pie plate. Spread the jam over the bottom of the pastry. Cream the butter and sugar together. Mix the rice and ground almonds and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the beaten egg. Spread the mixture over the jam base, and decorate with a latticework of pastry strips. Top with slivered almonds and bake in a hot oven 350 – 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

Or – Do not put a latticework of pastry/slivered almonds on the top, but after cooking and cooling, drizzle with confectioner’s sugar mixed with a little milk. Decorate with cherries.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Leper Priest

Father Damien was known as The Apostle of the Lepers. In 1873, he administered to those who had succumbed to the dreadful disease of leprosy on the island of Molokai, a government-sanctioned medical facility off the coast of Maui. While serving the needy, he too contracted the disease and died at 49 years.  He was dearly loved by his people and later canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Some descendants of those families still live on the island of Molokai to this day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chocolate Lover's Delight

I highly recommend this chocolate - absolutely delicious!

From the back of the box...
Our single origin chocolate is made in Colorado using traditional, European methods with ethically-sourced cacao from around the world. We welcome you to take the time to taste the unique and balanced flavor of our chocolate, just as we have taken the time to create it.
Costa Rica 2009 Harvest
Made with organic, Costa Rican cacao from one of the world’s best cacao farms. The richness of this chocolate makes it a favorite among dark chocolate lovers, yet its complexity attracts the true connoisseurs. The bold, earthy peaks and hints of blackberry and walnut found in this chocolate are a result of the volcanic-rich soil of Costa Rica and careful drying methods of the cacao.

Belize 2012 Harvest
The organic cacao is grown by a network of Mayan farmers in the Toledo district of Belize. This area has a rich genetic history that is a blend of indigenous heirloom and Trinitario cacao. The result is a balanced chocolate with notes of dried fig, cherry and a hint of tobacco.  

For more information please go to:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Mile High City

Excerpt: The History Press

When prospectors set up camp on Cherry Creek in 1858, Denver emerged as a lightning rod for the extraordinary. Time has washed away so many unusual stories from the nineteenth century Law and Order League, lynches, suffragettes and the touching plight of the gypsies…Elizabeth Wallace knocks the dust off these details and introduces readers to characters like world heavyweight boxing Champion Charles L. “Sonny” Liston, hit man turned rodeo promoter Leland Varain, aka “Diamond Jack,” and the city’s daring wall dogs, whose hand-painted building advertisements are facing reminders of a bygone Denver.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fireweed or Bomb Weed

The fireweed plant is prolific in Colorado, USA, and throughout the world. The Native American tribes used the stems (peeled and eaten raw) as a good source of vitamin C. The Dena’ina used it for medicinal purposes to treat boils or deep cuts by placing a raw stem over the afflicted area. This supposedly drew out the pus, and stopped the wound from healing over too quickly.

The people of Russia use the plant to make tea. The Austrians have used it for disorders of the prostrate, kidneys and urinary tract infections. In England, the plant was nicknamed “Bomb Weed” because it grew so readily in the bomb craters after WWII.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Paintbrush Plant and Rheumatism

The paintbrush plant was a favorite of the Native American Ojibwe tribe who used it as a treatment for rheumatism. These plants have a tendency to absorb and retain high levels of selenium which is believed to help the painful conditions associated with rheumatism. The flowers of the paintbrush are edible, but can be extremely toxic if not used in moderation. The plant has also been used by the Nevada American tribes to enhance the immune system to help fight sexually transmitted diseases.

There are approximately 200 species of the paintbrush plant worldwide. The colors of the flower range from light yellow to deep red depending on soil and location.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Flooding on the Railroad Tracks

Photo courtesy: Denver Water Board. (circa - 1890s) Four men appraise the damage caused by a recent flood.
In the mid-1800s the Native American tribe of Arapaho Indians warned the settlers not to camp or build too close to the South Platte and Cherry Creek Rivers. They were told those rivers, especially at the confluence were prone to burst their banks during adverse conditions, causing devastation in their wake. Perhaps the newcomers felt they knew better than the native people because over and over, their built homes, businesses and railroads in inappropriate places regardless of the terrain.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chedworth Roman Villa

On our visit to Chedworth Roman Villa, we were fortunate to see Sue Day at work demonstrating the ancient art of nalbinding. Sue has done extensive research on the technique (as well as many other long forgotten forms of knitting, weaving and dyeing.) Some time ago, she studied a Viking mitten at a museum, and re-created the centuries old design. She dyes and spins her own wool using all natural substances such as plants and berries. To learn more about Sue’s work, please go to:

The brochure provided at the villa states: “Welcome to the ‘Golden Age’ of Roman Britain. I highly recommend a tour to view the following:
  • View mosaics from suspended walkway
  • See the newly-uncovered corridor mosaics
  • Enjoy a multi-sensory presentation of the sights, smells and sounds of the Roman dining room and bath house
  • Witness live archaeology and conservation on site
  • Discover the remains of Roman dining room, bath houses, a water shrine, latrines and under floor heating and cooling systems
  • View the snails that creep along the ancient walls. Brought by the Romans as a food source,  they are still there hiding under the layers of leaves during the winter months, and emerging in the spring -- It has been so for almost 2,000 thousand years. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013



Wish I could give credit to the person who came up with this joke, because it is so funny.

Three Englishmen married women from different parts of the world.
The first man married a Greek girl. He told her she was to do the
dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days before he saw any
effect, but on the third day he came home to see a clean house and
dishes washed and put away.

The second man married a Thai girl. He gave his wife orders that she
was to do all the cleaning, the dishes and the cooking. The first day
he didn't see any results but the next day it was better. By the third day

he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a
huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a girl from America. He ordered her to keep
the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and hot
meals on the table for every meal. The first day he didn't see
anything. The second day he didn't see anything either - but by the
third day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a
little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed sufficiently for
him to make a sandwich and load the dishwasher.

He still has some difficulty when he urinates.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wild Bill Hickok

A description of James Butler Hickok, as related by Leander P. Richardson, in his article "A Trip to the Black Hills," in 1877: 

" I had been in town only a few moments when I met Charley Utter, better known in the West as "Colorado Charley," to whom I had a letter of introduction, and who at once invited me to share his camp while I remained in the region. On our way to his tent, we met J.B. Hickock, "Wild Bill," the hero of a hundred battles. Bill was Utter's "pardner," and I was introduced at once. Of course I had heard of him, the greatest scout in the West, but I was not prepared to find such a man as he proved to be. Most of the Western scouts do not amount to much. They do a great deal in the personal reminiscence way, but otherwise they are generally of the class described as "frauds." In "Wild Bill," I found a man who talked little and had done a great deal. He was about six-feet two inches in height, and very powerfully built; his face was intelligent, his hair blonde, and falling in long ringlets upon his broad shoulders; his eyes, blue and pleasant looked one straight in the face when he talked; and his lips, thin and compressed, were only partly hidden by a straw-colored moustache. His costume was a curiously blended union of the habiliments of the borderman and the drapery of the fashionable dandy. Beneath the skirts of his elaborately embroidered buckskin coat gleamed the handles of two silver-mounted revolvers, which were his constant companions. His voice was low and musical, but through its hesitation I could catch a ring of self-reliance and consciousness of strength. Yet he was the most courteous man I had met on the plains. On the following day I asked to see him use a pistol and he assented. At his request I tossed a tomato can about 15 feet into the air, both his pistols being in his belt when it left my hand. He drew one of them, and fired two bullets through the tin can before it struck the ground. Then he followed it along, firing as he went, until both weapons were empty. You have heard the expression "quick as lightning?" Well, that will describe "Wild Bill." He was noted all over the country for rapidity of motion, courage, and certainty of aim. Wherever he went he controlled the people around him, and many a quarrel has been ended by his simple announcement "This has gone far enough." Early in the forenoon of my third day in Deadwood, word was brought over to camp that he had been killed. We went immediately to the scene, and found that the report was true. He had been sitting at a table playing cards, when a dastardly assassin came up behind, put a revolver to his head and fired, killing his victim instantly. That night a miner's meeting was called, the prisoner was brought before it, his statement was heard, and he was discharged, put on a fleet horse, supplied with arms, and guarded out of town.* The next day, "Colorado Charley" took charge of the remains of the great scout, and announced that the funeral would occur at his camp. The body was clothed in a full suit of broad cloth, the hair brushed back from the pallid cheek. Beside the dead hero lay his rifle, which was buried with him. The funeral ceremony was brief and touching, hundreds of rough miners standing around the bier with bowed heads and tear-dimmed eyes, -- for with the better class "Wild Bill" had been a great favorite. At the close of the ceremony the coffin was lowered into a new made grave on the hill-side -- the first in Deadwood. And so ended the life of "Wild Bill," -- a man whose supreme physical courage had endeared him to nearly all with whom he came in contact, and made his name a terror to every Indian west of the Missouri." *He added this footnote: As I write the closing lines of this brief sketch, word reaches me that the slayer of Wild Bill has been re-arrested by the United State authorities, and after trail has been sentenced to death for willful murder. He is now at Yankton, D.T. awaiting execution. At the trial it was proved that the murdered was hired to do his work by gamblers who feared the time when better citizens should appoint Bill the champion of law and order--a post which he formerly sustained in Kansas border life, with credit to his manhood and his courage.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Telling Porky Pies – Lies (Cockney Slang)

Cockney rhyme began as a means for the London working class to “talk” to each other without others having a clue as to what was being said. Needless to say, the unsavory characters of London also adopted the language in an attempt to baffle the police force. In any event, sometimes the origin of the saying is hard to follow and convoluted, but after all, that was the idea!

By the way, to be born a “Cockney” one has to have been born within the sounds of Bow Bells Church in the East End of London. Following is a quick description of the slang, and the meaning.

Trouble and Strife = wife. I’m going home to the trouble and strife (wife).
Porky pies = lies. You're telling me porky pies again (lies).
Butcher’s hook = look. He was giving me a good butcher’s hook (look).
Apples and pears = stairs. The toilet is up the apples and pears (stairs).
Whistle and flute = suit. That’s a smart whistle you're wearing (suit).
Daisy roots = boots. I like your daisy roots (boots).
Skin and blister = sister. Hands off her; she’s my skin and blister (sister).
Barnet fair = head of hair. The girl has a beautiful barnet fair (head of hair).
Mutton Jeff = deaf. The poor man used to hear well, now he is mutton deaf (deaf).
Bowler hat= rat. I once thought he was my friend, but then he turned into a bowler hat (rat).
North and south = mouth. She has a right ‘ol north and south (mouth).
Tom and Dick = sick. I have to leave work because I’m Tom and Dick (sick).
Artful dodger = lodger. I need help paying the rent. I’ll have to take in an artful dodger (lodger).
Brown bread = dead. He was all right when I left him, then I found out he was brown bread (dead.)
Baker’s dozen = cousin. No, he’s not my brother; he’s my baker’s dozen (cousin).
Bill and Ben = writing pen. I don’t have a pencil, but I do have a Bill and Ben (pen).

Often several slang terms were used in conjunction such as:
“I was wearing my best Whistle and Flute (suit) walking down the Apple and Pears (stairs) when this Bowler Hat (rat) whom I used to consider a Baker's Dozen (cousin) asked if I’d been Tom and Dick (sick.) I told him I needed to get home to the Trouble and Strife (wife) because she had a real North and South (mouth) and I didn’t want to tell her any Porky pies (lies) because I could end up as Brown Bread (dead.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Additional Beauty Hints

  • Nail polish – Place your thick and “gummy” polish in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes…your polish will become thinner and manageable
  • Deodorant - Mix 2 tablespoons of petroleum jelly, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of talcum powder together. Place in a double boiler (stirring all the time) until the mixture becomes a cream. When cool place in jars and use as you would any regular cream deodorant
  • Stains on teeth – Mash a strawberry and brush it vigorously over your teeth. This will help remove those pesky stains
  • Lasting perfume – Oily skin tends to hold perfume, therefore apply a little petroleum jelly and you’ll notice the fragrance lasts longer.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beauty Hints

ü  Facial scrub – mix a little water and about 1 tablespoon of oatmeal into a paste. Spread over your face and leave until the mask becomes “tight.” Finally rinse with lots of water rubbing to remove dead skin and cleanse pores

ü  Moisturizer - Wash face thoroughly and while still wet…rub in a little petroleum jelly. Keep adding water until the jelly has been completely absorbed, and is no longer greasy. You will be amazed at how good your skin feels after this treatment

ü  Blemish control - Use a dab of lemon juice to dry up a blemish

ü  Manicure special – Soak fingertips in one cup of warm water and half a lemon for approximately 5 minutes. Continue with your manicure.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hints for Honey, Garlic and Corn

  • Has your honey "sugared" or become solid? Place the jar in a pot of boiling water and it will soften
  • Did you know you can keep your garlic in the freezer? Thaw and chop as needed -- or peel your garlic and store in cooking oil
  • For sweeter corn – add a teaspoon of lemon juice during the last minute of cooking. Never cook in salted water, this toughens the corn.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Faster (Baked) Spuds

·        Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush and place in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes before placing in a hot oven - 400 degrees
·        Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Push a metal skewer through the center and place on a baking sheet. (The skewer helps circulate the heat and therefore shortens the cooking time.)

·        Cutting a small slice off each end of the potato provides for a faster cooking time

·        Potatoes on the grill – scrub the potatoes, pat dry and rub skins with salad oil or butter. Wrap potatoes individually in foil and place close to hot coals for about an hour…turning frequently.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kitchen Cooking Tips

Tips on preparing onions

·         Cut the top of the onion first leaving the root until last – you’ll have fewer tears that way

·         Peel the onion under running water

·         Keep the onions in the refrigerator or freeze them before chopping

·         Rub your hands with lemon juice to rid them of the odor after peeling.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

One of a Kind

This photo of a model wearing a prom dress was taken directly from Brooks' website. For more information on other creations, please go to the address below.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Brooks at her atelier in Denver. I was very impressed by her ability to look at a woman’s shape and coloring, and then design a specific piece (she makes her own patterns by the way) that would bring pleasure to any woman. Brooks uses unusual fabrics from around the world that include lace from Italy, woolens from the United Kingdom, and silks from India. She is particularly interested in the way a fabric "feels, hangs or drapes on a client.” The choices, colors, and designs are endless. If you are looking for that special piece, that one of a kind ensemble…I highly recommend a visit to Brooks’ atelier.

Address: 1616 14th St, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 573-3801

Monday, May 13, 2013

Under the Influence

Another great photograph I discovered while researching Hidden History of Denver courtesy Denver Public Library.

Drunkenness and disorderly conduct was a constant worry to the policemen of Denver in the late 1890s. The men, eager to spend their money, often became drunk and disorderly. In an effort to contain the offenders, the police devised a type of “holding pen” or “kiosk.” These were usually placed on street corners in high activity areas where a man (or woman) could be locked inside until the police returned with a wagon. Two men pose for the photograph. One seemingly inebriated man, his hat pulled askew -- the policeman holds a billy club.

The actual location of this photograph is unknown. The road is unpaved. A woman is walking on the sidewalk opposite wearing a long dress, and a dog runs lose in the center of the street.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Damaged -- Chapter 2 Prerelease

I had such great response to posting Chapter 1 I've decided to go ahead and post another chapter. Click on the link on the right side of the screen to download Chapter 2.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Damaged - the Sequel to Forbidden

For those who've been asking me about the sequel to Forbidden, my first novel, I'm glad to let you know that I'm almost there! In fact I'm close enough that I thought I'd post the first chapter before the whole book is released. Click on the link on the right side of the screen to download.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


The “stocks” were generally placed in a conspicuous location in a village, usually on the village green. Those people with a grievance (or just to have fun) could step forward and take revenge on an individual. Sometimes the offending party would be the town baker who was often known to shortchange a customer on a loaf of bread, or a dozen rolls. To avoid such accusations, the baker might add another roll to be sure of the poundage. The expression “thirteen to the dozen” is believed to have originated because of this habit.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sex in the 60's (UK)

The following piece was included in Together Again a monthly magazine published by the Transatlantic Brides and Parents Association, a British Heritage Society. The original article was taken from a sex education textbook printed in the early 60s in England. For more information on the national organization go to:

“When retiring to the bedroom prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to queue for the bathroom as he would have to for his train. But remember to look your best when going to bed. Try to achieve a look that is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to put on face cream or hair rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night. When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband it is important to remember your marriage vows and in particular your commitment to obey him.

If he feels that he needs to sleep immediately then so be it. In all things be led by your husband’s wishes; do not pressure him in any way to stimulate intimacy. Should your husband suggest congress then agree humbly all the while being mindful that a man’s satisfaction is more important than a woman’s. When he reaches his moment of fulfillment a small moan from yourself is encouraging to him and quite sufficient to indicate any enjoyment that you may have had.

Should your husband suggest any of the more unusual practices be obedient and uncomplaining but register any reluctance by remaining silent. It is likely that your husband will then fall promptly asleep so adjust your clothing, freshen up and apply your night-time face and hair care products.

You may then set the alarm so that you can arise shortly before him in the morning. This will enable you to have his morning cup of tea ready when he awakes.”

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Roman Snail

The rare Roman Snail (Helix Pomatia) is one of the wildlife highlights at Chedworth Roman Villa in England. It was brought by the Romans as food, and was fattened up on milk and herbs until plump enough to eat. During the winter months, they hibernate in several inches of soil and leaf debris and then re-appear in the middle of April.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Auto Bandit Chaser

Following excerpt (and photo above) are from the book Hidden History of Denver.
In March of 1921, the Auto Bandit Chaser made its debut to help fight crime. It was a formidable piece of equipment built on a Cadillac chassis and comprised bullet-proof armor plate sides, a bullet-proof windshield, powerful spot lights, a large bell and a mounted machine gun on the front passenger side. The car was capable of holding six policemen specially trained in the art of riot control. Captain George Merritt aims the machine gun while the men seated behind him hold trench guns and high powered rifles with bayonets. Other men stand around the car. From left to right: Manager of Safety and Excise, Frank M. Downer; Chief of Police, Herbert R. Williams and acting Deputy Chief, Robert Carter. It is reported that when a policeman fired the gun during a demonstration, the machine gun rocked loose from its base and was ineffective.