The Hawk!

July 21, 2018

Now that we are in the dogs days of summer, I’m reminded of the lyrics  from the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma,  . . . “Oklahoma, ev’ry night my honey lamb and I . . . Sit alone and talk, and watch a hawk, makin lazy circles in the sky.” And speaking of hawks, here is a poem by W.B. (William Butler) Yeats entitled “The Hawk.”

“CALL down the hawk from the air;
Let him be hooded or caged
Till the yellow eye has grown mild,
For larder and spit are bare,
The old cook enraged,
The scullion gone wild.’
“I will not be clapped in a hood,
Nor a cage, nor alight upon wrist,
Now I have learnt to be proud
Hovering over the wood
In the broken mist
Or tumbling cloud.’
“What tumbling cloud did you cleave,
Yellow-eyed hawk of the mind,
Last evening? that I, who had sat
Dumbfounded before a knave,
Should give to my friend
A pretence of wit.’

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Fun Facts Friday, Number Eighty-Five!

July 20, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “time.”  Do you know . . . which has more time zones, the People’s Republic of China, or Alaska?

While China may be an exceeding large country, Alaska actually has more time zones (2): the Alaskan time zone and the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone; the People’s Republic of China has one time zone: Chinese Standard Time.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Who Knew?!

July 19, 2018

Growing up in a household where homemade bread was the norm, I’m quite familiar with the yeasty smell that would permeate the house during the pre-baking process.  However, I was totally unaware of the many other definitions of yeasty.  Now I know.

yeasty

\ uhk-sawr-ee-uh s, –sohr-, uhg-zawr-, -zohr- \, adjective;

1. of, containing, or resembling yeast.
2. frothy; foamy.
3. youthful; exuberant; ebullient.
4. trifling; frivolous.
5. characterized by agitation, excitement, change, etc.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, and http://www.dictionary.com.

National Hot Dog Day!

July 18, 2018

Happy National Hot Dog Day!    In 1991, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council created National Hot Dog Day.  This informal holiday coincides with the same day as the annual Capitol Hill Hot Dog Lunch, which is generally the third Wednesday of July.   Here are some fun facts:

  • hot dogs & hamburgers are a summertime staple in the U.S.
  • 9 billion hot dogs are sold annually in the U.S.
  • Americans eat 155 million hot dogs on the 4th of July each year.
  • From Memorial Day to Labor Day, 7 billion hot dogs are consumed in the U.S
  • 26 million hot dogs a year are eaten at U.S baseball stadiums.
  • In 2014, 7-Eleven sold over 60 million hot dogs.
  • in 2017, 7-Eleven sold over 100 million hot dogs.
  • mustard is the most popular condiment for hot dogs.
  • ketchup and chili come in as the 2nd and 3rd most popular condiments.

Source: http://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/national-hot-dog-day/

It’s All a Matter of Degrees!

July 17, 2018

Well, we are midway through the month and the heat of summer is bearing down upon us.  But to help put the temperatures we are experiencing into perspective, here’s a wonderful infographic (courtesy of the BBC) that shows us the range from what truly is “absolute cold” to what is “absolute hot.”  Enjoy!

temperature-v2

Time for a Massage!

July 16, 2018

Happy Monday!  Yesterday marked the start of “Everybody Deserves a Massage Week.”  So I say it is time to fit one into your schedule.  The Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) sponsor this annual event (which began in 1995) as a way to promote the benefits of massage.  Check your local area for spas/massage therapists who may be providing discounted offerings this week.  Here is a list of some providers in the Tulsa area.

Cheesecake of the Month – July 2018!

July 15, 2018

Last year I discovered a cheesecake recipe that used a brownie as the base (Kahlua/coffee filling) and it was positively delicious.  There was another recipe making the rounds on social media a few weeks back that swapped out the Kahlua/coffee filling with a peanut butter filling.  Mmm, yummy.

Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Ingredients
(for the brownie bottom)

  • 6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup  plus 2 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1-1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of peanut butter chips
  • 6 whole peanut butter cups (Reese’s), cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

(for the cheesecake filling)

  • 4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

(for the topping

  • peanut butter cups, cut in half

Directions

  1.  Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, mix well.  Spread the mixture into your springform pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  3. Immediately after removing brownie bottom from your oven, sprinkle (as evenly as you can) the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups over the brownie.
  4. In a large bowl or Mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the sugar, peanut butter and cream and beat until smooth.  Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the cheesecake filling into prepared brownie bottom crust.
  6. Place the batter-filled springform pan into a larger baking pan.
  7. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes to about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
  8. Bake at 325F for one (1) to one-and-a-half (1-1/2) hours or until firm and lightly browned.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and  allow to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour.
  10. Use a knife along the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan as best as possible.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

(for the garnish)

  1. Add peanut butter cup halves around the edge of the cake and drizzle melted chocolate over the top

 

My Favorite “Kiss!”

July 14, 2018

The_Kiss_-_Gustav_Klimt_-_Google_Cultural_Institute

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I have long been a fan of the artist Gustav Klimpt, who was born on this date in 1862.  Happy Birthday Gustav!  Here is my favorite works by this artist.  The Kiss, painted between 1907-1908, is considered Klimpt’s most popular work and currently hangs in the  Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, Austria.

Another one of my favorite Klimpt paintings is The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I which was featured in the 2015 movie, Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, which told the tale of how the painting, stolen by the Nazis in 1941, was eventually returned to the family after a lengthy court battle.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Eighty-Four!

July 13, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of http://www.snapple.com) are all about paper.  Did you know that . . .

  • no piece of paper can be folded more than seven (7) times?  (Real Fact #77)
  • U.S. paper currency isn’t made of paper?  It’s actually a blend of cotton and linen.  (Real Fact #423)
  • recycled paper is made using 40% less energy than normal paper?  (Real Fact #704)
  • every ton of recycled paper saves about 17 trees?  (Real Fact #705)
  • in the U.S., there is an official rock, paper, scissors league?  (Real Fact #1272)
  • bubble wrap was originally invented as a wallpaper in 1957?  (Real Fact #1468)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts

Fire and Ice!

July 12, 2018

Fire and IceA couple of months ago, while attending the Oklahoma Library Association’s Annual Conference, I entered a raffle for a work of art . . . and won!  The title of this piece: “Fire and Ice” (from the House of Voodoo Series), the artist: Rudy Ellis, the medium: enhanced digital photography.  This was a rather large piece (24″ x 36″) that required some creative “shuffling” of paintings hanging in my bedroom.  Alas, the challenges of an art collector who is rapidly running out of wall space.  But, I always manage to find a way to get new acquisitions up on the wall (so far).  Rudy has been a professional artist for over 35 years from Ardmore, Oklahoma. His creative foci are in enhanced digital photography, photography, painting, illustration and design.   I always enjoy discovering new talent.  My apologies for the “flash” in the middle of the picture; I have not yet mastered the photographing of art behind glass — I either get a reflection off of the glass, or the flash.  Alas.