Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017!

February 14, 2017

As we reflect on “love” and the important people in our lives, allow me to share one of my favorite poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise,
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints -I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Originally published in Sonnets From the Portuguese in 1850.

How Romantic!

February 8, 2017

In light of the fact that Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, you still have time to prepare this lovely flower and vase for your Valentine . . . happy folding!

Asking the Right Questions!

January 6, 2017

Happy Friday!    It’s amazing what one can discover when one asks the appropriate question(s).  Enjoy!

A man lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh theater.  When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the man,
“Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”

The man groaned but did not budge.  The usher became impatient.
“Sir, if you don’t get up from there I’m going to have to call the manager.”

Again the man just groaned, which infuriated the usher who turned and march briskly back up the aisle in search of his manager.  In a few moments, both the usher and the manager returned and stood over the man.  Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move him, but with no success.  Finally, they summoned the police.

The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked,
“All right buddy, what’s your name?”

“Sam,” the man moaned.

“Where ya from, Sam?”

With pain in his voice, Sam replied,
“the balcony.”

Source: http://www.yuksrus.com/police.html

International Holidays for January!

January 3, 2017

As we start 2017, here’s a list of remaining holidays this month from selected countries.

January 1 – New Year’s Day (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States).
January 2 – New Year’s Day Bank Holiday (Canada, United States)
January 2 – 2nd Day of the New Year (New Zealand)
January 2 – New Year’s Holiday (Russia)
January 2 – Lunes siguiente al Ano Nuevo (Spain)
January 2 – Saint Berchtold’s Day (Switzerland)
January 3 – New Year’s Holiday (New Zealand, Russia)
January 4 – New Year’s Holiday (Russia)
January 5 – New Year’s Holiday (Russia)
January 5 – Epiphany Eve (Sweden)
January 6 – Epiphany (Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)
January 6 – New Year’s Holiday (Russia)
January 7 – Orthodox Christmas Day (Russia)
January 9 – Coming of Age Day (Japan)
January 14 – Mankara Sankrati / Magh Bihu (India)
January 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Puerto Rico, United States)
January 23 – Provincial Anniversary Day (New Zealand [Wellington])
January 26 – Australia Day (Australia)
January 26 – Republic Day (India)
January 27 – Spring Festival/Chinese New Year’s Eve (China)
January 28 – Spring Festival/Chinese New Year (China, Thailand)
January 28 – Lunar New Year’s Day (Hong Kong)
January 29 – Spring Festival (China)
January 29 – 2nd day of the Lunar New Year (Hong Kong)
January 30 – Spring Festival (China)
January 30 – 3rd day of the Lunar New Year (Hong Kong)
January 30 – Provincial Anniversary Day (New Zealand [Auckland, Nelson])
January 31 – Spring Festival (China)
January 31 – 4th day of the Lunar New Year (Hong Kong)

Change!

December 14, 2016

Change is all around us and is a reality of the world . . . but there continues to be great resistance to change by many people.  Whenever I think of change, I’m reminded of a book title (courtesy of http://www.simpletruths.com) — “Change is good . . . you go first!”  Here are few other quotations on the subject of change . . .

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.” – Rick Godwin

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”  ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

The “Day of Finnish Music!”

December 8, 2016

Today marks the birthday of Jean Julius Christian Sibelius, Finland’s greatest composer.  Finland has actually celebrated this day as “Flag Day” since 2011 in honor of Sibelius whose music is credited with helping Finland establish its national identity when seeking its independence from Russia (Declaration of Independence was adopted on December 6, 1917).   My first exposure to Sibelius was in band class (during Junior High and High School) where we often performed his work “Finlandia.”    For your listening enjoyment, here is Opus 26, Sibelius’ symphonic poem which was a covert protest against Russian censorship!

“Pay no attention to what the critics say.  A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.”  (Jean Sibelius)

Can You Say Prodigy?!

December 1, 2016

Here is an amazing performance (Beethoven) by a three-year-old prodigy!  Wow.

The Excuse!

November 23, 2016

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

The Excuse

An honest man, in wane of life,
Had got a young and wanton wife,
Who, though she never gave offence,
Was given to benevolence.
Her husband played a husband’s part,
And loved his wife with all his heart:
But yet she made demands that he
Had little power to gratify.

One night, as in their bed they lay,
The wife became exceeding gay,
She kissed, she tickled, and she toyed,
And wantonly her hands employed;
Betwixt his lips her tongue she thrust,
And showed a deal of lawful lust;
But spouse was unprepared quite,
And sleep preferred to soft delight.
But, by his wife’s endearments, guessed
It was in vain to hope for rest:
He found himself for love unfit.
Yest saved his credit by his wit;
For, giving her a close embrace,
He with his finger touched the place,
And smelling at it, sighing, said,
“You are not well, I am afraid:”
Then whispered softly in her ear,
“Your marigold doth stink, my dear.”

“Lord help your head,” replied the wife,
“I was never better in my life!

” ‘Tis fresh and sweet indeed it is;”
Then gave her spouse a glowing kiss;
Who answered, to the fair one’s sorrow,
“If sweet, let’s keep it till to-morrow.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

November Sky!

November 18, 2016

Happy Friday!  As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday (coming up next week), let’s take a moment to reflect on what it means to be thankful.  Here’s a wonderful instrumental piece to assist in this reflection (courtesy of Yanni).  Enjoy!

Eat More Chicken!

November 1, 2016

Here’s a recipe that will make it easy to abide by the Chick-Fil-A slogan to “eat more chicken.”

Chicken with a Mustard/Bacon Sauce

Ingredients
1/3 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
8 strips of bacon, uncooked and chopped
1 cup of chopped onion
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
3 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1-1/2 cups of chicken broth

Directions
1. Combine the mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Spread mixture evenly over both sides of the breasts and set aside.

2.  In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon on medium-high heat until it starts to brown.  Remove the bacon to a plate.  Add your chopped onion to the bacon grease and cook until softened.  Remove from the pan.

3.  Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and cook the mustard-smeared chicken on medium heat for about 1-1/2 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken (it won’t be done, but will continue to cook in a later phase of the recipe).

4.  Add the chicken broth to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add back the bacon and the onions and mix well.  Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet and reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for about 15-20 minutes (turning the chicken once), or until the chicken breasts are fully cooked.

Serve with wild rice and your choice of vegetable (I use my carrots au gratin recipe and freshly steamed broccoli).