Posts Tagged ‘General Musings’


January 21, 2018

According to, the very first definition of preserve is: “to   keep  alive   or in existence; make lasting.”  When I was going through my mom’s old recipe boxes last summer, I ran across an index card that was not a recipe, but rather, it provided direction on “How to Preserve a Husband” (courtesy of Mrs. Alice Harker).  It definitely brought a smile to my face and will hopefully do the same for you.  Enjoy!

“Be careful in your selections.  Take only those varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere.  When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever  settled.  Give your entire thoughts to preparations for domestic use; some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them into hot water.  All varieties may be kept sweet and good by garnishing with smiles and kisses.  Wrap well in a mantle of charity; keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion, and serve with peaches and cream.  When thus prepared they will keep for years.”



The Little Mermaid!

January 20, 2018

Happy Saturday!  When you mention “The Little Mermaid” today, most children would assume you are referencing the Disney animated movie (from 1989) featuring the red-headed mermaid, Ariel.  However, “The Little Mermaid,” a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson was originally published more than 150 years before (1837) and is the tale upon which the animated movie was based.  Did you know that there was a sculpture of the same name also based upon this fairy tale?    It is a bronze statue created by Edvard Eriksen,  and installed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1913.

According to The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy . . . a mermaid is “a legendary marine creature with the head and torso of a woman and a tail of a fish; the masculine, less well-known equivalent is a merman.  Though linked to the classical Sirens, mermaids may be nothing more than sailors’ fanciful reports of the playful antics of dugongs or manatees.”   Sirens are defined as “evil creatures who lived on a rocky island, singing in beautiful voices in an effort to lure sailors to shipwreck and death.  Odysseus ordered his crew to plug their ears to escape the Sirens’ fatal song.  Figuratively, a ‘siren’ is a beautiful or tempting woman; a ‘siren song’ is any irresistible distraction.”

Source: The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.; Joseph F. Kett; and James Trefil.

Light Roast or Dark Roast?!

January 16, 2018

A little over a week ago I shared another post about coffee and shared a few of my favorite “coffee” quotations.  So, in keeping with this coffee theme, I found this wonderful infographic (courtesy of Adams & Russell Wholesale Coffee Roasters) that explores the “single origin coffees” from around the world.  The infographic further explores the taste/flavors that correspond to each region as well as the most favorable “roast.”   Personally, I prefer the darker roasts . . .  Enjoy!


Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Eight!

January 12, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about potatoes.  Did you know that . . .

  • potatoes have more chromosomes than humans? (Real Fact #734)
  • the first TV toy commercial aired in 1946 for Mr. Potato Head? (Real Fact #903)
  • the potato became the first vegetable grown in space? (Real Fact #1283)


Coffee . . . !

January 7, 2018

Happy Sunday!  I have not always been a coffee drinker.  However, when I was required to work the midnight shift (over the course of several years) I developed a liking for this caffeinated beverage out of necessity.  It was a way to get the needed caffeine without getting all of the sugar that came along with the highly caffeinated sodas (I certainly wasn’t going to drink a diet soda).  And during the winter, when it is cold anyway, coffee just seems to be the natural choice.  Here are some of my favorite quotations about coffee.  Enjoy!

“Coffee . . . the favorite drink of the civilized world.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

“I love going to coffee shops and just sitting and listening.”  (Julia Roberts)

“My problem is I’m an addictive personality.  I can’t just have one coffee .  I can’t eat one piece of chocolate.”  (Guy Pearce) — Amen, I say!

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”  (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Seven!

January 5, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “world history.”  Do you know what object killed most British sailors in eighteenth-century sea battles?

Contrary to popular belief (or what you might consider as logical), most sailors were NOT killed by cannon balls.  Rather, they were killed by the flying wood splinters that were caused by the cannon balls.

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

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Six!

December 29, 2017

Thank goodness for the might cacao bean!  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the cacao bean is the “seed of a tree native to tropical America, Theobroma cacao (family Sterculiaceae), from which cocoa and chocolate are prepared.”  Did you know that . . .

  • the original recipe for chocolate contained chili powder instead of sugar? (Real Fact #259).
  • vanilla is used to make chocolate? (Real Fact #842).
  • National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day is in six days [January 3rd]?  (Real Fact #1298).
  • chocolate bars and blue denim both originated in Guatemala? (Real Fact #1310).


Merry Christmas 2017!

December 25, 2017


Merry Christmas, one and all!

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-Five!

December 22, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “language/initials/mottos.”  Do you know when the English word “pig” was first used as a pejorative term for a police officer?

Sorry, it was not the 1960s during the Civil Rights era.  Rather, in the early nineteenth century, “pig” was used and applied to plainclothes policemen in London.  However, in languages other than English, the term was used much earlier (e.g., when the children of Israel condemned the Roman police authorities long before the nineteenth century).

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

The Dying Toast!

December 18, 2017

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

The Dying Toast

A charming toast, upon a time,
Seized with a deep decay,
Whose beauty withered in her prime,
Upon her death-bed lay.

Two virtuous virgins, fair and young,
sate silent by the maid
At last the eldest found her tongue,
And to the other said:

“Believe me, child, I tell you truth,
“You know I never lied,
“Of all the p—–les that, from my youth,
“I to this day have tried.

“Our parson’s is by far the best,
” ‘Tis full ten inches long,
“It upwards to his belly pressed,
” ‘Tis stiff, ’tis hard, ’tis strong.

“The very thought of it gives delight,
“Although it be but thin,
“Yet when he lay with me last night,
“Nine times he thrust it in.”

Twas thus the eldest sister spoke,
And thus the young replied:
“Your long and thin are but a joke,
“Such baubles I have tried,

“Our curate’s is by far more strong,
” ‘Tis his alone can charm,
“For, though is is not quite so long,
” ‘Tis twice as thick’s my arm.

“Last night he to my bed did creep
“Although disguised with drink,
“Yet eight time ere he went to sleep,
“He filled up every chink.

“The curate shall be welcome still,
“He cures my soul of grief,
“He nobly doth my pulpit fill,
“And gives my heart relief.

“The charming curate is my choice,
“Do you the parson keep:”
At last their dispute made a noise,
That broke the fair one’s sleep.

With joy the chaste debate she heard,
And, turning on her breech,
Her head above the clothes she reared,
And made this dying speech.

“Dear friends, were I to choose a p——–,”
Cried out the gasping toast,
“I’d have it long, I’d have it thick;”
And then gave up the ghost.

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.).