Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Happy Kwanzaa Celebration"_ Dec 26-Jan.1

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture each year.It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles and culminates in a feast and gift-giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67. The first U.S. postage stamp commemorating Kwanzaa, issued in 1997.

The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest.In 2009,Maya Angelou narrated the award-winning documentary "The Black Candle",the first film about Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Sabathe seven principles of African Heritage).Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves stand up.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics):To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat on which other symbols are placed, corn and other crops, a candle holder with seven candles, called a Kinara, a communal cup for pouring libations, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.

Official website: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml 

This "Celebration" ties in nicely with my "African Safari Christmas Party 2011". A celebration of Heritage,Unity and Culture.

                                      "Heri za Kwanzaa"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"In The Spirit"

As a kid,I looked forward to the month of November.That month signified the beginning of the Holiday Season. Thanksgiving was and still is my "favorite" Holiday...runner-up is St.Patrick's Day(and I'm NOT even Irish). Thanksgiving gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside as a kid because it meant you were to give thanks for all your Blessings and share with others like the imaginary Pilgrims & Native Americans we learned about in grade school. Thanksgiving also meant my "Big Mama" would make my "special pie",Mincemeat.No one else in my family liked that pie...so I could have it all by myself! I still love that pie.

Christmas on the other hand,was "special" because you got to open gifts on Christmas morning,screaming with excitement about getting that prized gift  you'd been good all year ! The gatherings of the family,my Dad's "Asparagus Loaf",yum,Big Mama's(grandmother) from scratch Fruit Cake which had been soaked in Rum or something rather tasty,lots of food,sugar highs & football. We sang Christmas carols and the Nativity scene was always visible on the lawns,courthouse,schools of my small East Texas town,Crockett...yes,as in Davy..he passed through there on the way to the Alamo legend has it where his monument stands in Crockett.

I thought the "center of the universe" was Crockett,Texas.Now,as a person that's traveled to many places both physical & mental,I know better! There's a great big world out there.So,"In the Spirit" of wishing my "Blog Peeps" a wonderful Holiday Season with you & yours.....here we go:

Geseende Kersfees(Afrikaans),Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo(Brazillian),Mitho Makosi Kesikansi(Cree),Kung His Hsin Nein bing Chu Shen Tan(Chinese Mandarin),Glaedelig Jul(Danish),Joyeux Noel(French),Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur!(Gaelic),Kala Christouyenna!(Greek),Mele Kalikimaka(Hawaiian),Mo'adim Lesimkha.Chena tova(Hebrew),Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat(Irish),Merry Keshmish(Navajo),God Jul or Gledelig Jul(Norwegian),En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!(Pennsylvania German),Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yilniz Kutlu Olsun(Turkish),Feliz Navidad(Spanish) and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! There I said it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

" The Griot's of Pinotage_Wine & StoryTelling"

4 December 2011,1 pm Central time,Jambo,..I had a Farm in Kenya..the African Safari Christmas Party began. In a Dinner scene_ "Out of Africa"movie_Meryl Streep aka (Isak Dinesen/Karen/Tanne)was told by her lover Denys Finch(Robert Redford)_after a couple of bottles of Wine _to tell a story. Redford got the ball rolling with...."Once upon a time....So,I decided at my party we'd continue the oral tradition of the West African Storyteller's called Griots. We'd had the "Appetizers"_ Akara & Meshwiya (Black eyed Pea Fritters & Hot Pepper Relish),the Puree of Legumes w/Plantain Chips,Olives,Lemon Roasted Okra,etc...and a couple of bottles of Nederburg's 2008 Pinotage & Diemersfontein 2010 Pinotage_both S.African Wines.Introducing "The Griot's of Pinotage"... (post-party pic)

Let me just say,by the time the Storytelling had ended_we were all in tears from laughter.What a creative group..I DARE NOT share the Story line for fear of having to go into a "Witness Protection Program"! Wine + Storytelling will "Get The Party Started"!I'm still laughing three days later....

.."A tale might begin with the image of a place,a house,a landscape,and then the dream of the inhabitants.Or it might begin with a "real", lived event.But that is only a grain of dust around which the pearl grows.Storytelling sinks the thing into the life of the Storyteller,in order to bring it out of the person..the traces of which cling to the storyteller the way handprints of the potter cling to the clay vessel" from ("The Life of a Storyteller,Isak Dinesen by Judith Thurman)

As always,I so enjoyed researching the Foods,Music and Culture of Africa! Everyone was given a Passport Book depicting the 10 countries we have visited as Mental Travelers.I added stamps from some of the countries and the themed party name & year. May,I suggest you gather your pals together & travel the world_right in your home.I posted the Menu in the last blog..it was all good! Here's a couple of photos from the party. Next Passport Party_ "SPAIN"!

                             Tagines,Passports,African Princess,Kenyan Giraffe Bowl...

                                  Pith Helmet,Movie Stills,Toasting Glasses,Mud Cloth..

                            Lantern,Isak Dinesen Books,Elspeth Huxley's "Flame Trees of Thika...

 Animals,Sri Lanka Tea Chest,Whip,Binoculars,Compass,Postcard,S.African Tote..
Note:White Bengal Tigers not indigenous to Africa,mutation of Bengal Tigers,I just like their blue   eyes!)                                                              

                                Batik Art Print,Zebra sculpture,etc..


                                                 Christmas Tree....

                                          The other Christmas Tree......

                                          Pre-Party photo..


                                          British Pith Helmet_Safari Fashionista!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"The Mental Travelers visit Africa,Passport,Please"

Jambo,I spent much of my day on a cold,windy Saturday surrounded by information on African Cuisine.It was a learning experience beyond belief ! I thought I'd breeze through some food ideas,capture the essence of Africa and move on to the next project.WRONG!In my quest to always be authentic,the list kept growing.

First,I was surprised at the many sources available for African Cuisine.The diversity was overwhelming..who knew!Check out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_cuisines#African_cuisine
All of the different influences especially Baasto &Digaag (pasta & chicken) take-out from a Somali restaurant were amazing. Many countries infiltrated the Motherland, leaving behind their traditions which blended with those of the Natives.The Coffee Ceremony in Ethiopia and other Eritrean countries is comparable to the British influence of TeaTime in East Africa. The women wear an  Ethiopian coffee dress for the ceremony :  

BBQ_No Place Else BUT Texas_Wrong! Of all the things that amazed me was the love of all ethnicity's in South Africa of BBQ. It is called Braai_and people have this event at the drop of a hat_lots of COLD BEER is always served! The food of South Africa is sometimes called "rainbow cuisine" because of the blend of so many cultures.

Of course,I had already fallen in love with food from Morocco.In May 2010,my themed Birthday party was "Mo'Rockin'Harem Nights" where we enjoyed the spicy Tagine,couscous,preserved lemons,dates,BELLYDANCING,etc.The vessel & food called "Tagine" is the border of my blog pages.I purchased two blue ones that I adore! I'm still trying to figure out how the people of Benin in West Africa make those rings of peanut butter called Klouikloui_take a look,if you figured it out let me know the secret!

So,with my day"spent" combing through recipes,menus,traditions,etc..my final Menu ..drum roll...
Now this Menu is ambitious,but when a couple of my friends found out that South Africans loved BBQ_they immediately volunteer-ED their service! We all bring something to the table at these themed parties.So_all is covered! This will be the 10th year of celebrating the Food,Culture & Music of Countries we can only dream of visiting. Luckily,some of us have visited these countries. My trip is in the planning for a ride on the "Orient Express" from London to Italy_spending some time in Tuscany!Several of my friends have been to Africa.

We'll gather around the table,fill our wine glass with the South African Wine "Pinotage"_ someone will say "Once upon a time"_then someone will take the queue,and the Tradition of African StoryTelling will began all around the table_one picks up where the other one leaves off ! The Mental Travelers in a far away land called "The Motherland"! Passport Please...

                                                  ~ Gese'ende Kersfees~

Monday, November 21, 2011

~Reflections on "THANKS" & "GIVING"~

I made the mistake of going to the grocery store on a Sunday_a Sunday before the Thanksgiving Celebration! I watched the carts filled to the brim, people with list longer than Santa's_full of Saturated & Trans Fats (yum), folks fussing/cussing about what they would or would NOT eat, overheard one Grandmotherly type say in a mean tone_"Not in My House", every soul NOT pushing a cart was_Texting or on the cellphone,twenty something girls with their "T"underwear showing "a full-moon harvest of sorts", pushing & shoving for the best looking TURKEY & a host of other malfunctions @ that junction_ too many to mention here! I went deep,deep,deep inside "MY ZEN ZONE" and vowed to myself.. REALLY! practice PATIENCE..right here,right now!

Afterwards,I pondered the "real" meaning of Thanksgiving.It was a time when Americans and Natives
celebrated the harvest cycles by giving thanks and rejoicing after much hard work with members of the community...what, no grocery stores/carts & mutual effort in the community? It is a tradition that both the USA & Canada celebrate in North America. The dates varied in both areas.In the United States the date was decided by individual states until the 1863 Presidential Proclamation. It was an effort to foster a sense of "American Unity" between the Northern and Southern states that President Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November.So,148 years later we still struggle for "American Unity"..how sad is that.You would have thought we'd learned a thing or two by now.

With that wee bit of history in mind,I wondered about our present day "Harvest". All over the world there is confusion about so many issues in life.Everyone is busy,talking on cellphones,texting,and (yes)writing Blogs & chasing that never-ending dream of MORE,I need...! Surely,we can find something to give THANKS for...and GIVING a SMILE to another human being is an act of thanksgiving. So,in my quest to remain in " MY ZEN ZONE" throughout that Mass Confusion of crowded lanes,noise,carts moving at lightening speed,folks cussing/fussing...mind you this is an UPSCALE grocery store_I gave everyone a Smile..not a word came from my mouth because it would have been *!@#$~%^&^&*()+>>... LETHAL!

              "Happy Thanksgiving To Y'All,Be Kind"

Monday, November 14, 2011

.."I had a Farm in Africa at the foot of Ngong Hills".....

The past 8 yrs both my Birthday & Christmas parties have focused on exploring the Food,Music and Culture of countries around the World.This year is no different.We will go on _YET_another imaginary journey_an "African Safari" this Christmas! In my quest as always to make the trip authentic,I've drawn upon two of my favorite books and the movie adaptations to shed light on the second largest continent in landmass_Africa.

"Out of Africa"(1985) was nominated for 11 Academy* Awards,winning 7 in 1986.It was based upon Isak Dinesen(aka Baroness Karen Von Blixen-Finecke,birth name) recounting events of the 17 years living on her coffee farm in Kenya.She moved there in 1913 at the age of 28 to marry her second cousin_the Swedish Baron_Bror Von Blixen-Finecke.Well,at least  Karen didn't have to change her last name_as it was the same! Interestingly,Bror's twin brother Hans was her intended groom but their relationship didn't work out..really! The book and movie recount so many aspects of Colonial Life in "British East Africa"(aka Kenya).The British as you know owned the World at that point..it was all about the dollars & cents...come in take over the natives land_make a fortune.Not unlike,America's history...just sayin'!

The Kikuyu tribe was the most populous ethnic group from that Region.I have great "ISSUES" with their history as it seems since the MEN were the great Warriors of the land,strutting their stuff,all painted up,manly man stuff...WINNING!!! While the Women had to do all the hard labor,building roofs for houses,clearing the weeds,taking care of the households,balancing large items on their heads,having plenty of babies,etc...men were the Prima Uomo (aka) Donna! I've seen the movie several times,what's not to like about a Robert Redford/Meryl Streep match up_presently reading Isak's biography.

"The Flame Trees of Thika"(1980) chronicles the life of Elspeth Joscelin Huxley (husband Gevais Huxley,grandson of Thomas Huxley,advocate of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution;and cousin to Aldous Huxley,Author of Brave New World)..that's a mouthful! Anyway,Elspeth arrived in Colonial Kenya,moving to the area called Thika in 1912 at the age of 5 yrs old. A "Flame Tree" turns entirely reddish orange in June each year depending upon previous rainfall. She left in 1925 returning periodically.Later,becoming the Associated Press Officer of the Empire Marketing Board (Trade Board).The movie won 3 BAFTA** Awards in 1982.I loved Haley Mills in the movie! I'm reading the book now & what a delightful story!

The area in question for you "Geography Buffs" is :

Kenya,home of Mt.Kenya (highest mountain in Kenya & second in Africa)_where tea and coffee are the best cash crops. I was introduced to Kenyan Tea when I started my tea business many years ago.The tea has a natural taste of chocolate_the taste is attributed to the volcanic ash deposited many thousands of years ago...very delicious cuppa tea! No wonder the Brits were coming to town! Great picture of tea growing...

So,I'll keep y'all posted on this great adventure as it unfolds on December 4th,"An African Safari Christmas Party"!!

*Academy Awards_America founded 1929
**BAFTA Awards(British Academy of Film & TV)_England founded 1947
Beginning line of book & movie of "Out of Africa"...I had a farm in Africa....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Tales of Shoo-Fly Pie & A Bucket Strainer"

While at a Medical Sales Conference in 2000,the hotel we stayed in had a weekend Antiques Show & Sale.Since we were in Berks County_"Pennsylvania Dutch Country"_I knew I'd find items of interest to add to my growing Collections! I purchased an iron doorstop in the image of a Boston Terrier(my doggie),a HEX Sign and a very rare_teapot spout strainer! My allotted $'s were just about gone after those purchases!

Note:Please forgive that it needs a good cleaning_BUT,I kinda of like it as it looks!

This Tea Spout was developed in the late 18th century.It is a pierced basket or bucket-shaped strainer with long pins to be inserted in the spout.As the tea is poured,it flows through the strainer into the cup.
Spout strainers were more fashionable in Europe than America,and silver manufacturers created many novelty forms such as helmets,buckets and shells that proved especially popular in France & Russia.

**In the United States,Gorham & Co. created some popular ones in the 1880's. The next time I clean it will look for marks to see if it's REALLY a TREASURE,Antiques Roadshow kinda treasure!

Now,my other great fine was a book called "Shoo-Fly Pie"by Edna Eby Heller which being a person that loves to cook_caught my attention.The book was written in 1953 and was intended to bring Pennyslvania Dutch cooking to your kitchen with various recipes from Soups to Desserts.The Shoo-Fly Pie is very famous in that part of the country.

Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a fluffy molasses pie.The term "shoo-fly pie" first appeared in print in 1926.The pie may get its name because the molasses attracts flies that must be "shooed" away.Recently,I made this pie from the box mix shown above. A very interesting tasting PIE,INDEED!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"My Hex-A-Decimal Halloween Outfit"

In 1995 or there about,I'm watching my Saturday Cooking shows on PBS,surfing to see what else is on Saturday morning TV,came across an animated action cartoon called "ReBoot".Now,I'm not one for Sci-Fi or modern cartoons,but this one caught my attention! These 3-D characters were part of a 30 minute TV Series unheard of at that time.It seems in the 80's four "GEEKS" had the 3-D concept but technology had NOT advanced enough to make the show available.However,after animation test were completed in 1991,this Series took root on the Saturday morning cartoon line-up. I was HOOKED_as computers were just beginning to take over the WORLD! This Series explained the inner workings of the computer.Recently,I purchased the DVD Collection from Amazon.Here's a little background on the Series:

Setting:Inner world of a computer known by it's inhabitants as MAINFRAME
Main Characters:
Bob Guardian#452 of the MainFrame
Phong: a Zen-like character was the Command.com Adviser(must play Pong w/ him before he helps)
Dot Matrix: Local Diner Owner + other properties in the MainFrame (WOMAN PROPERTY OWNER,YEA!)
Enzo:Dot's little brother_keeping with the computer theme of the show, "ENZO" is an acronym of four common computer processor status register flags, (E)nable Interrupt + (N)egative + (Z)ero + (O)verflow
MegaByte:Infectious computer virus,command & conquer
Hexadecimal:Megabyte's twin sister (came from the same viral strand: Killabyte), a "chaotic" computer virus, whose face is represented by a series of masks, each portraying a different emotion. She is the opposite of Megabyte, and is a "Chaos Virus."
Mouse:Freelance Hacker
Hack & Slash:Henchmen of Megabyte_they are not very good at solving problems.
These are some of the characters which have become "Collector's Items"from the Series,BIG Bucks!There's always an "incoming game" from the "USER" in just about all the episodes which interferes with the smooth workings in Mainframe.I'm a BIG TIME USER because I'm always playing "Mahjong"! I loved the episode where Megabyte in blue above morphs into an 18 Wheeler.BUT,My All Time favorite is HEXADECIMAL!!!

The American Author Edith Wharton character in "Ethan Frome"_Zeena sitting at the breakfast table says: "I'm Feeling Mighty Mean This Morning"! HEXADECIMAL would probably say something like that in a face mask of her choosing.

NOTE:Ethan Frome 1911 Pulitzer Prize won by Edith Wharton. Movie made in 1993.Edith Wharton is my favorite Author.I've visited her restored home many times in Lenox,Ma. Link to:


Friday, October 21, 2011

"Complexion Solutions:"Arsenic Wafers & Bird Poop"

I've never had complexion problems BUT if I did_these "could" have been my choices in the past and presently.I learned of the "Arsenic Wafer" complexion remedy while reading "The Blacker The Berry"by Wallace Thurman.Likewise,I learned about "Nightingale Droppings" from "Memoirs of A Geisha".Maybe I should just stop reading because these remedies disturbed my "KARMA".
First,who in their right mind would ingest an Arsenic Wafer! Arsenic and it's many compounds are potent poisons.I dug deeper...Victorians mixed arsenic w/vinegar & chalk,then ate it in hopes of improving the complexion of their face.It was rubbed into the face & arms as well. Further,I learned about the "1858 Bradford Sweets Poisoning"where 200 people (20 died) from eating sweets accidentally made with Arsenic.I had read about World Arsenic contamination via underground water producing massive epidemics of poisoning in countries like Bangladesh + 44 other countries.The fact that Arsenic is just one of  those things in drinking water in most places _is the reason I've always used filtered water. And,I knew to plant my Herb Garden in containers when we moved to the Hilltop Farm _as the Pressured treated(arsenic) Wood surrounding the previous owners flower beds would  make for "tainted beds"! Then,in Blacker The Berry the young woman used Arsenic to lighten her dark skin so that mankind would be kinder to her plight.After digging even deeper.. came across this Ad:

   Dr.Rose's French Arsenic Complexion Wafers 1902 Sears Roebuck Catalog"

Second,"Uguisu no Fun"which literally means “Nightingale feces” in Japanese, refers to the excrement(fun) produced by a particular Nightingale called the Japanese Bush Warbler.The droppings have been used in facials since ancient Japanese times.In the Western World this facial has been referred to as the “Geisha Facial”.The facial is supposed to lighten the skin and balance skin tones that have acne or sun damage.The excrement's were used by the Koreans to remove dye from Kimono fabrics. The Buddhist Monks used the droppings to polish & clean their heads. In a New York Spa a 1hr Geisha Facial is offered for $180.00. I learned about this treatment via "Memoirs of A Geisha". And this Video provided me with a humorous take on the procedure:

How could one little cute critter cause so much POOP????
                                          "Nightingale Bird POOPER"

So, as for ingesting Arsenic Wafers _I'm reminded of  Aunt Martha/Mortimer's conversation in one of my favorite old movies,"Arsenic & Lace":
Aunt Martha: For a gallon of elderberry wine, I take one teaspoon full of arsenic, then add half a teaspoon full of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.
Mortimer Brewster: Hmm. Should have quite a kick.

And Bird Poop Facials:
Remember the next time you stand under a tree_birds poop every 15 minutes.How long have you been standing there?

I think I'll just drink my 40+ gallons of water daily,eat my veggies & fruits,exercise AND drink my Green Tea to keep my complexion as it is.But we ALL know_

                                          "Bird Poop Can Happen"!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011


I researched many ideas to make my "Russian Zakuska Christmas Party 2010" as authentic as possible.I came across the famous Russian Fairy Tale"Wondrous Wonder,Marvelous Marvel"in"Russian Fairy Tales Collection" by Aleksandr Afanas'ev. I can't get that catchy title out of my head even today as I plan for my "African Safari Christmas Party 2011! Thought I'd share the tale....

...it's about a merchant who asks his wife what she would like him to bring back from his overseas journey,she asks for a wondrous wonder, marvelous marvel (repeated several times in the fairy tale). The merchant finds his wondrous wonder, marvelous marvel in the form a goose that will lay itself down on a tray on command, be cooked and eaten, and then come back to life again. He returned home,greeted his wife,gave her the goose & told her that with this bird she could have a roast everyday without spending a penny_"Just roast it,& it will come to life again"!The next day when he is off selling goods at the market the wife's lover comes over and she tries to cook the goose for him, but when she grabs the goose she is stuck. The lover then tries to pull her from the goose and becomes stuck.The goose then walks to market with the stuck wife and lover attached. The husband removes the goose and demands to know who the man attached to the wife is. He then beats the lover, takes his wife home and whips her. With every blow he says_" Here's your wondrous wonder, your marvelous marvel"! ** Learned that Fairy Tales will frequently punish "bad wives" for such behaviour in Russian Fairy Tales.Now,I'm interested in learning more Russian Literature!

Back to the party_So,I gave my friends Russian names,we all dressed in attire fitting for a person of Russian origin_gathered many kinds of Vodka for a Tasting, I prepared the Food,Decor & Music.What a WONDROUS WONDER to see & A MARVELOUS MARVEL of a Party to share with friends! ~Always be on the lookout for the presence of Wonder~e.b.white

                                           RUSSIAN TREASURES 
                                           RUSSIAN TEAROOM

                                           RUSSIAN VODKA TASTINGS

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Memoirs of a Bike Rider in South Africa"

Pre-Race HUMAN INSTRUCTIONS about event:
Location: South Africa's_Albert Falls Dam & Game Reserve_Bursting with Wildlife _Rhino,Zebra,Antelopes,etc.

Event: Time Freight Multisport Series : Description says "The VENUES are SAFE" for Cycling & Mountain Bike..(Could NOT read small print..watch out for large animals that may tackle you.)

Pre-Race RED HARTEBEEST Instructions:
Go about my morning grazing in MY TERRITORY_the grasslands of South Africa_sustaining my up to 200 lb body weight,27 inch long horns, and my ability to run up to 80 mph.While maintaining my NON-Aggressive attitude UNLESS someone enters MY Territory uninvited or mess with my young.

"DAY of RACE"_Humanoid enters territory riding shiny bike, Red Hartebeest alert as always_defends territory w/Angle Field Tackle.This tackling drill, like the open-field tackle, teaches defenders(Hartebeest) to anticipate any move at any time.**Note:Humanoid Blessed that Hartebeest was not with his Boys,as a "Herd" normally contains 5-20 individuals_ can be up to 350!  PICTURE THIS:

Any PERSON of Sound Mind knows that you SHOULD NOT be participating in a Bike Race across the open grasslands of South Africa! It's not a TOUR DE FRANCE Lance Armstrong kinda race where spectators are lined knee deep cheering Bikers on_with bottles of Wine  & French Bread! The Animals rule that neck of the world..their space.That's why when you go on Safari in Africa,you RIDE in a Fully Gassed-up ,Heavy-duty vehicle with Guns Loaded in case a RED HARTEBEE decides to take you & the vehicle "out"..saying Back off My Territory! 
                                           "MY SPACE"
With all due respect,here's hoping the Cyclist has recovered from injuries_BUT _let his misfortune be a lesson To Humans_NO TRESPASSING IN WILDLIFE TERRITORY! VIOLATORS WILL BE TACKLED! ~Save The Animals~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So,you're getting that visual of a scantily clad young woman in a white top with  "Hootie The Owl" eyes placed cleverly in the bosom paired with short,short,nylon orange runner's shorts which CAN prompt "hooting calls",thus the name Hooter's.Or you could get a visual on a new Ad showing a hairy-faced guy dressed up in the "Hooter's Girl Outfit" of the above mentioned,complete with enhancements and a Blonde wig...or NOT! For more on that visual check out this article:

But,NO _these "Hooter's" have come to visit the past three years around October_say around 12 am until 3 am in a tree just outside my bedroom. Last night,I was about to do some "Hooter Hunting" as their conversation was keeping me from sleeping! This is what they sound like_scroll down to the "Great Horned Owl" & click on the first call at :

So,I found out there's about nine(9) different kinds of North Texas Owls.They breed in late Jan.or early Feb. and are often heard calling to each other in the Fall starting in October. The "Courting Rituals" include these callings above_ but their voices can range from deep booming hoots_(I'm thinking Barry White or Issac Hayes voice),shrill shrieks,they can BARK _(I'm outta here if I hear that one),coos(like babies),beak snapping,etc. They are "monogamous" and some bond for life.Owls have three sets of eyelids,cannot move their eyeballs,can turn their face upside down_AND_can swing it's head around & look...mmm,I wonder if they put their hands on hips & roll their eyes like some people in the world do? Anyho...after they finally stopped _then I heard the nightly trains passing through _blowing loud whistles,several times...what a Night!

In the Spring it's  Eastern Bluebirds & Scissor-tail birds;Summer brings the Mississippi Kites & Copperhead Snakes;Fall the "Hooters" & Copperheads disguised as Fall leaves;Winter runs a course of Red foxes,Cardinals,Red-Headed Woodpeckers..I guess that's what happens when you live in the country on a Farm! Here's to my "Hooter's",May their Courting Calls be Joyful !They make me smile...even if it's 3 am !

Here's "Hooting" at you....

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Fall is in the air..coming off a long 4 month hot TEXAS Triple Digit Heat Tsunami,it's time for Sweaters,nice jackets,scarves,etc...AND dust off my 1950's Vintage Style Slingback Saddle Oxfords:

Now,these are the ones with the cute little buckle in the back..when it's unbuckled it meant you're not going steady_buckled meant "BOYFRIEND" back in the Day!!! To my surprise these shoes have quite a history.Gillies (oxfords w/o a tongue)w/fringed laces worn w/kilts),Kilties(w/a tongue popular Golf style), Bucks(1870's) made from Brazilian or Chinese deer..aka "Buckskin" w/red rubber soles;Irish-American Humphrey O'Sullivan patented the first rubber heel(1899)which outlasted the leather heel; Pat Boone wore his trademark White Bucks to sing "Love Letters in the Sand"(1957);Saddle or Saddle Oxfords characterized by a "saddle "shaped leather at instep can be a single color or "duotone".Check out the cost advertised in Sears Catalog in 1941:
..$2.85!!!..a far cry from the cost today. In the 1920's Gene Sarazen was the first Professional Golfer to wear Buck Golf Shoes;"JITTERBUGGER'S (1938) made them popular because the dance required flat shoes for women;THEN "Spectators(two-toned shoes)_I have red/white,black/white ones,love em'; The Prince of Wales wore them and Fred Astaire danced in them..there you have it!

I HAD to wear these shoes against my "WILL" as a child...see, my Dad knew they would not fall apart easily..I was tough on shoes(a tom-boy),indeed! Even tried to cut the soles off..will never forget the "After-Effects" of that scolding!!! TODAY,I take pride in wearing my "Slingbacks". But must buy more like this pair :
A GREAT Source with timely & Old Fashion Customer Service is http://www.muffys.com/ .
And,yes there really is a Muffy..the owner's name.Like they say_"We Saddle Shoes,Do You"?
So,I'm a Happy Saddler...it's time to get "yo SADDLE on"!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Who Knew? There's a Day set aside to celebrate "Yo Red-Ness Hair Day". The Redhead Day 2012 is on the 1st and 2nd of September 2012! It will be the 6th edition of the event in Breda,Netherlands! I was thinking it would rule out a couple of peeps.There are those that are Ms.Clairol-ified_seems those kinds are Not Welcome!You MUST have Natural Red-Hair-Ness! This could be my long lost child as my husband is Irish_redheads in his family_I'm African-American,Native Indian,mixed & so on....!

The festival started in 2005 unintentionally by the Dutch painter  Bart Rouwenhorst in the small Dutch city Asten. As a painter, he was inspired by artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti & Gustav Klimt. Both of these artists created dramatic portraits of women, and both artists made famous paintings depicting redheaded women.To follow the footsteps of his favourite painters, Rouwenhorst planned an exhibition of 15 new paintings of redheads. Finding models was problematic, since redheads are rare in the Netherlands, only 2% of the population had natural red hair. To find models, an advertisement was placed in a local newspaper. However, instead of 15, 150 models volunteered. Not wanting to turn down so many potential models, Rouwenhorst decided to choose 14 models, organise a group photo shoot for remaining redheads, and have a lottery to decide by chance who would be the 15th and final model. This happening turned out to be the first Redheadday. 2011_6,000+ strong Redheads at the Festival! This is what it looked like:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/annemiekvanderkuil/sets/72157607186584137/     Go Figure!

So,here's to all you Wanna-Bees,join the other Roodharigendags next year,OR...I consider myself a REDHEAD because I love Red Wines..either way..Cheers to "Yo Red-Ness".Peace Out!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Recently,I watched _"The Grand"(1997 BBC TV Series)_rented from Netflix.I love MOVIES! I watch about 6-8 movies a week..that's right I'm a Netflix Movie Nut. I really enjoyed this series_ "Welcome to The Grand...A 4-star 1920's English Hotel where melodrama is offered in high style.Love,Lust,Adultry,Greed, Prostitution & plenty of juicy gossip come into play as owners John & Sarah Bannerman host a crop of colorful characters". AND..you thought BBC movies were Boring?..Wrong! There were many one sentence zingers throughout_BUT_this one struck my fancy.When the "Residence Prostitute" was being chastised by her  position in Life_she replied_"Frankly,I've always thought highly of my Profession as a Whore".. rewind button,rewind button..."SAY WHAT?".Then ,I had to pick myself up after laughing so hard my stomach ached.I said..Now there's a Woman that enjoys the ups & downs (no pun intended) of her Profession!

The Lady in question is the first one from the left in white w/black stole & RED HAIR (a Roodharigendag no doubt)_that's a whole other story!

BUT,it got me to thinking about other "Famous Zingers in Movies"! Remember these:
1. "Gone With The Wind"..Rhett Butler.."Frankly,My Dear,I don't give a Damn".
Prissy.."I don't know nothin 'bout birthin' babies"
2."The Sixth Sense"..."I see Dead People"
3.:Steel Magnolias"...."Smile,it enhances your Face Value" in your most Southern voice!
4."Taxi Driver"..."You talkin'to me?"
5."Jerry Maguire".."You had me at hello"
AND from my two favorite movies....
6."Age of Innocent"..Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) to Newland Archer(Daniel Day "
    (a FINE lookin'Man) Lewis on their first "bedding".."Shall I come to you once & then go home?"
     Ha,Not to be...cause' once was not enough!
7."The Last of The Mohicans"...Duncan(British Officer)on getting recruits for the 1757 French &
    Indian War to Hawkeye(Daniel Day (did I say Fine lookin' Man) Lewis...
    Duncan:There's a War on!How is it you are headed West? (in a nasty voice)
    Hawkeye:Well,we kinda face to the North & real SUDDEN-LIKE turn left! LOVE it!

So,My Friends...."Here's Looking at You Kid"~Casablanca (1942)~

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Favorite October Party Poem !!!

October's Party
by George Cooper (1838-1927)

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."

Friday, September 30, 2011


True Confession..I cheated on my husband!Well,not really BUT.Here's the thing,I love Pizza and anything Caramel.So,this is my story,and I'm sticking to it!.

Earlier this week I was craving a long time friend that I"d stayed away from.. I knew he was "Dangerous".We'd had a few tete a tete's before in private dimmed dining areas,or out in the open air,while sipping a nice glass of luscious,velvety Cabernet Sauvignon..Hell a couple of times we drink the whole bottle while emoting sounds of LOVE! This "Hunter Got Captured By The Game". I know that everyday brings change and the World puts on a different face.Certain things rearrange and suddenly this old World seems like a "new" place.Secretly,I'd been thinking about him,like a Fox thinks about a Rabbit.I just had to get him again....he was the "CATCH"_ I was after.Well,I looked up and I was in his arms, AGAIN_our LIPS LOCKED and I knew I had been captured!!! What's this World coming to? Things just ain't the same_I'd laid a tender trap,hoping he'd fall into it.Then ,Love hit me with a sudden slap,one KISS & then I knew it_my plan just didn't work out like I thought. You see,I'd laid my trap for him, BUT I got caught.What's this World coming to,things just ain't the same when the "Hunter gets Captured by the Game". Oh,did I say his NAME? say my name,say my name......

                                           "SWISS CHARD PIZZA"

                                          "SWISS CHARD PIZZA MINUS 1"

To complicate matters,the third leg of this "Affaire de Coeur"..Caramel_ stepped in the door_and Caramel had me at Hello!
                                          "Caramel Cookies & The Help,Caramel Tea"

I wolfed down a couple of these bad "Caramel" boys_doused them with Caramel Tea_and I was Good to Go! Made from a boxed Caramel Cake mix..Ms.Duncan Hines _You did know that you could make cookies from cake mix? When you Go Caramel...you just don't Go Back!

SO,now I'm a Happy Woman,feeling the Love deep inside me!Now,if I can fasten my pants..I'm in good shape & happily anticipating my NEXT...Menage A Trois..you're out there,you know who you are..hold on I'm coming!

The FaB-U-Lous Bunchettes


I was part of this High School Girl Group in the 60's..we sang at our Class Reunion in 2004.That's me w/the hat & gloves acting my usual-self!GIRL GROUPS STILL ROCK!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

~Cooking with Dead Foliage~

Well, the calendar says tomorrow is the beginning of AUTUMN! Yea,after a Summer of Triple Digit Heat here in North Texas,I'm waiting on ice,sleet & snow. Sept.29/09 the Farm looked "Picture Perfect".The Cowpen Daisies covered the pastures_really a Zen Moment! Fast Forward to the updated

Yes,that's an old "hugh"Oak Tree dead in the Courtyard by the Barn.The grass is a crispy golden brown color,the Morning Glory flowers ails on the obelisk_the more I look at it seems like a scene right out of "Death Valley Days". Truely,a different picture from the views I saw when we lived in New Hampshire. I call this "August Dead Summer Foliage Days"..no place else BUT Texas.

What I had hoped for was a repeat of these glorious Fall flowers all over the farm

But nooooo! I can dream,maybe I'll get a small showing later this Fall. Anyway,I'm looking forward to my cat "HANK THE COWCAT AARON" removing his "person" from his "favorite" cool Summer spot :

Our Old  1900's Montag Cookstove.I was really excited when we moved to the Farm several years ago to find this treasure. Got this great book to help educate me on the  Fine Art of Woodstove Cookery cld. "Woodstove Cookery At Home On The Range" by Jane Cooper. If you are new at using a woodburning stove (which most of us would be today) this is the book! Everything from parts of the stove,getting the fire going(which scares the beegeebers outta me), to cooking a great soup! Speaking of which ,can't wait to drag out one of my favorite Cookbooks _"Pumpkin"by Dee Dee Stovel. My mouth is watering from thinking about the recipe for "Italian Pumpkin Soup w/ Crushed Amaretti Cookies"...to die for! The Kitchen smells awesome,Hank's NOT on the stove,the bowls are "on standby" for refills_and a nice bottle of Candoni Pinot awaits me..I'm a happy Texas TeaQueen!