Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Royal Goat

Lance Corporal William Windsor retired from military life last week. "Billy" served as a member of the 1st Battalion o the Royal Welsh. What? A regimental goat? Well who knew? Look at that fine fellow. He's even sporting full ceremonial dress! See that headpiece? It's a silver plaque,a gift from the Queen, a tradition started back in 1884 when Queen Victoria presented one to the first royal goat.

Lance Corporal "Billy" Windsor served for eight years, getting stripped of rank once for "..trying to head butt a drummer’s backside during a parade to mark the Queen’s birthday.." After making amends through exceptional performance at another event he was restored full privileges - including the right to be saluted.

Speaking of salutes, here's Billy giving the Royal Salute. Smartly done, Billy! According to one account I read, the tradition of the 'regimental' goat began back during America's fight for independence from Britain. Seems a wild goat wandered onto a battle field and wound up leading the regiment at the end of a battle. Soon a replacement will be chosen and trained to carry on the tradition. I don't know about you, but I think he's adorable and if I'm ever in England I plan to stop by the Whipsnade Zoo and meet the old goat myself.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pay It Forward

I'm sure you have all heard of random acts of kindness and the idea of 'paying it forward'. Annie of Blue Gables had a post on April 30th called Pay it Forward and I decided to try it myself. I enjoy making all sorts of things, so this ought to be fun. Here are the rules for those of you who wish to join in:

I will make and send a surprise to the first 5 bloggers who leave a comment and agree to join in. If you aren't a blogger - start a blog! Or you could arrange a Pay it Forward with your co-workers, neighbors or ??? This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. This is an adventure!

2. What I create will be just for you with love and good wishes. It will be made of actual materials, not of cyberspace.

3. It will be done this year (2009).

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be! Well, I may ask a question or two about your tastes etc, depending on what I make.

5. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your Blog and create five things for the first 5 people to respond to your post.

6. Send your mailing address after I contact you.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if you do not post on your own blog to pay this forward.

Think you're not crafty enough? If you are feeling a little skittish don't worry! There are many things that can be made, whether you sew, craft, cook, write etc. Your gift could be a poem, a recipe and the makings (like cookie mix or soup ingredieants in a jar), homemade soap or candles, a cd with some music you made or songs you think the person will like. I'll tell you what, if you want to join in and you're having trouble thinking of something, let me know and I'll brainstorm with you, ok?

I think this is going to be lots of fun and I hope you will give it a shot!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Common Problem

I saw this driving home from work the other day:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Not Touching You

We've all been here, haven't we?

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mojito: Part Two, er...Dos!

I did it. I made my first mojito. Then I made my second, and third, and......well, you get the idea. I feel like I know what I'm doing now, so I shall share with you my mojito experience..with pictures even! First off, I don't own a shot glass, or if I do I can't find it. Hence the measuring cup. Very scientific and bar-like, don't you think? I followed the recipe I put on my first mojito post...but changed it as I tasted.

As you can see my drink making supplies leave something to be desired. Since I don't own a 'real' muddler I used the end of a wooden spoon. A muddler has more surface area for muddling so you probably get faster muddled results with one. The ones I've seen on-line resemble miniature baseball bats. I went and read up on muddling too. Apparently you can muddle too much and bring out the bitterness of the fruits / leaves you are muddling. Well. I wouldn't want to do that. I made the simple syrup (2 parts sugar / 1 part water boiled together for a minute). I made plenty for future well for lemonade and iced tea, too. It's the stuff in the mason ball jar,if you were wondering.

Also, no ice crusher. Well, no fancy ice crusher - just the low tech version that looks suspiciously like a hammer. My younger daughter thought that it was gross to use a hammer, until I told her I put the ice in a plastic bag for crushing.

The recipe calls for a sprig of mint. My sprig had about 8 or 10 leaves or so. One recipe I saw called for 12 leaves. Guess it depends on how big the leaves are and how much you like mint. I used one whole lime (reduced to half a lime for all future drinks - much better!), and added a bit more syrup than called for. You can use whatever brands you prefer for club soda and rum (if anyone from Bacardi sees this, feel free to send me a thank you bottle...or two...for my upcoming vacation / family gathering). The verdict? Tasty, refreshing and full of delicitude, or delishitude, depending on your spelling preference for non-existent words....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mt. Tater

Who among us hasn't made a mashed potato and gravy volcano on our dinner plate? I did it a lot as a child. My younger daughter recently had the opportunity to make a volcano for a science project and she chose the quintessential mashed potato volcano for hers.

Originally she wanted a gravy eruption - because, hey, who wouldn't? She had this idea the the mountain could erupt and then everyone could dig in. Theoretically this would be possible, but in practice, not so much. We thought about numerous ways to make her volcano erupt but eventually we settled on the basic vinegar and baking soda combo to get the job done. To make our lava red we used condensed tomato soup that was thinned out with some vinegar. We experimented with quantities of baking soda and soup mixture until we got the eruption we were looking for.

Then we built this:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mt. Tater! Yes, its actually made of mashed potatoes. If I had thought of it at the time I would have taken pictures of my daughter up to her elbows in potato flakes and water. Basically, she mixed a couple of large boxes of mashed potato flakes (bargain brand) with water and about 3 eggs. The eggs were to help the mixture hold together. We built Tater Mountain around a water bottle and some wadded paper towels (to lighten the load)and when it was done we 'painted' it with some caramel coloring (the kind you buy to darken gravy). A dusting of pepper around the top was reminiscent of volcanic ash. We did all this the night before and wrapped it in plastic to keep it from drying out.

Each student had to talk about their volcano (what type of volcano and the type of eruption) as well telling about their choice of building materials. One of the nice things about Mt. Tater is that it's easily biodegradable (except the water bottle inside). The opening is plugged with some paper towel and the figure made of paper on top is her science teacher with a word bubble. My daughter and her teacher had an ongoing argument over a test question and my daughter decided to rib her teacher about it by placing him at the top during the eruption. Thankfully he has a good sense of humor! I wasn't able to leave work to attend the actual eruption but I hear it came off as planned and Mt. Tater was the talk of the school. Yes, my daughter was quite pleased with herself!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mojitos . . .

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my nephew's wedding in South Florida. The bride was beautiful, the groom was beautiful, the weather was beautiful! It was a wonderful weekend and I really enjoyed the getaway. The last night I was there several of us went out to dinner, where we sat out doors and enjoyed the weather, the company and the food. One of my sisters had introduced me to the mojito a few years back and when she ordered one before dinner I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered one as well. Because, you know, they're tasty and light and refreshing...and I hadn't had one in a while.
My drink looked like what you see here, except there was no lime or mint leaves hanging around on the table for a photo op. Now, I'm no connoisseur of mojitos, although that certainly seems like a noble profession, does it not? After one sip of my drink I was ready for a career change. That first sweet sip of minty delicitude (ok, that's not a real word...except in my world) had me thinking "Mojito Connoisseur" was the perfect new job title for me!

A mojito, for the great unwashed (mojito virgins,if you will), is made with fresh mint, sugar syrup, lime juice, rum and club soda. Or sparkling water...depending on what recipe you find. If you don't have sugar syrup (and don't want to make it - come on now, it's only sugar and water boiled together!) you can use plain sugar. I've been reading up on these babies because I'm on a mission this weekend to re-create that perfect and awesome mojito that I experienced.

So, the recipes all say that you have to muddle the mint/limejuice/sugar mixture. Muddling sounds like something I can do! All day in fact. Who wouldn't want to muddle? There's even a tool for muddling - called a muddler! Who'd have thought? Think mortar and pestle. Well, more like tall glass and pestle. I'm telling you this because I want you all to go and try this so I won't be muddling alone this weekend. We can all muddle through this together. Awe, come on, you knew that was coming...

Anyhow, you can use the recipe below or find another on line. They are all fairly similar:


* 1 Large Sprig Spearmint
* .75 oz. Simple Syrup
* 1 oz. Lime Juice
* 2 oz. White Rum
* 3 oz. Sparkling Mineral Water

Gently muddle the spearmint sprig and syrup in a 16 oz mixing glass. Add the lime juice, rum, and mineral water with the spent lime hull for garnishment. Fill with crushed ice and stir until drink is combined and glass is frosty.

The first time I had a mojito it was not particularly sweet. You'll need to adjust the sweetness level to your taste. I'll let you know how mine turns out - perhaps if I think of it I'll get a picture too. Let me know if you give this a try, ok?

Oh, and happy muddling!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LOL's, Graphs and Other Fun

Here's a little something to help us all get through the week:

funny pictures of cats with captions
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fail owned pwned pictures
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engrish funny please reincarnate
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song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Nuterin mean WUT????
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song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

engrish funny hand grenade
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