Sunday, May 3, 2015

Garden Meditation Day MAY 3, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Garden Meditation Day

Garden Meditation Day provides the perfect opportunity to achieve inner peace while honoring the essential ties between people and the environment. Garden and wild plants play a huge role in sustaining life on Earth; they produce food, they make oxygen, they preserve the soil and they beautify the planet. It’s no wonder that mankind has a natural connection to plant life. Garden meditation has been practiced for thousands of years because the natural elements in a garden create a soothing, peaceful environment for retreat, and they enable the necessary focus to bring about calm and stress relief.

Word of the Day


Definition:(noun) A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one's own abilities or worth.
Usage:She was convinced that she was worthy of marrying royalty, but her vanity and conceit only made her less attractive to the prince.


The Sport of Geocaching Begins (2000)

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to hide and seek watertight containers filled with trinkets, hoards known as "geocaches" or simply "caches." The improved accuracy of GPS devices allowed the pastime to develop, since the specific locations of the small containers could finally be logged and shared. Geocaches are now hidden in more than 100 countries and on all seven continents.

Golda Meir (1898)

Meir was Israel's first female prime minister and the third woman in the world to hold such an office, after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka and Indira Gandhi of India. A signer of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, she served in the fledgling nation's parliament and held posts as minister of labor and foreign minister before becoming Israel's fourth prime minister in 1969. During her tenure, she sought to ease tensions in the region through diplomacy.

Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet

In the coastal town of Bayou La Bartre, Alabama, the shrimp blessing has been celebrated since 1950. The fleet blessing began simply: a priest went up and down the bayou blessing the boats tied to the docks. Now some 25,000 people come for the blessing ceremony by the priest of St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church, and a parade of boats decorated with pennants, bunting, and papier-mâché figures. Other events include contests in oyster shucking, shrimp heading, and crab picking; seafood and gumbo dinners; a fiddler-crab race for children; and the crowning of the Fleet Queen.

Do We Live In A Hologram?

Everything in our universe might be a lot flatter than it seems, at least, if you do the math. If you've got a credit card in your wallet that has one of those little 3D holograms on it — a two-dimensional image that uses some tricks of light to appear three dimensional - you can get a sense of how new research out of Vienna suggests that we might be able to describe our universe.

1802 - Washington, DC, was incorporated as a city.

1855 - Macon B. Allen became the first African American to be admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts

1933 - The U.S. Mint was under the direction of a woman for the first time when Nellie Ross took the position. 

1937 - Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for "Gone With The Wind."

1952 - The first airplane landed at the geographic North Pole.

1966 - The game "Twister" was featured on the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. 

1971 - National Public Radio broadcast for the first time. 

1988 - The White House acknowledged that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule her husband's activities.

79 Today

Engelbert Humperdinck (born Arnold George Dorsey)
Humperdinck is best known for his songs "Release Me" and “The Last  Waltz". He is regarded by music critics to be "one of the finest middle-
of-the-road balladeers around.
He took on the name Engelbert Humperdinck after the famed German
composer (shown below). 
     (1 September 1854 – 27 September 1921)

If You Were Born Today, May 3

Thoughtful and involved, you express yourself well, possess quite charm, and easily endear yourself to others. You have an artistic bent that is undeniable, and your creative mind can help bring financial success. You are multi-talented and many of you spread yourself over multiple career paths and hobbies as a result. You expect a lot from yourself, and sometimes too much, which can lead to indecisiveness. Famous people born today: Bing Crosby, Sugar Ray Robinson, James Brown, Mary Astor, Christopher Cross.

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Picture of the day
Chancellorsville Campaign
Dead Confederate troops behind the stone wall of Marye's Heights, killed during theSecond Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, part of the eastern portion of the May 1863 Chancellorsville Campaign. At the wall, Confederate forces pushed back two waves of Union Armyassaults before being overrun and forced to withdraw. Though the Union forces under Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick attempted to march on Chancellorsville, they were delayed by Confederate attacks and, the following morning, driven back.
Fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, the Chancellorsville campaign saw Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia repel a force twice its size, Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Army of the Potomac. However, in doing so they took numerous casualties and lost Lt. Gen.Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jacksonto friendly fire.

Picture of men performing a ceremony at the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand

Temple Dance

Photograph by Kampol Jindaprom, National Geographic 
A ceremony takes place in the courtyard of the Put Jaw Chinese Temple during the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand. “A wonderful moment,” writes Kampol Jindaprom, who visited the temple to pay homage during the nine-day event. “It stems from ... belief and faith.”

Young People


Suitcase Luggage Tag
by Fireball Dave
Suitcase Luggage Tag 
Suitcase Luggage Tag - Reverse 

DK or similar weight yarn in Green and short lengths of red, light blue, yellow, white, mauve and two lengths of brown, wound onto bobbins
Pair 4mm (US size 6) needles
Pair 3.25mm (US Size 3) double-pointed needles
Darning needle

22 stitches and 28 rows over 4"/10cms square

SSK: slip the next stitch from the lefthand needle to the righthand needle knitwise, do the same with next stitch, insert point of lefthand needle into the front of both stitches and knit them together
K2tog: Knit the next two stitches together
Inc1: Increase by knitting into the front and back of the next stitch
Special *: Cast off in colour

With green yarn and 4mm (US Size 6) needles, cast on 19 stitches
Row 1: With green: K3, join brown yarn: K2, with green: K9, join second ball of brown yarn: K2, with green: K3
Row 2: With green: P3, with brown: P2, with green: P9, with brown P2, with green: P3
Rows 3 to 12: Continue in stocking stitch working colours as per chart
Row 13: With green: K1, SSK, with brown: K2, with green: K9, with brown: K2, with green: K2tog, K1 (17sts)
Rows 14 and 15: with green: P2, with brown: P2, with green: P9, with brown: P2, with green: P2
Row 16: with green: P1, Inc1, with brown: P2, with green: P9, with brown: P2, with green: Inc1, P1 (19sts)
Row 17: With green: K3, with brown: K2, with green: K9, with brown: K2, with green: K3
Rows 18 to 30: Continue in stocking stitch working colours as per chart
Row 31: With green: cast off 3 stitches, with brown: K2, with green: cast off 9 stitches, with brown: cast off 2 stitches, with green: cast off 2 stitches. Break green yarn leaving 8" for seam and break second brown yarn (2sts)
Transfer remaining two brown sitches to 3.25mm (US Size 3) double-pointed needle 
Row 32: With 3.25mm (US Size 3) double-pointed needles and brown yarn: Inc 1 in each stitch (4sts), turn
Rows 33 to 50: Knit all stitches, at end of row do not turn but slide stitches to other end of needle to make i-cord that will reach across to other brown band in a loose loop, adjust the number of rows if necessary. Cast off leaving sufficient yarn to attach end.

Weave in ends of colour-work. Attach end of handle to other brown band. Seam sides and top of suitcase.

Thread through luggage strap.
Chart Key 


Two Peas in a Pod pattern by Hannah Kaminsky
cast on add to faves to queue About this pattern Two Peas in a Pod by Hannah Kaminsky average rating of 3.9 from 20 votes average difficulty from 23 user...
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knit, barbie
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Knitting Patterns - Tiny Scarecrow - Kimberly Chapman's ...
Kimberly Chapman's knitting information, including tutorials and gallery.
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roman sock: Pigs will fly

roman sock: Pigs will fly
Hi Everyone! – My partner’s amazing novels have just been published on Kindle – If you like Sookie Stackhouse, Bella or Anne Rice – You’ll love these. The...
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Ravelry: African Grey Parrot pattern by Sarah Fontana
This is my first design that I worked up after a friend requested a parrot to match his real one. The pattern is available for free on my blog.
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Apple Cider Caramels

Boiled cider is the secret ingredient that gives them warm, baked apple flavor. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’ve got apple pie in candy form!
Apple Cider CaramelsYield: 5 dozen caramels
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup boiled cider*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
* Boiled cider can be found at kitchen specialty stores and online at King Arthur Flour. If you can’t find boiled cider, a substitute can be made from 2 1/2 cups sweetened apple cider simmered on the stove top until reduced to 1/2 cup. The flavor will be more subtle than the purchased boiled cider, but the caramels will still have a recognizable apple flavor.
Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening. Line it with a piece of parchment that overhangs the long edges of the pan.
Stir together the heavy cream and syrup in a 6 quart stock pot. Add the granulated sugar, cubed butter and boiled cider. Stir well until the mixture is a consistent color.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, or insert the wand of a digital thermometer into the mixture and set the alarm to 248°F.
Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. When sugar is dissolved and mixture is at a full boil, decrease the heat to medium-high. The mixture will continue to bubble. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the candy thermometer reads 248°F.
Stir together the salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small condiment cup. Remove the pan from the heat source. Be careful, it will still be bubbling.
Stir in the spice mixture.
Pour the caramel into the prepared pan.
Let the pan stand, uncovered, at room temperature overnight. You may also refrigerate the pan for quicker setting. Run a knife between the parchment paper and pan.
Turn the solid caramel block out on a work surface or cutting board. Cut it into 1 x 5-inch lengths.
Cut the caramel into bite-size pieces (about 1 x1-inch squares).
Wrap the caramels in 6-inch squares of wax paper and twist the ends to close. Be sure to wrap them soon after they’re cut into pieces; if left at room temperature for an extended period of time, the caramels will relax and lose their shape. Keep caramels in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 8 days. Caramels will keep slightly longer when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

stephanie o'dea

Lemon and Herb CrockPot Roasted Chicken Recipe

My oh my, what a tasty bird this was! I had a frozen chicken that I thawed for a few days in the fridge and plopped it whole into the crockpot. This guy had an awesome moist, lemony garlic flavor that made my knees go a bit weak. And it was so easy!

The Ingredients.

--one thawed and skinned whole chicken.
--head of garlic
--2 lemons 
--salt and pepper
--a bunch of fresh rosemary (this is from my mom's garden. 

The Directions.

After you skin the chicken, rub it inside and out with a bunch of salt and pepper. 
Plop it into the crockpot.
Peel your garlic and shove a bunch of the whole cloves into the bird cavity and throw some more on top and around the chicken.

Slice the lemon and put slices on top, around, and inside the bird

Wash the rosemary and do the same. If you are using dried rosemary, use a good amount---probably 2-3 tablespoons of dried herbs.

Your chicken should look a bit like this:
Do not add water, cook on low for 8-10 hours. 

The Verdict: 

This is a moist, delicious chicken that is company-worthy. It will fall apart when you take it out of the crock if you cook it as long as I did. If you would like a fancier presentation, keep an eye on it and check the doneness after 6 or 7 hours, then carefully remove with large tongs.

Keep the garlic to serve alongside with some rice or potatoes and some fresh vegetables.

To make broth: 

Keep the crock drippings and the bones to make a lovely chicken broth.

It's pretty easy -- just add about 8 cups of water to the pot, then slow cook on low overnight. In the morning, unplug and let it cool down completely. Using SUPER CLEAN hands (or food handler gloves), pick through and remove all the bones. Drain through a colander into a large pot to save the chicken broth.


Tissue Paper Bowls
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
-tissue paper
-balloons, any size works just depends on your wants
-white glue or Modge Podge – I do like to water mine down just a little, to make it more spreadable.
-brush or foam brush
-weighted base for drying
-optional for strength -a coat of Enviro Tex on the inside and outside
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
First, inflate the balloon to the desired size. I did a nested set so my balloons were sized from small to big.
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
There are two ways to get a circle of tissue paper. One is to trace a circular object and then cut it out. A quicker though less exact way is to fold a square of it in half and then half again. From there, bring one folded edge over to the other folded edge to make a point, like above. Trim the tail straight across.
Continue to fold and make the piece more narrow. Then smooth out the non-folded edge and when you unfold it, it will be an almost perfect circle.
I used two pieces of tissue per bowl though use as many pieces as you’d like. The more you use, the thicker the bowls will be — and the more intense the tissue color.
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
Place a piece of tissue paper over top of the balloon and begin to brush on the white glue. Continue until the whole surface is covered. Add layers one by one, coating each with white glue in the same method.
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
Allow to fully dry. It’s really hard to wait, I know! But be patient.
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom
Then pop the balloon and release the air. The tissue form will crumple down, but once the balloon is deflated, gently adjust the bowl and the shape will keep. And now, the bowl can be used.
Drop whatever you’d like inside or leave the bowls stacked on a shelf. They are not food safe so place a napkin inside first before adding goodies.
If you would like the bowl to be more solid or firm, you can use a product called Enviro Tex (found at Michael’s) to coat the outside and inside of the bowl. It’s a hard finish medium that you brush on and when it dries, it makes a very solid surface.
Easy DIY: Make Tissue Paper Bowls  |  Design Mom

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. - George Washington

Dumped Goldfish Makes Lake a Giant Fish Bowl
By Sumitra 
Releasing pet fish into a lake might sound like a kind thing to do, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Teller Lake in Boulder, Colorado, is making headlines for a bizarre surge in its goldfish population, after someone apparently dumped three or four of them in its waters a couple of years ago. The lake is now home to a whopping 3,000 to 4,000 goldfish that are putting its delicate ecosystem in danger.
The fish have multiplied beyond control – they’re eating up all the resources, spreading unnatural diseases, and threatening to overrun the lake’s natural species. Colorado wildlife officials say that humans are to blame.
“Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokesperson Jennifer Churchill. “Everything can be affected. Non-native species can potentially wipe out the fishery as we've put it together.”





today i found out
ticklingToday I found out why it is nearly impossible to tickle yourself.
It’s very hard to tickle yourself because your brain anticipates things going on around you in order to help speed up response times. More technically, the cerebellum monitors body movements and can also distinguish between expected sensations and unexpected ones, generally resulting in diminishing or completely discarding expected sensations, while paying much more attention to unexpected ones.
So your brain is actively anticipating touch sensations. When it is doing this, it is also actively discarding sensations that it deems unimportant, like when you are typing and it significantly dulls the touch sensation in your fingertips so that you don’t really notice it unless you consciously think about it. This same type of thing happens when you try to tickle yourself.
Researchers at University College London tested this by scanning the brains of subjects while the palms of their hands were touched by themselves and by experimenters. The brain scans revealed that when the touch was externally produced, the somatosensory cortex (involved in processing touch) and anterior cingulate (involved in processing pleasure) parts of the brain reacted much more strongly than when the touch was produced by the subjects themselves. In these latter cases, the brain was using information it has on hand such as motor movements of the finger and arms to anticipate the touch.
Results from a different study showed that the same internal anticipated response applies when subjects manipulated a robot, which then in turn manipulated another robot to touch the subject’s palms. This was only true, however, when the associated touch from the second robot happened right away. When this happened, the cerebellum sends information on the sensation to expect to the somatosensory cortex. With this information, some yet unknown cortical mechanism is triggered that inhibits the tickling sensation from activating.
If the subsequent robotic touch is time delayed, even delayed by as little as a 1/5 of a second, the subjects felt stronger touch sensations, similar to when the touch was not self produced.
So in short, you can’t usually tickle yourself because there is no element of surprise. Your brain is using the various internal sensory data it has available to anticipate exactly what is going to happen based on your movements and visual data. When the anticipated reaction and the actual reaction line up, your brain diminishes or even sometimes completely discards the sensation as a result of that action. On the other hand, when someone else is tickling you, there are unexpected sensations on the skin and these then can result in the tickling sensation being activated.

1 comment:

  1. Gardens? Spent time today with our oldest DGD in the Prouty Garden--at the Boston Children's Hospital. Was sad to read that it may be demolished--hope the petition against this unsavory plan will win out in the end.