Monday, December 7, 2015

World Letter Writing Day DECEMBER 7, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate World Letter Writing Day

For hundreds of years communication took place through just a couple of ways, you either sat down and had a conversation with someone or you wrote your thoughts and feelings down on a letter and had it delivered to them by courier. The nature of letters made them incredibly intimate, as each carried the indelible mark of its creator. Everything from the subtle scents of your home and perfume, to snippings from your garden could be included in a mailed letter. Digital media just doesn’t quite carry the same personal level as this old method, and Letter Writing Day is your opportunity to remember the wonders of the hand-written word.
World Letter Writing Day was established by Richard Simpkin as a tribute to the joy and excitement he felt when a hand-written letter would arrive in his mailbox. His appreciation of the hand-written word came about as a result of a project he was working on called “Australian Legends”, he would send out letters to everyone he considered to be an Australian Legend with the interest of arranging a personal interview and photography session. There was just something amazing about receiving a letter with the legends own personal touch to it, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that while hand-written letters are collectible, digital communication certainly is not.

Get out the pen and paper and start writing! Picking who to write too can often be the hardest thing, but you should select an old friend or family member of any age. For the young it can be novel for them to receive a written personal letter, it’s just something that isn’t done anymore and through doing so you can share with them that unique and personal experience that is receiving a written letter from a loved one. If saved, it’s something you can hold on to long past the time they fade from this earth, and you can’t hold a digital email.
Another option is to send it to a grandparent or parent who was around when there was no other option when you wanted to communicate with someone far away. Phone calls were all very well and good, but they were quite expensive, and letters were cheap to send through the post. Take the opportunity provided by Letter Writing Day to work on your writing skills, and let a loved one know they’re worth a little extra effort.

thanks, shelley

Word of the Day


Definition:(noun) A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs.
Usage:The children's gift to their grandmother was a montage of family pictures.


"The Blue Marble" Photograph Taken by Apollo 17 Crew (1972)

"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of Earth taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft while traveling toward the Moon in 1972. So-titled because the Earth resembles a blue marble—accented by swirls of white clouds—the image is among the most widely distributed photographs in history. Depicting a fully lit Earth, the snapshot was originally taken "upside-down," with Antarctica on top, but was rotated before distribution

Theodor Schwann (1810)

Schwann was a German physiologist who founded modern histology by recognizing the cell as the basic unit of animal structure. He also studied nerve structure, discovering the myelin sheath covering nerve cells, and formulated the basic principles of embryology. While investigating digestive processes, he isolated a substance responsible for digestion in the stomach, the first enzyme prepared from animal tissue, and named it pepsin.

Massive Baby Galaxies Found Swaddled in Dark Matter Knot

In new observations by the immensely powerful Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) an extremely concentrated knot of monstrous galaxies undergoing energetic star formation at the dawn of our universe has been spied embedded in a knot of dark matter.

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1732 - The original Covent Garden Theatre Royal (now the Royal Opera House) was opened. 

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1842 - The New York Philharmonic gave its first concert. 

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1907 - At London's National Sporting Club, Eugene Corri became the first referee to officiate from inside a boxing ring.

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1925 - Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller set a world record in the 150-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 25 and 2/5 seconds. He went on to play "Tarzan" in several movies. 

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1968 - Janis Joplin made her final appearance with Big Brother & the Holding Company. 


If You Were Born Today, December 7

You are a quick study. Not only do you love to learn, you love to teach or at least share your knowledge. There is a youthful quality to you no matter your age. A little mischievous, and perhaps temperamental too, some might say you think toomuch. Your love relationships may be considered unusual, as you are attracted to uncommon people and set-ups. Independence and freedom are qualities that you value most in any partnering. Famous people born today: Tom Waits, Larry Bird, Aaron Carter, Ellen Burstyn, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Carpenter, Emily Browning, Jeffrey Wright.

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Picture of the day
Events in ballooning
A 19th-century set of ten cards depicting events in the history of ballooning and parachuting. These cards depict, clockwise from the top left:
  1. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and Jean-Baptiste Biot reaching an altitude of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) (1804)
  2. André-Jacques Garnerin making a parachute descent in his gondola (1797)
  3. Louis-Sébastien Lenormand making the first witnessed parachute descent (1783)
  4. A series of fantastic flying machines dreamed up during the 18th century
  5. Use of balloons for reconnaissance during the Battle of Mainz (1795)
  6. The coronation balloon of Napoleon I (1804)
  7. The death of Sophie Blanchard (1819)
  8. Francesco Zambeccari and two companions adrift in the Adriatic Sea (1804)
  9. The death of Thomas Harris (1824)
  10. Francesco Arban is rescued by Italian fishermen (1846)

Picture of wind turbines in Greece at sunset

Windblown Sunset

Photograph by Alexandros Maragos, National Geographic 
The sun sets over the Panachaiko mountain range, located near Patras, Greece, and its wind turbines in this image captured by Alexandros Maragos. Panachaiko is home to Greece’s largest wind farm, with more than 40 turbines, which were completed in 2006.




thanks, heide

crochet, CHRISTMAS


crochet, CHRISTMAS

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Flower Garden Walkway - Talking Crochet Newsletter - Jun...
Welcome to the June 18, 2013 issue of Talking Crochet Newsletter! Enjoy making this free crochet pattern!
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crochet, CHRISTMAS


stephanie o'dea

CrockPot Roasted & Spiced Nuts Recipe

How are you doing on your holiday shopping? If you're still in need for a quick gift and would prefer the homemade touch, these nuts are perfect. Unless your recipient is allergic to nuts. Then you should make something else.

The Ingredients.

1 cup raw, unsalted pecans
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1 cup raw, unsalted pistachios (no shells, just the meat)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 T maple syrup
1 tsp curry
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
cooking spray

The Directions.

I used a 6.5 quart crockpot. Anything over a 4 quart should work just fine. This makes enough nuts to feed 12 people as a snack; I'd guess maybe 3-4 gift containers.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray. This is the only grease/butter, which creates a fantastic non-oily nut. I love this.

Put in your nuts/seeds, and add all of the spices and the maple syrup. Toss well to coat.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. The nuts will burn if you don't stir, but if a few do get burnt, don't worry about it. That's part of the charm of a homemade gift.

Spread the nuts out on a layer of foil or wax paper to completely cool, and store in an air-tight container.

The Verdict.

We all really liked these, and so did my dad. The kids ate a bunch, and then waved at their tongue because of the slight kick from the cayenne, but kept going back for more. Both the maple syrup and cayenne is there, but not over-powering, which is sort of scary because you can eat a bucket load.


Pottery Barn Advent Knock Off - felt

I have everything all planned and layed out, and all my decorations cut out. I just haven't sewn any of them yet (yikes)!! So, if you can use your imagination, here's what I've got so far, they will be all embroidered! Some of the squares are missing decorations (such as eyes on the snowman), which I will be hand sewing.

And here is a close up of each square so you can see the details that went into each one.


Craft Stick Christmas Trees


What You Need

  • Green, yellow and brown paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Craft sticks: two large, three medium, and two small
  • Wooden star cutout or small die-cut star
  • Decorations such as glitter, stickers, sequins, and foam cutout
  • Craft glue

What You Do

  1. Ttake a large craft stick and place it vertically, to make a base for the other sticks.
  2. Next, to make the bottom branch of the tree: Glue a second large craft stick across the bottom of the first, leaving just enough room to form a tree trunk.
  3. Glue the three medium-sized sticks horizontally above the large stick.
  4. Next, they will glue the small sticks above the medium sticks, leaving enough room for a star on top.
  5. Paint the tree trunk brown and the branches green -- or whatever colors they are inspired to use!
  6. Set aside to dry.
  7. Paint the star yellow, or use glitter and glue to jazz it up. Set aside to dry.
  8. After all elements are dry, glue the star to the top of the tree.
  9. Finally, add any other decorations you like to the trees.


A rolling stone gathers no moss, but it gains a certain polish. - Oliver Herford

Buddhist monk Endo Mitsunaga walked 26 miles a day around Mount Hiei, Japan, for 1,000 days—about one trip around the Earth! Skach Koyl is the traditional sport of drunken horseback riding, marking the end of the Day of the Dead celebrations on November 1st in Todos Santos, Guatemala. If you travel directly north, south, east, or west from Stamford, Connecticut, you will enter the state of New York.

"Welcome" in Kadazan (Sabah Malaysia) - Anangan do kinoikatan

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Food Preparation - Keep the Oil from Splattering


Five Fun Family Word Games

Kids can’t escape those vocab quizzes, but learning new words and perfecting spelling doesn’t have to be all work and no fun. If your family likes to play games together—whether on a car trip or just whiling away a morning on the sofa—add some word games to the mix. Here are a few that are fun for kids of all ages.
1The Letter Game
This game can be played anywhere, with two or more people, and you don’t even need a pencil and paper. Start by picking a category, like animals or food. One person starts by saying a word (e.g., orange). The next person has to say a word in the same category that starts with the last letter of the first word (eggplant). For added interest with more than two players, the order reverses if someone says a word that starts and ends with the same letter.
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2Scrabble Scramble
My husband and I are serious Scrabble lovers, but a full-on game was too much for the family when our kids were younger. To include them in the fun, we came up with this quick adapted version, which doesn’t use the board (and is similar to Boggle). Choose eight letters out of the bag without looking, and put them face down on the table. When everyone is ready, turn the letters over and start a timer. Each person writes down as many words as they can make from the letters in one minute (or two). The person with the greatest number of unique words (ones no one else got) wins.
3Memory Match
This is a great way to reinforce school spelling words, which are usually categorized by attributes such as vowel sounds. Write words in two categories—say, short A sounds and long A sounds—on slips of paper. Place them all face down on a table and have one player choose two. If they belong to the same family, it’s a match and the player keeps them. Otherwise, the player turns them back over and the next person tries.
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4Spelling Bee
This is exactly what it sounds like and can be played anywhere. Have one person call out words for others to spell. If you miss a word, you’re out of the round. Keep words age-appropriate for young players and try for the trickiest words with the grownups.
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5The Un-Spelling Game
Here’s one that’s fun for families with older kids. It’s similar to the letter game in that it goes around a group, only this time each person says a letter. The goal is to arrange letters that could be a word, but without actually making a word (for example, after E-X-A-… adding an M would make a word; a C wouldn’t). If a person adds a letter that completes a word or makes an impossible combination, they get a point. Five points and you’re out.

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