Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Take Your Plant for a Walk Day July 27, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Take Your Plant for a Walk Day

Proud plant-owners can show off their leafy friends to the neighborhood when Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day rolls around. The idea behind this day is to celebrate plants, and to acquaint plants with their immediate environment, which is supposed to be healthy for them. Plant-owners can admire each others’ plants, and exchange stories and tips on plant-care.
For those who find this concept a little strange, there are more conservative ways to get involved. Plants grow throughout their lives, and you can use this day as an excuse to re-pot any plants that might be getting a bit big for their abode. You can take your plant for a walk to a new location within the house, perhaps one where it might get more sun. And if you don’t own a houseplant, there’s no better day to bring one home and introduce it to your family.

Word of the Day


Definition:(noun) Intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement
Usage:He knew very well that he must tell some story this evening for the edification of the company.

Idiom of the Day

(all) great minds run in the same channel

 — Wise or intelligent people tend to have the same ideas or think in a similar way. Often used humorously regarding unremarkable thoughts occurring simultaneously between two or more people. 


Ludovico Sforza (1452)

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Sforza effectively ruled Milan from 1480, first as regent for his young nephew and later, after his nephew's suspicious death, as duke. The patron of Leonardo da Vinci, he presided over the final and most productive period of the Milanese Renaissance but was captured and imprisoned while fighting to expel the French from Italy. Before his fall, he was one of the wealthiest and most powerful princes of Italy, spending immense sums to further the arts and sciences.

Cheyenne Frontier Days

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What began in 1897 as an attempt to keep alive the sports and customs of the Old West has grown into a week-long festival that regularly attracts over 300,000 visitors. Cheyenne, Wyoming, was one of the wealthiest cattle-raising cities in the world in the 1880s, and now it celebrates its colorful history by staging one of the world's largest outdoor rodeos. The festival also includes parades of covered wagons, stagecoaches and other old-time vehicles; ceremonial Native American dances; the crowning of a "Miss Frontier" queen; and pageants recreating events from Cheyenne's past. 

These Amazing Wild Birds Understand When People Call Them to Help Hunt for Honey

For thousands of years, humans have trained animals to help them. Today, pigs locate truffles. Dogs sniff for drugs. Dolphins detect underwater mines. But working in partnership with an untrained wild animal is another thing altogether. 

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1789 - The Department of Foreign Affairs was established by the U.S. Congress. The agency was later known as the Department of State.

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1909 - Orville Wright set a record for the longest airplane flight. He was testing the first Army airplane and kept it in the air for 1 hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds. 

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1921 - Canadian biochemist Frederick Banting and associates announced the discovery of the hormone insulin. 

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1940 - Bugs Bunny made his official debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "A Wild Hare." 

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1995 - The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, by U.S. President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam. 

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1999 - The U.S. space shuttle Discovery completed a five-day mission commanded by Air Force Col. Eileen Collins. It was the first shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman.

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2001 - The ribbon cutting ceremony was held for American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The event set two new world records, one for the 3 mile long ribbon and one for the 2,000 people that cut it. 

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2003 - It was reported by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) that there was no monster in Loch Ness. The investigation used 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to trawl the loch. Reports of sightings of the "" began in the 6th century. 

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If You Were Born Today, July 27
You are intensely curious and have a great hunger for knowledge. Your intellect is sharp, and you can be a pioneer or natural leader. You possess organizational savvy and could do well in various media careers. Idealistic in love, it can take some time for you to find what or who you want. You are drawn to people who are strong, dynamic, and also responsible. While you can be self-sufficient and independent for the most part, you are also quite emotional and moody, and you have a great love of, and interest in, people and how they "work". You are intimidating to some but admired by most. Famous people born today: Norman Lear, Peggy Fleming, Maya Rudolph, Taylor Schilling, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julian McMahon.


NATIONAL COLORING BOOK DAY – August 2National Coloring Book Day August 2

National Coloring Book Day is celebrated annually on August 2.  Coloring and coloring books have always been popular with children, but over the years adults have gotten more and more involved with coloring.  Adult coloring is now a huge trend and many are finding that it is not only fun but also a great way to reduce stress.

Pictures of the day

Red-kneed dotterel

The red-kneed dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) is a long-legged, medium-sized plover in the subfamily Vanellinae. It is often gregarious and will associate with other waders of its own and different species, even when nesting. It is nomadic and sometimes irruptive.

Picture of a child on a fair swing in Horezu, Romania

Swing Away

Photograph by Marius Cinteza, National Geographic
A child swings through the air on a fair ride in Horezu, Romania. Marius Cinteza, who made this image, writes that the attraction is at the popular pottery fair Cocoșul de Horezu (Cock of Horezu), so named because of the rooster motif commonly seen in the ceramics there. this ride also is in coney island. it happens to be the last ride i ever went on cause who knew it began like a regular swing and then rose into the sky and went around and around. i was so scared i can actually feel the sensation just looking at this pic!











Bubble Tea Recipe (Asian Iced Green Tea Drink)


I popped into our favorite Chinese Supermarket in Edinburgh and I spotted that they had tapioca pearls in stock. Since I discovered it a couple of years ago I’ve been totally obsessed with Bubble Tea and I can finally make it at home any time I want – YAY!

For anyone who’s never heard of it, Bubble Tea is super popular in Asia (esp Japan) It’s either made as a sweet iced green tea (often flavored like Pineapple – my fave), or as a milk tea. Actually you can get these hot too, but I’ve only had it cold. These tea’s are filled with either tapioca pearls or boba – balls that look the same as these but instead of being squidgy they burst when you bite them and they’re filled with a sweet juice.

That’s right, you’re drinking juice with chewy balls in. It sounds weird, but it’s awesome!!
So, for this recipe, you’ll need some tapioca pearls (if I ever spot boba I will make another post!), a small cup, some green tea (I’ve opted for green tea with rose by Kusmi Tea, but I’m loving the salted caramel green tea by Twinings too) some honey (or sugar, honey is just a little better for you) and some giant straws (also picked up at my supermarket) 
Before you make them, the tapioca balls are hard and look like this. According to the ones I bought, for every 1 cup of these, you need 10 cups of boiling water. As I’m not making it for the whole city, I only needed half a cup of balls, so just 5 cups of water.

All you need to do is boil the water in a pan over a high setting, and add the tapioca pearls in. Gently stir them until they start to become plump and start floating. Pop the lid over the pan and let them simmer on a medium heat for 5 mins. Once that’s done, add in a couple of tablespoons of honey or sugar if you’d like to make them sweeter (they’re kinda tasteless, but I don’t mind that) Taste them to check if you need to add any more in – it’s all down to preference. 
Ready? Take them out of the water and set them aside… don’t they look beautiful?

To make the sweet iced tea, boil up 4 cups of water in a pan and add 10 grams of green tea (or 8 teabags). If you’re using loose tea like me, use one of those tea steapers or a sieve so you can take it out easily! Simmer for 5 minutes and take the tea out. Give it a little taste and add 3-4 teaspoons of honey in to sweeten it to taste. Let it cool down and get your cups ready… 
Such pretty bubbles!! Add in a couple of ice cubes and fill with your sweet green tea. I topped mine off with a little bit of lemonade to make it lightly fizzy too… that’s not standard, I’m just super excited to try lots of new things with my favorite new ingredients!


Guinness Corned Beef & Cabbage




Dip balloons in chocolate

This is a creative new way to serve your desserts. The best part? No dishes when you’re finished.

CHILDREN'S CORNER ... make candy


Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow. - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Every day, between 10 and 20 volcanoes erupt! -------------------- Sprout, a mini horse from Colorado Springs, Colorado, wears teddy bear shoes. -------------------- The flashes of colored light you see when you rub your eyes are called phosphenes.


Slow Cooker Ideas to Make it Really Work for You


Cook with a water bath for things like cheesecake or oatmeal.

Pouring some water around the bottom of a dish set inside the slow cooker creates a water bath.  This prevents foods from drying out or getting overcooked.  It works great for things like cheesecake and oatmeal.

Make it easier to clean with one of these three methods:

Line it with foil to make clean up easier.
Use a plastic liner.  We use these on vacation.  I don’t mind cooking on vacation, but no one wants to scrub a dirty crockpot.
Spray with cooking spray before adding food.  This really does help the clean up process.

Add a timer to make it programmable.

slow cooker and timer
DIY Programmable Slow Cooker isn’t a perfect system.  It won’t switch off to a warm setting when the cooking time is up, but it does work for things like overnight oatmeal.

Make your slow cooker smaller.

If you’ve got a large crockpot, but need to cook a small quantity of food, place a small casserole dish inside the crock.  This makes the inside much smaller, which keeps your food from overcooking.

Cook more than one type of food in the slow cooker at a time.

By using foil to wrap different parts of the meal, you can cook a whole meal that retains separate flavors.
using foil in slow cooker

Try this method with steak, smoked sausage, pork chops or chicken.  Add packets of potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash…  Top with corn, peas, green beans, broccoli… And season each packet a little differently, if you like.


Great gardening tips and ideas! Most of them I didn't know about.

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