Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Fire Has Been Lit

Have you ever wished you had your car or purse stocked with silverware? I have often wished I had a spoon to dive into a delicious pint of ice cream, a knife to split a sandwich or a fork to eat a piece of pie while traveling or simply out running errands and finding a delectable food item I simply cannot pass by. While up in Gainesville, FL last week I found an item that has exceeded my wildest silverware dreams! Unfortunately Blogger is being a bugger and is not letting me put a picture up. I've already had this post waiting in my dock to post and I'm tired of waiting! So check back later to see the beauty I've purchased.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Incredible Edible Egg!

For the majority of my life I have believed in the Incredible Edible Egg - as long as it was of the scrambled breed. In the last year or so my soul has begun to be convicted of this prejudice. I have decided it is high time I gave the other egg varieties a fair chance at becoming an Incredible Edible Egg. Before this time of conviction began, I had tasted eggs of varying ethnicities such as fried and poached. However, I did so with a very narrow mind. I allowed no room in my heart for a love of these egg clans. A renewal of my heart and soul has taken place as I am opening up my heart, taste buds and solar plexus to the varying egg flavors of the world. This open-minded attitude has opened my heart to a new egg love - eggs of the boiled or hard-cooked line. 
To the left is Mr. Egg, lovingly put together by myself and Sophia. Before I began my wandering this semester I babysat for Cameron and Sophia every Friday. They absolutely loved boiled eggs and were always wanting to have one. One day I decided to join Sophia in her boiled egg indulgence. No stars burst forth with my first taste but I knew I had fallen in love when I began craving another boiled egg on our way to ballet. 

That is why I made my first attempt at boiled eggs the other day. Below are my successful guinea pigs. 

There is much more to say on the topic of eggs but it is time for me to depart the world wide web. Be expecting more incredible egg news soon!

Speaking of incredible, here's a bit of trivia for you in closing:

How long has the "Incredible Edible Egg" slogan been around? 

a) 30 years
b) 20 years
c) 10 years

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vocabulary Enrichment #1

I think the word "cool" has long been abused by myself and my fellow Americans. In an effert to bring this verbal abuse to a halt, I would like to suggest a few alternative words to use in its abscence.

If you are trying to convey a sense of wonder or enthusiam try some of these words:

Boss: adj. Exceptionally good.

Dandy: n. Something very good or agreeable. adj. Fine; good.

Divine: adj. 1. Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent. 2. Extremely pleasant; delightful.
3. Heavenly; perfect.

Glorious: adj. 1. Characterized by great beauty and splendor; magnificent. 2. Delightful; wonderful.

Hunky-dory: adj. About as well as one could wish or expect; satisfactory; fine; OK

Keen: adj. 1. Ardent; enthusiastic. 2. Great; splendid; fine.

Marvelous: adj. 1. Causing wonder or astonishment. 2. Of the highest or best kind or quality; first-rate.

Nifty: adj. First-rate; great. n. A nifty person or thing, especially a clever joke.

Swell: adj. 1. Fashionably elegant; stylish. 2. Excellent; wonderful.

If you are hoping to convey that a certain temperature feels cool you may want to clarify with one of these words:

Algid: adj. Cold; chilly.

Frosty: adj. Pleasantly cold and invigorating.

Shivery: adj. Trembling, as from cold or fear.

Snappy: adj. Pleasantly cold and invigorating.

Wintry: adj. Belonging to or characteristic of winter; cold.

If you are saying "cool" just to say something, you may be able to let someone know you have heard what they have said by saying some of these words:







No way!

Get out of town!

For real?

For serious?

For true?





I see.

I hope this list will help us all to stop the onslaught of abuse that the innocent word of "cool" has been receiving. Please pass on any further suggestions or share a positive story of a time when you said "No!" to abusing cool.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The World's Largest Gator

This past Saturday as Mark, Rosie and I drove to Dixie Crossroads to gorge ourselves on their scrumptious rock shrimp and corn fritters, I noticed a sign for the World's Largest Gator. I've been to Dixie once before and am not sure how I missed this delight to the eyes but nonetheless, I'm glad I saw it this time! Here is a glimpse of this awesome beast:
To get a fuller view of Swampy, head over to facebook to see the rest of my photos. 

A Bit of Trivia

The person who can give the correct answer to the following three questions will be given the opportunity to choose the next Country in the Spotlight or a post entirely customized to your desires - I will research and write on the topic of your choosing. This offer expires in two weeks (March 5, 2009 at 2:34pm EST). Don't miss out on your chance to win big!

Question #1: Who was the first person to refer to a coward as a "chicken"?

Question #2: What four colors did I dye my hair during my 19th year of life?

Question #3: Which city has more miles of canal than Venice, Italy?

Country in the Spotlight

A few years ago I found a treasure on Amazon that has provided me with many chuckles since its purchase. The treasure I am referring to is The Clumsiest People In Europe. Mrs. Favell Lee Mortimer lived in England her entire life, venturing out of the country on only two occasions but that did not stop her from writing three books about the various regions of the world. She wrote The Countries of Europe Described in 1849, Far Off: Asia and Australia Described in 1852 and Far Off, Part II: Africa and America Described in 1854. In 2005 Todd Pruzan combined selections from each book and created The Clumsiest People In Europe or Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide To The Victorian World. Although Mrs. Mortimer was not well-traveled she was well-read. It was from hundreds of books that Mrs. Mortimer gathered her information to open the eyes of her neighbors to the delights and atrocities of the world. 

While Mrs. Mortimer is a fascinating subject indeed, the point of this post is not to talk about her but to share some of what she had to say. It's difficult to choose which country to place the spotlight on. To pay homage (or perhaps bring disgrace) to my ancestry I'm going to share Mrs. Mortimer's thoughts on Germany. 

"If you were travelling through Germany you would see fine hills and great forests; but you would not see those pretty green fields and hedges all covered with May which are so pleasant in England. Where are the cows? They are in the stable. How strange it seems to keep you poor cow shut up in a stall! I am sure if you were a cow you would much sooner be an American cow feasting on the fresh grass than a German cow eating the bundles of weeds in a stable. 

I cannot say the cottages are very pleasant. The lower room is the cow's stable. This would be well if the upper room was clean; but it is no. As the women are so much out of doors, they do not keep the house clean. There is a dresser with the shelves, beds with curtains, and a stove; but all is dirty and uncomfortable.

The Germans get up very early, and have a breakfast at six or seven o'clock, but they are content with a cup of coffee, and some dry bread; and they usually drink a glass of cold water before they begin. 

They do not often drink tea, nor do they know well how to make it. I have heard of a maid at an inn who by mistake boiled the tea.

Many of the Germans are stout, tall, fine-looking men, - and no wonder, because they have plenty of good food, and hard work to make it agree with them. The women are fresh and fair, with round smiling faces, light hair, and blue eyes. 

The ladies are very industrious, and wherever they go, they take their knitting. They are as fond of their knitting-needles as the gentlemen are of their pipes. The number of stockings they make would surprise you. How much better to knit than to smoke! When they are at home, the ladies spend a great deal of the time in cooking; they also spin, and have a great deal of linen of their own spinning, locked up in their great chests. Can they do nothing but knit, and cook, and spin? Yes, they can play on the piano, and the harp, and sing very sweetly. But they are not fond of reading useful books. When they read, it is novels about people who have never lived. It would be better to read nothing than such books. 

At Christmas time, the parents please their children by getting a little tree, and sticking lights all over it, and hanging sham fruit and little figures upon it, and on the table near it they lay presents. But very naughty children are not allowed to see the tree, or to have any presents. 

You must have seen already, that the Germans are very kind, and pleasant in their families. They are affectionate. They are careful, and cautious. It would be well if they were more neat and clean people, especially the poor people."

Toilets of the World

If you have ever had a curiosity as Nealy did to deepen your knowledge of the beloved toilet, also endearingly known as the throne, comfort station or potty, I hope you will find this post enlightening. On the left hand side you will notice a visual thesaurus on the word "toilet", compliments of

I was going to attempt to talk about the toilet but after a peewee bundle of research I've decided to direct you to a few other sites that have done a splendid job of pulling this crap 
together. This first site gives an informative introduction to a book entitled, Toilets of the World. Be sure to check out the Toilets of the World calendar also located on Amazon. The second site has a nice array of snapshots capturing a variety of toilets 
around the world with a description for each. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Journeying to the Sunshine State

At about 7:45am on February 4th I left the snow covered state of Indiana to make my way to the center of the Sunshine State. I stopped in Clarksville, TN to visit Howard, a friend I met at Eagle Lake. He took me to the Edelweiss Cafe where I thoroughly enjoyed my German cuisine of goulash and spatzle. It was so delicious! This salad was also from the Edelweiss and has primarily only earned a spot on this post because of its looks. If you are ever in Clarksville I highly recommend a trip to the Edelweiss. And while you're there you should be sure to visit the bathroom. There are some lovely golden plagues on the outside of the door that make me chuckle and inside there is a lovely sign (at least in the women's bathroom) that says this: "If you tinkle you sprinkle. Please clean up after yourself for the next customer. Thank You! - Management"

Since I am on the topic of tinkling, I think I ought to share another favorite place from Clarksville. Clarksville is home to Austin Peay State University (Tennessee's fastest growing college!). I found the pronunciation of "Peay" quite humorous as we drove through the campus and I read the numerous banners that declared "Let's go Peay!"

Anyway... I spent about two hours in Clarksville before ending in Athens, GA for the night. I stayed with Natalia, another friend from Eagle Lake. We didn't have much time to do anything since she had class bright and early Thursday morning but it was good to catch up with her on Wednesday night. I arrived in Windermere, FL at about 5:30pm on Thursday.