Good Jolly Monday morning, all my dear friends! I hope this day finds you safe, well and happy. So tell me … how was your weekend? Other than a grandson almost being shot, and a dear friend spending some time in jail (totally un-related incidents!), my weekend was fine. Daughter Chris performed in a pipes and drums band competition in Indiana on Saturday, where her band took first place for best drum corps, best midsection, and best band for their grade!
Since last Monday was a holiday, last week was a short work week, so this week may seem a bit longer than usual to you. So, sit back and let us share a cup of java, a bit of something sweet and a few things to smile about, okay?
Hide ‘N Seek …
Did you ever play ‘hide ‘n seek’ as a child? Of course you did … every kid did. I remember one time, around the age of 5-6, when a group of children (cousins, as it were) took me, the city kid, into the woods and told me to count to 100, then come find them, that they would be hiding behind trees. Well, first of all, I didn’t know how to count to 100, and second, they went home, laughing uproariously, I’m sure. Eventually, the ‘grown-ups’ dragged themselves away from their entertainment long enough to realize that some small bespectacled creature was missing and I was found, but I never much cared for hiding nor seeking after that.
In the northern Italy village of Consonno, last Friday marked the 8th annual Nascondino World Championships, a weekend-long romp that bills itself as “the only hide and seek international competition.” This year, 80 teams of five people each have signed up, and they come from 11 different countries, including the U.S., Japan, and Australia.
There are official rules for this competition:
“The hide and seek arena is split into five sections, and one member from each team must hide in each section. While the seekers (a ‘neutral’ team who have been “selected for their athleticism, visibility and sportsmanship”, according to organizers) count for one minute, players find a secluded spot among the obstacles set out, and then have to make it back to the ‘base’ before the seekers catch them.” – The Local It
Top prize for the winning team is called the Golden Fig Leaf. At first I was scratching my head over this one, but then it began to make sense … a fig leaf, in mythological terms, hides a … um … certain part of the anatomy and there may be some who … err … seek to find what is ‘neath the fig leaf. ‘Nuff said.
Sounds like great fun and a less terrifying experience than being left to die in the woods!
Butter Art …
I’d like you to think about butter for a minute. What does your butter look like when you buy it? Most people buy a pound of butter that has been precut into four, quarter-pound sticks, each individually wrapped in waxy paper. I buy a one-pound block, uncut, as it saves me about $0.50 and I am cheap … err, frugal. But back in the day …
Women farmers often took charge of making and selling butter while their husbands worked out in the fields, and some distinguished their wares by using pre-made molds to press patterns into them: flower, shapes, or their own brand names. One such farmer’s wife, Caroline Shawk Brooks, took ‘butter art’ to a whole new dimension, eventually becoming famous for her butter sculptures. She carved butter into animals, shells, and faces rather than simply using a mold.
For the 1876 Centennial Exposition, in Philadelphia. Lucy Webb Hayes, the future first lady and a big fan of Brooks, commissioned her to carve a Dreaming Iolanthe for the Women’s Pavilion.
I am guessing one did not scrape off small amounts to put on one’s bagel or potato? And I would be curious to know just how many pounds of butter went into this one. Anyway, butter-sculpting, for some reason that is beyond my comprehension, is still around today, mostly at such things as state fairs. Take a look at a few …
Rather a waste of a food source, but then again … people don’t need to eat so much butter anyway!
A Fish for a Night …
Do you get lonely when you stay in hotels? I don’t, because I am almost always with somebody, and even if I weren’t, I travel with a mini-library. But a number of my friends are sales representatives who travel frequently and alone, so I imagine they sometimes long for a bit of companionship.
Well, a hotel in Belgium, Hotel Charleroi Airport, offers companionship to brighten those lonely nights. No no no … it is not what you are thinking! It is … fish! For only 3.50 euros ($4.17 USD) per night, guests can rent a fish to keep them company.
“We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do,” said hotel manager David Dillen. “It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.”
Raised Eyebrows …
Yes, eyebrows … except, not really. Some lady named Huda Kattan who, I am told, is famous for her beauty, decided she wanted McDonald’s arches for her eyebrows.
I try very hard not to criticize the variety of ways in which people ‘decorate’ their bodies … to each his own, live and let live, etc. My daughter, back in her college days, had multiple lip and nose piercings, and I learned to keep my mouth shut. It did, however, send me in search of other … err … ‘different’ eyebrow shapes …
Well, enough of that … I shall leave mine alone, for I have better things to do with my time.
Pigeon shoes …
Japanese shoemaker Kyoto Ohata walks through areas where there are many pigeons, and being possessed of a kind heart, she always felt a bit badly when the pigeons scattered in fear as she walked down the sidewalk, presumably in stilettos. So, she designed these ‘pigeon-friendly’ shoes to ‘disguise her human presence’. Must be working … those pigeons don’t look to be scared. I applaud her compassion for the birds, but I must say that as a fashion statement … um, no.
How about a short joke to wrap things up?
A woman was being tried for the murder of her third husband.
The prosecutor asked, “What happened to your first husband?”
“He died of mushroom poisoning.” said the wife.
“How about your second husband?” asked the prosecutor.
“He died of mushroom poisoning, too,” said the woman.
“Well, then,” pressed the prosecutor, “what about your third husband?”
The wife replied, “He died of a brain concussion.”
“A concussion?” The prosecutor asked “why did that happen?”
The wife paused and then said, “because he wouldn’t eat the mushrooms!”
And on that note, I hope I’ve brought a smile or even a chuckle to your beautiful faces this morning. It’s always better to start the new week with a smile than a frown, yes? Now go out there and show the world what you are made of … and don’t forget to share that wonderful smile with a few others today. Hugs and good thoughts to all our friends in the path of, or dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.