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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

FAMOUS CELEBRITY GHOSTS AND THEIR HAUNTINGS!!!

   Hollywood and its movie stars provide a rich history in paranormal activity. Even after death some of these celebrities return for year another ghostly encore. While some movie stars return in a ghostly fashion, other celebrities are haunted by spirits themselves.


Montgomery Clift




    Best known for his roles in movies such as: "From Here to Eternity", and also the "Misfits" which also starred Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery's spirit is also said to haunt the halls and one room of the Roosevelt Hotel.
    According to some of the staff at the hotel, Montgomery's spirit haunts room number 928. It was in this suite that Clift frantically paced back and forth as he tried to memorize his lines for the movie "From Here to Eternity".
    Numerous unexplained noises have been reported coming from this empty suite, as well as the telephone being left off of the hook when the room has been unoccupied.
    The Roosevelt is also the site of the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. The "Blossom Ballroom" where the ceremony was held, has a rather odd cold spot which is ten degrees cooler than the rest of the ballroom. This cold spot is a circular area which measures 30 inches in diameter.



George Reeves




    For five long years George Reeves was every child's hero as he played the part of Superman on television. George was not new to Hollywood either; he had played parts in movies such as "Gone with the Wind" and many other B movies.
    But the claim to fame for George Reeves was "The Adventures of Superman" which ran from 1953-1957. Then George died in his home from a gunshot wound in 1959. Although the official cause of the death was ruled a suicide, others contend that Reeves was murdered.
    One couple living in the former home of Reeves stated that the ghost of Reeves appeared in the bedroom "decked out in his Superman outfit." The couple watched the mysterious looking spirit as it slowly faded away. Of course this sighting happened in the room where Reeves died.
    Some believe that Reeves death can be explained by the "Superman Curse".



Mary Pickford




    Mary Pickford who was a silent screen star has also been see gracing the spirit world. Pickford a writer, producer, and also a co-founder of United Artists was seen by comic Buddy Rodgers as her ghost appeared in a white ruffled dress.



Jean Harlow




    The spirit of Jean Harlow has also been reported to have been seen in the bedroom of her home where she was "allegedly beaten" by her husband.



Jack London




    Jack London is one of the best known authors of all time, as well as one of the most read. There are very few people in the world who haven't heard of his book "Call of the Wild", if not read the book or seen one of the movies based on it. yet many people do not realize that London left behind a haunted home.
    London previously lived in a private home base in the Sonoma Valley known as Wolf House. The house took 30 men to build, and was created with natural local materials such as redwood and volcanic rock. London himself planned the house, and thou it was so large, only him and his wife would live there.
In 1913 the house mysteriously caught fire, destroying much of the building before anyone ever moved inside. London planned to rebuild the house, but died before plans could be finished.
    Today the area surrounding the old house is known as the Jack London State Park. Visitors left inside the park after dark claim to see and hear some strange things when it comes to the remains of the house. Some hear stairs creaking though there are no stairs left today, and others feel someone touching their arm, or hair when no one else is there. Still others believe that they've seen odd creatures and strange phantoms running through the woods. Others have reportedly experienced cold spots at the old house, and had strange images appear in the photographs they took there.
    Of course there are stories surrounding the ghost of Jack London. The author's wife believed that the man haunted a small house they lived in together. Following his death people that lived in the house claimed to hear someone walking through the hallways and opening or closing the door to the den. His wife told them that London used the den for his writing, and walked through the halls when he was suffering from writer's block.



Bugsy Siegel




     Bugsy Siegel was a ladies man, and a smooth operator. He could charm even the coolest man, and seduce the most beautiful women. He always had a beautiful woman on his arm, and most of those women had no clue what he actually did with his life.
Bugsy was always something of a criminal. During the 1920's he and his gang of men ran a number of different operations in New York, including bringing bootleg alcohol into the city. He also began working as a hired hit man for the mob, and was given the nickname Bugsy. the mob was so enamored of him that they sent him to California.
While in California Bugsy became even more of a ladies man. he was meant to run their operations, but also spent time hanging out with celebrities. Bugsy was known for his famous friends including Cary Grand and Jean Harlow. At the same time he continued his work as a hired hit man.
    By the 1940's he had moved onto Las Vegas, and creating grand plans of turning it into a western paradise. With 6 million dollars in financial backing, he set to work on his first resort. Named the Flamingo, after one of his mistresses, it was one of his favorite places in the world. He kept suites reserved for his different girlfriends. He was so busy having his fun that he never noticed how unhappy the mob was.
The mob want their money back and he didn't have it to give back. The resort was operating at a loss, compounded by the amount of money he kept skimming off the top. The hit on Siegel was decided in 1946, but when the hotel finally began turning a profit, he thought he was in the clear with the mob.
    Siegel was shot dead in the home of his mistress Virginia Hill. Bugsy is rumored to haunt the old Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The mob continued to support the business after his murder. Some believe that he continues to haunt his former residence, the Presidential Suite. Visitors to the hotel have claimed to feel cold spots in the room. Others have seen his spirit standing near the pool table, while others have experienced his ghost near the bathroom. His ghost is not threatening or upset, just there. The suite is now gone, but his ghost is still seen near the pool and in the Wedding Chapel. In addition his ghost is sometimes seen i the new Presidential Suite.















HOLIDAYS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY!








   You probably already knew that Mother's Day and Memorial Day are in May. But did you know that you can celebrate one (or more) holidays every day this month? Here is a list of one holiday for each day in May.






May 1: Law Day - You should do your best to avoid breaking the law today, of all days.

May 2: National Play Your Ukulele Day - You know, since you have one and all.


May 3: Garden Meditation Day - If you have a garden then get out there and do some meditating.

Day 4: Respect for Chickens Day - We don't want to see any chickens running around with their heads cut off. That would be entirely disrespectful on Respect for Chickens Day.





May 5: Cartoonists Day - Cartoonists, this one's for you.


May 6: No Diet Day - Give up your diet for a day and just eat what you want. Oh, wait - Eat What You Want Day is May 11th. Just give up your diet for the day.


May 7: No Pants Day - Does this mean every one's going to be out with no pants on today?


May 8: No Socks Day - I'm sure you can figure this one out


May 9: Mother's Day - Aww, come on. Show your mommy some love!







May 10: Windmill Day - Take some time today to appreciate all that windmills do.


May 11: Eat What You Want Day - Actually, I usually eat what I want every day. But does that mean we can pig out if that's what we want to do?


May 12: Limerick Day - Write a limerick about your favorite May holiday.


May 13: Frog Jumping Day - Go find some frogs and hold a jumping contest to see which can jump the highest.


May 14: National Chicken Dance Day - dad dada dada DA!, da dada dada DA!, da dada dada DA!, clap! clap! clap! clap! clap!









May 15: International Day of Families - If you don't have a family, adopt one for the day.


May 16: National Sea Monkey Day - Go to the pet store and ask if you can buy a Sea Monkey.


May 17: World Telecommunications Day - Telecommunicate with someone across the world.


May 18: Visit Your Relatives Day - Does it matter that they live 2,000 miles away?


May 19: National Employee Health and Fitness Day - If you're not an employee, you don't have to worry about it.







May 20: Weights & Measures Day - If you haven't weighed and measured yourself lately, it's about time you did.


May 21: National Wait Staff Day - When you go out, actually be nice to the wait staff for once.


May 22: National Wig Out Day - It's okay if you need to wig out today


May 23: National Taffy Day - Do Laffy Taffys count? Mmm.


May 24: Morse Code Day - Instead of talking, use Morse Code to communicate with everyone. If they don't understand, that's their problem.






May 25: Cookie Monster's Birthday - You know what that means, right?


May 26: National Senior Health & Fitness Day ( - Again, if you're not a senior, don't worry about it.


May 27: Cellophane Tape Day - See what you can do using only cellophane tape.


May 28: Sierra Club Day - Join or start your own Sierra Club.


May 29: International Jazz Day - Have a party and only play jazz music.








May 30: Hug Your Cat Day - Show your kitty some love


May 31: Memorial Day - What can you do to celebrate Memorial Day?

FOOD HOLIDAYS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY!

   





   May is well known for Memorial Day, but what about other holidays? There is actually a holiday for every single day of the month. These national food holidays are not only fun to celebrate, but a great excuse to make delicious foods. Read on to get ideas on how to celebrate these fantastic food holidays.








  • National Chocolate Parfait Day May 1: This food holiday is very easy to celebrate. Just make a parfait using pieces of brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.


  • National Truffles Day May 2: On this food holiday, you can either prepare homemade truffles or visit your local candy shop.


  • National Raspberry Tart Day May 3: This food holiday is perfect for summer. Just use a pre-baked tart shell and fill it with a sweetened cream cheese, raspberry jam, and fresh raspberries.


  • National Homebrew Day May 4: If you love beer, why not make your own? You can find kits and recipe online.







  • National Chocolate Custard Day May 5: While pudding mixes are delicious, why not take the time to make homemade chocolate custard?


  • International No Diet Day May 6: After all those days of being on your best behavior, why not celebrate this food holiday to its fullest? The best way to do this is to create a dessert buffet.


  • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day May 7: While Memorial Day revolves around barbeque's; you can still enjoy a large holiday meal. Just serve roast leg of lamb and all those great side dishes.


  • National EmpaƱada Day May 8: On this delightful food holiday, why not visit an authentic Mexican restaurant?


  • National Butterscotch Brownie Day May 9: Everyone loves brownies. On this food holiday, shake things up with butterscotch brownies.






  • National Shrimp Day May 10: The warm summer months are the perfect time for seafood. Fry up some shrimp and serve with homemade hushpuppies and French fries.


  • Eat What You Want Day May 11: Okay, this month does go a little overboard. But, this is still a fun food holiday to celebrate.


  • National Nutty Fudge Day May 12: This is another great reason to visit your local candy shop.


  • National Fruit Cocktail Day May 13: Finally, a food holiday that is healthy. Enjoy it to its fullest.


  • National Buttermilk Biscuit Day May 14: Get up early and prepare a large breakfast on this food holiday.






  • National Chocolate Chip Day May 15: What could be better than chocolate chip cookies? Or chocolate chip ice cream?


  • National Coquilles St. Jacques Day May 16: A delightful combination of scallops, mushrooms, and a creamy sauce. Find great recipes online.


  • National Cherry Cobbler Day May 17: Visit your local farmer's market and make a homemade cherry cobbler. Just don't forget the vanilla ice cream.


  • National Cheese Souffle Day May 18: On this food holiday, why not prepare a gourmet blue cheese souffle.


  • National Devil's Food Cake Day May 19: Don't have time to bake? Enjoy a devil's food snack cake instead.







  • Pick Strawberries Day May 20: This is the perfect food holiday for summer. Visit a local farm and pick your own strawberries for a delicious pie.


  • National Strawberries and Cream Day May 21: Enjoy some of the strawberries you picked with a bit of cream.


  • National Vanilla Pudding Day May 22: This is another easy food holiday to celebrate. Just pack a vanilla pudding cup in your lunch.
  • National Taffy Day May 23: Laffy Taffy. Need I say more? Of course, you can always make your own.


  • National Escargot Day May 24: I'm sorry, but I can't recommend celebrating this food holiday. But, I'm sure you can find great recipes online.


  • National Wine Day May 25: Why not enjoy a sunset with your sweetie and a nice glass of wine? Make the day even more special by creating a romantic picnic.
  • National Cherry Dessert Day May 26: Why not try your hand at homemade cherry ice cream?


  • National Grape Popsicle Day May 27: Make homemade Popsicles using 100% grape juice. Not only will they taste better, but they'll be healthier as well.


  • National Brisket Day May 28: Breakout the grill and make some barbecue on the fine food holiday. Just don't forget all those great sides.
  • National Coq Au Vin Day May 29: Find a great recipe for this dish at Food Network's website.








  • National Mint Julep Day May 30: On this food holiday, kick back and enjoy summer.
  • National Macaroon Day May 31: Visit your local bakery and enjoy some macaroons and ice cream.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

MAKING CANDY BUTTONS TO DECORATE YOUR SUGAR CONFECTIONS!

 

   This recipe and diy comes from www.whatwillwedotoday.com .  Making them your self is better than buying them from the store and what a better way of making sugar treats than with your children. Good luck!

 

Recipe: Candy Buttons (Candy Dots)



Remember the strips of colored candy dots on paper? You would strip the candy off with your teeth, and end up with just a little bit of paper in your mouth? If you had siblings, you just might nibble the paper into a small weapon? (I wouldn’t do that, of course, but SOMEONE might).
Well, that started me thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool to make candy buttons? Perfect for movie night.
I was lucky I had this idea when I had willing helpers (my beautiful and talented nieces Miranda and Monica). If you are lucky, you will find some willing helpers as well.









You don’t need a lot of ingredients. This picture features several food coloring and extract choices, but really I would think four colors would be fine. You will notice I have parchment paper on this picture. Do NOT use parchment, the dots will fall right off. I ultimately used computer paper from a fresh ream of paper.

Recipe: Candy Buttons

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Meringue powder (or 2 egg whites)
  • 6 tbsp Water
  • 1/4 tsp Almond extract (use vanilla, lemon, peppermint, coconut for different flavors)
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar (1 pound = 7 cups)
  • decorator bags or sandwich bags (1 for each color)
  • food coloring I used gel, but any kind will do. Four colors is about right)
  • paper cut into 2 3/4" by 10" strips.

Instructions




  • If you are using egg whites, separate the eggs.




  • Perfect. Now you have some egg yolks for....how about lemon curd?




  • Whip together the confectioners' sugar and the egg whites (or meringue powder and water) on low speed for one minute.
  • If you have a stand mixer, this is the time to use it. Your arm will get tired with a hand mixer (although, if you switch hands, you might be able to count it as an exercise).




  • Add the flavoring and about 1/2 of the water. You may wish to add more water later to get this to the right consistency, but start out with a little less then you think you need.




  • Whip mixture for 10 minutes on high speed. If the icing is too thick, think it out with drops of water until it is the consistency of sour cream. A drop should hold it's shape and slowly smooth out to create a smooth button.
  • While the mixer is whipping the icing, cut strips of paper into 2 3/4" by 10" strips.
  • You may want to use a template for candy dots if you wish.




  • If you are using gel paste, you don't need to use much. I used bamboo skewers to get just a dab of the food coloring.




  • Isn't this pretty? Maybe that's why I used bamboo skewers, it just looks so pretty while I am mixing it.




  • This just makes me feel good.




  • Divide the icing into small bowls. One bowl for each color.




  • Pour each color into a decorator bag or sandwich bag and seal.




  • Tip: Put the bag into a glass with the edges folded over the rim to easily fill with icing.




  • Cut a VERY small corner off of each bag.




  • Squeeze a drop of icing at a time onto the paper.




  • You might want to place the strip of paper on top of a template, so you can see where to place each drop evenly.




  • This may seem tedious, but it is actually very satisfying. Very much like popping bubble wrap. Only sweeter.




  • Doesn't this look wonderful? And the candy looks good too!! (Come on. I'm Dear Sweet Aunt Jill. I HAVE to be cheesy).



  • Place the strips on baking sheets in a cool dry place, uncovered, to dry overnight.



  • Once the candy has dried, you can place the strips in a zipper bag or airtight container.



  • You can store the leftover "icing" in the refrigerator in plastic bags.
  • This recipe makes a LOT, and it would sure be a shame to waste any of this....Right?



It is much easier to make these if you have a template underneath the paper. Here is the template I used.
Candy Button Template
Enjoy

10 WEIRD FOOD TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD! (YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!)

   When it comes to libido-boosting foods, you can always expect to find dark chocolate, wine, and oysters topping the list of aphrodisiacs. But if you’re only nibbling your Hershey Bar, you’re just getting warmed up. There is a heady menu ahead filled with passionate edibles that lovers world-wide swear will rev up your romance and enhance your sex life. If you want to save your strawberries for the morning’s corn flakes, you can still give your night some wild flavor with these weird and wonderful aphrodisiacs. Some of the items on this list have featured elsewhere on the site, but this is the first time they are presented together with the new items in a list about lurve!




10. Soup # 5
Rr Soup 5.Jpg



    Strong like a bull is a phrase that attracts some lovers to this four-legged mammal with a notorious temper. In areas of Southeast Asia, a soup (known as soup # 5) composed of onions, carrots, broth and bull’s penis and testicles is a popular dish noted for its aphrodisiac properties. The parts in question are given a good scrubbing and scalded in boiling water for good measure before winding up in an aromatic soup loaded with vegetables. Unlike some truly wild aphrodisiacs that are potentially harmful, bull’s soup is pretty tame by any stretch of the imagination. And while ostrich testicles are said to be tasty, they fall short in the bedroom when compared to the hardy bull variety.




9. Fugu
Fugu



   The sea offers a bounty of strangely arousing aphrodisiacs. One of the weirdest is also one of the deadliest sea creatures known as the blowfish or fugu as it is heralded by Japanese chefs who must be specially licensed to prepare and serve this potentially-deadly delicacy. Studies show that the toxin in these creatures is far more lethal than cyanide. Eating this specially prepared dish causes the mouth to feel numb. As the numb feeling wears off, people remark on a lingering tingling on their lips and inside their cheeks. This tingling is said to greatly promote sexual arousal.




8. Cobra
Cobra Skin



   Clearly, many of the world’s weirdest aphrodisiac dishes come from dangerous animals. Shark fin soup is a notorious aphrodisiac whose popularity is causing shark numbers to drop alarmingly in some waters—particularly in Asia. While hunting shark is no walk in the park, catching cobras for their sweet meat is no sport for shrinking violets either. Snakes have sexual connotations that go back centuries, but eating cobras to enhance sex is a thoroughly contemporary practice in many parts of Asia. In some concoctions cobra blood is mixed with a beverage containing alcohol. Cobra meat is also eaten for its aphrodisiac qualities. Of course, before eating this preparation, it would be wise to know the cook’s credentials first.




7. Bird’s Nest Soup
150388021 27Ec9Ded5D



   Bird’s nest soup is an Asian delicacy that lovers must pay top dollar to procure. Bird’s nest soup is, indeed, the edible nests made from the saliva of cave-dwelling swifts. The nests are formed along cave walls and are extremely difficult to obtain even by experienced cave wall climbers. Nevertheless, they have been served to royalty and the like for centuries and renowned for their ability to stimulate the libido. The soup is one of the most expensive animal-based dishes in the world; save it for a special anniversary occasion!




6. Caterpillar Fungus
Cordyceps Ophioglossoides 02



   Cordyceps, historically known as caterpillar fungus or dong chong xia cao in China, has been revered in the east as an aphrodisiac extraordinaire. This most extraordinary fungus is a parasite of sorts; it invades the brains of caterpillar larva and grows there eventually replacing native tissue with its own. One can wonder how its aphrodisiac properties were discovered, but this mushroom has been a popular libido-booster for centuries. Today it is actually cultivated so that it can be purchased quite inexpensively unlike many other weird culinary aphrodisiacs. A plate of cordyceps and a glass of champagne could be the making of the Valentine’s night of your life!




5. Spanish Fly

Flyr3



   Some people will do anything for love—even ingest a potentially lethal substance that makes the privates swell up, itch, and secrete a bloody discharge. Ingesting Spanish fly is a famously historic way to stimulate the libido. The Spanish fly, actually a beetle, would be crushed and eaten for a substance it produces called cantharidin. Humans dispel this substance through urine which is how it comes to irritate the genitals. Of course, Spanish fly enthusiasts are lucky if all they get is an itch. A moderate dose can lead to death by causing fever, convulsions, and seizures. Many love shops try to sell Spanish fly potions, but these are, fortunately, mostly imitations that offer a placebo effect. The use of Spanish fly as an aphrodisiac goes all the way back to the ancient Roman world.




4. Balut
Balut1



   Balut is another popular Asian dish served with love in mind. Balut is a duck egg that contains a fetus. The egg is boiled and served. This dish is said to have Viagra-like properties so it is of particular interest to men. Once the fetus or embryo is consumed, the stimulation is thought to begin. Often served nestled within its broken outer shell, this dish is a weird aphrodisiac that is a real bargain compared with bird’s nest soup. And because ducks are not on the Endangered Species List, this dish is quite legal to order unlike the following.



3. Horn and Penis
Tiger Penis 01.Jpg



   Rhino horn and tiger’s penis are definitely outlawed, but that does not stop poachers and a thriving black market from continuing to offer them. For centuries people have eaten parts of these wild animals to stimulate or enhance their sexual ability. Men suffering from impotence are the usual market of these aphrodisiacs in some parts of the world. Although weird and illegal, these elements have been revered sexual stimulants for centuries as well.




2. Ambergris
Foar Ambergris01 608



   Ambergris should be a familiar term to all you English students who read Moby Dick in high school. The sweet expensive stuff was the sperm whale’s elixir that went into perfumes during the whaling centuries. This heady stuff was prized during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when whale oil powered the world. Melville didn’t mention its aphrodisiac properties, but some Arabian texts recommend its use in the bedroom. Today, many believe that ambergris can boost sexual excitement and vigor. Ambergris is rare and not easy to procure; it is another of the sea’s sexually charming elements that doubles as a weird aphrodisiac.



1. Asses’ Milk
Signofthecross



   Other weird aphrodisiacs are merely topical in nature. For example, asses’ milk was a renowned aphrodisiac for ancient Arabs and Romans. Women who rubbed the milk on their genitals felt stimulated by its effects and men were thought to increase their virility by likewise using it topically. Legend has it that the wife of Nero bathed in the milk for its sexually stimulating effects. Pictured above is Claudette Colbert bathing in asses’ milk in the Cecil B. DeMille film “Sign of the Cross”.





Afterword
200507190038 01



   Aphrodisiacs have been notoriously ignored by western medicine. But folk medicine around the world recommends weird and not-so weird edibles that are believed to boost libido, cure infertility, or strengthen endurance. While weird is a relative term, the unusual items featured in this list are quite popular in some parts of the world and date back centuries. The illegal items are not recommended for use, but simply featured here for information sake. With the plethora of legal aphrodisiacs out there, it is far more ethical to try one of those! Otherwise, be sure to order the fugu next time you visit Japan!