Archive for June, 2009

Grandma’s Boyfriend

June 29, 2009

A 5-year-old boy went to visit his grandmother one day.

Playing with his toys in her bedroom while grandma was dusting, he looked up and said, ‘Grandma, how come you don’t have a boyfriend now that Grandpa went to heaven?’

Grandma replied, ‘Honey, my TV is my boyfriend. I can sit in my bedroom and watch it all day long. The religious programs make me feel good and the comedies make me laugh. I’m happy with my TV as my boyfriend.’

old-tv-set

Grandma turned on the TV, and the reception was terrible. She started adjusting the knobs, trying to get the picture in focus. Frustrated, she started hitting the backside of the TV hoping to fix the problem.

The little boy heard the doorbell ring, so he hurried to open the door and there stood Grandma’s pastor.

The minister said, ‘Hello son, is your Grandma home?’

The little boy replied, ‘Yeah, she’s in the bedroom bangin’ her boyfriend.’

The minister fainted.

I can’t help but think that Grandma needs to take a leaf out of Grannymar’s book and get herself a New Toyboy

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A “Secret” Recipe

June 24, 2009

Hello there…this recipe was sent to me by a friend who had it from a person who was conned out of $250 on their credit card to obtain it.

The company concerned refused to refund the money so the “connee” decided to have $250 worth of fun distributing it……

I thought I’d join in….a pity it’s not all in weights …but there you go…

WOOLIES COOKIES (Recipe may be halved as this makes heaps)

2 (500 ml) cups butter
680 g chocolate chips
4 (1000 ml) cups flour
2 (500 ml) cups brown sugar
2 tsp. (10 ml) Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
2 (500 ml) cups sugar
500 g Grated Cadbury chocolate
5 (1250 ml) cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla
3 cups (375 ml) chopped nuts (optional)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda. Add chocolate chips, grated Chocolate and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 C.

The above quantities make 112 cookies. Enjoy!

PLEASE KEEP THE RECIPE AND SEND IT TO EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW WHO HAS AN E-MAIL ADDRESS!

They found a beetle!

June 10, 2009

Do you remember, when younger, how carefully you picked up a small creature on sheet of paper or card in order to deposit out of the window or in the garden?

Well, yesterday I saw two…err…grey haired ladies walking along the pavement studying something on a newly purchased magazine and in their turn being studied by a mother and her brood of youngsters. It was obvious to my trained eye that these ladies, both known to me as they live down our road, had found something interesting on the pavement.

Being me, I stuck my nose in. Not too close you understand but just over their shoulders. here, on the multi coloured cover of a copy of…..  and being shileded by a ten pound note was a beautiful female Stag Beetle (Lucanu cervus) standing in that typical pose with her mandibles open and stock still.

Female Stag Beetle: Copyright Dan Tunstall Pedoe 2005

Female Stag Beetle: Copyright Dan Tunstall Pedoe 2005

I was immediately transported back to my chidhood and our garden backing onto Blean Woods in Kent, U.K.

A wealth of wild life lived in the area of coppiced Chestnut behind our house. Violets, blue bells, wild strawberries, Willow herbs, slow worms, adders, night jars that churred away on summer nights and hawked for insects at dusk on their long slim wings. I never saw one sucking milk from a goat…but we didn’t have any goats…which mythical habit is where they get their other name of goatsucker.

There were huge piles of leaves and twigs  with thousands of centimetre long woodants scurrying to and fro. Sometimes they carried their prey with them like this wasp

That's him done for.

That's him done for.

A favourite trick was to pick the blue bells and lay them onto the wood ants nest where they would turn pink. My first interaction with a chemical Indicator. The Formic acid ejected by the ants reacted with the blue colouring  in the Blue bells to turn it pink.  I learned this trick when I saw an apparently pink bluebell growing out of an ant’s nest. The first time I took my bunch of pink blue bells home iwas immediately deflated by my know all mother who said, “Oh, you put them in an ant’s nest did you?” (and she used to call me Know All) That didn’t stop me trying the same trick with wild violets. I must say that I had limited success with them.

If you cook red cabbage and you live in a hard water area you may well see a similar thing happen. If you keep the red cabbage water and play with it by adding vinegar and then adding washing soda you should be able to change the colour of the water. I wonder if it works with beetroot water?

Many years later, at College, a friend (okay…. a girlfriend) gave me a copy of Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field by Eleanor Farjeon which she inscribed with a verse by Ogden Nash,

The ant hath made himself illustrious

By constant industry industrious.

So What!

Would you be calm and placid

If you were full of Formic Acid?

from A. Chemist

Let’s get back to our lady stag beetle. She of the Short Sharp Mandibles.

I informed my neighbours as to the identity of the creature and reminded them that it is a protected species and that they should release it in a suitable place. Sooner said than done , but we managed to find some rotting logs for her to lay any eggs beside.

The two ladies wondered how I knew that it was a female of the species. I informed them that it was simple. Pointing out the short mandibles I explained that I had been given a nasty sharp nip by one as a child and have continued to have nasty nips from females ever since. Luckily they both had a sense of humour. The mandibles of the female stag beetle are indeed stronger than those of the male.

Here he is. In all his glory!

Here he is. In all his glory!

The males us their mandibles to tussle for territory and mates I believe. Not much different there then.

The larva of the beetle spends up to seven years feeding of rotten wood before metamorphosing into the magnificent creature that we see from time to time.

Stag beetle Larva. Copyright: Ashely Woods

Stag beetle Larva. Copyright: Ashely Woods

I cannot help but wonder if these large juicy creatures make good eating. I suspect that Badgers might think so.

As I said, Stag Beetles are protected by law and are a lot more rare than in the past.

If you want to help these fantatstic animals the this link will tell you how…..Oh,and whilst looking for a suitable link I found out ...that the Roman’s ate the larvae!