Archive for October, 2009

2009, October 31

Carving terrific Jack-o’-lanterns – by Estrella Azul

It was Jack’s thirtieth Halloween on his own.

He longed for the days of his childhood, especially during this holiday when he remembered his father reading him The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He always visualized the Headless Horseman with a pumpkin on his shoulders.

Jack always got into the Halloween spirit, and heck, he just loved how his name was part of the word Jack-O’-lantern.

When he was a kid he made them with the help of his father but those were simple pumpkin lanterns with triangle shaped eyes, nose, and a mouth. As he got older he fancied different patterns.

Since he could almost call himself an artist with a knife, with every passing year he was more pleased with his work.

Getting ready for Halloween started a few days earlier for him with picking out the right pumpkin and setting up his work area, making sure it was peaceful so no one would bother him. After all, he wouldn’t want to cut off his fingers by accident.

Carving pumpkins is messy but making a mess was never as much fun for him as before this special holiday.

He put down layers of plastic foil to aid in the clean up after the carving was complete, which was never as easy as just gathering up the plastic and walking away.

He started cutting the lid by angling his knife 45 degrees so he could create a ledge that the lid would sit on.

Jack could almost hear his father saying “The key thing to remember is that you need to create a ledge to keep the lid from falling into the pumpkin by adding a notch to the back so you can easily line up the lid with your pumpkin.”

His father’s favorite part was gutting the pumpkin, while Jack preferred carving.

But since gutting had to be done before carving he got to it, making sure the insides of the pumpkin were thoroughly cleaned so there wasn’t any loose pulp hanging anywhere—the loose pulp would detract from his design.

There isn’t always a need to gut a pumpkin for a pumpkin sculpture. He knew some sculptors who never gut their pumpkins.

However, Jack’s personal opinion was that adding a light to the inside of a pumpkin sculpture adds a whole other effect. He created a flat surface at the bottom for the light to be placed.

He then carved out the eyes, nose, and mouth with extra care, following a creepy template he drew in preparation for tonight.

It didn’t come out exactly as he wanted, but he’d have a whole year where he could further improve on his skills.

It was much more elaborate and unusual than what he had done when he was a kid.

He took his time cleaning the insides, leaving no traces behind. His job at the coroner’s office had taught him well.

Jack made a calm phone call while he stood back and admired his work.

Now all he had to do was place his pumpkin in the window, and get rid of the body before hearing the sirens and wait.

Wait for next Halloween.

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2009, October 29

Why you should be alone in these situations

A few weeks ago my fiancé was testing his microphone after installing the Windows Voice Recognition program right in front of me, making me laugh ‘till tears.

Somehow I managed to type the funniest ones, so here they are, hope you have a laugh too! ;)

“wait. don’t laugh. I’m just testing the microphone. I mean never mind, you’re going to laugh anyway… just saw the sentence I have to read out loud.”

“one, two. two! two two two! two already! not to, two!”

“press see. press see as in cat. press c.”

“say enter. oh… enter”

“next. next! start.”

“down. down! scroll down.”

"I love my bunny" (turns to me and says what the pc wrote: "I love my body…")

"love. L L! L as in load. L!" PC constantly writes "nove, N, N"

"insert. send. send! enter"

“inbox.” error so says “close.” program closes the whole window. don’t close that…

"stop listening.” says something to me, turns back to the monitor and find his sentence written “delete that." don’t write delete that… "stop listening! stop listening. cancel" finally…

This definitely is among the reasons you should be alone in situations like this if you don’t want anyone to publish your pearls :P

Many times, he sounded like Steve Martin in The Pink Panther when learning the famous phrase: “I want to buy a dahmbehrgerr, ehenber, embebber, ömbögarrrr, damburger”

I can’t get enough of this video!

2009, October 27

Wordless #2

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Budapest, Hungary 2007

Széchenyi Lánchíd (Széchenyi Chain Bridge)

2009, October 25

Time at the top

“ With a little luck,
a little bit of faith,
You can change the life you’ve made.
Open up your heart and mind
To the magic you will find
With a little luck.”

With a little luck, Ilona Pál

This is a fragment of a song I heard long ago in a movie, Time at the top, and it stayed with me all these years.

PS: If anyone has this song or video or whatever, please let me know. Leave a comment and I’ll reply to the e-mail address you provide.

Later edit:

It seems like my post didn’t appear on Sunday as I’ve set it, so here it is a bit later.

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2009, October 23

War plan against the sniffles

IMG_20140426_091729We all try to avoid it as much as possible, but the sniffles (with all it’s bacteria and stuff) has it’s own special plans and catching people off-guard is one of it’s best features.

So, aside from avoiding confrontation, we should develop some war plans for when we’re already under attack.

Here are some mostly natural home remedies against the common cold (absolutely perfect for someone with peptic ulcer (any form of it) as they won’t disturb your stomach).

As I’ve read, common colds need common sense, and even though you don’t need to use every single point from this list when you get a cold, there’s still no need to fill your body with antibiotics when you can cure your cold in a natural way:

 

 

  • Vitamin C can make the cold symptoms less severe or can shorten the length of a cold from seven days to two or three days with less coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms.
    In fact, overall, Vitamin C works as a scavenger in our body throwing out all toxins, that’s why all doctors urge people to eat fruits and vegetables every day.
    (for example: Orange, Lemon, Kiwi, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc. you can find a detailed list here)
  • In case you don’t have these, you can buy Vitamin C (or Vitamin C with Propolis) from the pharmacy, and since it depends on the mg., take as many as the instructions or your doctor tells you, while you’re healing.
  • Take one piece of Propolis, or add 20 drops of Propolis tincture to 1 cube sugar and let it melt in your mouth.
    Propolis is a natural resinous mixture bees make, and it relieves numerous health conditions as it strengthens the immune system. Don’t eat anything after this for at least an hour so it will act as it stays on your throat.
  • Zinc is another wonder thing for a cold that can cuts it short. So when you first feel that you may be getting a cold, start eating Zinc rich foods. You can also take one Zinc pill, bought from the pharmacy, per day during sick days.
    (for example: eggs, various cereal and wheat, fish, yogurt, etc. you can find a detailed list here)
  • Eat garlic (as a bonus: this also helps in keeping those pesky vampires away) :P
  • Take a bath with a few drops of cinnamon and/or lavender in the bath water as this can relieve congestion and head aches while it relaxes you.
  • Get plenty of rest because that way your immune system is boosted up and it quickens the process of getting better.
  • Eat chicken soup. It’s no wonder grandmothers used to make this for us when we were little, it is quite effective in relieving cold symptoms. IMG_20130413_231241
  • Drink tea 2-3 times a day:
    – Elderberry tea is the best (or at least for me it is).
    – Ginger, Eucalyptus, Chamomile, Echinacea and Peppermint are also very good for colds.
    – A tea from the combination of one tablespoon of Plantain (Plantago Lanceolata), Heartsease (Viola Tricolor) and Thyme (Thymus) each  to 1 liter of water is amazing for any type of cough or irritated throat
  • Make some Wintertime Sore Throat Tea Base. (Ever since I found this recipe, I have it in the fridge all Winter long.)
  • Eat honey. Add a teaspoon of honey to your tea.
  • One spoonful of Pine (Bud Cone) Syrup swallowed slowly eases an irritated throat and helps with reducing coughing. Don’t eat anything after this for at least an hour so it will act as it stays on your throat.
  • For a dry irritated throat, mix: a few teaspoons of honey with some lemon juice (if you add 20-30 drops of Propolis, too, it’s even better) and slowly let it melt in your mouth. Don’t eat anything after this for at least an hour so it will act as it stays on your throat.
  • Here’s a separate blog post of mine for making some Homemade Cough Syrups.
  • Add 5-10 drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint, Pine, Lavender, Thyme, Tea Tree oil to a bowl of steaming water.
    Place your nose over the vapors and inhale, covering your head with a towel and inhale deeply. This will cure your blocked or running nose as it will loosen thick mucus.
  • Apply VapoRub on your chest or throat right before going to sleep. Here’s how to make some Homemade Vapor Rub.
  • Make a tea by boiling 2 teaspoons of Astragalus root in 1 cup water for 15 minutes and drink. This tea enhances your immunity.
  • Nasal drops for dry and stuffy nose can be homemade by adding: 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to about 5 ml lukewarm water.
    Use this solution as a nasal drop, 1 to 2 drops in each nostril about 3 to 4 times daily.
    (You can keep this nasal drop in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.)
  • In case you’re sensitive to nose drops (shouldn’t use this without prescription as too much of it may cause chemical rhinitis) you can buy nasal gel from your local pharmacy (if you find a herbal based one, even better).
  • Fill a glass with warm water and mix in 1 tsp of table salt and gargle several times a day to cure throat soreness.

If you follow this war plan against the sniffles, you won’t have to wave the white flag and immediately take medicine.
My motto is this: if you can avoid getting many toxins and chemicals into your body, why not?

Stay healthy everyone! ;)

2009, October 21

I should listen to my better judgment

It’s been cold for over a week now, and I just hate it!

Yes, the leaves now have amazing colors and everything, but I hate the rain, and especially the cold, in case you hadn’t noticed by now.

My better judgment advised me 2 days ago not to go out in the rain.
In fact it advised me to stay inside and in bed for the whole day, possibly until March at least, but stubborn as I am, I didn’t listen.

After walking around downtown for a whole afternoon in pouring rain it wasn’t even an issue to go around all the puddles (way too many/too big to avoid and my shoes were soaking wet after the first 15 minutes anyway).

I didn’t worry too much about catching a cold, but it looks like I definitely have a talent for it.

Right now I’m trying to figure out how to type, sneeze and cough at the same time.
Oh darn, my nose is running, I better go catch it…

If there was anything you wanted to say, leave a message after the sneeze and I’ll get back to you in a few days ;)

 

2009, October 19

Homemade Lip Gloss

In a market of beauty products filled with chemicals and all sort of poo it’s hard to find a product that you trust. So why not home make your own?

This recipe is the simplest I found so far.
Also, aside from the
Homemade Lip Balm, it’s the most effective I’ve ever used.

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Lip Gloss

Vaseline (Petroleum jelly)
Face blush powder
2-3 Drops of essential oils for scent
Small container with a lid

Mix the Vaseline with a small amount of blush and it’s ready to use.

Feel free to get creative and mix several colors of blush until you get the shade you like best.

If you add more blush in the mix it equals a stronger color and it can be used instead of lipstick too.

Make as much as you’d like, but I suggest a smaller amount because you don’t need too apply much, so even few grams and with daily use will last for a very long time!

I strongly recommend it to everyone: it cures chapped lips and is exceptional for autumn and winter use as it stays on your lips for several hours (mine stayed on for up to 7 hours) and it doesn’t let the cold air get past it to dry your lips.

I love it! And I’m confident you will too! ;)

Later update: You can also find my post about the “Homemade Lip Gloss/Lipstick” right here on Pillowchats.com

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