Monday morning musing

THE BUMBLEBEE SAYS HAPPY MONDAY

When I took this photo of a blossom on my Rose of Sharon bush, I didn’t know there was a bee inside until this morning when I resized the picture. I’m delighted to see a bee. We are losing too many of those most-needed flying friends.

Today I’m going to share a potpourri of trivia, this time of my own searching. First up is this interesting article from Southern Living about butter and whether it has to be refrigerated, Why You Should Keep Your Butter on the Counter. “Most people naturally did whatever they grew up with. 46% of Americans have “no idea” butter can be stored on the counter. That’s almost half the country! And 22% of America currently keeps it on the counter.”

As mentioned in the article, it’s a pain when trying to spread cold butter on bread, or even anything warm, and keeping it at room temperature makes sense. How many pieces of bread have we killed while trying to spread cold butter? Wondracide anybody?

I remember butter always being on the sideboard when I was a kid, not in the refrigerator. More recently, I discovered that a friend keeps hers on the counter all the time in a nifty holder that is a version of this French Butter Dish.

It’s a container used to maintain the freshness and spreadable consistency of butter without refrigeration. These pottery crocks have two parts: a base that holds water, and a cup to hold the packed butter, which also serves as a lid. I was amazed the first time I saw my friend lift the lid of hers, and there was all that nice, soft, creamy butter.

The lid forms an airtight seal, keeping oxygen away from the butter, which will stay fresh for up to three weeks if kept below 80 degrees.

Many of you know that I’m a fan of jigsaw puzzles and often have one spread out on my card table, so you’ll understand my excitement when I saw this listing for puzzles from Boynton over at Bookshop.org. (A great place to go book shopping if you want to skip Amazon.) It’s Boynton! It’s Puzzles! I wasn’t familiar with the work of Sandra Boynton, so I did a little search. After hopping around the internet a bit I discovered that Sandra Boynton is an American humorist, and she certainly fits that description.

When I found her website this is how she introduces it:
Here at last, responding to a nearly deafening universal plea… well, not exactly a nearly deafening universal plea, actually it was more like some polite whining from three or four people who should probably really spend a whole lot more time outdoors… is the official Boynton website

Boynton has designed and written numerous greeting cards, as well as writing books, mostly children’s books. This is how she talks about her books on her website: “And I’ve written/illustrated a lot of books for discerning children, and some other books for peculiar adults. I wrote my first children’s book, Hippos Go Berserk, in 1977 as a January Project while I was still a student the Yale School of Drama. I have no idea why they let me get away with that. Actually, I really wrote my first children’s book at age four; it was called The Funny Animal, and the entire text goes: “Once there was a funny animal. One day he had a birthday party. All the animals came. They did not like it, so they left. The end.” Clearly I had made very little thematic progress between 1957 and 1977.

I love her jigsaw puzzles, especially the one about jigsaw puzzles. If I add that to my birthday wish list, maybe it will come to my house.

I wasn’t going to use anything from Trivia Genius for this post, but I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of recent posts. This first one is about the cereal Lucky Charms. I never ate it. Really didn’t like it, but my kids did. (I guess I wasn’t channeling my inner child when my own kids were young.) Anyway, the question is What is the Only Original Lucky Charm Marshmallow Still in the Cereal? I got it wrong. What about you?

This one about ice cream also piqued my curiosity The Delicious History of Ice Cream. Unlike Lucky Charms, I do love ice cream. I have such fond memories of homemade ice cream being made at my Uncle Loren’s house in West Virginia. Us kids had to take a turn at that handle that turned the paddles to create the amazing results, and Uncle Loren always said if we didn’t, we couldn’t get any ice cream. Looking back, I do think that was said in jest. Nobody in my father’s hometown ever deprived anybody of ice cream or anything else. Still, we kids never wanted to chance it, so we did our part.

The post from Trivia Genius about ice cream doesn’t have a challenge question, just some interesting facts about how it has evolved from it’s earliest days. “From its beginnings as a snow-cooled drink in Persia to a familiar scoop of frozen vanilla, ice cream has taken on many forms and flavors.”

Chocolate is my favorite. What’s yours?

Before I go, I do want to mention that registration is open for several writing classes at Story Circle Network, including mine on editing and rewriting – A Good Book Isn’t Written, It’s Rewritten. The class starts July 19 and runs for four weeks. This is a class for beginner and intermediate writers, offering ways to self-edit to produce a clean, tightly-written book. Over the course of four classes, participants will sharpen their skills in some of the basics of characterization, dialogue, and clear, concise narrative.

That’s all for today, folks. I do hope you have a satisfying and productive week.

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