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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE MAKING OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS!!




    The annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas has become as much a part of Christmas as Santa and Rudolph.
    Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, Snoopy's decorated doghouse and Linus' classic recitation on the true meaning the season have become true baby-boomer Christmas icons. Throw in Vince Guaraldi's classic soundtrack, and you have an animated special that has defined a generation.


  • A Charlie Brown Christmas was not the first time the Peanuts characters were animated. In the early 1960's they appeared in a series of commercials for the Ford Motor Company.

  • A Charlie Brown Chirstmas was conceived, written, animated and produced in only six months, and was finished only a week before the air date. The first airing, on December 9, 1965, was sponsored by Coke.





  • A CBS executive who watched a preview was disappointed and declared the program, "A little flat....a little slow", and said he thought Peanuts was better suited for the comics page. Ed Levitt, an animator who worked on the show was more percipient, however, declaring "A Charlie Brown Christmas will run for a hundred years"!

  • The children who sing the opening and closing songs, "Christmas Time is Here", and "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", were chosen from a children's choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael, California. The songs were recorded at Fantasy Records Studio in San Francisco.

  • The voice of Charlie Brown was provided by 8 year old actor Peter Robbins, who had previously appeared in over 35 television commercials, and had small roles in TV shows such as "F Troop" and "Get Smart". Robbins continued to be the voice of Charlie Brown in 5 more Peanuts specials,as well as in the first Peanuts movie. A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

  • The youngest voice in the cast was that of Sally, played by 6 year old Cathy Steinberg. Because she couldn't yet read, when had to be fed her lines a few words at a time.





  • Vince Guaraldi was a San Francisco jazz musician. Producer Lee Mendelson was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge when he heard one of Guaraldi's songs on the radio, and recruited him to write the music for the special.
 
  • The "voice" of Snoopy was provided by co-producer Bill Melendez.
 
  • The very first airing placed second in the ratings for it's week, behind Bonanza and ahead of such favorites as Red Skelton, Walt Disney and The Andy Griffith Show.
 
  • A writer for TIME magazine loved the show, calling it "refreshing and "special". He also wrote, " A Charlie Brown Christmas, is one children's special this season that bears repeating".
 
  • The 1965 airing won an Emmy Award for "Best Network Animated Special" and a Peabody Award for "Outstanding Children's and Youth's Program".

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.














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.


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  • 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.
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  • 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.

HOLIDAYS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY!


 

Image result for 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.




Image result for LAW
 
 


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/Star Wars 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.  Also it is Star Wars Day "young padawan"!




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.




Image result for cookie monster



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?

Friday, April 29, 2016

CHEESE ROLLING FROM STILTON, ENGLAND!



    Cheese Rolling has become an annual event in Stilton and every May Day hundreds of villagers and visitors make their way to the main street to watch the teams battling for the honour of being called the "Stilton Cheese Rolling Champions".

Stilton History and The Cheese



The Bell Inn, where the rolling starts!



Ancient Stilton

    No one knows who lived here first - the earliest finds date from the time of the Roman occupation and are probably associated with the road that runs from London to the army fortress at Lincoln, which the Saxons later called Ermine Street.
    For centuries this road seems to have been little used, the important route was the east-west road, Fen Street and Church Street, which is why our oldest building, the Church of St Mary Magdalene, is found away from the main road that now exists.






    Stilton gets three mentions in the Doomesday Book of 1086 as three landowners, the King, the Bishop of Lincoln and Eustace held land here. The Great North Road had become a busy thoroughfare by the fifteenth century and Stilton was a well-known staging post; at one time there were 14 inns or ale houses for a permanent population of around 500 to 600 people. While most earned their living from farming, an analysis of the 1841 census, taken just before the long distance coach trade all but disappeared to be superseded by the railway, showed that occupations directly connected to the coaches were important too.







Village Pubs &  The Cheese

    All four of the present inns have very ancient origins, even though their buildings have been changed and modernised several times. We owe our famous cheese to the coach trade. Any Stiltonian can relate tales of visitors asking "where is the cheese made?...", only to be told "‘in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire".
    The most widely accepted explanation is that the cheese came down to be sold at one of the coach stops in Stilton, perhaps The Bell or The Angel. As early as 1722 Daniel Defoe (the author of "Robinson Crusoe") ate some here and mentioned that the village was already famous for its cheese. The recipe was passed down through the Beaumont family of Quenby in Leicestershire. By 1830 a former housekeeper at Quenby, Elizabeth Orton, made cheese in her farmhouse. Her daughter married Cooper Thornhill who kept The Bell Inn and he sold the cheese. He was famous (or infamous) as a larger-than-life character who long held the record for riding to London and back.








Modern Stilton

    Today, all Stilton cheese is factory made, but still only in the three counties with milk produced locally. It takes a gallon of milk to make one pound of cheese and a lot of skilled hard work is still needed. Each cheese matures for 3 months after which the blue veins appear naturally as oxygen is allowed to enter through holes pierced by stainless steel needles. A whole cheese weighs 15lb.



One of the officials watching a race



    Stilton’s dependence on the main road has been its undoing twice; in the middle of the nineteenth century when the railway line passed to the east through Holme and Yaxley, and in 1959 when the present A1 Stilton by-pass was opened. The village became a ghost village; The Bell actually closed and fell into disrepair and other businesses also disappeared. In 1962 Tom McDonald of The Talbot and Malcolm Moyer of The Bell, aided and abetted by telephone engineer Fred Linstead who provided a telegraph pole, cheered up their drinkers by organising the first ever Cheese Rolling along a course outside the present Post Office on Easter Monday.





A Little History On The Cheese Roll

How did it start?

    It would be nice to be able to say that the event is "as old as the village" or that it's origins have been lost in "the mists of time" but really no one knows how far back the tradition of rolling the cheeses goes. Midway through the Twentieth Century, when the village had turned into rather a quiet place having been by-passed by the A1 and the inns and businesses had seen a big drop in their trade, a landlord of one of the pubs decided to revive an ancient tradition. Or so he told everyone! He could be seen rolling a Stilton Cheese along the road outside his pub. People came to stand and watch and eventually joined in. And so the sport began - again.








The Rules

    It was originally run on Easter Monday and there was not a lot of uniformity to it to begin with. It seems a piece of wood in the shape of a Stilton Cheese was produced, a starting line drawn up somewhere between the The Stilton Cheese Inn and The Talbot and the finish line was outside The Bell Inn. Brave teams of Stilton men would then vie to roll the cheese to it's finish and, after the ensuing scramble, and many tussles and spills, the team that ended up steering the cheese to the finishing line would win! Nowadays, the starting point is always outside The Bell Inn and The Angel and the finish is a line drawn at the cross roads between the bottom of Fen Street and Church Street. The contestants are teams of 4, either all men or all women and each team member has to roll the cheese at least once during it's flight. It's a knockout competition with quarter's, semi's and a grand final.