Sunday, November 30, 2008

Babes Of The Month - Cheeky Christmas Cheer!

Sourdough Biscuits

I always keep a jar of sourdough starter in the refrigerator. We were going to have my Easy Stovetop Chili for dinner, so I thought I would try some sourdough biscuits to go along with it. I got a great sourdough cookbook at the Economy Shop (thrift store) for 50 cents. It's Sourdough Cookery by Rita Davenport. It is available on Amazon for over $10.00, but maybe you can find one at your favourite used book store like I did. It's a great little paperback with 220 recipes from starter to breads to cakes to main dishes.

SOURDOUGH BISCUITS

1/3 cup starter
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon thyme and rosemary (or your favourites)
1 tablespoon cornmeal sprinkled on cookie sheet

Mix starter, milk and 1/2 cup flour in a large bowl and let sit in a warm place overnight or until the mixture is bubbly. When ready, add 1/2 cup flour and beat. Mix another 1/2 cup of flour with sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift over the dough and mix together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Knead about 20 times or until all the flour is incorporated. Press the dough into a circle with 1/2" thickness. Then cut it into wedges.

Melt butter and mix with oil and herbs. Brush each wedge with the butter mixture before placing it upside down on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Then brush the other side with the butter mixture. Cover lightly with a clean towel and let them raise about an hour or until they almost double in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Eat them warm. Leftovers are better reheated. Now that's comfort food.

Do you have any favourite sourdough recipes? I'd love to hear yours. -- Margy

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Winter Garden

It's time to prepare my garden for winter. There isn't enough sun even on a good day to warm the soil. It rises over the mountains at about 9:00 a.m. to arc along its southerly path and "set" behind the trees of the Hole in the Wall at about 1:00 p.m.

Each year my garden seems to have a different star. This year it was my carrots. I'm not sure why. I used the same things to augment the soil in the spring, the same plant food throughout the summer, and of course the same long sunny days and plentiful rain. But, this year the carrots were more plentiful and much larger than ever before. I just harvested this huge beauty. A little trimming and it gave us lots of salads and carrot sticks to nibble on. I was amazed, it wasn't even woody.

To protect my asparagus roots, I cut the ferns two inches above the soil and then laid them on the top. A bucket of sand and another of soil over the fronds holds them in place, creates an air pocket, and helps protect the roots from freezing weather.

I am leaving my root crops in the soil. These include potatoes, more carrots and a few remaining beets. I will continue to harvest them as needed into the winter. Last year I had fresh carrots all the way until spring.

My herbs are real troopers. My mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, and even my parsley have make it through the freezing nights and even under a layer of occasional snow. Plus, it's fun to go out and snip a few fresh sprigs for winter soups and stews. -- Margy

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

from Flickr, by D.L. Lindsey

Sunrise, Sunset

It isn't often that we get to see a sunrise (at least a colourful one) from our cabin home in Hole in the Wall on Powell Lake.

We get the soft, diffused light of sunrise at about 7:30 in the morning this time of year, but we don't see the sun make its way over the peaks to the southwest until about 9:00 a.m.

We also don't often see a true sunset either. At about 1:00 p.m. the sun dips below the treetops on the other side of the bay. We get indirect light until about 4:30, but no spectacular sunsets.

For outstanding sunsets we go to town in Powell River. From there we get unobstructed views to the west (more southwest right now) across the Strait of Georgia. Even with a little cloud cover, the sun paints magnificent colours across the sky, land and water. -- Margy

'Footy's Top Ten' Hardest Men - Part Two!

Part One of my guide to 'Footy's Top Ten Hardest Men' featured Duncan Ferguson, Claudio Gentile, Billy Whitehurst & Dave Mackay.

Now in Part Two, I shall nominate three more candidates who in my opinion are suitably worthy of inclusion in this inventory.

Next up, Frank Barson (Barnsley, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Watford). Famed for his brutality even in the 1920's, when footballers were less squeamish about physical contact than they are today, Barson was perhaps the first great hard man & was probably the most controversial footballer of his day.

An imperious specimen of masculinity notorious for his own inventive take on the physical side of football, he certainly looked the part: Barrel-chested, thighs like tree trunks, fists permanently half-clenched, a broken, twisted nose and his hair tightly greased back.

Barson could play though - he once scored a header from 30 yards for Manchester United against his former club Aston Villa, but inevitably he was remembered for an unprecedented degree of disciplinary trouble.

Once banned for seven months for a sickening challenge in a match against Fulham, Barson was frequently escorted out of grounds by the police to protect him from mobs of angry opposition fans.
After one especially zesty display for Barnsley, he had to be smuggled out of Goodison Park to avoid a group of home fans who wanted to discuss with him his on-field behaviour!

Some stories suggest he brought a gun into the manager's office to accelerate discussions over a pay rise, & he unashamedly spoke of his friendship with the Fowler brothers, who were later hanged for murder.

He marked his last professional appearance at the age of 39, by being sent-off against Accrington Stanley on Boxing Day 1930.

Barson won his first and only international cap for for England against Wales. England lost 2-1 and Barson was never recalled to the side. His reputation for dirty play probably was an important factor in this decision.

Barson died in September 1968 aged 77.


In Norman Hunter, (Leeds, Bristol City & Barnsley) the Leeds United side of the early 1970's probably possessed the dirtiest player of that era.

No mean feat in one of the most cynical sides in English football history, that also contained the likes of Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles, Jack Charlton & Allan Clarke.

Initially an inside forward, Hunter was moulded by Leeds into a central defender who made the No.6 shirt his own in 14 years with the club he joined at the age of 15.

His fellow professionals made him their Player of the Year in 1974 - the award's inaugural presentation.

It was against Derby, at the old Baseball Ground in the 1975-76 season, that Hunter secured his place in football's annals of infamy, with an epic punch-up with Francis Lee that resulted in both players being sent off.
Lee infuriated Hunter by winning a penalty via his well honed trick of taking a dive. When Hunter put a right hook on Lee he couldn't have been prepared for the City man's response, a whirring, blurring, wind milling assault that floored Hunter.

In 1973 Leeds lost to AC Milan in the now defunct European Cup Winners Cup. This match is one of a series of matches involving Italian Clubs that are regarded as being 'fixed', by Dezso Solti, a Hungarian refugee, who, according to the testimony of a number of officials, was responsible for bribing referees. Hunter was sent-off in this match for retaliation.

In his years of playing, Hunter acquired a reputation as a dirty player, apparently happy to use methods not within the laws of the game to curtail the effect of opposition strikers. As such, he was often referred to by supporters, journalists and sports commentators as Norman 'Bites Yer Legs' Hunter, a nickname which stuck with him throughout the duration of his career.

Leeds' trainer Les Cocker was once told by Hunter that he had gone home with a broken leg. 'Whose leg is it?' Les asked him.


Andoni Goikoetxea (Athletic Madrid & Athletic Bilbao). 'The Butcher of Bilbao' was plainly at least one prawn short of a paella, and delighted in reducing star names to flotsam & jetsam.

Opposing forwards lived in fear of receiving the ball with their back to goal.

Pride of place in the living room of El Sod (right) is a glass case, containing one football boot. The boot he had used to break Diego Maradona's left ankle & destroy his ankle ligaments with in 1983.
That 'psycho tackle' put the Argentine star out of football for a substantial length of time. 'Crack! It was like the chop of an axe from behind,' Maradona recalled. 'My leg went numb, I knew everything was ruined.'

Goikoetxea was given a 16-match ban for the incident.
When Maradona recovered he sparked a fight between the teams in retribution.

Following his ban, Goikoetxea then crocked another Barcelona ace, the German Bernd Schuster, leaving him with a nasty knee injury.

Goikoetxea played 39 times for Spain, making his debut against Holland in February 1983. He represented Spain at both the 1984 European Football Championships & the 1986 FIFA World Cup.


Part Three of 'Footy's Top Ten Hardest Men' will follow soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My new book is out! Basset Hound: Your Happy Healthy Pet


Today I was thrilled to receive the first copies of my new book, Basset Hound, Your Happy Healthy Pet. It is available for sale on Amazon, just in time for the holidays. I'm sure you will all want one, even if you don't have a Basset (VERY big grin). 

I spent about two months on this project earlier this year. The Happy Healthy Pet series from Howell Books is a series about each of the most popular breeds. I am happy to report that this book is specifically written about about Basset Hounds, rather than just a formula "how-to-care-for-your-dog" book with a Basset Hound on the cover. Although the editor provided me with a table of contents, I was free to reorganize and add elements, and of course, write the content. This is a second edition; the first edition, written by Barbara Wicklund, a respected member of the Basset Hound Club of America, was released in 1996. I was given the first edition to pull from as I wished. The previous book focused more on breeders and dog fanciers rather than pet owners, so my mission was to rewrite the book for the pet dog owner.  A lot of information needed to be updated also. Her writing style was more formal where my style is conversational, so that needed to be changed too. The new edition, while including some of her work, is mostly mine. The editors provided content for some of the sidebars– for example, on vaccinations – so it would be consistent throughout all of their breed books. Since I have so much experience with training, it killed me not to be able to write that chapter! But someday someone will probably rewrite my version too. 

I had some terrific help with my research for the book. Jo Ann and Bill Nolan, of Splash Basset Hounds, Heather Simonek of Vogue Bassets, Don Bullock of Woebgon Bassets, and Cathy Wheeler (whose dogs compete in agility) all spent hours with me as I diligently took notes. Sylvie McGee of Seattle helped me with rescue and Basset health issues. She is the Basset breed rep for Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue (a group I used to volunteer for) and is on the national breed club's health committee. Jacqueline Nolan posed with dogs, and Kevin Whelan had his agility dogs perform for photos. 

My close friend and a professional photographer, Melanie Snowhite, took some fabulous photos which are featured in the book. I love how the Basset's loose skin seems to be caught in slow motion, flapping around mid-action in some of the shots.

I learned so much on this, my first book, that will help me when I write the next one, and there will be a next one, I promise! 

Three tenors



Photo by Tanja Askani
One of My Artwork that I have been working on.

Hannya Mask - Idea of Hori Mouja

Media - Pencil,Marker and Oil Pastel on Drawing Paper


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2 Koi

Hello all....

Its been awhile since I have updated anything in here... Been busy with life ( Even though it sucks most of the time ) and new projects. Well, anyway, did this piece a day ago. Enjoy !


Victoria's Secret Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show 2008 at Miami (Part-2)

Model Heidi Klum works the runway during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Nov. 15, 2008 in Miami. The show airs on CBS Dec. 3, 2008. Models, including Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosia, walked the catwalk in a show consisting of naughty knickers, sexy underwear and the signature pair of wings. There were 35 supermodels showed 68 outfits.
Hollywood sexy models' sexy lingerie and underwear fashion
Hollywood sexy model, Hot Hollywood model girl, Underwear and lingerie fashion show
Hollywood sexy model, Hot Hollywood model girl, Underwear and lingerie fashion show
Victoria's Secret Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show 2008 at Miami (Part-2)

Victoria's Secret Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show 2008 at Miami

Model Adriana Lima works the runway during Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel Nov. 15, 2008 in Miami. The show airs on CBS Dec. 3, 2008. Models, including Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosia, walked the catwalk in a show consisting of naughty knickers, sexy underwear and the signature pair of wings. There were 35 supermodels showed 68 outfits.
Hollywood sexy model, Hot Hollywood model girl, Underwear and lingerie fashion show
Victoria's Secret Underwear and lingerie Fashion Show 2008 at Miami
Hollywood sexy supermodels' underwear fashion show
Victoria's Secret Sexy Lingerie Fashion Show 2008 at Miami

Hollywood sexy model, Irina Shayk's sexy bikini Fashion

Irina Shayk is Hollywood sexy model girl. She is so hot and sexy model. These are some sexy photos of Irina Shayk.
Hollywood sexy model, Irina Shayk's sexy lingerie and bikini fashion
Hot Hollywood Model Girl, Irina Shayk's hottest fashion style
Sexy Hollywood Model Girl, Irina Shayk's sexy bikini fashion
Irina Shayk is Hollywood sexy model girl. She is so hot and sexy model. These are some sexy photos of Irina Shayk.

I'm upside down!


This cute pup is one of the finalists in the 4th Annual World's Coolest Dog & Cat Show.

And you can see many more upside down doggies at Upside Down Dogs

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That's My World: Introducing Powell River, BC

This is my first "That's My World" post so I would like to introduce where my husband Wayne and I live, Powell River, British Columbia, Canada.

Where is that, you ask? Just go up the coast about 145 kilometers (90 miles) from Vancouver to the "Sunshine Coast" and you'll discover the city of Powell River. Part of the charm (and sometimes frustration) is that it takes two ferry rides to get there. While technically Powell River is not on an island, it feels like island living because of the ferries.

Powell River is a small town, with about 13,000 people living within the city boundaries and a total of 22,000 if you count the surrounding region. The people are welcoming, friendly and helpful. Even if you are a new arrival, it feels like coming home.

The Powell River and nearby Powell Lake were named in honour of Israel Wood Powell, the superintendent of Indian Affairs for BC in the 1880s. The town of Powell River was started in 1910 as a papermill company town. Originally the mill was built and owned by the Powell River Company. It has gone through many hands and is now owned by Catalyst Paper. Once the largest paper mill in the world, it has downsized considerably in recent years.

Powell River is no longer a company town. Homes are now privately owned and the Historic Townsite was designated a National Historic District by Parks and Monuments Canada in 1995. The Townsite is now one of four distinct communities (Cranberry, Westview, Townsite and Wildwood) that unified into the Corporation and District of Powell River in 1955. In 2005, the municipality became the City of Powell River.

Wayne and I have fallen in love with the people and places in and around Powell River. Want to know more? Check the menu of topics in the side bar. Also, come back each week to discover a little bit more about Powell River.


View Larger Map

If you want to see more exciting places from around the world, go to the "That's My World" website. -- Margy

Not tug-of-war?

This cute pup is one of the finalists in the 4th Annual World's Coolest Dog & Cat Show.

I am ready to get a ‘rakhi’ tied from Diana : Ashutosh Kaushik

Ashutosh has been declared the winner of Bigg Boss 2. The results were given out by none other than the ‘Khiladiyo ka Khiladi’, Akshay Kumar.

The lattmar guy speaks to us about everything, from his girlfriend Sonel, to suspicius relationship with Diana and his urgency to win the Bigg Boss show. We got into a candid chat with the man himself.

“It feels great to win a reality show, especially if it is Bigg Boss. This is my second win in a row, MTV Roadies 5.0 and now Bigg Boss 2”, says Ashu as he is called by fellow mates. 1 Crore is a big amount, so what next?

“I really needed the money badly. The amount is very huge. I needed the cash for my personal means”.

We asked him what will he do now after leaving the Bigg Boss house?

“First of all, I will convenience my girlfriend, Sonel (of MTV Roadies 5.0). She wants to break off with me. I am ready to get a ‘rakhi’ tied from Diana. There was nothing between us.

I never knew the media would exaggerate the situation so much. Diana is a good friend of mine. But if people still have second thoughts about it I am ready to get a ‘rakhi’ tied from her”.

So now that he has won two reality shows in a row, is he open for other reality shows as well?

“Certainly, why not. I am ready for any reality show now. Be it dancing on the stage, or again an adventurous one, I am open to all. The very thought of winning two reality shows has given me enough confidence level for the third or the forth one. In fact I am open to films also. I don’t mind acting in any movie be it a big or a small role”.

Coming back to Bigg Boss, whom does he admire the most amongst his entire house mate?

“He is the one and only Rahul Bhaiya. He has given me the will power to stand till the end. I owe him big time”.

For Gossips And Mirch Masala Log On To Bollywood Paradize

The confessions of a Bikini girl Neha Dhupia

Neha Dhupia was dubbed as the bikini girl when she hit the silver screen with 'Qayamat' some five years ago. A slew of sleazy films of the 'Julie' and 'Sheesha' kinds followed. And Neha ended up being tagged as a wannabe sex symbol.

But now the actress has shifted to serious cinema and is enjoying it like anything. But she doesn't mind the fact that her glam quotient has come down.

She's been saying, "Maybe, but the satisfaction is immense, and the contentment I derive from my work today is multifold. Being a part of simple, beautiful films like 'Mithya', 'Maharathi', 'Dasvidaniya' and working with the likes of Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal... has given me more than money ever could. They're stalwarts and they do no wrong!"

But she's a bit bitter about many so called docile B-Town girls going for sexy makeovers.

She's said, "Now those hypocritical, double-standard people are wearing bikinis themselves. And those who reprimanded me are applauding them like there's no tomorrow! But you know what? I don't think wearing a two-piece is cool anymore. I've been there, done that years ago!"

She's totally okay with her current status.

She's said, "I've dabbled with 'commercial films' at the beginning of my career. But priorities change over time.

Yes, I could've made obnoxious amount of money – much more than I'm making today – by taking up more commercially viable projects. But what am I going to do with so much money? I'm earning enough, and I'm living a more than comfortable life."

She's added, "And if I'm working with Nasseer and Paresh, I've also worked with the Akshay Kumars, Ajay Devgans and Emraan Hashmis."

This one seems to be a content babe as of now. Let's see what the future holds for her!

For Gossips And Mirch Masala Log On To Bollywood Paradize

'Footy's Top Ten' Hardest Men - Part One!

In these days of namby-pamby, overpaid professionals it's sometimes good to take a look back at when men were men on the football pitch!
Those were the days when every team had its hard man.

It is fair to say that the modern game has taken away the stereotypical hard men, largely down to the camera scrutiny the players now experience on a pitch. You no longer witness, the subtle kicks, pinches or whacks that was part and parcel of the game then. These were the make-up of the real hard men who went about their business quietly and effectively.

My recollections are conjured up using a combination of books & news articles I have read over the years, archived television footage, as well of course as witnessing some of the players in question at first hand, with my very own eyes as a paying spectator.


My first introduction to a genuine tough man was Billy Whitehurst (Sheffield Utd, Hull City, Newcatle & Oxford Utd), a strong man with both a big physique and a reputation to match. I remember in one match Billy kicking out the front teeth of the then Coventry City skipper, Brian Kilcline, a big tough opponent in his own right.

Nobody would deny that he was seriously hard. He once apparently offered out the entire Crystal Palace side in the players' lounge at Hull. When he was at Oxford, he was rumoured to be supplementing his weekly pay, and winding down by means of bare-knuckle fighting with the local gypsies. Neil Ruddock said that, when Billy whispered sweet promises in his ear mid-match, 'I used to start shaking.'

Vinnie Jones, a colleague at Sheffield United, recalls in his autobiography how Billy (right) nipped an escalating rumble with a phalanx of Sheffield Wednesday fans in the bud by knocking out stone cold the opposition ringleader with 'one of the best right-handers I have ever seen - inside or outside a ring'. During that spell at Sheffield United, he was sent out to roam the green with the explicit instructions from his manager, Dave Bassett: 'Go and cause some bollocks, Billy.' He so rarely disappointed.

Italian's have always had a reputation for being 'hot-headed' & 'synical' & in Claudio Gentile (Juventus, Fiorentina & Piacenza) you had the ultimate symbol of Italian cynicism. There was nothing remotely 'gentile' about Claudio!
He was one of the Italian defenders to make up an infamous 'defensive trio' alongside Bergomi & Tardelli in Spain in 1982, where together they led Italy to World Cup glory.

Gentile came to international acclaim in the 2nd phase match against the title-holders Argentina, when he man-marked Diego Maradona out of the game by kicking & flooring him constantly throughout the game. In response to his performance against Maradona, Gentile famously quipped, 'Football is not for ballerinas!'

One of Gentile's most favored tactics was to stand behind the striker who had the ball while kicking between his opponent's legs to play the ball, leaving the opposing player's legs beaten and bruised - a tactic adopted by top-flight defenders ever since. Gentile was also a master of the hard tackle to get the ball, not the player, and was rewarded for his skill by a career that lacked even a single sending-off.

In Dave Mackay you had the hardest footballer in an era when the game really could be termed a man's game. Mackay came back from a twice-broken left leg to dominate in midfield for Tottenham during the 60's before a late and glorious swansong at Derby.

Mackay could show anger, but never, pain. Not because, he thought it showed weakness to the opposition, but because the part of his brain that registered pain or fear had apparently stopped working. After he suffered a grotesque leg-break at Old Trafford in 1963, which would keep him out for almost two years, he barely grimaced, and as he was stretchered off he sat up leaning on his elbow, looking almost bored. Truly, types come no stronger, or silent.

Mackay was definitely one of the good guys: a genuinely outstanding left-half and a truly honorable man, who used his clout to put the hurt on opponents but never ever to seriously injure them.
Nonetheless he was intimidating enough to send the opposition, psychologically, for an early bath.

Engaging with him aggressively was not to be advised.
Billy Bremner discovered this when he kicked Mackay's bad leg. The picture of Mackay, teeth gritted so hard that it seems like they're about to splinter everywhere, grabbing a terrified Bremner by the shirt is one of football's most iconic hard-man photos (right).

Dave Mackay was the indestructible hero.

Where to start with Duncan Ferguson,(Dundee Utd, Rangers, Everton - twice & Newcastle). His career was often punctuated by controversy both on and off the pitch, and by injury. The ex-con has been branded everything from hard man to hooligan, but to Everton fans, he was a hero.

'Big Dunc' was brandished the yellow card a total of 37 times in his 269 Premier League games & shares the dubious record for the most Premier League red cards, collecting a whopping eight along with Patrick Vieira. He was once sent off for punching Paul Scharner in the stomach and a subsequent fracas with Pascal Chimbonda resulted in a total match ban of seven games.

He was capped for Scotland seven times, but made himself unavailable for selection by his national team due to a dispute with the Scottish Football Association.
He has scored the most goals of any Scottish player in the FA Premier League.

Ferguson also frequently found himself in trouble with the law, leading to four convictions for assault, two arising from taxi–rank scuffles. However, his most memorable on–field confrontation was with Raith Rovers defender John McStay in 1994 while playing for Rangers. Ferguson headbutted his opponent and this led to a three-month spell in prison.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reflections

On a calm day, the water in front of my float cabin is like a mirror. Fall is a good time to capture the reflection of golden maple leaves on the glassy surface.

Head up north on the salt chuck (ocean) to nearby Desolation Sound and you will find lofty peaks and puffy clouds reflected on the calm waters on a sunny summer day.

Take a ride on BC Ferries to nearby Texada Island and you are sure to get a beautiful reflection of the sun on the water. They don't call us the Sunshine Coast for nothing.

When I reflect on it, I live in the "best place on earth." And in 2010, we'll have the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Come for a visit, stay for the games. -- Margy