Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

Good morning AND Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are able to spend your day surrounded by your loved ones.

It's my hope that none of you will be subjected to the upper respiratory thing that is going around. The Farmer and I have been sick for over three weeks and has been second only to the H1N1 that we brought back with us from Mexico a couple of years ago.

If you have caught it, lay low and let it run it's long course.

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The first order of business is food and have I got something very special for you this morning.

Recently I got a package in the mail. It was from my friend and pen pal Silke. We exchange postcards and little things through the mail. This package was a mystery.


Silke included a note that reads, "Something for the next Monday Morning Staff Meeting". I was excited to see what the package held but first I was excited by the ribbon. There's a company near Silke that produces these gorgeous ribbons.


The design depicts dandelions and toadstools and no.... it's not printed on the ribbon, it's woven. Thousands of tiny threads are woven into the design. It's amazing and I'm going to hang on to it to include in some special project.

The shape of the package spoke to me.


It said, "Chocolate bar."


I was right! Silke sent a chocolate bar that was made in Austria. I'll say one thing about the Europeans, they make awesome chocolate.


The chocolate is incredibly smooth. I can't think of any chocolate I've had in the U.S. that compares, perhaps a piece of chocolate called and Ice Cube. Have you had that one?

Anyway, break off a piece and try it for yourself. There's plenty to go around because we're using the loaves and fishes concept today.

The bar is filled with a lovely filling. There are very tiny bits that remind me of brickle and on the bottom are some small pieces of fruit that look like raisins. I think they are currants. It make for a delicious combination and what could be more appropriate for Valentine's Day than chocolate?

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Did you see the story about the baby grand piano that mysteriously appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay in Florida?


No one could figure out how the 650 lb. piano got there, nor why. It was an interesting mystery and made for some artistic photos.

Piano at high tide.

The mystery was solved when 16-yr. old Nick Harrington stepped forward to say that he and his family had moved the piano to the sandbar on their boat. I guess they didn't realize that it was considered dumping and something the size of a baby grand was a felony.

It seems that Nick intended to use the piano on the sandbar as the scene of a artistic video he intended to create as part of his admissions package to an art school on the east coast.

The thing that strikes me is that his parents thought the idea was OK and were the ones who helped him move the piano to the sandbar. Wouldn't they be charged also?

The piano has been removed and now a table for two has appeared. It seems that others are jumping on the bandwagon and try to outdo each other.


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There are hoards of TV shows depicting people creating cakes, cupcakes, food of all kind and decorating shows, but there's a new one on the tube that features something really different - balloons.

The show is called The Unpoppables (on the Learning Channel) and it features three balloon artists (Atti, Brian and Katie) who create amazing things for different events. Their creations are really amazing but I wish the producers would show more of the actual work involved in producing a giant fire truck for a firefighters event.


Their work is truly amazing but I can't imagine telling your parents, "I'm going to be a professional balloon artist."

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I now invite you all to pop over to Jill's World of Research, Reaction and Millnery.

She's a reference librarian and milliner who lives in a beautiful spot in Utah. Gosh, her landscape is just stunning. Living here in flat Illinois I'm wishing for a few of those mountains as a backdrop.

What I want you to see are the ice castles that her and her husband discovered while out driving.


Winter can be a magical time. And then again it can be sloppy and dirty. I prefer the ice castle magic, don't you?

Here's the regular link to Jill's blog:


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That's all from me today. Let's all have chocolate and sit around and chat.

What's new with you?


Anonymous said...

Good to see you this morning, it is really thawing here, as I am sure it is where you are, makes for lots of mud!
that chocolate bar looks great, my daughter works for two airline pilots and they bring chocolate home from all over, yes the Europeans know how to do chocolate!
We have that virus here, feeling much better, it started on Feb 4th for me and I still have a cough after several days of running a temp and feeling miserable, I am ready for a break!
Get well soon!

Lisa D. said...

Happy Valentine's Day! I will gladly have try the chocolate. Mmmmm, chocolate. :) And that ribbon is gorgeous.
The piano story leaves me with many questions. I wonder how the conversation went, in that home, when the 16 year old says to his parents, "I'd like to take the piano out to a sandbar to make my admissions video." The parents were fine with taking a (very expensive) piano out on the water, and then just leave it there like it was no big deal? I'm wondering how much wealth it takes before you can be that casual with a baby grand!
I saw that Unpoppables show advertised last night. It did sound intriguing.
Oh, and get well soon!!

Vee said...

Ah, so the upper respiratory thing explains your absence. Glad that you've been lying low and taking care of yourself.

Ohhh, chocolate, European chocolate. If it tastes like an Ice Cube, I'd love it. When we had a German guest a few years ago, she brought Ritter Sports, which we can now pick up locally. I like them, too, but they're not as special as what you have...more of a German "Hershey bar" if you will.

Oh I loved that post that Jill did. It was truly magical.

Okay, nothing going on here so I've nothing to share. Feel better...I'm sure you'd love to if an order would only work.

Tess said...

My URI lasted 2 weeks. After 1 week, thought I was getting better then WHAM, hit me again only harder! Welcome back.

Yours at the Menger,


Adele said...

Hope you are feeling much better soon.

OOOOOh! Ice Cubes!!! All that smooth, lovely chocolate and hazelnut goodness! I discovered them in high school about 50 years ago, when they cost 2 cents each. They still win over Dove. I even tried Nutella but it's just not the same.

A further note on the piano, it had been sitting in the grandmother's garage for years and in very bad shape. The photos they took were spectacular, I'm sure they are on u-tube. They set it on fire.

Thanks for the Ice link, how beautiful, and what a great imagination that man has.

Leslie T said...

Oh my goodness, I hope you get back to good health soon! That chocolate bar should speed the healing process along. :)
Take care!!!!

Susan said...

Ummmm, European chocolate. Except, I do remember the Ice Cube chocolates available here a century or more ago. They were soooo good, weren't they?

Theresa said...

I love the Monday Morning Meeting... so glad to see you blogging again... glad you are feeling better. I was wondering about you the other day.
Love the chocolate - you know my weakness! And the ice sculptures... that man has a future at resorts all over cold country. I can see he is going to have to hire helpers at multiple sites next year.
Thanks for the art news. I understand the baby grand on a sandspit. It is called "conceptual art", and it was a really new movement when I was in college in the late 60s. It's along the vein of the sand art made in Buddist temples and in Indian villages - sort of like the magnificent chalk "paintings" that have been made in New York City. It is a piece of art that is naturally doomed. It won't last very long. (See I could have been an art teacher - I've got the lecturing part down pat.)
Keep on feeling better! (I'd bet you got sick from that cold job!)
<3 U and Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Thanks for linking to the wonderfull ice castles. I can't wait to go see them again as they will keep "growing" until the end of March. Wowzah!

Chocolate Ice Cube are sold at our 7-11 store. I hadn't had one since high school, and while I was crazy about them then, they didn't ring my chimes now. Or maybe they just didn't work with what else I was eating that day?

European chocolate is amazing, but did you know that first place in the international chocolate competition was taken by a small chocolate company here in Salt Lake City area? I still haven't found some of the stuff, but I am looking!

Lisa D. said...

Thank you Adele, for that information on the piano. That makes things make a whole lot more sense! :)

Millicent said...

So glad to see you back this morning! Hope you stay on the path to recovery. I always love chocolate and this is VERY yummy. The ice castles have me wanting to plan a trip to Utah next winter. They sound fabulous and look wonderful. I'm a visual person and seeing things in person are ALWAYS better.

Anonymous said...

Enjoying some of my Valentine's Day chocolate in your honor as I read. Nothing so exotic but I love Lindt. Here in Norfolk, VA we have had snow and 70 degree weather within a week and enough wind to make me think of Illinois.

Glad to see you back at the computer and to hear that you are on the mend. Taking lots of vitamins? I truly believe they have helped me ward off evil spirits this winter.

Marilyn from VA

lifeinredshoes said...

I'll pass on the chocolate today, I know, CHECK MY PULSE!
As for the balloons, I picked up the latest addition of community ed classes.
Beginning Ballon Art

Intermediate Ballon Art

Advanced Ballon Art

They also offer goat packing, hula hooping for adults, and tapping away your fears ?????

Anonymous said...

I love ice cube candy....But have not had or seen any in about 9 years or even longer.. do u know where to find it I would love to know. MJ