Why there are Leap Days? Leap days, technically known as intercalary days, are calendar corrections. Despite what you have been taught, there are not 365 days in a year. There are precisely 365.2425 days, which means we gain a day every four years. An exception: Century years cannot be leap years unless they are evenly divisible by 400.
Inventor of Leap Day: In 45 B.C., Emperor Julius Caesar added a Leap Day occurring every four years to the calendar he created. Until then, calendars were a mess.
Guinness World Record leapers:
Norway's Henriksen family has the most siblings born on Leap Day — Heidi (1960), Olav (1964) and Lief-Martin (1968).
Most generations of one family born on Leap Day — Peter Anthony Keogh was born in 1940 in Ireland. Son Peter Eric Keogh was born in 1964. Grandchild Bethany Wealth came along on Leap Day 1996.
BBC News points out that those of you who receive an annual salary are working an extra day without extra pay. (Where's the fairness in that?)
The city of St. Petersburg, Fla. was incorporated on Feb. 29, 1892.
One Orlando man is celebrating leap year in a unique way. Brian Feldman will be leaping from the top of a 12-foot-high ladder at Orlando City Hall - 366 times. (HUH??? WHY???)
Did you know there was a Feb 30? But only one in the 1700s in Sweden. So what about all those poor babies born on that day? Go here to read more details about this.
So there it is, my post on leap year.
Marinated Baked Pork Chops
2 T. soy sauce
4 T. vegetable oil
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. lemon juice
4 T. brown sugar
4 T. ketchup
4-6 pork chops
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In a small bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup.
3. Marinate pork chops in half of the sauce.
4. Place pork chops in a medium baking dish and coat again with sauce.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake pork chops 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
6.Turn and coat again with sauce. Continue baking for 15 minutes (uncovered).
7. Pour remaining sauce over pork chops and then broil for 3 minutes.
If I were a better person I would have pictures to go with it, but I'm not a better person. I think this is going to be new staple in my reserve of recipes and I can't wait to try the sauce with chicken. What are some of your staples?
Now for the contents of my bag:
Now some of you may be looking at this photo of Brian and thinking that he's not bad looking but he's not all that. Well my friends you are wrong and I challenge you to attend one of his performances and not come away thinking "he's great" followed by a sigh. But the celebration need not end here because there is more. The festival has also announced that David Ivers will be returning to the festival to direct Brian in Cyrano de Bergerac. Could it get any better? Well yes I suppose also putting David on stage for at least one production in addition to his directing duties would be better; and Michael Sharon returning and the festival somehow landing Rupert Penry-Jones as well would be better. But I am happy and content and getting ready to buy my tickets.
Part of my excitement comes from the fact that I am actually the major planner of this trip--well the major planner of the details of what we will be doing while we are in Boston. I love planning trips. I think in another life I would make a great tour organizer/guide. As such I have quite literally been seriously planning this trip since December. I have lists (with pictures) of attractions in the Boston area, their hours, prices, and directions on how to get there. I have lists compiled and cross-referenced on what each of us wants to see and do while in Boston. I have subway and rail schedules and prices ready to go. I have have an itinerary for the entire week all scheduled out. I am even compiling a list of everyone's favorite Dunkin' Donuts (if you know my family you will know that this is very important). Now even though you might be thinking I am a bit over-planned, I would argue no. Having a good plan based on good information will simply allow us to accomplish everything that we want to in the amount of time that we have and will also allow us to make good decisions when something else comes up that we weren't thinking of doing. Basically what I am trying to say is that I am not a Nazi travel planner. Our first family meeting concerning the vacation is coming up in March and I literally can't wait.
In addition to planning out our vacation I have been spending some time lately thinking about what I will wear and take to Boston and over the weekend made my first purchase. Here it is the bag that I will be toting all over Boston and the Cape for a week:
Isn't it great? It is the perfect size to hold my camera, a bottle of water, a snack, an umbrella, and my wallet without making me feel like I'm carrying the whole world with me. I am also planning out the outfit I will wear on the airplane to Boston. This is actually very important as I am flying first class (used my frequent flyer miles) and I don't want to be called out as a fraud. I also don't want be called out as someone trying too hard. So what do you think of this outfit put together here by EmilyStyle (a favorite distraction of mine)?
Sans the luggage because I don't have that kind of money and sans the scarf as it will be June.
So anyway back to the Oscars. I thought there were several really lovely dresses worn by the ladies but I don't feel like I can pick a favorite quite yet as I didn't watch very much of the red carpet. There were several really nice acceptance speeches--and by nice I mean short. And it finished 15 minutes early!!! On the downside, I really didn't enjoy it since I had seen only a few of the movies and really couldn't get excited over any of the wins. I remember a day (back when I was young) when I had actually seen several of the movies nominated and could hope for certain outcomes. Lately it seems that Hollywood it intent on celebrating the sick and twisted and overly violent themes in movies that I just don't want to allow into my life as entertainment. Aren't we sick enough as a society without celebrating the recreation of it on the big screen? And that is not to say that certain "sick" themes shouldn't be explored such as the holocaust and the like, but to explore those themes in a respectful and insightful way is a far cry from what is being produced and shoveled out on us today. Sorry I am now climbing off my soap box. But before I get off it entirely let me present you with my winners from movies that I actually saw this year.
Best Supporting Actress: Amanda Bynes (Hairspray) (a little bit by default since I couldn't think of anyone else, but she was lovely in the role.)
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Finney (Amazing Grace)
Best Actress: Hillary Swank (Freedom Writers)
Best Actor: Ioan Gruffudd (Amazing Grace)
Best Movie: Freedom Writers
Best Song: Baby Don't You Cry (The Pie Song) by Quincy Coleman & Andrew Hollander (Waitress)
So technically I think some (maybe all) of these would not have qualified for this year's Oscars because of release dates, but I saw them this year in the theaters so as far as I am concerned they are this year's winners. Who are yours?
Performance by an actress in a supporting role: Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There"
Performance by an actor in a supporting role: Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men"
Performance by an actor in a leading role: Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood"
Performance by an actress in a leading role: Julie Christie in "Away from Her"
Achievement in art direction: "Atonement" Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
Achievement in cinematography: "No Country for Old Men": Roger Deakins
Achievement in costume design: "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street": Colleen Atwood
Achievement in directing: "No Country for Old Men" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Best documentary feature: "No End in Sight" A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Best documentary short subject: "Sari's Mother" (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley
Achievement in film editing: "No Country for Old Men": Roderick Jaynes
Best animated feature film of the year: "Ratatouille": Brad Bird
Best foreign language film of the year: The Counterfeiters" Austria
Achievement in makeup: "La Vie en Rose" Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score): "Atonement" (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song): "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova ( But I really want "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz to win)
Best animated short film: "Madame Tutli-Putli" (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
Best live action short film: "At Night" A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
Achievement in sound editing: "Transformers": Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins
Achievement in sound mixing: "Transformers": Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin
Achievement in visual effects: "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End": John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
Adapted screenplay: "No Country for Old Men," Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Original screenplay: "Juno," Written by Diablo Cody
Best motion picture of the year: "No Country for Old Men" A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
Isn't he the cutest? I love Donald Davis. He is probably one of the best professional storytellers to ever grace a stage. Add to his greatness as a teller a true humility and an honest interest in people and really you have a complete package and some very good reasons to follow him around like a love-sick puppy. (I especially appreciate his humility in light of some other tellers who believe they are God and expect to be treated as such complete with the bowing and walking 5 steps behind them--sadly so many of these tellers are actually very good so rather than sticking it to them for their disgusting behavior I end up buying their cds and then standing in line for an autograph--I'm weak that way) Anyway, Donald was as wonderful as ever telling hilarious and touching stories about his youth (last night it was Aunt Mary's night (I think it was Mary)) and now I have some new inspiration for the kind of aunt that I want to be.
For those of you sad and sorry people who have not yet been introduced to the fantastic world of storytelling let me just tell you that it doesn't involve people sitting around reading aloud from books. It is, though, made up of a very talented community of individuals who tell stories to children and adults of all ages. Donald is a great way to introduce yourself to storytelling so check him out in your local library (my favorite cd is the Grand Canyon one). A couple of other recommendations that I would have for you are Bill Harley (great for kids), Bil Lepp (yes I spelled his first name correctly--a great tall-tale teller), and Carmen Deedy.
Also if you are coming to the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in August you get to see Bill Harley and Carmen Deedy live and in person! There are 8 others coming, but I am going to be following Bill and Carmen around.
*Just as a note I would like to say that all of my nieces are cute and they all have excellent American Sign Language skills and I would be happy to bring attention to them should their moms decide to do a video posting. I am an equal loving opportunity Aunt.
After eating a few too many cookies I made a nice pasta dinner and settled in to waste a bit of time watching tv. I watched Monarchy with David Starkey which is all about the British crown. Last night's episode was about the issue of heir after William and Ann. I don't know why but I totally eat up these shows about the British crown--not today's so much but the history of it all. Their solution to the problem of who would succeed to the crown once Ann died was really interesting. Rather than put a Catholic on the throne, they invited some guy who was 51st in the line of succession to come on over from Germany. I just can't imagine being so desperate to have a leader of a certain religion on the throne they would go outside their own country looking for a leader (oh wait, isn't that what conservative southerners did when they refused to vote for Romney because of his religion? Everyone on talk radio/tv seems nearly resigned to Obama sweeping the country because their isn't a conservative for Republicans to vote for. So by default Republicans have handed over "their" country to someone not of their own party all in the name of religion.) I'll have to catch the next episode of Monarchy to see how that went for the UK. (shhhhh, don't tell anyone but I'm personally quite hopeful that Obama will win) Anyway, after the show I tore myself away from the tv and did what I had intended on doing for the entire evening: I went to bed with a box of chocolates and read a lovely book. It was so nice that I think I will do that again tonight.
And now for a bit of fun. I wish I could have been there to see this in person.
So very cool!
I have to wear them because, unlike us, not everyone is good enough to shovel their sidewalks. Also you may not be able to tell but those are brown corduroys shoved into my black and white boots topped of with a light-blue coat. If I had allowed more of myself in the shot you would also have seen me in a bright green scarf and navy blue knit gloves baring the Yankee logo. Now this is the time that I should be regarded with disdain by fashion teachers everywhere!
I love notepads; shoes (for adults of course); and head bands (again for adults). Everyone bought something so I think we were all happy enough.
Then we headed over to Steve and Barry's which I have talked about before. Well, the sale that they were having an entire month ago is still going on. Sadly, this means that the entire store is still really picked over. They also haven't changed the selection of clothes yet--I was hoping for some spring/summer selections. I did buy a great pair of teal ballet-flat shoes that I love, but otherwise I was very disappointed (So, Cranat, it is really good we decided not to go up--I'm thinking maybe in about a month).
By this point we all needed a bit of nourishment so we headed over to So Cupcake, a new cupcake shop that just opened in Salt Lake. I really like cupcakes and was really looking forward to trying this new place out. Sadly, I was a bit dissapointed. The shop was cute with its pink trimmings and I absolutely love the cupcake sketches that are hanging on the walls (check out their very cute website linked above--the sketches on the site are the same ones hanging on the walls of the shop), but I felt they missed out on truly making the cute point by putting down ugly linolium on the floors and doing nothing at all to the ceilings which was sad since they have really cute chandeliers drawing your attention up--I would have done some hardwood floors and some metal tiles on the ceiling (which, I know, is more expensive so maybe these are on their to-do list)
The cupcakes themselves were pretty looking and of a good size (I hate going somewhere for cupcakes and getting this tiny, little thing) but a little unimaginative in their names. The red velvet cupcake was called the red velvet cupcake--although on their website they have at least given a nod to trying to be creative we'll have to see if eventually these titles make it into the shop itself. I went with the cinnamon sugar cupcake which I felt was rather dry. My sister had the chocolate cupcake and also felt hers was dry. My mother had the red velvet cupcake and thought it was nice and moist. I did really like the frosting, though, so all was not disappointing. Unfortunately, I think the general verdict is that I will probably not be going back. Perhaps I need to perfect my own cupcake-making skills so that I don't continually have to be disappointed by others. Do any of you have any good cupcake recipies? I am looking for a recipe that is moist, but slightly dense.
So maybe the outings themselves weren't great, but I did have a lot of fun hanging out with my mom and my sister (and baby Grace) so as far as I am concerned a good time was had by all!
Will not be lazy--I haven't been too bad with this. When I'm not sick (which hasn't been too often) I get up out of bed at a good time. Unfortunately, I still watch too much tv--will work on that for next month.
Will stay in control of mail in-box--is completely empty right now at this exact moment!
Will not get annoyed with family--urrmmm will work on this for next month
Will not get upset over men--actually this is a bit of a cheat for me because I am so past getting upset over men. Getting upset over people who belittle me for being single or try to console me for being single all while in or not-so-inadvertently insulting me (I actually had one woman approach me after I was called to be a nursery teacher and tell me that she new I was going to get that calling because that is where they send all the women who can't get married--I know!!! I was good and just smiled all the while thinking that my situation could be worse than just being single: I could be married to her husband. (And while we are on the subject--kind of --of nursery, parents do not bring your sleeping children to us and expect us to take them off your hands; also parents please refrain from leaving your child in a dark nursery room with no adult supervision you can wait an extra minute for one of us to get there; and please pick up your children within say 5 minutes of church getting out cause coming 15 minutes after it is out is really not gonna work for us) So really I should probably change this one to not getting upset over married people who think I am less of a person because I am still single, but I think I need a freebie so I am keeping "Will not get upset over men"
Will be positive about everyone--obviously (see above) I still need to work on this one.
Will develop inner poise--I don't know how to define inner poise, but I don't think I have it yet.
Will lose 10 pounds--I lost 3 pounds and then gained 2.
Will purge flat of extraneous matter--urrmmm will work on this for next month
Will give away horrible clothes--This is the one I needed a couple of extra days to work on. I've given them all away. I even gave away my "I haven't done laundry for awhile and I'm desperate" clothes!
Will improve career and find new job--Am taking 2 college courses to help me with some hands-on training.
Will read books and listen to classical music--I read books, but I think I've only listened to classical music once this year--maybe I need a classical music mix.
Will go to the gym--urrmmm will work on this for next month
Will make music mood mixes--Yeah!!! I've done this one.
Will read Book of Mormon--Working on it
Will read Joseph Smith lessons--urrmmm will work on this for next month, but I am only 3 chapters behind so it is not hopeless
Will read from Preach My Gospel-- urrmmm will work on this for next month
Will write in journal--I'm working on it
Will do Family History work--Have been twice to the center to work on it!
I could do better, but I'm not failing miserably so I'm pretty pleased.
I love both of these, but I harbor a great hope of someday being able to actually make the sweater. For those of you who don't harbor such dillusions check them out at the Oeuf website.
Note: These are not a personal find of mine. I am stealing them from Design Mom. If you haven't visted her blog, repent now!
I'm wasting a bit of time today by perusing the links on some of my favorite blogs. This is a favorite pastime of mine since it is like meeting wonderful, clever new friends, but I can do it in my pajamas or with a huge zit on my nose and I don't have to feel self conscience. Also, I don't have to worry about being clever or funny or interesting just they do. Anyway, I came across this fabulous little gem (A Little Sussy) with some really great photos. In particular, I love this one photo. It made me laugh out loud and garner stranger looks from others in the room with me right now.
Sussy wrote "i laughed so hard imagining him walking down the street with the coil up to his ear and the phone in his pocket." I too would love to see that. If perhaps you find that you need one of these they are available here.
They love to hide in the pantry together.
They love to look out the door for Bompa and Grammy together.
They love to play the piano together.
They love to play ring around the rosies together.
And they love to just sit and chat.
But sometimes even best friends say something stupid, or silly, or just plain annoying.
I am now once again without a book to read. Any suggestions?
Most Attractive Man:
Most Elegant Woman:Madonna
So I guess there was a bit of a shake up in the final days with others agreeing with me that David Tennant was just not the most attractive man (although I quite like him as Dr. Who and he is nice looking in that British sort of way). I still wouldn't have picked Sean Bean, but I can get on board a little bit with him. I am still completely off board, though, when it comes to Britney and a bit iffy when it comes to Madonna. But I suppose I can support the British right to find what they will attractive as long as they don't tread on my right to define their list as crazy--I suppose technically the title to my post is incorrect since (fake British accents aside) neither Britney or Madonna are British.
Did you notice how many different hairstyles the man has gone through? A little bit feminine if you ask me--at least men aren't running in asking for the Eddie haircut though. Also, if you didn't make it past the first couple of minutes that's ok cause I haven't either--it just gets a bit boring--especially since one of the things I like so much about Eddie is his great New York accent and the funny lines his writers give him. Ah well, I hope you enjoyed it just a bit. (At some point I really need to do a blog about my penchant for using "--." I'm sure it is horrible for those of you with a sensibility toward proper grammar and I do apologize.
p.s. Janel I tag you--just to help you get going.