Monday, July 30, 2012

A Lifetime of Training for Just Ten Seconds

Hey all,

If you don't know it, the title is a quote by the great athlete, Jesse Owens, speaking of his incredible performance at the 1936 Summer Olympics.  And while not every event lasts only ten seconds, you understand his point.  So much work for such a small moment in time.

I love the Olympics.  Watch them as much as I can, wherever we are.  I love seeing the different events, groan along with the athletes when they don't make the grade, and cheer when an athlete does something particularly spectacular.

I enjoy both the winter and summer games, and while I am athletic, I wouldn't call myself an athlete.  To me there is a distinction.  I can play baseball, football, badminton, and ping pong.  I can kayak, ski, skate, and shoot both a gun and a bow.  I can run distances and do hurdles.  I can do just about every event possible in the Olympics.  But it's not my life.

And for athletes...for Olympians it is.  It's just that simple.

Along with most of the rest of the world, I watched the opening ceremonies on Friday night.  I laughed at Mr. Bean's antics and grinned at Daniel Craig's Bond and the "Queen" jumping out of a helicopter.  

I sat amazed at the dancing and overall light spectacle and scratched my head over the giant baby. (just what WAS that???)  I cried as I watched the hand off of torches from the old guard to the new, and cheered when the USA made their presence known on the field.  All 500+ of them.
I watched the faces of those athletes who were able to attend the opening ceremonies.  (Personally, I think it's wrong to schedule events so late and so early so they CAN'T attend.  It's part of the Olympic experience and all should be able to be there.)  Each one of them had so much much joy on their faces.  To be a part of the Olympics, even once, has got to be a life changing experience.

I've read stories about those who put their hearts and souls into becoming an Olympian.  And I wish, with all my soul that their experience is everything they dreamed of.  The work...the sacrifice...the time away from loved ones to make it happen, those are already signs of a champion, whether they bring the medal home or not.

I honor them for that.  It's certainly not something I'd want to do.  I don't care enough.  But they do.  You can see it in their eyes.  It's need, pure and simple that burns there.  A need to do their be the best they can be.

An Olympic Champion.

There are so many many sports.  And while I don't agree with all the actual "sports" they have at the Olympics, I honor those who put everything they have into whatever they do.

As I'm writing this, I'm watching sculling, the bike race, badminton, swimming, gymnastics, dressage and judo.  I love to see the crowds cheering for their country.  In a way it brings us all together.  This sporting event where we are in direct competition with each other actually draws us closer as human beings.  We really are all the same.  Even though we may look very different, our hearts beat the same way.  Whether it's the agony of defeat or the thrill of victory, each of us want the athletes to do their best.  To be the best they can be.

And isn't that what the Greeks wished for the games in the first place?

Do you have a favorite sport in the Olympics?  One that makes your heart beat fast?  Did you enjoy the Opening Ceremony?  What did you like or dislike?  Share your thoughts on the 2012 Olympics in the comments below!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Lighter Side of Ice Cream

Hey all,

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  And since this Friday is the last day in July, I thought I'd take the time to honor what is probably my all time favorite dessert.

I love ice cream.  Regular ice cream, gelato, custard, frozen yogurt, sherbets or sorbet, I'll eat them all.  I adore home made ice cream and am enamored of anything Italian.  I've tried ice cream in every country I've been in and enjoyed them all.  
To this day when I hear the tinkling bell of an ice cream truck, I stop dead in my tracks and search for my own very heaven on wheels!

My favorite memory as a child is sitting on the porch in Bass Lake and eating Dewar's Famous Ice Cream.  It was the best, and to this day my mouth waters just thinking about the delicious taste.  Eating ice cream while we watched Fourth of July fireworks over the lake is something I'll never forget.

Recipes that have ice cream in them are some of my favorite desserts.  And, since I have to be careful of my sugar content, when I do have ice cream I want to make sure it counts!  So, in honor of this most delicious dessert, I've included a few recipes of my favorite ice cream desserts!  Something to enjoy during this summer weather.  (Since I'm in Belgium, not so much summer weather here, so I'm living vicariously through all of you!  LOL)

Now, while these are all made with store bought ice cream, using home made will make them even tastier!

Ready?  Let's start with a dessert that is perfect for tea time or a light after meal treat.

Mini Ice Cream Cakes
Use any ice cream or frozen yogurt to tailor it to your own preference. You can assemble and freeze the cakes up to a day in advance.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups strawberry ice cream, softened 
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon red maraschino cherry juice (optional)
  • 12 red maraschino cherries with stems, drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Beat in extracts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack. Place cake on a large platter or cutting board; refrigerate until cold (about 2 hours).
  5. Spread ice cream evenly over top of cake; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm (6 hours to overnight).
  6. Uncover cake. Cut cake with a 2-inch round cutter into 24 cake rounds. Discard scraps. Working quickly, place one cake round, ice cream side up, in a paper muffin cup liner; top with another cake round, ice cream side down. Repeat procedure with remaining cake rounds to form 12 filled ice-cream cakes.
  7. Combine whipped topping and cherry juice, if desired. Top each cake with 2 tablespoons whipped topping; arrange 1 maraschino cherry on each cake. Freeze until ready to serve. Let ice-cream cakes stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving. 

I love this at tea time for a unique and unexpected treat! Serve it instead of cookies along with your delicious scones and jam.

    This next recipe is one of my favorites.  Chocolate and more chocolate. 

    Buster Bar Ice Cream Dessert
    Just like my favorite dessert at Dairy Queen. Yum!!


    • 1 pound chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
    • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
    • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup margarine
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream  (or if you're a chocoholic like me, chocolate or dark fudge ice cream)
    • 1 1/2 cups spanish peanuts


    1. Combined crushed cookies and melted margarine and press into a 9x13 inch dish. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
    2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine confectioners' sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.
    3. Slice vanilla ice cream into 3/4 inch slices, and place them in a single layer over the chilled crust. Smooth the seams. Sprinkle the peanuts over the ice cream. Top with the cooled chocolate sauce. 
    4. Cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight.  

    This is beyond good.  One of my all time favorites and you can swap ice cream and nuts to give this dessert a twist.  How about Maple Nut ice cream with walnuts or pecans.  Your creation...your choice.
    And this last one will make you think of songs around a campfire!"She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes..."

    S'Mores Coffee and Fudge Ice Cream Cake
    A decadent, impressive dessert that appeals to everyone's inner Boy Scout or Girl Scout. Begin preparing this a day ahead.


    • 16 whole graham crackers (about 8 ounces)
    • 1 cup whole almonds, toasted
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 quarts coffee ice cream (or chocolate if you don't like coffee), softened until spreadable
    • fudge sauce
    • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
    • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Finely grind graham crackers, toasted almonds and 3 tablespoons sugar in processor or blender.  Add 1/2 cup melted butter and process mixture until moist crumbs form.
    3. Press graham cracker mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan (if you have one) with 2 3/4 inch sides.
    4. Bake crust until edges ar golden, about 12 minutes.  Cool crust.
    5. Spread 2 cups softened ice cream in crust.  Spoon 3/4 cup cooled fudge sauce over it.  Freeze until sauce is just set, about 10 minutes.  (Refrigerate or freeze remaining ice cream as necessary to prevent ice cream from melting.)
    6. Repeat layering with 2 cups ice cream, then 3/4 cup sauce.  Freeze until sauce is just set, another 10 minutes, then spread remaining 2 cups ice cream over it.
    7. Cover and freeze overnight.  Refrigerate remaining fudge sauce.
    8. Preheat broiler.  Warm remaining fudge sauce in small saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat.  
    9. While sauce is warming, place cake on baking sheet.  Spread marshmallow creme over top of cake.  Sprinkle miniature marshmallows over in single layer.  Broil just until marshmallows are golden brown.  Watch carefully so they don't burn, about 1 minute.  
    10. Run knife between pan and cake to loosen.  Remove pan sides or carefully remove cake from pan.  
    11. Cut cake into wedges.  Serve immediately with warm fudge sauce trickled over top.

    OMG, is this good!!!!  A little extra effort, but it is absolutely delicious!

    Well, there you go!  A few recipes to celebrate a most excellent month.  Now go grab an ice cream or the ice cream man!  Whichever you prefer!  LOL

    Until Monday!

    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    The Politics of a Tragedy

    Hey all,

    Before I go on, let me say that what has happened in Aurora, Colorado sickened me to my very soul.  It made me weep for those who lost their lives and for those heartbroken family members that were left behind.  I wanted to do permanent damage to the gunman, yet I felt for his parents and what they must be going through.

    I won't blog specifically about this horrible affair.  So many others have done it and probably better than I would.  I've read several blogs, seen the news articles and memorials on FaceBook, and I know that it made a tremendous impact on many people, both in the United States and the world.

    But I couldn't help being bothered by the fact that the politicians, while they too might have been horrified, used this as a platform to tout their different views.  Gun control vs the right to bear arms seems to be the hot topic and everyone is jumping on one bandwagon or another.  

    The fact that the man was looney-tunes doesn't seem to be as important as what he used to do the deed.  And I firmly believe that if he hadn't been able to find a gun, he'd have still massacred those people, albeit differently.  Crazy people will find a way to make their fantasy a reality.  So leave the politics of gun control out of it.  Use your time and energy in a wiser way.  Help the the town.

    I was pleased, but it didn't surprise me that both Romney and Obama pulled their ads in Colorado.  While I'd like to believe the sensitive gesture was because they are two great guys, more likely they (or their campaign people) saw the political value in keeping their usual campaign nastiness away from a grieving town.  

    But just think... If you pull an advertisement because it may be negative and insensitive, why are you doing the ad in the first place?

    Call me cynical, but I'm pretty sure no matter how despicable the tragedy, a politician always measures his emotions and words before he says them.  And using this episode as a way to get airtime makes a politician as much of a bad guy as the dude who pulled the trigger.

    Instead, make a simple statement and then SHUT UP!!!  Let the newsies focus on the ones who died.  Not some politician hoping to score a few extra votes by showing how sorry he is that it happened.

    I know he's the president, but I have to say it bothered me that Obama is going to go visit the families of those who died.  I thought about it long and hard when I read the news.  I know I wouldn't want him anywhere near me if I was a family member.   For several reasons...

    One)  I'm grieving.  I just lost someone I loved.  President or not, he's a stranger.  Someone I don't know and who sure as hell doesn't know me.  I don't need to play hostess to the leader of the free world when I'm going through something like this.  I truly doubt any of them are going to feel all better about losing a loved one just because Obama visited them.

    Two)  Having him go to Aurora turns the world's attention towards him and away from what should be more important.  Those who died.  So why is he there?  Politically motivated?  You bet!

    Three)  Does he visit other murder victim's families?  Why are these heartbroken and suffering people people more important than, for example, the family of Russell Sneiderman who was killed in 2010 in Georgia by another crazy person minutes after dropping his son off at daycare.  Is it the number who died?  The horrifying venue?  The innocence lost?  Or could it be it's just more newsworthy?

    Do I sound disgusted?  You bet I am.  I'm disgusted with the politicians who are using this heartbreaking event for themselves.  I'm disgusted with the media who are like ravening wolves, scenting fresh blood and hoping for the right angle to show how the candidates are reacting.  And finally, I'm disgusted with people who will spout off with negative words about the victims, the families (both victim's and the perpetrator's) and the town as if this tragedy was their fault.

    I'm not naive.  I know that neither Romney or Obama could or even should ignore this.  But how they handled it was a test of the kind of men they were.  How many of their kind and generous words were from the heart and how much were written by their speech writers?  Did they sit down with their campaign people and take a poll on what to do, or did they just do what they thought was right?  

    And most importantly, did they think of the victims and their families as they made their decisions on how to act, or did they think about how they'd look while doing it?

    James Freeman Clarke said it better than I ever could...

    A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.

    Makes you wonder just what Obama, Romney and other politicians are thinking of, doesn't it?

    Okay...rant over.  Let me know what you think in the comment section.

    I'll lighten things up a bit on Friday when I share some great summer dessert recipes.


    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    All Dressed Up And No Place To Go

    Hey all,

    Not living in the USA can be an adventure.  You don't realize until you don't, just how trained we are about specific things.  Take holidays for example.  Most of my childhood revolved around what days we'd get off from school, and then later on, as an adult, I knew from experience when a holiday was ready to roll around.

    But it's not like that overseas.  I may still remember when Independence Day and Thanksgiving are, but since they aren't celebrated in whatever country I'm in, it's not the same thing.  And even more to the point, I don't know the holidays that ARE celebrated here.  It can be fun and frustrating at the same time.

    Case in point...Saturday.

    I had a list of errands I needed to do and was so proud of myself for heading out early to do them.  I mean I'm NOT a morning person and I have this great list of why I can't go out of the hotel until after noon.  But today, I tossed all of them aside, girded my loins, and strode out into the world to have at 'em.

    And that's where everything started to go horribly wrong!!!!

    My first stop was the Local Market--what they call an exotic market which is like a flea market targeted at specific things.  It is only on Saturdays between 8-1 so I knew I needed to get on the ball and go early.  I wasn't exactly sure where it was, but I had the directions, and followed them easily.  

    But when I got to the square where it should be, the area was empty. 

    I blinked, thought maybe I was wrong, so I wandered a bit looking for the market.  Saw some umbrellas and hotfooted it that way, only to discover it was a pub with an outside seating area.  So I dug out my map to see where I'd gone wrong.

    But I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  It was the market that was missing.  So I scratched my head, shrugged and headed off to destination number two, Beads & Beyond, a jewelry supply shop.  Again, I followed the directions and this time arrived exactly where I was supposed to.

    To find it closed. 

    Not only was the store was closed down.  For good.  And by the looks of the empty space, it had been that way for a while. Seems they forgot that little tidbit on the website.  *snarl* 

    Now I'm getting a little irritated.  I hate wasting time and so far it was Antwerp - 2, CJ - 0!  But I do have another jewelry shop I can try, so I dig out those directions and head that way.  Only to find... guessed it.  This shop was closed too! 

    I was so frustrated, I wanted to pound on the window.  I looked at my notes.  It SHOULD be open.  The website said it would be.  There was a notice on the door that agreed.  Open Saturday from 10-6.  So, what is going on?  Where is everyone?  Did the rapture come and I get left behind? 

    I checked my watch.  It was about 1:15pm, so maybe the owner was taking a long lunch.  (After dealing with the siestas in Barcelona, I know anything is possible!)

    So I figured I'd check back at 2:00pm and see if the shop, Zahia, was open.  I had seen a beautiful church a few blocks away and it opened at 1:45pm, so, hope springing eternal, I figured I could walk on back there, see the church and THEN come on back and look at the store.

    Luckily (this was the only part of the day that went right) the church was open and I spent an excellent hour wandering through and taking pictures.  Saint George's was lovely inside, and the artwork and architecture was outstanding.  And to add to the gorgeous church, on the way back to the shop, I discovered the National Bank building, another architectural dream I couldn't take enough pictures of.  (see pic below)

    But that was the end of my good fortune.  The shop was still closed when I got back to it, and I had this niggling feeling something just wasn't right.  But I'd given up.  Obviously I wasn't meant to do any of the things on my list.  Time to go to the grocery store and head for home.

    Yet that niggling feeling kept getting stronger.  And as I walked towards the bus stop at Groenplaats (the original stop being torn up by road construction) I noted that a LOT of the shops were closed.  And while I hadn't worried about that in the more quiet part of town, Groenplaats is one of the big tourist areas and stores being closed didn't make any sense.

    And when--going on a hunch--I checked and saw that the biggest grocery store in town was closed, I knew that some how...some way...

    Nothing was open because it was a public holiday!  

    So there I was, out and about, but with no place to go, because I didn't know that July 21 was some sort of holiday.  It was very depressing. 

    I did find a small express market store that I could get some groceries at.  Otherwise, I might have just punched a wall or something.  I did find out later when I googled, that the holiday was National Day for Belgium.  It commemorates when Leopold I, first king of the Belgians, took the constitutional oath in 1831. 

    Yay for Leopold.  Not so much for me.  But it taught me a lesson.  I went home and looked up all public holidays in Belgium (no more during the short time we have left here) and Switzerland.   

    Next time I'm dressed up, I WILL have somewhere to go!!! 

    Until Wednesday,
    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Another Look at the Lighter Side of Signage

    Hey all,

    One of my favorite blog topics are the signs and displays I find in my travels.  Some are fan-yourself-hot, some are weird, some are hysterical and some you just wonder, WTF is that about.  So let's take a look at my latest finds, shall we?  And enjoy!!!

    Obviously sex sells here in Europe.  This is not the first sexy sign I've seen.  What does it say?  Can you guess?  LOL  That's right...  SALE.  I know I'd take a second look at what HE had for sale under that sign.  Oddly enough though, when I tried to translate the word, it doesn't come up in any Google language.  I had to go surfing to find it out what it actually meant.

    Finding funny signs like this always makes my day, even when it translates to something perfectly normal.   However, I'm still not sure about this one.  Apparently it says, "Gay Video store is looking to buy or rent."  Hmmm....

    Another sexy sign to sell something.  This one is quite beautiful in my opinion.  Except for the water droplets at his groin.  Those could have gone away.  JMHO.  *grin* 

    This one was awesome!!!  Not the sign itself, it's one of our usual Corteo signs with my friend Robert on it.  It's where it was that was unusual and made us all laugh like crazy.  We found this poster in Ghent, Belgium in a back alley ON A TRASH CAN!!!  Can you say blanketed marketing or what?  ROTFL

    And this was the crowning touch of my day.  I laughed until I cried.  Seriously?  What marketing genius came up with this?  It's clever, I have to say, but I'm not sure I'd want to have my product linked with dropping your pants and then dropping a load.  Lowered prices or not.  Just sayin'.

    Anyway, there you have your Lighter Side of Signage.  The ongoing saga of what I find that's odd, funny and sometimes downright scary!

    Until Monday!

    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    If It's Raining, It Must Be Belgium

    Hey all,

    I know, I know.  I just mangled a great title, but I swear to you, the writers of the movie, If it's Tuesday, it Must be Belgium, sure didn't know anything about global warming when they made the picture.
    Seriously, I've heard all kinds of weather reports across the globe and I am still baffled by the change in our weather patterns.  I know it's a scientific fact that something is going on, and I'm sure we, as people, with all our "stuff", are probably the culprits, but I feel as if suddenly all the changes went from meandering to speeding down the track to the finish line.

    Isn't 2012 the year the Mayans say we all are going to die?  The weather sometimes sure makes me wonder.

    Case in point is here in Belgium.  It's the middle of July and I can count on one hand the number of days we've seen the sun.  I'm not kidding.  We've been here since the middle of June and I'm tempted to go to a tanning salon just so I don't look like a corpse any more!  

    And on those very few, infrequent days we do get some sun, it usually rains all day and THEN sometime between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, just when everyone is ready to head home, the sun breaks through.  I can set my watch on it.  I see the sun, I think, "Oh...must be after five!"

    Now I don't want to get into a debate over whether global warming is real.  I've heard the arguments for and against, and in all honesty, they just irritate me.  Look outside your window, people.  Something IS going on.  Arguing that it isn't won't make it go away.

    I've heard of crazy weather everywhere.  Drought conditions in the US, avalanches in the French Alps, freak tornadoes in Poland.  You can't open up a news bulletin without seeing something.

    Was it this way back in the day?  Has the weather always been slowly disintegrating and we didn't know it?  Or have we as a species actually changed the weather patterns of the planet?

    Tell me what you think in the comments below!!!

    Hugs and see you on Friday. I have some new and interesting signage to show you this time!  LOL

    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    News To Make You Blink

    Hey all,

    I almost forgot today's blog.  I'm usually around on Sundays to write it up, but Jonathon and I had an unexpected day off, and so it slipped my mind.  So I'm sitting here making up some jewelry and suddenly remembered.  So I pushed up my sleeves and sat down to quickly do one up.  So please forgive me if I am not as lucid or entertaining as usual.  *smile*

    Anyway, I went surfing and after finding several fun stories, I decided to make a blog out of it!  So here goes...

    This Lady Charges $60 An Hour To Cuddle

    We all know cuddling is the BEST thing to do with your significant other. But what if your boyfriend, roommate, or stuffed bear just isn’t in the mood? No fear, Jackie Samuels is here! 

    This ingenious 29-year old New York woman now charges fellow snugglers $60 an hour to cuddle. Creator of her own business, called The Snuggery, Samuels firmly states that this is not about sex and that she always liked to cuddle and “it seemed pretty simple to [her].” 

    Well, I know I’ll be ready to shell it out for Samuels whenever my Bear Bear just ain’t feelin’ it one night.

    CJ Says:  I can't imagine just snuggling up to someone I don't know.  For me it's not just a personal space issue, it's an intimacy issue.  I only cuddle with people who mean something to me.

    Whopper With 1,000 Slices Of Cheese: Man Creates Crazy Concoction From Burger King Japan

    Apparently, the first time it was the Burger King Whopper with 1,050 slices of bacon on it. And now the same people have pulled another stunt, this time topping the burger with 1,000 slices of cheese.
    The video--go HERE to see it, features a Rocket News 24 reporter who goes by Mr. Sato, and shows the man bringing home an obscenely large and awkwardly packed amount of cheese from a Japan Burger King. He then assembles it and chows down.

    Rocket News 24 provides some pretty horrifying numbers to accompany the equally stomach-churning video:
    Burger Specs: Base model: Whopper (661 kcal/ 282g)
    Toppings: Cheese x1000 (45,000 kcal/ 12,500g)
    Total calories: 45,661kcal
    Total weight: 12,782g
    CJ Says:  Just because you CAN make a sandwich doesn't mean you should.  45,000 calories?  Talk about a heart attack waiting to happen.

    Breastfeeding Man: Jeff Says Drinking Wife Michelle's Milk Helped His Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

    When TLC's 'Strange Sex' found a 34-year-old man who breastfeeds from his wife to help his ED problem, the show latched on like a newborn.

    Jeff and Michelle, who wish to have their last names withheld, have been incorporating breastfeeding into their sexual routine since a few months after the birth of their first child. The girl, now age 2, has stopped breastfeeding, but Michelle, 27, is now producing milk for the couple's 8-month-old son.
    Jeff drinks his wife's milk "straight from the source." 

    Not only do both partners find the process intensely erotic, but Jeff also says that it significantly alleviates his symptoms of erectile dysfunction. 

    CJ says:  While I'm all for switching it up in the bedroom, I'm just not sure what to think about this.  If it works, I say what the hell.  But there is something that kinda weirds me out about this one.

    'Moon Amtrak' Drops Fewer Drawers in 2012

    LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — Once again, the pants came down in Laguna Niguel, but so did participation in the city's quirky annual Moon Amtrak event.

    The tradition, in place since 1979, involves crowds lowering their pants to “moon” passing Amtrak and Metrolink trains.

    More than 70 showed up Saturday across the road from Mugs Away Saloon to display their derrieres. The turnout was significantly lower than last year.

    CJ says:  How fun!!!  This would be something I would do.  LOL  Who will join me???  We'll make a date of it.

    I guess that's enough for today.  Hope you enjoyed the odd news stories I found.  I love it when something like that pops up when I stumble.

    If you have a weird story you know of, share it in the comments below!!!


    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams


    Friday, July 13, 2012

    The Lighter Side Looks at Art

    Hey all,

    One of my favorite things to do is look at different kinds of art.  And, of course, here in Europe, I have chances a plenty.  I've been to the Louvre and the Hermitage.  I've seen Rembrandts, Picassos, Rodans, Rubens, Monets and many, many others.

    I've been fortunate enough to gaze upon the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo did his masterpiece, and after seeing her, scratched my head over just why everyone thinks the Mona Lisa is such a great piece of work.

    I've giggled over some of the paintings and sculptures in museums and stood awed by the beautiful work done by painters I'd never heard of before.  Traveling is one way to truly learn to enjoy art in all its forms.

    Yet there is so much more art out there just waiting to be discovered.  Pieces of art that don't get written up in magazines nor does the History channel care about doing a three piece series on how the painter got his mojo going.  In fact, most of this art people pass by without even recognizing it IS art.

    And maybe that's because sometimes you're not sure it is.

    They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  If I've learned anything in my travels, I've learned art is, too.  So many times I stop and gaze at "art" in the square or park and think to myself, "WTF?"  Or see something truly wonderful and unique and wonder why IT isn't in one of the big museums.

    So for today's Lighter Side, I thought I'd pick a few of the pieces of art I've seen that to me, were a little different...but outstandingly excellent, and those that make me blink and say, "What were they thinking?  And why?"  Enjoy!  And remember to click on any pic to make it bigger.

    One of the Subway Stops in Paris France.  Is it art or is it a model of DNA?  Either way, it definitely made you stop and stare.

    This sculpture was down on the waterfront in Barcelona, Spain.  Each time I walked by it, I wondered if kids had nightmares about a giant lobster pinching it's way through the city.  But at least it looked like a happy lobster.

    Barcelona had a lot of odd art.  This one sat in the middle of the harbor.  I always thought two things when I looked at it.  1) How many times do the seagulls poop on his face?  2)  Just WTF is he looking at????

    One of my favorite "weird" art pieces in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  Is this art channeling pine cones or is it one gianormous fishing lure?

    I still don't know what this is.  I saw it almost every day since it was right down the street from our apartment in Amsterdam.  It was in the window of what looked like a studio.  It's made of fabric that was just stretched.  But art?  What do you think?

     This art sat on top of one of the advertising columns around town in Amsterdam.  At first glance it looks like a crab.  But once you look closer you can see it's not.  And just what is that glumpy pile beneath it's "feet"?  Not saying what it looks like to me.  LOL

    Are they planters, topiaries, or art?  I guess that's up to you.  I just know they were beautiful and different.  These sat just outside the gate to Planckendael Zoo near Antwerp, Belgium.

    This very strange and odd and different piece of art is part of the open air exhibit from Middelheim Sculpture Museum in Antwerp.  It almost looks alive, reaching for the water, doesn't it?

    Another sculpture from Middelheim.  You have to click on this one to appreciate it.  This was one of the true WTF? moments for me.  But I guess if the masters can depict death scenes in marble, this gal can do it in metal.  I guess.  
    "Oh, I'm glad I'm not an Oscar Mayer wiener..."

    And one last piece of art before I call it a Friday.  This one is another favorite, here in Antwerp.  It's similar to one I've put on my FB page that was in Middelheim.  But the odd thing about this sculpture is it sits outside of an old church.  I mean...I love the art, but outside a church?  In my humble opinion, that's just beyond creepy!!!

    So there you have it.  A look at art in all it's oddities!  A few from each country we've been in so far.  Now the question is, what do YOU think?  Is it art or not?  And if you have a piece of art you'd like to share with us, please do.  Put a link with your comment below.  I'd love to see what you consider art and what you think is different, excellent or just plain, "WTF???"

    Until Monday,


    CJ England
    Follow Your Dreams