If you enjoy “nibbling on sponge cake” and like your “booze in the blender”, you can now look forward to retirement, because Jimmy Buffet is due to open his first of many senior neighborhoods loaded with beachfront access, live entertainment, lap pools, spas and more, but only for those of us that are 55 or ‘better.’ The first retirement community has been named Latitude Margaritaville and is located in Daytona Beach, Florida where residents expect to be moving in by late summer. There will be two-and three-bedroom homes from $200,000’s to $350,000. Do you think that they will have happy hour before or after Wheel of Fortune?
For neighbors and friends, each Christmas I try to make a homemade cooking item like beef stew seasoning, cinnamon extract and my favorite, Madagascar vanilla extract. To make it is quite simple – dark colored bottles, Madagascar vanilla beans and lots of liquor – the better the liquor, the better the extract. I’ve got the “buy 11 Gallons and get the 12th FREE” punch card at Spec’s. I just can’t imagine a world without vanilla extract. So boring. Remember Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies used it on her neck and wrists instead of perfume. I feel the same way. (I also believe they should bottle wood smoke for men but that’s another column.) So, in Madagascar, vanilla farmers are now having to stamp a code on their vanilla beans, so if a thief steals the crop, it can be traced. WHAT. Do you know how skinny a vanilla bean is? I was amazed and totally unaware that vanilla is such a big business now. It’s not easy to be a vanilla bean either. Vanilla blooms only once a year and for ONLY ONE DAY. It must be pollinated by hand and the fruit takes nine months to mature. New vines take three years to mature. Vanilla thieves now face up to four years in jail. One farmer said it’s not enough. She wants a life sentence. “You invest all your life in growing the vanilla, stealing it is the same thing as killing someone.”
An additional note on vanilla beans: I looked up the company OliveNation, where I have always ordered my vanilla beans and to order one bean is now $9.49 plus shipping and if you happen to need 11-pounds, you’re going to be out $5,822.49 plus shipping. Look out Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell.
Seventy-two years ago, in July 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveiled a daring two-piece swimsuit in Paris. It was dubbed “bikini” after the US atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week. The reason for the tiny swimsuit was wartime rationing of fabric. (Quit it. It was designed by a man.) Enough said. Reard had trouble finding a model to wear the revealing two-piece so he asked an exotic dancer who had no qualms about appearing almost naked in public. The bikini was a hit, especially with men, and became a mainstay of European beaches in the 50’s. His advertisements stated that it isn’t a genuine bikini, “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.” America was a little slower in embracing this new skimpy thing but the 60’s brought the hit song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” and the beach blanket movies of Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon, then The Beach Boys had hit after hit about California surfing and the bikini was truly born. My mother sewed, so she made my first bikini with chains of crocheted daisies in yellow and white. Funny how you remember certain things.
You must be famous if you’re known by only one name…Cher, Plato, Einstein, Mozart, Elvis, Oprah, Twiggy, Prince, just to name a few, but the most famous of all was Koko, the 280-pound gorilla who learned sign language, loved cats and learned more than 1,000 words, died in her sleep recently at the age of 46. Koko’s real name was Hanabi–ko, Japanese for fireworks child. She was born July 4, 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo. If you want to watch something very sweet, then pull up one of the many documentaries about this amazing animal.
RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian David Alan Grier is 62. Boxer Mike Tyson is 52. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps is 33. Actress Mariette Hartley is 78. Actress Meredith Baxter is 71. Bridget Loves Bernie and Family Ties. Actor Michael Gross is 71. Steven Keaton from Family Ties.
Rocker Nils Lofgren is 67. Crazy Horse and E Street Band. Britain’s Prince William is 36. Actress Olympia Dukakis is 87. Singer songwriter Brian Wilson is 76. Actor John Goodman is 66. Actress Nicole Kidman is 51. Actress Kathy Bates is 70. Pro Football Hall of Fame John Elway is 58. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 52. Actress Nancy Allen is 68. Carrie. Reggae singer Astro is 61. UB40.
Actor John Cusack is 52. Randy Jackson is 62. American Idol judge. Actress Frances McDormand is 61. Actor Chris O’Donnell is 48. Actor Nick Offerman is 48. Parks and Recreation. Actress-singer Ariana Grande is 25. Rock musician Jeff Beck is 74. Musician Mick Fleetwood is 71. Actress Liv Tyler is 41.
Actress producer Mindy Kaling is 39. Singer Solange Knowles is 32. Actress Olivia de Havilland is 102. I could write a whole book on this interesting woman. Actor Jamie Farr is 84. Cookie-maker Wally Amos is 82. Dancer choreographer Twyla Tharp is 77. Rock singer actress Deborah Harry is 73. Blondie. Olympic gold-medal track star Carl Lewis is 57. Actress Pamela Anderson is 51. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 47.
Actor comedian Dan Aykroyd is 66. Crystal Head Vodka and SNL. He would like to see Nupita Nyong’o and Taylor Swift cast in the upcoming, all-female reboot of his hit movie “The Blues Brothers”. Aykroyd says, “In this movie, these ladies inherit the franchise from Elwood. You know, they get the Bluesmobile. They get to drive the Bluesmobile, they get to fight the Klan and the Nazis – it’s really neat.” Hmmm.
This morning at my office, we jumped on the subject of ‘first phone numbers’. Four of us (all over the age of, harrumph, excuse me,) aww, let’s just say that we were very young and remembered when phone numbers had a prefix…for instance, PL-24252, which was my first phone number. The ‘PL’ stood for PLAZA which was the telephone exchange. These were hubs through which the calls were routed. Phone subscribers were given a unique 5-digit number which followed the telephone exchange. After that, our office conversation was on a roll, so we discussed party lines where if you were very quiet you could listen in to other conversations without anyone knowing. Somehow, the conversation then progressed to a young age when we called the 7-11 convenience store and asked, “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and if the clerk said yes, then we would reply, “Well, then let him out.” We were such hellraisers, as you can tell. 😊 All our dads smoked pipes (think Mad Men) so we thought we were really clever. For those that don’t understand, Prince Albert was a brand of pipe tobacco in a cute little red can with a flip-lid or the giant economy size that looked like a small paint can. I think my dad had a key to open it that looked like a miniature flat screwdriver. When the can was empty, you never threw it away because it became home for all your treasures. Like a cigar box. AND it smelled so wonderful. Even today, I love the smell of pipe tobacco. Isn’t it funny how smells bring back sweet memories?
On July 6, 1957, Paul McCartney and John Lennon met at the Annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, where there was a dog show, a brass band and The Quarry Men. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney showed up to watch. Later McCartney just happened to play a few songs on the guitar that he just happened to bring with him. Two weeks later he was invited to join The Quarry Men. Yikes, that was sixty-one-years ago.
An e-mail announced this week that H-E-B has FREE 1-hr delivery on beer and wine but the offer only good until 09-03-18. It was easy to download the app called Favor. Really.
Speaking of wine, Haak Vineyards in Santa Fe, Texas did it again. At the prestigious Los Angeles International Wine Awards, they won 1-Gold medal, 1-Silver medal and 3-Bronze medals, then at the Lone Star International Wine Competition they received 1-Gold medal, and 5-Silver medals. You should hop in the car and drive over to Santa Fe for a sweet stroll around the vineyard or call H-E-B right now.
If you have been reading this column for any time at all, you understand that I think we could and should treat our Earth better than we do. One of the many things we need to work on is to provide for the butterflies and the bees. Every time I hear the mosquito-man, or the mosquito-plane come by, I worry for the bees. You can help by installing more bat houses and using less pesticides. With that in mind, remember that the Third Annual Honey Expo is July 21, from 11am-5pm at Brazoria County Fairgrounds. It’s free and in addition to classes in beekeeping for adults there are classes for kids on honeybees and pollination, demos, tastings, local honey, a butterfly tent, snacks, soaps, lip balm and crafts all relating to bees and butterflies along with how we can contribute something positive to our environment. Brazoria-county-beekeepers-association.com
The first drug in the US derived from marijuana, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Epidiolex will treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
In July of 1953, Elvis paid $3.98 plus tax to make an acetate record as a birthday present for his mother. The two guys that recorded it made note of this incredibly shy young singer. When they recorded him a year later they were not terribly impressed until they took a break from recording and heard him “messing around” with a guitar, playing and singing “That’s All Right,” but he sang it at least twice as fast as the original song which had been written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. After two more days of recording, they released “That’s All Right (Mama)” to a Memphis radio station, then two weeks later released it as a single with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side. Rolling Stone magazine lists it as “#113 of the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.” It was an instant hit, the rest is history.
On June 23rd, Zsa-Zsa, a 9-year-old English bulldog, won $1,500 as first place in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Sadly, she died in her sleep this week with no known health issues. Zsa-Zsa spent the first five years of her life in a puppy mill in Missouri until she was put up for auction and bought by a rescue group. After being adopted, she spent her days in a very relaxed position unless food was involved. Favorite snacks were Slim Jim’s or a steak burrito from Chipotle. Left to cherish her memories, is her owner, Megan Brainard and last words…help promote pet adoption.
Six Brazoswood baseball players and one player from Sweeny have been named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association academic all-state team. Our congratulations to Bucs’ Tanner Bundick, Ryan Faltisek, Horacio Garcia Jr., Nash Neff, Tyler Reinhardt and Daryl Soliz Jr., along with Sweeny’s Jaden Bohlar. Way to go, guys. You have made your community proud.
To help protect the environment, SeaWorld Entertainment is now removing all single-use plastic straws and plastic bags from the company’s 12 theme parks. YES! Then, Starbucks decided to remove all plastic straws from their stores. What a great start to cleaning up unnecessary plastic from our Earth.
July 17th is World Emoji Day. Can you send a message using ‘just’ emojis? I’ve tried to do that in a text to my kids. They either thought I was extremely brilliant or really, really old. I don’t know which. Oh, well.
Thanks for taking the time to read this today. It is appreciated. Don’t you need to place an ad to sell something that’s just taking up space in your garage or attic? Call Connie, Pam, Patricia or Janice.