One book leads to another...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

2018 A - Z Challenge - I

I        Things We Appreciate

Science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov is the only author known to have published a book in nine out of the ten Dewey library categories. There are approximately 30,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the world today. Happy Library Day!

Ice sculptures remind me a lot of blown glass, delicate and beautiful works of art. But they don’t have the same life expectancy. In the best conditions, Ice sculptures are only guaranteed to last 5 -7 hours. Glass, on the other hand, requires the best conditions with no guarantees ;-)

Ice boxes were once considered pieces of furniture, as evidenced by early craftsmanship. Since we have a refrigerator, we use our old Ice Box for board game storage ;- ) Interestingly, the advent of the refrigerator hardly put a dent in the Ice Industry, as a recent census noted revenues well on their way to the stars. Which is another yet to be explored resource for the product in the form of what scientists call “Interstellar Ice.”

Typically, we keep the Ice Cream in the freezer. That is until someone decides to have some. Then everyone wants some, and we wind up with bowls and cartons all over the counter!

Dry Ice smoke can be rather beguiling at magic shows, but the other, alarming kind was no doubt the incentive for the invention of the Infrared Smoke Alarm. While 15 of 16 homes have them today, statistics show that in 3 of every 10 home fires where devices failed it was due to missing, dead, or disconnected batteries. Have you checked your battery lately?

A folktale I heard as a child still captivates my imagination today. As the story goes, in the early 17th century, five Spanish galleons sailed north from the Sea of Cortez on a Pearl fishing expedition to what looked like an island (California) on their maps. (Later maps would show this island clearly connected to land by a vast area of desert sand dunes; un-bisected by water, an area known today as the often perilous Imperial Valley). Only four ships returned home. The captain of the fifth vessel, Juan Iturbe turned up much later, in Acapulco, with a tale that has Inspired both speculation and Intrigue for centuries. It seems Iturbe had sailed into and gone round and round a lake that suddenly had no outlet. Iturbe was forced to abandon his ship full of treasures. Many years later, an Arizona prospector relayed an account by an Indian who spoke of white men first arriving in the desert in a white bird that stayed a long time before its wings fell down and the sand covered it up. More on this story in just a few letters!

Combustible Bouquets, otherwise known as Incense, have been used for centuries for a variety of reasons. For instance, during pragmatic ceremonies, or to obscure malodorous product issues, deter malevolent demons and appease mystical deities.  While the distinctive fragrance of Sandalwood (my favorite!) remains on the list of most popular, and is the second most expensive wood in the world, harvesting has been largely curtailed due to illegal removal of the entire slow-growing tree in order to extract every drop of precious oil. I appreciate the efforts being made to conserve this ancient and highly aromatic tree.

Any thoughts? Can you add to the list of things we appreciate that begin with the letter I?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    I enjoyed your "I" topics, dear friend. Do you remember the Foreigner hit "Cold As Ice" and the Murmaids' hit "Popsicles and Icicles"? Ice sculpture fascinates me, as does glass blowing. Mrs. Shady and I were mesmerized by a glass blowing demonstration at a fancy-schmancy shop in our region that sells finished pieces for a thousand dollars or more. One of my favorite memories of childhood was going to the corner store for a soda. Bottles of pop were kept in a large rectangular cooler filled with water and large shards of ice. Customers needed to roll up their sleeves, reach into the frigid water and nearly freeze their arms off fishing around for the soda brand of their choice, then stand at the counter dripping wet to pay for it. Good times!

    I avoid ice cream because, once I get a taste of it, I can't stop eating. I have been known to devour an entire half gallon container all by myself. When I was young my family made a tradition of driving to a dairy store every Friday night for banana splits and milkshakes.

    Smoke detectors save lives, but it is a pain to climb an extension ladder to change the battery. I am eager to learn more about the folktales of Spanish explorers lost in California. On our way to San Diego in 2014, Mrs. S and I passed through El Centro and the Imperial Valley. The temperature was 109. It is not an area in which I would want to get lost.

    Burning incense was the "in" thing to do when I was at college and I did so whenever I hosted a party at my apartment. At any given minute of the day somebody somewhere is still talking about my parties. :)

    Thank you and happy Tuesday, dear friend, diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      Yes, I well remember Foreigner, I'm kind of thinking "Juke Box Hero" but that's for another day ;-)
      Yikes! Blown glass in your area must be exquisite!
      Banana Splits every Friday sounds like a weekly gift from Heaven.
      An extension ladder? Leapin lizards - smoke rises high at your house! But then, I need a step-ladder just to get the plates out of the cupboard ;-)
      Good to see you, Party Animal ;-)

  2. dIEDRE ~
    That's really "cool" that you have an old ice box. Yeah, that's from back when Americans not only built things but they built them to last.

    So, what is your #1 all-time favorite ice cream flavor and brand?

    I pretty much love all ice cream, except I'm not usually too big on nuts in it.

    My recent passion has become Haagen-Dazs' 'Bourbon Praline Pecan'. Yeah, I know... pecans. Doesn't matter, because this stuffs is just too Bourbony for me to care. (Plus, the pecans are kind of soft, so I don't mind them. It's more when the nuts are hard that I feel they kind of interrupt the ice cream consistency too much.)

    Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks this flavor is Numero Uno.

    Carry on, Sister. Carry on...

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

    1. Howdy Reno!

      Our ice box looks like the one pictured - though slightly worn.
      Sounds like you go whole hog for ice cream ;-) For me, it's simply Strawberry. Boring, huh?
      I don't care for hidden surprises in ice cream - or closets,for that matter. But nuts aren't bad. We had 4400 Pistachio trees at the ranch. They take generations to grow ;-)
      Thanks for swinging by!

    2. Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees? Er-- I mean... gee, do they still make strawberry ice cream?

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

  3. Hi Diedre - Ice-cream while I let my imagination wander ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Cheers to an international favorite ;-)

      Have a sweet day!

  4. Call me old fashioned, but I like ink, proper ink in a bottle into which I did my pen.

    A-Z of My Friend Rosey!

    1. Hi Keith!

      Oooh! That's a good one! Thank you ;-)


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