Thursday, November 20, 2008

Picnic in the Winter

Who says picnics are only a warm weather activity? After being shut inside our dry, stuffy homes during the winter months, enjoying the outdoors and some fresh air may be just what we need to get us over that winter slump. A winter picnic takes a little more preparation than a warm-weather outing, but can be an enjoyable excursion for the whole family.

You'll want to check the weather forecast ahead of time. Plan your winter picnic for a day that is expected to be sunny and clear, with temperatures over 20 degrees. You know you can't always count on the weather, so you'll want some sort of shelter in case the weather changes. A canopy with attached sides that can be closed is perfect. If the picnic area you choose already has shelters available, bring some tarps and bungee cords to make wind breaks if you need to.

Take along a folding table and chairs, since you probably won't want to sit on the ground at your winter picnic. The kids might not mind, but we older folks will want dry, comfortable seating. Take along a propane heater or outdoor heater to provide extra warmth inside the canopy. Bring along some thick blankets to cover laps or wrap the kids or older folks in if they get too chilled.

The food provided for your winter picnic should be warm and nourishing. Chili soup, hearty stews, and casseroles are great winter picnic fare. Warm beverages such as coffee and hot chocolate will help keep you cozy in cold weather!

You may enjoy cooking over a campfire at your winter picnic. Bring some dry kindling and firewood with you if the weather has been wet or snowy. If campfires aren't allowed at the picnic spot you choose, you could bring a portable grill, or bring warm food in a thermal container. If electricity is available, you might want to bring food for your winter picnic in a crock pot or roaster.
Plan activities that will keep you warm and work up an appetite. Snow boarding, snowball fights, sledding, skiing and making snowmen are popular activities, if you have snow for your winter picnic. Otherwise bring along a frisbee, bats and balls, or other outdoor game equipment. You might bring a few board games as entertainment for the older folks or others who aren't able to indulge in strenuous physical exercise at your winter picnic. Wear layers of clothing, so you can add or remove them as the weather and activity level demands. You don't want to work up too much sweat, which will make you feel colder.

Picnics are great fun, and there's no reason you have to wait until the weather is warm again. Consider having your next Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering in the great outdoors, instead of crowding everyone inside the house. You might just start a family tradition!

a day of renaissance

...I saw some of the most beautiful Renaissance architecture in
Spain...the Granada cathedral, the Charles V Palace in Alhambra, or
the Oval room in Seville Cathedral (Even though it's considered
world's largest Gothic cathedral)...They'd buffer me well from getting
Stendhal syndrome in Florence someday...:P

...the most famous Renaissance Spanish artist - El Greco (1541-1614),
whose paintings were often found being painted after by Picasso,

...Scott Ross. Differencias.
Antonio de Cabezon (1510-1566). Spanish composer and organist of the
Renaissance...was blind from early childhood, traveled widely in
Europe and settled in Madrid Spanish royal court.

A big Fan

Difference btw piano and organ...

There are two major differences. One is capacity, range of expression,
and the other is mode of playing.

The piano is a percussion instrument, whose sound production is
elicited by the striking of a mallet on a string. The sound thereby
can be sustained for a progressive diminution of duration by means of
a sostenuto pedal being depressed by ones foot.

The organ is a wind instrument, whose sound production is elicited by
means of wind being blown thru a pipe(if a pipe organ- not familiar
with other kinds) the initiation of which is caused by the depression
of a connected key. A key on an organ has a different engineering: it
will cause the pipe to sound indefinitely as long as it is activated.
But when unpressed, the sound production is immediately, and totally
stopped. That of a piano as noted above, can be sustained for a
limited amount of time. And on the organ, there are doors that can be
closed, which make for a far off distant sound, and volume pedals for
volume control; plus multiple stops for all kinds of different sounds,
mimicking those of orchestral instruments or just about any kind of
sound you can think of, on the older theatrical organs.