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Suds of San Diego and Sydney

Not long ago, Jerry and I were reminiscing with our friend Berl Stevenson about the time our teen-agers –his and ours–got into mischief-making during a conference in San Diego. Either in front of the convention center or at the entrance to the conference hotel (can’t recall which) was a very large fountain. One evening when we arrived, we observed the fountain area to have been transformed into a veritable mountain of white foam. The gaping onlookers snickered and generously offered opinions as to what caused this soapy display, and I’m sure Jerry and I joined in the discussion. Many years later, a moment of mature confession transpired, and we learned that this artistic demonstration had evolved through the combined and wily efforts of Stevensons and Buxtons. Salvo soap lent a hand.

As impressive as that scene was those many years ago, it was as nothing compared to this.

Foam and bubbles

It was as if someone had poured tons of coffee and milk into the ocean, then switched on a giant blender.

Suddenly the shoreline north of Sydney were transformed into the Cappuccino Coast.

Foam swallowed an entire beach and half the nearby buildings, including the local lifeguards’ centre, in a freak display of nature at Yamba in New South Wales.

One minute a group of teenage surfers were waiting to catch a wave, the next they were swallowed up in a giant bubble bath. The foam was so light that they could puff it out of their hands and watch it float away.

More pictures and the entire article by Daily Mail is here.


My devotional blog is here.

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The Family of Smokey, The Cross-Eyed Lover, Does Not Need Acatemy

Smokey, the Lover, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Something moved beyond the glass door in the guest bedroom where we stayed at the Allen home, and when I walked over, I saw Smokey rolling around and maneuvering himself into positions that are only possible with a lithe, flexible feline. I opened the door. On the moment, he stopped rolling, looked directly into my face and meowed. Loudly, did he meow, and when I walked through the door and began my prowl around the unusually beautiful backyard of this home, he moved with me, rubbing against my legs and setting up a constant stream of cat talk. Meow. I thought he was hungry, and when back inside, I mentioned my encounter with the cat, whose name I learned to be Smokey. “I think he’s hungry.”

“Nope, he’s not hungry. He’s a lover, and he wants you to pick him up and pet him.”

Look at that face. Could anybody resist such an animal? I ask you who are reading here.

“He looks cross-eyed,” I suggested to one of the family.

“Oh, yes. He’s Siamese and they’re all cross-eyed.” I had never heard this before, so I checked out that statement and found there is some foundation for the thought. The following is from Wikipedia:

Many early Siamese were cross-eyed to compensate for the abnormal uncrossed wiring of the optic chiasm, which is produced by the same albino allele that produces coloured points. Like the kinked tails, the crossed eyes have been seen as a fault and through selective breeding, the trait is far less common today.

On Reuters this morning, I learned of the Acatemy, a school where cat owners can learn to act like a cat, thereby relieving the human’s stress. I am positive you will want to learn all about this, for owners of the school say:

“if people can think like their favorite felines it will foster mutual understanding between cats and their humans.”


By Sarah Coffey

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – To know a cat, you must walk a mile in its paws, say animal behaviorists running a training school in New York where cat owners get to behave like their animals to understand them better.

The “Acatemy” is offering cat owners various classes such as “cat-isthenics” where you exercise like a cat, climbing on oversized scratchers and batting an oversized ball of yarn, and “cat-napping” where you curl up on a bean bag and snooze.

“People are going to learn a lot just by acting like a cat, and people are going to relieve a lot of stress in their lives,” said Warren Eckstein, a radio show host and author of “How to Get Your Cat to do What You Want.”

The school, set up at New York’s Daryl Roth Theater by Del Monte Foods’ catfood label Meow Mix, argues that if people can think like their favorite felines it will foster mutual understanding between cats and their humans.

The entire article is here.

Edit: I just found this article which includes a video of a cat hotel which has opened in France. You must go over and see this.

Aug 22 – A cat hotel opens in the south of France where cats can relax and be pampered.

A cat-loving couple in the South of France have opened a cat hotel, Le Jardin de France, so cat owners no longer need to feel guilty about going on holiday and leaving their loved ones behind.

Basmah Fahim reports.

Video link here.

I certainly want to hear from you. Do you have a cat? Is he/she an “Alley-cat?” A Siamese? Cross-eyed? Do you plan to attend the Acatemy? What about the hotel in the south of France? Plan on taking advantage of that service? ____________________________________________________________________

My devotional blog is here.

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Fabulous Fondue at The Melting Pot

Waitress Prepares the Cheese, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

In the entertainment plans, our friends the Allens, had scheduled the grilling of steaks for Thursday evening. In the early afternoon, we all made a run to their church where they gave us Sunday school material, and on the way back, the subject arose of fondue restaurants. Learning that we had never been to one, they immediately changed dinner plans, called The Melting Pot and made reservations for us to eat at 7:15.

The Allen’s two children grown children, Anthony and Melissa, were with us, and their presence added to this joyous occasion.









The meal was phenomenal, lasting well over two hours. My favorite parts were the cheese courses, and the dessert. Our tables were fitted with two embedded, flat surface electric burners, over which our waitress prepared the cheese fondues. When we moved on to the entree course, she brought pots of cooking mixtures and set them over the burners. One broth was coq au vin–not sure about the other. The meats we impaled on our fondue forks were salmon, shrimp, chicken, plain beef and teriyaki beef. Raw vegetables for us to cook were also brought to the table–mushrooms and potatoes were my favorites.

Fondue at the Melting Pot

And then came dessert–two different kinds of chocolate pots. This presentation was of dark and white chocolate–appropriately called Yin and Yang. Platters of strawberries, pineapple, bananas, cake and other delicacies served as “dunkers” for the luscious chocolate. The other pot was called Turtle, I believe–had pecans and caramel included.

Yin and Yang

Somewhere during that time, we ordered coffee. We laughed, we relaxed, then we walked into the summer night, satiated–filled with outstanding food and with the delight of budding new friendships.


My devotional blog is here.