Friday, September 7, 2012


Most people learned the location of the country of New Zealand in their grade school geography classes.  But how many know the location of the island of Zealand?  I didn't until it became the setting for September 2012's Virtual Paintout.  I went there using Google Maps and Google Streetview and soon stumbled upon a great place to set up my paints and try my hand at art in Denmark.

Kronborg Castle at Elsinore 8x10 transparent watercolor

Kronborg Castle is a military fortress which guards the narrow passageway between Denmark and Sweden.  It is the most famous castle in Denmark and is located next to the city of Elsinore or Helsingor.  It is the setting for Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. The play opens on a dark and stormy night as Horatio and Marcellus meet a guard on a watchtower of Elinsor's castle. Later Hamlet sees his father's ghost there and learns the truth about his father's murder by the power-hungry Uncle Claudius.

I've also been reminded by one of my children that Elsinore is the location of a brewery
made famous in Bob and Doug McKenzie's 1983 movie, Strange Brew.
If you've seen this one and paid attention to the story, it is 
blatantly Hamlet, right down to the ghost of a slain father.
Take off, eh?

You, too, can visit Elisnor here.  You should be able to open Google Streetview and find the little yellow man. Select him and move him to get the map of the location. Zoom out with the minus icon so you can  move the yellow man and travel around the castle and then go on around the island of Zealand, Demanrk.

For more of my paintings click here "Watercolors by Leenie" or the red link --upper left column of this blog.

Monday, September 3, 2012


It's a tradition at our house for an angel food cake to be the bearer of birthday candles.  So when Beavis' birthday neared I put angel food cake mix on the grocery list. Nothing special or complicated, just a box with two packages, add water, bake, cool, frost and serve.  I've done it dozens of times.  Today I went to the cupboard for that box of cake mix and none was there.  I must have planned it so hard I thought I did it, but didn't.  So we made a trip to the grocery and brought home a couple of angel food mixes.  When we got home there was the first cake mix right where I put it.  Now we had three.

I mixed up the cake and baked it. When I pulled it from the oven it looked okay.  The next step for this nothing-but-air-and-sugar cake is to turn it upside down to cool so it won't collapse.

Like this.  It cools for a couple of hours then the cake
is removed and decorated.   So I turned the cake
upside down on a bottle and went off to do stuff.

When I came back the whole cake had fallen out of the pan
and landed in a sticky, smooshed heap on the kitchen counter.

Seen here after turning it over and setting it on a plate. Not a pretty sight.

Plan B.  Get out the extra cake mix.  Bake it up quick.  Cook it extra long.  
Turn it upside down and let it cool.  Remove from pan.

Much better.

Beavis was glad there was a plan B.  
We didn't use number candles.  We wanted to really rub it in about the huge 
amount of birthdays he has racked up.  Heh heh.

DH made a point of using the barbecue grill torch to light things up.

Beavis took it all in stride and left nothing but smoke.
Happy Birthday and thank heavens for 
back-up plans.