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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A ONE Dollar a year salary - so what????

Automaker execs (from three companies) are now saying they will accept a $1 per year salary. So what? Big Deal! Who really cares?

Executives don't just get a salary - they get a big financial plan. Their financial compensation includes salary, bonuses, stock options, housing allowances, private planes, expense plans for food, vacations, etc.... Their salary is usually one of the *smaller* pieces of the total compensation package. So - they give it up for a year or so. I'll ask it again: "Who cares?" Not me. They'll still be getting plenty of money out of this deal if it goes through.

They want taxpayer money, but where is their responsibility for where their company currently is? It's nowhere -that's where. Sure - I understand they are not responsible for where the economy is right now, but a healthy company should be able to weather some economic downturns. So far - Toyota is. So far - Volkswagen is. Neither one of THEM is at their government's door asking for a handout. Other automobile companies made good decisions in the past 10 years and aren't in the position that GM, Chrysler and Ford are in. I think the CEO's of the "big three" are part of the problem and should not be part of the solution.

I say that if these automakers really need taxpayer money in order to survive, the company's stockholders should expect no less than a resignation from their top people.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The deer are out again!

We've got deer again! They run through our back yard every morning and run through our side field every evening. It drives the dog absolutely crazy!

We also saw a bear a couple weeks ago. We just saw the tail end as it ran away from us, but it was still exciting (and just a tad scary).
Although bow hunting season is now going on, the real hunting season doesn't start for another week or two. When it does, we will hear shotgun blast after shotgun blast as people here stock their freezers with meat for the year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's starting to get COLD!

It might even snow next week! Although I *LOVE* snow, I do miss the summer warmth as well. So - I thought I'd share a picture from our vacation this summer. This was from the beach and my son actually did catch some fish!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The phone is ringing off the hook!

This is absolutely driving me nuts! I keep getting these recorded calls from the presidential candidates. Although we've gotten them in the past three weeks, I've already gotten six today and it's only midafternoon! It's not even a real person - it's some recording that says, "Hello Mike - this is Barack Obama (or John McCain)".

I'm not Mike and I certainly don't sound like him, but I guess the recording doesn't really care. And to be honest - no pre-recorded phone call message is going to change my mind about who to vote for.

I don't know what the candidates really think they're going to achieve since the only thing it achieves in me is a sense of aggravation.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Italian Style Meatball Recipe

This is a great recipe for meatballs. My kids love them and I take the leftovers, slice or crumble them and put them on pizza! Yummy -

About 3 pounds ground meat (I use a mixture of beef and pork or beef and ground sausage)
2 eggs
1 good sized onion, chopped into tiny pieces (this really keeps themeat tender after cooking)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped into tiny pieces
very small palmful of salt
pepper to taste
medium-sized palmful of grated parmesian cheese
a few dashes of worcestershire sauce or chili sauce
about 1 1/2 palmfuls of breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (if you use italian style breadcrumbs, you add more flavor)

Mix everything together well with your hands. Make into balls and drop into some tomato sauce or tomato juice. I never use spaghetti sauce to cook them in because it's got too many other flavors - just plain sauce or tomato juice is good enough.

Cook at a medium temperature for about 3 hours and keep the lid on the pot between stirrings. This helps keep the steam in and if youfind that a medium temp might burn them, just turn down the heat a little. You can also crockpot them overnight.

When I serve it, I do heat up some spaghetti sauce separately and don't really use the juice I cooked the meatballs in.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm certified in PA

This is not to be confused with certifiable - ha ha......

I finally got my PA emergency certification which allows me to substitute in the public schools. It almost took an act of congress because PA requires official training, in school training, approval by the school board, FBI finger print checks, child abuse clearances and state criminal records checks. Whew! It all takes some time, but I hope it's worth it.

I've also received my first phone call for substitution. It's not for a few weeks, but it's in the local high school substitution for the business classes. Should be fun! LOL.....

Photo Contest

A good friend of mine takes terrific pictures - she has a great eye and the results are truly beautiful!

She's in a contest at! You can sign up for free and if you don't click the box, you won't get email filling up your inbox. Check out her pictures and vote for them!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Football Season Winding Down

We played the Scotland School for Veterans Children. We did lose the game, but the patriotism from the Scotland children was overwhelming. I don't know if these kids simply have parents in the military, are orphans or something else, but the military forces presence was not only very obvious but a a pleasure to watch and participate with.

My oldest son and his team hasn't won a game so far. But - no one on the team is discouraged. They are a very young team with new coaches and new plays. Lucas told me that last year, they won half of their games because their coach's defensive philosophy was simpy to "HIT SOMEONE and knock them out". This year, they actually have a strategy. Their strategy is a little more complex than simply hitting someone, but does require an older, larger and heavier team. We're with them to the end, though.


My youngest son and his team are the newest teams in their league. Yet, they've won two games and may even be in the playoffs. They had only 3 players that ever played before, so most of the kids are newbies. One mother told me that she has three boys and a husband and only one bathroom. She told me that her kids are good at football simply because they're used to fighting over the bathroom every morning. She wakes to
the sounds of scuffling and position jockeying. ha ha ha...
I just got a paper this morning about basketball. Boy -the sports seasons never seem to end.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Limiting Executives Pay

Update: Executive pay will be limited in the future. That's one good thing. What's not good is this: CNN states, "But the executives' current contracts, which may include golden parachutes, would still stand".

What's wrong with our congress-people? It's the CURRENT contracts which reward executives for bankrupting their company that's the problem. Sure - it's good to limit issues in the future, but if the taxpayers are supposed to pony up billions NOW - then let's limit compensation NOW.

Sheesh! It's time to vote lots of people out of congress and vote some in that will spend our money in a financially responsible way. This is ridiculous.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Financially Strapped WaMu CEO leaving with 18 MILLION after 3 weeks on the job????

Here's a great example of the "golden parachute" - and the WaMu CEO has only been on the job 3 weeks! I want that job......

I think business packages need to tie CEO or C-level compensation to the overall health of the company. If the company is struggling, so should the c-level employees. If the company is doing well - then I'm all for sharing the wealth, so long as it's shared throughout the company. I don't even mind the c-level executives getting millions IF the company is thriving, employees are being hired and compensated well and stockholders are seeing their wealth grow.

But - a 3 week tenure and 18 million in compensation for it? Just the fact that it's possible is absolutely ridiculous. Are taxpayers going to have to fund that, too?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress Bailing out Businesses

Congress today announced they have a bailout plan. On one hand - this is good news. My 401K may actually stabilize and do I dare hope - increase?

On the other hand, I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

I'm simplifying this, but here's some thoughts:
These banks are private businesses.
The employees of these banks (with management approval, of course) made loans to people with risky credit.
These people with risky credit defaulted and aren't paying back the loan
The banks are feeling the heat and don't have enough money
These businesses are now in serious financial trouble.
The government gives these private businesses that mismanaged their own finances OUR taxpayer money.

Does this really make sense? It may be best for the overall economy to stabilize these massive private banks, but if it is, what should happen to the bank executives? They are responsible for setting the policies that allowed sub-prime lending. They are responsible for making poor financial decisions.

I say we get rid of them and not pay them a penny for "golden parachute" clauses. Having an executive leave their position with millions in severance pay is ridiculous, especially since they ran these businesses into the ground.

What's really missing in this bailout plan is the repurcussion action. What actions do we need to take against those who are at fault? I'm not talking about the loan manager at the local branch - I'm talking about the strategic policy makers who set the line for what's accepted and what's not. They got us into this mess - they need to stand up and take responsibility, not our money.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My thoughts on this article: Parents Call For Coach's Firing After Sideline Confrontation

I just read the story titled “Parents Call For Coach's Firing After Sideline Confrontation”. Are these parents kidding? Are they completely off their rocker? Or perhaps, from a cynical view, are they are setting themselves up for some shyster ambulance chaser to represent them in a lawsuit?

I can't figure it out. Perhaps they see their son’s bad (and possibly illegal) behavior as grounds to become the next Warren Central millionaires? Or maybe they believe their son is special and should be treated like a china doll even though he was considered old enough and tough enough to engage in football – a sport that could be compared to a controlled physical fight? These parents have a ridiculous expectation and one that goes a long way towards explaining why some children today have no idea what its like to take responsibility for their own actions.

The parents should be grateful that the coach stopped unacceptable behavior before it did get too far. The parents should be glad that their son was taught an invaluable lesson, which is this: Football may be a game which increases testosterone levels and fuels raw emotions, but responsibility and respectability must be behaviors which are observed at all times. Sure, the coach grabbed him. Sure, the coach pulled him to the bench. That’s part of being a football coach and he was fully within his rights when stopping a player from crossing the line from playing a game of football to engaging in an all out fight.

Don't get me wrong. There are boundaries for coaches as well. Coaches have to be the FIRST role model for responsible behavior. In this instance, the coach did not cross that line. He acted human. He acted angry towards a player for acting so foolishly. He acted embarrassed on behalf of his other players and the school. He acted like a football coach who refused to allow his players take a game where skill and physical ability are prized and turn it into a stupid little childish grudge match.

My advice to the school: Don’t be intimidated by these parents. Stand your ground.
My thoughts to the coach: Thanks. Thanks, for caring about these kids enough to stop a situation that could have gotten much worse. Thanks for benching the kid for the game. Maybe he’ll think twice before he punches another player after the play is done.
My words for the parents: Stop being stupid. If you really think you’re child is that fragile, pull him out of sports and wrap him up in bubble wrap and duct tape before he leaves the house. If you don’t want to do that, let him take the full brunt of his own actions. Because what you’re doing now isn’t doing him any favors.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football Coaches Do Not Cancel Games

It's been raining all day and without even thinking too much about it, I checked the high school website to see if the football game was cancelled due to weather. About noon - my caffeine kicked in and I realized what a tremendous waste of time my efforts were.

Football coaches do not cancel games! Baseball coaches will, track coaches will and all other kinds of normal individuals will. But - I've realized something over the years - football coaches are not normal. Quite frankly, they are nuts.

The first glimmer I had that football coaches didn't operate on the same playing field as the rest of us was about five years ago. Lucas was in a playoff game. It was scheduled for 8:00 pm on a cold November evening. It was about 45 degrees outside and it had been drizzling freezing rain for two days. And guess what? The game wasn't cancelled. It gets worse, though. Once the kids showed up, the coach gathered them all together and told them to go jump in the mud puddle and get as dirty as possible. My jaw dropped - it wasn't just muddy - it was FREEZING mud! They were going to be dripping mud before the practice even started! I gave a frantic look at the coach's wife. She returned this sad little headshake indicating that she really did try her best to domesticate the man, but when it came to football - it just didn't take. Outside of football, the man was a perfect gentleman and a genuine fun person.

They also don't think there's anything wrong with playing with major injuries either. If I ever heard a coach tell an injured player, "Get your behind back in the game. Your bone's not even sticking through the skin. Your sister could play better than you!", it wouldn't suprise me a bit. (OK - that's a *little* exaggeration there, but not by much!)

I think there's something inherent in football coaches that make it impossible for them to give in to any kind of challenge. First - it's the only outdoor sport I know of that is played into the winter. How many superbowls have we watched during snowstorms or freezing rain? Coaches LOVE that stuff. But, there's also an emotional aspect to it. It's a primal, raw, testosterone laden desire to not only kick the snot out of someone else, but when its done in less than prime conditions, you must get extra man-points or something.

I'm trying to procrastinate actually going outside right now. I really dread getting wet and cold, especially since I'm just getting over some bug my son gave me. Perhaps if I keep writing, they will all just leave without me and I can spend a quiet home tonight watching movies. Keep your fingers crossed. As for me - I'm sitting here praying that perhaps someday, some really smart scientist somewhere will come up with a pill to cure football coach insanity.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cheer for number 57 (Twice!)

Football has started!
We had our first football games this past weekend. Luckily for me, both my kids are number 57 even though they're on two separate teams. Lucas is number 57 on the left hand side of the picture - they just started playing the game.

Lucas plays for a neighboring high school since ours doesn't have football. This means driving him to practices every single day, waiting for him to get done, then driving him home. It gets tiresome - LOL.....

Unfortunately, we didn't win either game. The Rockets (Lucas' team) were playing against the number 3 seeded team in their division and I really think they held their own very well against a much better team. It was almost like watching David and Goliath play. The Rockets have a total of 28 kids on their team - 3 of which are seniors. The Blue Devils (the opponent) has about 70 kids on their team - 22 of which are seniors! I'm proud of the Rockets, even though I'm sure their coach will keep pushing them to do better and achieve more.

Here's Michael before his game started. He's on a brand new team in our county. As far as I know, this is the first pee wee football team in our county for more than twenty years. The Cowboys joined a league based in another county, so we have to drive more than an hour to get to their games, although our practices are right in town. This just may be a great start for getting a football team in our own high school (wouldn't that be great?)

They also played a very good team in their league. During the first half of the game, they seemed nervous and missed a lot of opportunities. During the second half, though - they really came into their own and played great! Many of these kids have never played before, although a few, like us, took their kids to leagues in other counties in order to let them play. I'm very proud of them as well.

Overall - we're off to a great start and are looking forward to the hectic, but rewarding, football season.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Freelance Writer Site

I have soft-launched my new freelance writer website and am so excited about how it looks. I still have a lot of work to do on it - adding content, keywords and more.

I used to create the site and it's so easy. If you're looking for an easy to use web site creator for a basic web site, check them out. For my other sites, I have always used Microsoft's Office Live, but they wouldn't take my domain name because it has the word "bank" in it. Even thought it's part of my last name, they still won't take it because of fraudulent activities committed by others in the past. I think this is a horrible policy, especially since I've used them before and still do for Evidently, that got grandfathered in.

Feel free to check it out:

I *LOVE* this picture

This is a picture of my father-in-law Charles and my nephew, Zachary taken some 15 years ago. I used some picture editing software to make it look like a watercolor, but I think it is so neat.

Charles is now in the hospital in ICU. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recipe Box: Apple Butter

Can also be found here: July 2008 Newsletter

Recipe Box –Apple Butter

Apples, cooked until soft and strained – need 2 ½ quarts or 10 cups
5 cups white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
½ cup lemon juice
1 qt apple cider

Cook in oven at 350F for 3 or 4 hours or until thick stirring frequently.
Put in 7 pint jars.

Can be served with freshly baked bread, toast, bagels or crackers.

It also tastes wonderful as a side dish for most white meats and is especially delicious served warm on top of ice cream.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Football Training starts......

Football training has started.... It's not practice so they're not doing plays or anything like that. They're conditioning - jumping over the green things on the ground, running around them, lifting weights, doing calisthenic exercises and stuff like that. Lucas is the one in the red shorts with black tank top.

I usually hang around during the two hours and will walk around the school or take the kids to the pool in the school. Since the summer has started, it's just beautiful outside.

Lucas love lifting weights and here is what he can currently lift:

Deadlift 305, Bench 225, Squat 250 and Powerclean 135

His coach wants him to go up 100 pounds in every lift in one month. He's up to the challenge, though.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Teach yourself some history

I used to homeschool my children and because we're not wealthy, I would use as many high-quality free resources as possible. The other day, as I was doing some cleanup on my computer, I came across a huge list of Internet sites that I would use to help create the kids curriculum. Just for fun, I've listed the historical sites here. When I did the timeline I found out the median household income was $8,300 and I'm not even that old! I haven't caught up to my mom yet. LOL

Read about the Crusades. This was a time in history of great religious fighting. In fact, in the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner, he actually has just come back to England from fighting Muslims, which is why it’s so unusual for him to bring Morgan Freeman (as Azeem) back with him.
This Country of Ours: This is a story all about America and how it was founded. It almost reads like a story book instead of a boring old history book. As you read, you can actually be transported back in time and feel like you are part of whatever place is being discussed.
Year by Year timeline. Go back and remind yourself what events happened when you were born, when your hubby was born or just pick a random year in history for fun.
The Oregon Trail Learn more about a journey from Oregon to California which occurred in 1846. Imagine yourself as a pilgrim watching out for Buffalo and different Indians. English History. Many Americans can trace their history back to England. If you’re interested, this site provides information for a timeline, some information regarding historical figures and political history in the 1700’s.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Black Squirrels in Ohio

In Salem, Ohio, they have black squirrels, which is pretty strange. Most squirrels are grey in color, but these are not. They even stand still when you get close to them, so they're evidently used to humans. Here's a picture of one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Happy 50th Anniversary to Charles and Marie.....

We enjoyed seeing you and spending the day with you in celebration.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baseball Season is so much fun!

Here are pictures of Michael at baseball. So far the team is doing pretty good - they're 5-4 and they've got a pretty young team overall. Their age group ranges from 9-12 and some of the teams they play have almost all 12 year olds. We have about four 9 year olds and some have never thrown a baseball before.

It's funny to watch the teams lined up against each other when half of our team has to look up at all the other players. Not Michael though - he's one of the taller ones.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Father's Day is only two weeks away!

The June 2008 newsletter is out. Since I devoted May to Mother's Day quotes, I devoted June for Father's Day quotes. Here is my favorite:

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong~~ Charles Wadsworth

Isn't this the truth?

You can find the entire newsletter here

Recipe Box –Lemon/Lime Drink Base
3 limes
3 lemons
1 cup sugar
1 cup white rum or apple juice

Slice lemons and limes
Add sugar and rum
Using a spoon, press on lemon and lime pieces to help release juices
Soak overnight in refrigerator

When ready to serve, add one spoonful of base per glass.

Then, choose any of the following options for finishing the drink:
1. Add ice cubes and water
2. Add carbonated water with mint sprigs
3. Add orange, berry or cranberry juice
4. Add a maraschino cherry with some ginger ale


Monday, May 19, 2008

PIAA District 5 Track Meet

Track is finally over. Lucas made districts for both shotput and discus. He was the only 9th grader out of all the schools to make it this far, so we're extremely proud of him for that.

What's amazing is that he also placed fourth in the shot competition. The third place winner, Robert, is also from his school and helped teach him how to throw properly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pictures of the deer

Here are the deer pictures. They just browsed through our back yard as calmly as can be. As you can see, Opie is in the bottom left hand corner of the picture and is just going nuts trying to keep anything from coming into our year.

The deer just stopped and stared at Opie for a few minutes - they weren't scared and they didn't run away, so evidently his barking didn't bother them. I guess they showed him, huh?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I saw deer this morning

My dog woke me up this morning. When the kids leave for school and the weather is nice, they put Opie outside on his chain. Anyway - he was just going nuts. He was barking like crazy, running around in circles and straining against his lead. So - I got up to see what was going on.

There were five deer right in my backyard! They were strolling through our yard and evidently the barking didn't bother them in the least. I ran back inside to get my camera, but I was too slow - they were gone when I got back outside.

I'm keeping an eye out and my camera's handy. I might have some pictures to share a little later on.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Recipe Box – Sweet Rolls (Kolachi)

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Don't forget Mother's Day on May 11th. These sweet rolls are a perfect addition to a breakfast in bed.

Recipe Box – Sweet Rolls (Kolachi)
Roll Ingredients:
1 pkg dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
¾ cup scalded milk
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
2 ½ to 3 cups flour

Dipping Mixture:
Melted Butter
¾ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix roll ingredients and let rise until double in bulk
Mix sugars and cinnamon for dipping mixture.
Break off a piece of dough at a time.
Dip into melted butter, then into dipping mixture.
Place in petal shapes on round pizza pan.
Let rise another 30 to 45 minutes
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
Frost when slightly warm.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Alaska's Best Kitchens Article

I got my copy of the new issue of Alaska's Best Kitchens and my article is featured on the front cover. My article is the one that says - "How to Green-ify your Design."

The kitchens are beautiful in this magazine and I am envious. My kitchen's barely big enough to turn around in!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Dog and I are on a Schedule

About 5:00 every day, I get a call from my oldest son to pick him up from track practice. Opie, the dog, and I go to pick him up every day.

We always thought our dog wasn't too smart, but I may have to change my opinion. He seems to know exactly when my son calls to pick him up. The phone can ring during the day, and Opie ignores it. I can get up to go run errands and Opie ignores me. But - let the phone ring about 5:00 and Opie's instantly at the door, doing his little whine and plea for a ride in the car.

Luckily, we live in the country and I can drive slow through the back roads to the school. He sticks his head out the window and just thoroughly enjoys the ride. Because he's got those big floppy ears, his ears often flop up and he ends up looking like a bat.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pictures from the Texas Trip

Hubby and oldest son went on their annual trip to Paradise, Texas! They cater the meals for the North Texas Whip Club's April event. Some pictures are below!

The Cooks are taking a break.........................

AND ---- of course - no set of pictures are complete without one of a Texas Longhorn.

For those who have never been to Texas - here's some thoughts:
  • The normal spices for any food choice are: hot pepper flakes, Tabasco sauce, salt and ketchup
  • There may be four seasons, but they are all described with the word "Summer" - Almost summer, summer, was summer and colder than summer. Colder than summer is used to describe the cold snap that occurs in December when the weather drops below 70 degrees. It's time to start cookin chili and puttin' up the Christmas tree.
  • True Texans understand that Texas can do without the rest of the US. But the rest of the US couldn't - without great hurt and pain - do without Texas.
  • Texas is it's own country - it doesn't matter what the law says.
  • Boots and cowboy hats are appropriate church, wedding and funeral attire and are worn to show respect.
  • Texas chili DOES NOT contain beans. People at chili cookouts will laugh you out of the park as a know-nothin Yankee if you show up with beans in your chili.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Broccoli Salad

April 2008 Catering Newsletter

My mom would make this all the time and it is so delicious. I make it now as well. It's amazing, but my kids are true fans of broccoli - not just in salad, but cooked, steamed or just raw as a snack.

Broccoli Salad
1 bunch fresh broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
½ pound bacon – fried crisp and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup white sugar
2 tbsp vinegar

Mix broccoli, onion, bacon and cheese together
Mix together remaining ingredients in separate bowl and pour over salad
Let stand 3-4 hours before serving

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Sports have started!

Track meets have started. My oldest son, Lucas, throws the shotput and discus. This is a picture of him getting ready to throw the discus. He threw 100 yards, which I thought was pretty good since this is his first year of competition and he's still learning. The *best* kid throwing discus on their team threw a 140 yesterday! WOW!!! He's really good and got first place.

You can't tell, but it was like 30 degrees yesterday and we were freezing cold. All the parents standing to the side were buttoned up tight in winter coats.

Tonight is the first baseball practice for my youngest son, Michael. There's been some changes on his team and with his coaches, so it will be interesting to see how they do this season. He's excited, though and ready to start.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My Silly Cat

Somehow a ladybug got into our house yesterday and "settled" in near the ceiling. Our cat, Chuck Norris, jumped up on the ledge and sat looking up at the ladybug for more than 30 minutes. Even when I was getting the picture, he barely moved.

He didn't try to jump, which was good, because the other side of the ledge drops about a story down to the front hallway and if he lost his footing, he'd be one hurt cat. But - he sure wasn't going to miss the chance to get the ladybug should it move.

The ladybug isn't there this morning and I don't know if it got away or if Chuck finally got it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

The March newsletter of our catering business is now out! In addition to a short "I want spring to get here"plea, I've also decided to add in a recipe for good old fashioned apple dumplings.

These are wonderful and sweet and ooh so tasty when served with ice cream or warm maple syrup. Yummy - I may just go apple shopping soon.

Recipe Box - Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
scant 3/4 cup milk
apples - sliced small

Make thing syrup by mixing sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and butter for 5 minutes
Keep warm
Cut shortening into sifted flour, baking powder and salt until fine as cornmeal. Stir in just enough milk to make soft dough.
Roll out on floured board to 1/4" thickness in rectangular form
Spread with melted butter, filled with apples
Sprinkle apples with sugar and cinamon
Roll as for a jelly roll and slice 3/4" thick
Place in large pan - pour syrup over apple roll slices
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until light brown on top.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Time Marches On

Eeeek! I can't believe it's March already. Life has been so hectic at times that I can't believe that it's already 2008. I still remember all the Y2K panic as if it were last year.

Just last month, our oldest son turned 15. Less than a year to drive!Less than 3 years to leave for collegeLess than 3 years from being "draftable" into the military

As frustrating as teenagers can be, I'm not sure I'm ready for him to really grow up to be on his own. I can't imagine a home without him in it. I know I'm probably jumping the gun, but I can't help being the emotional sappy mother right now....

But - I still thought I'd share this beautiful picture to get ya'll ready for spring......

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beautiful *COLD* picture

I went for a walk today at Cowans Gap State Park. The view was beautiful - the lake was frozen and the mountains were shrouded in clouds...... The cold is great because it makes me walk faster - LOL

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Multiple Myeloma - Cancer of the Plasma Cell

My father-in-law's cancer has come out of remission and he is now back on chemotherapy. He has multiple myeloma - a cancer of the plasma cell. It is a disease that can never be cured - at least not today! At best - it can be put into remission, but the chances of staying remission free for any length of time is slim to none.

Prayers are welcome! What's so sad is that many Americans can relate my family's situation. A whopping 23% of all deaths in the US are attributed to cancer, which is only second to heart disease. Unfortunately, the most current statistics state that 1 in 3 Americans will develop some type of cancer over their lifetime, with five year survival rates jumping from an average of 50% to 66% in about 20 years. ** So - at one time or another, we will all be touched with the disease, the treatment and the prayers for survival.

And - for anyone who wishes to actually put some sweat, tears or money into eradicating cancer - some good links are listed below:

The 3 Day Race for the Cure - Breast Cancer - Can YOU walk 60 miles in 3 days?? Absolutely! Get in shape, raise some money and share with your friends.

MD Anderson Cancer Center - A top-notch research hospital dedicated to putting themselves out of work due to lack of need. My husband was treated at the hospital in Houston many years ago for his cancer and I can state from experience exactly how wonderful these people are.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: A great source of information for families with MM and an organization dedicated to finding a cure! I refer to them quite often.

American Cancer Society: A great place for information and one of the most well known organizations. They have programs that provide information on just about any topic, the most up to date research and have programs to help you find local resources and support groups.

* My statistics are from the American Cancer Society.

Thanks for prayers and thoughts....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My youngest child is driving me nuts!

He's 10 years old and I love him dearly! He's been sick lately and has spent several days home with me. We're watching American Idol together just like we did last night. Some lady tried to emulate Janis Jopline and now he's singing "Oh Lord Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz". No - he doesn't come close to being in tune. I think I could cry.

In the past three days, he's
  • Had hour long discussions with the dog about when to bare his teeth and when not to. The dog has fallen asleep on him
  • Nitpicked with me on whether the weather outside was in the 30's or 40's because 30's mean snow and 40's doesn't.
  • Asked me ten million questions and then told me my answer was wrong no matter what I said. Including why soda is not nutritious (per me) or has redeeming qualities (per him)
  • Dragged the cat around like a child and told me over and over again how the cat likes him best because he feeds the cat.
  • Dug into his 10 year old mushy brain for every question he's ever wanted to ask me and posed them in questions such as "Do you remember 7 years ago we were standing on the side of the road and that red car passed us and you said, 'that's cool?' - What were you talking about?"
  • Randomly pops out comments when we're alone and the TV is off. They are along the lines of "I thought it was supposed to go left" or "Hey - there was no plate there" leaving me to wonder just what in the world he's talking about.
My parental patience is about at its limit as my child is bored stiff and driving me absolutely crazy! I'm so glad his fever broke because I'm ready to break him - ha ha - just kidding. Actually - I was thinking of duct tape or super glue for the his mouth or pitching a tent in the backyard for me. I decided the tent gave me more options.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Woo Hoo - I got Published!!

I got published in the Tea Room News. It's a really neat publication with some great artistic creations in it.

Check it out here: January 2008 Issue

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Winter Doldrums????

OK - Christmas and New Years are over and it's time to get back to the old grind... I can feel the winter doldrums settling in and so I've decided it's time for a vacation!

We love to ski and thought of going to Denver to visit my brother - we can go to Breckenridge to ski and visit family as well.

Bermuda is not too far from the east coast and rates aren't too bad. We've thought about some type of trip to Bermuda, but my youngest son says we can't go because the Bermuda triangle will get us! LOL.....

Baltimore is not too far for a car trip. I'm just not sure visiting the harbor in January or February is the way to go. It might be way too cold, but the hotel rates should be lower than during peak season.

I know there are plenty of other places around here, but I can't for the life of me figure out what they are. I just think we need to get away even if it's for a weekend. Someplace where the kids can wear themselves out with physical activity.......

Hmmmm- I'll have to think about this some more.