Monday, August 30, 2010

Miracles do happen

Our family left for D.C. on Wednesday. We wanted to have a few days for sight-seeing before the rally on Saturday. Glenn Beck had talked on his radio show that on Friday night there would be a special event at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. There were 1000 seats available. Glenn had bought the tickets himself, and intended to give them out on Friday morning on a first come, first serve basis. I was really, really, wanting to go, but knew that the chances of securing a ticket or seven (one for each member in our group) would be next to impossible. But, Glenn said to expect miracles, so I dared to hope.

Late Thursday afternoon, our group split up. My brother-in-law and nephew wanted to go locate the Kennedy Center,  because we planned to be there bright and early Friday morning, waiting in line for tickets. The rest of us, continued sight-seeing, heading in the opposite direction. One of the sights on our to-do list was to see the Daughters of the American Revolution building. Not because I am a Daughter of the American Revolution (but my Dad recently told me I could be. I just have to do some research to find out), but because of the initials...DAR aka my nickname.

 As we were walking back, looking for a Metro Station, Hubby got a call from BIL saying that we need to bring food and blankets, and plan on spending the night, because a line was already forming. So, the five of us, head back to the cottage in which we are staying.  We start discussing who will go back and spend the night on the streets, standing in line...each person would be able to get two tickets, so four people would have to spend the night. It was looking like it would be Hubby and me, but then, my other nephew said he would go. (Bless his heart.) Halfway back to our cottage, we realize that BIL has the only key.  This is not good. Oh well, we'll just ask for another key. My nephew says that there is only one key, as they had already tried to get another key. However, when we arrived, we discovered that we had forgotten to lock the front door when we left that morning! (And, luckily, all our stuff was still in the cottage when we got back!) As we started making sandwiches, and gathering blankets, BIL calls again. Never mind coming, they started passing out tickets so no one would have to sleep on the streets. I was glad for that, but immediately concluded that I would not be going to the event. Four tickets, and BIL had two sons with him, and Hubby would go. Oh well, it was a long shot anyway, and at least Hubby would get to go. Then Hubby got another call. His voice sounded a little more excited when he said, "Really? That's awesome!"  Here's what happened. BIL was talking with other people in line, some were able and willing to get an extra ticket, so BIL left with seven tickets! We would all be going!

BIL and nephew had decided that they would take it easy on Friday. Not even go into D.C. until the after noon. The rest of us had other plans. We would get up early, do some sight-seeing, then come back to the cottage early enough to get cleaned up, and rested up before going to the Kennedy Center. (You know right now that that didn't happen, don't you?) We wanted to leave by 3:00 because it takes a good hour of traveling by the MetoRail, and driving. And, we wanted to be heading back by 6:00 to get there by 7:00, when the doors opened. But, at 3:00 we were in the middle of the American History Museum, and suddenly no one wanted to leave. Hubby and I were hot, sweaty, and tired. We needed to go back. And, our tickets were still at the cottage. So, we left, and again halfway back, realized that we had no key.

By the time we pulled up to our cottage, we were way behind schedule, and we both had full bladders. Hubby went down to the office to get a spare key. Came back. Key didn't work. Walked back down to the office, and came back empty handed. We would have to wait until they located the guy who wears all the keys on his belt. Time was ticking away. We were still hot, sweaty, tired, and now hungry, with fuller bladders. Hubby started talking about breaking a window. I started praying that the man with the keys would hurry and get here. Thankfully, my prayer was answered, and no windows were broken. However, all our resting time was used up, and we only had time to shower, (dress), grab the tickets, and go.  We drove back into D.C., rode the  MetroRail to what we thought was the closest stop to Kennedy Center. (Our son had the map showing the layout and all the stops, so we tried to go from memory. Memory. Ha. Ha.)

After we walked a block or so, we called everyone, who were already waiting at the Kennedy Center, to say we were on our way. We were then told we got off  way too early and would have a couple of miles to walk. We needed to turn around and get back on the MetroRail. Our legs were so tired from three days of walking, we couldn't bear the thought of turning around. We hailed a cab and said, "Take us to Kennedy Center."  The ride cost us 10 bucks, but it was worth every penny!

We arrived at Kennedy Center right around 7:00. Miracles still do happen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Restoring Honor

I am going to Washington D. C. on  August 28.

This is a rally to restore honor to America and to honor our military. We restore honor by starting with ourselves. Honor means doing the right thing always, no matter the cost, especially if no one is watching. Our Founding Fathers wrote, "For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."  We must start electing honorable people (do I have to say from both parties?) to public office from the city level to the national level. That means, as American citizens, we, I, have to start educating ourselves about the candidates who are running for office.  We cannot make our decisions based on media sound-bites.

The 8/28 Rally is being completely misrepresented by the media. I was listening to a local radio announcer the other day, his guest was the head of the NAACP from  the area.  They were totally bashing Glenn Beck, and his 8/28 "political" rally,  Apparently, (I did not know this) August 28, the Lincoln Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr. belong only to the blacks.  No one can ever meet at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28 - ever.  Glenn Beck also plans to read the "I Have a Dream Speech".  According to the two men on the radio, this is next to blasphemous.  If I remember, part of MLK's dream was that " men would be known by the content of their character and not the color of their skin", and yet, this entire interview was about the color of one's skin.  How dare a white man speak the words of MLK.  They, and the rest of the media, have decided that this rally is for white, bigoted, hate-mongers, and we're just going to stir up trouble.  That couldn't be further from the truth!  They forgot to notice that Dr. Alveda King, neice of Martin Luther KIng, Jr. will be there.  

This rally is about restoring honor, faith, hope and charity.  All political/protest signs are to be left at home. If we see anyone with signs, we are to politely ask that the signs be discarded. Faith, hope, charity. If any signs are seen, you can know that they are there to stir up trouble. It's about Honor. Faith. Hope. Charity. God knows we need it in Washington, D.C.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Ten Most Influential People

I'm linking up with Awesome Daughter to share my Top 10 Most influential people in history.  It's kind of hard to narrow it down to ten, but I think I'll just list the first 10 that pop into my head, in no particular order.

1. Jesus Christ - I do, however, think Jesus is number One. His coming, changed history in so many ways. The way history is dated- B.C- before Christ; and A.D. - anno Domine - in the year of our Lord

2. Adam Smith and Cicero - the writings of these men greatly influenced my next group of great men...

3. Thomas Jefferson

4. George Washington

5. Ronald Regan - "Mr. Gorbe..., tear down this wall!"

6. Benjamin Franklin

7. Thomas Edison

8. Alexander the Great

9. Who made the printing press? Guetenberg? I can't bring up his name.

10. Constantine

There's my list.  Who's on your list?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Trip Out West

Jerry the  Annheiser-Busch Horse  

I have been back from our road trip out West for four weeks now! Wow, does time fly! And, believe it or not, have figured out how to get pictures from that little black thing-a-mah-jingy stick onto my computer. (Okay, I'm only admitting this because Awesome Daughter will be reading this and will call me out on it. She is the one who actually got the pictures (all 1200+) on to my computer... But, one of these days, I WILL DO IT WITHOUT HER HELP!) 
My plan is to post pictures (don't worry, I won't post all of them) every Wednesday  Thursday (really, whatever day I get around to it!) for who knows how long. So, I hope you enjoy the trip! 

We drove through St. Louis, so I only got a glimpse of the Arch as we sped by on the highway.

We stopped by Grant's Farm, which is in St. Louis.

  Also on Grant's Farm is the house where Ulysses S. Grant lived. This is the house he lived in before and after he served as President of the U.S.
We also got to see the Annheiser-Busch Horses
Well, that's it for now. Hope it was worth your time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mystery of the Missing Dust Pan!

Sometimes, things come up missing. I don't know why. I don't know where they go. They just suddenly disappear. The only thing I am sure of, is that I am not responsible for the disappearance.

Case in point. Recently, I was in a very good cleaning  mood. This doesn't happen very often, so I try to take advantage of it when it comes. I was busily cleaning each room, starting at one end of the house and working my way to the other side. The rooms are carpeted, but the hallways and kitchen are not. So, I vacuumed one room, then swept the hallway to the next room, working my way to the kitchen.  However, by the time I got to the kitchen, I realized that my dust pan had disappeared.  The little pile of dirt had been formed into a nice, neat little pile, just waiting to be swept up, but where was the dust pan?

I looked around the rooms I had previously been in. No luck. I asked Hubby if he had seen it. Of course not. I looked again in the clean rooms. Hmmmm. I checked the closet where it's supposed to be. Nope, not there.  I walked all around the house, knowing I had not taken it to any of these rooms, but thought I'd better check anyway. Still nothing. Where in the world is that dumb dust pan? I finally had to resort to get the spare dust pan, which is kept in the basement.

The dust pan had disappeared and I had no clue where to look. So, I started looking in the most unlikely places. In the cupboards, in the fridge, in the dryer, praying to God that I would NOT find it in those places! Went back to the closet, nope, still not there. One day went by. No dust pan. Two days pass. It still hasn't shown up.

Finally, Hubby says, "Are you sure you didn't throw it away with the trash?" Of course, I did not throw it away. (And, for the record, Hubby was the one who was emptying the trash can. I remember that because he was complaining the he is the "only one" who ever empties the trash.)

So, day three comes along. The kiddos are here for supper, and I start telling the story of the lost dust pan. Hubby says, "I'll bet you threw it away. I'm going to check the trash bag."  Naturally, when the ENTIRE FAMILY  is around, in he walks holding the lost dust pan. I just love public humiliation!

I know I did not throw away the dust pan. My theory is that when Hubby was emptying the trash, the dust pan fell off the shelf, where I put it, and landed in the trash, unbeknownst to Hubby. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There is something seriously wrong with my brain!

I have issues. And, in case you haven't guessed from the name of my blog, a lot of my issues have to do with my brain--namely in the remembering department. There used to be a commercial on TV (maybe it still is, but, we don't get cable anymore, so I can't be sure.) I can't even tell you what the commercial was for, but this is what I remember. The commercial shows the inside of this person's brain. Everything is in little bubbles all floating around. There is a man walking through the brain paging "insurance", or something, trying to bring it up to the front of the brain. That's when I realized why I have such a problem remembering. My brain guy is not doing his job! Everything is just floating aimlessly around. No one is in there bringing my thoughts front and center. I'm going to have get that guy to do a better job!

The other night, Hubby and Awesome Daughter and I had just finished a very nice supper. For me, a meal isn't over until I've had a little bit of sweetness. I can survive without it, but, it makes me a little happier to taste the sweeter things of life. I made one little mention to Hubby.
"Sweetie, you should have bought a little bit of chocolate while you were out today. That would taste pret-ty good right now."
Hubby seemed a little incensed, rolled his eyes, and said, "I just bought you chocolate. Did you eat it all up, already?"
"What are you talking about? We don't have any chocolate." (I already ate the last of the chocolate chips. But, he didn't know about that.)
He walked over to the fridge, still rolling his eyes, then pulled out the box of Andes Mints. Oh, boy. How could I forget there was chocolate in the house? And especially mint?? Yep, there it was, right in the top compartment of the fridge! Something's not right in my brain if I'm forgetting about chocolate!

But, if that wasn't bad enough. Awesome Daughter proceeded to tell how I tried to bribe her into doing a job by giving her her own candy bar. (In my defense, I thought it was MY candy bar!)
"Yeah," she said, "Mom found that candy bar that I hid in the freezer and thought it was hers. Then she tried to bribe me with it, but she already had eaten half of it."
"Hey, at least I was willing to share what was left with you", I said in my defense.
"You and your Alzheimer's," they both say!

I do sometimes wonder about "my Alzheimer's", whether it is because I just have sooooooo much information stored into my brain, and my "brain guy" just isn't able to do his job, if it is because my hormones just aren't cooperating, or if I need to be concerned. I happened to find a magazine article about bad memories, and if I could just remember what it said....

I do have a check list on when to call the doctor:

  • you have trouble with daily functioning  because your brain is foggy------ummmm, how foggy?
  • you start to struggle with simple familiar tasks (preparing meals, using a toothbrush)  so far, so good
  • you consistently forget common words-----is that like a "brain fart"? What common words? 
  • you become disoriented or lost in your home or on your own street ---nope
  • you experience erratic behavior, mood swings or personality changes---other than what menopause brings?
I think it is safe to say that I don't need a doctor yet. I just need that dang "brain guy" to get all my bubbles organized and get them where I can use them!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garden Report

The garden continues to grow, and I've been very busy with canning this past week. Unfortunately, it hasn't been do to the great amount of vegetables that our garden has produced.

We have been getting our vegetables from a local produce auction.
All this garden work, and we still have to buy veggies!!

We pulled up the potatoes last week. It was quite fun, actually. Kind of  like digging for buried treasure.

We also pulled up the onions. They weren't growing, so I ended up with a bunch of small onions. I decided to pickle them. That was a long and tedious job from start to finish. I don't even like pickled onions!

       Before and After Pictures

Our cabbages are very small, and I'm afraid they will all be eaten by bugs before they are big enough to be

The broccoli plants are big and leafy, but NO BROCCOLI. The eggplant is growing, but so far, no evidence that I will actually have eggplant. The same is true with the Brussel sprouts. I put the garden out a little late, so maybe they will come on eventually, but I'm not too hopeful.

The banana peppers are doing OK.

And, I'm starting to get tomatoes.

Here's the first installment of my work so far.
Top row: Sandwich Spread - 30 pts.
Middle row: Green beans - 8 pts.
More Sandwich spread;
Banana Peppers - 3 pts.;
Pickled onions - 3 pts., 8 half pints;
Squash - 4 qts. (left over from last year)
Bottom row: Potatoes - 8 quarts.

That is what has been keeping me busy this week. How about you?

Friday, August 6, 2010

I made this

I have been hearing alot about homemade laundry detergent. I've been wanting to try it for my self. Two of my sisters-in-law have tried it and liked it. So, I'm up for the challenge. Their recipe makes a liquid detergent, but I opted for the dry stuff. The homemade version is also supposed to be quite inexpensive. I hate math, so I'll take their word for it. This is supposed to cost 5 cents (what? my keyboard doesn't have the little "cents" sign? How disappointing.) ...anyway, 5 cents compared to 30 or more cents per load. Unfortunately, for me, I bought my ingredients at an Amish tourist trap store, so, apparently, I paid several dollars more for my products than most people. Live and learn. Next time I'll buy it online somewhere. Also, each load only takes one tablespoon.
So, without any further delay, this is how I made my laundry detergent.

Here are the utensils needed:

Here are the three ingredients needed:

Step One: Use the grater to shred the bar soap

Add one cup Borax

Add one cup Washing Soda

Mix well, using hands to break up the soap shreds into smaller pieces

Put in container.

Use 1 Tablespoon per load.

Okay, I'll spill the beans on the prices I paid for my ingredients. I'm doing this for your benefit, so you will know how much NOT to pay!
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: $ 5.49     (55 oz. box)
Borax 20 Mule Team                          6.95     (76 oz. box)
Fels Naptha Soap                                  2.49      per bar
Making My Own Detergent: Priceless!  One other consolation is that each box will make approximately 5 recipes.

Consolation #2: You can also make your own dishwasher detergent with these ingredients.  That recipe is as follows:

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1/4 cup citric acid

I have no cute pictures, but just mix it all up and it fits nicely into a 16 oz. sour cream container. Again, use 1 Tablespoon. I made this in a panic because I just ran out of my dishwasher detergent, so I mixed this up in a hurry. I had coarse salt, which I used, and no citric acid. It seems to work OK without the citric acid, but I will look to get some. Citric acid is used in wine making, so you can get it at a wine supply store.
Need a rinse aid? Pour white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of the dishwasher. It seems to work fine, and is better than washing dishes by hand, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Today's my birthday! Well, not really, but it feels like my birthday! Today is my day to shine as the BON (Blogger of Note) at WOW (Words of Wisdom).  I want to start out by thanking Pam and Sandy for featuring my blog, and welcoming everyone from WOW.  I've been blogging since January, and am still trying to "find my way", and be a better organized blogger. I'm not sure how much wisdom will be found in my blog, mostly because I'm so forgetful, but, maybe from time to time, there may be a smidgen. I'm not usually the one being out in the spotlight, but rather, standing somewhere in the shadows. I like it there. It feels safe. But today, the shadows are gone. So, I will do my best to shine brightly. (Even though my palms are sweating as I type this.)

So, with that all said, I'll share with you my latest adventure in baking. I've been out of the kitchen way too long. It's been about five weeks or so since I've cooked a meal.

Hubby and I have been doing some work for family members, who all live about three hours away. I paint and he does handy work  The first job required that we be gone about two and a half weeks. We were home for two days, then left on a two week road trip out West. (I promise to post pictures in the somewhat near future.) We were home one day, then left for another three day stint of more painting and handy work for another family member. We came home from that, then left the next day for a weekend family reunion. And the day after we got home from that, we discovered a produce auction, and we came home with three bushels of green peppers, three pecks of yellow peppers, 16 dozen ears of corn, two pecks of onions, two pecks of cukes, and three pecks of green tomatoes. So this week I have been freezing corn, and grinding everything else to make a sandwich spread, and salsa. Oh yes, and on top of all that, my Dad gave me some zucchini from his garden.

I have a really good recipe for zucchini bread, but I thought I would try something different. So I thought I'd hope onto the good old internet and quickly print out a new recipe. But, first I have to check my email, and I might as well see what's happening on facebook. Oh yeah, I'm looking for a recipe. About an hour later, after wandering around like an ant on different interesting looking sites, I finally stumble on a chocolate chip zucchini bread. Sounds like a winner. (Thank you Paula Deen!) And, I have just enough chocolate chips remaining that haven't been gobbled up from a chocolate feeding frenzy.

I printed off the recipe. What? Are you kidding me? Why is the print so stinkin' small? It looked like this:

I mean, I can read it, don't get me wrong. But, it does put a strain on my eyes. I could try and find my reading glasses, not that I need them, of course, but that would take too long. Unbelievably, Hubby knows how to enlarge the print  reprint the recipe so it is readable.

So, I start making the zucchini bread. I feel like a stranger in my own kitchen because it's been so long since I've used it. Things are going well. I'm mixing up the batter in the mixer, adding the spices. One tablespoon of orange rind. This was dried, and in a spice container. I measure it out, have it right above the batter, about to pour it in. For some reason, I stop and look at it. Hmmmmm. I double check. (Highly unusual for me). Holy cow! I nearly put in one table spoon of nutmeg! That was a close call.

I continue mixing everything else, add the chocolate chips, then pour the batter into the mini loaf pans. It seems a little runny, but I've never made it before, so I continue on. Put it in the oven, set the timer. I take a taste of the batter. Yum, it's good. I decide that Hubby might like a little taste. On my way to take him a taste, I walk past the bag of flour sitting on the counter. Hummmmmm. Flour? The warning lights are flashing. Flour! Flour!  Oh, shoot! The bowl of dry ingredients are sitting on the counter. I quickly pull the "bread" out of the oven, pour the runny batter back into the bowl, then add the dry ingredients.

In spite of the near disaster (twice!) the zucchini bread turned out to be quite tasty. It's served chilled with a dollop of cool whip.

If you have made it to this point, here are a few other stories you might enjoy.
The time I was almost arrested for stealing a car  
What are fudge farts? 
Unusual house guest

 Thanks for stopping by.

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