November 30, 2009

Nuts Online

Ah nuts!! I admit it. I'm a nut. I'm also a nut lover. Not the kind of nuts I meet online, my fellow bloggers. Although I do love my fellow bloggers to bits!!

There are at least two kinds of nuts here in our house (not hubby and me) at any given time. Pecans, almonds, peanuts are the favorites. We put them in salads, toss them into homemade fried rice dishes as well as other casseroles. We even chop peanuts in the coffee bean grinder and roll boneless chicken breasts in the ground peanuts for the best chicken fingers!

Did you know there is a difference between assorted nuts and mixed nuts??? Yep, who knew!!

After several attempts to keep enough nuts in house, I ordered nuts and dried fruit online from Just thought I would pass that along to the other nuts out there, oh I mean nut lovers.

November 27, 2009

Red Hair and Freckles

In 2004, Nicole Giladi gave birth to twins, a daughter with brown hair and a son with copper-colored hair.

When her son started walking, "I couldn't believe how much attention he got," she says.

But there were no books available that could explain to her son how special he was, she says. So she decided to write a book, "so that he can understand why he has red hair, why he has freckles, why he burns in the sun," she says. "Little Redheads Across America", 88 pages of kid-friendly facts about red-haired children (littleredheadsacrossamerica .com.

In "The Redhead Encyclopedia", Stephen Douglas estimates that 1% to 2% of the world's population has red hair.

This information is in an article in USA Today. What I found interesting was that the parents of the little red haired delights were teaching them to think of themselves as special instead of feeling odd or freakish. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet my hubby's mother, but I would have so many questions for her if I could meet her. My husband was the only one is his family of mother, father and two siblings with blazing red hair and freckles over his entire body. There weren't any others like him in the town he grew up in and it affected him negatively. Instead of feeling special or unique, he spent his childhood trying ways to be someone else. One of the ways was drugs. He discovered at a young age that drugs would transport him to a different place and he could be someone else and not a freak.

In a related CNN story, a twelve year old red headed boy was beaten up by a group of seventh and eight graders when encouraged by a Facebook page stating that Friday was Kick a Ginger Day referring to redheads and possibly inspired by an episode of the "South Park" series.

Fortunately, over the past few years he has been able to come to accept who he was at birth, accept the life he has led for most of his life, and let go of the disappointment he felt as a child feeling so different and isolated. So reading how parents are equipping their red headed children with a strong inner acceptance and ability to view themselves as unique and special filled me with delight. These children are given a chance for self esteem and acceptance. I look at the red headed kids here in the midwest and I think what a different life it would have been for my hubby if he had grown up here where there would have lots of children who looked like him. But that wasn't the way it was and it is what it is and things are good now. I think I will get that new book about red heads for hubby though. Smile. It is funny that I ended up with him, and when I was growing up I would wish I had read hair and freckles! Now I have them, just not on me!!!

November 26, 2009


Photo by John Moore/AP

Count your blessings and be grateful.

Many hugs to those in need.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2009

Thanks, Pilgrim (In My John Wayne Accent)

In the United States, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day is associated with elaborate parades, turkey dinners with all the trimmings, family and friends gathering together in celebration, football, golf, and other sports all day long.

I'm not a bah humbug person, but I have always been a practical person. Raising three kids and working full time left me with little energy or enthusiasm on lots of holidays. My kids grew up with our very own traditions that were initiated for my benefit. I knew I could do a better job of cooking and participating in the games and cheer if I was feeling good. So in our house when my kids were quite young we watched the parade on TV and had a quiet day the Thursday that was the actual Thanksgiving Day. On Friday we shopped for groceries. Saturday morning I was sufficiently rested to get up early and tackle the big Tom Turkey. Their friends were invited to have a second Thanksgiving dinner with us on Saturday and we celebrated.

As the kids got older, I encouraged them to accept invitations to Thanksgiving dinner at friends houses and to invite their friends to enjoy our dinner and games on the Saturday. That seemed to work out for everyone.

This year is my first Thanksgiving to be unemployed. It hasn't been a month since I left my job, said goodbye to my favorite boss ever, and am adjusting to a life of retirement. And this year I am going to fry chicken instead of the traditional turkey. Hubby will make his dressing and put it on a cookie sheet to put into the oven to get his just right crunchy dressing. I will fix mashed potatoes and gravy and of course the green bean casserole. Not huge amounts, but there will be leftovers for a few days. We will take a walk and play darts and listen to music and read and call our siblings and children.

I have a full and grateful heart. Thanksgiving usually brings thoughts of abundance; plenty of food, lots of friends, caring and sharing the overflowing love.

It is a pleasure to hear other plans for Thanksgiving. I would welcome any and all comments describing your anticipated holiday.

November 21, 2009

Unfit, Uneducated, Criminal

According to an article in the Boston Herald, "An alarming 75 percent of Americans ages 17 to 24 would not qualify for military service today because they are physically unfit, failed to finish high school or have criminal records.

While some experts voiced doubt that obesity and other societal ills would keep three out of four young adults out of the ranks, the report titled "Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve" was endorsed by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark and top retired admirals and generals.

Retired Rear Adm. James Barnett said "Our national security in the year 2030 is absolutely dependent on what’s going on in kindergarten today."

Increasingly, applicants are disqualified for having asthma or for taking pills for depression or attention disorders. Nearly one-third of all young adults have health issues other than weight that could keep them from serving, according to the report of the group Mission: Readiness.

Mission: Readiness organizers, including Education Secretary Duncan, are pressing Congress to approve the Early Learning Challenge Fund, which would provide $1 billion annually in grants to states for 10 years to improve childhood development programs.

Even after signing up, 7 to 15 percent of enlistees return home for not meeting all that basic training demands."

November 18, 2009

A Thankful Heart

My Grateful List is kept handy on my desktop, clicked on and viewed and revised often.

The list is not my screensaver. I don't want to become so used to seeing it that I become indifferent to it.

Here's a big Thank You to hubby for advising me to begin a Grateful List four years ago. My list has grown and dwindled and been revised many times since then. But it has remained an important mooring line in my recovery.

I am going to share my actual list here. This is my Grateful List:


My new relationship with God
My Recovery
My children
The Calm Times
Sincere Amends
Understanding Boundaries
A Good Night’s Sleep
Second Chances
My Sponsor
Each Day
My Girlie Side
Sunny, Cool Days
Days I Can Concentrate
My Past
A Good Cup Of Coffee
A Simple Life
Hearing With Ears And Heart
My Inner Child
A roof over my head
Income to live on
Sincere People
My Therapist
My growth

I would like to see my online blogger friends share a list of what they are grateful for. We share so many personal things in our blogs, happy and sad, good and bad. For me, a Grateful List is positive and rock solid. Thanks for letting me share.

November 16, 2009

The Shame And Blame Game

Her: You were snoring again last night.

Him: I'm sorry, did I wake you?

Her: I'm not getting enough sleep.

Him: I'm sorry, are you tired today?

Her: This isn't working for me.

Him: I'm sorry.

November 13, 2009

$10,000 Boob Job

"WACO, Texas - She claimed she had breast cancer, but now cops say it was all a big lie - she just wanted bigger breasts!

Police have accused a Texas woman of lying about having breast cancer and spending $10,000 raised at a benefit to have her breasts enlarged.

McLennan County sheriff’s investigator James Pack said in court records that 24-year-old Trista Joy Lathern shaved her head to look like a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy.

But the plastic surgeon she went to knew about the benefit and called the cops."

When I read articles like this I have to pinch myself and remind myself that this is a true story. Someone actually shaved her head and arranged to attend a benefit in her honor under false pretenses. How sad is that! Someone wanted breast enhancement so desperately that she sold her honor to get it. This is fraud! Hey, I would like a tummy tuck and breast lift surgery (gravity has taken its toll), but I would not lie and cheat and steal to get that done. I don't know if that means I am not vain enough or if I believe in truth, justice, and hanging loose.

Friday The Thirteenth

Today is Friday, the thirteenth day of November. Everyone knows that thirteen is an unlucky number, right? Did you know that any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday? That's all it is.

It used to be such a mystery to me as a young person and my fellow students and I carried on the superstitious nature of this phenomenon. Because it didn't happen every month, we enjoyed the sensation of power that this unique day held to bring bad luck to anyone who wasn't careful.

Worse than stepping on a crack in the sidewalk or walking under a ladder! In a way, this superstition perpetuated a fear that was a tickler and a teaser so much so that when I got through the day without a major mishap I then knew I was lucky. There is a name for the fear of Friday the thirteenth: Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Betcha can't say that three times quickly.

I wasn't lucky enough to waltz through each and every Friday the thirteenth unscathed. The day I broke my finger playing volleyball at school was a Friday the thirteenth. The day my old clunker car died permanently was a Friday the thirteenth. The day a girl in my brother's class hit him in the head with her square wooden purse and split his head open was a Friday the thirteenth. I wasn't injured but she was when I found her and I was suspended from school for the unprovoked attack. Of course the way I looked at it was I just defending my brother.

According to experts it's the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Have you ever seen a thirteenth floor in a hotel? Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won't eat in restaurants; many wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date.

How many Americans actually suffer from this condition? According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias, the figure may be as high as 21 million. If he's right, at least eight percent of Americans are still in the grips of a very old superstition.

I have been set free from the fears that have inhabited my life throughout my childhood. This Friday is just another weekday. I am no longer held captive by a tradition not based in fact.

So enjoy your Friday everyone. Oh, and good luck!

November 10, 2009


"Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not. Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

A) Yes.

B) No.

C) Cannot be determined.

Go to Cosmic Variance for the answer.

While you are there, take the time to read some of the many comments. I am not usually one to take time to read other people's comments, but in this case the comments were as entertaining as the post.

November 08, 2009

Jane Austen Exhibition

This picture is Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in the movie "Pride and Prejudice". I think I have seen every Colin Firth movie.

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. New York is too far to travel to see this exhibition. But I will continue to investigate everything about it.

"A major Jane Austen exhibition, which has opened in New York, is creating a huge stir among fans and cultural commentators. More than 100 items, including rare manuscripts and letters written by the British author to her family, have gone on display at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan.

The letters - which is the largest collection in the world - are full of the author's famous stinging wit and her spirited sense of humour.

A highlight of the exhibition is the only surviving and complete handwritten manuscript of one of Austen's novels, Lady Susan."

November 06, 2009

Good Writing, Great Post, Grrrrr Anger

This is such a good post that I asked Louisey at Letting Go if she would mind my linking to it here.

These are some quotes from the post:

"Getting strong or reprehensible emotions out of me was like trying to pry an oyster shell open with a plastic spoon."

"Do you realise that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament?"

"‘Well you’re not particularly masculine, so that makes us quits. Plus, you’re bald and I always associate balding with erectile dysfunction."

"What would you feel like if your wife carried a gun around with her all the time and pointed it in your direction each time you tried to say something? Would she need to pull the trigger to keep you in your place?"

Whew. I am always assured of great writing on the Letting Go blog, and sometimes like this particular one there are a myriad of personal reactions that zing my nerve impulses.

November 04, 2009

Remember Hollywood Squares?

These great questions and answers are from the days when ' Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course..

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh.

Pretty risque'! Peter Marshall hosted the show 1966 - 1981. Fifteen years on a live game show!

November 01, 2009

Hot Fudge Sundae

I am a fan of hot fudge sundaes. This is a recipe that sounds so good to me, so I am going to make it this week. It is a hot fudge sundae cake recipe and it is made in a slow cooker. I know this is something my grand kids would appreciate. Since I live 1500 miles from them, I emailed this recipe to my daughter.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cup hot water


Spray inside of 2 to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Mix flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread batter evenly in the slow cooker.

Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small bowl. Stir in hot water until smooth. Pour evenly over the batter in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Turn off the slow cooker. Let cake stand uncovered 30 to 40 minutes to cool slightly before serving.

Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Spoon sauce over top.

SIX Servings.