Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hey, Granny Ain't Kidding...!

Maybe more of us should follow Granny's lead!

I don't think there is any doubt that she is giving fair warning to anyone thinking about breaking in again! The problem is...many folks that do this type of crime may not be able to read! If that's the case, then I feel sorry for ya!

Jessica Cooley Lufkin Daily News

Homeowner is crystal clear in posted warning

Associated Press
April 19, 2011, 10:48AM
Jessica Cooley Lufkin Daily News

HUDSON — A 71-year-old East Texas woman doesn’t mince words with a sign posted outside her house warning criminals to stay away.


An image of a gun is also on the sign.

Claudia Holland was unharmed earlier this month when someone kicked in her front door. She thinks her barking dogs scared off the late-night intruder.

The Lufkin Daily News reported Tuesday that Holland says it’s the first time in more than 40 years in the home to have something like this happen. She later found out that a house a couple of miles away was broken into around the same time.

Holland’s son, who lives with her, helped arrange for the warning sign.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't even go up and knock on her door at night without her knowing I was coming! No need to take any chances, ya know?

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. Don't worry...I won't shoot at ya!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Leather Britches Beans...!

I find it very interesting to find out about the "old ways" of doing things!

Preserving food was always a challenge in the days before pressure canning and dehydrators. Some very interesting ways of saving foods from a good harvest for use at a later time were used by our forefathers!

This is just one version of "leather britches beans", sometimes called "fodder beans", but there are a lot more available on line. This particular version comes from Mother Earth News!

Leather Britches
Here's how to preserve beans in an old-time way.

November/December 1970


If you'd like to try preserving beans in an old-time, way-down-south way, here's how to do it:

Pick your green or wax beans when they're tender and "snappy." Wash them and snip off the stem end. The other little sharp pointed tip won't matter, so leave it on. Let the beans drain until fairly dry, or at least till the water has dripped off.

Take a large darning needle and thread it with white store string. Kite string will do fine. Then thread your beans on the cord, sticking the needle through the middle of each bean. I don't mean down the center of the bean, just through the center, so both ends of the bean are loose.

Fasten the first bean by wrapping the string around it and making a knot so it won't pull through. Then go on stringing till your string's full. Fasten the last bean the same as the first one.

Dry the beans by hanging on a wire in a clean, dry place. An attic or unused room would be okay. Or hang them in your kitchen. They'll be gab grabbers, for sure! In the most high fallutin' magazines you'll see how decorators festoon rooms with the most unusual items. All right—go ahead with your leather britches!

The beans will become dry and wrinkled and you'll wonder what in the world you'll ever do with them, besides just letting them swing there.

In winter, take your dried beans down—several strings for a large kettle—and remove the strings. Rinse well, then put on to cook. When they boil up once, pour off the first water so you know they're clean and to remove any bitter taste. Then pour in fresh water, toss in a ham bone and an onion to keep the beans company and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till tender.

You'll come up with a mighty fine cold weather dish that'll stick to your ribs. These beans will remind you of long-ago years when folks had to preserve much of their food by drying.

Happy eatin'...

I think we forget sometimes just how hard the folks in the old days had to work to stock their pantries! It might be a good way to show the kids a bit of living history to do something like this as a project!

If folks had first hand experience in trying some of the old ways, they might appreciate what they have a little more!

Besides, you can't ever tell when something like this might come in handy, ya know? Knowledge is a treasure worth more than gold! Having the means to feed your family and care for them during hard times could very well be the most important thing you could ever hope to learn!

Fresh coffee on the patio this morning. So far, it's nice and cool...!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Having A Bad Day...!

This reads almost like a scene straight out of the "Keystone Cops"!

Strangely enough, we have all had one of those days, where nothing seems to go right! I think that this poor lady would say that this day would qualify!

Think I would go back to bed and try to start all over at a later time!

Police inadvertently shoot dog attack victim


– Wed Apr 27, 11:16 am ET

BERLIN (Reuters) – A German woman who had escaped without serious injury from a dog attack was accidentally shot by police while she hid from the animal behind a door, police said on Wednesday.

Police in Berlin shot the dog dead, but a stray bullet went through the door behind which the woman was cowering, striking her in the arm.

The woman was not seriously injured. She had gone to visit neighbors at their apartment on Tuesday evening when their two-year-old dog Carlito attacked her.

A police officer was also grazed in the throat by a ricocheting bullet. Police are investigating possible charges of negligence against both the dog's owner and the police officers who fired the shots.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Paul Casciato)

If you are ever in this situation, you might consider only calling the police as a last resort! This story shows that sometimes more help is NOT always a good thing!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio this morning? Better enjoy because coffee prices are starting to go up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whatever Floats Your Boat...!

In a time when many folks are trying to downsize a bit, this guy has taken that move to a whole new level!

Making do in this much space makes the small houses, like the Tumbleweed, look like a mansion! It never fails to amaze me just how creative some folks can be when they work at it!

Man makes home in 14-foot rowboat
Published: April 25, 2011 at 3:50 PM

SEATTLE, April 25 (UPI) -- A Seattle man has created a home for himself in a 14-foot boat anchored under a highway bridge near the University of Washington campus.

William Kaphaem has rigged the boat with a tarpaulin for shelter, The Seattle Times reported. He has a Coleman lantern and stove and even a battery-powered radio.

Kaphaem, 51, who uses the name Three Stars, told the Times he previously had rented a room from an elderly couple. They died last year, and he needed low-cost housing.

"I've got a lot of stuff. I didn't want to schlep it around town like some tramp," he said. "I've got more dignity than that."

Living in the rowboat allows him to survive on a monthly disability check of less than $700. He has a range of fishing rods and gets much of his food that way.

During the summer, he rows to the Sammamish River, which drains into the north end of Lake Washington. He lists the wildlife he can see there: "Beavers, muskrats, wood ducks, eagles -- lots of eagles -- blue herons, green herons, mallards, Canada geese, cormorants, kingfishers, raccoons, coyotes, now and then."
© 2011 United Press International, Inc.

I love the fact that this gentleman is making do with so little! But you know what? If he's happy with the arrangement who am I to argue? After all, that's what it's all life the way you want!

More power to him, I say!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! Hoping against hope for some rain pretty soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Have To Admire This Guy...!

Did you know that back in the wild west days, 25% of the cowboys were black?

I wouldn't kid you! But you know something else? It didn't matter at all the color of your skin when it came to getting the job done! This story from and shows a fine example of what I'm talking about!

Who was the greatest Deputy U.S. Marshal of the Old West?

Wyatt Earp?
Wild Bill Hickok?

How about Bass Reeves? Bass who?

Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves was arguably the greatest lawman and gunfighter of the West, a man who served as a marshal for 32 years in the most dangerous district in the country, captured 3,000 felons, (once bringing in 17 men at one time), and shot 14 men in the line of duty, all without ever being shot himself.

He was also a black dude.

To understand the story of Bass Reeves, you first need to understand a bit of the fascinating history of Oklahoma. Let’s start there.

Before Oklahoma was a state, it was a territory. When the “Five Civilized Tribes” (Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Seminoles, and Chickasaws) were forcibly removed from their ancestral homes in the Southeast, they were relocated to the middle of the country, to an area called the Indian Territory.

Because the Five Tribes sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, the federal government forced them to renegotiate their treaties and cede the Western half of Indian Territory for the settlement of other tribes. This was called the Oklahoma Territory, and it was opened in 1890 to white settlers. The two territories were referred to as the "Twin Territories."

The Indian Territory boasted an unusual mix of peoples and cultures. It was the home of Indians, Indian Freedmen (the black slaves of the Indians who were emancipated after the Civil War and made citizens of the Five Tribes), white settlers and African-Americans who had formerly been slaves to white masters in the South who rented land from the Indians as sharecroppers, and finally, outlaws fleeing the law and squatting on the land.

The Indian Lightforce police and the tribal courts governed this diverse population. But the tribal courts only had jurisdiction over citizens of the Five Tribes. So if a crime was a committed by an Indian and/or it involved a fellow Indian, it was handled by these tribal courts.

Non-Freedmen blacks, whites, and Indians who committed a crime against a person who was not a citizen of the Indian nations had to be tried in the U.S. federal courts in Paris, Texas and Fort Smith, Arkansas. And so the only U.S. law enforcement officers or judicial figures in Indian Territory were the U.S. Marshals, who rode for miles over the prairies, for months at a time, looking for wanted criminals to arrest and bring back to Fort Smith or Paris.

This made the Indian Territory a highly desirable place for horse thieves, bootleggers, murderers and outlaws of all varieties to hide out and lay low. At the time, it was estimated that of the 22,000 whites living in Indian Territory, 17,000 of them were criminals. This was truly the Wild West, or as the saying of the time went, “No Sunday West of St. Louis. No God West of Forth Smith.”

“Eighty miles west of Forth Smith was known as “the dead line,” and whenever a deputy marshal from Fort Smith or Paris, Texas, crossed the Missouri, Kansas & Texas track he took his own life in his hands and he knew it. On nearly every trail would be found posted by outlaws a small card warning certain deputies that if they ever crossed the dead line they would be killed. Reeves has a dozen of these cards which were posted for his special benefit. And in those days such a notice was no idle boast, and many an outlaw has bitten the dust trying to ambush a deputy on these trails.” -Oklahoma City newspaper article, 1907

Indian Territory was the most dangerous place for a U.S. Marshal to work then or ever. In the period before Oklahoma statehood, over one hundred marshals were killed in the line of duty. It helps to put that number in perspective: Since the US Marshals Service was created in 1789, more than 200 marshals have been killed in the line of duty. 120 of those were killed in the Indian and Oklahoma territories before statehood in 1907. That’s right, half of all the U.S. marshals ever killed were killed in the Twin Territories.

A man really had to have true grit to be a marshal at this time and in this place.

Bass Reeves had that grit in spades.

Reeves was likely the first African-American commissioned as a deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River and was brought into the service by Judge Isaac C. Parker, aka the “The Hanging Judge.” Parker presided over the largest federal court district in U.S. history (74,000 square miles) and sentenced 88 men to be hanged during the course of his career. For more than half of his years on the bench, no appeals of his decisions were allowed. Reeves and Parker enjoyed a professional and personal relationship of great mutual respect.

It was a respect Reeves worked hard to earn.

Reeves stood 6’2 in a time when men were much shorter, and he had very broad shoulders and large hands. He was a giant among men. Such a large man needed a uncommonly large horse (“When you get as big as me, a small horse is as worthless as a preacher in a whiskey joint fight. Just when you need him bad to help you out, he’s got to stop and think about it a little bit.”). He rode the territories with two six-shooters, his trusty Winchester rifle, and a big black hat upon his head. Needless to say, Reeves cut an extremely imposing figure.

But it was his reputation more than his appearance that really struck fear in the hearts of the “bad men” of the territories. Contemporaries described Reeves as a “lawman second to none,” a man who was “absolutely fearless,” and a “terror to outlaws and desperadoes.” He was said to be the “most feared U.S marshal that was ever heard of in that country,” and his nickname was the “Invincible Marshal;” the undisputed king of narrow escapes, “at different times his belt was shot in two, a button shot off his coat, his hat brim shot off, and the bridle reins which he held in his hands cut by a bullet.”

Reeves was also know for his honesty, dogged persistence, and unswerving devotion to duty and the law. He always got his man; having arrested 3,000 criminals, he only once failed to nab the man he was after. He never shot a man when it wasn’t necessary and they hadn’t aimed to kill him first. And he never changed his policies or treatment of folks on the basis of race, ethnicity, or even familial ties; all were equal under the law. Not only did Reeves arrest the minister who baptized him, he also arrested his own son after the young man murdered his wife in a fit of jealously. None of the other marshals wanted the latter assignment, but Reeves simply strode into the Chief Deputy Marshal’s office and said, “Give me the writ.” Two weeks later, he brought in his son to be booked.

Oh, and he had an awesome mustach

Just goes to never can tell the good guys by the color of their skin, but by the size of their heart! What a guy!

Coffee on the patio this morning! No rain in the forecast, I'm afraid!

Monday, April 25, 2011

One More Case Of Strange...!

It's getting to where I'm afraid to even pick up the paper!

All around the globe, it just seems to me that things are crazy, ya know?

Grandmother staggered after council refuses to collect her bins because weeds had soil on them

By James Tozer
Last updated at 1:27 AM on 23rd April 2011

After giving her garden a good spring clean with the help of her grandson, Kay McIntyre dutifully tossed the uprooted weeds into the green waste bin.

But the 74-year-old was amazed when binmen refused to collect it – because they claimed the plants had too much mud stuck to their roots.

When she complained, Mrs McIntyre did not receive an apology but was instead visited by a ‘community recycling officer’, who was sent to sift through her wheelie-bin and examine just how dirty its contents were.

Yesterday the grandmother said she was ‘staggered’ by the bureaucracy which had gone into handling her well-intentioned recycling drive, after officials finally relented and arranged for her bin to be emptied.

Mrs McIntyre’s son Andy, father of her gardening helper, eight-year-old Jack, added: ‘It’s the lunatics in charge of the asylum. Are we going to be asked to wash our weeds next?

‘This is council taxpayers’ money. That’s why councils are in the mess they are in.

‘There’s someone sitting there thinking of parameters for weeds and soil. It’s utter madness.’

Mrs McIntyre had been sprucing up the garden of her home in Bramhall, Stockport, with Jack before putting the weeds in her green bin and leaving it out for collection. But after the binmen had been, she found it was still there, still full – and had a sticker on it from Stockport Council which read: ‘The contents of your wheelie bin are not suitable for collection.’

When she rang for an explanation, town hall bosses told her she would have to sort through the rubbish by herself. She refused, prompting the council to send a ‘community recycling officer’ to check the amount of soil in the bin.

‘This inspector actually put her hand in, right down in the bin, to check that what I was saying was truthful,’ Mrs McIntyre said.

‘She was looking for soil. I can understand it if they found a bin where people had been digging up soil or sweeping up glass and putting it in the bin. But in this instance I’m staggered.’

The council eventually relented, and explained there was a problem with the machine that crunches up its garden waste.

Binmen were being trained to assess how much soil had been left clinging to residents’ weeds, Mrs McIntyre was told.

Megan Black, head of environmental services at the council, said: ‘The green bin was reported as contaminated by the collection crew. We are unable to accept soil as part of the materials we can collect and this is clearly stated on the green bin lids.

‘However, after making contact with the resident, a community recycling officer visited the property and assessed that on this occasion the bin could be emptied.

‘Residents are reminded that soil should not be placed in the green bin and advised that soil should be knocked off any plants before being put in the green bin.’ The row comes just days after the Government warned councils not to introduce ‘backdoor’ charges for bin bags or collecting household rubbish, and is the latest in a series of bizarre bin-related incidents.

Last year Walsall council warned residents not to place dead leaves swept from outside their homes in garden waste bins, saying it would ‘contaminate’ them and could incur a £1,000 fine.

Keen gardener John Mason, 64, from Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, was boycotted by collectors for putting rotten apples in his bin, and 73-year-old retired milkman Barry Freezer, from West Earlham, Norwich, suffered the same fate for putting in cabbage stalks.

Both were told the rubbish was kitchen waste and not suitable for composting.

In addition to their green bin for garden and food waste, householders in Stockport are issued with a blue bin for paper and card, a brown bin for plastic bottles, glass and cans, and a black one for everything else.

The Liberal Democrat-led council is expected to cut 350 jobs as it attempts to save about £53million over five years.

I know that this doesn't sound like such a big deal to most folks, but it just sounds crazy to me...that's all!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! I hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Peace On This Easter...!

I'm going to go over to Mom's house and cook a ham for her and one of her friends today!

It would be nice if more of the family could make it over to visit, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. Doesn't surprise me, really. I mean, everyone is all caught up in celebrating with their own immediate families and some live a long way off.

I'm cutting this short today so I can spend the time with family. Just wanted to tell everyone that I was thinking good thoughts for you all and hoping you have peace all around you!

Fresh coffee on the patio this morning! Peace out, ya'll!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

This Is Getting Out Of Hand...!

In my day, you wouldn't have to be forced!

Of course, we would have never thought of NOT standing up during the saying of the pledge! It was something that we just did!

My parents would have quickly pointed out the error of my ways if I had not done so, believe me! Talk about raising a bunch of non-patriotic, whining, flag burning, country hating, worthless sissies!

Better pay attention, folks! These are the future leaders of our once great country! No wonder we are no longer respected as a world leader, when we refuse to even stand for the the Pledge Of Allegiance!

What the Hell were these people thinking?

Sweeny won't force students to stand for Pledge

April 22, 2011, 4:12PM

SWEENY — Students in Sweeny ISD no longer will be required to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, a change district administrators said legally had to be made.

The announcement on Thursday complies with the deadline of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas to amend a requirement it said is unconstitutional.

In a letter to the district last week, the ACLU stated courts repeatedly had determined requiring students to stand for the Pledge infringed on their rights.

The ACLU of Texas sent a letter to Sweeny ISD on April 14 in response to complaints that students had been disciplined for not standing during the Pledge, KTRK-Channel 13 reported on Friday.

This story just makes me ashamed that this happened in the once proud state of Texas! Guess we don't have near the backbone I thought we did!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside. I need the fresh air!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oh My, How Times Have Changed...!

Seems to me that back in the old days, it was dangerous to even approach a young woman and strike up a conversation!

When you consider all that goes on today, we've come a long way since then. I'm not sure that where we are is any better, but it certainly is different!

I found this interesting fact at and thought you might like to see just how different things really are today!

Apr 22, 1886:

Seduction is made illegal

Ohio passes a statute that makes seduction unlawful. Covering all men over the age of 18 who worked as teachers or instructors of women, this law even prohibited men from having consensual sex with women (of any age) whom they were instructing. The penalty for disobeying this law ranged from two to 10 years in prison.

Ohio's seduction law was not the first of its kind. An Virginia law made it illegal for a man to have an "illicit connexion (sic) with any unmarried female of previous chaste character" if the man did so by promising to marry the girl. An 1848 New York law made it illegal to "under promise of marriage seduce any unmarried female of previous chaste character." Georgia's version of the seduction statute made it unlawful for men to "seduce a virtuous unmarried female and induce her to yield to his lustful embraces, and allow him to have carnal knowledge of her."

These laws were only sporadically enforced, but a few men were actually prosecuted and convicted. In Michigan, a man was convicted of three counts of seduction, but the appeals court did everything in its power to overturn the decision. It threw out two charges because the defense reasoned that the woman was no longer virtuous after the couple's first encounter. The other charge was overturned after the defense claimed that the woman's testimony--that they had had sex in a buggy--was medically impossible.

On some occasions, women used these laws in order to coerce men into marriage. A New York man in the middle of an 1867 trial that was headed toward conviction proposed to the alleged victim. The local minister was summoned, and the trial instantly became a marriage ceremony.

I'm thinking that the TV commercials we have on now days might just be frowned on by the courts of that day! If I don't like 'em, then I'm sure that they wouldn't have much use for them either!

Let's face it! We don't have anywhere near the moral character of the folks in 1886! Sometimes I don't know if the majority of folks today have any morals at all!

Of course, most of the folks I know are a moral bunch! And that, my friends, is a good thing!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Maybe we should do a rain dance or something! Sure is dry here!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Way It Should Be...!

Once in a great while, the good guys manage to win one!

This story from Mississippi shows one way to handle certain groups that have no respect for the feelings of grieving families. I say..."well done"!

Westboro Baptist Church Goes To Mississippi – And Loses
Posted by: MacAoidh on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 18:00
Tagged with: Military/Security Westboro Baptist Church

On Saturday USMC Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan April 7, was buried in Brandon, Mississippi.

That, by itself, is a sadly unremarkable – though certainly noteworthy and solemn – occasion for us to mark.

And in fact when Sgt. Rogers’ body returned to Brandon it was greeted by hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of well-wishers who gathered at the roadside to honor the fallen American hero. The dashboard camera from Mississippi state trooper Elmo Townsend’s cruiser gives an indication of the scene last Thursday.

What is most notable about Sgt. Rogers’ funeral in Brandon, however, is what didn’t happen.

You see, the troglodytes from Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to spew their poison at Sgt. Rogers’ funeral.

But the Westboro mob wasn’t on the scene, and Sgt. Rogers was laid to rest without incident – thank God.

Why weren’t there protestors?

Planning ahead by the locals, as it turns out.

From an Ole Miss sports message board, a tidbit of information…

A couple of days before, one of them (Westboro protestors) ran his mouth at a Brandon gas station and got his arse waxed. Police were called and the beaten man could not give much of a description of who beat him. When they canvassed the station and spoke to the large crowd that had gathered around, no one seemed to remember anything about what had happened.

Rankin County handled this thing perfectly. There were many things that were put into place that most will never know about and at great expense to the county.

Most of the morons never made it out of their hotel parking lot. It seems that certain Rankin county pickup trucks were parked directly behind any car that had Kansas plates in the hotel parking lot and the drivers mysteriously disappeared until after the funeral was over. Police were called but their wrecker service was running behind and it was going to be a few hours before they could tow the trucks so the Kansas plated cars could get out.

A few made it to the funeral but were ushered away to be questioned about a crime they might have possibly been involved in. Turns out, after a few hours of questioning, that they were not involved and they were allowed to go on about their business.

Fred Phelps, the disbarred lawyer and Democrat activist who leads the Westboro congregation, will undoubtedly pursue some form of legal action for the way his people were thwarted in Brandon. Let him try. There isn’t a jury in Mississippi which will see things his way.

This is a template for how to handle the Westboro people. If lawsuits don’t work, other means will. Whatever it takes to keep them from harassing bereaved military families on the day their fallen loved ones are laid to rest.

The people that make up the slimy group of this so-called "church" are eventually going to catch on to the fact that their actions will NOT be tolerated in many places! The wrath they face here, in my opinion, is nothing compared to what they will face with they stand before the final judgement!

This is, of course, just my opinion...for what it's worth!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio before it get's too hot! Close to 100 again today, it looks like!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Art Of The Egg...!

I'll be the first to say that I have never had an egg even close to being as decorated as some of these are!

Art is where you find it, and a talented artist can use anything as a canvas! That's fairly obvious when you look at these eggs!

Myrna Arychuk shows off some of the 90 carefully crafted Ukrainian easter eggs she has in her collection. The eggs are an important part of Ukrainian easter celebrations.


The Ukrainian art of Pysanky—each egg tells a story

By Mario Bartel - Burnaby NewsLeader
Published: April 19, 2011 10:00 AM
Updated: April 19, 2011 10:10 AM

The egg may be one of nature’s simplest, most humble shapes.

But in the hands of a master artisan, it can be transformed into an intricate art object of colours, patterns and symbols with great meaning.

Pysanky, or elaborately decorated eggs, are central to the Ukrainian celebration of Easter, one of its holiest religious holidays. Every family, village and region in the Ukraine has its own special ritual, symbols and secret techniques for creating the eggs.

Myrna Arychuk, who runs a travel agency in Burnaby specializing in journeys to the Ukraine, remembers learning how to colour the eggs from her grandmother. Now she’s passing that knowledge on to her own grandchildren, aged four and two.

It takes a steady hand and infinite patience to etch the fine designs on the eggs with a stylus, then dip them in coloured dyes, protecting each different colour with a layer of wax. Each egg can take dozens of hours and some artisans will work all year to create a collection of eggs in time for Easter, although most families start decorating their eggs a few weeks before the holiday.

The result is more than just a beautiful shell. Each egg tells a story. Triangle shapes represent the Holy Trinity. A triangle with a circle in the center signifies the eye of God. Animals, like deer or horses, symbolize prosperity. Pine needles or periwinkle signify eternal life. Birds, always shown at rest, represent fertility and the fulfillment of wishes.

On Easter Sunday, the decorated eggs are packed in a basket along with traditional Easter breads, or pasky, and brought to church to be blessed. After the service, they are used to decorate the dinner table for a family feast. Often the eggs are shared, gifted to the priest and family members, placed in the mangers of cows to ensure safe calving, put beneath a beehive to encourage a good honey harvest, even stored in the nests of hens to encourage their egg laying.

I have to admit, some of these eggs are real beauties! Wonder if they still taste the same after a year of decorating? Think I'll pass on the egg salad, thanks all the same!

Now, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? I'll share my hard-boiled eggs with ya!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Still Relevent Today, I Think...!

If we dig back far enough in our past, we can find some ideas that really are pretty timeless!

I guess it just goes to show that a good idea never loses it's potency. Some things are just as important now as they ever were!

Code of the West

(from "Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West" by James P. Owen)

1. Live each day with courage.

2. Take pride in your work.

3. Always finish what you start.

4. Do what has to be done.

5. Be tough, but fair.

6. When you make a promise, keep it.

7. Ride for the brand.

8. Talk less and say more.

9. Remember that some things aren't for sale.

10. Know where to draw the line.

An Old Cowboy's Advice

* Keep your fences horse-high, pig-tight & bull-strong.

* Keep skunks & bankers & lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Don't corner something that would normally run from you.

* It doesn't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about is never gonna happen anyway.

* Don't judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* Sometimes you get, & sometimes you get got.

* Don't fix it if it ain't broke.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, & a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

I'm thinking the world might just be better off if we still lived by some of these rules. One thing about it, it certainly couldn't hurt!

Most all of these could be summed up in one simple rule...the Golden Rule!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! Pretty nice out this early!

Monday, April 18, 2011

How Screwed Up Is This...?

According to the TSA, you no longer have a freedom of speech!

CNN found out that the TSA is declaring you a possible terrorist for exercising your rights to speak your mind! Welcome to the world of Big Brother!

TSA considers being upset at screening procedures to be an indicator of terrorist intentions

Cory Doctorow at 10:20 AM Sunday, Apr 17, 2011

CNN has discovered that the TSA considers "complaining about TSA procedures" to be a profiling marker for potential terrorists. They explain that one terrorist (the "twentieth hijacker") complained a lot about TSA screening, and so that means "getting angry about TSA screening procedures" goes in the "signs of terrorist intent" bucket.

However, CNN also notes that intelligence analysts say that Al Qaeda official policy is for its operatives to be meekly cooperative when pulled over for TSA screening. Strangely, "cooperating with the TSA" has not been added to the TSA's profiling screen.

"Expressing your contempt about airport procedures -- that's a First Amendment-protected right," said Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We all have the right to express our views, and particularly in a situation where the government is demanding the ability to search you."

"It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate," he said

It looks to me as the government is now saying right up front that they don't care if we know it or not that our rights are being taken away, right from under our noses! Why does this not surprise me?

Have you had enough yet? Time for putting a stop to this has come, don't you think?

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! Anyone know a rain dance?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Favorite Sunday Song...!

I think that there are so many reasons why I like this song, that I would be hard pressed to explain them all!

Let's just say that today, this is my mood...and let it go at that, OK?

No need for me to say anything when Kris can sing it so much better!

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? I'll play the song again!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oh Man! You're Gonna Love This...!

I guess we really shouldn't laugh at this, but it's pretty damned funny!

The mental images I get when I read this story makes me grin just a bit, in spite of myself! I know the LEO guys were probably rattled...but the bomb squad? REALLY?

A bit over the edge, I'd say! See what you think...!

Bomb squad responds after deputies get soaked in booby-trapped home

by staff
Posted on April 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM
Updated today at 10:36 AM

HOUSTON – A series of strange events that started with a domestic disturbance call ended with a bucket of water and a bomb squad Friday morning in northwest Harris County.

Harris County deputies said they were initially called to a home in the 13600 block of Treebank Thursday night after reports of a domestic disturbance.

The deputies said they spoke with a couple who was in the home, resolved the situation and left.

But then, around 7 a.m. Friday, deputies received another call from the home.

When officers responded, they said they found the front door cracked open, so they went inside.

But as they pushed the door open, a bucket fell on one of the deputies, and the others were splashed with liquid.

The deputies called for backup, explaining that a bucket full of an unknown substance had fallen on them, and they were unsure if there were other traps in the home.

Other deputies and a bomb squad swarmed the scene. At one point, deputies drew their guns and surrounded the home. The bomb squad checked the home for other traps, but found none.

In the end, though, deputies determined that the bucket was just full of water. No one was injured.

The occupants of the home were nowhere to be found, and no arrests were made.

If the LEOs are so jumpy that they call out the bomb squad for a bucket of water, maybe it's no wonder that so many civilians are shot by mistake here in Houston!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! No practical jokes, I promise!

Friday, April 15, 2011

You Get My Point...?

Sooner or later, some of these bad guys are going to catch on to the fact that not all older folks are push-overs!

The scum that make up the majority of the criminals have, for years, preyed on the helpless and defenseless ! Well, news stories like this one show that many of the once "helpless" folks are no longer easy targets! Maybe we should issue all of the elderly a brand new shotgun and a box of shells!

I have to admit, though, that they seem to be doing just fine with the weapons at hand! I believe the older folks call this "making do"!

Jacksonville burglar gets hit 'upside the head’ by 81-year-old victim’s frying pan

By Dan Scanlan

Things just didn't pan out for whoever invaded 81-year-old Bobby Smith's Jacksonville home Saturday afternoon.

In fact, you might say the robber got the point - literally - after the Korean War Navy veteran was through with him.

Smith and his caregiver used a pan full of fried potatoes and a pitchfork to drive the attacker away. A compact man with a close-trimmed gray haircut, Smith said he wasn't scared.

"I was angry; I was upset; and I was as mad as all outdoors," Smith said Wednesday. "If I'd had my gun, like I normally would have, I would have shot him because he was in my home. I don't like people hurting my family or my home."

Smith was working in the garden of his longtime home on Phoenix Avenue about 11 a.m. when his 65-year-old caretaker, Luvina Sones, ran out and said someone was in the house. Smith walked into the kitchen and found a man next to the stove with a plastic bag with Smith's "JEA money" and the couple's ID cards in one hand, a gun in the other.

The man told Smith to "gimme what you got" before shoving him to the ground and taking his wallet, according to the police report. That didn't stop Smith, who said he "went back after him." He grabbed the nearest weapon, while Sones grabbed for something else to give him.

"I grabbed the frying pan and hit him upside the head. I knocked his teeth out ... and he went to the floor," Smith said. "There was a pitchfork about six feet away. ... I stuck him."

Hit in the head and stuck in the side, the intruder ran, "bleeding on the way out." He left his white baseball cap behind.

Police searched the area, and the K-9 dog ultimately returned with a gift.

"The cop brought the K-9 back to the porch, and the dog had the wallet in his mouth," Smith said. "He bowed. The dog bowed."

One neighbor told officers he saw the man earlier walking shirtless through another backyard, grabbing a brown shirt off a clothesline and putting it on as he headed toward Smith's home.

Smith said an officer told him he'd never seen anyone fight someone with "a pitchfork and a pan of potatoes."

If this trend continues, some of these bad guys may have to get a real job! Looks like they aren't doing all that well in their chosen profession!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! Just put your pitch forks in the corner there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trouble With The Older Generation...!

I'm sure that most of you have seen this piece before, but I think we should look at it again!

The reason I even bring this up is I'm getting tired of being treated like a second class citizen when I'm at the store! Just because I check prices, watch the expiration dates, actually read the nutrition labels, use whatever coupons I can scrape together and watch the checker when they are ringing things NO ONE the right to talk down to me or act like I'm not entitled to some common respect!

What I am is a CUSTOMER! And something else, I am a member of the older generation that you seem hell bent on walking on and ignoring! Maybe this will put it in perspective for you!

How Wasteful the Older Generation Was ...

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a hankerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus insteadof turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

Just keep one thing in mind when you see some of the "older generation" in the store! By them being there, they are helping to pay your salary! If they are encouraged to go elsewhere, your job may also!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! I like the morning sun, ya know?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Now This Is Too Scary...!

Sometimes Mother Nature is a hard task master!

In order to insure the survival of the species, she will go to extremes! At least, it seems a bit extreme to us! I reckon it makes perfect sense to the creatures involved in the plan!

Sort of makes me wonder just what Mother Nature might have in store for us, ya know?

Male wolf spiders cannibalise older females, scientists in Uruguay have discovered.

In several species, female spiders are known to eat males, but this is the first time biologists have seen the roles reversed in the wild.

The male spiders were observed mating with virgins and eating older, less reproductively successful females.

Researchers suggest that harsh habitats force males to prey on females for food.

Their findings were published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

The species in question, Allocosa brasiliensis, is a nocturnal wolf spider found in South America's sand dunes along riverbanks and the Atlantic Ocean coast.

The researchers were studying the species because its status is considered an indicator of the health of coastal habitats.

After observing a male spider eating a female in the wild, Dr Anita Aisenberg and her team from the Clemente Estable Institute of Biological Research, Montevideo, set out to find an explanation for the behaviour.

"In spiders in general, females are larger than males and they are the selective sex, while males are small rovers that go out and look for potential sexual partners," explained Dr Aisenberg.

In A. brasiliensis though, researchers found that the males were unusually dominant.

Although sexual cannibalism has been widely documented in spiders, the researchers were surprised to see male A. brasiliensis eating females.

"This is not only the first report for spiders, but also this is extremely rare for the animal kingdom," Dr Aisenberg told the BBC.

Researchers observed the male wolf spiders waiting in their burrows for visiting females looking for a mate.

"Males mated more frequently with virgins with high body condition, as a way of ensuring a future successful progeny," said Dr Aisenberg.

"In this species the first egg sac is the most successful in [terms of the] number of eggs, so with virgins they ensure this first brood."

"And females with better body condition will provide more eggs and, consequently, more sons and daughters."

Older females, and those with lower body condition, were in for a nasty surprise as males took advantage of them for other needs.

In what the researchers described as an "extreme sexual choice", the male spiders selected whether to mate with females or eat them; a choice that appeared to be based on their mating potential.

According to Dr Aisenberg, the environment in which the spiders live may have moulded their unusual sexual behaviour.

"The habitat of A. brasiliensis can be considered harsh with extreme temperatures, strong winds, scarce refuges and very unpredictable in prey abundance," she said.

"[Males] cannibalise females of low reproductive value and take advantage of them as prey, and mate only with the females that ensure them high reproductive success."

I guess the battle of the sexes is a lot more deadly in the animal kingdom than it is with humans! Still, one of the scariest things about this is that these males are like the Zombies of the spider world! Food must really be getting scarce in the wonderful world of creepy crawlers!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! Keep an eye out for those bad boys crawling around, OK?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Four Years Of Hell...!

It was a time of utter madness!

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this was the day that the bloodiest page in our history actually began. By the time it was over, the country would remember this time as one of staggering losses on both sides! North and South, healing would take decades! In fact, some say that the healing process is still going on!

The one thing that did come out of this conflict was a nation much stronger than before...a nation forged from battle, tempered with blood, and ultimately able to stand as one of the strongest nations in the world!

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern "insurrection."

As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln's victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, the South Carolina legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession," which declared that "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states--Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana--had followed South Carolina's lead.

In February 1861, delegates from those states convened to establish a unified government. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was subsequently elected the first president of the Confederate States of America. When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a total of seven states (Texas had joined the pack) had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. Four years after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.

During this day at some point, please take the time to pray that something like this is never allowed to happen again on our shores! With all of the enemies facing off against our great country today, we should concentrate all our efforts in putting forth the once solid united front we had in our past!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio this morning. Just a moment of silence to remember the start of our deadliest conflict to date, OK?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Couldn't Make This Up, Folks...!

I'm not sure, but I'm betting that this place is NOT on the list of politically correct burger places in Texas!

From what I understand, the food is really good though! You have to admit that the owner has a pretty good sense of humor! I feel like I should say here that the owner is a female! So this is not something that some poor guy has to take the blame for!

'Fat Ho Burgers' Opens in Texas

Published : Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011, 4:56 PM CDT

WACO, Texas - You can get hot, juicy burgers with crispy tots or fries at a new restaurant in Waco, Texas. But it’s not the food that’s getting the attention at Fat Ho Burgers.

That’s right. The restaurant is named after a fat (as in hefty) ho (not the garden tool).

“It’s not calling people a ho. It’s just like they say, 'Oooh that ho is big,' or, 'That ho is tight!’” said Lakita Evans, the restaurant’s owner.

The 23-year-old worked her way through college to open her burger joint and said the name is mostly a bit of humor in an otherwise serious world.

“Look what’s going on in Japan. It’s like clear this world is not gonna get any better. Why cry and be depressed? The economy is bad. Somebody gotta keep a sense of humor around here,” Evans said.

For now, that means grilled favorites including the Sloppy Ho Brisket or the Supa Dupa Fly Ho with Chz for a lunch crowd that’s spilling out of the front door.

But not everybody’s laughing.

One of Fat Ho Burgers’ closest neighbors is the Gospel Café. Folks at the volunteer-run religious café and bookstore wish the burger joint was a little more “holy.”

“Would’ve been nice to think a little more sensitively,” said Pastor Marsha Martie.

Now days I guess we have to take our humor where we find it! Kinda refreshing when you think about it! Or not...depending on your viewpoint!

I don't know about you, but I feel the need for some fresh coffee on the patio! Are ya with me...?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It Doesn't Look Good, Folks...!

As the prices continue to climb in food stores, the gas pumps, and practically everywhere else...this news comes out!

Of course, most of us already knew this was going to be the case but weren't aware of the exact numbers! I don't know about you, but I am getting sick and tired of having to pay more and more of my meager funds to just get by!

It makes me especially mad when I hear that the president is planning to raise ONE BILLION DOLLARS to get re-elected! But I guess that's the way it goes in politics! Never mind that the average working man is having a harder time putting food on the table, never mind that so many of the jobs have disappeared that paid for that food on the table, never mind that the cost of medicines and health care has risen to the point that many of the elderly are having to choose between food and medicine!

This story just shows that things are not looking too good for the near future!

US corn reserves expected to fall to 15-year low

– Fri Apr 8, 10:40 am ET

ST. LOUIS – Rising demand for corn from ethanol producers is pushing U.S. reserves to the lowest point in 15 years, a trend that could lead to higher grain and food prices this year.

The Agriculture Department on Friday left its estimate for corn reserves unchanged from the previous month. The reserves are projected to fall to 675 million bushels in late August, when the harvest begins, or roughly 5 percent of all corn consumed in the United States. That would be the lowest surplus level since 1996.

The limited supply is chiefly because of increasing demand from ethanol makers, which rose 1 percent to 5 billion bushels. That's about 40 percent of the total crop.

But the increase didn't alter the agency's overall estimate, mostly because livestock producers are expected to scale back their corn purchases.

The Agriculture Department estimated that demand from livestock producers fell 1 percent to 5.15 billion bushels.

Crops prices rose about 1 percent to $7.67 during morning trading, shortly after the report was released. The price of soybean rose 1 percent to $13.80 a bushel. Wheat was virtually unchanged at $7.76 a bushel.

Corn prices affect most products in supermarkets. Corn is used to feed the cattle, hogs and chickens that fill the meat case, and it is the main ingredient in cereals and soft drinks.

Those home gardens are looking better and better all the time! I do hope that everyone has at least 6 months worth of preps in the pantry, but having at least a year would be better! I can only urge those of you that don't have plenty of food and necessary items set please get them together now! Find some way to stock up! Things are NOT going to get any cheaper for a long time, so do what you need to do to take care of you and yours!

The future, such as it may be, is there for you to plan for, understand?

How about some fresh coffee on the patio? Don't worry, I've got enough to share!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just Some Saturday Thoughts...!

These two videos just sum up how I've been feeling as of late!

There is a lot of meaning in both of these songs, so who else to sing them with the emotion that they deserve than Johnny!

This next one is just so we won't loose track of who we are! I think this video pretty much says it all!

I hope the PTB are paying attention!

These are my thoughts for this Saturday! I have a few more things on my mind, but I can't voice them right now without using a LOT of profanity! So...I'll save all that for another time!

C'mon, my friend, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! We can talk about the politicians self destructing!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning With Vinegar...!

I know none of us like to face the fact, but it's almost time to do some Spring cleaning!

Seems like we go through this every year about this time, doesn't it? I wonder why that is?

Anyway, I have some information today that may be just a little bit of help in this task. At least, I hope so! Just you can work in the yard and garden until dark, then go inside and start working on the Spring cleaning! Sound like a plan to you?

From cleaning shower curtains, to relieving insect bites, vinegar certainly has many functions. Here are some of our favorite household uses for vinegar.

*Bring a solution of one-cup vinegar and four tablespoons baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.

*A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.

*Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.

*Vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue, leaving baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup of vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.

*Saturate a cloth with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda, and then use it to clean fiberglass tubs and showers. Rinse well and rub dry for a spotless shine.

*To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.

*For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.

*Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with white vinegar, then scrub vigorously.

*Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water. This works for dirty TV screens, too!

*For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.

*Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.

*To clean drip coffeemakers, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly by brewing two cycles with water before using.

*To remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Next, scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed similarly.

*Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.

*Apply full strength vinegar to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve the itching. (Caution: Do not do this if the affected area is raw.)

*To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.

*To prevent mildew, wipe down surfaces with vinegar.

*Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.

*Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.

*To remove salt and water stains from leather boots and shoes, rub with a solution of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 cup water. Wipe over the stained area only, and then polish.

*To loosen a stuck jar lid, hold the jar upside down and pour warm vinegar around the neck at the joint between the glass and the top.

*Rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.

All this wonderful information was stolen from...I mean "borrowed" from the Almanac! Where else would I go to find this kind of information? After all, being Preppers, we all have some vinegar hidden in our pantry, right? I'd sure be disappointed if you didn't!

Anyway, I hope you'll find something here that will be of use! Don't want to spend all your spare time working, right? Right!

Now, before you all rush in to get started...let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! Always nice to take a coffee break BEFORE the work, don't you think?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Few Garden Tips From The Almanac...!

In places that have Texas type weather this time of year, I have a few gardening tips straight from the pages of the Almanac!

As you know, I dearly love this book and find so many tips and tricks in it, that I find it almost a necessity!

With the garden season on us, I figured we could all use a refresher in companion planting! More is better when it comes to knowledge, don't you think?

Tips for Your Vegetable Garden

Some plants, especially herbs, act as repellents, confusing insects with their strong odors that mask the scent of the intended host plants.

Dill and basil planted among tomatoes protect the tomatoes from hornworms, and sage scattered about the cabbage patch reduces injury from cabbage moths.

Marigolds are as good as gold when grown with just about any garden plant, repelling beetles, nematodes, and even animal pests.

Some companions act as trap plants, luring insects to themselves. Nasturtiums, for example, are so favored by aphids that the devastating insects will flock to them instead of other plants.

Carrots, dill, parsley, and parsnip attract garden heroes -- praying mantises, ladybugs, and spiders -- that dine on insect pests.

Much of companion planting is common sense: Lettuce, radishes, and other quick-growing plants sown between hills of melons or winter squash will mature and be harvested long before these vines need more leg room.

Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard grown in the shadow of corn

Sunflowers appreciate the dapple shade that corn casts and, since their roots occupy different levels in the soil, don't compete for water and nutrients.

Incompatible Plants (Combatants)

While white garlic and onions repel a plethora of pests and make excellent neighbors for most garden plants, the growth of beans and peas is stunted in their presence.

Potatoes and beans grow poorly in the company of sunflowers, and although cabbage and cauliflower are closely related, they don't like each other at all.

I hope this reminds us a little of how smart planning can make a difference in how successful our gardens can be! Here's to a happy growing season!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio. We can talk about all the garden fresh salads coming our way! OK?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Angel On His Shoulder...?

I'll just bet that if you ask this marine, he will say "Hell, yeah"!

I don't blame him at all! I would certainly feel that way, if it were me. These guys know from the get-go that they face death at every turn, but when something like this happens, they don't question it or blow it off. They accept it as a gift from above, say a heartfelt "Thank you" and make the best of the rest of their life!

God Bless The Troops!

Marine Sgt. Takes Sniper Round To The Head; Smokes A Cigarette 15 Minutes Later

Posted by Peter Schweizer Apr 5th 2011 at 9:06 am in Afghanistan

Remarkable. That’s the only word for this story. His buddies have now nick-named him “Headshot.” From the Marine Corps Times:

“Manning the top of a compound south of Sangin, Afghanistan, Sgt. Paul Boothroyd III took a sniper round to the head. He landed face down onto the muddy roof with a thud.

Fifteen minutes later, Boothroyd was bandaged, smiling, smoking a cigarette and giving the “thumbs up” as he waited for the medevac helicopter, to which he walked under his own power.

It’s a “you-gotta-be-kidding-me” story that earned Boothroyd, a signals intelligence operator with 2nd Radio Battalion, a new call sign from his team members: Headshot.

“It was a one-in-a-million shot that the sniper was even able to hit me,” he said in an interview with Marine Corps Times, “and a one-in-a-million chance that the bullet didn’t destroy my brain. It wasn’t my time.”

Early March 4 in Helmand province, Boothroyd, attached to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was on a rooftop providing over-watch for a local security patrol. It was his first deployment. Insurgents opened fire, “and I got hit by the first bullet,” he said.

The bullet pierced his helmet. The Kevlar caught and turned the round, he said, “so instead of going in and thrashing my skull,” it entered through the neck and lodged itself above and behind his right ear.

“It was like being hit by a train,” he recalled. “I remember what I was doing. I remember being hit, then I was face down in the mud on top of the building. I really wasn’t terribly concerned because I could hear bullets whipping above me, but I still had the presence of mind not to stand up. I thought, ‘Well, I don’t have any brain damage, at least at this point.’ ”

You can read the whole account here.

I'm extremely happy for this young warrior and his family, but saddened by the fact that so many of our young men and women are being put in harm's way daily! In my opinion, it's time to end this waste of life...and bring the troops home! But, of course, that's just my opinion!

How about coffee on the patio? We can toast to young Sgt. Boothroyd...! OK?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slowly Turning To Stone...?

So much sadness in the world, and it just gets worse for some!

I'm not sure what I would do in a case like this, but I have to admit that this lady is showing a lot of intestinal fortitude!

What would you do if you knew that there was no cure for an illness that got worse everyday? Yeah, me too!

Woman, 26, Remains Optimistic as Body Turns to Stone

Published March 22, 2011


A 26-year-old U.K. woman is faced with choosing whether to sit or stand for the rest of her life as her body slowly turns to stone, The Daily Mail reported.

Rachel Winnard suffers from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare condition that causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue. There are approximately 500 people in the world who suffer from this medical condition, and there is no cure.

The disease has already compromised some parts of her body – she cannot raise her arms above her head and she cannot straighten her feet.

Winnard recently married her longtime boyfriend, Paul, 30, and she said it is her dream to have a child with him.

“It’s always been my dream to get married, and have a family, and I desperately wanted to walk up the aisle,” Winnard said. “Ending up in a wheelchair is my worst nightmare, so it was something I wanted to do while I was still able to do it.”

The couple plans to honeymoon in Australia.

This is a truly optimistic woman, if you ask me! She is definitely making the best of the time she has left, and you have to give her credit for having a very brave and supportive mate!

All you can do when you run across a story like this, is to wish her the best and hope that she and her husband will be happy while they can. Sort of puts things in perspective, don't you think?

Let's get some coffee and sit outside. The fresh air will do me good!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carpetbaggers And Scalawags...?

Have you ever wondered where the terms "carpetbaggers and scalawags" came from? I have!

I figured I would look it up and thanks to History, I found the answer! I thought I'd share it with you, just in case you might want to call someone one of these names sometimes. Never hurts to have the meaning of a tag you are going to hang on someone, right?

Anyway, these two nicknames have a colorful history, so that makes the origins that much more interesting!


In general, the term "carpetbagger" refers to a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a satchel (or carpetbag) of possessions, and who attempts to profit from or gain control over his new surroundings, often against the will or consent of the original inhabitants. After 1865, a number of northerners moved to the South to purchase land, lease plantations or partner with down-and-out planters in the hopes of making money from cotton. At first they were welcomed, as southerners saw the need for northern capital and investment to get the devastated region back on its feet. They later became an object of much scorn, as many southerners saw them as low-class and opportunistic newcomers seeking to get rich on their misfortune.

In reality, most Reconstruction-era carpetbaggers were well-educated members of the middle class; they worked as teachers, merchants, journalists or other types of businessmen, or at the Freedman's Bureau, an organization created by Congress to provide aid for newly liberated black Americans. Many were former Union soldiers. In addition to economic motives, a good number of carpetbaggers saw themselves as reformers and wanted to shape the postwar South in the image of the North, which they considered to be a more advanced society. Though some carpetbaggers undoubtedly lived up to their reputation as corrupt opportunists, many were motivated by a genuine desire for reform and concern for the civil and political rights of freed blacks.


White southern Republicans, known to their enemies as "scalawags," made up the biggest group of delegates to the Radical Reconstruction-era legislatures. Some scalawags were established planters (mostly in the Deep South) who thought that whites should recognize blacks' civil and political rights while still retaining control of political and economic life. Many were former Whigs (conservatives) who saw the Republicans as the successors to their old party. The majority of the scalawags were non-slaveholding small farmers as well as merchants, artisans and other professionals who had remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Many lived in the northern states of the region, and a number had either served in the Union Army or been imprisoned for Union sympathies. Though they differed in their views on race—many had strong anti-black attitudes—these men wanted to keep the hated "rebels" from regaining power in the postwar South; they also sought to develop the region's economy and ensure the survival of its debt-ridden small farms.

The term scalawag was originally used as far back as the 1840s to describe a farm animal of little value; it later came to refer to a worthless person. For opponents of Reconstruction, scalawags were even lower on the scale of humanity than carpetbaggers, as they were viewed as traitors to the South. Scalawags had diverse backgrounds and motives, but all of them shared the belief that they could achieve greater advancement in a Republican South than they could by opposing Reconstruction. Taken together, scalawags made up roughly 20 percent of the white electorate and wielded a considerable influence. Many also had political experience from before the war, either as members of Congress or as judges or local officials.

Always fun to discover just where some of these old names and titles come from, especially if the names are derogatory in nature! So, if you decide to use either of these names at least now you will have a better idea of what they really mean!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Looks like rain, but probably won't! You know how that goes, right?