Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Wishes For You All...!!

Happy New Year...!!!



Countdown To The New Year...!

A little bit of amusement for ya from the pages of the Farmers Almanac...

Among the various superstitions surrounding the advent of the New Year is the nearly mandatory practice of noisemaking at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Now looked upon as mere revelry, it once was considered protection against evil spirits, who would be scared off by all of the noise.

Whistling, however, is strictly taboo; to whistle is to converse with the devil or invite him in. Sailors, actors and actresses, and miners are particularly cognizant of the ill luck associated with whistling. On board ship, whistling is thought to raise a storm. In the theatre, it is believed to close the show prematurely. For miners, it is a sign of alarm.

A whistling girl and a crowing hen,
Always come to no good end.

Now let's start this day off right with some fresh, hot coffee. OK, my friend?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How To Gain About Six Pounds Easily...!

I wanted to share with you this recipe for "almost no knead bread" that I found.

Believe me, if you like the no knead bread, you will REALLY like this one. It has a taste very much like sourdough and is wonderful with butter and honey!

Man, I'm gonna be as big as a house before long if I don't get away from all these new recipes! Enjoy the video(s) sure to watch the second one as well!

If you like the no knead bread, you're gonna LOVE this one, believe me! (Diane, I hope you read this, try it, and tell me if you like it!)

Well, I don't know about you but I'm in the mood for some fresh coffee...want to join me ?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Taking Some Down Time...

Today I'm taking the time to play a little catch up...

I'm going to play the uke, break in my new cast iron skillet, bake some bread, can some more butter....and read a bit! Just going to take a little time to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet!

I'll come back later, probably tomorrow, all rested up and ready to deal with everything. I am leaving this video for your enjoyment, mainly because for some reason I can't get it out of my head. Only cure is to play it, I reckon...

Help yourself to the coffe, my friend! See ya later, OK?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Did He Just Say...??

Want to know one reason we are in serious trouble today?

It's because we not only allow people like this to be in charge, but we elect them twice! I think that a lot of Texas folks voted for him just to get him out of the state! Why would we want him out of the state, you say? Watch this video clip of one of his last interviews as Governor in Austin...

And if that wasn't reason enough, here is a sampling of some "famous" Bushisms while holding the highest office in the country!

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here."
at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."
Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

"I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport."
Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001

"Tribal sovereignty means that; it's sovereign. I mean, you're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."
Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004

"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah."
at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."
interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

"The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th."
Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

"I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."
as quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War

"F*ck Saddam. We're taking him out."
to three U.S. senators in March 2002, one year before the Iraq invasion, as quoted by Time magazine

"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson in 2003, as quoted by Robertson

"I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."
talking to key Republicans about Iraq, as quoted by Bob Woodward

"I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft."
presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"Do you have blacks, too?"
to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

"This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating."
as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002

"My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire."
radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake."
on his best moment in office, interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, May 7, 2006

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this guy to go home for a while...might be a good idea for him to give up public speaking for a long time as well!

Now, let's top this off with some fresh coffee. Come on, my friend...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Very Late Start...!

Sorry about that, my friends!

Usually I post for my blog the night before I publish, then set it to post the next morning. Yesterday, I was just too caught up into reading and pondering to do that. Suddenly, it was very late and I was very hence the late start this morning.

You know, the biggest problem for me lately is that I follow so many really good blogs with so much good information...I sometimes have a hard time finding a stopping place. Kinda like reading a good book...all the information and interests and lessons and recipes and stories from the, you could spend hours staying up with them. And as I said, I often do!

I've decided to completely change the way that I have been approaching things in regards to my moving and prepping. Most of what I've done up to this point has been pretty scattered and unorganized, and that has to change. Guess you can say that all my blogging friends have given me a new and better direction.

Well, another day with grey skies, temps in the 70's, and a slight chance of rain has me wanting to clean house a little. Not too much, but just a little! After all, being a Hermit I have a reputation to live up to, right? So, excuse the ramble this morning...and sorry for the late start. I hope you all have a very good day...and just remember, any day above ground is a good one!

Now, let's have some fresh coffee!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Want A Glimpse At The Future...?

Hard to believe, but it may not be too far off until we actually start seeing this type of plea for real...

When you think about all the bonuses, perks, raises, prison pardons and what ever else that CEO type people are garnishing in light of the path of destruction they participated wouldn't surprise me. See what you think?

Hummm...a little food for thought, huh? Now let's go get some fresh coffee while we dry our collective eyes at this sob story! Oh...and somebody grab the noose on the way out. OK?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas, Everyone...!

Just a quick note to tell everyone Happy Holidays! Taking the day off, but I'll be back tomorrow. Please be safe...and PEACE to you all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays From The Hermit...!!

Well, it's Christmas eve already.....

You know the little ones are ready and excited! Grownups are wishing for the most part that it was over, but part of them is just as excited as the kids.

May I make a suggestion here? Take the time to relax, draw a deep breath, and try and keep your sense of humor. It will be over soon. To help keep that sense of humor, I offer up this little video...enjoy.

Now...I want to take a moment here to wish each and everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS ! I'm glad you drop by from time to time and I hope you always come back. Be safe, OK?

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and talk of Christmases past! What do ya say, my friend?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Rules For Dogs...!

For all you folks that have dogs around the is a short list of rules you can post for them to read. They can read, right?

A Dog's Rules For Christmas

1. Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual and they will appreciate long comforting dog leans.

2. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours.

3. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you. They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how you look with fake antlers.

4. They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations. Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know:

- Don't pee on the tree.

- Don't drink water in the container that holds the tree.

- Mind your tail when you are near the tree.

- If there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don't rip them open !

- Don't chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree.

5. Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on your part:

- Not all strangers appreciate kisses and leans.

- Don't eat off the buffet table.

- Beg for goodies subtly.

- Be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa.

- Don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach.

6. Likewise, your humans may take you visiting. Here your manners will also be important:

- Observe all the rules in #4 for trees that may be in other people's houses. (4a is particularly important)

- Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house.

- Tolerate children.

- Turn on your charm big time!

7. A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night......DON'T BITE HIM!! that is out of the way, so let's have some fresh coffee! Whadda ya say, my friend?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Does This Sound Familiar...?

It does to me...

Of course, I substituted my two Siamese "roomies" but the results are pretty much right on! See if you can recognise this scenario...

Wrapping Presents With A Puppy (or cat!)

1. Gather presents, boxes, paper, etc. in middle of living room floor.

2. Get tape back from puppy.

3. Remove scissors from older dog's mouth.

4. Open box.

5. Take puppy out of box.

6. Remove tape from older dog's mouth.

7. Take scissors away from puppy.

8. Put present in box.

9. Remove present from puppy's mouth.

10. Put back in box after removing puppy from box.

11. Take scissors from older dog and sit on them.

12. Remove puppy from box and put on lid.

13. Take tape away from older dog.

14. Unroll paper.

15. Take puppy OFF box.

16. Cut paper being careful not to cut puppy's foot or nose that is getting in the way as he helps."

17. Let puppy tear remaining paper.

18. Take puppy off box.

19. Wrap paper around box.

20. Remove puppy from box & take wrapping paper from its mouth.

21. Tell older dog to fetch the tape so he will stop stealing it.

22. Take scissors away from puppy.

23. Take tape older dog is holding.

24. Quickly tape one spot before taking scissors from older dog & sitting on them again.

25. Fend off puppy trying to steal tape & tape another spot.

26. Take bow from older dog.

27. Go get roll of wrapping paper puppy ran off with.

28. Take scissors from older dog who took them when you got up.

29. Give pen to older dog to hold so he stops licking your face.

30. Remove puppy from present & hurriedly slap tape on to hold the paper on.

31. Take now soggy bow from puppy & tape on since the sticky stuff no longer sticks.

32. Take pen from older dog, address tag & affix while puppy tries to eat pen.

33. Grab present before puppy opens it & put it away.

34. Clean up mess puppy & older dog made playing tug-of-war with remnants of wrapping paper.

35. Put away rest of wrapping supplies & tell dogs (or cats) what good helpers they are.

Come to think of it, this could be the scene if you have some youngsters helping with the wrapping! Either way, it makes for an entertaining event and maybe even some really great memories for the future.

Now that the wrapping is all done, let's get some fresh coffee and sit by the fire for a bit, OK?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Preppie Cooking With Spam...

Well, this just may the way many will approach it.

A lot of the Preppie-types in the world out there have NO idea what to do with all the stores they have. Many are probably storing items for emergency use and have no concept of how to use them. Believe me, the time to learn is before an emergency, not after.

Now even though this video is meant to be humorous, it probably has a grain of truth in it...even though it's a little extreme, it gets the point across.

So the point is ? Practise, practise, practise...I'm afraid for some though, all the practise in the world won't make any difference. Only store what you know you can fix, and what you will eat! Use some common sense in most of us do !

Now, what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee, my friend?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Family Coming...Hide The Food !

Just kidding, just kidding!

Although I have to admit that my family does like to eat! I'm only saddened by the fact that my Sis "B" won't be here. My little Sis will be, though.

All the women in my family are really good cooks, including my Mom. Come to think about it, I'm not half bad! I think one of the things that make my family so good in the being creative.

We have never been rich, but have never considered ourselves poor either. We have at times eaten the same things fairly regularly, but using a large amount of creativity we always enjoyed the meals. Seems to me I remember many times as a kid, my friends or my sister's friends would join us for a meal. I don't remember them ever complaining either!

We didn't have a lot of rules at meal time except just the basic ones. You had to eat what was on your plate, we all sat down together for meals like supper, you asked to be excused when you were finished, and no acting up at the table!

Anyway, lots of food will be here. I made the fudge I was telling you about and it turned out great! (I knew it would...!)

Well, I'm cutting it short today as I told my Mom I would vacuum her rug for her. So before I get started, how about a fresh cup of coffee?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Timely Thoughts For This Time Of Year...

A good friend of mine sent me this from New Zealand. I thought we should stop and consider this because of the time of year.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on the meaning of Christmas, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband or wife.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things!

Love never fails!

In the midst of all that's going on this time of the year, I thought this was important. Let's try and keep it in mind, OK?

Now, let's go get some fresh friend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wonderful No Knead Bread...

I am getting carried away by this bread stuff.

Ever since I first read about the "no knead" bread recipe, I have been in a baking frame of mind. This recipe is so simple and uses so little yeast, it is almost sinful! Talk about an easy to follow, this one will have you blown away!

Now, since I made my first loaf I have found several different versions of this recipe, and they are all really, really simple. Other than put the recipe on here, I am including the video from the guy that introduced this whole thing to me. When I first watched it, I had to view it twice as I thought I must have missed a step or two...but it really just as simple as they show. If you haven't seen this, enjoy!

Now, I might mention a couple of things here. It really doesn't matter how long you let this stuff rise before you bake it. In fact, if you don't think it has risen enough on the first rising, let it sit some more. Doesn't matter! Also, the video says to use a setting of 500 degrees, but I used 450. The timing isn't as critical for this recipe as it is with a lot of baking...making it almost "Hermit proof". Trust me on this!

Man, if you don't think that a slice or two of this bread, with some butter and honey spread on it makes the perfect compliment to a fresh brewed pot of coffee in the morning...I don't know what to tell you!

My apologies go out to Treesong, who has an allergy to gluten, for rubbing it in with this post. I'll try and eat your share for you! Just the kind of guy I am, ya know? Now, how about some more coffee, friends?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, My Luck Is Holding...!

Well, now I'm getting a little spooked!

Three days in a row, I have started a project and had all three come out fine! Sort of scary, huh? I mean, how often does that happen anyway? Guess I've been a better boy than I thought.

I told you about the success I had canning butter, but I don't think I mentioned that I also tried the "cake in a jar" recipe where you actually bake a cake in a jar, and then let it seal just like canning anything else.

I had read about this, mostly good with some bad, so decided to try it! Figured it couldn't hurt! So I got a lemon cake mix (77 cents on sale) and using the pint wide mouth jars I started in.

First, I heated the jars in the oven at 250 degrees and while they were heating, I mixed up the cake. When the batter was ready, I bumped up the oven to 350. I put 1 cup batter in each jar (it filled each one about half way) and with the four jars on a cookie sheet, I put them back into the oven and let them bake.

Now the recipe says you can make six jars, but I only came up with enough batter for four. I was a little concerned that only being half full, it might not be enough batter...but I had been reading all the comments and warnings about not using more, so I didn't add more.

While the cake was baking, I heated the jar lids as per instructions . When the cake was done, the batter had risen all the way to the top of the jars, I put on the prepared lids, and waited for the PING, letting me know that the jars were sealed properly! Man, I was truly tempted to try some of that fresh cake with some of my fresh canned butter and hot coffee...but I was STRONG! I didn't give in...yet!

Well, after having such good luck with the "no knead bread" and then with the "canned butter" and "cake in a jar"...I'm all set to try something else. I mean, I'm on a roll here, ya know? So I think that the next project will be a recipe I got from Safely Gathered In, (a GREAT blog, BTW) for an easy fudge!

Man, my mouth is watering already writing about Lemon cake, butter, fresh baked bread, and now FUDGE! Think I better go sit down, have a fresh cup of coffee and see if I can stop drooling for a while. Want to join me? For the coffee, NOT the drooling!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Count Today As A Success...!!

Decided to try a bit of canning today!

I've been putting off doing this for a long time, but decided today would be a good time to can some butter. I love butter...could eat it on just about anything and everything. I do just that when given the chance. One thing I hate though, is to run out of butter when I need it for something important. You know, something like fresh homemade bread! Or maybe some fresh baked cake, hot out of the oven. Better yet, butter to spread on a pan of oven fresh gingerbread!

Cornbread isn't the same to me without some butter on it. Nor mashed potatoes, steaming hot veggies like corn or green beans or sweet potatoes or...well, you get the idea.

I had researched the canned butter available on the market today. Even bought some and tried it to make sure I liked it before investing in a case. It's not bad and it stays fresh enough, but it is really overpriced for the amount it is ( most cans are 12 ounces) and I didn't see the point in spending $4.95 a can for something I could make myself.

Going to the closest food store, I bought two pounds of butter at $1.99 each, higher than usual, but so is everything else lately. Keep in mind, this was just a trial run cause I like to test everything. After getting back home, I dug up the recipe and while carefully following the simple directions (yes, some of us men DO read and follow directions!) I proceeded to can both pounds of butter. Each pound does a little more than a pint canning jar, so now I have three pint jars of beautiful, golden butter with a shelf life of three to five years at a cost far below the canned butter.

If I watch the sales, I can get the butter on sale and save even more. The brand doesn't matter, as any brand will do. I love it when things go right for a change!

Life in the boonies is looking better and better with fresh baked bread, honey and butter, or cake in a jar and butter, making the perfect breakfast companion to go along with some fresh coffee!

Want to help me practise, my friend?

Monday, December 15, 2008

What Have You Learned...?

I HAVE LEARNED that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. Age 24.

I HAVE LEARNED that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers have followed me there. Age 29.

I HAVE LEARNED that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved...The rest is up to them. Age 32.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back. Age 34.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that. Age 29.

I HAVE LEARNED that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. Age 37.

I HAVE LEARNED that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place. Age 43.

I HAVE LEARNED that there are people who love you dearly, but just don't know how to show it. Age 38.

I HAVE LEARNED that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love. Age 45.

I HAVE LEARNED that although the word "love" can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used. Age 43.

I HAVE LEARNED that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. Age 56.

I HAVE LEARNED that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. Age 55.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief. Age 50.

I HAVE LEARNED that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. Age 51.

I HAVE LEARNED that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do. Age 18.

I HAVE LEARNED that sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions. Age 22.

I HAVE LEARNED that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change. Age 27.

I HAVE LEARNED that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever. Age 28.

I HAVE LEARNED that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally differently. Age 26.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life. Age 35.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar you will feel lonely and lost at the times you sometimes need them the most. Age 43.

I HAVE LEARNED that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help. Age 47.

I HAVE LEARNED that credentials on the wall DO NOT make you a decent human being. Age 40.

I HAVE LEARNED that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe. Age 41.

I HAVE LEARNED that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it. Age 22.

I HAVE LEARNED that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel. Age 35.

I HAVE LEARNED that money is a lousy way of keeping score. Age 39.

I HAVE LEARNED that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and still have the best time. Age 22.

I HAVE LEARNED that either you control your attitude or it controls you. Age 26.

I HAVE LEARNED that it's not what you have in your life but whom you have in your life that counts. Age 25.

I HAVE LEARNED that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you had better know something. Age 30.

I HAVE LEARNED that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. Age 37.

I HAVE LEARNED that you can keep going long after you think you can't. Age 34.

I HAVE LEARNED that learning to forgive takes practice. Age 41.

I HAVE LEARNED that writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains. Age 38.

I HAVE LEARNED that love does make our individual world go around. And when love turns on us, we can feel our individual world "quake" right in front of us. Age 28.

I HAVE LEARNED that life is what you make of it. Age 27.

I HAVE LEARNED that love isn't earned, but a gift from the heart of someone special. Age 24.

I HAVE LEARNED that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 39.

I HAVE LEARNED that the road to success and the road to happiness are two lanes of the same highway. And the toll you must pay is simply being true to yourself. Age 40.

I HAVE LEARNED that you can make someone's day by simply sending them a little card. Age 44.

I HAVE LEARNED that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 46.

I HAVE LEARNED that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others. Age 46.

I HAVE LEARNED that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49.

I HAVE LEARNED that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. Age 50.

I HAVE LEARNED that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 52.

I HAVE LEARNED that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. Age 53.

I HAVE LEARNED that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58.

I HAVE LEARNED that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage. Age 61.

I HAVE LEARNED that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62.

I HAVE LEARNED that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. Age 64.

I HAVE LEARNED that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. Age 65.

I HAVE LEARNED that everyone can use a prayer. Age 72.

I HAVE LEARNED that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I've seen several. Age 73.

I HAVE LEARNED that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. Age 82.

I HAVE LEARNED that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch--holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. Age 85.

I HAVE LEARNED that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92.

I HAVE LEARNED that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. Age 48.

I HAVE LEARNED that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills. Age 52.

I HAVE LEARNED that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66.

I think I just learned that there may be hope for us yet! Now let's go get some fresh coffee, my friend.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Little More Positive Outlook For Today...

I thought I would start the week with some positive thoughts. With all the bad stuff going on in the world today, we could use some really calming influence in our lives.

I reached way back for this song because it has been running through my mind over and over today. Guess the Universe is trying to tell me something. If it is, I'm listening...listening hard!

This is one of those songs that touches my heart. It somehow gives me strength and hope. It gives me a little brighter outlook on things, but I still am not willing to let my guard down just yet.

I hope all my friends enjoy this song, and maybe listen a little harder to the words than before. I know that I have...

Now let's get a fresh cup of coffee while we listen, OK?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is This A Smart Business Deal...??

Want a little history of how well the government handles business? How about this?

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. It finally sold to a shell company set up by the former owner and his attorney for $1.49 million dollars. A year later, the owner took off to Brazil with millions in cash.

The IRS got its final say in 1997 when it filed a $16 million tax lien. Four years later, the brothel's new owner — the federal Bureau of Land Management — put the once infamous painted lady in the desert ignominiously up for grabs on eBay. A buyer named Lance Gilman snapped it up for $145,100 — adding the $100 in the final seconds of bidding. Smart deal by the government, selling a piece of property worth at least $16 million for $145,100, right?

Now, we are trusting the economy of our country and 850+ Billion Dollars to a pack of nit-wits who couldn't make money running a brothel and selling booze!

This is a true story and can be verified by Google search for Mustang brothel in Nevada.

Now if that don't make you nervous, what will? I need some STRONG coffee after that!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Who Would Have Thunk It...?

I think that most of my fellow preppers are already familiar with this very useful product, but just in case I'm putting it back on the list because of all the uses...

WD-40. Who knew?

WD-40 ! 'Water Displacement #40' ! The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.

WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.

The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.

When you read the 'shower door' part, try it. It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass. It's a miracle! Then try it on your stove top ... Viola! It's now shinier than it's ever been. You'll be amazed!

Here are some other uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps flies off cows.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18. It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
20. Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
22. Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes splattered grease on stove .
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida 's favorite use is: 'cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.'
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.
44. Removes pricing labels adhesive, and tape adhesives.

P. S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.

Hell, all this is NOT news for most of us "red neck, backwards, make-do country folks". Duct tape and WD-40 are a regular part of most southern tool boxes. If they aren't, they should be, but that's just my opinion for what it's worth.

Now...what do you say to some fresh coffee, my friend?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow ?? In Houston...??

Well, it has happened again!

It is actually snowing in the big "H"...doesn't happen often this close to the coast, but it does happen. The kids are all out in the street in the neighborhood, running around hollering and carrying on, some of the parents are out standing in the yard, talking and drinking coffee or the beverage of choice and laughing at the kids. Many of these children haven't seen snow in Houston in their life time, so for them it's a special treat!

The roomies went outside to see what the commotion was all about. They like to play in the rain and seem to like it. But they have never seen snow...and can't seem to understand what all this stuff is that keeps falling from the sky! Both are looking up, shaking their heads as the flakes land on their ears and sticks to whiskers. Swatting at the falling flakes was amusing for a while, but suddenly it dawned on both of them that this stuff is cold!!

C.B., the smallest of the two roomies, just came running in, jumped up on a chair at the kitchen table, put his paws up on the edge of the table and started telling it me all about it at 90 miles an hour. His little blue eyes were as big as saucers, just like a 5 year old on Christmas morning...

After telling me what he wanted me to know, he jumped back down, ran to the door, and waited for me to let him back out! Brother Smoky was outside playing in the snow, and C.B. just couldn't stand being left out. Sometimes, these two are more fun to watch than just about anything.

I doubt if the snow will stick until morning, but for the kids' sake I hope they get to see it in the daylight! As for me, I'll put on another pot of coffee, kick back a bit, keep watching for the delivery guy to bring my new kerosene stove! Kinda like an early Christmas, ya know?

Well, my about a fresh cup? Just the thing to warm ya up!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Food For Thought...

You think we are making all this up?

Do you still think that all of the people screaming for others to wake up and start prepping are nothing but wackos ? Think that all is well in this great country of ours? Do you want a good example of what the powers that be are up to now days? Then try this on for size...

Uncle Sam has sent me notification that starting in January, my social security check is going to be increased by 5.3%. Isn't that wonderful? Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

This is supposed to be a cost of living increase, you know? To help keep up with the small things, like buying food for the table...well, guess what? If you look at the government's own predictions for the cost of living for 2008 and 2009, you might be surprised!

Here is an article from the Food Institute that shows just how and where we stand on this issue.

Food-At-Home Price Inflation Seen As High As 6.5% This Year And 4.5% in 2009

Through the first 10 months of this year, food-at-home inflation stood at 6.3%. That's approaching the high end of USDA's projection of 5.5% to 6.5% for the entire year. In 2009, however, prices are forecast to increase between 3.5% and 4.5% for food-at-home, a bit less than projected one month ago, but still well above the minimal food inflation seen earlier this decade. Indeed, if realized, food-at-home prices will rise over 10% in just two years by the end of 2009.

Contributing to the decline in projected 2009 prices were reductions in price forecasts for all major center of the plate items - beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. Red meat and poultry are now seen climbing only as much as 3.5% next year, and seafood only as much as 4.0%. Lower grain and feed prices is a major factor here. Once again, prices for all major food categories are seen advancing again in 2009.

Higher food prices have met with consumer resistance however, as food expenditures in the third quarter of this year fell for the first time in nearly six years. In the third quarter of this year, consumer expenditures for food declined for the first time since 2002, dropping 2.0% from the second quarter. This is also the largest month to month decline reported since records began being recorded in 1947.

Notice the emphatic use of words like "only as much as 3.5%" and "only as much as 4.0%"? Folks, if you don't think the danger signs are everywhere for us to see...just Google a phrase like Food Riots and be prepared to be shocked...

All I can say is I hope you are ready for what's coming over the hill at breakneck speed. Hell, I hope I'm ready for it !!

Well, at least for now I still have some coffee brewing...want to share a cup, my friend?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That Time Of Year Already...

Time to start putting up my mother's Christmas decorations. I really don't like decorating for the holidays, but my mother is still very fond of them. So, being a somewhat good son, I will put up her outside lights and start on the tree...even though I don't care for the task.

I guess that one reason I really don't care for Christmas much is that I spent so many years in retail. Being single, I don't have much cause to celebrate holidays. I mostly do it for my mom.

Last year I said that I wouldn't be in this City for another holiday season, yet here I am. My own fault...I should be gone now and have know one to blame but myself. That's the dangers of procrastination. In a way, I wish I liked the season more because I could get more into the decorating and all.

I guess what I need is a bit of the old magic I used to feel as a child. That's where all the fun the eyes and hearts of children, waiting for Santa and counting the days until that special morning when they rush down to the tree and noisily celebrate the way only children can do!

If I could only hear the wonderful laughter of small children again on Christmas morning, it would almost make the whole thing worth it. But that is not to be, at least not this year, or last year, or the year before that.

With grown ups where my children used to be, with grandchildren that I never see on holidays if at all, with most aquaintences of mine celebrating with their families (and justly so) my roomies and I will start the morning of the Lord's birthday the same of most others. Get up, give thanks for making it through the night, wishing the Lord a happy birthday and then relaxing and helping myself to more of the special treats and eats that seem to show up this time of the year.

Sometime during the day, I'll make another vow to myself to NOT be here for another holiday! Maybe this time I'll be able to follow through with it. Just maybe...

Now, how about another cup of coffee before I start on the decorating...want to help?

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Quilt Is Like A Hug...

It may not be necessary, but it sure makes the night pass better!

There's something about sleeping under a quilt that reminds me of better days long ago, snuggling down in the bed, listening to my parents talking quietly in the other room, slowly drifting off to sleep with that old quilt pulled up to my chin. Something about sleeping under a quilt made everything just seem more secure somehow.

Quilts always seem to have a friendly smell to them as well. Maybe it was because they were hung out in the sun to air out, maybe because the quilt box where they were stored was probably cedar, or maybe just because some of the love felt by the last person to sleep under that same quilt somehow lingered to give you a little hug at bedtime when the lights went down.

I can remember a time when my Dad worked at a big store with appliances and furniture. He had brought home some furniture pads used in moving, and boy, those pads made great pallets and bed covers! Sleeping under one of them kept you snug and warm as could be...wasn't fancy as one of the handmade heirloom quilts we always seem to have around, but they served the purpose when cousins came to visit.

While putting a list together of preps I needed for the move to the desert, I decided to browse around for wool military blankets. Warm, but just not quite the same without that little extra weight, ya know? But like most things listed as "Surplus" these days, the Preppies (not to be confused with preppers) have driven the price up to the point of being almost ridiculous, and the ones I found on line were mostly imports! Damn Preppies!!

Then I had a "eureka" moment spurred on by the memories of those "Foley's quilts" (as my sister's and I called them) and looked up moving supplies on the net! There they were in all of their remembered glory! And they were priced in such a way that an old prepper like me could afford more than one without having to sell a single pint of blood! Best part, they even had some made in the USA!! I'm including the link here so that you can take a look if you want.

Now I am feeling better about keeping these old bones warm during the cool nights in the desert, while I lay in bed and am being sung to sleep by the lullaby of the coyotes and cool desert breezes. I can recapture some of that magical time when I would slowly drift off to sleep, feeling snug as a bug under the hugging type weight of a quilt, and hearing the quiet voices from the other room as though they were telling me all was right with my world.

Now, how about some fresh coffee, my friend?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Take The Time To Remember The Fallen Heroes...

December 7, 1941...A true day of infamy.

The bombing of the ships at Pearl Harbor is one of the saddest days in the history of the United States. A surprise attack by the Japanese forced the United States into the ongoing war, and history was forever changed.

You will see a lot of political people on television, wearing their public faces and trying to look as though they remember that the many, many lives lost on that day were lost for the freedom that we enjoy today. But when it's all over, when the speeches are finished, when the last camera is turned elsewhere, when it is no longer important to be seen with the "right" people, doing the "right" thing and presenting a solid and unified front working for the common good...the politicians will go about carrying on business as usual. The truth and honor and justice that so many gave their lives to protect will again be put in harm's way to justify the whims of the few and not the needs of a country in serious trouble.

Shame on those that only remember the fallen when a photo opp is present, shame on those proclaiming to be the leaders when they are causing more problems than they help solve, shame on those of us that somehow let these types get put in charge of our future and make it even more shaky than it was already.

I say "God Bless the Fallen Heroes" and the principles that they died trying to protect...and God help the USA through the rough times ahead.

Now, let's have some coffee and toast to those gone but not forgotten!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Modern Parable...Or Fact ?

Something to think about...

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale-boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...


Now...let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A New Version Of An Old Classic...

I like was sent to me by my friend in New Zealand and I thought I would share it with you.

**Why did the chicken cross the road? **

First, the politicians' answers; then other celebrities and celebrity Wannabees.

* BARACK OBAMA: * The chicken crossed the road because it was time for A *change *! The chicken wanted *change *!

* JOHN MC CAIN: * My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

* HILLARY CLINTON: * When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

* GEORGE W. BUSH: * We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road.Or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

* DICK CHENEY : * Where's my gun?

* COLIN POWELL: * Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

* BILL CLINTON: * I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

* AL** GORE: * I invented the chicken.

* JOHN KERRY: * Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

* AL SHARPTON: * Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

* DR. PHIL: * The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on *this* side of the road before it goes after the problem on the *other * side of the road... What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

*OPRAH: * Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

* NANCY GRACE: * That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

* MARTHA STEWART: * No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

* DR SEUSS: *Did the chicken cross the road?Did he cross it with a toad?Did he cross it with a hare?Did he cross it with a bear?Did he check if the road was hot?I kinda doubt it, I think not!Yes, the chicken crossed the road,But why it crossed, I've not been told.Just one more thing I have to say,it's been bugging me to this very day.If the Chicken is a she ,Why do we keep saying HE?

* ERNEST HEMINGWAY: * To die in the rain, alone.

* JERRY FALWELL: * Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side.' That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

*GRANDPA: * In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

* BARBARA WALTERS: * Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

*ARISTOTLE: * It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

* JOHN LENNON: * Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

* BILL GATES: * I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your chequebook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra.....
.#@&&^(C%... .......reboot !

* ALBERT EINSTEIN: * Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

*COLONEL SANDERS: * Did I miss one?

I know it's a little silly, but sometimes a little silly is good and goes a long way! Now, how about a nice cup of coffee, my friend?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Have A Good Laugh On Me...

I'm taking the day off just because I am too lazy to post anything original, OK? But just so you all can start your day off with a good laugh, I have searched high and low to find the perfect video to aid in that endeavor...enjoy!!

Oh, and help yourself to the coffee, OK? OK!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Learn To Know Yourself...

Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.
George Carlin

Although this quote by George Carlin was meant to be funny, it describes way too many of us today. Maybe it's because of too much information available everywhere. Maybe it's because we read to much or maybe read too little. Maybe it's because we no longer have any opinions of our own, but instead are swayed by the opinions of others.

Instead of striving to be an acceptable member of the mob, our time would be better spent in improving our position as a functioning, thinking and self-supporting individual!

The individual is the one that will find the way to get something done which is best for him. Without the input or guidance or interference of another, the individual is forced to accept the responsibility of getting the job done. In the end, the individual must succeed or fail on his own.

Now this is not to say that the ideas and solutions put forth by the individual cannot be improved upon. On the contrary, once put into practise even the individual creator sometimes sees the need for improvement. That's when the input of others can be of the greatest use.

An idea that is working, no matter how poorly, is much easier to improve upon than one that has not been put into practise yet. That's when we start to learn from the mistakes of our past and the mistakes of others.

What I am trying to convey here is the fact that we should all be an individual first, standing on our own two feet, solving our own problems, implementing and putting into action our own ideas, no matter how poorly they work. The important thing at first is that we make them work!

Once we prove to ourselves that we can work and succeed as an individual, then we can become a more productive and contributing member of a team or group of our choosing. We now know how to share ideas, how to expound on our own experiences with failures and the causes of them, and perhaps by the sharing of them we can learn more from them than before.

We also gain a certain knowledge, maybe the most important knowledge that we will ever attain! The knowledge of who and what we are as individuals. And most importantly, somewhere along the way we find that we actually like ourselves. Once you like yourself, you can begin the long and sometimes tedious task of learning to know and like others as well.

No one ever said it was going to be easy, but the hardest part of any journey is always the first step. Now, how about some fresh coffee, my friend?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Five Basic Freedoms...

OK, folks...a little test for all of you.

Can you name the five basic freedoms guaranteed by the second amendment? Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, here is a news flash for you! More Americans than you want to believe don't know them all. In fact, some don't know any!

The five basic freedoms of the first amendment are as follows:
1. freedom of press
2. freedom of petition
3. freedom of religion
4. freedom of speech
5. assemble peaceably

A survey by the First Amendment Center in the US has reached the shocking conclusion that most American citizens don't know the five basic freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

The study found that no more than 3 percent of Americans remember"petition" among the First Amendment's five basic freedoms.

However, freedom of speech was remembered by the majority of respondents - 56 percent.

The others freedoms enshrined in the constitution appeared to have made little impression: freedom of religion was named by 15 percent; the same percentage remembered press freedom as a constitutional right while just 14 percent knew they had a right to assembly.

The number of respondents who remembered freedom of speech was the lowest in the history of the survey, conducted each year for the past eleven years.

What makes this year's results more shocking is that 4 out of 10 people questioned could not name any freedom at all.

Whatever freedoms the constitution of the country may guarantee, it does not matter much since these rights are neither remembered nor needed as such.

The findings indicate that modern Americans do not think along the same lines as the Founders of the U.S.

Nowadays, it would seem, many Americans do not consider their basic rights and freedoms inalienable and are ready to delegate them to state or federal officials.

More than two centuries ago it did not take long for the Founders of the United States of America to realize the necessity of preserving individual freedoms in a system of individual states with a strong federal governmental center.

In 1791, just four years after the declaration in 1787 of the American Constitution, the states adopted the First Amendment together with the Bill of Rights to guarantee that the strong federal government would not trample on basic individual rights and freedoms.

Moreover, there are rights totally forgotten by the American society,meaning most Americans are not familiar with the freedoms guaranteed by the American Constitution.

Freedom of speech and religion are among the first liberties introduced to the American Constitution by the Bill of Rights. Traditionally, most of the questioned Americans recalled them. But regarding freedom of the press, freedom to assemble and to petition... these seem to be lost in oblivion.

Personally folks, I think that is a shame. I really do. All I can say is "Shame on us...shame on us all!!"

Hell, I need some fresh about you?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another Texas Recipe...

Ok, folks...I know you are getting tired of turkey by now...

Turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey salad, turkey everything! So how about a dish straight from the heart of Texas? A beef dish! Remember beef? The stuff you used to have before thanksgiving? Well, this is a recipe that makes the best of the good stuff...and you don't even need cranberry sauce with it.

Probably the very best thing about this particular recipe is the secret ingredient...COFFEE! That's right, my Friends. Leave it to the Hermit to find you a Beef recipe that has coffee in it. Pretty neat, huh?

Cowboy Brisket

4 pounds first cut brisket of beef
3 cloves garlic, slivered 3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 cup strong black coffee
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup water

With a long thin, sharp knife, make slits in the meat and insert the slivers of garlic. Place the meat in a bowl, spread 1 sliced onion and the crushed garlic over the meat, and pour in the vinegar. Marinate for 6 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, turning several times.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the bacon fat in a deep, heavy skillet large enough to hold the brisket. Remove the brisket from the marinade and discard the onion and vinegar. Dry with paper towels. Brown the meat well on all sides. Remove brisket to a platter.

In the fat remaining in the skillet, saut the remaining sliced onions until deeply browned. Pour in 1/2 cup coffee. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Spread the onions and liquid from the skillet in a shallow baking dish. Place the brisket on the onions. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour in the remaining coffee and water. Cover tightly with foil and place in oven for 1/2 hour.

Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F and bake for an additional 2 hours or until meat is very tender.

Slice the brisket thinly against the grain. Skim the fat from the pan liquid. Return the meat slices to the pan. Serve at once or refrigerate for later use.

I stole this recipe from a place called Recipe Goldmine, and even though they won't admit to it I think these folks must be from Texas!

Anyway, enjoy the recipe and I now invite you to join me on the patio for a fresh cup of coffee and maybe a piece of leftover peach pie...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Can't Keep Still Any Longer...!

As of late, I have been trying to avoid saying or doing very many negative things. I have avoided bad-mouthing programs that were not following their own rules, people that don't keep their word, and a government or agency that pretends that they care about what the average taxpayer needs.

I have to say that a program I had thought to be one of the better programs I had joined in a long time turned into the biggest joke I have been associated with in a while.. you have to give the admin credit for one thing though, he has come up with some truly creative reasons for NOT paying what he owes!

This guy has come up with what I consider to be the most unique set of excuses I ever heard. I thought I had heard nearly all of them, but credit must be given where credit is due. I now have 4 payments pending with this program, with another soon to follow. I do not expect to see any return from him in the form of a payout, or refund, or partial satisfaction.

The program, of course, is FastProfitSurf...and I truly apologise to the folks that signed up under me with this program.

You see, all of us that work (play) these profit programs on line know going in that the program might fail at any time. We know up front that we should never spend what we cannot afford to lose or play with the rent money. This is a chance we take in this business, and we accept that. What we DON'T expect is to be lied to, mislead, ignored, and disrespected.

If a program admin is having trouble or decides to close his program, as long as they are honest about it we understand. We may not like it, but we understand that this is the nature of the beast. The nature of the work we have decided to do...and all we ask is to be treated as adults with a little respect and truth.

With Truth comes respect...with respect comes understanding...and with understanding comes a following that will be willing to give a second chance to an admin starting another program. When you give up the ability to speak the truth, you sacrifice your right to respect. How can others be expected to respect you if you don't respect yourself or them?

Well...I feel better now that I have that off my chest! Now I am going to have a fresh cup of coffee on the patio! Want to join me?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Have You Decided To Be Happy...??

Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
Abraham Lincoln

It all depends on what you want in life. Want independence? for it! Want freedom? for it! Want control of your life? Then take it! Want a change in government? Then demand it!

Somewhere down the line we lost sight of the fact that it is us, John Q. Public, that is the boss. We handed a lot of the power we should be keeping for ourselves over to men not fit to use it properly. Ever heard of the old saying "of the people, by the people, for the people"?

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln

I was not the first to say these words, nor were the others that say it on a daily basis in various blogs, in videos, in speeches, in warnings and lectures. Our very founding fathers saw what could happen if the rights of the individual were violated or suspended by the government, local or state or federal. It just cannot and must not be allowed, and none of us must ever stand by and watch without a word if it occurs.

To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.
Abraham Lincoln

We each have to decide on the course we chose to follow, the path that we will walk, and the future that we intend to forge for ourselves and our loved ones. Though our vision may be long, the time we have may truly be short. I urge you to take some action now, to at least begin to work toward your dreams and proudly take the first steps to being your own person.

You may try and fail...just don't fail to try!! Now, let's go get a fresh cup of coffee...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pay Attention To The Voices Of The Past...!!

I want you to read and then reread these quotes...believe me, it's important!

He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
Benjamin Franklin

Now, do you understand what these men were talking about? Do you think that they were only speaking about their times, and should be ignored because of when these statements were made? Well, you better read them again, my friends!

The statements made by both these gentlemen, and indeed many more of our forefathers, are as true today as they ever were. In fact, I would venture to say that in some aspects these statements are more in keeping with the happenings of our current situation than they ever were.

If you have a strong enough why, you will find the how is very bearable indeed. That's my belief. That's what causes the some of us to continue to follow the paths that we see as the best for us. That's why we tell anyone and everyone that will listen to prepare, to ready themselves and their family, to ignore those voices that ridicule and make light of our efforts, to keep our own council and the council of those that are walking the walk and not just talking the talk!

Doing what others tell us is the right thing to do is very often easy...doing what we know is the right thing to do often is NOT easy. But just because it's not easy doesn't make it any the less right.

Likewise, do NOT be fooled into giving up your freedom, any of your freedom, just for the sake of what passes as security. The type of security is false and short termed at best! Freedom is NEVER free...never has been, never will be!

Time to wake up and smell the coffee, my friends. And speaking of coffee, why don't we share a fresh cup?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...!

I couldn't think of a better way to represent the American holiday of thanksgiving than to show an illustration from one of the most talented of American artist of all times...Norman Rockwell.

He had a way of putting into a painting the feelings others were trying to put into words. When you look at one of his paintings, you could almost feel the emotion of the subjects.

And the words on this painting sort of says it least to me!! I hope we all take them to heart and understand this message is a timeless one.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers that celebrate it. I hope each and everyone of you has a very good day! Now let's go have some pie and fresh coffee...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just Can't Beat It...!

When it comes to toys, you can't beat it.

The stick was inducted Thursday into the Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y. Curators praised the stick's ability to capture a child's imagination, as well as its all-purpose and no-cost qualities. Another one of the recent inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame was the empty cardboard box.

What kid hasn't played with a stick or an empty cardboard box in their lifetime? To me, it's kind of refreshing in this time of so much turmoil and such in the world to find a story like this in the news. I'm only sorry that this type of story doesn't often find it's way to the front page of the paper, instead of being buried somewhere in the back.

As a child growing up in mostly rural areas, I spent many a fun day playing with a stick. I even had a favorite stick, but many times it changed because of my favorite getting broken or carried off by the dog. It was everything from a sword to a gun, the choice being only limited by my imagine or character portrayal at the time.

It was much the same with cardboard boxes. With four of us at home (I had three sisters) we found at least a hundred uses from any good size cardboard box, the only limitations came from who had control of the box at the time. Being outnumbered 3 to 1, I often had to wait my turn to convert what was a playhouse just a few moments before into a fort or medieval stronghold. Somehow, we all managed to get our fair share of play time out of that old box.

I wonder if we shouldn't set up a summer camp for kids somewhere in the country, where store bought toys and electronics were banned for a couple of weeks, a place where kids would be forced to become creative and use their imagination to build their playthings. The counselors would have to be folks that grew up in the ancient times before computers, MP3s, color televisions, dvds, and the such. I wonder who would enjoy the camp the most?

I'm reminded of the old saying here that "growing older is mandatory, growing up is not!" That, my friends, sums me up in a nutshell! May I always be able to call on the inner "child" in me to help me get through the day! Can't think of a better way to solve many problems...I really can't!

Now what do you say to a fresh cup of coffee? Or would you rather have some hot chocolate? Your choice, my friend...!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Want A Preview Of The Future...??

This little tidbit was reported by the AP News Service November 23...on MSNBC

PLATTEVILLE, Colo. - A Colorado farm couple say they got a huge surprise when they opened their fields to anyone who wanted to pick up free vegetables left over after the harvest.

Forty thousand people showed up yesterday and picked the fields so clean that Joe and Chris Miller had to cancel a second day of gleaning.

Chris Miller says she had expected as many as 10,000 people might show up for the free potatoes, carrots and leeks. Instead an estimated 11,000 vehicles snaked around the cornfields, creating a back up of more than two miles. About 30 acres of the 600-acre farm turned into a parking lot.

One woman taking part says with everybody "so depressed about the economy," the event turned into "a pure party" with "everybody having a great time getting something for free."
The farm's operations manager estimates the visitors gathered 600,000 pounds of produce.

Owner Chris Miller says "People obviously need food."

This is NOT something that I made up, folks. Now do you see why some of us warn about bad times coming? Now do you see that the fact that 9% of the workers in the country are unemployed is every one's problem? Now are you beginning to understand that those of us urging you to add to your food storage are just trying to help you prepare ? And if you haven't started a storage program, I strongly urge you to start one.

Folks, understand this. I am not telling you that hard times are coming, I'm telling you they are here. Please don't just ignore what's happening now, and start getting prepared for what's coming, OK?

Now, let's go get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just A Few Days To Go...

Thanksgiving is almost here...

The American holiday of feasting and family gatherings actually jump-starts the official holiday season. Along with the family gatherings come the responsiblities of crowd control! You know what I mean, don't you?

You are going to have some relatives around that you may not have seen for a long, long time. After about two or three hours, you'll remember why you haven't made the effort to get together more often over the last year. Take your cousin know, the one that makes it hard for anyone to tell whether he is sitting or laying down where ever he is? Takes up at least three spaces on the couch if he lands there, ya know?

And what about your uncle, who's name you can't even remember? The one that smells like he hasn't seen the inside of a shower since last year, and like he has seen the bottom of way too many beer glasses today? The one that has to turn sideways to get in the door, you know?

And let's not forget the darling little ankle bitters. The little neices and nephews that come in the back door at a dead run, screaming like a banshee in a pitch that doesn't seem humanly possible. The kids that start eating anything and everything they can get their grubby little paws on from the time they show up till the time they leave. The ones that only know two speeds, full out and passed out still.

Anyway, part of the reason some of these folks show up is because of the quality and quantity of the food that Mom always seem to magically make appear on the buffet and the formal dining table, complete with real cloth napkins, prized silver service, and special china settings that have been in the family for a long time. That's a part of the magic of mothers that only gets stronger as they become grandmothers.

To help with providing some of this special menu, I am putting an unusual recipe on here today. It's for a special bread, a peanut butter bread! It's the kind of recipe that some will like and some will not. However, I think that most will! Just be sure to keep it out of the reach of the curtain climbers...the ones that can eat and scream at the same time, OK? OK.

Peanut Butter Bread
Put into bowl, in order given. (Do not mix until all ingredients are added.)
2 c. sifted flour
3 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. peanut butter
2/3 c.sugar
1 c. milk
1 egg
4 Tbs. melted shortening
Now mix all well. Pour in greased loaf pan and bake in 350* oven for 1 hour.

The aroma of this bread baking will absolutely drive your taste buds into a drooling frenzy! To help control this unfortunate condition, may I suggest that we get a fresh cup of coffee, retire to the patio where we are sure to have some measure of freedom from our smelly uncle, our sprawling cousin...and most of all, from the screaming,eating house apes running around like tomcats with a closepin on their tail!

I'll see ya outside, OK?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sometimes The Little Things Do Count...

Sometimes in life you have to slow down a bit, ya know?

Sometimes, just sometimes... the little things turn out to be important after all! It doesn't hurt to step back, take a deep breath, and take a good look at the little things around you.

It might be a unusual cloud formation just drifting by on a gentle breeze, it might be a new rose bud popping out on the old raggedy rose bush because of the recent shower and morning sun, it might be the way the light throws a rainbow of colors out of a dewdrop on the big leave of an ivy plant, or something as simple as a mother duck walking her new ducklings to a lake or pond across a busy intersection.

Luckily, this time someone took the time out to look at the little things, and gave the duck family a helping hand. Just goes to show that by taking the time to look around and appreciate the little things, we may find ourselves in the position to help another. That, in the long run, is what we are here for, isn't it? To help if we can, to offer whatever assistance we are able, to slow our pace from one of out doing others to a pace where we can see the needs of those around us? At least, I hope that is the way we look at it.

I guess that I've finally come to the point in my life where taking the time to enjoy the little things once in a while can make all the difference in the world. I am looking around and enjoying the little things more and more. Somethings the little things become very important in life, like having a fresh cup of coffee with my friends!

See what I mean?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Many, Many Thanks...!

Just a short post today to say "Thank You" to everyone who took time out from their busy schedule and daily activities to wish me well yesterday! All the very nice messages were greatly appreciated.

You know, it is always a pleasure to be on the recieving end of good wishes and pleasant messages. It makes a person feel very fortunate indeed. I'm lucky to have a scattering of friends, new and old, from all over the globe. To each and every one of them, I offer my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for a very memorable day.

Instead of the usual Saturday cartoons, I offer up the calming and soothing sounds of this music video by Josh Groban. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, It's That Time Of The Year...

Yep, it's here!

I'm not sure about where the last year got to, but once again it's time to celebrate my birthday. Now by celebrate, I mean that I figure if I wake up on the right side of the grass each day...I'm doing good! One thing for certain, it beats the alternative.

When I was still working in the "brick and mortar world" of retail, I called my birthdays my "3 Up Days". That was what I considered success, to WAKE UP, GET UP, and SHOW UP! Now days I only need to accomplish the first two to feel like I am having a good day. Doesn't take much these days to float my boat!

A really special friend sent me a care package, which was a very special surprise to me! It contained a couple of very appropriate "Hermit" gifts, including chocolate and a wonderfully fragrant soy candle. The most perfect part of this surprise package was a brand new coffee cup, which quickly became my new "favorite", replacing the old one which was retired with honors.

You want to know what makes this type of gift so memorable? It's the very idea that someone took the time out from all they had going on in their life to remember you and to let you know they are thinking of you. No matter if it is just a pleasant phone call, a nice looking card with a heartfelt sentiment, or a well-timed "care package" worth a 1000 memories...the part of these things that means the most is the time spent by the individual to remember you that is the most heartwarming.

Sometimes we forget that the act of sharing of our personal time and thoughts is the best gift of all. To share a smile, a hug, a call, or a visit allows us to bring the sometimes mundane and slightly less than full existence of a fellow traveler on life's road to a brighter level if even for a short time. By giving of ourselves, we in turn find ourselves becoming more.

Now, if you want to join me...I'm going to light my new fragrant candle, fill my brand new coffee mug and retire to the patio. There I can ponder the age old question we all ask ourselves on our birthday..." How did I make it this far and what the Hell happened to the last year?"