Sunday, January 31, 2010

We Should All Remember...!

I'm feeling very old lately! Older than usual.

I guess that's normal for a man my age...but then I never did like being normal!

I have been remembering the "old days" a lot lately. Guess that happens to us all from time to time!

In keeping with the old man thoughts...I want to share a couple of songs from the old days, if you don't mind! You know, back in those long ago days, they even had songs about my favorite beverage! In fact, there was even a dance called "Perco9lator Twist", if you can believe that! Remember?

This next song may be before the time of a lot of you...but the sentiment is still as important as it ever was! Maybe it's a song we should introduce all over again! Remember?

Finally, this one is from a long time ago...but I feel that we should keep it's melody forever close, forever fresh in our hearts! Remember?

Just some thoughts for this Sunday. Please...don't forget to thank a soldier for all the freedoms we enjoy today and every day! Will you remember?

C'mon, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit, OK?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something For A Soggy Saturday...!

Some friends of mine sent me the link to a video they made.

Regardless of your politics, there is plenty in this video to think about. I hope you enjoy it!

Like I said...a lot to think about this morning!

Let's get some coffee and sit at the kitchen table, OK?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kids...You Just Gotta Love 'Em !!

One thing about it...If you have kids around the house, then you know very well that sometimes they remember the wrong things!

They forget so easily the things we try and teach them, and can always find a truly embarrassing time to have perfect recall about things better forgotten.

Then there is the case of them hearing things slightly different than the rest of us. All a parent can do is to maintain a very good sense of humor about the whole thing! The only other alternative, as I see it, is to go running and screaming out of the house...pulling your hair out as you run!

Whether or not it's your kids, or someone Else's... sooner or later, you just have to laugh about it, ya know? Here's a couple of examples of what I'm talking about.


3-year-old Reese :
'Our Father, Who does art in heaven,
Harold is His name.

A little boy was overheard praying:
'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am.'


After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys.'


One particular four-year-old prayed,
'And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'


A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they
were on the way to church service,
'And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?'
One bright little girl replied,
'Because people are sleeping.'


A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
'If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
' Ryan , you be Jesus !'


A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked.
'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
'Did God throw him back down?'


A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
'Would you like to say the blessing?'
'I wouldn't know what to say,' the girl replied.
'Just say what you hear Mommy say,' the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
'Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?'

Now, I know that something like this might sound familiar! If it doesn't yet, don't will! Just one of the fun things to look forward to as a parent!

Life's just full of surprises, isn't it? Might as well prepare yourself for all that's to come down the rocky road of parenthood!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen a bit. Want to share some childhood laughs?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Above All, Be Polite...!

Say what you will about the South, but you have to admit...we can be polite!

We may not always be politically correct, but we are polite! Most Southerners know more ways to tell folks to "Go To Hell" than you can imagine, and they can do it nearly all the time in a polite fashion!

They can also "take care of business" in a polite manner, if you get my drift! From is an example!

Atlanta Airport - - - Air Traffic Control

Atlanta ATC: "Tower to Saudi Air 511 –
You are cleared to land eastbound on runway 9R"

Saudi Air: "Thank you Atlanta ATC. Acknowledge cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R - Allah be Praised."

Atlanta ATC: "Tower to Iran Air 711 --You are cleared to land westbound on runway 9R."

Iran Air: "Thank you Atlanta ATC. We are cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R. - Allah is Great."


Saudi Air:

Atlanta ATC:
"Go ahead Saudi Air 511."


Atlanta ATC: "Well bless your hearts. And praise Jesus. Y'all be careful now and tell Allah "hey" for us !

So just remember this! Be prepared, be vigilant, be ready to take care of business...But Always Be Polite!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! OK?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Need A Grin ? Try This...!

As any cat owner will tell you, cats can and do offer up a wide range of reasons to grin every day!

While these are not my cats, they very well could be. I'm sure that those of you with cats around have seen them in one of these particular positions, or close to it, before!

For instance, nothing like sharing a meal with a close friend and helping them clean up a bit.

And , after a good meal,nothing is better than finding a good spot to stretch a bit...

Maybe find a comfortable spot to just hang out and rest before a big night out with the guys...

Then to go cavorting and cruising with a buddy, maybe do a little singing to impress the ladies in the neighborhood!

And then, back home to get all cleaned up before retiring for a nice, long cat nap...say, about 12 hours or so! Then, we can start all over again, right?

Now, I don't know about you but I think these characters have life all figured out! Someone else furnishes the food and shelter, but in a pinch, Nature has provided them with ample tools to get the job done. Don't believe me? Just think of how many hours they spend making sure that they keep those weapons known as claws sharpened!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen a bit. Don't worry about waking up the cats...they're dead to the world!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Strange And Unusual...But It's Good !

I know that I promised while back that I wouldn't post any more recipes for a while...but this one was just too good not to pass on to you!

You can thank my Baby Sis for bringing this one to my attention. Sometimes, I think she is nearly as weird as I am!


15 ounce can of pork and beans.
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil (not canola, not olive...vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecan or walnuts (measure after chopping)
3 cups all purpose flour

Spray two 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pans with Pam or another cooking spray.

Don't drain the pork and beans. Pour them into a food processor or blender, juice and all, and process them until they're pureed smooth with no lumps.

Place the beaten eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the pureed pork and beans and mix them in well.

Add the vegetable oil and the vanilla extract. Mix well. Add the sugar and mix in. Then mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and Cinnamon. Stir until everything is incorporated.

Stir in the chopped nuts.

Add the flour in one cup increments, stirring after each addition.

Spoon half of the batter into each loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in the freezer for 3 months

Now, believe me when I say that if you don't tell anyone what's in this bread...they will never know! Trust me when I say that this bread is very, very good! It has a flavor that you just can't pin down and yet is familiar!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Want a slice of pork and beans?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Taking A Little Time...!

Sorry, folks...but I'm taking some time off this morning.

Since I'm not going to be here, I'm leaving this little song from Johnny Cash to entertain you instead.

Hope to see you later on...probably in the morning! Have a good day!

Oh, and help yourself to the know where it is, right?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Treasure From Times Past....!

A friend of mine sent me a very special gift the other day.

It wasn't anything special except to me. It was just a card with a handwritten note inside. Not machine printed, turned out on a word processor, or typed...handwritten!

Do you realize just how special that is? In an age when we don't seem to have the time to even make a phone call or a personal visit...a real live person made an effort to sit down and write a note, just to say hello! Not an email, not a line or two on a chat room, but a real, hold-in-your-hand, last for years type note.

And this wasn't on just any card, either! This card was a very special card because it was created by another friend of mine, a true artist! A beautiful photograph matted into a one of a kind card that is more a work of art than anything else! To have a talent to create something like this, a person must have an artistic soul! Creations like this have to come from inspiration born deep within the heart and inner being! It can't be bought, or taught, or faked! You either have it or you don't, and this lady has a very large portion of it hidden inside which, if we're lucky, she shares with us from time to time...for the sole purpose of adding a touch of beauty to our lives!

There was a time when folks actually wrote to one another. Thank you notes, letters of announcement, love letters to someone special and seldom seen. Many came from service men and women during the war. Many came from family just to let you know the current happenings of the extended family, and many came our way with no purpose except to say "hello, how are you". All hand written, addressed bu hand, with a real stamp on a real envelope. These bits and pieces of written history all included one very special gift. A gift more important than even we could imagine at the time!

Just what was this treasure so rare? What was the one thing given to us that could never be replaced by the giver? The gift of time! Once shared, it is irreplaceable. It can never be truly appreciated for long, for by it's very nature, time is a fleeting thing! However, with a written note or letter, that particular moment in time can be revisited by the simple act of holding it, reading it again, or merely looking at the envelope for a minute. Like I said...a real treasure!

Today I send out my very heartfelt thanks to both of these special people for giving me a small portion of themselves, a gift I can never match, a gift of their TIME!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit! That is, if you have the time...!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let's Talk Spoonerisms...!

What's that? Never heard of a Spoonerism? REALLY?

Well, let Ol' Hermitjim fill ya in! After all, that's what I do...dig up all these wonderful, near worthless tid-bits of information to share with you!

Thanks to the never ending, always entertaining Old Farmer's Almanac, I dug up this little bit of history! One of the reasons this book has been around for 200 years or so is the fact that it is just so interesting and educational!

So now...on to Spoonerisms!

The Reverend William Archibald Spooner was a highly-regarded scholar and warden of New College at England's great Oxford University. Believe it or not, it was a mere slip of the tongue that started this dignified British clergyman on the road to eternal renown.

One day in a chapel, when announcing the name of a hymn, Spooner intended to say "Conquering Kings Their Titles Take." But what came out was "Kinquering Kongs Their Titles Take."

Although the members of the congregation probably maintained their composure, no doubt with considerable difficulty, from then on Spooner was a marked man.

Oxford students quickly proceeded to manufacture other topsy-turvy expressions and hang them on the warden of New College.

There is evidence, too, that Spooner went along with the joke and contributed some sterling examples of his own making. By about 1900, the word spoonerism had entered the language.

When Spooner died in 1930 at the age of eighty-six, The New York Times allotted his obituary nearly a full column crammed with choice examples of the literary curiosity bearing his name.

At the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, said the Times, he was credited with calling for "three cheers for our queer old dean."

On a visit to the British fleet at Portsmouth, he was quoted as asking to go out and see the "cattleships and bruisers."

A student once noted that he had been rebuked by the warden for "fighting liars in the quadrangle," and an entire class was scolded severly for "hissing my mystery lectures."

Often-Quoted Spoonerisms

"It is kistomary to kiss the bride."

"A blushing crow."

"Those girls are sin twisters."

"I was hocked and shorrified."

"We each had tee martoonies."

"She joins this club over my bed doddy."

"He rode off on his well-boiled icicle."

"Mardon me, padam, you're occupewing the wrong pie; let me sew you to another sheet."

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit, OK?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Glass Of Wine...Please !

Since it's looking like Spring here, I thought I would call everyone's attention to the fact that it's St. Vincent's Day.

If you like wine making or wine drinking, then this holiday is tailor-made for you! St. Vincent has a lot to do with the weather lore surrounding the care of vineyards and grapes.

January 22nd is St. Vincent’s Day, the inspiration of much weather lore. On the feast day of this patron of both winemakers and drunkards, no vines could be pruned.

A sunny day signifies “more wine than water” and means that the sap might begin to rise in the branches. Frost on this day presages a delayed crop, whether for wine or rye.

If the Sun shines on St. Vincent's Day, a fine crop of grapes may be expected.

And here you thought it was going to be just another Friday! Well, at least your friend, ol' Hermitjim, has given you just what you always wanted...a legit reason to have some wine! Not that you needed one, but think how wise you'll seem when you raise your glass and make a toast to St. Vincent, patron saint of winemaker and wine drinkers!

Now, let's get some coffee and try out the patio...starting to look like Spring outside!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Is Too Dang Close...!

I know at some point in time, we have all said " it could never happen to me " or "It would never happen in my neighborhood", right?

Well, my friends, it can, indeed, and in my did! Picture this, if you can!

It's 9:00 P.M. and is rather dark on the street. Suddenly, the door bell rings. An older woman, in her 80's and living alone, goes to the front door. "Who is it?" she calls. A male voice answers and says something that she can't understand, but sounds like "security check".

"Well, what do you want?' she asked. Again, the male voice answers in a barely audible voice something she can't understand. Can you see where the obvious dangers are, what could be a very deadly occurrence if she opened the front door?

This happened to my Mother Tuesday night, and lucky for all involved, she did NOT open the front door. Instead, she called me. I live right behind my Mother's house.

I went to her house, going in the back door where she quickly explained what had happened. I immediately went outside, but there was no one there. No strange cars were parked on the street, which meant that whoever it was, was probably on foot!

Many older women live alone on this street, and I instructed her that I thought she should call the police and let them know what had happened. Too many attacks lately on elderly women living alone in this cesspool of a city occurring recently to ignore.

I stayed outside until a police car came by, about 20 minutes after being called. I spoke to the officer and explained what had happened. He agreed that we had done the right thing by calling and assured me that he would pass on the information to his fellow officers in the area and that patrols would be beefed up nightly.

There are some important lessons to be learned here. Not only learned, but practiced!

1. Porch lights and security lights only work if they are turned on!

2. The neighbor's dog barking loudly and in a furious way should never be ignored!

3. Emergency phone numbers for all county offices, including the sheriff, should be close at hand or memorized!

4. Never hesitate to call law enforcement. It's your taxes that pay their salary!

5. Be aware of any strangers walking in your neighborhood at night, or strange cars cruising or parked in the day time. Know who belongs and who doesn't!

6. Probably the most important one...NEVER open the door to a stranger, regardless of who they say they are! Again, never open the door to a stranger...NEVER!

Fortunately, everything turned out fine this time for us. It could have been very different! Just remember, it can happen in your neighborhood. It can happen at your house, your Mother's house...anywhere! Anytime! Please, careful!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! Rain outside, I'm afraid!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are They Out Of Their Minds...?

Not many things make me really mad now days, but when I did a little research on the cost of going to a Houston Texan's game...I was totally blown away!

In a time when so many families are having a hard time paying the bills, buying food and keeping the family in clothing...I just couldn't believe that some folks are actually paying these kinds of prices to go and watch a ball game that they can see at home for free! Even if it is only on pay-per-view, the cost is around $10 a game.

Now get a load of this story from the Houston Chronicle.

Texans raise ticket prices almost 7 percent

Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 19, 2010, 12:30AM

After posting a 9-7 record and their first winning season in team history, the Texans are increasing ticket prices by an average of 6.67 percent.

The average ticket next season will cost $71.86 compared to $67.37 last season.

The Texans, who have sold out all 80 games in franchise history, including preseason games, didn't change the price for 20 percent of the tickets at Reliant Stadium. They lowered ticket prices for more than 550 seats in the Gridiron section.

Next season's home schedule includes games against Indianapolis, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Dallas, the New York Giants, Kansas City, San Diego and Baltimore.

Now what this article does NOT tell you, is that the cost of stadium parking is $40.00, a hot dog cost about $5.00, and if you want a prepared to fork over $8.75 each!

Now, don't get me wrong! If you have this kind of money to spend on going to a game every week, and can do so with a clear conscience...then I say "go for it!"

What comes to my mind, though, is how many cans of food and other prep items I could buy with that money. For the cost of going to four games a month, around $600.00, I can add to my preps in a BIG way!

Sorry, but for me it's a No Brainer! Besides, I figure that I can make hot dogs and beer at home for a lot less money and even have some left over for friends that may come over!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit. Want a hot dog...?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little Texas Humor...!

One thing about those of us that live in Texas! We can laugh at ourselves as well as anyone!

You know, humor should play an important part in our lives. We should try and find some humor, however small, in each and every day. So, keeping that in is a small bit of Texas humor for ya!

Did you hear about the Texas teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put on his cowboy boots?

He asked for help and she could see why..

Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, 'Teacher, they're on the wrong feet.' She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet..

He then announced, 'These aren't my boots.'

She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, 'Why didn't you say so?' like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, 'They're my brother's boots. My mom made me wear 'em.'

Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry. But, she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his little feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, 'Now, where are your mittens?'

He said, 'I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots.'

She will be eligible for parole in three years!

Remember, my friend, that variety is the spice of life. A little laughter can serve to sweeten things up just a tad. As the man once said..."Smile, and the world smiles with you! Cry, and you cry alone"!

C'mon, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while. You can tell me a joke...!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Now This Really Stinks...!

I'm thinking that the folks in Milwaukee really need to get out more!

If this is the best that they can come up with for entertainment during the Winter months, then maybe they should be getting a new museum director.

Personally, I don't think I would enjoy a trip in the snow, just to go downtown and look at plant which has as it's only claim to fame is the fact that it smells like decaying flesh!

See what you think!

Corpse flower to bloom at Milwaukee museum

Associated Press
Jan. 12, 2010, 7:01AM

A nearly 7-foot-tall exotic plant will soon stink up the Milwaukee Public Museum.

A titan arum plant, also known as a "corpse flower," is preparing to flower. Museum curator of botany Neil Luebke expects it to occur within the next two weeks.

The flower is known for its odor of rotting flesh. It comes in waves and attracts carrion beetles and sweat bees in its native rain forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The titan arum is technically the world's largest unbranched cluster of flowers.

It takes at least six years to flower and is a descendent of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's flower.

As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather stay at home and smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread...but that's just me!

Now, let's have some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit...and NO, that smell is NOT me, thank you very much!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Want A Peanut Butter Sandwich...?

While making my nightly peanut butter sandwich last night, it occurred to me that many out there may not know the history of one of the greatest snack foods ever created!

Therefore, I've appointed myself the official "Peanut Historian" of the day. After all, it's important that we be as knowledgeable as we can be about the foods we eat, right?

Besides, not many foods have such a colorful history! Anyway, it's always fun to find out about some of these interesting facts. So, here is a brief history...compliments of Time magazine.

Peanut butter's true inventor is unknown, but Dr. John Harvey Kellogg has as good a claim to the title as anyone. In 1895, the cereal pioneer patented a process for turning raw peanuts into a butter-like vegetarian health food that he fed to clients at his Battle Creek, Mich., sanatorium. The taste caught on, and in a few years, the spread had gone mainstream.

In 1922, chemist Joseph Rosefield fixed peanut butter's tendency to separate by adding hydrogenated vegetable oil; he called the thick, creamy result Skippy (probably after a popular comic strip), and a brand was born. Within the decade, Skippy was fighting it out with other established brands like Peter Pan and Heinz.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches invaded children's lunch boxes soon after: by one 2002 estimate, the average American child eats 1,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating from high school.

In the 1990s, nut-allergy fears led some schools to eliminate peanuts from cafeteria menus. Still, peanut butter remains an $800 million industry--which is one of the reasons Jif and Peter Pan are spending millions on new ad campaigns to remind consumers how good food that sticks to the roof of your mouth can be.

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. I'll make us a P.B. sandwich...maybe with some jelly!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Man, I Need Some Ice Cream...!

I really like ice cream. Almost as much as coffee...!

I'm not alone in this addiction as I'm sure that these little known facts will show.

Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), 32nd President of the United States, publicly confessed that he liked to have ice cream at least once a day.

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the 1920s were given food considered "typical" American. But many of them tried to spread this "frozen butter" on bread when given ice cream.

During World War I (1914-1918), ice cream played a role as a propaganda tool and morale builder. A German officer, when asked about America's involvement in the war, said that "We do not fear that nation of ice cream eaters." After his comment was printed in American newspapers, it created a lot of response about the frozen treat.

Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982), already an established movie star in Europe, came to New York in 1939 when she was twenty-four. She loved hot fudge sundaes so much that she alarmed her American hosts.

The biggest ice cream sundae ever made was 12 feet high and made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream and 7,000 pounds of toppings in Anaheim, California during 1985.

During World War II, the Eight Air Force unit chose the Popsicle as a symbol of American life.

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside. Oh, and ice cream and coffee DO go good together! Believe me, I know...!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gotta Love Ol' Ben Franklin...!

You know, Ol' Ben Franklin was a pretty smart guy!

Not only because of all the things we normally attribute to him, but for a number of other things we may not have heard of! Since his birthday is coming up on the 17TH, I thought we would take a slightly different look at the old boy!

Benjamin Franklin, born on January 17, 1706, not only was a world-renowned statesman, inventor, and scientist, but also was fascinated by agriculture.

To demonstrate the value of gypsum as fertilizer, he applied it to a field in a pattern that spelled out, “This land has been plastered.” Sure enough, clover in the fertilized area exhibited more vigorous growth. Pretty impressive, huh?

I want to share just a few of my favorite quotes from the MAN as well, for many of them are just as true today as they ever were!

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
Benjamin Franklin

Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
Benjamin Franklin

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
Benjamin Franklin

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
Benjamin Franklin

He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.
Benjamin Franklin

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.
Benjamin Franklin

Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.
Benjamin Franklin

The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
Benjamin Franklin

Where liberty is, there is my country.
Benjamin Franklin

You know, Ben Franklin, along with many of our other forefathers, were very impressive fellows. They did right by maybe we should work more to do right by them and their ideals. OK? OK!

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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Could Cause An Uprising...!

Few things done by the Powers That Be now days win approval of the common man.

This next story is going to be one of those things, I'm sure! This concerns a food that is almost treasured in the state of Texas! I mean, I have eaten enough of this snack to fill a tractor trailer! It's tasty, filling, and satisfying!

However, it won't be allowed into the state from Mexico unless it passes a new inspection rule of the department of agriculture! See what you think...!

Pork rinds face tougher entry at Mexican border

Texas — U.S. Customs officials say people entering the U.S. from Mexico will have to leave behind a favorite snack starting Thursday — pork rinds, or chicharrones as they're called south of the border.

The salty slices of deep-fried pork skin often seasoned with chili powder will be seized by customs inspectors unless carriers produce a certificate issued by the national government where the snacks originated.

The new rules come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture keeps an eye out for produce that could carry threats to U.S. agriculture. A U.S. Customs spokesman said insufficiently cooked pork rinds could carry classical swine fever, also known as hog cholera, an illness that affects pigs.

Previously pork rinds were cleared if they passed a crispness test, crumbling in an inspector's hands when bent. Now only pork rinds from a few states in southern and western Mexico will be cleared on that test.

Now, I guess that as long as they leave the home grown pork rinds alone, then that's OK. However, I don't remember hearing of any cases of sickness or health problems due to fried pork rinds!

Something else that the PTB can control and take charge of, I reckon. Practice on the snack foods, then go for the bigger beef and veggies! Just some "food for thought"! (sorry, I just couldn't resist!)

Now, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Oh, pass the pork rinds, will ya?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Taste Of Sunshine...!

The weather is trying it's best to give us a couple of days of really nice sunshine!

I like the sun! When I was in my younger years, I spent as much of my time as possible out in it! Fishing, swimming, camping, all the fun stuff! Man, sometimes I do miss those days!

One of the things you catch onto really quick when you spend a lot of time out of doors, is paying attention to weather signs. Often you aren't even aware that you are doing it, you just do it!

I picked up a lot of pointers from my older relatives (mostly farmers) and then in places like the Old Farmers Almanac...who is always good for some common sense knowledge!

In fact, here is a collection of some "Weather Proverbs" that you may find interesting...

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.

A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is west of us and we will probably get it.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.
If you spot wispy, thin clouds up where jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather.

Clear Moon, frost soon.
When the night sky is clear, Earth's surface cools rapidly—there is no cloud cover to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form.

When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers.
When you spy large, cauliflower-like clouds that look like castles in the sky, there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers.

Ring around the moon? Rain real soon.
A ring around the moon usually indicates an advancing warm front, which means precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the moon's light, causing a halo to appear.

Rain foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass.
If you find yourself toting an umbrella around for days "just in case," rain will stick around for several hours when it finally comes. The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected. Conversely, if you get caught in a surprise shower, it's likely to be short-lived.

Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means drive weather—good for sailing—is moving east. Conversely, a reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed over us on their way easy, clearing the way for a storm to move in.

I'm sure that we've all heard some or all of these before, and there are probably a lot more that are not listed here. If you know any, why not put them in the comment section...that would be fun!

Now, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio. We can look at the signs and do some weather predictions!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mom Is Home And Coffee Is On Me...!

Mom is home. Brought her home last night, after the stress test and the heart doctor told her that whatever the problem was not caused by her heart! He said that her heart is fine. That's good news!

When I asked him what he thought was the cause of her problems...he said "I don't know, but the good thing is that it is NOT the heart!"

The consensus right now seems to be that it was caused by her lungs and not getting enough oxygen. She does have COPD and that may have played a big part.

What ever the cause...she feels better and is glad to be home. Her cat is glad she is home! I'm glad she's home! Now we can all enjoy being home and not at the as it was!

In keeping with our study of the politics of the day, I offer up this little bit of fodder for the cannon! Just something to think about!

For the first time in history, the Democratic Congress will not allow an increase in the social security COLA (cost of living adjustment).

In fact, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years. However, the per person monthly Medicare insurance premium will be increased from the 2009 premium of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010 and to $120.20 for the year 2011.

Guess we now know who to vote for in next year's elections, right? RIGHT!

Now, my friends, le's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! Supposed to be warmer this morning!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Update...Of Sorts !

First of all, let me say a great big "Thank You" to all that sent prayers and good wishes our way! I appreciate it...and so does Mom!

Hopefully, she will get to go home today. We don't really know just yet and we don't really know until later on just what was causing the problems that she was having. I'll be sure to post the cause as soon as I find it, believe me.

One thing that popped up during this whole situation was the need for all your medical information like daily medications, "allergic to" list, primary care doctors name and contact numbers, social security information, emergency phone contact list, insurance cards and agents phone numbers...anything that the hospital may ask and want on the primary forms.

A lot of us may know all of this...but what happens if you have to take someone to the hospital that cannot talk for some reason? Can they find a complete list of the important info? Is it close enough to hand over to the person filling out the forms, so that care and treatment is not delayed? I got a small taste of this...and believe me, this is NOT a thing to let happen if you can help it.

As soon as mom gets out of the hospital, we will be putting a book or something together that contains most of this information. I never want to have to go through this again, and I don't want you to have to deal with it either!

Don't think that just having it is a purse or pocketbook is good enough. Try and put all this into something , maybe labeled "Hospital Information" or something similar. Believe me, it can be a great help to you!

In the meantime, let's share some coffee in the kitchen before I have to go back to the hospital again! And "Thank You " again for all the positive thoughts yesterday! It is greatly appreciated...!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Small Family Emergency...!

Had a small little family emergency yesterday, so this mornings post will be light!

I had to take my mother to the emergency room around 7:15 P.M. last night. She was having trouble catching her breath, some pain in her chest, and a hurting in the back of her neck.

At first, she thought it was indigestion...but then she started to shake and the pin got worse. I finally talked her into letting me take her to the E.R.

Got home about 11:15 P.M. They are keeping Mom in the hospital overnight, but said they didn't think it was a heart attack. Good news!

But they also said they didn't know yet what it was without some other test. Bad news!

After they put her on oxygen, she seem to get better and her color became better!
I'll find out today what the cause was. Hopefully, she will get out of the hospital and back home today!

I'll post an update when I find out more, OK?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Time To Clean Your Plow...!

Well, it's that time again!

All the folks that took vacation time or just extra time off for the holidays should now be ready to go back to work. Enough fun with the kids, the new toys, the visiting relatives, and the left-overs! Time to get serious...!

Enter Plough (plow) Day...!!

The first Monday after Epiphany (January 6) was the day for the menfolk to return to work after the holidays -- although no work was actually done on this day. Dressed in clean white smocks decorated with ribbons, the men dragged a plow (plough) through the village and collected money for the "plow light" that was kept burning in the church all year. Often men from several farms joined together to pull the plow through all their villages. They sang and danced their way from village to village to the accompaniment of music. In the evening, each farmer provided a Plough Monday supper for his workers, with plentiful beef and ale for all.

I think the old timers had the right idea! I figure that if you gotta go back to work, then this is the way to spend the first Monday back in the saddle !

Sort of takes the sting out of the whole "going back to work thing", don't you think? I wonder if this is where the term " back into harness" came from?

So, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Oh, and thanks to the Old Farmer's Almanac for this little tid-bit!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Man, My Feet Are Cold...!

It's not often that we get hit with a cold front like this, but ready or we go!

Now, I know that all you folks that live up North think we must be a bunch of wusses, but remember, this is the Texas coast! We are NOT supposed to get this cold...EVER!

It does snow here sometimes. Usually every 4 or 5 years, but even then it does not get this cold. This is tough on a lot of people, especially the homeless and the elderly, and on all those that are already having a hard time paying their energy bills. I hate to say it, but I expect several weather related deaths after this storm.

Here is the story taken from the Houston Chronicle Thursday.

After overnight showers, an Arctic front dove through southeast Texas this morning, and gusty winds are ushering frigid air into the Houston metro area and slowly driving temperatures from near 50 degrees into the low to mid-20s by Friday morning.

The National Weather Service has put the area under a wind advisory until 6 p.m.

And then it gets worse.

Forecasters with the Houston/Galveston office of the weather service say highs on Friday will likely barely reach above the freezing level, and Friday night's low temperature should dip near 20 degrees for inland areas. Saturday night will be nearly as cold.

That's cold enough to threaten most outdoor plants and all pets, and just cold enough to put exposed pipes in attics and beneath homes at significant risk. The weather service has issued a hard freeze warning from 9 p.m. tonight until 9 a.m. Sunday.

If there's a bright side to the Arctic blast, it's that today's scattered showers should ebb before temperatures dip below freezing, leaving relatively little chance for an ice storm to make for nightmarish commutes Friday.

Sleet is possible today, however, for a short time period, just to the north and west of Houston.

Houston is likely to see temperatures it hasn't since at least 1996, when it got down to 19 degrees.

By the time temperatures begin to moderate Sunday, forecasters say, Houston's average temperatures for January will likely be running 13 or 14 degrees below normal. The average temperature range for this time of year is between the low 40s and low 60s.

A "warm-up" early next week is expected to take high temperatures into the lower 50s, still about 10 degrees below normal. A slight chance of rain is forecast.

Now, my friends, it's coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's way too cold to go outside...!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why Bother...?

I was semi-listening to the boob tube, trying to get the news (insert laughter here) and of course was bombarded with the standard parade of commercials in all their insane, untrue story lines.

One that caught my attention was a product for folks that wanted to stop smoking. The product isn't new, just a remake of the many products of this kind that have come and gone before.

What really got my attention with this one was when they started rattling off the side effects! I mean, I can't imagine anyone anywhere actually paying good money for something like this...! Take a look at this list, taken straight from the "Brand X" website!

Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using Brand X to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking Brand X, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping Brand X. If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking Brand X and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking Brand X, as these symptoms may worsen while taking Brand X..

Now, as most of you know...I am a smoker! I have considered quitting a couple of times but nothing could ever get me use this product because of all these side effects!

I'd be willing to bet that most heavy smokers are going to experience most or some of these effects the minute they try and quit smoking...even without a $100 prescription!

Look, here's the thing. If you smoke and want to quit...then QUIT! It isn't going to be easy, but you can do it. You don't need some quack doctor selling you some Snake Oil cure! You can do it with nothing but the strength of your own will, the support of your friends and family, and a true desire to quit! You can do it! I believe in you...I do!

We need to get over the false believe that we need a PILL to do anything! There are plenty of natural medicines and cures for most of our health issues, without using a chemical cocktail created by Corporate Pharma-cats to increase their wealth!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Oh, I hope you don't mind me smoking!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby Sister's Birthday...!

No, I won't say how old (or young) she is...but let's just say she is slowly catching up to the rest of us!

I was one of those fortunate people that had some great siblings, a fun childhood, and plenty of wide open places to pay in!

My family wasn't poor. I guess that if I had to classify our family back would be as lower middle class! My Dad worked hard where ever he could find work. Sometimes Mom worked as well, but we didn't realize that by today's standard, we were being cheated.

Actually,having both parents working turned out good for us as kids. We had our chores to do after school, including starting supper sometimes. We could all make cornbread and such early on! Having some responsibility around the house meant that we were aware of just what Mom had to do at home. That's a good thing, I believe.

All total, there were four of us. I was the oldest and the only boy. My sisters, all three of them, turned out to be really good cooks and were very good with their hands in things like sewing and crafts.

Unfortunately, my middle sister was taken a few years back by cancer. Way too young, but no one ever said that life was fair! Just one of those sad events that we deal with as best we can.

So now, I have Big Sis and Baby Sis...both a real joy and both are bright spots in my life! They both over-look a lot of my faults, and are both are still talking to me, in spite of everything!

Big Sis lives in North Carolina...while Baby Sis lives here in Houston with her husband, Rod, and when these two dress up as Mr. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus you almost have to believe!

Anyway, this is the special day for Baby Sis, and I wish her the very best! She is a good friend, a true confidant, and a big source of support when I need it!

Baby Sis knows most of my secrets, but I never worry about her telling them. She recognizes my weaknesses, but I never have to worry about her taking advantage of them.

She is a pillar of my family, a true friend to me, and a treasure to all who really know her!

I'm proud to call her my Sister...! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANN !

Now, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen while we stay warm! We can all toast to my Baby Sis's birthday!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Good Suggestions For 2010...!

My baby Sis sent me these suggestions and they make such good sense...I wanted to share them!

I know, I's not fair to post something from someone else, but all of these make your life just that much better, ya know? Why not try and use as many of these as you can each and every day?


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants...
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need...
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come...
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen...Oh, and bring your smile, OK?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Regulators In The Family Tree...!

Here is a little more of the family history from my Mother's side of the family.

The main reason I'm putting this on here, is because it demonstrates a couple of things we should be aware of today!

First lesson, appointed government officials are always more evil to deal with than elected officials! PERIOD! Our present government is a prime example of how true this is...!

Second lesson...the people, the common people can affect the actions of most all officials, providing they protest or challenge those actions in large enough numbers!
This is a long post, but I feel that it's message is important enough to have you read!

In the 1750's and 1760's the Tidewater (coastal area) aristocracy of North Carolina owned numerous slaves who worked on their plantations, and were mostly English aristocracy descendants. During this time the Piedmont (hill area) was settled by people moving there from eastern North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. Many established small farms, usually without slaves; only a few were aristocrats.

The Lower House of the Provincial Assembly was composed of representatives elected by each county. As immigrants poured into the Piedmont, the Assembly was slow to establish new counties, and often when they were established, small new counties were established also in the Tidewater. This resulted in the back country settlers being under-represented in the Assembly By 1776 Orange County, in the Piedmont, contained a larger white population than the total in five Tidewater counties. The five Tidewater counties had a total of 25 votes in the Assembly and Orange County had two.

At the same time the Piedmont counties had a number of county officials, appointed by the Governor, who were abusive and corrupt. Since county officials were not paid salaries, they often kept all or part of the taxes, and charged exorbitant fees for deeds and other legal documents for which the farmers had to pay cash. In the Tidewater, citizens did not have to pay cash since they could give a mortgage on their goods in warehouses or property.

By 1765 the small farmers of the Piedmont began denouncing high taxes, rents, fees and the malpractice of county officials. Mass meetings were common by 1768, and in 1770 one body, meeting in protest, numbered about 3,700. As the movement momentum, more demands were made, and these were published as Regulator's Advertisements, hence the name Regulators!

James Emerson was one of the 109 signers of the Regulators Advertisement #9 published on or about April 30, 1768.

The Regulators became more outspoken in their demands and more settlers joined the group until Governor Tyron decided military action was necessary to restore order in the area and insure control by the provincial Government. The Governor took to the field with several units of the Militia, and on May 16, 1771 defeated the Regulators in the battle of Alamance. During the battle several Regulators were captured. The next day, May 17, 1771 James Few, one of the leaders of the Regulators, was hung on the battlefield.

After the Governor's return to Hillborough, the 12 captured Regulators were tried for treason.The trial lasted until June 18, 1771 when all twelve were found guilty. On June 19, 1771 six of the Regulators were hung on a small hill about 1/4 mile east of the county courthouse. Today the site is marked by a bronze tablet in a small area enclosed by an iron picket fence.

Because of the public reaction after the hangings, the Governor did not hang the other six; instead he suspended their sentences. James Emerson was notified officially of his pardon on August 1, 1772 at Hillsborough, North Carolina.

It's amazing to me that these folks could put a gathering of 3,700 to protest...considering the mode of transportation and communication of the day.

We struggle to get 1000 people to show up at a meeting to protest wrong-doing in government! These folks had 3,700 and all without the help of cell phones, the Internet, email and telephones! To me...that shows dedication!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen! I'll show you a few old pictures...OK?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Little Family History...!

I was looking at some family history documents with my Mother yesterday...and found out some interesting facts!

Guess that farming and homesteading has been in my family's blood for a long time! Even though few of us live on a farm now, there is a long history of small farmers and land owners that go way back!

I have some paper work here showing that in 1906, one of my John M. Emerson, purchased approximately 107 acres in Williamson County, Texas for the sum of $5218.30! That's right...$5218.30!

Now, by today's figuring that's not too bad! However, in 1906 that was a big pile of money...

For those of you that don't know where Williamson county's just outside of Austin, Texas.You may have heard of Austin before.

One can only imagine what that land would be worth today!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit.Tomorrow, I'll tell you about part of my family that was in the Regulators...way back when!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fast, Easy, And Practical...!

By now, I know your tired of recipes, tired of left-overs, and maybe tired of food in general!

However, that still doesn't alter the fact that most of us still have a lot of left-overs to use...a LOT of left-overs!

If you are like me, you might have had black-eyed peas for the New Year.More than likely you still have some left. Well, this last recipe is just one simple way to use some of those left-over peas to make a quick and handy dip.

I know, I know...another dip! But here's the thing about this dip. It not only uses the left-overs, but it can serve as an alternative to having a full meal. Just add a few chips or crackers, and you have a filling snack without getting stuffed, you know?

Just try this for something a bit different!

□ 3 cans black eyed peas, drained
□ 3 c. chopped onion
□ 1/2 c. chopped jalapenos
□ 1/2 c. chopped green pepper

Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or anything else you might want to use!

Now I used 2 cups of fresh peas, not canned, and dehydrated onions. I also used 1/2 cup of home made picante sauce instead of the other peppers...but that's just me! Use whatever you want for the hotness you want!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Supposed to be cold again today...!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Did You Know...?

I have wondered about this for a long least for a week or so!

Seriously, I have never known what this song meant until now. I mean, I've sang it many times, but always without knowing what the song was really all about.

In doing a little research, this is what I've found out.

What’s “AULD”?
“Auld Lang Syne” is sung at the stroke of midnight on December 31 in almost every English-speaking country in the world.

Written by Robert Burns in 1788, it was first published in 1796 after Burns’s death. “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago” or, simply, “the good old days.”

If you keep this in mind the next time you sing this may think about the wording a little differently.

Anyway, let me just take this moment to say "Happy New Year" to each and everyone of you wonderful folks out there!

Now, my friends, how about a fresh cup of coffee? We can sit in the kitchen and toast to the next year!