Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If This Ain't War...What Is It ??

Now this should signal to everyone that it's time for the gloves to come off!

We catch 'em, slap their hands, don't even fine them in most cases, and then ship them back home...and this is what you get!

These are acts of guerrilla warfare, acts of terrorism, acts of undeclared war against the United States! These are NOT peaceful people. These are NOT people looking to find a better place to live! These people are lawbreakers and are out to simply maim and kill in order to further their criminal activities!

This article in the Houston Chronicle says it all.

Smugglers’ barbed wire traps target agents

El Paso Times
March 30, 2010, 1:43PM

EL PASO -- Drug smugglers have apparently set "booby traps" for U.S. Border Patrol agents on roads along the border near Deming, agency officials said Monday.

The devices consist of barbed wire stretched like clotheslines across trails used by agents on all-terrain vehicles. The lines, which are difficult to spot, are about four feet off the ground and appear to be intended to knock a rider off the ATV.

There have been no known injuries.

It isn't the first time such a tactic has been used by smugglers in the desolate desert south of Deming and west of El Paso.

Two years ago, a rancher informed the Border Patrol of two wires found stretched along a dirt road in a similar fashion. At that time, officials said it appeared the lines were targeting agents who frequently patrolled on ATVs.

Officials said the added danger will not stop them from going after smugglers.

During the weekend, agents using an infrared camera arrested six people carrying 320 pounds of marijuana as they walked from the border toward Interstate 10 near Deming, officials said.

The New Mexico border remains busy.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, along with Rep. Harry Teague, all of New Mexico, on Monday asked the Department of Homeland Security to increase the number of Border Patrol agents in the area and set up a Forward Operating Base in the New Mexico bootheel. Agents in the area are currently based in Lordsburg.

I have an idea here...why doesn't the government use the very same tactics against these border crossing criminals that they wouldn't hesitate to use against American citizens? They have proven in the past the willingness to use deadly force against patriots and their families...including children!

Yet here we have a force of criminals from a foreign country, and all the sudden we want to put on the kid gloves. What happens when the border patrol tries to defend themselves? They go to prison! They wound a prisoner, not even killing him...and they go to prison!

Sorry for going off on a little rant today...but stories like this just turn my stomach, ya know?

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! Maybe I can calm down!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Let's Get Fat Together...!

This next weekend is one of the biggest of the food holidays as far as "special" foods go.

Everyone has a favorite Easter meal, including all the different meats and sides and, of course...DESSERT!

I have one for you today that I promise will not only fill you up...but will probably add about two or three inches to your waistline!

One good thing about taste GREAT with coffee!


One Stick Margarine
Two Eggs
One Yellow Cake Mix

Combine and spread into a greased 9x13 pan. This mixture will be really thick!

8 ounce cream cheese
Two Eggs
1 pound powdered sugar ( reserve two Tbsp. to sprinkle on top )

Pour on top of first layer and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.

Now, in case you're wondering...the "Tami" on this recipe was one of my ex-wives. Despite her faults, she could really cook! This is a fantastic tasting dessert and believe me...I know desserts pretty well!

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

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Monday History Lesson...!

All this talk about the Easter bunny and where he came from and why he is the symbol we seem to think of during this time...lead me to wonder about the Easter egg.

You know, research about something like this is kinda hard...mainly because the different types of symbols and traditions and histories. Many of the roots of our present day holiday are from a long, long time ago.

I found some information on that you might find think of all the people you can impress at the next boring get-together! You could even shut up the "know-it-all" brother-in-law...if only for a second!

The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons. The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth. A notation in the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts. The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written five hundred years ago. Yet, a North African tribe that had become Christian much earlier in time had a custom of coloring eggs at Easter. Long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.

Some European children go from house to house begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treaters. Called pace-egging, it comes from the old word for Easter, Pasch. Many old cultures also attributed the egg with great healing powers. It is interesting to note that eggs play almost no part in the Easter celebrations of Mexico, South America, and Native American Indian cultures. Egg-rolling contests are a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb. The decoration of small leaf-barren branches as Easter egg trees has become a popular custom in the United States since the 1990s.

So, there ya go! Once again the Hermit has provided you with more information than you ever really wanted to know about this subject!You just never know what you may find when you drop in for coffee, right?

Speaking of coffee, my friends, let's get a fresh cup and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Hopefully, it will turn into a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sunday Rabbit Story...!

With Easter just around the corner, I thought a cute little rabbit story was in order!

Who may get a kick out of it!

A precious little girl walks into a pets mart shop and asks, in the sweetest little lisp, between two missing teeth, "Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?"

As the shopkeeper's heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he's on her level and asks, "Do you want a widdle white wabbit, or a thoft and fuwwy, bwack wabbit, or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?"

She, in turn, blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says, in a tiny quiet voice...

"I don't think my python weally gives a thit.

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio...?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Ramblings...!

If your place is like mine, it's sure been windy as of late.

I did some research in the Almanac, and I found this little tidbit for you. It sort of explains it...or at least makes it interesting to think about.

The wind plays an important part in lore and history. It’s known as a weather maker, as in the phrase “winter winds doth blow and we shall have snow.”

• Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626) knew that “every wind has its weather.” “The Devil is busy in a high wind,” it’s said, but “westerly winds are fair weather winds.”

• Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) suggested, “Do business with men when the wind is in the northwest when the barometer is high.”

• When we catch a cold, we catch it from the winds, some say; another saying states, “the east wind brings aches and pains.”

• The ancients thought of wind as a messenger; in a way, that was the role of the fictional Mary Poppins, who came and left on the winds.

Just a little something to start your weekend off, ya know?

Coffee on the patio today! Have a good one...!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Had No Idea...!

Sometimes you can find out about something that's been around for a long time...and could have been very helpful, if only you had been presented all the facts!

This is the case with peroxide! Safe, very useful, good for your health, and might even been of some help in saving a life! But the big drug companies couldn't make enough profit from it to spread the information.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? This is a long read, but is well worth the time, believe me!

Hydrogen peroxide was discovered in 1818 by French chemist Louis-Jacques Thenard (1777 - 1857) when he finally succeeded in preparing pure hydrogen peroxide, which he called "oxygenated water," and determined its density.

Dr Edward Rosenow (1875 – 1966) discovered that H2O2 was the safe, effective antimicrobal, anitviral agent he had spent years looking for. Unfortunately he died before seeing his discovery become widely accepted. His friend Father Wilhelm, a Catholic Priest and chemistry teacher presented Rosenow’s research to several pharmaceutical companies only to get the same response: Rosenow’s work on H2O2 was very interesting and potentially important, but H2O2 was an inexpensive substance that could not be patented and had no commercial value. This is the reason it is not prescibed as a means of treating many illnesses; drug companies cannot make any money from it!

The benefits threaten the antibiotic industry, it’s a threat to the heart bypass industry as it cleans arteries of athersclerotic build up, and it’s a threat to the surgical and chemotherapy cancer treatment industry; combined with radiation it will rapidly reduce cancer growths with less toxic doses of x-ray.

Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide In The Kitchen, Bathroom & Around The Home

Used As A Sanitizer
To disinfect all surfaces use a 3% solution and use the spray bottle provided. Wipe down surfaces and effectively kill bacteria and viruses. This can be used on all surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen including fridges and electrical appliances, use on wooden chopping boards to kill salmonella and other germs.

Hydrogen Peroxide creates no residual toxins of any kind and it breaks down to water and oxygen within a few hours leaving a fresh smell. Not only sanitizing the areas you want clean but at the same time meaning you avoid using harmful or poisonous chemicals in and around your home and family.

Vegetable and Meat Wash
Put 40ml of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into regular washing up bowl of cool water and use to rinse fish, chicken, meat and vegetables killing bacteria and viruses. Rinse after with clean water. This process increases the life of food.

Research published by the Journal of Food and Science in 2003 showed effective results of using hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate apples and melons that were infected with strains of E.coli. This will apply to fish and meats containing potentially detrimental bacteria.

Dishwasher Additive
Add two Oz of 3% Hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher to prevent spreading of colds and disease also to make your dishes sparkle.

Dental Hygiene
Tooth brushes can be soaked in 3% H2O2 between uses to eliminate most germs. Remember to store it in a dark container to prevent degradation.

The Merck Manuals recommended diluting 3% hydrogen peroxide 50/50 with distilled water. This solution can simply be used as a mouthwash and will help to whiten teeth and fight oral disease.

Ear Wash
Use 50/50 water and 3% solution as a rinse to clear blocked ears and treat infections.

Add 225ml of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to your wash in place of bleaches.

Hair Dye
The old classic, mix 3% solution 50/50 with distilled water and spray on damp hair after a shower and comb through. This will give a more natural highlighted affect.

Removing Fresh Blood Stains
Pour 3% solution onto fresh unset blood stains and let sit for a minute. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. (Not hot, this will set the blood). Be careful though as H2O2 is a bleach.

Removing Wine Stains From Carpet
First spot test an area of carpet for colour fastness. Apply 3% solution to stain through spay bottle or with cotton bud for small drops. Work the solution into the carpet with a sponge to make sure it’s saturated. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and blot with a clean dry cloth.

Large scale Cleaning
For entire rooms that have become contaminated by fungus, moulds, bacteria for example after flood damage or waste spillage. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) listed hydrogen peroxide as among the substances that can be used against mold. A 3% solution used in a large pressurized sprayer can be used to apply throughout the room.

When mixed with correct quantities of baking soda and salt. Mix ¼ cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide with ½ cup of baking soda to form a paste. Some recipes call for salt. Store in a plastic container which light cannot pass through.

Foot Soak
Add a few tablespoons of Epsom salts and add 100ml-200ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a bowl of warm water. This will help to heal cuts, athlete’s foot, scaly skin and calluses.

Bath soak
Add 280ml to 560ml of 35% solution to a full bath of water along with ½ a cup of Epsom salts for an amazing detoxifying soak, (note do not detoxify after 6-7pm as increased oxygen may keep you awake).

Tile Grout Cleaning In Baths And Showers
Spray the tiles with a 3% solution in a spray bottle and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes now scrub with a toothbrush soaked in the solution, mildew and tough stains will disappear rapidly.

Removing Pet Odors From Carpets
Use a 3% solution in a spray bottle and thoroughly saturate the area. Let stand. After at least 30 minutes, spray again, and then spread a paste of baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide over the area and let stand until dry. Vacuum when dry.

Body Spray
Spray 3% solution on to your body after washing to replace the acid mantle on your skin that soap removes.

Facial Cleanser
Use 3% H2O2 on cotton wool balls to wipe your face after washing and before bed,

I guess that as far as big business is concerned, we are worth more dead or dying...than we are worth as living customers. Don't you just love the medical and drug industry?

My friends, let's get some coffee and go sit on the patio for a bit. Hope it doesn't rain again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Just Makes You Wonder...!

I was looking at the crime rates for the state of Texas, and wondering why they are continuing to climb at such an alarming rate!

I think I have stumbled across one of the reported in a story in the Houston Chronicle. See if you think this makes any sense to you!

Houston inmate walks out of federal prison in Beaumont

Beaumont Enterprise
March 24, 2010, 4:27PM

Two inmates have walked away from a minimum security facility of the Federal Prison Camp in Beaumont.

U.S. Marshals were notified at 7 p.m. Monday that Carlos Luis Guerra of Houston and Arturo Carlos Saenz-Olea of Hidalgo were not at the facility, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Fulcher.

Guerra is in prison for possession with attempt to distribute cocaine and his release was scheduled for 2019.

Saenz is in prison for possession with attempt to distribute marijuana and criminal conduct. He was scheduled for release in 2014.

Fulcher said the facility does not have a fence and inmates are kept on a kind of "honor system" where they are counted multiple times per day and are expected to check in for work details.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of either inmate can call the U.S. Marshals at 839-2581.

No fence? Honor system...? Did someone forget to tell the Feds that this was a PRISON? Did the guards forget how to count? What part of criminals did you NOT understand?

I mean, we have public schools here in Houston that seem to have a better security system than this prison...and this is a Federal pen! No fence...? THAT makes no sense to me at all!

No wonder we all feel so safe, here in the great state of Texas! This is what happens when you put the feds in charge of something that affects the average, law abiding citizen. Seems to me that the fedgov's attitude is "so what? They aren't dangerous" ! My question...if they aren't dangerous, why are they in prison?

Depend on the government types to be constantly on ways to help out! Kinda makes you all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and adjourn to the kitchen...since it's still raining outside!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Road Trip Today, But I Need A Favor...!

I'm going to be gone most of the day today, so this will be a short post!

I have to go to the V.A. to do the blood test thing...but I wanted to have you do me a favor, if you will!

Today is the nephew's birthday and if you don't mind, I'd like you to go by and wish him a good day! You can find him HERE.

While you're in that neck of the woods, I have another friend, Momlady, who lives in that general area! This young lady lives a log cabin in her own wooded piece of property, complete with a stocked pond! How cool is that?

Momlady doesn't think she has very many visitors, so I thought it would be nice if you have the please go by and wish her a very good day!

I appreciate it, guys! I know they would be glad to see you! I'll be back tomorrow, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise!

Coffee's in the same spot, so just help yourself...OK?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Garden? This May Help...!

I know that many of us are itching to get started in the garden.

There may be a few that are putting in their very first garden, and if that's the case...let me just offer some advice, if you don't mind!

Some of these tips come from my own eye-opening experience with a garden that was WAY too big...but I have to admit that I learned a lot of tomato recipes that year! My ex-wife's uncle owned two plant farms in East Texas, and they thought we needed to put in more rows!

I ended up with four rows, 100 feet long, of tomato plants! That, my friends, is a whole lot of tomatoes indeed! Anyway, like I said...I learned a lot and that's the reason I thought it would be good to put a few suggestions in today's post

A good-size beginner vegetable garden is 10x16 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, planted as suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).

Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips. For the plan below, your rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.

Make your garden 11 rows of 10 feet each of the following veggies:

Tomatoes — 5 plants staked
Zucchini squash — 4 plants
Peppers — 6 plants
Bush beans
Lettuce, leaf and/or Bib
Marigolds to discourage rabbits!
Leave 2 feet between bush beans, 1/2 foot between bush beans and lettuce, and 1 foot between all of the rest.

(Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows, and you can also make the rows shorter. You can choose the veggies that you'd like to grow!)

If you're interested in planting potatoes, just remember that tomatoes and potatoes are not ideal companions and need "distance" to be successful.

So, now I've done my good deed for today...we can get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Maybe we can draw out some garden plans.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Oldest Of The "Modern Medicines"...!

I don't take many medicines....only those the doctor insist I need to still function as a breathing animal.

I'm lucky in the fact that I don't get many aches and pains anymore...but when I do, I only have one pill that I turn to for relief! ASPIRIN!

As far as I'm concerned, this is the best of the so-called "wonder drugs"! I know, I know...I've heard all the stories about bleeding in the stomach and in the mouth, but I have never had a problem with aspirin of any kind...and for me, it works. Period!

Up until just recently, I didn't have much knowledge as to the history of the I thought I would do some research and BOY...what a treasure trove of information I found!

I thought that since I found it so interesting, you might also! So, here is a bit of aspirin history to start your week off right!

The effects of aspirin-like substances have been known since the ancient Romans recorded the use of the willow bark as a fever fighter. The leaves and bark of the willow tree contain a substance called salicin, a naturally occurring compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid, the chemical name for aspirin.

Even as far back as 400 B.C. Hippocrates recommended a tea made from willow leaves. It wasn't until the 1800's that scientists discovered what was in the willow tree that relieved pain and reduced fever. The substance was named salicylic acid. But when people suffering from pain took the salicylic acid, it caused sever stomach and mouth irritation.

In 1832, a thirty-seven-year-old French chemist named Charles Gergardt mixed another chemical with the acid and produced good results, but the procedure was difficult and took a lot of time. Gerhardt decided the new compound wasn't practical, so he set aside.

Sixty-five-years later a German chemist, Felix Hoffmann, was searching for something to relieve his father's arthritis. He studied Gerhardt's experiments and "rediscovered" acetylsalicylic acid--or aspirin, as we now know it.

Dr. Lawrence Craven, a California general practitioner, in 1948, notices that the 400 men he prescribed aspirin to hadn't suffered any heart attacks. He regularly recommends to all patients and colleagues that "an aspirin a day" could dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack.

In 1971 John Vane began his work on aspirin. Over a weekend he conceived the notion that the mysterious drug might work by inhibiting the generation of prostaglandins. He turned again to his bioassay system for the answer and within a few days he had convinced himself and his colleagues that this indeed was the missing mechanism of action.

Here are some additional facts!

# Twice as many people choose aspirin over the personal computer as an invention they couldn't live without in a national survey on inventions conducted by MIT in 1996

# Americans consume over 50 million aspirin tablets every day…. that's over 15 billion tablets a year.

# The Bayer aspirin was originally marketed in loose powder form. In 1900, the company introduced aspirin in tablet form.

# In 1900, Felix Hoffman was issued a U.S. patent for Aspirin (No. 644,077)

# The name "aspirin" is composed of a- (from the acetyl group) -spir- (from the spiraea flower) and -in (a common ending for drugs at the time).

# Today over 70 million pounds of aspirin are produced annually all over the world, making it the world's most widely used drug.

Well, I'm sure that this is more information that you ever wanted to know about this little head-ache helper! You have to just love something like this small pill that produces such big results!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a head-aches there!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Sweet Option...!

Let's talk about some points of food storage for a bit.

Storage of sugar and syrup and the like is good, but they do have some bad points as far as long term storage is concerned. Also, they are not as versatile as another option...molasses!

Molasses is a delicious by-product which is extracted during the sugar cane refining process used to make sugar crystals. The sugar cane is crushed to remove the juice which is then boiled vigorously. Machines utilize centrifugal force to extract the sugar crystals from the syrup. The remaining syrup becomes molasses.

Molasses has been around for a very long time and has a very long history of use in the States.

Molasses used to be the primary sweetener used in days of yore until refined white sugar pushed it to the back of the shelf. It has a distinctive flavor that brings extra sparkle to spice-laden recipes such as gingerbread, fruitcake, cookies, toffee, baked beans, and sauces.

Molasses was exported to the U.S. from the West Indies to make rum. High taxes were levied on molasses by the British via the Molasses Act of 1733, but the duties were so widely ignored by U.S. colonists that the taxes were reduced in 1764 in hopes more would comply.

Up until the 1880's, molasses was the most popular sweetener in the United States, because it was much cheaper than refined sugar. It was considered particularly tasty with salt pork.

After the end of World War I, refined sugar prices dropped drastically resulting in the migration of consumers from molasses to white sugar crystals. By 1919, U.S. per capita consumption of white sugar was twice what it was in 1880, with most Americans completely switching from molasses to granulated white and brown sugar.

In January of 1919, a huge vat of molasses at the Purity Distilling Company in Boston exploded. What came to be known as the "Great Molasses Flood" killed 21 people and spilled two million gallons of molasses into the streets.

Interestingly enough, molasses now costs about twice as much as refined sugar. Along with industrial alcohol and rum products, molasses can also be used to make yeast, cure tobacco, and in cattle feed.

You can get molasses in most grocery store, and if you check the label you'll find that the long term advantages of storing it make it a better option than sugar...anyway, it's worth thinking about!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit inside for a bit. It's a little cold outside!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Finally That Time...!

You knew it was coming! We all did...!

So now it's here! The time for Winter to be over and done with...and Spring time is here! Here are a few facts that I thought you might like to know about the Spring, just in case you didn't know.

Spring begins with the vernal equinox on March 20 at exactly 1:32 P.M. EDT.

The word equinox is derived from the Latin for “equal night” and is used now because the days and nights are of nearly equal length.

The vernal equinox is the point at which the center of the Sun passes over the celestial equator from south to north, signaling the start of nature's renewal in our hemisphere.

After the equinox, the Sun will appear higher and higher in the sky, and length of day will grow longer than the length of night.

That, my friends, means that we have something to toast to with our fresh coffee this morning! That being said, let's go sit on the patio for a while, OK?

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Step Foward, Two Steps Back...!

More and more these days, we are making our way back to the older ways of doing things.

Sometimes it's from necessity, sometimes it's because we just want to separate ourselves from the dependency on grid power! Whatever the reason, many of us are looking into, and implementing, some of the more simple and effective ways of caring for and extending food storage.

Of course, one of the best remembered ways of doing this is through the time honored use of a root cellar!

Here's some tips from the Almanac along these lines...

Before refrigeration, the root cellar was an essential way to keep carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, potatoes, and other root vegetables fresh through the winter months.

This time-tested storage method still makes sense today—whether you stock a root cellar with your own homegrown produce or the bounty from local farmers' markets.

Technically, a root cellar is any storage location that uses natural cooling, insulating, and humidifying properties of the earth.

To work properly, a root cellar must be able to hold a temperature of 32º to 40º F and a relatively humidity level of 85 to 95 percent.

The cool temperature slows the release of ethylene gas and stops the grow of microorganisms that cause decomposition.

The humidity level prevents loss of moisture through evaporation—and the withering looks that go along with it.

To create the best atmosphere in your root cellar, consider this:

Complete temperature stability is reached about 10 feet (3 m) deep.

Don’t dig a root cellar near a large tree; the tree’s roots can be difficult to dig through, and they will eventually grow and crack the cellar walls.

Inside, wooden shelving, bins, and platforms are the norm, as wood does not conduct heat and cold as rapidly as metal does.

Air circulation is critical for minimizing airborne mold, so shelves should stand 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 cm) away from the walls.

For outdoor root cellars, packed earth is the preferred flooring. Concrete works well and is practical for a cellar in a basement.

Every root cellar needs a thermometer and a hygrometer (to measure temperature and humidity, respectively), which should be checked daily, if possible.

Heat is usually regulated using ventilation to the outside or an exhaust pipe—usually to allow cold air in, often on fall nights to get the temperature down.

I realize that many of us don't have the area to put in a root cellar, but you can use buried trash cans and such. A search on the Internet will reveal some ways of following this option...and this could help if you live in the city, where digging a root cellar could draw some unwanted attention from nosy neighbors and the County Mounties and Permit Police!

Anyway, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit...we can talk about FOOD!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Criminals For Gun Control...!

To tell the truth, I'm surprised that we haven't seen something like this on the national media!

Even though this is done as a tongue in cheek approach, you have to admit that it's a wonder that some politician hasn't actually come up with something similar!

Before I start getting folks thinking that I am in favor of gun control...believe me when I say most assuredly that I am NOT in favor of anything that even slightly reeks of gun control!

Now, most of us know without a doubt, that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

Anyway, I thought this was funny...and hope that no one takes it as a sign that I am suddenly willing to start giving up my right to keep and bear arms , OK?

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! We can watch the birds in the lawn and listen to the singing, OK?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food For St. Patrick's Day...!

Here it is...St. Patrick's Day already!

I'm not Irish, but I thought this recipe sounded pretty I thought I would share it!

Of course, it came from the Almanac! Where else?

Irish Potato Pie

This recipe, with slight adjustments, was brought over "on the boat" by the cook's great-great-aunt shortly after a potato famine in the 1880s. When asked why she had brought a potato pie (rather than a fruit pie) recipe with her, she'd answer that she had hoped that America would have an abundant supply of potatoes, as in Ireland there was "nary a sound potato to be had there. May God bring them back." Of course, God did, and we celebrate that with the fine legacy of Aunt Bridget's potato custard pie.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

3 eggs
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 cups mashed potatoes (whipped smooth with no lumps)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey, brandy, or sherry (optional)
1 unbaked 10-inch deep-dish pie shell with high fluted edge
Freshly grated nutmeg
Toasted slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Stir in the half-and-half or cream, potatoes, sugar, vanilla, salt, and liquor (if using). Beat well until smooth. Cover the fluted edge of the pie shell with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning. Pour the filling into the shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 to 18 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle the almonds around the outer edge and dust with additional nutmeg. Serve at room temperature; store in the refrigerator.

I like potatoes, and I like it stands to reason I would like this pie! I hope you do too!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit at the kitchen table...raining outside today!

Happy St. Patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Really Ticks Me Off...!

I'm sorry, but when I hear a story like this I can't help but get upset...REALLY upset!

I know that there will be some folks that will say " well, they are trying! We should give them a chance!" To those folks I would just say...what part of "illegal" or "unregistered" or "non-permanent residents" or "non-US citizens" do you NOT understand!

Read the story and make up your own mind. It's reported in the Houston Chronicle right here!

Thousands of non-citizens getting in-state Texas tuition
Associated Press
March 15, 2010, 8:52AM

DALLAS — More than 12,000 illegal immigrants, non-permanent residents or non-U.S. citizens paid in-state tuition or received other such financial aid at public colleges and universities across Texas during late 2009, the Dallas Morning News reported today.

The figures from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board show about 1 percent of all Texas college students, in the fall semester, benefited from a 2001 law granting such in-state tuition.

The law says students who are not U.S. citizens and want to seek the assistance must have attended school in the state for at least three years before they graduate from a Texas high school. Students also must file an affidavit saying they plan to seek permanent residency.

During the fall semester, 12,138 students benefited from the law. Texas awarded about $33.6 million in state and institutional financial aid to those students between fall 2004 and summer 2008, according to the newspaper.

Gov. Rick Perry, who earlier this month won the GOP primary, supports the law aiding illegal immigrant students. Perry, in a recent debate, said the students are on the path to citizenship.

The Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas filed a challenge to the law in December.

“It's not like we're swimming in budget surpluses,” said coalition attorney David Rogers, who maintains that taxpayers suffer because of the law. “It's the responsibility of the government of Mexico to educate Mexican citizens.”

University of Houston law professor Michael A. Olivas said federal law allows states to draft their own policies. “It is a matter for states to determine,” said Olivas. “In-state status is a state issue.”

Former legislator Rick Noriega, who sponsored the in-state tuition law, said that educating the students is an economic development issue.

“This is about access to higher education,” said Noriega, now the president of Avance, a nonprofit organization that educates Hispanic parents on preparing children for school.

“The alternative is to slam the door on any hopes and dreams. How are they going to perform in high school if they don't even have a chance at higher education?” he said.

I'm sure that my favorite Troll will show up, calling me a "racist" or "unfair bigot"...but as before my answer is "I say what I think and what I want! I can do that because it's my right as a citizen of the United States and a firm believer in the Constitution!"

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit...while I calm down some!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Will Shakespeare Said It Best...!

This month is full of significant days, as far as trouble goes!

First, we have the start of DST...then today is the Ides of March! Don't think that this is a bad luck day? Just ask ol' Julius Caesar!

Here are some facts I've picked up in the Farmer's Almanac about the 15TH...

Ides of March

The Ides of March has long been considered an ill-fated day. Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C. Historians note that it is likely that a soothsayer named Spurinna had warned Caesar that danger would occur by the ides of March. William Shakespeare included the phrase "Beware the ides of March" in his play Julius Caesar.

The ides were the 15th days of four months (Martius, or March; Maius, or May; Quintilis, or July; and October) in the ancient Roman lunar calendar; they were the 13th in all other months (originally, Aprilis, or April; Iunius, or June; Sextilis, or August; September; November; and December. Ianuarius, or January, and Februarius, or February, were added later).

The word ides comes from the Latin word idus, which is possibly derived from an Etruscan word meaning "to divide." The ides were originally meant to mark the full Moon (the "halfway point" of a lunar month), but because the Roman calendar months and actual lunar months were of different lengths, they quickly got out of step. The ancient Romans considered the day after the calends (first of the month), nones (ninth day before the ides, inclusive), or ides of any month as unfavorable. These were called dies atri.

Guess the lesson for today is just like the "Bard" said..."Beware the Ides of March!"

Now, my friend, let's get some coffee and sit outside a bit. Just have to be careful out today, ya know?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blame It On Ben...!

Whether you do or don't agree with the idea of Daylight Savings Time...It's here!

Every year the debate is joined by many folks about whether or not DST is a good thing or bad thing! Doesn't matter much, because the PTB have decided that this practice is here to least for now!

Here is a bit of history about this practice that you may or may not know

Today is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, time for moving the clocks one hour ahead. The exceptions are Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

Credit for Daylight Saving Time belongs to Benjamin Franklin, who first suggested the idea in 1784. The idea was revived in 1907, when William Willett, an Englishman, proposed a similar system in the pamphlet The Waste of Daylight.

The Germans were the first to officially adopt the light-extending system in 1915 as a fuel-saving measure during World War I. The British switched one year later, and the United States followed in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established our time zones. This experiment lasted only until 1920, when the law was repealed due to opposition from dairy farmers (cows don't pay attention to clocks). During World War II, Daylight Saving Time was imposed once again (this time year-round) to save fuel.

Now, I'm a pretty flexible kind of guy, and I'll even admit that I like the extra light at the end of the day. It's especially nice to have some extra sunlight after a long and miserable Winter.

Anyway, don't forget to reset the clocks, OK? Remember "Spring forward, Fall back!"

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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The History Of Duct Tape...!

I don't know about you, but I love Duck Tape!

Of course, being from the South...I have a long and pleasant history with the stuff! There are so many uses of this tape, I wouldn't begin on trying to list them all!

What I did do, however, is to find a little history of "The Tape" for those of you that didn't already know about it.

There are conflicting accounts concerning the history of duct tape. According to Manco, Inc. (maker of DuckTm Brand tape), it was created by Permacell—a division of Johnson and Johnson—during World War II in the 1940s. Other experts claim that the tape product was invented in the 1920s by researchers for the 3M Company, led by Richard Drew. Most accounts agree, however, that Permacell perfected duct tape during the war. Using state of the art technology, their research team developed a process to combine multiple layers of adhesive onto a polyethylene coated cloth backing. Some say this early product was nicknamed "duck tape" because it repelled water like the bird's feathers or because the fabric mesh was made from duck cloth.

Regardless of its origin, the military found many uses for duct tape. One of its earliest applications was to hold ammunition boxes together. For this reason, soldiers referred to it as "gun tape." The Air Force found other uses for the product and duct tape was used to cover gun ports on planes to cut down the air friction during take off. Like many other military products, duct tape was originally colored olive green, but after the war it was changed to the more familiar silver color. Manufacturers began marketing it to household consumers who found a variety of new uses. The tape is easier to use and just as effective as screws and bolts when it comes to holding together the kind of ductwork that is found in new homes with forced-air heating.

As the consumer demand grew, marketers began packaging their tapes in a more consumer-friendly fashion. According to Manco, they were the first company to shrink-wrap and label the duct tape so that it could be easily stacked on display shelves. This packaging improvement made it easier for shoppers to distinguish between the different grades. By 1999, Manco was selling approximately 5,900 short tons (5,352 metric tons), or 246,217 mi (396,240 km), of tape each year.

How about the many uses of duct tape? There are so many lists, I couldn't put even a fraction of them here...Just have to make up your own mind as to what works for you, I reckon!

Now, let's get some coffee and sit at the kitchen table for a bit. Rain outside today!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't Forget The Apples...!

We have a really important day coming up that you don't want to forget!

I'm talking about our historical friend Johnny Appleseed! We all have heard about him, but how much do we really know about this character? Actually, quite a bit!

Here are a couple of historical facts about this true pioneer of the modern day nurseries!

March 11—Johnny Appleseed Day
Celebrating John Chapman, legendary American pioneer and folk hero who planted apple trees across the American frontier. Chapman’s birthday is on September 26, but Johnny Appleseed Day is celebrated today.

From the Ohio History is a little more history of the character we all know as Johnny Appleseed!

John Chapman
Also known as Johnny Appleseed

John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. Chapman is better known as Johnny Appleseed. Beginning in 1802, Chapman began to wander through Pennsylvania and eventually Ohio planting apple nurseries. He was known as being somewhat of an eccentric. Chapman opposed violence of all sorts towards both humans and animals. He was a strict vegetarian. He also primarily wore discarded clothing or would barter some apple saplings for used clothes. Chapman believed firmly in Emanuel Swedenborg's teachings and probably was the most famous of the Swedenborgians.

Chapman spent most of his time in Ohio in Richland County near Mansfield. At one point during the War of 1812, Mansfield residents feared an Indian attack. Chapman immediately went to Mount Vernon for assistance. Chapman risked his own life to summon aid for his neighbors in Richland County. This willingness to suffer for others was a trait Chapman exhibited throughout his life. Many of Ohio's first orchards began with saplings from Chapman's nurseries. His trees fed many of Ohio's early white settlers as they struggled to establish farms and homes on the frontier. Johnny Appleseed eventually owned more than 1,200 acres of land across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He died near Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the early 1840s.

Now, a lot of places are having apples on sale right now! I'm sure it's just coincidental, but you never know! Why not pick up some at the store next time you go there? Tasty, healthy, and they are a very good treat for the kids...if you have any! If you don't have kids...then you could bake me an apple pie. I don't mind a bit!

OK, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio for a bit. Here...have an apple!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time For Some Gardening Tips...!

Slowly we are seeing more signs of Spring coming soon!

Of course, for many of us Spring means gardening time and working with the flower beds and the garden plots. Visions of home grown vegetables and beautiful flowers and herbs dance around in our head, like the vision of sugarplums in the minds of children at Christmas time!

In keeping with that line of thinking, I thought this would be a good time to post an article about companion planting. This is a very useful and common sense way of helping the plants in your garden not only grow well, but also helps to do away with a lot of typical garden pest!

Taken from the pages of the Farmer's Almanac, this can be a very useful list.

It takes more than good soil, sun, and nutrients to ensure success in a garden. Plants have to grow well with one another. Some are friends and some are foes! Here are some examples of plant companions.

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

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

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

• Carrots, dill, parsley, and parsnips attract garden heroes—praying mantises, ladybugs, and spiders—that dine on insect pests.

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

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

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

Of course, this only scratches the surface on this idea. There are many books devoted to this way of planting, as well as many articles online that can be of help if you are planning to garden in this manner. You might want to check this out before doing your planting! Of course, this is just a suggestion.

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and go sit outside. You can help me watch for the hummingbirds!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gotta Love Those Differences...!

I'm sure that most of you have already seen this, or at least already knew this...but it never hurts to go over it again! You know, just in case!

My sister sent me this reminder and I thought I would post it once again! Sometimes it's best to have these little mundane tidbits of information to stay informed, ya know?

The difference between the North and the South - at last, clearly explained.....

The North has Bloomingdale's , the South has Dollar General .

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses ..

The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives; the South has .45's

The North has double last names; the South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races .

North has Cream of Wheat , the South has grits.

The North has green salads, the South has collard greens .

The North has lobsters, the South has crawfish .

The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt ..


In the South : --If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store.... Do not buy food at this store.

Remember, 'Y'all' is singular, 'all y'all' is plural, and 'all y'all's' is plural possessive

Get used to hearing 'You ain't from round here, are ya?'

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.. The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective 'big'ol,' truck or 'big'ol' boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper .

Be advised that 'He needed killin..' is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, 'Hey, y'all watch this,' you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store.. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

AND REMEMBER: If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners.. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we ain't gonna call 'em biscuits.

Now, I hope to serve as a reminder of the basic differences between the South and the North! Of course, to all my friends in the North...I d hope you realize that it is all meant to be in fun!

Life is too short for us not to be able to laugh at ourselves just a bit, don't you think?

Now c'mon, my friends, and let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! Gonna be a pretty day!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Think I'll Pass On This One...!

Sometimes what starts out seemingly like a good idea, can back fire on you!

I'm not saying that this will back fire...but I certainly think I would have to pass it up. I don't know, but it just sounds an alarm bell somewhere deep inside my head!

You know how much I like to eat...and being from the South, chili is one of my favorite foods! However, the idea of holding a chili cook-off, or a BBQ at this place just might put folks off a little.

I can understand the need in these tough times to do just about anything to drum up business...but really, I just don't know about this!

Mass. mortuary hopes chili cook-off brings 'life'

Associated Press
March 4, 2010, 1:02PM
Berkshire Eagle: Idea is to make business a community center

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Western Massachusetts funeral home is trying "bring life" to business with a chili cookoff, a murder-mystery show and free limo rides to couples on their 50th anniversaries.

Terry Probst, the new managing partner of the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield, hopes the events will remind people that the funeral home is a center for community life.

He said if customers know that the funeral home also can be the setting for other, happier activities, they might take some comfort in the place later when dark times come.

Among other other events sponsored by the funeral home are an art walk, a visit by the Easter Bunny, and monthly birthday cakes to the Pittsfield Senior Center.

Well, you have to give the manager credit for being I don't ever remember hearing about a cook off being held like this before!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and go sit on the patio! Supposed to be in the 70's here today!

Monday, March 8, 2010

How Great Is This...?

Once in a great while, an idea comes along that truly long over-due!

Sometimes, this idea is the brainchild of one individual, or of several like minded individuals, that are so taken by the possibility of making this idea...this dream a reality that the process is started to do just that!

This is such a wonderful effort, such a beautiful concept, that it almost is beyond belief that someone is doing this just because it needs to be done.

I am very proud to say that this project is being built here in Texas, by Texans who all felt the need to get this done. Many of them have very personal reasons, many just wanted to be of some help!

Whatever the reason, this will be an outstanding monument when finished.

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Some Thoughts On Life In General...!

You know, sometimes when you really take the time to read a book...I mean, really read it, you can find so many good quotes inside!

If you have ever read any of the books by Robert Heinlein, you will find them absolutely loaded with wonderful quotes that apply so well to life in general! Taken separately, these quotes may not match the theme of the book or story...but when read as part of the story, they make perfect sense in the context of the story!

I wanted to post a few of the more relevant (at least to me) as they pertain to our everyday lives. Take a good look at these and see what you think!

Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again.
Robert A. Heinlein

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
Robert A. Heinlein

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.
Robert A. Heinlein

The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.
Robert A. Heinlein

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.
Robert A. Heinlein

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein

A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.
Robert A. Heinlein

An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
Robert A. Heinlein

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.
Robert A. Heinlein

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.
Robert A. Heinlein

Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.
Robert A. Heinlein

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein

I never learned from a man who agreed with me.
Robert A. Heinlein

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
Robert A. Heinlein

May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein

Well, there are so many more...but I think that's enough for today! Don't want to get the mind working overtime, do we? Even if we don't apply these quotes to our daily lives...they stand alone as truly great life quotes, don't you think?

Now, my friends, how about some coffee on the patio? Supposed to reach the 70's or close today!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Love Can Make Ya Crazy...!

I'm sure that all of us at one time or another have seen someone we know do some really stupid things in the name of love!

If we were to admit it, then we might just own up to being one of those folks that lose all traces of common sense and acts all stupid...just because of the wild passion that takes control of us.

No telling how many crimes have been committed, how many silly and embarrassing acts have been performed, how much money has been stupidly thrown away just to impress...all in the name of love!

I've seen supposedly grown and intelligent men act like total idiots, women act like giggling young girls, and youngsters look and act like zombies...just because of love!

Maybe, though, it's isn't really love at all! Maybe it's just a primal instinct that we all have! Maybe it's the urge to mate and reproduce! In other4 words, maybe it's really just the urge for SEX!

But we, as humans, can take some little comfort in the fact that we are NOT alone in this affliction! It happens in the animal world almost more often than we know.

I'm sure that we have all seen the videos of mountain goat rams, banging heads on the side of a mountain, or of deer and elk clashing horns and hoofs in order to determine the baddest in the pack and first to choose the ladies, dogs and cats fighting for the same fact, all animals and all humans do some wild and crazy things during what we call the "mating season"!

This story from the Houston Chronicle will show you exactly what I'm talking about!

March 4, 2010, 4:22PM

STONINGTON, Conn. — Wildlife experts said love could be in the air for a red-tailed hawk with a penchant for dive-bombing people in a Connecticut town.

The belligerent bird is probably trying to impress potential mates and protect its nest as it enters its mating season, they say — and woe to unsuspecting pedestrians in Stonington, a shoreline town bordering Rhode Island.

The hawk has attacked at least five people recently, including a woman who was cut on the head this week. It has also has snatched a boy's hat, snagged headphones from a man on a lawnmower and even attacked a car.

Stonington animal control officer Rae-Jean Davis and the director of a nearby nature center say there are no plans to kill the angry avian, but its nest may be moved to a less populated area.

After reading stories like this, I can see just another reason to be like a Hermit! I can also be very thankful that I'm old enough to be in control (mostly) of my senses to know when I'm acting like an idiot, and change directions!

One can only hope that if and when the time comes again, I'll behave properly! No guarantees here, just saying that I'll try...OK?

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside at the patio table. Oh, and by the way, keep an eye on the birds on the power line...OK?

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Little Taste From My Past...!

Maybe you've noticed...but I like food!

I don't mean, like it just a little, I like it a LOT! Being one of four children in a working class family, some of my most fond memories are based around food!

I think that's because my parents did everything they could to make sure that we not only had enough to eat...but that what we ate was often a lot of fun! Mom and Dad were both masters at taking ordinary food items and turning them into fun and interesting meals or snacks.

Things like fried pies made from canned biscuits! Back in those days, you could buy canned biscuits for something like 4 cans for a dollar. At that price, if you got creative, you could make a whole bunch of tasty treats for everyone in the family, and could do so without breaking the food budget!

Some of the things that Mom came up with using canned biscuits was fried donuts, dumplings for soups and stews, wraps for small cocktail sausages (little smokies) for pigs in a blanket, and my favorite of all...the famous fried pies with tasty filling!

This is so simple, but I can almost guarantee that any and all kids that like pie or pastry will really be fond of them! My personal favorite was filled with apple butter!

One can of biscuits, opened
Apple butter (or pie filling of choice)
oil for frying

Take and roll the biscuit out to a small circle, or use a cookie cutter ( I used to use a water glass), put a large spoonful of apple butter or pie filling in the center of the dough, fold over and seal with a fork. If you moisten the edge of the dough first, then press down with the tines of the fork, they seal pretty good!

Meantime, heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (or skillet of choice) and when it is good and hot, but not smoking, gently place the sealed biscuits in the pan. If you use peanut oil for frying, there will be no smoking and it also imparts a nice little taste in the background!

After the pie is browned on both sides, remove to a paper towel...or a couple of paper coffee filters and let drain. At this time, you can dust with powdered sugar, but they really don't need it.

Now, for a slight change to this recipe, you could use flour tortillas instead! Works almost as good, and there again tortillas are a cheap food item!

The reason for my posting this recipe is simple...I have had a major craving for fried pies lately! Must be an age thing! These are so simple, so good, and so full of memories for me!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside on the patio for a bit. Want a fried pie with your coffee?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Taking The Day Off...

Sorry, but I'm taking the day off...

Got some business to take care of, OK? OK!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Wildlife Of Downtown Houston...!

I told ya this was a wild and crazy town!

This story just shows how wild things really are! Maybe it's just that things have gotten so out of control in the "burbs, the wildlife has moved further downtown for reasons of safety!

Bobcat captured in downtown Houston garage

Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
March 2, 2010, 5:04PM

Reports of a wild animal roaming about a downtown parking garage this morning did not initially raise much concern for officials at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care.

“We thought that it was going to be a house cat,” said Chris Glaser, with BARC. “But, it did turn out to be a bobcat.“

The bobcat was spotted shortly after 10:45 a.m. inside the garage in the 500 block of Rusk near Smith.

Several people had seen the animal moving along the cars parked in the garage. Security officers blocked off the area as animal control workers moved in.

“It was trying to hide under the cars when we got there,” Glaser said. “It may have been asleep there overnight and woken up.”

BARC officials decided a tranquilizer dart would be the safest method to subdue the animal. The first dart was ineffective, so the dosage for a second was increased and officials were able to capture the dozing bobcat.

The bobcat was about 30 pounds and 3-feet long.

“It was a healthy male with a good muscle tone,” Glaser said “It seemed in fine condition.”

Bobcats are native to the Houston area and, even with urban growth, they have been spotted in the city.

“They do come up through the bayous. They have been found in various areas,” Glaser said.

A staff veterinarian checked the animal , which was later released into the wild at Brazos Bend State Park, BARC officials said.

“It's a nice area,” Glaser said. “There are a lot of bobcats in that area.”

Bet they don't have many street people sleeping in the parking garages in the downtown area! I know I wouldn't!

Now, how about some coffee on the patio? Of course, it may start raining, ya know?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Way Politics Should Be...!

In the days long ago, when Texians decided to get something done...they didn't fool around!

The following little bit of Texas history (thanks to Wikipedia) seemed appropriate, being as how today is Texas Independence Day! It shows just how things can be done if the need and desire is great enough!

The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the
Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the following day after errors were noted in the text.

In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution. Within Texas, many struggled with the question of whether Texians were fighting for independence from Mexico or the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, which offered greater freedoms than the dictatorship of current president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.[1]

To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836. This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico.[2] Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-the-Brazos on February 28.[2]
[edit] Development

The convention was convened on March 1 with Richard Ellis as president.[3] The delegates selected a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence; the committee was led by George Childress and also included Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney. The committee submitted its draft within a mere 24 hours, leading historians to speculate that Childress had written much of it before his arrival at the Convention.[4]

The declaration was approved on March 2 with no debate. Based primarily on the writings of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the declaration proclaimed that the Mexican government "ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived"[5] and complained about "arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny".[6] The declaration officially established the Republic of Texas.

Among others, the declaration mentions the following reasons for the separation:

* The 1824 Constitution of Mexico establishing a federal republic had been usurped and changed into a centralist military dictatorship under Antonio López de Santa Anna.
* The Mexican government had invited settlers to Texas and promised them constitutional liberty and republican government, but then reneged on these guarantees.
* Texas was in union with the Mexican state of Coahuila as Coahuila y Tejas, with the capital in distant Saltillo, and thus the affairs of Texas were decided at a great distance from the province and in the Spanish language.
* Political rights to which the settlers had previously been accustomed, such as the right to keep and bear arms and the right to trial by jury, were denied.
* No system of public education had been established.
* The settlers were not allowed freedom of religion.

Based upon the United States Declaration of Independence, the Texas Declaration also contains many memorable expressions of American political principles:

* "the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen."

* "our arms ... are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."

Did you notice the time line here? Delegates show up February 28, the convention is convened on March 1, a committee has a Declaration drafted in 24 hours, and the Declaration is adopted the next day with no debate!

Now, that's the way things should be done in Washington! No frills, no arguments, no pork barrel politics, just plain ol' "get-it-done" ethics! Talk about the Good Old Days!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen. Happy Birthday Texas!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thanks From My Little Tribe...!

First of all...let me say "Thank You" for all the encouraging words from everyone yesterday!

It only goes to show that the friends i have on the Net are very caring folks! But I already knew we all did!

I certainly appreciated all the kind words and hope for the return of my furry buddy! Last night, while I was sitting here at the computer, I heard a familiar voice and lo and behold...there was ol' Smokey in the flesh!

First a stop at the food bowl, then a big ol' hug for the two legged "Roomie", and a very noisy greeting from the smaller brother! Plenty of hugs, plenty of looking around, plenty of checking out the home place, then out to the patio for a bit!

I figure that where ever he was, he somehow got out or let out...and found his way back home! C.B. was glad, I was glad, and I believe that even Smokey was glad!

Any way, a little song to celebrate this morning...and thanks again for the kind words!

Now, my friends, how about some coffee on the patio? Seems warm enough this morning, don't you think?