New Year's Day
New Year's Day is a time when we reflect over the past and plan for the coming year. I no longer make formal resolutions, but I always hope to improve my life.
New Year's Day is a time when we reflect over the past and plan for the coming year. I no longer make formal resolutions, but I always hope to improve my life.
This morning I was allowed to sleep in, and I bounded from bed ready to address my day. I made the bed, did a few loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and worked on the binding for my niece's quilt. I potted up the geranium slips that had grown roots, and got them settled in a sunny window. I watched a little TV with Dear Husband, and tried a new recipe. (It was a dud, but it was the thought that counted.) I fixed a healthy meal for my family, and generally had a relaxing day. All the while my mind was absorbed with the idea that New Years Day is the time when we choose to alter our lives for the better.
I have a piece of advice for you. It comes from my wealth of experience and observation, and is absolutely free. On second thought, maybe I should charge you, so that you feel my advice is valuable.
Heck....I don't want to be bothered making change....so free it is.
This is what I have learned, and you would be wise to take it to heart so you can avoid having to learn it the hard way: Do not assume that you can change another person.
It astounds me how many times I have heard someone tell a story about a friend with a flaw, and how they felt obligated to tell that friend how to improve themself. In not one of these stories has the friend asked for assistance with their flaw. In most cases, they don't even perceive they are flawed, and might have merrily gone their way enjoying life until their "friend" set them straight.
I haven't talked much about the fact that I am a quilter. It's my passion to machine piece traditional blocks in today's fabrics, and to hand quilt them. Right now I am in my scrap quilt stage. As a beginner I created a number of Amish style wall hangings because the color choices are limited and simpler than most of the quilts made today.
Actually, not only to our beloved Sgt. Hook, but to the 25th Infantry Division.
This morning they are featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Above a 7 x 5 picture of men training under live fire in the field, is this caption:
"Known for it's valor, a Hawaii-based division wraps up training for its first full deployment since Vietnam. Next stop for 10,000 soldiers: Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kirsten Scharnberg wrote: "A cannon fires promptly at 6:30 a.m. and Maj.Gen. Eric Olson, commander fo the 25th Infantry Division, begins a brisk, steady jog. One by one, each group falls in behind him until the entire division, some 10,000 soldiers, is running in formation. Someone begins to chant, in cadence: "Airborn Ranger, where have you been? Around the world and back again. Sound off, one-two. Sound off, three-four."
I encourage you to go to www.ChicagoTribune.com to read the complete story. If my link should not work, look for "Famed 25th gets the call" in the Sunday, January 4, 2004 Tribune. They have devoted an entire page to the history of the Division and the training they have received to prepare them for their coming deployment.
I spoke too soon. I thought we had dodged the bullet where the snowstorm was concerned. This morning when I woke, the skylights in the bathroom were covered, and I found snow falling thick and fast. It looks foggy because the snow is obscuring the view of nearby houses.
The snow is coming from the Northeast. Traditionally, our worst storms come from that quarter, as they swing around over Lake Michigan and come steam-rollering in. Snow is sticking to the northeast sides of the trees in the grove behind me, and there are several inches of snow on the ground already. The cardinals have come to feed early, and theired feathers stand out against the bright white snow.
Dear Husband has earned his halo today. He was up early to take care of our dog, and he took on the chore of filling the bird feeders. The birds thank him, and I thank him.
I think we'll be doing inside chores, taking down the Christmas tree, sorting through personal papers for tax preparation, sewing sashing on a quilt. It's time to settle in and let the winter flow over us.
Happy Winter, all!
Just out of curiousity, I visited Site Meter to see how many visitors I've had since June 23 or so. It seems that in about three days I will hit 6,000, if the current rate continues.
It always astounds me to find that people visit my blog. I see the kind of numbers that Sgt. Hook and I could have been a contender and GutRumbles rack up, and know that I will never draw that type of audience, but I'm delighted to know that there are so many of you passing through here.
Thank you, one and all, for your visits!
Actually, there doesn't seem to be much of a moon tonight. Perhaps it hasn't risen yet. But it's amazing how bright it is outside. When I turn off the lights in the living room this evening, I'll have a clear view of everything outside due to the city light reflected off the snow. I should be able to see if the deer are passing through, looking for sunflower seed or ear corn.
Tonight will be the last night of our Christmas tree. I should have taken it down this morning, but I held out for one more day. A Scottish friend pointed out to me that I should leave it up until January 5th, which would be the twelfth day of Christmas. Sounds good to me.....I hate to see it go. One lamp is providing a pool of light over my keyboard, and the rest of the room is dark so that I can enjoy the tiny colored lights that cover the tree.
This was a beautiful tree. I mourn that we cut down a living tree to decorate the house. I think it's time to consider an artificial tree for future Christmases.
And with that....it's time to call it a night. Sleep well!
I'm loosing on-line friends. A number of people have decided to call it quits in the blogging world. Writers of blogs I've read regularly, and people I've just come to know.
It seems that several of them have packed it in because their blogs were beginning to become too personal. It's the nature of a blog to disclose ever more of yourself, and perhaps they felt there was risk in being so open.
My friend, Jamie, HATES to go to the doctor. Actually, I can't say I blame her, because she's had some lulus of visits with the doc. But, today she went. And so did I. No....I didn't go with her.....I went to my doctor.
It's frustrating to make up your mind that you need attention and take the step of going to the doc, and then be told that they need to do a phalanx of tests to eliminate the possibilities. And even more frustrating to be handed from doc to doc as you try to find out what's wrong, because each doc wants to take more tests!
I understand the necessity of the tests. It's just that those of us who are not in the medical profession want to be able to come in for just one visit and get things corrected and waltz out as good as we were at 20.
It doesn't work like that.
My ISP is AOL (unfortunately). If you haven't seen an AOL screen, it pops up little blurbs for you to click on. Tonight, one of the things that caught my eye was a comment about the worst places to live in reference to car insurance. If you live in one of the following ten states, you have the highest insurance bills:
District of Columbia
Isn't it amazing how many of the are in the northeast?
I received an incredible gift from a friend at Christmas. He sent me a box of chocolates from Aix en Provence, France.
The box alone is wonderful. It's about 2.25" high, 3.5" wide and 6" deep. There is a brass nameplate with my name inscribed on it. One side of the box has a quote from Balzac, in French, and the other side has a line drawing of Notre Dame. The box has a sliding top and when you open it, chocolates are layered in two covered trays.
I am at a time in my life when I have the great good fortune to have the assistance of a cleaning lady. She comes once a week, altogether too darn early in the morning, to whip us into shape. She methodically works her way around the house first dusting, then tidying things, cleaning, and then vacuuming her way out of the room. I finally got to the point where I could let her make my bed. Somehow, it felt wrong, that I should be making my own bed, but I got over that.
How do you get your daily news? Are you a newspaper reader, or do you listen to the radio? Perhaps you watch the news on TV as you have dinner, or do you surf at CNN or other sites on the Internet during the day?
In my lifetime there has always been a newspaper in the house. My mother always read the newspaper, and I recall her comments about the change in quality of reporting when they moved from the Chicago area to Southwestern Missouri. She tells me that my father preferred not to read the paper. Instead, he asked Mother for the highlights of the day’s news, much as George Bush does with his aides.
I LOVE cotton! I wear cotton clothes, and use cotton linens and towels. All my quilts are cotton, the fabric, the thread and the batting. Cotton breathes. It keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
BUT......and isn't there always a "but" hanging out there somewhere..... when you wash cotton turtlenecks in warm water and then dry them in a dryer, the arms invariably shrink so that they are three or four inches too short!
The body of the garment doesn't seem to shrink, so just what are the garment makers doing that consistantly makes the arms shrink??? I have a closet full of three quarter length turtlenecks. What sense does that make? My wrists are perpetually cold, and it aggravates me to have to keep pulling the cuffs down. Once they shrink, you can never stretch them out again.
I demand longer sleeves! I demand sleeves that don't shrink!
(stepping off the soapbox....dusting off my hands)
Thank you for listening.
Dear Husband is a member of the Chicago Maritime Society. He found this article by John Hadfield in their Winter, 2004 newsletter. Mr. Hadfield and the Society have given me permission to reprint the article here. Mr. Hadfield's source is unknown.
The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (fresh water dislillers).
However, let it be noted that according to her log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."
Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."
Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, she set sail for England.
In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each.
By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch whiskey aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.
The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey, and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water.
Now, Dear Husband has done a bit of math for us. Keep in mind that there were 475 officers and men on board.
The first leg of the trip from Boston to Jamaica took 71 days. If the 79,400 gallons of rum were shared equally, each man would have drunk 2.35 GALLONS of rum a day.
The second leg of the trip, from Jamaica to the Azores plus six day in port amounted to 43 days. 68,300 gallons of rum divided equally to 475 men would be 3.34 GALLONS per day.
The trip from the Azores to England took 69 days. The 64,300 Gallons of wine loaded in the Azores amounted to 1.96 GALLONS per man per day, but you have to consider the unknown amount of rum "salvaged" from 17 ships.
On the final leg of the trip, from Scotland to Boston, over 25 days, the men consumed 3.36 GALLONS OF SCOTCH PER DAY.
It's a wonder they were able to stand to sail the ship. Think about walking on a rolling deck after a gallon or two of scotch. Over 208 days at sea, 475 men used only 10,000 gallons of water. Most likely that water was used for cooking. It's unlikely much of it was used for bathing or washing clothes. It boggles the mind.
The Chicago Maritime Society will have a booth at the Strictly Sail Show on Navy Pier in Chicago, January 29 - February 2, 2004. My thanks to John Hadfield for sharing the information on the U.S.S. Constitution.
UPDATE: Mr. Hatfield tells me that he got this story from Lt. Bob Doyle USCGR Ret. We don't know yet where Lt. Doyle found it.
I'm in the weeds. I really should ask my children where that phrase comes from. I suppose it's something similar to being up to your gluteus maximus in alligators. As THE office for my husband's company, I get to do the filing and waivers, and bookkeeping and the payroll taxes. I handle phone calls and pay the bills. You know....the regular stuff.
Well one of the things I have to do is to close out the files for one year and create the files and binders for the new year. Usually I start making the new files in late November or early December. This year, I'm still trying to get to them.
One of my niece's friends forwarded this to me. It's not only funny, it's true. My hat's off to the creator, and I'll be happy to give you credit for your work, if you just step forward.
If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch,
they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara.
If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.
2. EATING OUT
When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need
but it's on sale.
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Marriott.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
Women love cats.
Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money
than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
A woman marries a man expecting he will change,
but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change
and she does.
10. DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
13. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing.
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, jack asses, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."
1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?
I don't have a regular sig line yet. When I finally set one up it's likely to be a feminine wise crack of some kind, or a wry comment on life.
2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
Nope......we didn't do that in the dark ages in the boonies....
3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
IF I had them, they would read: QUILTER
4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
Yes! I just received the most incredible box of chocolates, with the simple inscription of "Merry Christmas, *****"
5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
"She Tried Hard" or "Optimistic to the End" certainly don't have the right ring to them. Perhaps something about having loved well.
I came across this site through a link, or perhaps a mention in another blog. The idea is simple. They post a word, and give you 60 seconds to write about it. Give it a try. Go to:
I am an "X-Men" convert! When I first heard about "X-men," I dismissed it as a kid's cartoon movie. Then, I discovered that Hugh Jackman plays "Wolverine" in the movies. I first saw Jackman in "Kate and Leopold," and then happened to see him in the role of Curly in an all English cast of "Oklahoma."
I was working on quilts, and had the DVD player running. My son, on his way out to a convention, dropped off his copies of the two "X-Men" movies, and I watched the first on Saturday morning. I was astounded at what I had missed! They are GREAT movies, and I didn't need the protective coloration of an eight-year-old to go to the theater to see them. If a third one comes out, I'll take the kids if they need a ride, but I'll be happy to go without them.
I replayed the first movie for DH on Saturday night. (It was a cheap date, what can I say??) Sunday morning I watched the second film. I can see we'll have to have another hot date, so that DH can see the sequel.
Patrick Stewart (Picard in "Star Trek: Next Generation") is one of the good guys, and Ian McKellan (Gandolph, in "The Lord of the Rings") is Magneto, one of the bad guys. Halle Berry is "Storm," one of the good guys. Jackman is superb as Wolverine, and Anna Paquin, who won an Oscar for her performance in "The Piano" as a child, is wonderful as "Rogue."
The storyline is plausible, and absorbing. Enough is held back in the first movie that you are eager to see the second, to learn more. I hope there will be at least one more movie to come.
I'm sure I told you all about the chocolates I was given for Christmas. I'm still working my way through them, but I have another sourcce of great chocolate to share with you.
We were shopping at Trader Joe's at the end of the year and were lined up to check out. My husband knows that I am addicted to all things raspberry. (Raspberry chocolates, raspberry filled cookies, raspberry sauce for cheesecake, raspberry jam, raspberry body paint....) Anyway, he saw a box of dark chocolate and raspberry. He asked if I wanted them, and I shrugged my agreement, thinking of the box of chocolates waiting for me at home.
Well...these are winners, and I don't mind sharing these. They are "Les Sarments" dark chocolate with raspberry flavour. They are made by Revillon Chocolatiers in France. They are twig shaped.. I don't drink coffee, but they would be excellent with a cup of coffee after dinner.
Those French sure know their chocolates!
It seems that my household is going to be embracing the diabetic diet. I'm starting to do some research on the guidelines, but I have a favor to ask. If you have a good low-fat way to prepare vegetables, would you please share it with me? I'd like to be able to offer variety in our diet and not go overboard on the fat.
Thanks for your help!
Okay, I suppose that it's not quite as exciting for you as it is for us, but DH's daughter is going to have a girl! I get to make a pink quilt with "Winnie the Pooh" characters.
Only Daughter will be having her baby in late May. She had the last ultrasound recently and they determined the baby is a girl. We got to see the video of the ultrasound! Isn't it amazing what technology brings us now? We saw the baby's fist, and feet. We saw her "yawn." So kewl!
I have been a loyal WGN Radio listener for low these many decades. I listened to the House that Wally Built as a child, and I remember listening to Roy Leonard talk about his six boys. Bob Collins........Well, Bob had to be my favorite radio personality of all time. The day he died we lost an incredible man.
I've been there as WGN found new people and tightened their ship. I've gradually adjusted to the new format, with the exception of the inappropriate verb use during the news, but......now they've gone too far!
One of my friends sent this address to me yesterday. Go visit and take the test!
I scored 14 of 16 right, but you all know I'm a cat person.
This is for Bogie, in return for her wonderful recipe for Taco Lasagna. I've used this as a main meal and as a side dish for a large gathering. Bogie, I have no idea where this recipe comes from, but my family has enjoyed it for some time. I hope you and WS will too.
6 to 8 servings
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 envelope (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) whole green chilies, drained, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
1 cup baking mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a rectangular baking dish 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inches. Cook and stir the ground beef and onion in a 10 inch skillet until the beef is brown; drain. Stir in seasoning mix, tomato sauce, beans, chilies and olives. Mix the baking mix (I use Bisquick), cornmeal, beaten egg and oil until moistened. Beat the mixture vigorously for 30 seconds. Spread the cornmeal mixture in the greased dish. spoon the beef mixture over the dough. Mix the remaining ingredients and spoon over the beef mixture.. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
I never include the olives when I make this, and I purchase the chilies already seeded and chopped. This really fills the pan, so there isn't much room to add more cheese.
Yes, that's right. It will cost advertisers 2.3 MILLION DOLLARS for a thirty second ad on the Super Bowl this weekend.
Doesn't that figure astound you? The Super Bowl is considered to be the most watched time period on TV, based on statistics from previous years. The volume of viewers in the past is the basis for determining the cost for ads for the current year. I wonder if the teams playing this year will generate as much interest as previous competitions? Or, is it possible that people now tune in just for the ads?
There's a limit to the number of slots available, and it's the big hitters who already have well known names who vie for those slots. They know they need to keep their names in the spotlight, to keep generating sales. They want you to remember frogs in a lily pond, or Jordan and Bird drawing up the guidelines for impossible basketball shots. You can see that those images stay with us for years.
But....how many others can you remember? And were are all those dot.com companies who spent that kind of money two years ago??
Wouldn't it be lovely if they chose to donate their $2.3 million to Habitat for Humanity, or a food pantry, or Head Start? It's too bad that we don't give them as much acknowledgement for generosity of that kind as we do for goofy ads.
I can tell you that I'd be more likely to support a company that did good deeds than was just all talk. What about you?
I know...I've been away for a while. I've been busy with office work and family needs. I know you all have too, so I won't go through the entire song and dance again. I'm happy to say that some of you have kept in touch by e-mail, and I thank you for that.
Billy found a new blog for me to read, bless his heart, and I'd like to pass it on to those of you who have not yet visited. Go visit Legomen Is. He's an English guy with an interesting view on life and a great sense of humor. I became addicted when I was introduced to his cat....Ruprecht the Unstrokeable.
And I have a newcomer I hope you will encourage. You'll find that he accuses me of browbeating him (when he was down with a cold, no less) into taking on a blog. As if you can browbeat a Scot to do anything he doesn't want to do. Go visit Tongue Oil, and meet my friend, Midnight. Right now he's doing what we have all been told to do, writing about what we know. He knows woodworking, so that's what he's been writing about. But I want you to know, he has a LOT more in him to write about....and you'd be wise to add him to your blog roll. PLEASE encourage him to keep posting.
I get to go to dinner tonight! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll tell you just how wonderful it was sometime later this weekend. Stay warm and safe!
I was visiting at Parkway Rest Stop's new home on MT. (I hope I got the link right, Jim.) While I was away he finally got fed up with Blogspot, and a friend settled him onto Moveable Type. This is one of the sites he's posted:
It is SOoooo wonderful to have the chance to sit down and piece quilt blocks. A number of years ago I bought several yards of a batik that were talking to me. The fabric is a melange of color that is basically shades of a reddish orange and black, with tints of blue and gold. I needed a block that would allow me to show a huge chunk of the fabric in one block, rather than dispersing it in smaller pieces across the face of the quilt. I didn't have a clue how I was going to use it. A friend knew what I was looking for and quickly sketched out several options, which I set aside. Over the years, I've collected fabrics that I thought would go with the quilt. Now, I've had the chance to make four test blocks to see if the design would work. This is the result: