Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Ride To Conquer Cancer

I know that sometimes we ask a lot of each other and sometimes we keep quiet hoping for help to arrive. In this case I almost kept quiet and just hoped everyone would see the notice on my sidebar. I seem to gravitate toward causes on my sidebar and hope that they are always worthwhile to everyone.

And in this case I know it is worthwhile. Christina has volunteered to participate in a program that raises money to fight cancer. I think almost all of us know someone who has had to fight cancer, some have won and some have lost. But they have all needed help in some way or another. Even if it was just to Ring A Bell , we have, for the most part done something to help.

This time I am asking if we can all help Christina reach her goal of $2500.00 so she can participate in the ride from Vancouver to Seattle. She has been training for over a month now and has really been working hard. It has been a lot of hard work during this training period but she has done it without a lot of complaining, knowing that it is for a good cause. You can read here about what she has been doing. You can also see the route she is going to be taking from Vancouver to Seattle. It is a long ride, and we can help.

She needs our help. She has raised on her own, just over $1110.00 and needs to raise the other $1390.00 before she can participate. The ride is to take place in June, so she has just over two months to earn the money needed for her to participate. I know that times are tough right now and money is tight for many of you, even if you can only donate $1.00, that would be fantastic. Every dollar donated is one dollar closer to the goal of getting enough to participate in the ride. And if you can donate even more, then "WooHoo", every little bit helps.

Also, if you could please post something about this, and link up to here so everyone knows where to go to donate, it would be greatly appreciated by all who are fighting cancer. Please copy and paste this onto your blog. Please help conquer cancer.

The Ride To Conquer Cancer!

I would like to thank everyone who reads this and passes it along. We can help to Conquer Cancer. We can help each other. Thank you and God bless!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Official, I'm Sick!

Well for the past few weeks I have been trying to fight this lung infection, but I lost. I went to the Doc's today and found out that I have a lung infection, sinus infection, ear infection, and sore throat. So now I am on some super duper antibiotics again, very strong cough syrup with you know that C drug in it. I also have to put ear drops in four times a day. Other than that I am okay.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know why I have not been visiting and leaving those wonderfully long comments you all love. I have been sleeping a lot, which for me is something that rarely happens. So in a way it has been good being sick. Lots and lots of sleep to fight my insomnia problem. Now if I could just get the insomnia to stay away after I get well. I know the insomnia will come back, but at least I will be able to breathe while not sleeping and maybe the wheezing will stop.

I also have been very weak and too tired to even turn on my computer. I just look at it and sigh, then lay back down and just vegeeeeetate and watch the TV. Well at least Vampire Diaries is back with some new shows, and Glee is coming back next month. If you have not watched Glee then you are truly missing a fun show.

I did go outside the other day to see what is going on out there and saw that my Calla Lillies are growing and blooming like the good little weeds that they are. I think I have about 30 Calla Lillies plants. For some reason they grow like crazy in my yard. I pull them out and give so many of them away and then they come back even stronger. I seem to be the only one on my street that has them. Maybe I should give my neighbors some plants, but they never ask for any. I have given all my family and friends some, and have spread the wealth of Calla Lillies, but I guess I better share with my neighbors before I get fined. Maybe I should sell the extra plants as a side business to pay all those extra California taxes we are now stuck paying. Maybe that is what is making me sick!!
Is there a recipe for Calla Lillie wine? Other than funerals and putting in vases, is there any other use for Calla Lillies? Although I do have to admit that when I drive up and see them all blooming, they are a beautiful sight to see.

I also need to get well to try and get my vegetable garden started. Oh yeah, it's veggie time!!!!

See you all soon. And hopefully I will not lose my standing at the Nonsense site. Number 6 and holding. LOL.

Good night and God bless.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Theme Thursday...........Breakfast or Brinner


Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. We are not supposed to skip it and yet many of us do. We are so obsessed with not skipping breakfast that if we eat it at lunch time it is called Brunch. And since some of us like to eat breakfast at dinner time, I call that "Brinner".

Many people eat a bowl of cereal at night for their "Brinner", but what most of us eat for "Brinner" usually involves some type of eggs along with the fixin's. The fixin's sometimes include some type of potato, a meat, and a bread.

The potatoes can be hash browns that come in many varieties, or even just fried sliced potatoes, any of them are great.

The meat usually comes from a pig or a cow, but can also come from a turkey or other sources.

The bread could be just biscuits, regular toast, french toast, pancakes in many varieties and yummy waffles.

But the best part of "Brinner" in my house is the gravy served over the biscuits. Yummy!!!

Picture from Wikipedia

But the funny thing or sad thing, depending upon your outlook, is that a really good gravy is hard to make.

How many people know how to make gravy from drippings is not known, but if one was to go by how many people I know then guess what, almost no one knows how to make it. I am the only person I know who knows how to make it amongst all of my friends and family. I have also heard that a lot of restaurants get it in large package mixes. Some restaurants make it from scratch and those places are so packed with people that one can hardly get in there on the days they serve it.

I was taught years ago from the female relatives of my stepfathers family out on the farms in Indiana. They told my sisters and I that making good gravy is not something that one can learn from a book, but that it has to be passed on from generation to generation. Out of 5 girls, I seemed to be the only one who learned, although sometimes I think they did not want to learn because then they would be stuck making it every Sunday like I did. But in many ways I am so thankful to all those women who took the time to teach me. I know how much work it is to try to teach someone how to do it, mostly because I have tried without much success. Yup, no one wants to learn how to make it, or they just give up.

So here goes: First lesson is to use a heavy duty cast iron or stainless steel frying pan. Non-stick pans mean that the all important drippings do not stick to the bottom of the pan, so all the flavor is then lost. And you need to cook the bacon or sausage until they are crisp, not burnt, but crisp. This gives you better drippings, less cooking time means less drippings.

Then you pour all the excess fat into a coffee mug or some people use a coffee can. I use the mug because the coffee can can get rusted, and then that fat goes to waste. You must leave the drippings inside the pan. Drippings are where all the flavor is. What are drippings you ask, well the drippings are those little bits and pieces of the meat that stick to the pan. Oh yeah, lots and lots of flavor there.

Then you heat up the pan on a medium heat, stirring the drippings. Now here comes the hard part to explain. You then add the flour, there is no measured amount to add because it all depends upon how much drippings and grease is in the pan. I start out with a couple of tablespoons of flour added while I am stirring with a fork. I then add more flour and more of the grease from the mug until I get the right consistency and enough of the gravy mixture in the pan for how much gravy I need to make. My advice is to always make it in the same pan so as to learn how much is needed to make a pan full of gravy. The consistency of the gravy mixture is that it needs to be smooth, not dry, and not too greasy, it needs to be just right. Okay, this is the part that everyone claims is the hard part. Somehow I just seem to know when it is just right. All I can say is that one can only learn this part by doing it. Too much flour means lumpy gravy, too much grease means a greasy, runny, gravy. This reminds me of the Three Bears story and how it has to be just right.

So when you get the right consistency, you also add salt and pepper, yup that is it for the seasonings, remember the flavor comes from the drippings, but salt and pepper help a whole lot. I always have a very large glass that is mixed with half water and half milk. I recommend you now switch to using a wire whisk at this point. It is easier to get the lumps out. Turn the temperature down to a medium low, and slowly start pouring in the mixture from the glass, continue mixing as fast as you possibly can so as to keep the lumps out. Keep mixing and adding what is in the glass. It should be fairly watery at this point, make sure all the lumps are out and then turn the temp up a little higher, keep stirring and then adding regular milk to it, a little at a time. Keep stirring and as the mixture warms up it should be getting thicker, turn the temp up if needed. It should then get really thick and you just keep adding a little more milk, stirring and continually heating the mixture until it reaches the consistency of gravy that you want.

Sometimes I crumble the bacon or sausage, and add it to the gravy.

By now I have also cooked the hash browns, biscuits, and eggs, to go with the gravy and next thing I know, it is a mad rush to get to their plates filled. And I am usually too tired by then to eat and so I just walk away and watch everyone else enjoy. Although usually someone will make my plate and bring it to me.

I have tried to teach my daughters how to make it, the older one mostly gets it, and oldest granddaughter is still trying to learn. If any of you want to learn how to make it, now that I have completely confused you, let me know, and somehow I will come over and teach you. Hmmm, maybe a gravy making video is in order.

For more Theme Thursdays, visit here.

Sorry this is late, but hubby brought me breakfast in bed and I was hoping for dinner in bed too.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Theme Thursday..........HATS


After reading Helen's comment about how could I possibly do a "hat" post this Theme Thursday to top the one about the Hat's worn during the Pakistan/India Border Closing ceremonies, I knew that I could not. So I did the only thing possible, I am posting two pictures of me in the Army. These were taken before some of you were even born and when a lot of you were just little wee ones, so just know there was a war going on, "flower power" was in, and so someone took some pictures of me with some Army flower power.

So do you see why I was offered to be the fifth wife!!!

I think the one thing I hated doing while I was in the Army, was wearing a "hat". It just seemed so confining and maybe it had to do with my claustrophobia or not, but I hated wearing the hats. I still have this hat, minus the flower. I doubt it would fit on my head anymore.

This was right after I got my first pair of reading glasses. Don't you just love me trying to look tough with a flower.
For more Theme Thursdays, go visit here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Border Closing

Every night at the Pakistan and India border, they have this little ceremony. Both sides strut their stuff. I have never heard of such a thing.

When I was in the army, during my AIT training class, there was a Pakistani officer in our class. He asked me if I would like to become his fifth wife. I am not sure how many times he asked me, but it was more than a few times. I always said, "No". I mean the man never even asked me out on a date. I guess he must have thought that strutting his stuff was enough. I think I made the right choice.

The first video is from the India side, and the second from the Pakistan side. They are both worth watching.

The Pakistan soldiers are not to be outdone either.

I am not sure if their hats remind me more of Turkeys or Peacocks. You be the judge. In their countries, these soldiers are celebrities, due to this being a tourist attraction. I think these people enjoy this as much as we enjoy our Theme Parks.

Wow, I just realized this could be an early TT! But I will do my TT on Thursday, hopefully.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Theme Thursday...........GREEN

Opal Nation22

Father removed the Packwitt's hand covering the wound and was shocked at what he saw, something had bitten off a large portion of the Packwitt's shoulder. Father said it looked more like a shark bite, but they were not anywhere near an ocean. Father quickly set to work doing as much triage to the shoulder as possible. He knew that there was no such thing as a hospital in the Opal Nation, and that he would be the only one who could save the Packwitt.

He had the other Packwitt start a fire as quickly as possible. He had already clamped off as many bloodvessels as he could. He was thankful that they had brought such an extensive first-aid kit. It was almost like a portable hospital. They sterilized everything, while they were working and Father quickly got to work stopping the bleeding and then patching up the Packwitt as best as he was able to under the circumstances.

Finally when they had done everything they possibly could, Father and the Packwitt sat back and looked at each other. Father had so many questions for the Packwitt, lying there passed out, due to the morphine. But he had a suspicion that the Packwitt who had been with him knew what had happened here.

Father sat there staring at him for a few minutes. The Packwitt would not look Father in the eyes.

Father finally said, "What do you think happened here? Where is the other Packwitt and zerthbeelee?"

The Packwitt finally looked at Father and there was shock in his eyes. He uttered one word, "Bullcomimao!"

Father had no idea what the Packwitt was talking about. What did bullcomimao mean? So he asked the Packwitt what he meant.

The Packwitt stood up and started pacing back and forth, looking around and then stared at the ground. He then told Father that the missing Packwitt and zerthbeelee were dead and that the bullcomimao had done this. He explained to Father that the bullcomimao was a creature that very few Opalites had ever lived to talk about.

The bullcomimao was not a large creature, but he was a vicious hunter and preyed on the unsuspecting and the weak. He lived underground and hibernated most of the year after it's last kill and gorging on the blood of it's latest victim. It would store all of the food and blood inside of it's body and turn brown, like the color of the ground. Then it would burrow underground to hibernate and because it was the same color brown as the ground, that it was very difficult for the Opalites to hunt.

The Opalites knew very little about the bullcomimao except that it changed colors once it had burned all of it's stored up fuel in it's body. Then it would wake up and begin to hunt it's prey once again. While it was hunting it lived above the ground and while living above ground it's new color was green. It would live among the plants and was what Father compared to a chameleon. Maybe it was the chameleon's ancestor, a green monster.

The Packwitt continued telling Father what he knew about the bullcomimao, he said that it usually attacked and killed many of the smaller creatures that it came upon. He thought that they usually were lone hunters and did not hunt in packs, but it looked like this was an attack by more than one bullcomimao. Possibly three or four had attacked their camp. They had probably been after the zerthbeelee and that the Packwitt, who had been trying to protect his zerthbeelee, probably got caught in the middle of the attack. They would then drag off their prey to gorge and feed upon.

All the while that the Packwitt had been talking, he had been pacing around the outside of the camp while looking at the ground, he suddenly stopped and stared.

Father stood up, walked over to where he stood, and then looked to see what the Packwitt was staring upon. Slowly they both backed up.......

For those who missed part 21, here is the link. Which also links to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17, 18, 19, and 20. For more Theme Thursday's please go here.