Fun Game

I was visiting over at Read The Bee today and saw this little exercise she had on her post. It's making your own album cover. She will post and link if you make one and let her know. Even I was able to do it and I like it!

I Want To Be Trailer Trash

Yes I do.
They did not cause any of the problems that our country faces today.
They did not get mortgages they couldn't afford.
They did not run banks to the ground with greed.
They did not use investors for their personal benefit.
They don't even belong to the unions that ask too much of their companies.

I'm tired of paying mortgage bills, utility bills, property taxes.

I want to live more simply, pack up the dog and move into a travel-trailer.

I don't mind being called 'trailer trash', but I want to get your opinion.

Happy Halloween!


Can You Relate?


Wordless Wednesday


Random Tuesday Thoughts

My thoughts today are prompted by the news of a joint effort by police and FBI agents which resulted in 52 children being rescued from the world of prostitution. 60 pimps were arrested and charges were brought against 700 suspects in 36 cities across the country. The children rescued were between the ages of 10 and 16!

In a bit of research I did on the internet I read that there are between 300,00 and 600,00 juveniles involved in the world of prostitution in the United States.

Approximately 293,000 of these children tend to be either runaways or so-called throw away kids, abandoned by their parents. Some of the children are recruited, many through social networking sites. Too many of them, mostly the younger ones, are brought in by way of agreements between the parents and the traffickers. The average ages of these kids is; 12-14 years old for the girls and 11-13 years old for the boys.

The numbers for women and children trafficked into the U.S. for the purposes of prostitution and child pornography are so wide ranging. I read numbers between 100,000 and 3 million. Some of these children are sold into captivity to pedophiles.

I know this is a very weighty subject but my mind was reeling when I read these things. The U.S. is not alone either. These children are shipped around trading from one country to another to get these kids as far from anything familiar as possible.

Obviously we all get a great deal of information, relaxation and friendship from the internet. This serves as a reminder to be ever cautious.


It's All In The Bowl

Family and traditions and history. These are the important things. Creating wonderful memories. This is what my Buggy girl and I do whenever we are together. Just as my grandmother did with me.

My grandmother loved having the whole family together. She always let us kids have free rein of her clothes to play dress up. She provided cotton balls, glue and bowls of glitter to make lovely christmas decorations. She saved scraps of fabric and taught me how to sew beginning with Barbie clothes when I was 6 years old. We helped make cookies and biscuits. She and my mom made the brides maids dresses for my wedding. These memories are me.

Buggy and I started baking together when she was probably 2 years old. She loves it and so do I. Once, my step daughter (Buggy's mom) was here when I let Buggy sprinkle flour and roll out gingerbread. Of course the flour was everywhere and my SD was aghast that I was happily allowing this. "This is what it's all about" I told her. She said she never had a grandmother that did things like this with her. "Well, I guess I am very lucky then because I had a wonderful teacher."

Buggy and I were making a soft pretzel recipe the other day. Yes, lots of flour, sugar cinnamon, delicious. As Buggy was kneading the dough I realized that the bowl we were using was my grandmother's dough bowl. She used this bowl every Sunday to make biscuits.

Perhaps I should put the bowl away and keep it safe but there's a lot of love and good dough still left in that yellow bowl.


President Obama I Need To Win A Hashbrown

Sir I need to let you know that our economy is in the toilet. You can try to put a hopeful face on it "oh, we have reached the summit and recovery has begun". Unh unh! Not yet we haven't and I have the ultimate barometer of the state of the poor economy. Yep, McDonald's Monopoly game.

I am, possibly, the only living adult who actually likes McD's. At least I'm the only one trashy enough to admit it. I actually seek them out if I haven't been for a week or so, gotta have some fries! Last year for Christmas one of my kids gave me an Arch card, kind of a joke but I loved it.

The Monopoly game started on October 6th and I am doing my damnedest to get Boardwalk for a $million, or at least a Shell gas card. It used to be that you bought any large fry, sandwich, drink etc. and there were game pieces attached. NOT ANY MORE. Now you only get game pieces on 5 items! You must spend MORE to participate! Actually the sign advertises 10 pc. Mcnugget also but I bought one the other day and didn't get a game pc. Grrr! I didn't even want that.

In years past, at this point in the game, I would already have collected game pieces for free fries, drinks and tons of hashbrowns. Can I get a witness? Not during this economic quagmire! Oh nary a hashbrown have I won. What's next? A pencil for the Happy Meal prize?

President Obama our country is in trouble and I wanted to let you know.


Wordless Wednesday

Swine Flu Pumpkin courtesy of Extreme Pumpkin


Children Of The Corn....Maze

What a fun day this was! Buggy was thrilled with every aspect of it as we all were. Oh, yes, we got lost in the corn maze! This maze was so big that they had rest stops in the middle with a snack area and bathrooms! It was so much fun.
There were games and bouncers. The farm animal area, goats doing tricks, pumpkins, food! We tried everything and went home a very tired and happy group.


Urine Saves The Planet

Why are we always the last to get this great stuff? I want this car...I need this car! Apparently this technology is being used all over Europe too! What are we chopped liver? This car runs on deisel fuel which is far more efficient mileage wise...very good. But it's crap for the environment...until now. This new exhaust system is fueled by URINE! Which cleans up the exhaust from your deisel engine and makes it much cleaner environmentally. Just how you use a biohazard to clean the environment is a mystery to me but let's ask Al Gore, he'll know for sure.

How cool is that? Cheaper to fuel, green power. AND you get to tell everyone that your car is pee powered!

Long road trip? No problem..pack the snacks AND plenty of drinks, your Go Girl, fill the deisel tank and away you go, no worries!

You can read the full story at The Age but really, what more do you need to know?


Police, Addicts & Donuts

In our local news the commander of The Baltimore Police Department's Southeastern District has been demoted to the rank of Lieutenant and will return to patrol. This man is an 18 year veteran of the police department and has been commander for 3 years. He was suspended last month as internal investigators examined his office computer.

He came under scrutiny as crime was spiking in his district, after investigation it was found that rather than spending time out in the field, he was spending his time at his computer on the internet. The (now) Lieutenant has a website which supports a life coaching business and that was taking up the majority of his time.

Yowza! An addict? I believe so. Just recently I stopped by to visit Roschelle over at Inconsequential Logic on my daily bloggy rounds. What I found was a post titled Blogaholics Anonymous - 12 Step Healing Program. Oh yeah she is talking about us! Don't look around - it's you. Funny but true! It's a must read. Roschelle reposted the 12 Step Program from another blogger over at Too Many Mornings.

We are thinking of holding meetings on Tuesdays, how does that sound? I'll bring the donuts if someone will make coffee, yes it's all about the snacks! If you are caught trying to smuggle a laptop YOU WILL BE EXPELLED! Lieutenant, if you are reading this, we would be honored if you would be our guest speaker.


Wordless Wednesday


Random Tuesday Thoughts

Yes, I am very late with this post. I had issues today, ok? This was supposed to post hours ago. Anyway I have other far more important thoughts for the day. How about:

Christmas is coming in like 72 days!!!!?? Jeez, how did this happen so quickly? I think I was just picking pine needles out of the carpet last week! I had better get busy. Last year I did 90% of my shopping online, yay! I can guarantee I am intending to do the same this year, so easy. Amazon here I come! Only if you give me free shipping though.

I used to love the winter, the bundling up, the snow. Now, not! I'm so over it and my knees complain heartily about the chill that is already here! I think I could enjoy moving to a warm weather climate; Florida...no, Arizona...ummm yes. It would be a little weird come Christmas but I think I could get used to it, it's like 80 degrees there right now. I could enjoy sitting out in my garden all year round, how about you?

Solicitation calls on my cell phone! Does this make you nuts? Do not dare use my minutes to try to sell me on some crap I don't want!

My Mother's birthday is next week, my Sister's too (same day) I think I'll make that great apple cake for them. Everyone loves that cake.


Married To A Rat

Well, a pack rat, or hoarder as the term goes currently. I, on the other hand, enjoy a clutter free environment. It makes for some interesting situations around our house. I just don't understand the desire to keep a box full of bits of things that, should you ever have the need for, you can purchase easily for about $1.29! Little pieces of tubing and whatever.

The man has never thrown away a single piece of clothing in his life! Holey, greasy, shredded, it doesn't matter. I throw away underwear and dress shirts as I do laundry that way he is unaware of losing a piece. Last week he noticed one of his dress shirts in the trash and had a mild coronary! I had to dig it out and show him the shredded, stained collar and the small tear in the middle of the back!

My husband once went with "the guys" on a weekend rafting trip. For the trip he went to Costco and purchased a wetsuit, a short one, not full length, for about $25. This trip was great fun and it was also, mmm, 16 years ago. About 5 years ago I sold that wetsuit at a yard sale. I will never hear the end of it! It was only ever used 1 weekend, ever.

I can walk upstairs right now and pull out a valentine item that he bought for one of the kids a good 8 years ago. It's CANDY, EDIBLE!

One year for Christmas I put lint brushes in all the adult kids stockings because we had a huge stash of them in the closet!

The picture here is of a small corner in our garage. What we have here on the right is a large commercial iced tea maker (from a previous life) that does not work. An item to be returned to the store (2 years old), a large wad of plastic sheeting covering God knows what, 2 boxes of reference books purchased in 1965 and some hideous curtains that he couldn't bear to part with.

Are you feeling my pain?


Man vs. Woman

Click to view larger. You must read!


Foodie Friday!

Today I have two variations of a chicken dish that my family just loves! They are very similar, delicious and oh, so simple. Sounds perfect right? I happen to like delicious and simple because, as I have mentioned before I don't really enjoy cooking though baking is nirvana to me. I have a picture here that is a stock photo but is a similar recipe. As my chicken is always gone in a blink I have never snapped a picture of the finished product. The only difference is that my recipe is more moist. Ok and now for the recipe:

Caesar Parmesan Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders - enough to feed your family
creamy caesar salad dressing (I use Ken's)
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 t ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt enough butter to cover bottom of your baking pan. Dip each piece of chicken in salad dressing, coat completely. Then roll each chicken piece in grated parmesan cheese. Place in a single layer in the butter covered baking dish. During the last few minutes you may sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on top of chicken if you choose. I have done it both with and without and both are delish! Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Potato Chicken

1 C instant mashed potato flakes
1/3 C parmesan cheese
1 pinch of garlic powder
1/2 t black pepper
1 t parsley flakes
1 C milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt enough butter to cover and roll around bottom of baking dish. Beat eggs and milk together in a shallow dish. Mix together all dry ingredients in another bowl. Dip pieces of chicken into milk mixture making sure to cover completely and then roll in the dry potato mixture. Place chicken into the baking pan in a single layer then immediately turn each piece over once to coat in butter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Chicken should be just turning a light golden color. Enjoy.


My New Life

Apparently this is what my life has come to. I'm at home all day now while everyone else that I know is at work. I do get lots of housework done, the ironing and whatnot. Ok, and lots of blog visiting, reading, commenting. But out of work nevertheless, means being a little at loose ends.

I think my Mother is worried about me or feeling sorry for me. She recently gave me a bag filled with clothes. She said that she had bought the wrong size, a bag full! My Mother and I do not wear the same size, nor do we have the same taste, not even close. My Mother gave me her cast-offs! In a span of 2 months am I looking like a homeless person or something?

She has also invited me to lunch a couple of times. Sure I'll go to lunch! She then let's me know that some of their friends or other retired relatives will be there as well. So now I'm hanging with the seniors for lunch dates! Well, lunch is good, seeing other people is good. Yesterday we had one of these lunch dates. Food was fine, conversation was fine except I kept tossing out topics for discussion and not getting any grabbers. New local legislation? No. David Letterman debacle? No. "Has everyone gotten their flu shots yet?" Wooo! They jumped on that one! Hot topic of discussion.

Yes, I'm whining! Thanks for listening. *sigh*


Wordless Wednesday

Oh, I know he's irresistable wearing that big, purple raven head, alas, sorry ladies, he's taken!


Random Tuesday Thoughts

In my house we share most of the regular chores very equitably. There are some that I generally take care of and some that are mainly my husbands forte. I am willing to cut the grass but Mr. lawn nazi couldn't handle my way of doing it. I'm ok with that. One of the jobs that is more in my column is loading the dishwasher.

Actually it's more that I am a nutjob about the proper way to load the dishwasher. My way is logical and efficient and totally sensible. Apparently I am the only person who understands this. To me the loading should be done with an eye toward the unloading portion of the job, i.e.; unloading-plates and bowls straight up, silverware directly in front, coffee cups on the left side, water glasses on the right side, like items grouped together. Simple, fill accordingly. This saves space, costs you less in energy usage, makes the job quicker and easier. My hubby's way of loading is: oh, there's a spot, let me stick it here. All willy nilly, I can't deal. As soon as he loads dishes in there I rearrange.

Maybe my husband will read this post. My fingers are crossed.

He claims I'm anal about it, I say I have a charming quirk. I have had this system for all of our years together. Do I need to draw a diagram for god's sake?


Pep Rally!

In the Baltimore area we really support our football team. Every Friday during the season there are a couple of area restaurants who hold pep rallies and they always have a couple of the team cheerleaders along with one of the three team mascots, Edgar, Allen or Poe.

Last Friday we picked up the Buggy girl from school and went to one of the restaurants. We had some good food,lots of fun and got each other a little psyched up for the game on Sunday which, unfortunately was our first loss, against New England.

Buggy was a little nervous, for the first 20 seconds, then she relaxed and had a blast. In fact, all the kids there, and adults, had a great time. Purple, purple everywhere!

In The Market For A Web Host?

Have a need for a new web hosting service? Not sure where to go? I came across a great web site recently that could be just what you need, Web Hosting Geeks can be a real help to you in your search. They have done the research for you so you can just look for the features that are important to you and fulfill your needs. They give you information in an easy to read format along with reviews of the different hosts. The reviews are categorized by; geeks, customers, top rated, etc. The list of hosts is broken down for you by provider name, then gives you the features that the providers offer. They even give you some bonus features of each provider and a hosting review and, of course, the monthly cost for each. There are so many different uses for a web site and these are addressed in the reviews. They have business web hosting along with reviews of lowest cost hosting, most reliable hosting and editor's choice. This site even lists awards for Best Web Hosting for 2008 for different categories like best blog, best budget, best e-commerce, etc. If you are in the market for a new host, I think it would be a good place to begin your research.


Awards Honors

My friend Stacie at Super Mommy To The Rescue gave me these two awards. Stacie thank you so very much. If you haven’t visited her site please do.

The rules for this award are:
For those receiving this award it is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
I am passing this on to:

Inconsequential Logic
Conversations With Moms
Ann's Snap Edit Scrap
Hugz Before You Go - Contrariness
West Virginia Backroads
The Painted Veil
Read The Bee
Our Jacobsen Family

Duck And Wheel With String

Daisy The Curly Cat

I want to thank you for your friendships! They have meant the world to me!


My Special Friends

I received this in my email today and I wanted to share it with all of you:

Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

* When you are sad.... I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!

* When you are blue.... I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

* When you smile....I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

* When you are scared....we will high-tail it out of here.

* When you are worried....I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!

* When you are confused....I will use only small words.

* When you are sick....Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

* When you fall....I'll pick you up and dust you off...then I will laugh my rear off!

* This is my oath....I pledge it to the end. Why? you may ask; because you are my friend!

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.


Caramel Glazed Apple Cake

Seriously this is the best cake I have ever tasted. I am a pastry connoisseur so I know my cakes! My hubs actually found this recipe in a magazine and he asked me to make it. He doesn't usually go for sweets (don't know how we ever got together) so when he asks for a cake I'm willing to give it a try. If you decide to try this cake you will not be sorry. There are some things I did that may not seem worthwhile but I think they were.

1 C packed light brown sugar
1 C sugar
1.5 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 C flour
1 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
5 apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 in pieces.
1.25 C chopped pecans or walnuts
2.25 t vanilla extract

Caramel Glaze
4 T butter
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 C heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan. Beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. I used a hand mixer with batter beater attachments. Sift together all dry ingredients and gradually add to egg mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla; pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To prepare the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over med-low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick. Pour on the glaze. Use the leftover carton of heavy cream and whip it along with 1 t. of vanilla extract.

Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. My hubs thought he was in heaven!

Painted Veil Contest

Shinade, aka Jackie, over at the Painted Veil has been running a contest all month long on her website. The promotion was for EC Members and all you needed to do was follow, subscribe and post a little announcement on your own blog. Not a difficult task as The Painted Veil is such a lovely blog and one I enjoy most every day anyway.

Well, I followed the rules, I entered the contest and I WON! As I told Jackie this morning...I never win anything! Maybe this will be a life changing event.....perhaps I am beginning a new chapter in my life...the "I win stuff in contests chapter"!

Thank you Jackie for awarding me an ad on your blog for the entire month of October. Stop by the Painted Veil soon, I'm sure you'll enjoy the visit.