Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Snowfall Winter 2008 ~

Ah, the first snowfall of the winter season fell today. We're expecting 5" by morning. These pics were taken around 10 am today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snowman Poop!

My sister recieved something similar to this a couple of years ago for Christmas and decided to Give them this year :) In case you can't read the script, it says: "You've been bad, so here's the scoop. Instead of coal, You're getting snowman Poop!" (Marshmallows :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some of my Favorite Things ~

That would make great stocking stuffers for the Ladies on your Christmas list.

1. Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
2. Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Lotion with Shea Butter
3. Vera Wang's "Simply Vera" line sold at Kolh's, Trouser Socks!
4. Jasmine Oil found at GNC (to add to your bath salts) Recipe is in October file.
5. Infusium 23 Hair Conditioner (Step 2)
6. Soft Soap Shower Gel "Pomegranate"
7. Lipton Green Tea "Cranberry Pomegranate"

Will be adding more ideas as they come to me ~

"Dear Abby's Famous Pecan Pie"

This is mouth watering! If you are a pecan pie lover, you need to try this recipe... Steve caught this recipe in the newspaper a while back.

9 - inch unbaked Pie Crust
1 C. Light Corn Syrup
1 C. firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs (slightly beaten)
1/3 C. Butter (melted)
1/3 t. Salt
1 t. Vanilla
1 heaping C. Pecan Halves or Pieces

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust; sprinkle with pecans and bake at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes or until center is set. (Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean when pie is done). Cool... If crust or pie appear to be getting too brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time.
You can top this with a little whipped cream, but even plain, nothing tops this.

TIP: 1. The original recipe stated that the pie should be baked 45 - 50 minutes in a pre-heated 350-degree gas oven. If an electric oven is used, it may be necessary to add 15 - 20 minutes to the baking time. (Begin testing the pie with a toothpick after 45 minutes). 2. When your pie is done the toothpick will be clean, it will look wet, but it will be clean...

Number Of Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes (not counting baking time)

How I tried my first piece of Pecan Pie... We were at the Hard Rock Cafe Diner "Mr. Lucky's" in Vegas for Thanksgiving. The meal was wonderful but no more Pumpkin pie was left for dessert :( Only pecan pie. I always thought pecan pie looked funny all "Jelled!" Yuk was what I thought! Well lo and Behold it was good ~ It was so sweet ~ It was like sugar melting in my mouth :) Oh ya, I am a believer now!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Pastor's Ass"

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won..
The pastor was so pleased with the donkey
that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.
The local paper read:


The Bishop was so upset with this kind of
publicity that he ordered the
pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.
The next day, the local paper headline read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he
ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey.
The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.
The local paper, hearing of the news, posted
the following headline the next day:


The bishop fainted.
He informed the nun that she would have to
get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.
The next day the paper read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he
ordered the nun to buy back the
donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild..
The next day the headlines read:


The bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is:

being concerned about public opinion
can bring you much grief and misery . .
even shorten your life.
So be yourself and enjoy life.
Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and
you'll be a lot happier and live longer!

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"For His 50th Birthday"

"Happy 50th Birthday"
Dear husband of mine ;)
How does it feel? Oh, better
Than the alternative, you say.
Ok.... @@
I really did buy you a birthday card
But I've misplaced it!
I know, hard to believe, but it's gone!
Maybe Leo ate it?
I wanted to let you know
That if I had the chance
I would marry you all over again!
The years have flown by.
We will be 80 when we celebrate our 50th anniversary!
So enjoy your 50th Birthday dear husband of mine.
80 will be here in a blink of an eye ~

A memory book for you
To look at when you are away
At work for the week.
I hope you enjoy it
As much as I did putting it
Together for you.
The story is not over,
There will be much more to add
As the years go by....
Husbands for our daughters,
Grandchildren! Oh my!
But hang on to your seat
Cuz you know what I told you
About time flying by
In a blink of an eye ;)
Dear husband of mine!

Author: Me

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why a "Tropic Thunder" DVD SHOULD NOT be on your Christmas list‏

Got this from a friend this am and wanted to share ~

As you may have heard, the movie "Tropic Thunder" was released in the US on DVD November 18. You may recall Special Olympics and dozens of other disability organizations protesting the movie's release due to its' offensive use of the word "retard" and the negative portrayal of people with intellectual disabilities throughout the film. We are once again asking you to not spend your hard earned money on this film in protest of the use of the word retard and the portrayal of people with intellectual disabilities as hapless and buffoon-like. Please do not buy the Tropic Thunder DVD and encourage your friends and family to not buy the Tropic Thunder DVD. Please sign our online pledge not to say the word retard at The op-ed below, written by Special Olympics athlete John Stephens best articulates our position. Enjoy. C/P link below into your brouser to read the article.

"1998 The Year of The Cicada"

At this time we lived in a 100 year old home (which means old neighborhood with very large established trees.) What you see here on this tree and vegetation was Everywhere in our old neighborhood!! Trees, vegetation, telephone poles and on and on! The sound was also deafening. I'd open a window only to close it again so as not to have to listen to the Cicada ~ Mowing was a real treat, they would fly up at you because they were all over in the grass too. I will never forget the year of the Cicada ~

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Father's Day 2000"

This is a Father's Day card my youngest daughter & I made. We used card stock, copied photos at Kinkos on their color copy machines and "Matt" mod podge. First we mod podged the photos to the card stock and let them dry. Then we gave the whole front a coat of mod podge, letting it dry and then doing the same to the inside... Once it is completely dry it will crinkle some. Pressing it in a book will help cut down on some of that. I always use Matt instead of Gloss mod podge because the gloss is still tacky even after it has dried completely.

"Pumpkin Bread"

Requested by my oldest daughter for this Thanksgiving :)

2 C. all-purpose Flour
2 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 t. ground Cloves
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
1/2 t. Baking Soda
2 large Eggs
15 oz. (1 can) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. packed Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Carnation Evaporated Lite or Fat Free Milk
1 T. Vegetable Oil
1/2 C. Chopped Nuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x5" loaf pan.

Combine dry ingrediants in medium size bowl: flour, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, baking powder, soda & salt; set aside.

Blend eggs, pumpkin, sugars, evaporated milk & oil in large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Pour into prepared loaf pan; sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove bread to wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe from Fluffy at the TOH web site.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My family

This was a Christmas card idea I had about 5 or 6 years ago. I took these seperate pictures of my husband & I and our 3 daughters (all of us about the age of 5 except for our middle daughter who was not quite 3) and asked the owner of the photography store to put them all on one picture. He had to think about it and at first didn't want to do it. But walla :) he did it and it was the photo I put in with our Christmas letter that year....

In Memory of my Father

In the year nineteen twenty one, His life had just begun. With the help
of a midwife, In a little house in *******, He was born to an abusive
father and a loving mother. There were so many sisters and brothers
The little house was bursting at the seems. He was number thirteen.

For these immigrants from Sicily, There was pasta, bread and lard.
Seldom meat, life was hard.

He learned early to fight and share, and run for cover when his father
was there. It was his mother that taught him her golden rule, Her faith
of God and her love of family.

He spoke Italian at home, he learned English in school. Through seven
grades, he gave his best. He would have to teach himself the rest.

Winter found him at the railroad tracks, Throwing stones at the passing
coal cars. The railroad men through coal in return; In their cold and drafty
house, it would burn.

Summers were spent in a lean-to by the river, to cultivate and guard
their community garden. Over an open fire, his mother cooked lunch.
They were always a lean and hungry bunch.

As an amateur boxer, he fought one year. A sport he would always hold
dear. Kid ****** was his name. Fighting was his game.

He never had much money, But would always find work.
No matter how hard the task, Or how many hours it took, He got the job
done, and managed to leave time for fun.

After employment with the WPA, Roosevelts' Tree Army sounded good to
him. A two year enlistment in the Civilian Conservation Corps, From
sunup to sundown-hard work and more. Wheelbarrow, shovel, pickax
and strong young backs built the locks on the River Illinois.

While working for the CCC, He met his wife to be. They were a well
matched pair, and would go the distance through the long and lean years
With Courage and care.

Pearl Harbor, the shock and sorrow of that day, Somebody had to pay!
To defend his country, he felt obliged His wife cried and cried. So he
stayed on the home front and Built the LST's in the Senica Shipyards,
Until he could stand it no more. He answered his country's call And
enlisted to fight the war With the 4th Division Marine Corp.

Training was brutal, combat was worse. He was introduced to the
sights, sounds and smells of battle, To death and destruction on a massive
scale, To fear, valor, unknown hardships And friendships forged for a
lifetime, To the hell that was Iwo Jima Where he did his part. Twenty
six days And a Purple Heart.

On return to Civilian life, He became a staunch
defender of Veteran's rights.

He took pride of being a member of the 52-20 club for only two weeks.
He found employment in the cement mills, and worked for a poor man's
dollar, Each week, often fifty to sixty hours. He bought our home on the
GI Bill.

Two children were born before the war And two after the war. His half-
acre garden would provide our vegetables; His pear, apple and cherry
trees our fruit. He hunted rabbit for our winter meat. At table, he was
always the last to eat.

As a devout member of his church, he was active in the fundraising And
construction of the building, That stands today in all it's beauty As a
shrine to those veterans of WWII.

He was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars,
The American Legion, The Catholic War Veterans and The Oglesby
Memorial Group. He was honored to be a Marine And one of the first
officers of the Marine Corps League. Carrying petitions and marching in
parades, Coming to anothers veteran's aid, Calling on governors, senators
all, Never loosing sight of the problems to be solved. Ten years
working on the St. Mary's project, Finally success-the
Veteran's Home And no regrets.

He was brash, boisterous and bellicose, With strength and stamina to
spare. He made his way through life through good times and bad,
Caring and sharing all that he had. His commitment to God, country and
family never wavered. He never tired of flying the flag that he favored.
He was a good man possessed of great character. Duty and honor were
not words to him, They were a way of life. He was a proud patriot of a
great generation.

The giant of a man stood five feet four, He served his country in peace
time and war. He was steadfast, loyal and true, His favorite colors were
the red, white and blue.

Joy and sorrow, Success and failure, Loss and disappointment,
Intertwined to make up the sum of his long years. He kept the faith and
worked hard though it all. He was the protector, provider, caregiver and
strength of our family. Illness, accident, injury and great losses would
not defeat him Until Alzheimer's.......

He entered the Veteran's Home he helped to build for others. Confusion,
frustration and madness claimed his mind, Shattered his world, And
scattered his thoughts, Leaving him prey to nameless fears and vague
elusive threats, Often fighting the war he fought before.

Calling out to loved ones long gone who did not answer, Their perceived
desertion brought renewed grief and bewilderment. His mind suspended
somewhere between heaven and hell Lost and alone in an umfamiliar
universe whose language he could not speak.

Moments of carity brought Brief glimpses of the man he had been. But
the inevitable return of his failing and altered mind, Would just break
our hearts again.

Finally, joyously, Eighty five years from the day he was born, God
called his name, Gabriel blew the horn and Peter threw the
gates open wide. He stepped inside.

Author: My sister

In Memory of my Mother

Daughter, wife, mother
There was no other
like her.
In youth, she stood straight and tall
Eager for all
that life would offer.
Strong willed
Hard working
Tough talking
Clothes sewer
Vegetable grower
And canner
Flower planter
Chicken raiser
Doily maker
Chef and baker
Bingo player
Rodent slayer
Learned early to do without
Or just make do
Clever at making something from nothing
Both giving and demanding
Good at reprimanding
Afraid of heights and water
Fierce in defense of others
Hammer wielding
Never yeilding
Quick to anger and answer
Quick to laughter or tears
Quick to give a helping hand
Or a boot in the rear
A long hard life
A good life
Until time and illness bent her frame
And slowed her steps
Leaving her helpless to tears and suffering
Her husband always beside her
Loving her
Caring for her
Until God in his mercy called her home
Ten years ago today.
There was no other
Like our mother
We miss her more each day.

Author: My sister

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Its No Secret"

Why is it we fear the topic of death,
Are we afraid of dieing,
Or do we fear letting go?

Death shouldn't be painful,
But it is
-emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually
Death is witnessed everyday
-catastrophe, suicide, overdrive

Some of the old are left to die alone
A child is helped to die with ease,
Not left alone to struggle with that breath or disease
The old have lived, that much is known
Been there done that, but left alone

Witnessing, waiting, anticipating
One last breath
A dieing request
Fear of retreat,
What is beneath?
Hopes of floating
The ultimate glory
Finding inner peace in times of despair
Believing that there is,
Something better out there

The breath in and no return
That person is gone, there is no more concern
What is left now are none short of memories, pictures, and cares
How quickly those fade
In times of despair

New life begins as one is forgotten
Don't think too much into this
Death is not rotten.

Author: My middle daughter 2004


What do you see when you look at me?
The little girl I used to be?
I've grown old and fat and full of care
I look before me and no one's there.

Where did they go-
The generation ahead of me?
Was I too busy
I didn't see?
One by one they took their leave
I am left to grieve

And wonder how life went so fast.
So much love now in the past.
The working, the striving
The caring, the dying
So busy living
No time to think.
Then I blinked
And they are gone.
My hair now is white
Soon it is night
No more time
I take my place at the head of the line.

Author: My sister
April 22, 2007

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"The Final Inspection"

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear..
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'

Author Unknown~

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Hot Taco Rice"

Great Dish! I found this recipe in a magazine years ago and it ended up being one of our favorite dishes....

1 lb. ground Beef (brown and drain fat)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
1 Celery Stalk (chopped)
4 Roma or Plum Tomatoes, diced
1 - 8 oz. can Tomatoe Sauce
1 Chicken Boullion Cube
1-1/2 C. medium Salsa
2 cloves minced Garlic
Jalapeno Peppers to taste (chopped)

1 C. Rice, cooked to package directions.

Garnishes: sour cream, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

Note for rice: I like to cook my rice in chicken stock or boullion vs just water. I also add 2 cloved minced garlic near the end of its cooking time.

Brown beef with onion, peppers and celery - drain fat. Add salsa, tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, boullion, garlic and jalapeno. Bring to full boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min. Meanwhile prepare rice. Serve beef mixture over rice, top with garnishes

Number Of Servings: 4

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thank a Veteran today!


Look, God, I have never spoken to you...
But now...I want to say, "How do you do."
You see, God, they told me you didn't exist...
And like a fool...I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell-hole I saw your sky...
I figured right then, they had told me a lie.
Had I taken time to see the things you made,
I'd know they weren't calling a spade a spade.
I wonder, God, if You'd shake my hand.
Somehow...I feel that you will understand.
Funny...I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had the time to see your face.
Well I guess there isn't much more to say.
But I'm sure glad, God, I met you today.
I guess the "zero hour" will soon be here.
But I’m not afraid since I know You're near.
The signal!...Well, God,...I'll have to go.
I like you lots...This I want you to know.
Look, now...this will be a horrible fight...
Who knows...I may come to your house tonight.
Though I wasn't friendly with you before
I wonder, God...if you'd wait at Your door.
Look...I'm crying! Me!...Shedding tears!
I wish I'd known You these many years...
Well, I will have to go now, God...good-bye.
Strange...Since I met you...I'm not afraid to die...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge"

This is one of our most Favorite fudge recipes!

4 C. White Sugar
1 C. Light Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Butter (or 1 stick)
1 (12 ounce) can Evaporated Milk
1 (7 ounce) jar Marshmallow Cream
1 (16 ounce) jar Peanut Butter
1 t. Vanilla

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil for 8-1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in marshmallow cream until well blended. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; spread in prepared baking dish. Let cool, refrigerate, then cut into squares... Enjoy!

Note: I have found that this method is much easier!
Line the 13 x 9 dish with foil and then butter the foil... Pour fudge into prepared dish, let cool, refrigerate for several hours or over night. Then dump fudge out (upside down) onto large surface, peel off foil and cut fudge into pieces...

Number Of Servings: Many

"Sante Fe' Soup"

Yummo, easy & quick!

1 lb. Hamburger (Brown & drain fat)
1/2 Onion (chopped)
1 can Black Beans (drain & rinse) (I used 2 cans)
1 can Kidney Beans (drain & rinse)
1 can Pinto Beans (drain & rinse)
1 can Whole Kernal Corn (do not drain)
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 can diced Tomatoes
1 can Rotel
2 - 2-1/2 c. Water (depending on how thick you want your soup)
2 T. "Franks" Red Hot sauce (optional) any kind of hot sauce will do if Franks cannot be found.

Brown hamburger with onion, drain fat. In a large soup pot mix all other ingrediants together. Add hamburger & onion, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes... Enjoy!

Number Of Servings: Many

Preparation Time: 30 minute prep, 45 minute simmer