Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Annie !

Here is our beautiful 15 yr. old (yikes) daughter holding the too cute puppy she found dumped in front of our house last week (since this is a happy day I will refrain from labeling these people the pond scum that they are). We are going to Brewbakers this afternoon to celebrate both Annie and Brad's birthdays (his is tomorrow). I'll post pics of the other birthday child ASAP....along with ones from Thanksgiving.

ps. we have since found a home for the puppy....yippee yahoo!
(and I already miss him)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bah Humbug

Our son Sam has been looking for a laptop computer for the last several months. His is over 5 years old and barely functioning, even the power cord has worn out to the point where he is having to jiggle it to get it to just the right position before the computer will turn on. We have been sans a working coffee-maker for the same period of time, making coffee by pouring boiling water thru the top of the non-functioning maker and then reheating it in the microwave as the morning progresses. Darling daughter wanted a sweatshirt for the football game and had actually extracted a promise from me last year that I would take her shopping on Black Friday some time in the future....ok, I had probably said 'next year' but who knew she'd remember?

All this to say that we got up at 5am on Friday and headed for Visalia before 6. The anti-consumers who have never in their lives (as far as my memory allows anyway) participated in the madness of the biggest shopping day of the year decided to check it out; tho we did at least have reasons beyond buying stuff simply because we would be getting a 'deal'.
Note to self reason is good enuf to do this... EVER.

So, we headed out to the Mall in the dead of night...well, it was dark...and tho the whole episode (check out Steve's blog post on the subject) actually lasted a mere 2 hours, it seemed like an eternity. Annie bought a sweatshirt with her (future) birthday money.....

...Mom and Dad bought a coffee maker not made in China (is India that much better?)...

...and Sam returned home empty-handed....Best Buy ran out of computers in about 10 minutes and he said the store was wall-to-wall people.... he has now taken the 'never again' pledge.

Annie was probably the only one who was in the least bit happy. Sam's trip was a complete bust and Steve and I don't like to shop at the Mall on a good day . Tho we did come home with a coffee-maker; I'm having pangs of guilt about the purchase already. It uses electricity, it was probably made by an 11yr. old East Indian child working in a sweatshop for 19cents an hour, and really, how hard is it to pour hot water thru a filter every morning? .....sigh.

and ps. The most disturbing part of the day came later in the afternoon when we heard on the news about the worker killed by rampaging shoppers at a Long Island Wal-Mart, made even more tragic by the shoppers refusal to leave the store after hearing of the death....."Must have my TV"....Ick

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

—C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 24, 2008

Words Matter

And they say siblings can't get along, ours always say goodbye to each other before heading off to school...

Wilson: "Hey Annie, try to tell the truth 3 times today."

Annie: ...slight pause...."You're ugly, you're stupid, and I hate you!"

Isn't that sweet?


Conversation with a friend who I hadn't talked to in 4 months...

Me: "I'm writing the football stories for the paper now."

Friend: "I know, we've been reading them." ......pause....silence....nothing....ouch.

So I told her that I probably wouldn't be writing again after this season. I said that it was nice to be complimented by people in town, parents of the players etc. but was frustrated by the editing almost every week. I don't like it when changes are made to my stories. She responded, "Well don't worry about it, most people who read that paper are semi-illiterate anyway." fan base are morons.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fitting Response

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were.

A certain Lieutenant Colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back.

Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote
the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall.

When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint
"Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base:
Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need=2 0this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special?
Any response would be appreciated. "

The response:

Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets' On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m, a perfectly timed four- ship fly by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.

Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave t hem their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom.

We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers=2 0 lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you.....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My 'Losing' Article

The one I really didn't want to write .....

Exeter Loses Heartbreaker to Central Valley Christian

Monarchs are defeated in last game of league season 14-7

You can’t win them all, this too shall pass, it’s only a game, all good things must come to an end – pick a cliché, any cliché. They may all be true but they’re not much consolation when your heart has been broken. Friday night, Nov. 14, the fans from Exeter had their hopes of perfection crushed when their beloved Monarchs were defeated by the Cavaliers of Central Valley Christian. The spoilers of Exeter's perfect season weren’t necessarily the better team, just the better team on this particular night. The Monarchs of Exeter, the team that has built a formidable reputation for itself this season, was certainly not the team that showed up to do battle against the Cavaliers.

From the opening kickoff to the game-winning CVC touchdown in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, the Monarchs looked sluggish and off balance. Though Cameron Loeffler managed to gain 201 yards on the night and scored the only Exeter touchdown, he was consistently stalled in his attempts to gain yardage on key plays. The Cavaliers did what no team has been able to do this year; they got to Loeffler early and often.

As Coach White put it, “If you don’t block, you don’t win,” and the blocking was just not there.

It was a hard fought and highly defensive game and the two teams played pretty evenly statistically. Exeter had 256 yards of total offense with 200 on the ground while CVC had 252 yards of offense, 171 on the ground. Exeter was six for 14 passing for 56 yards. The Cavaliers gained 81 yards in the air completing three of 12 passes. Though Exeter recorded one interception in the second quarter when Pedro Saldaba stole a CVC pass in the end zone, the most costly statistic for the Monarchs was their own turnovers. Exeter gave up the ball five times on three interceptions and two fumbles – a record of sorts for this season and one the Monarchs would like to not repeat. In a game this evenly matched, with stingy defensive lines able to repel scoring opportunities, it was about four too many.

The Monarchs have been preaching and living Team all season long. The players that have entertained and thrilled us this year have done it as a whole, a team, not a cluster of individuals. Records have been broken, accolades accepted, wins celebrated, and through it all this group of athletes has remained an entity.

The team that won together is having to face the consequences of a crucial loss, together. A loss that ultimately cost the Monarchs sole league championship and the top seed in the playoffs. What they do in the next few weeks will be the true testimony of their character.

Vince Lombardi once said, “It’s not whether you got knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” The fans that have come to appreciate this team through the ups and downs of this extraordinary season, the parents that have watched their boys grow into young men of strength and determination, and the coaches that have guided them along the way, believe that the Monarchs will get back up and play football the way they've been playing all year long, fearlessly.

The Monarchs are seeded No. 3 in Division IV and will host the Washington Union Panthers of Easton on Nov. 29 at 7pm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Mark any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile - people eat that?
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese - just plain icky
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - NOT in this lifetime
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu- huh?
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi - another huh?
53. Abalone
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
(she admits sheepishly)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis - see comment for head cheese
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
Snail - had them in puff pastry, thought it would disguise the fact that I was eating a garden didn't.
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
Mole poblano
Bagel and lox
Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake - I'd rather have another snail ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Annie and Eli

I took the photo, Annie converted it to Black and White.........I think I like it :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spring Break in Mexico

Three Buffalo college students go down to Mexico for spring break, spend
the entire time drunk, and wake up in jail, only to find that they are to
be executed in the morning, though none of them can remember what they did
all week.

The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric chair, and is asked
if she has any last words.

She says, 'I am from Canisius College and believe in the almighty power of
God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent.'

They throw the switch and nothing happens. They all immediately prostrate themselves;
beg for her forgiveness, and release her.

The second one, a brunette, is strapped in and gives her last words, 'I am
from the UB School of Law and I believe in the power of justice
to intervene on the part of the innocent.'

They throw the switch and again, nothing happens. Again, they all
immediately prostrate themselves; beg for her forgiveness, and release

The last one, a blonde, is strapped in and says, 'Well, I'm from Buff
State and just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and
I'll tell you right now, you ain't gonna electrocute nobody if you don't
plug this thing in.'

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just cause I thought it was funny :)

and thanks for sending it Mom!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ta Da!

As promised, here's a shot of Maggies pet.....Frog :) We called him Fred while we were visiting....poor thing didn't have a name. She carried this little guy everywhere...tho we did make her put him in his home while we were eating. What a cutie! (Maggie, not the frog)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Elections are over....let's make Pie!

Not to diminish the world shaking events of yesterday, but I'm in the mood for Pie (I eat in times of crisis :)

Now I realize you are technically not supposed to use Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins for pie, but I hate to waste all that perfectly good veggie, so I'm going for it.

Cut the pumpkin lady in half (no pain, she's dead) and then bake in 350 oven for about an hour and a half, till the flesh is soft and will pull away from skin pretty easily.

Cool, scrape out pulp with spoon and set in large bowl. Dump into processor and process until smooth. I always let the pulp drain in a colander for half an hour or so, just to get rid of excess liquid. Not sure if this is necessary but it seems to have a lot of 'juice' and I think it would make the pie pretty mushy with all that extra liquid.

Then I just follow the recipe on the side of the pumpkin can, with a few tweaks....

Mix together in small bowl ---

3/4 cup sugar (I use slightly less)
1/2 teas. salt
1 teas. cinnamon
1/2 teas. ginger
1/2 teas. cloves
1 teas. nutmeg
(I use fresh's so yummy, good in fettuccine also <- not kidding:) . . . In large bowl beat 4 eggs. Stir in Pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually stir in one 15oz. can of evaporated milk.
Now here's the part where I should be giving you the recipe for pie crust....but mine included a trash can and sending my son to the store for Pillsbury ready-made, so you're on your own there.
Pour filling into 9-inch pie shell and bake for 15 minutes in 425 oven, turn down heat to 350 for remaining 40-50 minutes. I always cover the crusts with foil from the beginning, they still turn a nice brown and I don't have to mess with covering them up halfway thru while the pie is hot. Serve with whipped cream (not optional:)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Today!

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

— H.L. Mencken

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Fast

End of the month (ok, slightly late) recap of our No new clothes/No China odyssey (or is that ODDyssey?)

One of the advantages of not having money is that there is no real temptation to buy ANYTHING matter what it is or where it's made. So our first month was pretty easy, tho I did throw away a pair of socks this morning that had holes in the toes and a rather large opening in the heal....the sad thing is that I wore them all day before noticing my rather calloused heal had been exposed all day because I was wearing slides...all day.
Oh well, at least I have more socks :)

Didn't really think about checking the pumpkins....thought it was funny tho that they had the sticker right on them. And the tea lights were another of those purchases where I kind of forgot to look until I was standing in the checkout line. ...whew.


Nice to see that our boys, even at 17 and 20, still want to carve pumpkins. Of course their choice of artwork pretty much sums up their interests; Sam did the Xbox logo and Wils is the V for Vendetta symbol....sigh.

And in case you're wondering...Wils didn't go trick-or-treating, the funny hat is just for warmth :)




And here's our sweet daughter, doing her Daisy Duke impersonation, and best friend Kayla the cat...again looking WAY too mature.