Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's Start The New Year Right

It is 2013 somewhere, so it is time to greet the New Year....
"Let's watch the old year die with a fond good-bye
And our hopes as high as a kite"
So Let's Start the New Year Right....
Words are from a song in my favorite Christmas movie...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The cat whisperer

Well, they have run me ragged, driven me nut, wore me out.  After they disappeared yesterday, I was sure mama kitty had run off her kit kats.  They were nowhere to be found. I also saw a big Tom cat in the yard yesterday and figured if it wasn't mama, it may have been him that sent my babies packing.  Then late in the day yesterday I finally found those babies....up in a tree.  Wasn't great timing since I was stove up and could barely stand up.  With some help, the tree came down and babies came out.  I wasn't even sure how many were up there and the ones that were, scattered and I didn't see them again.  This morning, no kitties.   I had a serious heart to heart talk with mama kitty and told her she had let me down.  If they were still around, I certainly couldn't spend all night and day outside watching over them.  She looked me right in the eye and did seem to be paying close attention to what I was saying even though she was spitting and hissing at me.  She does have an attitude problem.  If those babies would just let me catch them, I might have already had them in the bed with Maggie and me, but they won't. They just refuse to tame up.

I filled up their kitty dish with food just in case they were still around.  After my serious talk with mama kitty I went back inside. I came back outside a couple of hours later and there they were... and mama kitty said..."well, is this better"?  Babies didn't disappear again today and for most it it, they stayed on that chair.


Monday, December 10, 2012

More pics of fur babies

Until someone comes up with something, this is all I have.  So far, I have made the most progress with all orange kitty, a little boy, and the black and white kitty, a little girl.  Now they are out after dark playing around.  I try to make them go back in their little house to protect them from Mr. mean looking possum who lurks after dark but they ignore me.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mama, I don't need a kitchen and bathroom

                      Sure do miss sitting up here and looking out on the river.

Kitty Update:

One good thing about little kitties is that they often forget that they are supposed to be afraid of me.

 I'm tempting kitty with a pine needle.
Too sleepy to be afraid right now.  Try again later.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fishing for Kitty

I've been trying to get Ms Kitty to warm up to me.  She sits under the lounge chair and watches me.  She will run up to the back door when she needs me to fill her food bowl.

Turkey left overs have proved useful in getting her to come closer.  This may take a while and I'll probably have to cook another turkey.  She sees the turkey I put out for her.  I put it just a few feet in front of me. She stops for a little drink of water.
 She's trying to play it cool, pretending that she doesn't really notice the pieces of turkey.

 She's getting closer.

 These are the baby kitties.

No, not a kitty.  It's my Tuxedo Mousse cake.  Not mouse cake and not for kitty.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Thanksgiving

The highlight of my Thanksgiving was seeing all 4 of my great grandkids.  The 2 from Colo were here with the 2 that live here.  There are 3 boys and 1 girl.  Both sets of parents tell me they don't plan any more children.  It was fun seeing all of them.  The oldest 2 will be 3 years old this Dec. and Jan. The 3rd will be 1 year old in Jan. and the youngest is 3 months old. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

A perfect time to stop and give thanks...
for moments wih family and friends, both near and far away...
and for all things around us....
So Happy Thanksgiving!!..

Monday, November 12, 2012

WWEWD? What would Elizabeth Warren do?

I’ve mentioned that I’m starting to feel better about America.  I think we are all starting to wake up and smell the coffee.  This election brought in some good people and knocked out a few not so good.  I mentioned the other day that I thought with Elizabeth Warren, the Senate now has a conscience.  Only problem is that she is only one person is a sea of many other politicians who I don’t think have a conscience. 

I believe in my heart and soul that Elizabeth Warren does have the best interest of most of us in this country in what she is planning to do.  There are so many issues that I’m not sure I understand what the best way to go is.  When I feel that way from now on, I’ll go check to see….WWEWD?  She may be only one voice but she’s going to be a voice that many of the rest of us will be listening to.  When we find out what Elizabeth would do, we can help by contacting our senators and representatives to ask them to help her.  Remember they do work for us.  We can fire them!

Even though I live in the swampy flatlands of Louisiana, I heard we will all be facing a cliff.  They call it the fiscal cliff.  I'm not sure what will happen there and I'm worried.  I'll be waiting to find out...WWEWD.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day

When I think of Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day, I feel ambivalent.  I am so proud of those men and women who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our country but at the same time I feel guilty that they were asked to. 

They are told that they serve to protect the rest of us here at home. These recent wars just seem to me like a way to make tons of money for a very few and a way to waste tons of money for the rest of us.  And the waste of money doesn't hold a candle to the waste of human lives that results. That's the real sin!  And we’re told not to question it because if we do, we are being unpatriotic.  Some who tried hard to enlighten us that these wars are unnecessary are paying the price for it many years later.
To thank our veterans for their service we must do everything we can to make sure their lives are not permanently affected by their having made that sacrifice even though there are many things we can’t make better.  We can make sure they have the chance for an education or the training needed to get a good job.  Make sure they have help in dealing with any physical or mental conditions that having been involved in war caused and that should include anything and everything.  We should make sure they don’t have to continue to sacrifice for the rest of their lives.
Like so many others in this country, I don’t know anyone who served in one of the recent wars.  I wasn’t personally affected by their sacrifices.  When it’s not in our face, it’s easy to ignore or forget about the problems that war has caused.
In one way, I did see some.  Providing medical care in a correctional facility, I did meet veterans who I thought were victims of their service.  Some were in for violent crimes that I thought were very likely the result of being taught to be a warrior.  Many more were in for drug or alcohol abuse that I was pretty dang sure was the result of the mental strains of their war experience. 

There were times when I felt I could use help from the VA but when I asked a veteran, who I knew was very knowledgeable about the VA, I was told that the VA won’t help when a veteran is incarcerated.  I couldn’t believe that but I checked it out and he was correct.  It’s not like a person stops being a veteran when he/she goes to jail, and it’s especially heinous when the veteran’s incarceration and/or medical/psychological issues was most likely the result of their service. 

So veterans…it’s your day today.  We are very proud of your service and I hope when we all say that today, we are willing to put our money where our mouths are.  When this country goes to war, we all should have to pay a price for it.  And I pray that we all do everything we can to see to it that there are less people who are called to make that sacrifice.   

Friday, November 9, 2012

You go girl!

I’ve been proud because I’m assuming that women came out in this election and said…enough is enough.  I’m giving our gender the credit for booting out some of those who are trying to enslave us again. It’s about time.  I just couldn’t believe some of the stuff that came out of some of these politician’s mouths and they thought it was OK.  The stuff about rape, abortion and family planning. I sometimes had to check my calendar to make sure it really was 2012.  Then I’d do a quick mental status exam on myself to make sure my switch hasn’t snapped. Not easy to do on myself.  I might be a bit biased scoring that test. 

Women often disappoint me, seriously disappoint me.  They too often kick their sister’s in the face to stand by their man.  Not even their man, just any old man.  This country wouldn’t put up with some of the awful things that are said about women if it were said about any other minority and we aren’t even a minority.  I think we may even be a tad over half of the population.  The fact that Rush L still has his fat A on the radio proves that.  We have the power but don’t recognize it and we don’t use it. 

I saw little Malala on TV this morning.  She’s the little girl in Pakistan who was shot in the head trying to stand up for the right of girls to get an education. That’s true courage.  That’s what got me pondering on this subject.  She’s recovering, thank God.  She is certainly one of our powerful teachers.  You go girl!  Now, it’s time for the rest of us to get moving.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making a good gravy

Mama had a rule of thumb that she used to make gravy.  If the dripping from the meat were just fat, she added flour, stirred and slowly thinned it with meat stock or other liquids.  She sometimes used the water she poured off after steaming vegetables if the vegetable flavor wasn’t too strong and would alter the flavor of the gravy.  She was trying to recapture some of the nutrients lost in the vegetable water. 

If the meat drippings have water in them, she made a paste with flour and water and then slowly added it to the meat drippings.  You will still need to thin it with the things mentioned above.  It’s really easy to make a good gravy and it’s one of my favorite parts of a meal. 

My favorite gravies are turkey, pork roast and lamb.  Nothing better on mashed potatoes, rice or corn bread stuffing than a good gravy.  Warning, do not use those packets included with your turkey.  In MHO, they are nasty tasting.  

As you can see, I'm pondering food today.  It's my favorite thing about the holidays but I've told you before, I don't eat to live, I live to eat!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado... How did he know way back then?

Well, well, well.  I think I’m happy.  My flavor, not exactly my favorite, won.  Man, can he give a speech and we’re praying that this time the hope and change will show up a lot sooner than it did last time.  Since things are starting to stabilize and he’s not starting his term standing on the edge of a cliff, I’m expecting some really good change this time or I promise....I’ll never vote for him again, for president.  Oh…I can’t anyway, huh.

I woke up to some change I CAN believe in.  MORE women in the senate.  Is it now 20 or 21?    Not anywhere close to gender parity but I really do think that women did wake up for this election and start realizing that we do have the power. It’s a start. Those candidates who felt that there’s such a thing as a “legitimate rape” or one that God endorsed, LOST.  Thank God. More states approve of marriage equality. And now we see how the conservatives really stand on family values and abortion, that dude won. I knew it.  The issue of abortion is just a red herring.  It's one of the ways they try to suck in the religious right.    

What makes me the most excited is…. that Elizabeth Warren won!  The senate now has a conscience!  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What's your flavor?

When you reach in the bowl of Dum Dum pops today, what flavor are you going to choose?  Will it be your favorite flavor, one you can tolerate but not your favorite, or the one with the ?. 

Who’s really in charge of the outcome of this election?  Is it us?  Is it big power and money?  Is it an even higher power?  That would be an easy choice for me.  I’d vote for a higher power but I really think that would be the least likely. 

I do think a higher power does give us signs but leaves it up to us to ponder them and use them to help us with our decisions.  I think this storm, right before the election, was a powerful hint. 

No matter what the outcome, we will survive and thrive.  That’s what humans do.  We are a tough and resilient species.  

This is the t-shirt I will wear to go vote today.  I'm still grieving over that loss.  I'm sure here in Louisiana that I'll get some strange looks.  There's a new gun law constitutional amendment on the ballot today.  I do hope that bringing one to the polls is still illegal!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Canned air for sale

I often ponder the fact that you can sell humans anything and they’ll buy it. 

I have a great idea for a business.  Anyone want in?  If I include you, you can’t tell anyone about it yet and I might be too late with this idea.  My idea is to sell “canned air”.  Yes, “canned air”.   Not just any air, it’s fortified with extra oxygen, vitamins and minerals.  Feeling puny, spritz our “canned air” in your face.  You’ll feel better in no time.  If you’re far away from home and feeling lonely we also have “regional air” for sale,  air from your home town…Houston Air, New York Air, Los Angeles Air…  Air with just a hint of the right mixture of toxins and fumes.  From my experience I wouldn’t recommend the air from Los Angeles or Houston.  Just not my preference.  I felt a little short of breath breathing both.  Of course what I think of as the feeling of shortness of breath, others may see as an interesting buzz.  Just think of all the things that some people will huff for a buzz.

We also have “Rocky Mountain air” or air with a hint of sea salt.  The possibilities are endless. 

If you think that this “canned air” is a dumb idea, that’s how I kinda felt about bottle water, those individual bottles of water, when they first started selling it.  From the get go I thought...this is just not right.  

We don’t have to pay much for water from the house.  If you’re not home you can get it just about anywhere else for free.  You can filter it.  If you want it portable, get a travel mug or glass.   How much power or natural resources do we squander to bottle water?  Now it’s going to be available in a can??  How much trash do we generate with all this plastic and cans?  How much money do you waste on it? I do understand that some water must be available in containers for emergencies.  

I want to thank and praise the NYC marathon runners who even though they couldn't participate in what they trained to do, used their extraordinary stamina and skills to help out the victims of the super storm.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

No Time here

Did you remember to set your clocks back…or was it forward?  Spring back and fall forward??  Is that it?  Or is it spring forward and fall back?  Both would actually work unless you have to go to work today and you made the wrong choice.  If not, you have 24 hours to make a correction.

When I got up this morning, I was pondering that I forgot to turn my clocks forward, backward..whatever.  Then I realized I don’t even have a clock that I need to set here.  I haven’t moved any clocks back here from the camp yet.  That’s because the two clocks I depend on, my iPhone and my satellite, set themselves.  My iPhone is my calendar, my clock, my watch, my alarm to get up or to do whatever I need to do, whenever I need to do it.  It has taken over a large portion of what my brain used to do.  They say what we don’t use we lose.  Hope not because that brain does require power at some point to recharge it and there are probably a lot of people up in the northeast sections of the country, after the super storm, walking around with part of their brains missing. 

I had no excuse not to remember to set anything last night.  My friend, TW, reminded several times yesterday to set my clocks.  She has appointed herself my personal reminder to do things and that task covers a lot.  Every time I drive over to visit with her she tells me that my tires are getting thin and it’s time for some new ones.  No iPhone app for that, at least not one that I’m aware of. I still see a few milliliters of tread before I hit the rims so I have time.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Get out the vote...REALLY? Undecided voter....REALLY?

I wake up every morning with some ponder on my mind.  This morning it was about voting.  Most of us have watched Dancing with the Stars or American Idol or one of the shows where the viewing audience is asked to vote for who they think is the best dancer or singer.  IMO, it usually isn’t the best who wins.  People vote for who they like, who looks best, who is the most popular and sometimes who’s the worst just to screw it up.  It’s not really that important who wins these contests.  It’s not a big deal but voting for the leader of the free world is pretty important. 

There’s such an effort to get people out to vote for the presidential election.  Do we really want someone who isn’t interested, out there picking someone for the most important job in the world?  I was pondering that this morning.  There are already too many people choosing a president using much of the same criteria they use to choose who is going to be the American Idol or who will get the mirror ball.  Some make their selection based on who mom or dad voted for.  Some couldn’t tell you what their candidate believes.  We can’t change that but…..if a person isn’t really interested in voting, LEAVE THEM ALONE.  I’d rather see only those who really care, selecting our next leader.  Call me nuts.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Who's your daddy?

It’s a good time to ponder if you think that the federal government should be available to help out in these kinds of disasters.  Depending on the outcome of this election, it may not be next time.

People are screaming…where’s the help?  Some didn't learn from what they saw in Katrina.  Maybe they didn't want to pay attention to something horrible that was happening to someone else.  Some probably even thought that those southerner’s were sooo dumb not to leave New Orleans when they were warned to leave.  It’s just human nature to want to protect all that you have.  It’s human nature to think…it probably won’t be as bad as they are trying to make it out.  Nothing wrong or abnormal about that. 

Things are unfolding exactly as they usual do after this kind of disaster.  It takes a good week for the federal government and other resources to get in to start to help.  Even though I bitched about being stuck at the jail for 8 days, I was effing lucky that I had that option because it would have been impossible to have what I needed before that time.  Of course I would have been a good distance out of town if I wasn't required to stay behind for my job.  Most everyone did leave when they called for the evacuation for Rita but that was because we had the advantage of just having watched what happened in Katrina. 

I'll just bet that there will be some who think they did it all alone and never got any help from the government who will be happy to get some help from "big daddy".    

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Mother Nature talks, I listen!

I’ve been keeping a close eye on this storm, Sandy, even though it’s a very good distance from my neck of the woods.  One reason is because one of my friends may be in harm’s way. Another is…because when Mother Nature talks, I listen.  I, all too well, know the fear when a storm is approaching.  I know that they don’t exactly know what’s going to happen so you don’t know whether to stay or run.  I know the misery of having your life disrupted if the devastating reality that they predict does come to be.  Those with means may have a leg up but these storms can be the great equalizer.  They can make those with more means feel a little like those who have a lot less.  May want to pay attention to that lesson.  Learn a little empathy.

I think Mother Nature tries to teach us something with some of these events and like my mom, if I didn't listen, she found a way to get my attention.  Mom was like that.  Once she used an ice cooler up against the side of my head when I was ignoring her.  She got my attention.
This storm is a phenomenon.  Not something that is in Mother Nature’s usual bag of tricks.   She might want to use something a bit unusual this time to get our attention.  There are several other coincidences that I find interesting. Too much time to ponder these days. This phenomenon is at an unusual time and place.  The time is right before a big ugly election and it is headed toward a place that represents a good bit of the greed and excess in this country and greed and excess seems to be at an all time high these days.  I do realize that I have some crazy ponders.  Really can’t prove that I’m wrong. 

All disasters have one positive outcome. They give us the opportunity to help our fellow man/woman.  You probably won’t ask if they are Republican, Democrat or Independent or who they plan to vote for or how much money they make or whether they are in this country legally, before offering that help.  Disasters bring out the best of our humanity.  Maybe that is what Mother Nature has in mind.  Unfortunately, that lesson doesn't seem to stick for long. 

Now if you want to think that my trying to find meaning in life’s events is nuts, that’s OK with me.  One of the pluses of getting old is that I just don’t care that much what other people think of me anymore.  I do to try to find some advantages of getting older because they aren't many.  There is one other advantage, I got a cheaper fishing license.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

God help us old folk! We need to stop financial abuse of the elderly!

I have another serious ponder. It is a serious problem and it involves the financial abuse of the elderly. 

There must be something that tells these foreign lotteries when a person gets to a certain age. Not sure what age that actually begins or how these entities know. These old people are sent boat loads of these scam letters promising these old people lots of money but they have to send money in to get it. These old people are not people who would ever fall for this crap when they were in their right mind but for some reason they do now. 

I had that problem with my SF and I have a good friend who is having the same problem with her mom. It is a devastating problem and there is no help available. The post office won't help. The banks won't help. If the family can't personally, totally control their elderly relative's finances, they can lose everything the have. 

It's not always possible for families to monitor their elderly family members all the time and for some reason many of these elderly people are very secretive about participating in this activity. Can't explain that. 

Many of these elderly are not ready for a nursing home. It seems that one of the first things to go is financial management. Even if a nursing home is the only option a family sees...the monetary robbery just changes from one entity to another. 

It seems to me that some government agency should help with this problem. With more and more people living longer it will just become an even more serious epidemic. If you or dad would never do anything like that...think again.

And if you think that adding your name to your parent's bank accounts might help...NOT. You become responsible for any and all over drafts. The banks don't consider these elderly people victims either, they consider them accomplices in this fraud. 

When we took SF's vehicle, his check books and credit cards and post office key away..he just hitched a ride to the bank and used a counter check and he hitched a ride to the post office to picked up his mail. The post office had a big sign that read..YOU CAN NOT GET YOUR MAIL WITHOUT YOUR KEY. Even without a key, they refused to withhold his mail when he came in for it. IMHO, the banks and post office are accomplices in this fraud!

The banks say they are aware of this scam and can't do anything about it. If this is true, why do they allow elderly people to either deposit or cash these checks??

My friend is having to drive over 1000 miles to deal with her elderly mom and this mail/bank fraud issue. She talked with someone from the bank who admitted that they were aware of this kind of scam but also told her that her mom was considered an accomplice in it. If they are aware, why would they willingly cash/deposit those checks that are fraudulent?? 

I'm going to suggest to my friend, and I have a little dictation recorder, that when she goes to the bank, she records all the interaction. I checked and it is legal in this state where she's going to make a recording if at least one person involved is aware that the conversation is being recorded. Hopefully she can use this if that bank tries to pull anything. Someone needs to fight this crap! 

The problem is...that all of us will eventually get to that age when our switch snaps from being reasonable to being easily conned. Maybe not, but both of the people I'm talking about would have, and up until the end with SF, insisted that they were no fools and knew exactly what they were doing. If you now insist that you can't ever be conned, then your switch may have already snapped. 

Some of us will have people who can watch over us but some of us won't. As I've found out, even trying to protect your elderly loved one is almost impossible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fresh Vitamin C

Main functions of Vitamin C:
  • Immune stimulation
  • Anti-allergic
  • Antioxidant
  • “Cement” for connective tissues
  • Wound healing
  • Teeth and gum health
  • Aids iron absorption
  • Eye health

The problem with Vitamin C is that it is a very unstable vitamin.  Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, light and oxygen. In food it can be partly or completely destroyed by long storage or overcooking. Refrigeration can substantially diminish vitamin C loss in food.

Vitamin C is in most of the multivitamins or can be purchased by itself but what are the standards for those vitamins?  There aren't many.  When it comes to selecting a good source of vitamin C, only in God I trust.  I have bushes full of the vitamin.  These are satsuma bushes.  I pick fresh fruit in the morning, juice it and drink it immediately.  That way I know it hasn't had time to degrade.  If you don't grow your own, go to the local farmer's market and get fruits and veggies the local people grow.     

My fruit this year is much smaller than usual.  I think that was the result of the drought we had for most of the summer.  I still have more than enough for myself and to give away.
 This is a pic of my Spring greens I use for my salads.  I shot a pic of them a while back when they were just sprouting.  Now I can go out and cut leaves for my evening salad.  I have several planters with mixed salad greens growing.
The bell pepper I had in the summer died from too much rain even though for most of the summer we had a drought.  It grew well when I could control the amount of water it got but when we had three weeks of rain, it died.   I bought and planted another one. I just picked my first pepper and there are several news one growing.  I should be able to keep this one all winter long if I bring it in when and if we have a freeze.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Colorado grandkids

My grandkids in Colo posted these photos on FB this morning.  I cannot resist reposting them here. They took their little boys out to see the changing of the leaves recently.  This is my grandson and his wife and their 2 children, 34 months and 9 months old.