Monday, March 31, 2008

Garbanzo Beans ...... Or Something Like That!

Well, I've been waiting a while to post this, but it is just too funny not to tell you about. Sorry Pat!!! He knows I can't resist sharing a funny story anyway!

I've been having a bit of trouble sleeping, you know, where you are almost asleep but can hear everything around you. For those of you who know Pat and me, Pat is usually the one who talks (and acts out) in his sleep. Well, this time it was a bit different:

I was still awake - sort of - and I was thinking about making Hummus. I know - strange - but I like hummus, it is really good! Hmmm, come to think of it, I might have a problem when I'm even dreaming of food - yikes! So, I was going over the recipe in my head, and when I got to the main ingredient (garbanzo beans), I said out loud "GARBANZO BEANS". Pat, evidently was having trouble sleeping too because he said: "What did you say?!!!!" in a surprised voice. I was awake enough to say, never mind, I was thinking about making hummus and I said "garbanzo beans." Well, I thought that was the end of it until the next day.
We went to the movies and during the movie, Pat said to me: "Do you know what I thought you said last night?" Of course, I had no idea. Well, I can tell you, men think WAY differently than women! He said "I thought you said - JUMP MY BONES!" No wonder he sounded surprised!!!! I think he was the one that was "dreaming"!

Anyway, watch out what you say - it could be um, er, eh, "misunderstood"!

A Little Snacky

Good morning sisters!

I am attempting to become a little healthier by choking the fat content out of my food intake as well as portion control. I tell myself that the portion control must mean as long as it fits on my plate it is well under control. My doctor says to use small plates and it will fool my brain but he doesn't realize that the smallest plate I own is a large turkey size platter and if he thinks my brain is a fool, he doesn't know what measures my brain might take to get around logical thinking.

So yesterday I decided to make the Pioneer Woman's Pico De Gallo for a healthy snack because it has absolutely zero fat content. Oh but then came the dilemma of what to scoop with....I couldn't use tortilla chips....too much fat. I could eat it by the spoonful, but no....just not the same as that crunchy goodness of a chip.

Here is the results of the Pico de Gallo. You must try this is the best. We like it a little hot so we leave about half the seeds from the jalapenos in the mix but you can make it mild by scraping out all of the membranes and the seeds.

We had these low fat baked wheat thins for a snack so we decided to try this. It was surprisingly good...a little sweetness mixed with the spiciness of the pico de gallo AND you could have 19 crackers for only four grams of fat. YOWZA! EUREKA! I was so happy.

This still felt like I was doing something very bad but I stuck to my 19 crackers. Try this is so good.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What You Don't Want To Hear Your Doctor Say

"Wow! You have strong sphincter control!" Yes sisters, it was my physical today and really, did he have to say that? Especially in such an awkward situation? He is lucky I didn't say "Yes doctor, I have been building those particular muscles for fifty years now so watch out, you may draw back a broken finger". Does this now mean I join the ranks of a body builder or wrestler? Can you see the headlines? WOMAN WINS TITLE FOR SPHINCTER MATCH!!

Don't laugh, this could be you. Now off I go to have a colonoscopy in a few weeks. Stay tuned for all the  details? Maybe I will break the  colonoscope (the little camera) with my strong sphincter. Har har!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Revolutionary War - Battles of Kings Mountain and Cowpens

Wow, this has taken forever to figure out how to post this video - thanks to us being a bit more long winded! Thank you Vonda for your help in posting the video! Our lesson today is on some battles in the south: the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Battle at Cowpens. Believe it or not, we are actually getting close to the end of the war! We are so going to miss this part of history, it has been so fun! So without further adieu, on with the lesson.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hamburger or History?

Tonight Barack Obama is speaking on campus. I am not a political person. In fact much to the frustration of my dear husband, I don't wish to even talk about it. It just makes me so crazy to even think of politics and all the slimy tactics so many of them take.

What makes me speak of this today besides all of the traffic and people milling around outside my office window is that a professor told me a story that made me think about what makes history. He said that in 1963 he had gone and participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He did the march and was feeling very righteous and listened to some speeches and all. When it came time for Martin Luther King to speak he said he had heard him speak many times and was hungry so talked his friend into getting a hamburger instead of staying for his speech. So now he shakes his head in regret because that was one of the most famous speeches in American history and he traded it for a hamburger. Of course he had no way of knowing the significance at that time but felt it was just ironic.

This same professor is waiting in line for hours to hear Obama speak tonight. He feels the importance of this historical event and the need to be there. Go professor!

Me? I will be at home with my three grandchildren coloring Easter eggs and baking cookies. This is my history in making and is really what is important. Perhaps I will catch Obama on the news and perhaps not.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Kelli

My baby is twenty three years old. This is what the old people always say when they talk about the youngest child aging. Well I must admit I have joined the ranks of the old because.........

How did you get from this...........

and this little sweet pea.........

and this little curly haired girl...............

and this little waif.....

and this sweet young lady..........

and this beautiful teen...........

to this beautiful young woman? You have such a sweet and gentle heart and a truly loving spirit. You are probably one of the kindest people I know and not just because you are my daughter but because it is true. You have such a dry wit and fun loving spirit all mixed in with a quiet shyness. You love your friends and family and are loyal to the core. Happy birthday Kelli. We are blessed to have you in our lives.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting On Track

I want there to be a little less of me around and I know most people want the same thing.  You know, clean up your diet which will slim you down, take care of high blood pressure, cholesterol and dirty looks from your doctor when you come in whining  "my back hurts".  I was having a little talk with family members about this and someone (I can't name names here because I will get more than dirty looks) said "yes I need to get on track with this watching what I eat".  Another no named person said "I hate track".  

Well I hate tracks as  know, diets, exercise, no cussing, getting out of bed, cleaning house, mucking chicken houses, wiping snotty noses and all that stuff.  It would just be bliss if I could just say when asked to lift the broken washing machine into the back of our truck for repair, "Sorry, I don't like this track.  It might damage my nails".   

Ponder, ponder, ponder.  I wonder what my doctor will say when his evil, glinty little eye stares me down this month when I tell him I don't wanna be on his diet and exercise track.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things Heard Today

So I took my mother-in-law to have cataract surgery this morning where face it, most people are elderly in this office. Not all, but the majority. So because I love old people, whom I am fast joining the ranks of, I really enjoyed listening to all of the stories and visiting. Here are a few things I heard.

The following is from the this cute little old lady and her husband who were waiting for him to have cataract surgery. She had hers done last year and can now see better than ever.

She:"Damn it, Joe now you will be able to see the dust again"
He: "Haven't you been dusting all this time?"
She: "Nope, and it is a woman's prerogative"
He: "What?"
She: "Never mind. It's a big word"

She: "My kitty woke me up at 4:30 this morning"
Me: "Wow, that is early"
She: "Yep, she wanted a glass of water"
Me: "A glass?"
She: "Yep, she drinks from a glass. Puts her little paws on the table and drinks from a glass. But she won't drink until she makes sure I sit down and drink my coffee with her"

She: "My great granddaughter is three years old and she took me out on the porch to have a private conversation the other day. She told me that she was a little chubby but that when she grows up that she will have great big boobs because all of that chub will move up."
Me: Laughing...."I am still waiting for my chub to move up. "
Another old guy: "Yep she will know when her belly button is up here" (pointing to his collar bone).

This was from another couple and she was going to have one eye operated on. She was already blind in the other.

She: "They won't let me drive. I love to drive my sporty Beemer and yes I like to drive fast."
He: "Thank God you are going blind"
She: Smacks him on the arm "Well I want to drive"
He: "I said nope and they (the Drs.) will back me up on that"
She: "Oh hush"
He: "Watch it or I'll come smack you from your blind side"

Oh how funny and open they are. Nothing to lose and a lot to say.

A Little Diddy For Today

I just couldn't resist this. A good friend, Joe Rose sent me this and it made my first laugh of the day. So now sisters can you not hear our dad laughing at this? It is so something he would have thought was hilarious.

Jordan, see what your musical abilities might bring? Fame and a little snot!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Battle at Monmouth, Molly Pitcher and a Little Daniel Morgan

Well sisters, it has been a few days since I've posted. The kids had a full week (5 full days) of art education with a well-known local artist - Terri Axness. They learned art history, artists, art appreciation as well as 3-4 different mediums. It was a great week but we didn't get much history done! So we are back at it. The lesson we have for you today is about the battle of Monmouth and Molly Pitcher. We also have a funny picture I forgot to post earlier when we were doing the Saratoga Campaign. Daniel Morgan was very instrumental in the battle at Freeman's Farm. He was a frontiersman that was a sharp shooter with a rifle. He and his frontier buddies hid in the trees at Freeman Farm and aimed at the British Officers' epauletts. Here is a picture of Daniel Morgan doing just that (check out the fancy epaulettes and the terrified British officers):

Here is your lesson on the battle at Monmouth and Molly Pitcher:

I Noticed Today....

What a difference a smile makes. I love spring time and the daffodils are beginning to bloom now. I took a walk around campus on my lunch hour today and before returning to work I sat on a bench to enjoy the sun. I noticed a young girl walking toward me with a very sad expression on her face. Her shoulders were hunched and she just had a look of discouragement about her. Although she was very petite and quite pretty, she seemed to have a large dark cloud following her around. A few seconds after she passed another young lady walked toward me. She was quite tall and large framed with long dark hair. She was rather plain looking if you were to compare but she looked directly at me with a great smile. It struck me that of the two girls I had just watched she by far was the most beautiful all because of her attitude and smile.

There is something about looking directly into a persons eyes and smiling, especially at those we don't personally know. If we all did this more often I am sure the world would be a more friendly place. I am just as guilty, often lost in my own thoughts. Lesson learned.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Achy Breaky Back

Loretta has been suffering with two herniated disks for several months now. She finally decided to give in and have this problem repaired but only after stubbornly finishing her schooling, exams and probably much more than we know about. So Wednesday she joined the likes of me, two brothers and our mother and had back surgery. This appears to be a family problem as all of us have at one time or another had back problems.

I drove to Hillsboro to be with her and decided to spend the night in the room so she wouldn't be alone because usually for the first few days you really are pretty helpless. She decided that she would just continue to have muscle spasms so every movement was pretty much agony until they got the pain under control and gave her some muscle relaxants.

Well let me tell you spending time together at fifty some years old is not like when we were children. I remember when we were very little that four of us had to sleep in a double bed together and Barb had the top single bunk to herself. We lived in a single wide mobile home at the time and space was certainly limited for a family of seven with only two bedrooms. I had a doll and wanted to sleep with it. Can you imagine how crowded this already was? Loretta was so convincing....she told me that it would melt if I put it in bed with us. I of course believed her. I have a very loooong memory.

So this hospital stay was just a bit like this only I was the boss and she would not listen to ME this time and take enough pain medication to keep comfortable. I am trying with all my might to be Nurse Carrington and bribe her with meds, booze, cigarettes, naked dancing men and such. She only said sweetly "no thank you". She doesn't know this but I offered the real nurses all of those above mentioned things and they said it would be taken care of. However, I don't think they communicated with each other and must have snuck in at different times "just to make sure she was comfy". Loretta was on a pretty good drug induced hazy high. I had to drop kick a few aides trying to be nurse imposters once they heard about the goods.

What Loretta hasn't figured out yet because she never had a chance to look in the mirror was that the doctor was also becoming a plastic surgeon and was doing a little internship for that part. He gave her a free face makeover so now she looks like this.

Hey it could have been worse. Lucky for her she didn't wake up looking like this.
But all is well and she is home and still sore. But now I hope she is on the mend. She had better be because all I can say is I still have a bag of tricks.

P.S. The nurses told me that old women snore but I think they were just trying to cover the fact that they were sleeping at the nurses station.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Valley Forge - Fire Cakes and Hasty Pudding

Washington and his men wintered at Valley Forge after their battles in Brandywine and Germantown. There were harsh conditions at winter camp. We had a first hand experience at their main food sources. We made hasty pudding (cornmeal and water). Here is Lexie cooking some up - we didn't have a campfire so we used the stove - much more convenient:

The soldiers also had fire cakes - that is flour and water made on a rock and put by the fire. Here are the kiddos making the fire cakes:
Here is how they turned out - we tried to authenticate the fire by using the broiler. It worked well - burnt on the outside and doughy in the middle - just like they would have had to eat them:
And here is some funny reactions to how fire cake and hasty pudding tastes:
And another:

So, here are three soldiers freezing by the campfire and telling you a little more about wintering at Valley Forge: