Background

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE

After watching the news this week, I learned of the Ohio Department of Safety's new Habitual Offender Registry. Those individuals with five or more drunk driving offenses are now listed for the public to view.

I decided to check it out. I went to the website, put Fayette County in the search box and learned that 14 people in this county are offenders, only one a woman. It lists their last known address, birth date, and dates of the offenses.

Driving after drinking in any amount is NOT a good choice. There are so many other options available: call a friend to pick you up, call a relative; take a cab, etc.

New Years is a nice time to celebrate, but do it responsibly – like toast with Eggnog not alcohol.

I have always supported MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and in 1999 I received a framed Certificate of Special Appreciation, which hangs on a wall with other awards and certificates.


DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. HAVE A SAFE ALCOHOL FREE NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 30, 2013

DUCKING THE TRUTH


Much has been said in public and on the news about the recent Duck Dynasty curfuffle. The Robertson family made millions with their invention and now have a reality show making more money. I don't fault A&E for suspending Phil Robertson for his malicious comments, it's their business. But, Robertson didn't make his awful comment ON the air or ON his TV show. However, people in the public eye should NOT make comments like that without some kind of repercussion (large or small). Or, keep their mouth shut! His suspension has been lifted and he now back on the show.

As a God-fearing family, Bible believing group, Phil Robertson is NOT a good representative of his family if he makes homophobic or racial comments in public. Jesus healed the sick, fed the poor, and walked with leapers. Jesus treated ALL men equal. So should Mr. Robertson.

I don't like BIGOTS and I don't like RACISIM. My best advice would be to STOP WATCHING DUCK DYNASTY unless you don't mind rich people flaunting themselves and being racists and bigots. I never watched the show to begin with - and I DON'T plan to start now!

Note: A local cop made similar comments on social media recently (which is NOT his job) and will probably get his hand slapped and get back to work, the same as Mr. Robertson did.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

OVERWHELMED OR OVERWORKED?

If you've watched the news this past week, you've seen the stories about the busy package workers at UPS. So many people and companies like Amazon used their services, they were overwhelmed with deliveries.

I became unintentionally acquainted with this quagmire. The UPS man showed up at my door yesterday and I was not expecting any packages. UPS markets their usual delivery time as three days for most United States deliveries.

The first thing I did was to look at the return address part of the label and saw it was from my niece in Tulsa, OK. That was a surprise, because she was the only family member I heard from this holiday.

She sent me a NASCAR calendar; she knows how much I love NASCAR. It was so nice of her to think of me at this time of year.

I don't think UPS was the only entity with slow delivery services this year. Today I got a Christmas card from my niece too. Both the postmark and shipping date were prior to the 25th. I just think so many people were using mailing/shipping services this year that the businesses got overloaded.

I didn't mind at all. I think it was great to get an unexpected surprise after the 25th, since that day was a quiet one for me. Because I had no expectations at all, it was a pleasant pick-me-up to receive both. The UPS delivery man and my mailman received big smiles from me for their work. They both work hard and get little praise sometimes from people who expect so much more.

Friday, December 27, 2013

QUIET NEIGHBORS

Red sky in the morning – sailors take warning, (a storm is coming)
Red sky at night – sailors' delight. (the storm has passed)

The rhyme is a rule of thumb for weather forecasting, dating back over 2000 years, based on the reddish glow of the sky, related to storms in the area. Due to the rotation of the earth, storm systems travel from west to east.


I have very quiet neighbors – for the most part. I live on a cul-de-sac with only 10 homes. I know 90% of my neighbors. The ones I don't know are the quietest.

My backyard is the quietest area of all. There is a small cemetery behind me. I am not superstitious nor believe in ghosts. Obviously, I'm not into feng shui because those who are will not live near  a cemetery. Living behind a cemetery also insures there won't be any big development near the site and it will be well maintained.

Cemeteries are full of history. Sometimes there is a beautiful view out my backdoor (as you can see in the photo). In the last two years, I really got interested in genealogy and have researched my family back many generations.

I checked a real estate website and found that homes close to cemeteries sell for more than others, because of the “quiet neighbors” issue. They compared the $162 per square foot to the $145 of homes further from cemeteries.

Some people who love living near a cemetery like the idea that they are near history. Just like living in an antique house gives some people a sense of the past and continuity, living near a cemetery — especially one of the very old and historical ones — can provide that same sense of continuity and grounding. 

Living here has grown my interest in history, and I do feel grounded here. And I love the QUIET atmosphere.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AN ACCORDION DAY

It was a quiet day at my house for Christmas.

I had five snowmen decorations in a box in the guest room, so I got them out and put them up in the living room. I even wore red slacks and red Santa socks today.

Two of my friends said they were stopping by this afternoon. He and his wife sang three Christmas songs while she played the accordion. (I didn't even know she played accordion.) He said he plays the accordion too. I learn something new every day.

They came in for some hot chocolate and cookies and visited for a few minutes. When they left, they went across the street to serenade my neighbor who also lives alone.

When they left, I took the snowmen down and put them away. I'm ready to get on with the week now. I have too many sad memories related to Christmas.

I am looking forward to a better New Year. This year was unusually sad for me, financially devastating, and had some heartbreaking events. Its got to get better!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

THE CHRISTMAS SHOES

A touching Christmas song that brings memories to some.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

ACHMED

Please watch one of my favorites:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

GRANDMA

It's not wrong to be different. A friend told me my choices of holiday music were not "Christmasy" yet after some Internet searches, I found that I am not alone in my choices.

Christmas songs are an important part of the season, but it's easy to become tired of the same ole songs. There are different genres of music. There are uniquely funny or crazy Christmas songs (check out YouTube) with many albums sold by different artists to prove it. (See this link or this link.) There's also an album entitled Funny Christmas Songs (see here) on which you will find I Don't Want "Nuttin For Christmas."

I'm just not the SILENT NIGHT kinda gal, I like the alternative or different genres that make me smile and remember my youth. Sometimes favorite songs remind you of certain things of the past, happy times, or special memories. As long as it makes me happy, I don't mind being "different" (liking the normal "Come All Ye Faithful" kind of songs).


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

JINGLE BOMBS

I love this one! I have been to a Jeff Dunham concert and he is great! Peanut and Achmed are my favorites. Having most all his DVDs, I can watch him anytime.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FROSTY

Another favorite!

Monday, December 16, 2013

GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND HIPPO HAPPY

Watch these videos - they will make you smile!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

CHARLIE BROWN

I love a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

MY FAVORITE SONG AND GRINCH

I'm going to share some of my favorites in the next few blogs. This song has been a favorite of mine for years and I play it over and over before Christmas. Then the popular Grinch, those who try to take the spirit out of the holidays.



Friday, December 13, 2013

SIMPLY THREE

A new twist on an old classic:


Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe, as it happens, near Transylvania. They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway. It was late, and raining very hard. Bob could barely see 20 feet in front of the car.

Suddenly the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree. Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to carry her to the nearest help.

Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from an old, large house. He approaches the door and knocks. A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts, "Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty. We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?"

"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in and I will get him!"

Bob brings his wife in. An elegant man comes down the stairs. "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist. However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory."

With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table. After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried.

"Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion." Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob and Betty Hill are no more.

The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting, melody fills the house.

Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty sits straight up! Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory. He bursts in and shouts to his master: "Master, Master! The Hills are alive with the sound of music!!!!"

Now - SMILE ya'all!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

According to the dictionary, the word "incite" means to provoke or urge on.

A religious quote I found said: "Do not let your hatred of [a person] or people incite you to aggression."

"Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger and a disposition towards hostility. Commonly held moral rules, such as the Golden Rule, oppose universal hatred towards another."


Romans 12:19: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15: See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.

I am reminded of the story of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says a Grinch is an “unpleasant person who spoils other people's fun or enjoyment”. "We all know that the real reason he hated Christmas was that his heart was too small." Let your heart be open for the holidays.

""The last thing he took was the log for their fire!" To ruin Christmas, the Grinch knew he had to get EVERYTHING, every last speck from the Whos’ houses. But guess what? They didn't care that everything was missing because they knew that material things are not the point of Christmas. Christmas may but come once a year but the essentials of the season, like coming together as community and giving back to those in need, stay with us all year long."

No presents doesn't mean no Christmas. Good food and good company makes everything better. In the end, the Grinch made it up to the Whos and sat down to a meal with them.

The moral of this is: grow your heart bigger; don't incite people against another; do not seek vengeance or repay evil with hatred.

Do not let a Grinch steal your happiness or Christmas; we need more peace and love in this world.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

NEED HELP?

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, the policeman was interrupted by a 6 year-old looking up and down his uniform.

He asked, “Are you a policeman? “Yes,” he answered, and continued writing the report.

“My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?”

“Yes, that’s right, the policeman told him. “Well, then,” the little boy said as he extended his foot toward him, “would you please tie my shoe?”

Saturday, December 7, 2013

REMEMBER TO GET YOUR STAMPS

Remember to purchase your Forever Stamps or pre-stamped envelopes now.

I was in the post office a couple days ago and learned that postage is going up AGAIN. Because of the DO NOTHING CONGRESS!

Now it will cost 49 cents to mail a regular first class letter and 34 cents to mail a post card. It is no wonder a lot of people pay their bills online, have automatic withdrawals for payments, or pay in person when they can.

If Congress would have done their job (which they are getting paid quite well for), a Bill could have been passed to lower their annual advance payment plan (which takes billions out of their operating expenses). Congress takes more time off than working, or caring about the American people.

Therefore, the postal service has had to take steps to boost revenue. They are also offering a new Priority Mail Express mailing service for an additional $5.00. Here are the new announcements:



Friday, December 6, 2013

MY NEW BOOKS

Tim Russert was an American television journalist and lawyer who appeared for more than 16 years as the longest running host of Meet The Press. He was born in Buffalo, New York in 1950; attended Cleveland State University, and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Being from Cleveland, I admired him and his education. Tim also had German and Irish ancestry as I do.

He wrote two books before he died in June 2008 and I have been fortunate to have recently acquired a copy of each. He died of a heart attack while at work, doing what he loved to do. I have missed him on TV, his devotion to the Buffalo Bills, and his great prediction on a whiteboard of FLORIDA FLORIDA FLORIDA during the 2000 presidential election. His second similar prediction of OHIO OHIO OHIO during the 2004 election was also right on target. I look forward to reading my new books.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I LOVE MY NASCAR

My Nascar wall is the introduction to the room with mementos from Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Sr.

My collection is displayed on three book shelves.

I have so many Earnhardt Senior and Junior items, I need two shelves to display them.

My Nascar collection ranks among the top five things in my life.

Then there are the hats, bags, belt, key chains, clocks, and other items that put the final touches on the collection.

The third shelf for Jimmie Johnson was in yesterday's blog article.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MY HERO

Jimmie Johnson won another championship. He is seen here with car/team owner Rick Hendrick (left) (Hendrick Motor Sports) and his Crew Chief Chad Knaus (right).


I have been a NASCAR fan for many years. I began to like Jimmie Johnson when he was a rookie. Now he is a SIX TIME CHAMP. He has won the Sprint Cup Series Championship six times. He won championships in 2006 through 2010; he finished sixth in 2011 and third in 2012. He now has one less championships than the two top champs who have seven each: Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Jimmie Johnson has also been named Drive of the Year four times.

Jimmie Johnson is also the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to win both the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona Raceway in Florida. He is a champ in my book!!!


This is part of my Jimmie Johnson memorabilia - one bookcase full. Tomorrow I will show you the rest of my collection, because I also collect items for Dale Earnhardt Jr and Sr.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I LOVE CROCK POTS

Some people cook the old fashioned way, some cook from scratch, and I just LOVE crock pot cooking. I have cooked chicken, pork, tuna, and (since I don't eat much beef) a little beef. I have tried small and large size crock pots for different size dinners (alone or for company).

Most of my meals are made in either of two sizes, and usually yield enough for two nights' dinners. I started out experimenting until I really got the hang of it. I don't follow a recipe, I just cook what I want to eat, but I do add different items (like mushrooms, fried onion chips, cheese, etc.) to enhance the flavor.

I have to admit I was a little surprised when I started writing down the model numbers of each crock pot and checking the sizes of each. As the below photograph shows, right to left, I have a Rival 8 quart oval in red; a Proctor Silex 4 quart oval in white; a Rival 1.5 quart red round; and a Rival 16 ounce Little Dipper (which is sold with the 8 quart) round, which is good for sauces, dips, and melting chocolate for a strawberry dip.

I mainly use the 1.5 quart for hot dogs and sauerkraut; and my Thanksgiving dinner was cooked in the 4 quart. Except for the Little Dipper, they all have removable stoneware crocks for easy cleaning. The Little Dipper can also be used for the heatable potpourri or the scented crystals from Pink Zebra (pinkzebra.com) which helps the house smell good. (I have a friend that sells Pink Zebra so I'm going to try the orange slices scent.)


My Rival 2 quart round is used for stews and smaller single meals. It also has the removable pot for cleaning.


The two I don't use much anymore are called Vintage Rival models, because the crocks are not removable and are several years old. The tall orange Rival is a 2.5 quart round; the shorter orange round Rival is a 3.5 quart model. The 2.5 quart was my first crock pot, and my second acquisition was the 3.5 quart, which I used more than anything else for a long time. Now they are used as spares for fixing large meals that need multiple cooking vessels.


If anything ever happened to my stove, I could survive with my seven crock pots, my microwave, and the one burner hot plate I keep for emergencies. I LOVE CROCK POT COOKING!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

MY DINNER

I just love cooking - MY WAY. I was blessed to be able to cook a small cornish hen this year for Thanksgiving dinner. Dining alone is challenging, but I think I have mastered it over the years.

I put the hen in my crockpot at noon and put pats of butter on/around it. About 3 pm, I added more butter and put the green beans and potatoes in to cook with the hen. After checking it hourly, three hours later I had the kitchen smelling delicious and a tender dinner read to eat. As I took up the hen, the meat was falling off the bone, juicy and tender.

I am thankful I was able to have a quiet Thanksgiving at home with my dog and cat, counting my blessings, and I didn't have to travel. I'll leave the travelling to others - I like to cook when I can.