Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I need to vent, rant and b*tch a bit today.  A few weeks ago the ol' man decided to go online and find somewhere to download Karaoke songs so he could make his own CD's.  Simple enough, right?  Hm, well not really.
He found a sight online, called Desi's Karaoke, where he could sign up for $30 to receive unlimited song downloads, Video In AVI Format, Basic Guide (with graphics) Included, Access To Karaoke Songs Immediately(Bonus),  Instant Downloads, Unlimited  Support, Singing Fundamentals-How to Improve your singing voice (a bonus worth $13.00), Free- How To Copy CDG's To Your CD (Bonus).  Sounds great right?  Not at all!
When he signed up it was pay for the services through Pay Pal site, at least thats how it was a few weeks ago.  So he clicked the button and went ahead and paid for it with Pay Pal.  There was supposed to be a "digital download".  Absolutely nothing happened.  He thought he messed something up and did it again.  Again...nothing happened.
Well, not only did he receive nothing from Desi's Karaoke...but he was actually charged for receiving nothing at all TWICE!  He emails to the site and heard nothing back from them other than that stupid form letter telling him they would contact him within 24 hours...and they did NOT.  He tried to call them, got nothing but an answering machine.  He left messages there and still got no response from Desi's Karaoke Rip-off
He finally contacted Pay Pal and filed a dispute.  Did we receive our $60.00 back?  Nope.  Pay Pal says that Desi's tells them it was a digital download and we received it.  We did NOT receive anything, other than a screwing in the bum. 
Ray finally talked Pay Pal into refunding at least $30...why did they think we would download the same dang thing twice within 5 minutes?!  We have had to go to our bank to file a dispute of the charge by Desi's with them. 
Now Desi's has switched from Pay Pal to payment by "Google Account"...whatever that is.  I've never heard of it.  I am going to guess it is another scam by Desi's Karaoke to gain peoples banking information and rip them off in another way. 
We also found some more interesting information online about Desi's Karaoke.  There are some rip off reports about this site online.  Ahh, if only we had done some more research about this place before signing up for their fictional service.
Here's the part that blows my mind.  PayPal actually chose to believe this rip-off site rather than us. We told them everything that happened, how he hit the button twice because NOTHING happened...we received NOTHING!  We told them about the rip-off reports we found about this site online. 
They weren't even gonna return one of the $30 charges, after repeated phone calls and emails between paypal and the ol' man.  Yet he finally got ticked off enough to start raising his voice and kept saying "IF I GOT IT, WHY WOULD I HIT THE DOWNLOAD BUTTON AGAIN WITHIN A FEW MINUTES?!"  Finally one of the idiots he talked to at PayPal agreed to return one of the $30 stolen from us by DESI'S KARAOKE.
Now, if anyone else that has been ripped off by Desi's stumbles by, please leave a comment and tell me your story.  Two, if any of you know of a reputable site where the ol' man can go to download Karaoke songs to make CD's for our machine...please send me a link to the site. 
Thanks for listening.  Oh the part about me being a b*tch today?  Desi's Karaoke downloads is a freaking rip off.  Whoever is running this disgusting piece of chit site should have their "privates" held over hot coals and slowly cooked.  Desi's Karaoke is stealing money from unsuspecting people and I wish I could meet them face to face.  Which, of course, will never happen since one can't even get a real response from a real person.
Please, please...before you buy anything online do searches, lots of searches to find out whether it is a reputable seller or a rip-off like Desi's Karaoke.
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tip-- Lower energy costs

Yesterday was my day to begin covering windows with that clear shrink plastic.  So instead of posting my usual cleaning tip, I thought I would repost an oldie but goodie... tips to help lower your energy costs.

I think I've posted this one almost every year I've kept this particular journal.  However, this information is worth repeating.

1.  Reduce Air Leaks
You can save at least 10 percent on your energy bill by simply reducing air leaks in your home. Air can seep through door and window frames, electrical outlets, and water and furnace flues. The question is, how can you find these invisible leaks? The U.S. Department of Energy recommends this trick: Light a stick of incense next to common sources of air leaks. (Make sure it's a windy day.) If the smoke travels horizontally, you have a leak. You can seal the leak with caulking or weather stripping. Another inexpensive option that will trap air and save energy is a clear film window kit.

Be sure to check for air leaks around electrical outlets and light switches.  You might be surprised by the drafts making their way into your home through these places.

2.  Save Heating Costs in Unused Rooms
Shut out winter by simply closing the unused doors in your house and shutting the vents in unusedrooms, so that you limit the amount of space that requires heating.

3.  Put a Lid on Energy Loss
Your attic is to your house as your head is to your body — a significant amount of heat escapes through it. Having the proper amount of insulation in your attic is crucial in cold-weather months. If there is less than 6 to 7 inches of insulation, then you probably need more, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

4.  Enjoy the Sun Indoors
Even during winter months, the sun is still shining. Take advantage of the natural warmth of the sun's rays by leaving the curtains open or shades up during the day. Trap some of that heat and enjoy the natural sunlight indoors.

5.  Turn Down the Heat
If the heat is on but nobody's home, it's a waste of energy. Reducing the temperaturefrom 72 to 56 degrees for eight hours a day, while you're at work or even while you sleep, can help you save up to 10 percent on your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can even invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers and raises the temperature for you during programmed hours. These can be found at local home improvement stores with prices ranging from approximately $35 to $100.

6.  Warm Thyself
If you're not one to turn the thermostat up past 65 degrees in winter — or maybe your spouse isn't — there are certainly plenty of ways to keep warm besides traditional heat:

Indulge in flannel pajamas and sheets. They'll trap heat better than summer cotton.

Warm your blanket before sleeping by wrapping it around a hot water bottle or thowing it in the dryer for a few minutes.

Place a hot water bottle beneath your pillow. By the time you go to bed, the pillow will be warmed for you.

 Exercise is not only great for shedding that winter weight, but it also increases blood flow and releases your natural body heat.

I remember my mom used to hang a sheet between in the doorway, between the small room where the front door was located and the living room.  That helped keep the drafts, from the opening of the front door, from making their way into the house.

We have a back door and hallway.  I used to hang a sheet up in the hallway to help cut down on the drafts.  You could really feel the difference in the temperature on either side of that sheet.  This past year we put a bi-fold door up in that hallway which really helped alot and looks much nicer than the sheet.


  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. On average, they use 66% less energy.  (Even if you just replace your six most used lights, you will save money)
  • Keep bulbs clean. Dust can cut light output by as much as 25%.

We began using those compact fluorescent bulbs this past year and we were amazed by the difference it made in our electric bill.  We also put our water heater on a timer and lowered the temperature setting, it's electric (you can't put atimer on a gas water heater).  So it comes on in the early morning then goes off after a few hours, and comes back on in the evening for Rylies bathtime.  There really is no need to be heating all that water all day long.

After doing these two things to save money our electric bill went down by about $100.  Yeah, Toledo Edison is one of the highest electric companies around.  I think we were paying almost $240 a month for electric and we are now down to about $130 a month.


  • Don't let a preheated oven sit empty for longer than necessary. And don't open the door to check on food. You lose 25% of the heat each time you do so.
  • Use a microwave oven instead of a regular oven. You'll burn about 40% less energy.
  • Keep the inside of your microwave clean. It will cook your food more efficiently.
  • Use the smallest pans possible. It takes energy to heat them.
  • Use lids, which help food cook faster by keeping steam inside.
  • Use glass or ceramic pans in ovens. They heat faster than metal pans.

Washing Machine and Dryer

  • Wash and dry full loads. And don't over-dry clothes.
  • Keep the dryer's lint filter clean.
  • Wash laundry in cold water, unless you have very dirty loads.
  • Don't add wet items when a drying cycle already has been started.


  • Wash only full loads. It costs exactly the same to wash one dish as a whole load.
  • Use the air-dry feature.
  • If washing dishes by hand, rinse them in groups rather than one at a time. Don't leave water running.


  • Check temperatures by putting one thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the fridge and another between packages in the freezer. You're losing money if temperatures are below 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit for the main compartment and 0-5 degrees in the freezer.
  • Cover and wrap food. Uncovered food and liquids release moisture and drive up electricity costs.
  • Let hot food cool before putting it in the fridge. This way the fridge will use less energy to cool it down.
  • A full freezer runs more efficiently than an empty one. If necessary, fill up the space with plastic containers filled with water.
  • Unplug a second fridge that's not being used. That move can save about $130 a year.

Water Heater

  • Lower your temperature to 120 degrees and you'll cut your water-heating costs by 10% to 15%. But if you have an older-model dishwasher that doesn't have a booster heater (a device that heats up the water to the temperature the dishwasher needs to clean the dishes), you need to leave the water heater set to 140 degrees to make sure bacteria on dishes are removed.
  • Insulate your storage water-heater tank. You'll save 4% to 9% on water-heating costs.
  • Drain the sediment from the bottom of the water-heater tank every one to three years.
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucets, which use one-third to half less water. That can cut your water use and water-heating costs by an average 15% to 30%.
  • Take showers. They use less hot water than baths.

For more tips you should check out the tips provided online by the Department of Energy.  They have a wide variety of tips posted on their web site.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Monday, October 29, 2007


Halloween is Wednesday, that means November arrives on Thursday.  I consider that to be the beginning of the Holiday season.  Just a few short weeks until Thanksgiving and then before you know it...Christmas will be upon us.
So here are some pie recipes to consider making this year.  I think I got most, if not all, of these recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens web site.  I hope you find a new one that sounds yummy to try out.
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Caramel-Pecan French Silk Pie
1  Baked Pastry Shell
1  cup whipping cream
1  cup semisweet chocolate pieces (6 ounces)
1/3  cup butter
1/3  cup sugar
2  egg yolks, lightly beaten
3  tablespoons creme de cacao or whipping cream
1  12.25-ounce jar caramel ice cream topping (1 cup)
3/4  cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans or almonds
1  cup whipped cream
  Chocolate curls (optional)

1. Prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside.
2. In a heavy medium saucepan combine the 1 cup whipping cream, the chocolate pieces, butter, and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Gradually stir half of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return egg mixture to chocolate mixture in saucepan.Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and begins to bubble (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. (Mixture may appear to separate.) Stir in the 3 tablespoons creme de cacao or whipping cream. Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until the mixture stiffens and becomes hard to stir (about 20 minutes). Transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
3. Beat cooled chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
4. Spread caramel ice cream topping in bottom of Baked Pastry Shell. Sprinkle pecans evenly over caramel. Carefully spread filling into pie shell. Cover and refrigerate pie for 5 to 24 hours. To serve, top with whipped cream. If you like, garnish with chocolate curls. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
6  cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1  tablespoon lemon juice
1/2  cup granulated sugar
1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1/4  cup packed brown sugar
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  Dash ground cloves
1  recipe Pastry for Double-Crust Pie (see below)
1  tablespoon butter or margarine
  Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  Milk (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl toss apples with lemon juice. Combine granulated sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add to apples and toss until apples are coated. Set apple mixture aside.
2. Prepare Pastry for Double-Crust Pie. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 ball of dough into a 12-inch circle. Ease pastry into a 9-inch pie plate.
3. Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter or margarine. Trim pastry even with pie plate. For top crust, roll out remaining dough. Cut slits in top crust. Place top crust on the filling. Seal and flute the edge. Brush with milk, if desired.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until the top is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with cheddar cheese, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie: Stir together 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all the dough is moistened (6 to 8 tablespoons water total).
Make-Ahead Tip: Up to seven days ahead, prepare pastry; roll into rounds. Stack between waxed paper on a baking sheet. Wrap, seal, label, and freeze. Thaw at room temperature before using. Pastry also may be refrigerated for up to three days.
Tip: Try using a variety of different apples and mix them for a really delicious pie.
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
1  recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
1  cup packed brown sugar
1/2  cup all-purpose flour
1/2  cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2  cup butter
1/2  cup granulated sugar
3  tablespoons all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon salt
6  cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples
1/2  cup chopped pecans
1/4  cup caramel ice-cream topping

1. Prepare Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer pastry to a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim; crimp edge asdesired.
2. For Crumb Topping, stir together brown sugar, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and the oats. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl stir together the granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, the cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated. Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle Crumb Topping over apple mixture.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more or until top is golden. Remove from oven; sprinkle pie with pecans, then drizzle with caramel topping. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
Pastry for Single-Crust Pie: In a bowl stir together 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Using 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water total, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water at a time over the flour mixture, tossing with a fork until all of the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball.
Apple Bistro Tart
1/2  of a 15-ounce package folded refrigerated unbaked piecrust (1 crust)
1  tablespoon granulated sugar
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2  medium tart green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2  cup caramel apple dip
1/2  cup chopped pecans
1/4  cup apple jelly
  Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Let the piecrust stand according to package directions. In a bowl combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Add apple slices, tossing to coat.
2. Place unfolded piecrust on a large baking sheet. Spread caramel apple dip over crust to within 2 inches of edges. Place apple mixture over caramel. Sprinkle with nuts. Fold edges of crust 2 inches up and over apples, folding edges as necessary.
3. Bake 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are just tender. In a small saucepan melt apple jelly over low heat. Brush melted jelly over entire tart and edges. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.
Chocolate Angel Pie
4  eggs
1  cup sugar
1/4  cup cornstarch
2-1/2  cups half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk
3  ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1  tablespoon butter or margarine
2-1/2  teaspoons vanilla
1/2  teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2  cup sugar
  Baked 9-inch pastry shell

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue. Place yolks in a small bowl; set aside.
2. For filling, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in half-and-half and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks. Add egg yolk mixture to hot mixture in saucepan.
3. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Cover and keep filling warm.
4. For meringue, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed for five minutes more or until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (tips stand straight) and sugar dissolves.
5. Pour warm filling into baked pastry shell. Spread meringue over warm filling; seal to edge. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill for 3 to 6 hours before serving; cover for longer storage.
 Makes 8 servings
Decadent Chocolate-Mixed Nut Pie
  Butter Pastry
4  eggs
1-1/4  cups light-colored corn syrup
3/4  cup sugar
1/4  cup unsalted butter, melted
1  teaspoon vanilla
  Dash salt
1-1/4  cups salted mixed nuts
1  cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
1  tablespoon shortening
  Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled Butter Pastry from center to edges into a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Line a 9x2-inch round fluted deep tart pan that has a removable bottom with the pastry circle. Trim pastry even with top edge of pan.
2. For filling: In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Whisk in corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the nuts and 1/2 cup of the chocolate pieces. Pour filling into pastry-lined tart pan. Place tart pan in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. To prevent overbrowning, cover pie edge with foil.
3. Bake pie for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more or until center seems set when gently shaken. Cool on a wire rack. Serve or cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.
4. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces and the shortening. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Cool slightly.
5. To serve, remove side of tart pan. Carefully cut pie into wedges; transfer to dessert plates. Transfer melted chocolate to a clean, small heavy plastic bag; seal bag. Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag; drizzle melted chocolate mixture over pie wedges. If desired, top each serving with Sweetened Whipped Cream.
 Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Butter Pastry: In a medium bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter until pieces are pea-size. In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon ice water with a fork. Using your fingers, gently knead the mixture just until it forms a ball. (If dough won't form a ball, add another 1 tablespoon ice water, a little at a time.) Don't overmix; the dough should feel slightly sticky. Use your hands to slightly flatten dough into a disk about 6 inches in diameter. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until dough is firm and easy to handle.
Sweetened Whipped Cream: In a large chilled bowl, combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Welcome Autumn!


Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 years

I love you baby!

Jill Marie

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Please remember that these are remedies that have either been mailed onto me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I haven't tried them all and cannot guarantee the effectiveness of them.  Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting any type of medical regimen.
Insect Bites
  • Mix water with cornstarch into a paste and apply. This is effective in drawing out the poisons of most insect bites and is also an effective remedy for diaper rash.
  • We always soak a cotton ball with alcohol and immediately rub it on the bite.  Do this only before the bite has been scratched, otherwise it is really going to sting if that alcohol hits broken skin..  It almost always works for us and takes the itch out of the bite.
My job interview was last night.  It went okay, although a little different than any interview I've had before.  They do things so differently after a mere 6 years.  LOL First, there was also a girl of about 22 there to be interviewed at the same time.  I felt a little awkward since I've been home with a small child for the past 3 years and I spend most of my days talking to a toddler. 
Then at the end of the interview we were given a sheet of paper with an ID number and a phone number to call.  I had to answer questions with the phone pad and then call the manager and tell her I'd finished it.  I guess I'll hear something back this week.  As soon as I know, ya'll will be one of the first to know.
Of course, that was just the first place to call back.  I still have a few applications out there and will be looking to put a few more out if this doesn't work out.  I was just looking for seasonal part-time work.  However,  I may have to step it up to full-time or permanent part-time hours. 
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WooHoo! Job interview on Wednesday

Last Friday and Saturday I took my resume and went out on a job search.  I filled out 4 applications and today one of those places called me back.  I go for an interview tomorrow at 5PM.

I am a bit ambivalent.  I have never been away from Rylie.  Well, other than one weekend spent with my sister in law at my Mom's cottage, or when Rylie has spent the night at Samantha's house. 

I don't trust many people to watch Rylie for any length of time.  So I am trying to get a job where I can work in the evening and on the weekends, when Ray will be home to watch her.  There are just way too many weirdo's out there for me to put her in daycare.  We would go hungry before I trusted my child's care to some stranger.

It's not a sure thing, but of the 4 places I dropped off my application this is one of the two that I definitely hoped to get a call back from.  It is a "lavatory and lotions" type of store.  So the employee discount, if there is one, will come in real handy for Christmas shopping.  I guess every female on my Christmas list knows what they will be getting from me if I get the job, lol.

Have a great afternoon!
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Cleaning Tip--smelly shoes

Good Morning!  It is raining here this morning...blah...I hate when it's raining in the morning.  I wake up feeling tired.
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Smelly Shoes: Simply fill a tube sock with kitty litter, baking soda, or tea leaves; tie the end closed; and place the filled socks in the shoes when you're not wearing them. These "sachets" can be used over and over in any kind of shoe.
I made the cheddar biscuits last night for dinner.  They were okay.  Ray liked them, Rylie didn't care for them.  I think next time I'm going to try adding some garlic powder or garlic salt to them for some more flavor.
Today I'm going downtown to pick up my blood pressure meds and then doing some laundry and cleaning.  This afternoon I need to make a special dinner and cake for Rays birthday.  My little "old grandpa" love is turning 44 today.  It's kinda fun being the young love of an "old" man, LOL.
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Recipe--Cheddar Biscuits--homemade gravy tip

This recipe is suppose to taste similar to the biscuits you find sometimes when you eat out.  They would be great to fix along with one of the soups recipes from last week.
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Prep Time: 10 min. Total Time: 22 min.
Makes: 9 servings, one biscuit and about 2-1/2 tsp.
spread each

1 cup flour
2 tsp. Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut up
1 cup Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup (1/2 of 8-oz. tub) Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread

oven to 450°F. Mix flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in Cheddar cheese. Add milk; stir until mixture forms soft dough.

on lightly floured surface; knead eight to 10 times or until smooth. Pat out dough into 6-inch square. Cut into nine squares. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Spread each split warm biscuit with 2-1/2 tsp. of the cream cheese spread.

Tips & Tricks

*Use cold butter and milk to create flaky biscuits.
*Use only fresh baking powder. You can do a quick test to check the freshness by adding 1 tsp. to a glass of warm water. If itfoams and bubbles actively, you're good to go.
*Don't overwork the dough or you could end up with tough biscuits.
*Biscuits are best served hot. To reheat cooled biscuits, brush the tops with melted butter, wrap loosely in foil and bake at 350°F until heated through.
I'm making a chicken for dinner tonight, probably with mashed potatoes & homemade gravy, and a veggie side.  Maybe I'll get these biscuits made up too. 
By the way, speaking of homemade gravy.  I found a quick fix for regular old beef gravy.  Ever have it just not seem quite right?  Not thick enough?  Not tasty enough?  Grab a can of Cream of Mushroom soup and begin adding it by the heaping tablespoon and whisking it in.  Keep adding the soup until the gravy is just so. 
I was making gravy the other night from beef boullion, cold water & flour and salt & pepper and it just didn't quite get "there".  So I grabbed the Cream of Mushroom soup and started whisking it in.  It really helped and made a sad little gravy taste just fine. 
Of course, if your making a pot roast, or whatever kind of meat in the oven.  You can always pour the soup over the meat and it will make it's own gravy in the oven while your cooking.  It's really great if you add a package of DRY onion soup mix to the soup before pouring it over the meat.  I think the whole pkg of dry soup makes it too "salty", although Ray likes it just fine.  So I've started adding a little less that the whole pkg. of onion soup mix.
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Goofy email that made me LOL...

Okay, okay, so I didn't actually "laugh out loud".  I did smile and silently chuckle though.  I hope ya'll get a kick out of this version of "Little Red Riding Hood".

Little Red Riding hood is skipping down the forest road when she see The Big Bad Wolf crouched down behind a log.  "My, what big eyes you have, Mr. Wolf."

The wolf jumps up and runs away.

Further down the road Little Red Riding Hood sees the wolf again And this time he is crouched behind a bush.
"My what big ears you have, Mr. Wolf."

Again the wolf jumps up and runs away.
About 1/4 mile down the road Little Red Riding Hood sees the wolf Again and this time he is crouched down behind a rock.
"My what big teeth you have Mr. Wolf."

With that the wolf jumps up and screams, "Will you knock it off,
I'm trying to poop!"

Okay, so perhaps I am easily amused.  Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Home Remedy--Hickey

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Please remember that these are remedies that have either been mailed onto me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I haven't tried them all and cannot guarantee the effectiveness of them.  Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting any type of medical regimen.
  • Coat area liberally with lotion. Rub with the back of a cold spoon vigorously for as long as you can stand to, changing out spoon for new cold one every 10 minutes. Recommended time for this treatment is 45-60 minutes.
Well, it's not a remedy that most of us need these days, lol.  But it would have been a good one to have years ago.  Although my folks probably would have thought something weird was going on when they found me sitting with a cold spoon on my neck for an hour.
I wonder if it works the same for any bruise.  Probably does.  That would be good.  These days it seems that any little bump and I tend to bruise up like I've been going a few rounds with Holyfield or one of those guys.  I'll have to remember to try it the next time I walk into something. 
Did you ever have one of those days when you woke up and began questioning everything about your life?  I hate this time of tends to be such a bad time for me.  Seasonal depression...blah!  It sucks.  I begin thinking about everything and questioning every decision I've made over the years. 
I know I shouldn't, but it's hard not to.  There is nothing I can do about choices I made when I was 18 or 19 that affected my whole life.  I can only deal with today and deal with tomorrow when it comes.  As a matter of fact, I should only be thinking about today and let tomorrow bring whatever.  But sometimes just focusing on today is so hard.
I begin thinking about the decisions I've made and how they still affect my life today...and that's just the beginning of a vicious cycle.  That vicious cycle is one that I definately don't want to get stuck on (again).  I don't want to get stuck in a nasty attack on myself, I have enough people to do that for me.  If I fall into it, I know I'll just end up picking apart every decision I've ever made. I'll pick myself apart for the weight I can't seem to keep off.  I'll question my choice to be a simple wife and mother rather than having a "career".  My inability to be independent.  Arghhhh! 
I'll just tear myself apart for every little thing about me, and I DON'T want to fall into that!  I need to fight this.  I've done it before...but sometimes it can be a difficult battle.  It's like a know you shouldn't pick at know it's going to be a big ol' mess if you do.  Then you find yourself unconsciously picking it and before you know've ruined your favorite blouse with a blood stain.  YUK!
Hm, I hate fall...autumn...whatever ya want to call it.  Everything is dying.  The flowers I planted.  The leaves.  The grass.  My hydrangea never bloomed this year.  It's cold and rainy.  The sky is gray.  I've got to find my "it".  The thing that I can do or think that will help me pull out of this.  The thing that will keep my mind too busy to think depressing thoughts. 
Well, I hate to close this entry after all my depressing talk so I went and found a joke for ya'll.
Pump Kin

You might be a redneck if...

...the Jack-O-Lantern on your porch has more teeth than you!
Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Huh?! Re post of cleaning tip--showers

Okay, explain to me how I can make a post in here and then have it just disappear.  I don't know how, but my entry from yesterday just wandered off somewhere.  LOL, wouldn't it be funny if it turned up in one of those technical explanation type journals?

Anyway, here it is, just a simple re-post of my cleaning tip from yesterday.

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Shower Doors: 1)Try using Resolve® carpet cleaner on clear shower doors to remove soap scum.

2) Make ammonia solution of 1/2 C. ammonia in 1 gal. water.  Pour solution into a spray bottle.  Spray the shower door.  Use a sponge or stiff bristle brush to scrub.  Rinse well.

Warning:  Keep room well ventilated while working!  Ammonia can irritate your skin, so wear gloves while cleaning with this solution.  Ammonia and bleach form a toxic gas when mixed together.  Do NOT mix the two cleaners!

3) Vinegar works well on soap scum, especially hot vinegar. Try heating up vinegar in the microwave, clean the microwave (as the vinegar will have loosened any stuck on food) and take the vinegar to the bathroom to clean the soap scum from the shower curtain and walls.

Shower soap scum:  If possible change to liquid soap it is a better alternative over bar soap.  Liquid soap doesn't have any talc and talc is responsible for the build up of soap scum.  Talc only adds volume to the soap without adding any value to it.  Changing to liquid soap will reduce the frequency of needing to remove soap scum.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cleaning Tip--Shower & soap scum

Good Morning!  I hope everyone is doing well.  Ray is dealing with some pain in his mouth and is having some dental work done.  Rylie has the beginning of a cold and the arthritis in my knee is keeping me up most of the night.  Other than that...we're just fine, lol. 
So, on to the tip of the day--Showers!  Woohoo!  LOL 
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Shower Doors: 1)Try using Resolve® carpet cleaner on clear shower doors to remove soap scum.

2) Make ammonia solution of 1/2 C. ammonia in 1 gal. water.  Pour solution into a spray bottle.  Spray the shower door.  Use a sponge or stiff bristle brush to scrub.  Rinse well.

Warning:  Keep room well ventilated while working!  Ammonia can irritate your skin, so wear gloves while cleaning with this solution.  Ammonia and bleach form a toxic gas when mixed together.  Do NOT mix the two cleaners!

3) Vinegar works well on soap scum, especially hot vinegar. Try heating up vinegar in the microwave, clean the microwave (as the vinegar will have loosened any stuck on food) and take the vinegar to the bathroom to clean the soap scum from the shower curtain and walls.

Shower soap scum:  If possible change to liquid soap it is a better alternative over bar soap.  Liquid soap doesn't have any talc and talc is responsible for the build up of soap scum.  Talc only adds volume to the soap without adding any value to it.  Changing to liquid soap will reduce the frequency of needing to remove soap scum.

I've been thinking about our nephew, John Jr (most call him Bubba, yeah we are true rednecks, lol)  Ray calls him Gomer.  He's been at boot camp almost a week now, just 8 more weeks to go.  I wonder how he is doing.  My thoughts and prayers are with this child, yes he is 18 but still so much more a boy.  Which reminds me...I've got to get that little "Army" thing done to put on my sidebar.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Monday, October 15, 2007


Well the weekend before last it was 89 degrees on Saturday, now you can see your breath in the air.  So this is a good time to post a few more soup recipes.  

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Cheesy Vegetable and Ham Chowder
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

  cups water (or ham based boullion or chicken soup stock)
  cups chopped potato (2 medium)
  cup chopped carrot (1 medium)
  cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
  cup chopped onion
  cup butter or margarine
  cup all-purpose flour
  teaspoon black pepper
  cups milk
  cups shredded cheddar cheese or 10 ounces American cheese, torn
  15-ounce can cream-style corn
  cups cubed cooked ham
* Black pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan combine water, potato, carrot, celery, and onion. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Do not drain.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour and pepper; add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
Add cheese to milk mixture. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Add cheese mixture to potato mixture. Stir in corn and ham. Heat through, but do not boil. If desired, season with additional pepper.
Makes 6 servings (9 cups)

Amish Potato Rivel Soup

The staff at the Patchwork Quilt Country Inn in northern Indiana takes great pride serving regional specialties like this comforting soup. The "rivels" (small noodle dumplings) thicken the soup, and require no special equipment to make.
1 1/2 cups water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced cured or smoked ham
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives
Bring the water, potatoes, celery, onion and ham to a simmer in a large saucepan; cook for 20 minutes.  

In a medium bowl, mix the egg, flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Using floured hands, pull into stringy lumps; add to the potato mixture. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring often. Stir in milk, celery seeds and remaining salt; heat through. Top with parsley or chives.

French Onion Soup

The unbeatable combination of cheese, onions, broth and bread originated at Les Halles, the famous Paris market. This heart-warming soup is perfect for a cold day!
2 tablespoons butter
5 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) beef broth
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 small slices or 4 large slices French bread
1 to 2 cups shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook until golden, about 25 minutes. Stir frequently during last 15 minutes of cooking.  
Preheat the broiler. Add the broth, water, sherry, bay leaf, thyme and pepper to the onion mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes.  
Meanwhile, place the bread slices on a baking sheet; broil until golden, turning once.
Divide the soup among 4 heatproof bowls. Place the bowls on a baking sheet. Float 2 small slices or 1 large slice of toast in each bowl; sprinkle the bread slices with the Gruyère, then the Parmesan, dividing the cheese evenly. Broil 4 inches from heat until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Of course, my favorite fall meal is still Campbell's Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Mmm, good!  Especially when you dip your grilled cheese into the Tomato soup, YUM!

I also love French Onion soup, although the ol' guy isn't too crazy about it.  So I will usually fix that for lunch sometime.  I love to make some homemade sour dough bread and serve the soup in a "bowl" of the bread. 

I do have some ham in the freezer and think I will give the Cheesy Vegetable & Ham chowder a try one day this week.  Maybe I'll serve that in a bread bowl too.  Mm, that might be really good.

Wow...I'm sitting here watching The Early Show as I write...they have Steve Earl, a rock and roll legend on.  Dang!  Those rock and rollers age HARD!  I mean he was looking pretty good in the old clips and stuff and then BAM!  There he is sitting on stage and he is looking like he lived a real hard life. 

Okay, makeover tip number one-when your going bald, but still have a fringe of "bangs" in front of that balding pattern, CUT THE BANGS short!  When you let them grow long, they look like a silly little thread bare curtain hanging over your forehead.  Just embrace the baldness and cut them bangs.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and welcome back to the real world.

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Home Remedy--Hiccups

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Please remember that these are remedies that have either been mailed onto me, or that I have found on the Internet.  I haven't tried them all and cannot guarantee the effectiveness of them.  Of course, you should always check with your physician before starting any type of medical regimen.
  • Drink 1/2 glass water, slowly.
  • Keep a tsp. of sugar in your month and suck slowly.
  • Suck 2-3 small pieces of fresh ginger. This helps in hiccups which keep occurring again and again.
  • Take a large mouthful of water with out swallowing, plug both ears, and slowly begin to swallow the water. Unplug your ears and you're hiccup free!

John Jr, is in my thoughts today as he leaves Cleveland to begin his basic training.  His Dad and Cathy took him out to breakfast yesterday before taking him to the bus to go to Cleveland.  He's been told how he has to learn to eat very quickly, as the boys only have about 8 minutes to eat their meals.  So yesterday he ate his sausage, biscuits & gravy and hash browns in a mere 5 minutes.  LOL  I bet that was a site to see. 

I'm so glad that his father, step mom and our side of the family took the time to do something special for him, and spent time with him before he left.  I know how much that meant to him and how important it was for him to know how much we all care and wish him the best.  It is loving moments and times like those that will remain in a young mans memory a lifetime. 

My prayers and best wishes go out to Mom B's sister, Pinky.  We thinking of you and sending prayers for a speedy and healthy recovery.

Also, I am praying for guidance and protection for a very special woman who has been taken advantage of and stolen from.  Lord, this woman has a heart of gold and doesn't deserve to be treated the way she has been.  Please keep your loving hands on her, guide her in making wise decisions, and protect her from those who would use her.  Grant her peace of mind and let her feel your love. 

Prayers for my mother whom I love dearly and for Samantha, who hasn't been feeling well. 

Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cleaning Tip--Wood finish repairs, Make me laugh out loud for the week--Most Livable City

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Repairs to Wood Finishes
  • A cigarette burn can be rubbed with a scratch-concealing polish or with some linseed oil mixed with rottenstone. Always rub in the direction of the grain.
  • Heat marks can be rubbed out gently with extra-fine 0000 steel wool. Another solution is to wipe marred area with a cloth that has been dampened with camphorated oil or mineral spirits. Again, rub in the direction of the grain. After removing the spot, wipe clean and wax or polish the wood to restore the luster.
  • Spilled nail polish might seem like a disaster, but in this case maybe not. First, blot the spill immediately, then rub with fine steel wool that has been dipped in wax. Finally, wipe clean and wax or polish.
  • What if paint is dripped onto the wood? If it is still wet and is a latex paint, simply remove it with water as quickly as possible. If it is oil-based paint, use mineral spirits rather than water. But if the paint has dried, soak the spot in boiled linseed oil. Wait until the paint has softened, then lift it very carefully with a putty knife. Again, wax and polish when done.
  • Tape or other sticky paper that seems to have adhered for life to the wood can be removed by thoroughly dampening the paper with salad oil. Wait about five minutes, then rub the spot with that extra-fine 0000 steel wool.
  • Candle wax or gum comes off easily after hardening it with an ice cube that has been wrapped in a cloth. A putty knife should be able to lift it at this point. If there is still some residue left, go get that extra-fine 0000 steel wool.
  • What about water rings? Often the rings are in the wax and not in the wood itself. Try covering the stain with a thick, clean blotter that is pressed down with a warm iron. This process might need to be repeated a couple of times to get the ring completely out. If that doesn't work, try rubbing the rings with salad oil, mayonnaise or white toothpaste. As usual, when done, wipe clean, wax and polish.
  • For white marks-Rub with a cloth dipped in a mixture of cigarette ashes and lemon juice or salad oil. Or rub with a cloth dipped in lighter fluid, followed by a mixture of rottenstone and salad oil. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
  • Milk or Alcohol Stains-Use your fingers to rub liquid or paste wax into the stain. Or rub in a paste of boiled linseed oil and rottenstone with the grain, substituting pumice for dull finishes. Or rub with ammonia on a dampened cloth. Wipe dry and wax or polish.
    Nicks and scratches
    • Dark Wood or Stain
      Fill scratches with shoe polish that matches the lightest shade of the finish, or rub with walnut or Brazil nut meat in the direction of the scratch. A child's crayon or felt-tipped marker can also be used for wood furniture care.
    • Cherry
      Fill the scratches with cordovan or reddish shoe polish that matches the wood, or apply darkened iodine with a cotton swab or thin artist's brush. 
    • Light Wood or Stain
      Fill scratches with a tan or natural shoe polish, or apply darkened iodine diluted 50 percent with denatured alcohol to the hardwood furniture.
    For a quick temporary fix you can also take the meat from a pecan (for darker wood) or a walnut (for lighter wood) and break in half.  Experiment with whatever nuts you have in the house as each different one creates a different color.  Rub the meat of the nut across the scratch.  There is a natural stain in the nut meat that fills in the scratch.  *This is a quick fix that I have used on occasion and it really does work and cover the scratch.  It just doesn't last forever.


    Make me laugh out loud for the week-Toledo is now one of the finalists with 6 other cities world wide for the title of "Most Livable City".  (Read the article in The Blade here) OhMahGosh!  How funny is that?  Well, if you don't live in or around the Toledo area you might not see the humor in this.  Perhaps I should give you a wee bit of background information.

    First and foremost, "Most Livable City", wouldn't that mean that folks would actually WANT to live here rather than leave the city?  Well, here is a fact from Wikipedia about Toledo that disputes the Toledo as the "Most Livable City"...In the 200 census, the city proper had a population of 313,619. As of  July 1, 2006, however, the US Census Bureau listed the city with a reduced population of 298,446.

    What?  Are you kidding me?!  Toledo wants to be called the "Most Livable City" yet it has citizens fleeing the area?  I wonder if it has anything to do with the return of Carlton Finkbeiner as our mayor.  Hmm, there's a thought.

    Let's take a look at Mayor FINKbeiner...Just this past summer he was cited for parking in a handicapped parking space AND leaving his "beloved" dog, Scout, in the car.  Oh, but he was ever so considerate of poor ol' Scout by leaving the back windows down (so a freak could grab the dog and torture it) and parking in the shade.  Of course, that parking space in the shade was a Handicappedparking space.  So good ol' Scout was in the shade but the poor person looking for a Handicapped parking space that day got screwed.  Yep, good ol' Carty...thinking only of himself and not giving two cents about the handicapped citizens of Toledo.

    Of course, this is the same man that recommended we move all the deaf citizens out near the airport because the loud noise wouldn't bother them.  Yep, this embarrassment for Toledo made it all the way to the New York Times.

    Let's see, then there was May of 2006 when our city leader referred to our African American Fire Chief as "King Kong".  As if there aren't enough racial divides in this city, now we have our Mayor (whether it was racial or just thoughtless) referring to one of the most respected men in Toledo as "King Kong".  Really, Carlton, if you were referring to his size and strength why not refer to him as "Super Man" or "The Hulk", etc, etc.

    In June of 2006 our wonderful Chief of Police, Jack Smith, retired after a "near physical confrontation" with Finkbeiner.  Hmm, amazing...considering that John Skiadas, a local restaurateur, also claimed that Carty physically and verbally attacked him in 2000.

    Oh let's not forget the little bit of temper tantrum Carty and his wife threw when they were not given special treatment by the deputies at the Ottawa County jail when their son was an inmate there.  Amazing, the mayor of Toledo and his wife, were treated just like any other citizens and not allowed to visit after visiting hours, or leave the room after the intial search and return.  Hmm, poor dears.

    Oh and Carty is just so smart too (my voice is dripping with sarcasm folks).  For instance, this brillant man suggested cafe be built on the Martin Luther King bridge so city employees could eat there while the bridge was undergoing construction. Nice thought, except for the fact that the MLK is a draw bridge, opening frequently to allow ships to pass.  LMAO!

    Now let's look beyond Carty and atsome other facts about Toledo.  Let's look at the Toledo Public School system.  Not a lot to consider...the TPS was placed in "academic watch" -the equivalent of a D grade.  Yeah, like the "Most Livable City" in the world would be the one with a near failing school system.

    Then there is the failing downtown area, which Carty thinks will flourish by installing fancy new street lights and flowers.  People are afraid to go there!  Just a few blocks from the ball stadium in the area where the hookers and druggies are.  It's not a safe area!  Most of the time I get lost when I am forced to go in that area, half the freaking streets are one way. 

    There is no free public parking, at least not that I know of.  The parking that is available cost's an arm and a leg.  I suppose if you don't mind stealing parking from the handicapped it might be easier to find parking, huh Carty?

    The one really good thing about Toledo is the Care Net Plan that our former Mayor Jack Ford got in place.  It helps those that aren't elligible for Medi-caid, but too poor for Insurance, get the chance to receive doctors visits on an Income based scale.

    We also have things like the Toledo Zoo, The Toledo Museum of Art, COSI a science museum, and are close to a lot of really neat little towns.  We have an overwhelming number of Malls (some of which are delapedated and run down with very few businesses).  There is a convenience store on nearly every corner.  If ya like porn we have lots of those nasty little buildings all over the place too. 

    Of course, we do have some beautiful nature parks.  Hm, but then I don't know how safe those are either.  A few years back they had a police sting in one of them because of men pulling in and picking up other men for sexual encounters.  Oh yeah, sounds like a really great place to take your children to, huh?

    Yeah right, "Most Livable City", where everyone is trying to leave and businesses are leaving too.   Owens-Illinois has relocated to suburban Perrysburg.  Fed-Ex is also relocating to Perrysburg and our "lovable" (yep, insert sarcasm here too) mayor also made a fool of himself upon discovering that Fed-Ex was looking at other sites outside of Toledo. 

    Well, to the other 6 cities, looking to acquire the title of  "Most Livable City", I am sure you don't have too much to fear in the way of competition from Toledo.   Just my humble opinion.  Me?  I can't wait to move back to a small town where I feel safe and free enough to let my child play outside.

    Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Recipes--A few crockpot dinners

    Good Morning!  Another week is upon us and I've got a few crock pot dinner recipes for you.  I hope you see one that you like.

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    Country-Style Pork Ribs
    Prep: 15 minutes
    Cook: 10 to 12 hours (low) or 5 to 6 hours (high) + 10 minutes

    1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
    2-1/2 to 3 pounds country-style pork ribs
    1-1/2 cups vegetable juice cocktail
    1/2 of a 6-ounce can (1/3 cup) tomato paste
    1/4 cup molasses
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
    1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

    1. Place onion in a 3-1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place ribs on top of onion in cooker. In a medium bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Reserve 1 cup juice cocktail mixture for sauce; cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining juice cocktail mixture over ribs.
    2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
    3. For sauce, in a small saucepan heat reserved juice cocktail mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to serving platter; discard cooking liquid. Serve sauce with ribs. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    Chicken with Mushroom Stuffing
    Prep: 40 minutes
    Cook: 4 to 5 hours (high)

    Nonstick cooking spray
    2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon peel
    1 tablespoon ground sage
    1 tablespoon seasoned salt
    1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    8 small chicken legs (drumstick-thigh portion) (about 5 pounds), skinned
    1/4 cup butter
    4 cups quartered or sliced fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, baby portobello, shiitake, and/or button mushrooms
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    8 cups sourdough baguette cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 ounces)
    1 cup coarsely shredded carrot (2 medium)
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
    3 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley

    1. Lightly coat the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel. In a small bowl stir together the remaining lemon peel, the sage, seasoned salt, and pepper. Remove three-quarters of the sage mixture and rub onto chicken legs. Place chicken in slow cooker.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook mushrooms and garlic in hot butter over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in remaining sage mixture. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add baguette pieces and carrot. Drizzle with broth, tossing gently to combine. Lightly pack stuffing on top of chicken in cooker.
    3. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Using a slotted spoon, transfer stuffing and chicken to a serving platter; discard juices in cooker. In a small bowl combine reserved 1 teaspoon lemon peel, the walnuts and parsley. Sprinkle nut mixture over chicken and stuffing before serving. Makes 8 servings

    Italian Chicken and Pasta
    Prep: 15 minutes
    Cook: 5 to 6 hours (low) or 2 1/2 to 3 hours (high)

    1 9-ounce package frozen Italian-style green beans
    1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
    1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
    12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 14-1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
    1 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste
    1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    6 ounces dried fettuccine, cooked and drained
    Finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)  

    1. In a 3-1/2- or4-quart slow cooker stir together green beans, mushrooms, and onion. Place chicken on vegetables in cooker.
    2. In a small bowl stir together undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Pour over chicken in cooker.
    3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2- 1/2 to 3 hours. Serve chicken mixture over hot cooked fettuccine. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.
    4. For a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker: Prepare as above, except use 1 cup green beans, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 small onion, 8 ounces chicken thighs, one 8-ounce can tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and 3 ounces dried fettuccine. Stir 1 chopped Roma tomato into cooker just before serving. Cover and cook as above. If cooker does not have heat settings, cook for 4 to 5 hours. Makes 2 (1-1/4 cup) servings.

    Our nephew leaves for Cleveland on the 10th and then for boot camp on the 11th.  I'd like to wish him the best and let him know how proud we all are of him.  We hosted the party that his dad and step mother threw for him on Saturday.  It is so hard to imagine this child becoming a soldier.

    His father and Cathy are so proud of him, as we all are.  We wish you the best of luck John Jr.  Grandpa would be so honored to have you following in his footsepts.

    Have a great day & hugs to all my friends!
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