Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friendship Bread

Do NOT use metal spoons or bowl!

1 package yeast
1/4 c warm water
3 c flour, divided
3 c sugar, divided
3 c milk, divided

In a small bowl, dissove yeast with warm water. Combine 1 c flour and 1 c sugar, mix thoroughly or it will lump when milk is added. Stir in 1 c milk slowly. Add to yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand on counter. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle.

Days 2-4 stir starter
Day 5-stir in 1 c flour, 1 c sugar and 1 c milk.
Days 6-9 stir starter
Day 10-stir in 1 c flour, 1 c sugar and 1 c milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 c to friends. Store the remaining 1 cup in the fridge or start the 10 day process over again (starting with day 2).

1 c oil
1/2 c milk
3 eggs
1 t vanilla

In another bowl combine dry ingredients-

2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1 5.1 oz box instant vanilla pudding
1/2 t salt
1 c nuts (optional)

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake 325 degrees for one hour.

You can be creative with this recipe, changing the type pudding, adding fruit, chips, etc. Starter can be frozen-but let it unthaw in the refrigerator before beginning the 10 day process!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oatmeal & Dried Cherry Cookies

1 cup butter
1 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
3 c old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c chopped pecans
2 c dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, brown sugar and sugar until creamy and pale. Beat in one egg at a time until fully mixed. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in oats, pecans and cherries. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet, leaving about 2" between cookies. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes. Cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

30 miniature peanut butter cups, cut in quarters
1 1/2 c sugar
2/3 c evaporated milk
2 T. butter
1 1/2 c miniature marshmallows
2 c (11.5 oz package) milk chocolate chips
1 t vanilla extract

Line 8" square pan with foil.

Combine sugar, evaporated milk and butter in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips and vanilla-stirring until marshmallows are melted. Quickly add peanut butter cups, stirring only to distribute pieces. Spread evenly in pan. Refrigerate until firm. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2010 Reading Challenge 100+ Books

For the 3rd year, I am committing to the 100+ books in a year challenge, hosted by J. Kaye. Have to thank her for doing this, it has pushed me to read authors I had never heard of.. Will be listing my 2010 books in this location.


1. Eclipse-Stephenie Meyer
2. Breaking Dawn-Stephenie Meyer
3. Key Lime Murder-Joanne Fluke
4. Sugar and Spice-Michaels, Barton, Fluke, Jump
5. Dead Silence-Brenda Novak
6. Candy Cane Murder-Joanne Fluke
7. Tippy Toe Murder-Leslie Meier
8. Dead Giveaway-Brenda Novak
9. Carrot Cake Murder-Joanne Fluke


10. Dead Right-Brenda Novak
11. Just Desserts-Mary Daheim
12. Witchcraft-Jayne Anne Krentz
13. Plum Pudding Murder-Joanne Fluke
14. Savannah Blues-Mary Kay Andrews
15. The Scarpetta Factor-Patricia Cornwell
16. Fowl Prey-Mary Daheim
17. Savannah Breeze-Mary Kay Andrews


18. Absolute Power-David Baldacci
19. Cream Puff Murder-Joanne Fluke
20. U is for Undertow-Sue Grafton
21. I, Alex Cross-James Patterson
22. Apple Turnover Murder-Joanne Fluke
23. Spinning Forward-Terri Dulong
24. Totem-Ehren M. Ehly
25. Blackwork-Monica Ferris
26. The Novices' Tale-Margaret Frazer


27. Chosen To Die-Lisa Jackson
28. Dead By Midnight-Beverly Barton
29. The Diva Runs Out of Thyme-Krista Davis
30. Birthday Girls-Jean Stone
31. Play Diry-Sandra Brown
32. Artemis Fowl The Artic Incident-Eoin Colger
33. Witch & Wizard-James Patterson
34. Mortal Allies-Brian Haig
35. Code Name: Nanny-Christina Skye


36. The Gourmet Detective-Peter King*
37. When Darkness Falls-Shannon Drake
38. Murder By The Slice-Livia J Washburn*
39. When Darkness Falls-William Cross
40. The Choice-Nicholas Sparks
41. A Northern Light-Jennifer Donnelly
42. The Death Collectors-Jack Kerley
43. Knit In Comfort-Isabel Sharpe


44. Dead Watch-John Sanford
45. Praying Mantis-Domini Taylor
46. Winter's End-John Rickard
47. The Book Of The Dun Cow-Walter Wangerine Jr
48. Reading~Simple Abundance-Sarah Ban Breathnach
49. Don't Close Your Eyes-Carlene Thompson
50. What The Dead Know-Laura Lippman*
51. Hunting Season-Nevada Barr
52. The Kitty Killer Cult-Julius Kyle
53. The Missing-Chris Mooney


54. The Stupidest Angel-Christopher Moore
55. Undead and Unreturnable-Mary Janice Davidson
56. Breath A Ghost Story-Cliff McNish
57. The Graveyard Book-Neil Gaiman
58. Cruel Winter-Anthony Izzo
59. America's Mysterious Places-Hans Holzer
60. The Last Noel-Jean Hager*
61. The Book of Sorrows-Walter Wangerine Jr


62. CrawlSpace-Sarah Graves
63. Capitol Secrets-Maureen Dean
64. Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch-Haywood Smith
65. Sew Deadly-Elizabeth Lynn Casey
66. Dark Delivery-Stephen J Clark
67. Cry To Heaven-Anne Rice


68. Sizzle And Burn-Jayne Ann Krentz
69. Heat Lightning-John Sandford
70. Wifey-Judy Blume
71. While My Pretty One Knits-Anne Canadeo
72. In The Shadow Of The Arch-Robert J Randisi
73. Too Many Cooks-Joanne Pence


74. Cry Wolf-Tami Hoag
75. A Wrinkle In Time-Madleine L'Engle
76. Identity-Steve Vance
79. Death Threads-Elizabeth Casey
80. Big Fish-Daniel Wallace
81. Roast Mortem-Cleo Coyle


82. Bloodsucking Fiends-Christopher Moore
83. Practical Demonkeeping-Christopher Moore
84. A Simple Amish Christmas-Vannetta Chapman
85. Outlander-Diana Gabaldon
86. Fires Rising-Michael Laimo
87. A Girl Named Mister-Nikki Grimes
88. Holiday Bound-Beth Kery
89. Christmas ScandalNot-Jeanne Savery
90. Twas The Night-Sandra Hill
91. Magyk-Angie Sage
92. Knit The Season-Kate Jacobs


93. The Judge Who Stole Christmas
94. A Dog Named Slugger-Leigh Brill
95. Fireflies In December
96. My Christmas Wish-Ember Case
97. Santa Honey-Sandra Hill, et al
98. Unwrapping Christmas
99. Love You Forever
100.A Taste Of Magic-Tracy Madison

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November Mid-Month KAL Angel Dishcloth

This cute little angel dishcloth was knitted with the Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo Group. Was my first actually completed knit-a-long ever and my first project with this group. Will definitely continue to work on there patterns after the first of the year.

Speaking of first of the year, it is GREAT to be basically finished with my Christmas shopping. Packages will be mailed to Laura and Lucas next week and decorating over the weekend. Then only some baking to accomplish!

Friday, November 27, 2009

To Die For Vanilla Cake

1 box white cake mix
1-3 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
2 c sour cream
5 eggs
1 c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 c white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients until well blended. Mixture will be thick. Stir in white chips. Pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 55-60 minutes. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prayer For Pres Obama

From a friend....

We were in Pigeon Forge over the week end. We left to come home on Sunday.
Traffic was moving slow & a car in front of us had an Obama bumper sticker
on it. It read: "Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8".

Mike's Bible was lying on the dash board & he got it & opened it up to the
scripture & read it. He started laughing & laughing. Then he read it to
me. I couldn't believe what it said. I had a good laugh, too.

Psalm 109:8

"Let his days be few; and let another take office. "

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garterlac Dishcloth

It has been such a long time since I finished anything! Did manage to complete two dishcloths.. the typical style I have always used and the Garlerlac Dishcloth. Not sure I will be able to knit the plain style again!! Used Jen's Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On, which was perfect for this project!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
3 T soy sauce, divided
1 1/2 T cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 T cold water
1 T cooking sherry
1 T sugar
1 t cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1 t sesame oil
3 1/2 T vegetable oil, divided
1/4 c unsalted roasted peanuts
1 slice peeled ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 dried red chili peppers, chopped (may use more if you like more heat. I used 4 and it was a bit much!)

Combine chicken, 1 T soy sauce and cornstarch/water mixture. Marinate at least 30 minutes.

Combine 2 T soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, salt and sesame oil. Set aside.

In hot wok, stir fry the peanuts in 1 1/2 T vegetable oil until golden brown. Remove. Set aside.

Fill wok with vegetable oil for frying and heat to 350 degrees. Slide chicken into oil piece by piece and fry one minute. Remove chicken from oil and drain. Remove oil from wok.

In hot wok, stir fry the red peppers in 2 T vegetable oil until they turn dark. Add ginger, garlic and chicken, stirring constantly. Stir the sauce into work. Stir until sauce is thickened. Stir in peanuts. Serve with rice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crockpot Dump Cake

Made this for football Sunday-very good, verrrry sweet!

20 oz can crushed pineapple
21 oz can blueberry or cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Grease bottom and sides of crock pot. Spread layers of pineapple, pie
filling,and dry cake mix. Be careful not to mix. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top
with butter chunks and nuts. Cover and cook on high 2 hours. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lone Star Style Cheesy Fries

1 bag frozen Spicy Ore-Ida French Fries
1/2 lb cooked bacon, crumbled
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Cook fries according to package directions. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Return to oven till cheese is melted. Serve with dip.

Dip Recipe-

Small bottle Ranch Dressing
1/2 package of taco seasoning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Food For Thought

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast,
The young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
"That laundry is not very clean", she said.
"She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
The young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
Nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:

"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and
Cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others
Depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 18. Preheat oven to 375.

1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 c sugar, divided
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 t vanilla
1 c chocolate chips

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together 1 c of the sugar, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkly evenly with the remaining sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until tested.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Create Your Own Casserole

1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1 cup water
salt & pepper to taste

Choose one sauce maker-
10 1/2 oz can cream of celery, mushroom or chicken soup
29 oz can Italian style diced tomatoes

Choose one frozen vegetable-
10 oz broccoli
10 oz corn
10 oz peas
10 oz spinach
16 oz yellow squash

Choose one pasta/rice-
4 cups egg noodles, uncooked
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
3 cups shells, uncooked
1 cup rice, uncooked

Choose one fish/meat/poultry-
12 oz tuna, drained and flaked
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
2 c ham, cooked and chopped
2 c chicken, cooked and chopped
2 c turkey, cooked and chopped

Choose one or more extras-
1/4 c bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c black olives, sliced and drained
1/2 c celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1/2 oz green chilies, chopped
3 oz drained mushrooms
1/4 onion, minced
1 package taco mix

Choose one or more toppings-
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 c grated parmesan
1/2 c shredded swiss

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 13 x 9" baking dish. Combine sour cream, milk, water, salt and pepper with sauce maker (omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes), stir in vegetable, pasta, meat and extras. Spoon into prepared dish and sprinkle with topping. Bake, covered for 70 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ways To Spice Up Rice!

-butter, lime juice and chopped cilantro
-wild mushrooms sauteed in butter, thawed frozen petite peas and Parmesan cheese
-diced tomatoes and basil pesto
-heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon and browned butter
-sliced green onions, salted cashews, toasted sesame seeds and rice vinegar
-dried cranberries, chopped pecans, sliced green onions and Parmesan cheese
-red beans, coconut milk and chopped cilantro
-heavy cream, sliced bananas, chopped pecans and chocolate chips
-thawed frozen peas and chopped smoked ham
-grilled chicken strips cut into bite-sized pieces, chopped sun dried tomatoes, basil pesto, provolone cheese cubes and balsamic vinaigrette
-chopped roasted chicken, toasted sliced almonds, sliced green onions and orange marmalade
-black beans, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro
-kidney beans, caramelized onions, sour cream and asiago cheese
-crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped chives
-smoked cubed gouda, smoked turkey breast cut into bite size pieces, chopped tomatoes, sliced red onion, ranch dressing and chopped cilantro
-crushed pineapple, green pepper slices and chopped fresh mint
-fresh green beans sauteed in butter and toasted sliced almonds
-scrambled eggs, chopped Canadian bacon and chopped chives
-orange segments, toasted sliced almonds and sliced green onions
-granola, vanilla yogurt and golden raisins
-mushrooms sauteed in butter and chopped, steamed asparagus
-cashews, chopped roasted chicken and chopped chives
-thawed frozen peas and finely chopped mint
-butter, lemon zest and fresh lemon juice
-grilled shrimp, corn, crisp bacon bits and chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
-minced garlic and mushrooms sauteed in butter
-fresh corn off the cob, chopped tomatoes and chopped fresh basil
-sliced kielbasa sausage and barbecue sauce
-sauteed okra and chopped stewed tomatoes
-navel orange slices, chopped red onions or chives and vinaigrette dressing
-steamed asparagus tips, toasted pine nuts, sliced red or yellow pepper and Parmesan cheese
-diced tomatoes, sliced green onions and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
-vanilla ice cream and dash of cinnamon
-scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, cream cheese cubs and sliced green onions
-yogurt and fresh fruit
-zucchini and carrot matchsticks sauteed in butter and Parmesan cheese
-heavy cream, raisins, sugar and vanilla
-minced garlic sauteed in butter and toasted pine nuts
-sliced apples sauteed in butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts and vanilla yogurt
-black beans, minced red onion, chopped bell pepper, chopped cilantro and vinaigrette
-sauteed mushrooms, dried apricots and toasted almonds
-chopped fresh spinach, asiago cheese and toasted walnuts
-fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar
-currants and toasted pine nuts
-thawed frozen corn, mild green chilles and sour cream
-feta cheese, chopped Kalamata olives, chopped sun dried tomatoes and chopped fresh basil
-finely diced carrots, thawed frozen peas, scrambled eggs, grated ginger root and soy sauce
-chopped rotisserie chicken and sun dried tomato peso
-grilled shrimp, lime juice and fresh pico de gallo
-grilled chicken, cut in bite sized pieces and chile con queso

Monday, October 19, 2009

67 days until Christmas!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zoo Animal Mittens

This is my second pair of mittens-the first was a practice pair before using the yarn for these. The yarn is A Blend of Zoo Animals (alpaca, wool, camel hair) by Woofer Wearables in Alaska. Lucas and Erin bought this yarn for me last Christmas. Even though I was a little nervous about using it, wanted to finish them so they would be reminded to BUY yarn for my Christmas present this year, lol!!

These mittens took 4 oz (about 200 yards) and were knit with 44 stitches on size 3.75 circs. Wasn't sure I would like making mittens.. but they are an easy, fun knit and I will be making more!!

Razzleberry Clone Pie Recipe

2 crust refrigerator pie crust
1 bag frozen raspberries (thawed and drained)
1 bag frozen blackberries (thawed and drained)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
dash cinnamon

Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool before slicing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two Needle Slippers

I finished these little Two Needle Slippers this afternoon. They are a quick knit, made with some leftover Lion Brand Homespun-which has such lovely colors and is sooo miserable to knit with!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cheesey Tortellini Soup

This is a really good, quick soup for a cool day. You can use regular diced tomatoes if you don't like the spice from the Rotel tomatoes.

3-14 1/2 ounce cans chicken broth
2-9 ounce packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
Parmesan Cheese to garnish

Combine all and cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cheesey Chicken Tacos-CP

It's that time of year again-football and I have to keep my guys well fed! Today's new recipe was a cheesy chicken taco.

8 or 9 chicken breasts
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
jar of salsa

Combine and put in crockpot. When done, shred the chicken. Serve on soft tacos with additional toppings of your choice.

How simple is that?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pagewood Farm Socks Finished

Done on 2.25 needles, 74 stitches with Pagewood Farms Yukon (merino/bamboo/nylon) in the Prism colorways. This yarn is exceptional! It held up with 2 (yes, 2) FROGS. Once because I used the wrong stitch count and once because I didn't like the heel-and they are done toe-up. Also was verrry generous with 450 yards. Laura bought me this yarn for Christmas last year.. and I definitely be pleased with more! It is the nicest of all the socks yarns I have used to date.

This was the first time I have used Jeny's Suprisingly Stretch Bind Off. Simple, precise instructions made for an easy finish. It is the stretchiest bind off that I have used and probably the neatest. Will be using it for all my socks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pres. Obama Can You Here Us Now?

The DC Police estimated 1.2 million people at the 9/12 March in Washington, DC. Mainstream media will not report on it. Join the 9.12 Project and let you voice be heard! Election Day is coming and the politicians that want our vote then, should listen now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sen Rockefeller Has Outlived His Political Usefullness

I love politics, but this administration is driving me insane! Our wonderful country was established in such a simple manner. A Constitution-that most people have no clue what it says, was established.. and can and should hold true 200+ years later. Why do we no longer find it relevant? Why has government changed its position? How did it become so large?

About a week ago, I sent Sen Rockefeller (D-WV) an email stating my opinion on the Healthcare Bill. Don't get me wrong, it would be wonderful if everyone had health insurance. I DO NOT! But when did it become the job of government to provide me with medical care? Nowhere in the Constitution or Bill Of Rights am I promised that the government will specifically take care of me. I don't have insurance, but am paying for the recently enlarged SCHIP program that provides healthcare to children. That's all nice-but where does it say the government should take care of children... isn't that a parents job?? Government is attempting to fill the positions that we the people should be responsible for.. it is my job to help feed the poor and care for the sick-but not for Pres Obama to tell me that I have to. As a Christian, the poor are to get help from family and Church.

There isn't supposed to be a free lunch in life.. we are supposed to work for what we need or want. I am seeing it more and more in people of all ages. Why work when mom and dad or grandma will buy us a house, fix our car or pay for education or rent? It makes no sense that people want something for nothing. That is the simple reason that our government is taking our lives over. How many times have you heard someone say... why doesn't the government do something-about gas prices, healthcare, jobs? That IS NOT what government was intended to be. Every time that government takes over an aspect of lives, they screw it up!

In 1935, FDR signed the Social Security Act. It was MEANT to be a "supplemental" (key word there!) retirement insurance. Period. Nothing else. Democratic Roosevelt saw a need for people to have a bit of "help" during retirement. Probably the beginning of social welfare. In 1965, Democratic President Johnson signed into law Medicare/Medicaid taking a huge hit on Security Funds. 2003, Republican President Bush added the Medicare Modernization Act adding prescription drugs to Social Security. The Social Security system is basically broke. Now do we really want the people that have taken a supplemental retirement insurance and turned it into a full retirement and medical system, to run a nation's healthcare?

Umm, where are the doctors going to come from? Who in their right mind would want to enter the medical profession and wait for the government to cut them a check? Just ask car dealers how well that worked with Clash for Clunkers. Another topic for another time but I bet junkyards that sell used parts and used car lots aren't very happy either!

Traditionally, the US Government has not been the most ethical group of people. Are there death panels? Will there be rationing? Will illegal immigrants be covered? There really are not any straight answers. My father died of cancer in 2000. His cancer was fast growing and had invaded his brain, lymph nodes, lungs, etc. He chose to discontinue treatment because he knew a cure was unavailable. It was a decision he made concerning his own life. I would like to be able to make that same decision!

I have yet to find another person that wants government run healthcare. You exist, that is obvious but I haven't met you. Town halls are filled with people that don't want it.. polls are showing more people that are against it than those in favor. Then why won't our politicians listen to us? Were they not dually elected to SERVE the people?

Sen Jay Rockefeller D-WV has made it clear to his state that he will support whatever HE feels is right. WV Democrats unanimously supported Hillary Clinton as that last Presidential candidate. Sen Rockefeller supported Barack Obama. Sen Rockefeller has co-written Bills 773 & 778 that would give the Federal Government the right to take over the Internet if they felt it was needed. He has also stated "would it be better if we had never invented the Internet?".

As stated above, I sent Sen Rockefeller an email stating my position of the Healthcare Bill. Attached below is the response that I received in an email from his office. Apparently, he does not care how my household feels. He feels that it is worth a fight to get the bill passed. All well and good Senator, but it is time to find out how your constituents feel. Serve not make our choices, Senator. I worked for you many years ago, when you ran for Governor of our fine state. Next election, I promise you, I will work long and hard for your opponent! You no longer are in touch with the people of WV.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding comprehensive health care reform. I understand how important this issue is to you, as it is to me, and I am grateful you have been in touch about it.

When I first began my career in public service, I learned a valuable lesson: health care is a right and should not merely be a privilege. Today, it is an undeniable fact that thousands of families in our state carry the burden of failed health care policies and unmet promises. Roughly 17 percent of West Virginians have decided at one point or another not to visit a doctor because they could not afford it. More than 75 percent of people who cited medical expenses in their bankruptcy claims actually had health insurance, and most of them had jobs. How is this possible in a country as bountiful as ours? This is a question that has been left unanswered for far too long. With more than 45 million uninsured Americans, I believe more strongly than ever that we must not lose sight of the moral imperative to extend health care coverage that is affordable and meaningful to every American.

Right now, I believe that we are at a turning point - not just in Congress - but in West Virginia and across the country. We have a profound opportunity to fix a broken system and make life better for millions of Americans. As part of his Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) budget request to Congress, President Obama proposed $950 billion in savings to pay for comprehensive health care reform. No President in history has made such a sizable funding commitment to health care in an annual budget. Now, it is up to Congress to continue its work on the details of reform, so that we can submit a comprehensive plan to the President this year. We cannot afford to wait.

There are real people in West Virginia with real lives hanging in the balance. So many individuals in our communities feel alone in their struggles within this broken system, and just one serious illness threatens to send their entire world tumbling down. These are people we know: a husband or a wife, a son or a daughter, a mom or a dad, a church member or a co-worker. The growing and deeply felt insecurity of being one step removed from disaster runs like a common thread throughout our entire health care system. It is this experience that has led me to embrace three straightforward principles which guide every decision I make in Washington on the subject of health care - availability, affordability, and accountability.

First, I believe health coverage should always be available, whether it is private coverage or public programs, so that everyone can enroll. This is the basic concept of universal coverage I have always believed in. Our current system has so many gaps that millions go without coverage - including 250,000 people who are uninsured in West Virginia. Some are chronically uninsured, some from a job loss, some are students, and some have hit the ceiling on the amount of coverage their insurance provides. Recent data shows that over one-third of Americans have either experienced gaps in their insurance or relied on public programs for part of their coverage. As many as one in five uninsured Americans have no coverage at all because they have changed or lost their job. That is simply unacceptable.

In order to finally make health care available to all, we should continue the tax-exemption for employer-provided health care, provide universal coverage to kids, and allow retirees between ages 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. We should also expand Medicaid for those who need it, help small businesses provide health benefits to their employees, and finally create a long-term care program in this country.

Second, health coverage also must be affordable, so that individuals, families, and small businesses can handle the costs of coverage. Americans are forced to spend more and more of their income on health care each year. And, those with health insurance are often not protected from even higher costs in the face of severe illness. This has to stop and there are several serious proposals under consideration for increasing health care affordability and reducing costs - for families and for the system as a whole. The first of these is a public health insurance option. As the original author of the Consumers Health Care Act (S. 1278) in the Senate, I want to be clear that the public option is voluntary, and it is an option. It would simply guarantee that there is at least one health insurance plan out there that ordinary Americans can afford and can count on even when they get sick. It is stable and it is affordable, and it actually saves money in the federal budget by acting as a counterweight to profit-driven insurance companies.

Cost savings are also possible in Medicare. By this, I do not mean charging seniors more for less. That is not a policy I would ever support. The proposal I have been working on would prevent Medicare from going broke, as it is on track to do by 2017. It would eliminate the special interests and the politicians from the process of determining Medicare payment, and instead allow independent experts to make the best decisions about how much we should pay health care providers. Gradually, these experts will carefully discipline this essential part of our health care safety net, and do so without sacrificing access to necessary care for our seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Third, health coverage must be accountable, which means the insurance you buy today will be there when you need it tomorrow. As Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have been investigating the insurance industry and uncovering some incredibly disturbing facts about the deceptive practices insurance companies use. In order to maximize their profits, insurance companies are discriminating against people with pre-existing health conditions, hiding onerous caps on coverage in legalistic fine print, cutting off small businesses when someone who works there gets ill, and systematically overcharging for co-payments. As a result, many middle-class and working families, who have paid their premiums faithfully for years, abruptly find they are dumped from their insurance and have no protection against the financial ruin they worked so hard to prevent.

It is clear that the insurance industry needs to be reined in. So far, it looks like all sides agree on the importance of new insurance rules as part of health reform, which will go a long way toward treating hard-working Americans with dignity and basic fairness.

I refuse to believe that a better health care system is not possible. It is, and I am going to continue to fight for comprehensive health reform every single day. I will have your thoughts and experiences clearly in mind as Congress moves forward in enacting meaningful and comprehensive health care reform.

Thank you again for writing. It is always good to hear from my fellow West Virginians about matters of importance. Best wishes.

With Warm Regards,

Jay Rockefeller

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Random Thoughts

Things I Like

My husband, my children, good friends, sunshine through the fog, snow, good books, animals, politics, ip trackers, knowing that ip blockers don't really work, leaves changing colors and falling, artistic people, hard workers, honesty, the beach, learning new things, laughing till I cry, Alaska, baby bunnies, my cats, learning from my mistakes, rainbows, ice cream, hot chocolate, Rubi's pasta, the smell of coffee, having free time to do what I want

Things I Don't Like

Not knowing who my "little buddy" is, child abusers, animal abusers, stalkers, people that are lazy, poor hygiene, quitters, phonies, troublemakers, dishonesty, cheaters, pretentiousness, people that don't attempt to learn anything, moochers that live off others, ones that try to cheat the system, not being able to defend your position, liver, knowing there is never enough free time, poor grammar and spelling, abusing and using the elderly, lies

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What A Good Week!

What a good week this has been! Jason and Tracy came over and helped do some work that needed done, they helped build the sides on the new shed.. so it is almost done. We had three of the boys that work for my friend at Blosser Auction come over and they are getting some painting done for us. Will be back on Tuesday to finish the second coat on the house. It is awesome, using a verrry light gray with pink and turquoise accents.

Laura and Geoff are in the process of moving into their new home. They bought a house of their own. Don't envy the work, but it is so nice to have a brand new house to turn into a haven! Can't wait to see it, probably not till Spring though, since they are planning on coming home for Thanksgiving.

Lucas, Erin and her mom are headed to the Alaska State Fair to see the Beach Boys this evening. Hope they have a blast! Wish I could be there, the ASF is supposed to be totally awesome.

I did finish my 100+ Reading Challenge this month. Not that I will quit reading for the year.. but have at least met my goal of 100 books (titles can be viewed by clicking on the icon on the left}. Have finished a couple of good series books and started some new ones.. Don't understand anyone that doesn't read!! Last year, I had told Jason's ex-girlfriend that I had completed the challenge.. and she had made the statement that I must have read awfully thin books. Of course, she doesn't read.. nor did she do much for that matter. Guess that is why she is "ex".

Am still working on a pair of socks.. that has taken about 4 months to complete. They were almost finished the last time I ripped them out. Need to get these finished as I have a whole bunch of projects that I want to start-but won't till these are done!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Love This!

From my friend Lauri, in Albuquerque..

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great Story

Although this isn't a true story, it could be. It is a reminder that all the men and women that proudly wear the uniform do so at a great sacrifice to those they love!

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen.The shelter was clean, and the people really friendly.

I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.

And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.

For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.

The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cell phone amid all of my unpacked stuff.

I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that?? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down. With his back to me.

Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.

But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too.

"Okay,Reggie, " I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.".... .....

To Whomever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.

I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls...the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel. " He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left.? "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening.

Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.

Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time.

I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank.

Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with.. and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting too downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. But still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough.

I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.

I don't think I'll say another good- bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time.

Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank.

Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me."

Thank you,

Paul Mallory


I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.

The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

"C' mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.

"Tank," I whispered. His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him.

I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me."

Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

"So whatdaya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again.

"Yeah?? Ball?? You like that???Ball? "

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back......he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For Lucas..Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Lucas asked me to send him the "recipe" for Beer Can Chicken and I thought this would be easier.. he won't accidentally delete it and make me re-type it again!

I had to try this and see what all the hype was about. Plus, come on, I live in WV and SHOULD know how to make it... So here it is-

1 whole chicken
any type rub you prefer, I used a store bought Cajun
3/4 can, fully opened, beer

Heat 1 side of grill. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Coat outside and cavity heavily with rub. Add a bit of garlic and some of your rub to the beer. Stuff the beer can up the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken on cold side of grill, making sure legs stick out to keep it stable. Turn 1/4 of a turn every 15 or 20 minutes... for about 2 1/2 hours. Enjoy! This is probably the moistest chicken I have ever made!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Am So Blessed

I have been so lucky this summer! First, Lucas was home for 2 weeks. He has grown into such a fine young man and I am honored to have him as a son. Unfortunately, Erin was not able to come with him this time.. but maybe the next!


Laura is home this week.. and will be leaving tomorrow. I will miss her horribly... and can't wait till she is closer permanently! Geoff was not able to come with her either and Jason misses his new umm, camping buddy!


The week has gone wayyy too fast. Laura and Missi helped Jason move a bunch more of his stuff into his new home with Tracy. Everyone loves Tracy, she is such a sweetheart! It is great to see all of my children happy and with partners that obviously treat them well. There is nothing that gives a mom more comfort than knowing their significant others are such perfect matches! I am so very proud of all of them and so glad they are all finally happy!


Friday, July 31, 2009

"...pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. And if it's left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place."
~The Shack, Wm Paul Young

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Missi's Dip Recipe

This is a great, simple dip for veggies, pretzels, etc. Thank Missi for sharing it!!

4 cups Hellman's Mayo
3 pkgs dried Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk

Chill. Now how easy is that!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Time Goes Sooo Fast

I didn't realize that it had been such a long time since my last blog post! Geez, time does get away from you doesn't it? Since the last post Bill and I had our 27th anniversary... but we have another coming up the end of the month. That one be our 15th. Yes, we were married twice.. once at a justice of the peace and once in the Church. Amazingly, after all this time, I would do it again... He is just the best!!

Lucas was home from Anchorage for 2 weeks on leave, which was perfect but again too short. He has another year there and then will come back to the lower 48. Laura will be home for a week or two, hopefully next month or the first of September. Can't wait till then.. Have hardly seen Jason since he has a new girlfriend and this one is gem, unlike the last one.

Summer is also going very quickly. My goals were (are) to weed and move flower gardens. They are just too big and we cant keep up with them anymore (or did we ever?). Next was to paint the outside of the house. Wellll, all is started and just praying I can finish before the snow flys.

Knitting is progressing about as quickly as everything else. Just finished the heels on a toe-up sock using the Pagewood yarn that Laura got me for Christmas. It is an awesome yarn... just hate the pattern I was using.. the fit stinks so tonight they are getting ripped out and start the toes again. That's a few weeks of wasted work...teaches me to stick with what I know works!!

Ahhhh well, off to work on cleaning out piles!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Priceless Quotes

"Paying taxes is voluntary" -Sen Harry Reid

"You don't need God anymore, you have us Democrats" -Sen Nancy Pelosi (2006)

"I have invented the Internet" - Al Gore

"I have campaigned in all 57 States" -Barack Obama

And these people run our country??

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are You Tired Yet?

Are you tired of an out of touch government making decisions for you? Bet this is not the "change" that most people thought they were going to get last November! We are now stockholders in banks, owners of car companies... cap and trade will hurt our bottom line with increased energy costs... a health care reform that will add more taxes.. taxes on cigarettes, beer, pop, and heaven forbid Gatorade. What about state run television? Gun control? If you have not ever read our Constitution, now might be the time!

Yes, we are a capitalist country... I will be damned if I will spend my life working to support those that refuse to work!! It is time for a serious change in the way our city, state and federal governments are being run. It is time to let politicians know that the average person just cannot continue to sit back and watch our country be ruined. It does not matter if you are Democrat, Republican or Independent, it is time for true change! The only way for real change is to get rid of every incumbent at every level of government. Take a minute to visit New Hampshire 912 Project

If you vote for an incumbent.. YOU are the problem!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Better Picture

Here is a bit better picture of Laura and Geoff..

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kids Do Make A Mom Proud

Laura and Lucas both graduated with their Bachelors Degrees and are now ready to start there Masters. I am very proud of them both! Lucas chose to not attend his graduation.. but Laura did go to hers. Jason went to be with her and share in her proud moment.

Have to say Bill and I have the absolute best children in the entire word~not that I am prejudiced, they are just so, well, so "special"!

This definitely is not the best of pictures though... Geoff sent it via cell phone, so I will change it when I get the others!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Diagonal Pattern Baby Blanket

I was able to get the Diagonal Pattern Baby Blanket from Lion Brand done in a relatively short time! It was knit with Homespun 215 Tudor. Would have liked to use a lighter color, but this was about the best I could find. Since I am going to need to finish several baby items in a short time, it's okay though! This will be a nice fall/winter blanket!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

How I Feel Today

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain. -Unknown

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Thought This Was Cute!

Simple solutions for some of life’s little problems…….

Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to
hold them while you chop.

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few
minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from
rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be
afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move
and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Daily Thought:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Quote For A "Visitor"

Oh, lady dear, hast though no fear?
Why and what art thou dreaming here?

-Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Crock Pot Chocolate Nut Candy

2 lbs. nuts (your choice)
4 oz. bar Bakers German Sweet Chocolate
11 oz. milk chocolate bits
24 oz. Almond bark white chocolate

Place nuts in crock-pot. Break Bakers chocolate into pieces; lay over
nuts. Spread chocolate bits over Bakers chocolate. Break almond bark
into pieces and spread over chocolate bits. Set crock-pot to low and
cover. Do not stir or open lid for 2 hours. After 2 hours, stir mixture
until nuts are covered with chocolate. Spoon out bite sized amounts onto
waxed paper to cool. Number of candies depends on size of clusters.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Wolf Called Out In Pain


A Little girl Answered...

"With all her big brothers and sisters off to school,
our ranch became a lonely place for our three-year-old
daughter, Becky. She longed for playmates. Cattle and
horses were too big to cuddle and farm machinery
dangerous for a child so small. We promised to buy her
a puppy, but in the meantime, "Pretend" puppies popped
up nearly every day. I had just finished washing the
lunch dishes when the screen door slammed and Becky
rushed in, cheeks flushed with excitement. "Mama!" she
cried, "Come see my new doggy! I gave him water two
times already. He's so thirsty!" I sighed. Another of
Becky's imaginary dogs. "Please come, Mama." She
tugged at my jeans, her brown eyes pleading. "He's
crying - and he can't walk!" "Can't walk?" Now that
was a twist. All her previous make-believe dogs could
do marvelous things. One balanced a ball on the end
of its nose. Another dug a hole that went all the way
through the earth and fell out on a star on the other
side. Still another danced on a tightrope. Why
suddenly, a dog that couldn't walk? "All right,
honey," I said. By the time I tried to follow her,
Becky had already disappeared into the mesquite.
"Where are you?" I called. "Over here by the oak
stump. Hurry, Mama!" I parted the thorny branches and
raised my hand against the glare of the Arizona sun. A
numbing chill gripped me. There she was, sitting on
her heels, toes dug firmly in the sand, and cradled in
her lap was the unmistakable head of a wolf! Beyond
its head rose massive black shoulders. The rest of the
body lay completely hidden inside the hollow stump of
a fallen oak. "Becky." My mouth felt dry. "Don't
move." I stepped closer. Pale-yellow eyes narrowed.
Black lips tightened, exposing double sets of two-inch
fangs. Suddenly the wolf trembled. Its teeth clacked,
and a piteous whine rose from its throat. "It's all
right, boy," Becky crooned. "Don't be afraid. That's
my mama, and she loves you, too."
Then the unbelievable happened.
As her tiny hands stroked the great shaggy head,
I heard the gentle thump, thump, thumping of
the wolf's tail from deep inside the stump.
What was wrong with the animal? I wondered. Why
couldn't he get up? I couldn't tell. Nor did I dare to
step any closer. I glanced at the empty water bowl. My
memory flashed back to the five skunks that last week
had torn the burlap from a leaking pipe in a frenzied
effort to reach water during the final agonies of
rabies. Of course! Rabies! Warning signs had been
posted all over the county, and hadn't Becky said,
"He's so thirsty?" I had to get Becky away. "Honey,"
my throat tightened, "Put his head down and come to
Mama. We'll go find help." Reluctantly, Becky got up
and kissed the wolf on the nose before she walked
slowly into my outstretched arms. Sad yellow eyes
followed her. The wolf's head sank down to the ground.
What was wrong with the wolf?..
With Becky safe in my arms, I ran to the barns where
Brian, one of our cowhands, was saddling up to check
heifers in the north pasture. "Brian! Come quickly.
Becky found a wolf in the oak stump near the wash! I
think it has rabies!" "I'll be there in a jiffy," he
said as I hurried back to the house, eager to put
Becky down for her nap. I didn't want her to see Brian
come out of the bunkhouse. I knew he'd have a gun.
"But I want to give my doggy his water," she cried. I
kissed her and gave her some stuffed animals to play
with. "Honey, let Mom and Brian take care of him for
now," I said. Moments later, I reached the oak stump.
Brian stood looking down at the beast. "It's a Mexican
lobo, all right," he said, "and a big one! Whew! It's
not rabies," Brian said. "But he's sure hurt real bad.
Don't you think it's best I put him out of his
misery?" The word "yes" was on my lips, when Becky
emerged from the bushes. "Is Brian going to make him
well, Mama?" She hauled the animal's head onto her lap
once more, and buried her face in the coarse, dark
fur. This time I wasn't the only one who heard the
thumping of the lobo's tail.
That afternoon my husband, Bill, and our veterinarian
came to see the wolf. Observing the trust the animal
had in our child, Doc said to me, "Suppose you let
Becky and me tend to this fella together." Minutes
later, as child and vet reassured the stricken beast,
the hypodermic found its mark. The yellow eyes closed.
"He's asleep now," said the vet. "Give me a hand here,
Bill." They hauled the massive body out of the stump.
The animal must have been over five feet long and well
over one hundred pounds. The hip and leg had been
mutilated by bullets. Doc did what he had to in order
to clean the wound and then gave the patient a dose of
penicillin. Next day he returned and inserted a metal
rod to replace the missing bone. "Well, looks like
you've got yourselves a Mexican lobo," Doc said. "He
looks to be about three years old, and even as pups,
they don't tame real easy. I'm amazed at the way this
big fella took to your little gal. But often there's
something that goes on between children and animals
that we grownups don't understand."
Becky named the wolf Ralph and carried food and water
to the stump every day. Ralph's recovery was not easy.
For three months he dragged his injured hindquarters
by clawing the earth with his front paws. From the way
he lowered his eyelids when we massaged the atrophied
limbs, we knew he endured excruciating pain, but not
once did he ever try to bite the hands of those who
cared for him. Four months to the day, Ralph finally
stood unaided. His huge frame shook as long unused
muscles were activated. Bill and I patted and praised
him. But it was Becky to whom he turned for a gentle
word, a kiss or a smile. He responded to these
gestures of love by swinging his bushy tail like a
pendulum. I was fascinated and felt comfortable with
this incredible bond and yet..
As his strength grew, Ralph followed Becky all over
the ranch. Together they roamed the desert pastures,
the golden-haired child often stooping low, sharing
with the great lame wolf whispered secrets of nature's
wonders. When evening came, he returned like a silent
shadow to his hollow stump that had surely become his
special place. As time went on, although he lived
primarily in the brush, the habits of this timid
creature endeared him more and more to all of us. His
reaction to people other than our family was yet
another story. Strangers terrified him, yet his
affection for and protectiveness of Becky brought him
out of the desert and fields at the sight of every
unknown pickup or car. Occasionally he'd approach,
lips taut, exposing a nervous smile full of chattering
teeth. More often he'd simply pace and finally skulk
off to his tree stump, perhaps to worry alone. Becky's
first day of school was sad for Ralph. After the bus
left, he refused to return to the yard. Instead, he
lay by the side of the road and waited. When Becky
returned, he limped and tottered in wild, joyous
circles around her. This welcoming ritual persisted
throughout her school years.
Although Ralph seemed happy on the ranch, he
disappeared into the surrounding deserts and mountains
for several weeks during the spring mating season,
leaving us to worry about his safety. This was calving
season, and fellow ranchers watched for coyotes,
cougars, wild dogs and, of course, the lone wolf. But
Ralph was lucky. During Ralph's twelve years on our
ranch, his habits remained unchanged. Always keeping
his distance, he tolerated other pets and endured the
activities of our busy family, but his love for Becky
never wavered. Then the spring came when our neighbour
told us he'd shot and killed a she-wolf and grazed her
mate, who had been running with her.
Sure enough, Ralph returned home with another bullet
wound. Becky, nearly fifteen years old now, sat with
Ralph's head resting on her lap. He, too, must have
been about fifteen and was gray with age. As Bill
removed the bullet, my memory raced back through the
years. Once again I saw a chubby three-year-old girl
stroking the head of a huge black wolf and heard a
small voice murmuring, "It's all right, boy. Don't be
afraid. That's my mama, and she loves you, too."
Although the wound wasn't serious, this time Ralph
didn't get well. Precious pounds fell away. The once
luxurious fur, turned dull and dry and his trips to
the yard in search of Becky's companionship ceased.
All day long he rested quietly. But when night fell,
old and stiff as he was, he disappeared into the
desert and surrounding hills. By dawn his food was
gone. The morning came when we found him dead.
The yellow eyes were closed. Stretched out in front of
the oak stump, he appeared but a shadow of the proud
beast he once had been.
A lump in my throat choked me as I watched
Becky stroke his shaggy neck, tears streaming
down her face. "I'll miss him so," she cried. Then, as
I covered him with a blanket, we were startled by a
strange rustling sound from inside the stump. Becky
looked inside.
Two eyes peeked out from inside the brush with
puppy fangs glinting in the semi-darkness. Ralph's pup!
Had a dying instinct told him his motherless offspring
would be safe here, as he had been, with those who
loved him?
Hot tears spilled on baby fur as Becky
gathered the trembling bundle in her arms. "It's all
right little ... Ralphie," she murmured. "Don't be
afraid. That's my mom, and she loves you, too."

Author Unknown

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Attempt At Knitting Mittens

I'm rather OCD about trying new things so I had to call this my "practice" pair of mittens. These were made with 2 skeins of Knit Picks 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in colorways CH31. It is a nice yarn-soft. Used the pattern Basic Formula For Knitting Mittens. I was surprised how easy they were and how quickly they knit up. Now I can make another pair using that "special" yarn Lucas bought me for Christmas!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thought For The Day

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.
~Rev. William J. H. Boetcker (1916)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Opal Neon Socks Finished!

This pair of socks was knitted with 2.0 needles, 72 stitches with Opal Neon 1936. The stitch pattern for the leg is-knit 2 rows, knit 2 purl 2 for 2 rows, repeat both rows to desired length. Used the Crazy Toes & Heels toe-up method. I liked the Opal and will use the stitch pattern again.

Todays Quote

"My life is my own and the opinion of others don't interest me..." ~Carroll John Daly

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ohhh So True...

"The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you." ~Unknown

Monday, April 27, 2009

Warning! Goodfellas Transmissions

Although I don't usually post this type of thing.. I am more into knitting than cars-even though hubbie and I own an auto repair shop, thought that just maybe someone considering a transmission from Goodfellas will come across this and have second thoughts. I grew up in the "repair" business. In today's world there is enough competition that a business cannot remain viable for over 40 years without a good reputation, loyal customers and a good work ethic. Apparently our business has that or we would not still be there.

My son purchased a special built transmission from Goodfellas Transmission in Tarpon Springs, FL. Guess I will just let you read the message he posted to one of his forums... and hope you will have second thoughts if you are considering them for your next transmission!!

"Hey guys,

I know this is a semi-old post but i just thought i would share my experience with goodfellas transmission....

I ordered an "enforcer" for my 00 tahoe 4l60e. I installed the first tranny and it started slipping after a single day of driving. I called the owner, John, and had me tear it back out of the vehicle and he arranged shipping. John told me he would take care of the cost because of the short time the tranny was in the tahoe. Well, i received a bill in the mail a few days after the tranny was picked up from the my shop. I called John back and he said pretty much "tough luck". Well i didn't pay for the shipping. Instead i called the shipping company and had them forward the bill. I fought with John for a while about getting my money back. He kept saying "sorry thats not out policy"... i guess their policy is sending out junk trannys. After a couple weeks my tranny showed back up (really didn't want it) i still needed one so i called him and he said the band was burnt up. I said ok i guess things happen. I put it in and it started slipping 2 days after!!!! + torque convertor is junk. Now the (CHANGED-umm gentleman) won't even take my calls....

I took the tranny out and took to to a local shop. Here's what the guy told me so far...

band's burnt up and it was some kind of cheap band, not what they advertise, end play is wrong, it's NOT a corvette servo (spring is chopped instead), the valve body is screwed up, the clutch packs were burnt, there are some other parts that i'm not sure what they are that were damanged from not being installed right. torque convertor was crap (and a very cheap one) Pump had peices of metal in it. Pretty much a POS transmission.

Bottom line... I got screwed out of $1500 and wanted to make sure no one else would even think about buying one from them. My old tranny is being rebuilt locally.

I think his a scam artist and obviously dosen't know how to put together a transmission. In fact, he told me the tranny problems were my fault becasue he checked it in the "test car" I honestly don't think he ever opened it up. The bolts still had paint (no chips) on them when he sent the tranny back to me."

Buyer Beware!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Burger King Style Iced Mocha

Very similiar to the real thing!!

2 c strong cooled coffee
2 c half & half
1 c Hersheys syrup

Stir above in pitcher. Chill. Serve with ice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Says It All!

"We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads." ~Unknown

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fuzzyfeet Noro Felted Slippers

Felted these Fuzzyfeet slippers a few minutes ago.. and now have to wait for them to dry! Easy, cute pattern from knitty. Used 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon 199A. Worried the whole way through that there wouldn't be enough yarn.. but alas, just a hair left over. Took almost an hour to felt the Kureyon though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Parkersburg WV Tax Day Tea Party

For those friends and family that happen to live nearby... A Tax Day Tea Party is to be held at the Wood County Courthouse on April 15th, 12-1:30. The tea parties are non-partisan... but a statement that we are tired of fiscal irresponsibility and taxes!! Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Knitting Grandma Survives Italy Quake

This is an awesome story about a 98 year old grandmother that survived being buried by the Italian earthquake. She stayed busy by knitting!

Read all about it here!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Noro Silk Yoga Socks

This was a relatively fast and easy knit. I just happen to know a wonderful person with a birthday quickly approaching... and she is a yoga person.. and is always cold. Thought it would be the perfect gift.

Pattern was a free download from Ravelry Althought the pattern only calls for 1 skein of Noro Silk (I used 292A)on size 3 needles, I was about 12 rows short. Thankfully, my LNS had another skein! Should know better, it seems there is no consistency in Noro yarns, BUT I do love working with them!

Now, will the receipient hate them because the colors don't match... or will she appreciate that they are unique?? Maybe she will let us know ...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Elvis Presley Cake

1 package white cake mix, baked according to directions in 9 x 13 pan
20 oz can crushed pineapple, slightly drained
1 c white sugar
1- 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 c softened butter
4 c confectioners sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped pecans

Combine pineapple and sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil. Pour over cooled cake.

Cream butter and cream cheese, add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat till smooth.

After frosting cake, sprinkle pecans over top.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Rigatoni

This is very good. Was a little dry, so I added extra dressing... mmmm!

16 oz rigatoni pasta, cooked
1 lb Italian sausage, cut in chunks and browned
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 c tomato paste
1/2 c Kraft Sun Dried Tomato dressing
Parmesan cheese

Stir onions and tomato paste into sausage, cover. Cook 15 minutes or until onions are tender and sausage is cooked, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing. Toss sausage mix with pasta. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Denny's Clone Vegetable Barley Soup

Verry quick, very easy and quite tasty on a cool evening!

1 lb ground beef, browned and grease drained
1 16 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 c barley
64 ounces beef broth
2-14 oz cans diced tomatoes
pinch dried basil
2 T dried onions
garlic, salt, pepper to taste

Simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Next Four Years


















Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Philosophy Of Life

Received this from a friend and it just so describes my life and how I feel about things... just had to share!

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making
my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful.
But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers,
or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and
compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their
hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.
I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,
but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quote For The Day

I have an issue with "piles". Laura tells me that I can take one pile and create 7 others (she is probably correct, wink, wink), but I have been working hard to eliminate some of my garbage. Geez, if I didn't have sooo many interests... there just wouldn't be a need to save everything. AND what about all that "stuff" that needs to be listed on Ebay? It is just a never-ending job!!

Was recently talking to my friend Pam, discussing what we had been doing throughout the week.. and her hubbie Steve tossed this one out-

"Piles can not be created or destroyed, only changed".

Am now giving up on piles and going to clean windows instead!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vanilla Hazelnut Chow Mein Cookies

Todays new recipe (at least for me!) was Vanilla Hazelnut Chow Mein Cookies. I love quick and easy.. and these are. Tasty and different also!

1-12 oz bag vanilla/white chips
1/3 c Nutella
3 1/2 c chow mein noodles

Melt chips in double boiler until smooth. Add Nutella, mixing well. Add chow mein noodles. Stir to coat completely coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool completely.

Tradition recipe is-

12 oz bag butterscotch chips
1/2 c peanut butter
3 1/2 c chow mein noodles.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brooklyn Tweed Noro Scarf

What a fun knit the Brooklyn Tweed scarf is! I thought that 1 x 1 ribbing would drive me insane... but the color changes definitely made up for it. Thank you so much, Jared for posting this!

39 stitches on Size 7 needles. I slipped the first stitch of each row (that way I didn't have to keep track of what row I was on). Used 2 skeins of Noro Silk 211, one of each 230 and 92.

This is a great mindless project.. and I will be doing more of these!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

On A Roll

Day 2 of finishing SOMETHING!! Probably a good idea since I am not sure of what yarn this scarf was knitted of... or even when I made it. It is nice and soft and fluffy.. not that it matters since it is going to be almost 80 degrees today.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Hate Weaving Ends

I hate weaving in ends! It is the part of a knitting or crochet project that I put off... and unless it is a project that HAS to be finished now, it often goes into a pile until I decide to finish the whole pile. Today I wove the ends on 32 knitted cotton dishcloths. These are a mindless project that I carry in the car and do whenever, wherever. BUT these should have been done a long time ago.

Laura had all of her dishcloths stolen (along with a multitude of other things that I had given or made for her). Even though she has been sent some since that happened, she needed a bigger and better selection... Guess she can have that "quantity" now these are finished!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thought For The Day

"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced. The arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."

-Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 B.C

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hot Italian Subs

Tonight's dinner is such a breeze.. it gives me more time to do something else, like knit or read. We have had these before and they are always a hit.

6-6 to 8" hoagie rolls
1/2 c. Italian dressing
1/2 lb sliced deli salami
1/2 lb sliced deli ham
1/2 lb sliced deli turkey
1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
tomato, sliced thin
onion, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread Italian dressing on cut sides of hoagie rolls. Layer w/ meats, cheese, tomato and onion. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

These are just as good as the local pizza shop and takes less time than running out to buy them!

Monday, February 23, 2009


We had this for dinner yesterday. It was another recipe that I found on the internet somewhere. Good, easy and not much that isn't always in my pantry.

2 chicken breasts, cut in 1" cubes
4 oz smoked sausage, cut in 1" pieces
1 c spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
1-16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c onion, chopped
2 c celery, chopped
1-14 oz can chicken broth
1 cup long-grain rice

In 4 quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except rice. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low for 3-45 minutes or until rice is tender. 6 servings.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rotel Sausage Dip

Made this today so the guys have something to snack on during the Daytona 500. Quick and easy, it is always a big hit!

1 lb hot sausage (cooked)
2-8 oz cream cheese
1 can Rotel Tomatoes w/green chilies

Throw it all together in crockpot on warm. Serve with Tostito Scoops.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl 43 & The Pittsburgh Steelers

Even though I am not really a big football fan, the guys in my family certainly are.. at least when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bill was born in Oil City, PA, as were our children. They were not only thrilled to see their team make it to the big game, but to win!

On the downside, Laura's boyfriend, Geoff, chose to cheer on the Arizona Cardinals. I think there is something wrong with him... doesn't he know that a Steeler fan is not compromising? And geez, he also supports Univ of Michigan.. another no-no when I am a West Virginia alumni!!!

Okay, getting off track here, but want to congratulate those Steelers for a season well finished.

Friday, January 30, 2009

PVC Yarn Swift

My hubbie is wonderful!!!!!!!! I wanted a yarn swift but am too cheap to buy one.. so he made it for me. He found the plans for the swift/skeiner on the internet at the blog A Book And Some Yarn. It was relatively inexpensive and pretty quick to make. The longest part was cutting the pvc pipe.

It is really cool, it comes apart for storage... adjustable for different skein sizes, can be used as swift or skeiner(if I ever spin or color my own yarn). It does have a handle in the center for easier turning, but it is not on there at the moment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Wonderland aka Northeast Storm

Fortunately, we don't have the severe weather that many are having. Yes, there was snow, and freezing rain, and rain, and more snow. It took almost an hour this morning to get the ice off my car. Went to work, but only for a short time.. It started snowing and I am a rather "nervous" driver!

Now home, the electric has gone off a couple times and the lights are flickering every so often. I am prepared though... think that is another one of those paranoid things! It is going to be sooo crappy tomorrow when the roads re-freeze.

Monday, January 26, 2009

January Doldrums

Okay, I haven't written a thing since the first of the month... and that is because.. I am boring! January is such a crappy month. Christmas season is over, it is cold, television re-runs stink! Whatever is there to do? Everyone is just waiting for spring.. and for the economy to get better.

What have I accomplished this month? Umm, let's see-I am on my 15th book for the Reading Challenge (see sidebar link). Finished the entrelac scarf, but it still needs the ends woven in and blocked or felted (can't make a decision on that!). Am working on a pair of socks with Noro and on Brooklyn Tweed scarf, also with Noro. I love Noro yarn. The sock yarn is "interesting". Yes, it twists, no, it is not that rough, the color is great, it had a jumbled up mess of knots that had to be undone, there are so many unspun sections that you have to use them.. but I really do like this yarn.

That are so many things that I want/need to do. Finish the entrelac scarf, weave in the ends on that other scarf in my pile that is so old I don't know when I started it, weave in the ends of the multitude of dishcloths that are done (I know Laura, I promised you some when??), finish the hats that are started, finish the multidirectional scarf I started 2-3 years ago. What about that sweater I bought the yarn for.. and socks, I need more socks.

Also need to make soap, get the tax stuff ready for the accountant, list somethings on ebay, decide on what to have for the Super Bowl (Go Steelers!), answer a few emails, clean my house.. and on and on. Oh will spring ever come and give me energy!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Baked French Toast Casserole

Made this for breakfast this morning.. and it is excellent! Not sure where the recipe came from, but kudos to the poster!

1 loaf French Bread
8 eggs
2 c half and half
1 c milk
2 T sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
dash salt
Topping (recipe follows)
Maple syrup

Slice french bread into 20-1" slices. Arrange slices in a well buttered 9x13 baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat with whisk until well blended, but not too frothy. Pour mixture over the bread, coating completely. Cover with foil and place in fridge overnight.

Next day, preheat oven to 350. Spread topping evenly over bread and bake for 40 minutes untill puffed and lightly golden. Serve with syrup. 6-8 servings

2 sticks melted butter
1 c packed lt brown sugar
1 c chopped pecans
2 T maple syrup
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
Combine all ingredients.