Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Path

Today I have Angie @ Seven Clown Circus— who will lead us down her chosen path:

I've always been fascinated with paths. Paths that are taken, paths that are not; reasons for choosing one path and not the other. Pondering both diverging and intersecting paths is something I spend probably too much time thinking about, but think about them, I do.

This is one of my favorite photos because it clearly illustrates the path that I've chosen to take in my life. I never thought that I'd have 5 children. I always expected a much more {Angie} centered existence. I never came close to comprehending how much joy my family would bring me. When I embarked on the path that included marriage to a wonderful man and the ensuing birth of my children, I hadn't a clue as to the way that path would change and mold me.

Sometimes I think of the ways my life would be different if I had continued on in school to get the PhD I desired. I think of the ways that path would be different from the one I'm on now, and I shake my head.

I really believe that I could have had that PhD, yet I chose something different, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.

I may not be an expert on one particular subject with a piece of paper certifying my knowledge, but I am an expert on things that can't be measured or documented with a test.

Walking {and sometimes stumbling} on the path I've chosen is the best choice I could have made.

Thank goodness I made it.

Angie Lee
Seven Clown Circus

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time for Planting

This post is brought to you by Blogging Mama Andrea @ Blogging Mama Andrea. Spring is in the air— and Blogging Mama is ready to talk about it:

It's spring. Or at least the idea of spring has arrived in my neighborhood. Outside the kitchen window the blades of grass are starting to turn from palest yellow to a hint of lush summer green. The geese in the pond behind my yard honk and flap and sing the news that warmer weather is hiding just around the corner.

Earlier this month, during one of many trips to Home Depot, the spring fever flew to another level. Already hardy flowers are on carts at the front doors and inside gleaming silver grills are screaming out for hot dogs and hamburgers. Even my kids were tempted by the idea of running outside without winter boots and wool hats.

When spring arrives it brings with it the joy of more daylight, warmer temperatures and fresh air. I'm looking forward to the day when I can throw open the windows. The kids run around pushing out the stagnant winter air as if they were chasing out the boogie man. The house smells fresh and almost indescribable after a good spring airing.

Spring to me is the start of something good. It means more time out of doors, kids zooming around the cul-de-sac on bikes, time after time climbing the slide at the park and plenty of barbeques. Everyone has a different idea of what spring is.

What does spring mean to you?

Blogging Mama Andrea

Blogging Mama

Monday, March 29, 2010

Felt the whisper of death on the back of my neck

This week I will be away from blogging. In my stead I have had some wonderful fellow bloggers help out. Today, I bring you Midlife Mama @ Midlife Musings:

Hello! I'm Midlife Mama and I have a blog called Midlife Musings. I am very honored that Ca-Joh asked me to guest post for him while he is away at training. I hope I can fulfill my duties honorably.

I thought long and hard about what I should post about for Christopher. Do I get serious? Funny? Silly? Don't want to offend any of his readers. This is a serious responsibility, and I want to make sure that I do right by him. I turned it over in my mind several times; selected and discarded several subjects. I finally decided to do a post about friendships and relationships, and how to tell if you're being a good friend, and if you are in a healthy relationship. But then on Friday (March 19) something happened on the way home from work, and I decided to write abut that instead.

I believe in God, and I also believe that everyone in this life has a story to tell and a life to live, and people to influence — positively or negatively — while they are here. Sometimes things happen that take our breath away, and cause us to stop taking life for granted, and to really start living. Do we have a specific date that we are scheduled to die? Is it written in the Book of Life somewhere, and when your number is up, poof! you're gone? Do we have any control over when we die?

I don't think any of us have the answer to that. Everyone has an opinion, or a theory, based in fact and/or belief, and I can't believe that someone who commits suicide, for instance, was destined to do so and that was the day they were supposed to die. I can't believe that God does that to us — points to someone and says, "You will kill yourself on May 10th 2010 and that will be the day you die." I think that a person who commits suicide screws up God's schedule. I personally believe that everyone has free choice, and that by giving us free choice, sometimes we do things that can change the direction of our lives. Sometimes others do things TO us that causes the direction of our lives to change. Perhaps a life is abruptly cut short. The tricky part is figuring it all out. Why are some people, bad people, spared and good, kind wonderful people are murdered, or killed by a drunk driver, for instance?

The point of all this rambling is this: Have you ever had an experience where you escape serious injury or death by seconds? Nanoseconds? You feel the hiccup in the universe, where, had things been even slightly different, you might not be alive?

This happened to me on Friday. I was driving home from work, and as per usual the streets were crowded. Everyone seems to be out and about more on Friday afternoons, and this day was no exception. I take a different route home each day, depending on the turn of a traffic signal. I refuse to take the highway home (I live in a relatively small town in northern California, and there is a four-lane highway (two north, two south) that runs through town.) Normally I would hop on the highway and zip on home, but the "rush hour" (you in crowded metropolitan areas would laugh hysterically at our "rush hour") traffic on the freeway makes me nervous so I usually take surface streets home. As I approach East First Avenue each day, if the light is red, I turn right. If the light is green, I go straight and turn down E. 5th Street to get home.

On this particular Friday, the light was red, so I turned right onto E. First Ave. This means that I then have to turn left a few short blocks later onto the street where I live. East First Avenue is usually heavy with traffic that time of day, and turning left across traffic can be a pain, sometimes having to wait through two or three cycles of the light to get enough clearance to turn. (They seriously need to put a left turn light there, but I digress). If the light is green at my street, instead of stopping and waiting to turn left, I usually turn right, make a u-turn and then wait at the red light to go across. I hate turning left and waiting for traffic to clear, so it may not be faster but at least I'm not just sitting there.

So as that was the case on Friday, I turned right, made a u-turn and sat at the red light to go across the intersection to get to my apartment complex. The light turned green, and I accelerated to go across the intersection. As I passed through the intersection, a car on my left ran the red light. In that moment, my brain registered that there was a car coming, and before I could stop to breathe, it passed behind me, missing me by a nanosecond. I swear you couldn't have gotten a piece of paper between my back bumper and that car, it was that close. If I had been even a half a second slower on the accelerator, he would have t-boned me on the driver's side. The car was accelerating, and going fast. It would have seriously injured or killed me if it had hit me.

In that moment, that my brain registered what had happened, and I heard the car slam on their breaks just as they passed me, I felt a chill pass over me, and I knew that I had narrowly escaped a quick exit from this earth. My heart stopped briefly and then began to pound. I felt a cold sweat break out all over. My hands began to shake and my breath came in gasps as my body reacted to the scare. I pulled into my parking space and sat there, white, shaking, willing the adrenaline that had poured into my system to abate.

Why was I spared? I do not yet know this, but it was obviously not my time. I either have something to learn, or something to contribute. I have love to give, and love to receive. I have life to live. Future grandchildren to bounce on my knee. Elderly parents to love and care for as they walk their final years on this earth. As I got out of my car, my legs were shaking so hard I could hardly walk. I plan to embrace life, to take this second chance I was given and live my life to the fullest. I need to do what is best for me and my life, and not let others determine my path, to not let the opinions of others determine the direction of my life. I said a little prayer of thanksgiving to God, and went in the apartment to make a really tough decision that I'd been avoiding — a decision to leave my marriage, and continue on this walk alone but happier, more at peace; not seeking but not closed to the idea of someone in my life at a future time. Life is too short to be unhappy. And simple decisions such as which street to take home from work, can have unexpected consequences.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

BOOB 03-29 through 04-02

For those of you who do not know what BOOB means, it means:
"Being Out Of Blogging" (shame on you). What this means is that I will not be blogging next week… but instead will be in training all week and am not sure if I'll have the mental capacity to post. (Besides, I'm on the computer all day at work and need a break). However, I do have some guests who will be posting on my behalf while I am away. When I asked for assistance with guest posting, I was pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of volunteers. It is an honor and a privilege to have these people help out and be guests on my blog.

Here is the schedule for next week:

Monday, March 29:
Midlife Mama @ Midlife Musings
Tuesday, March 30:
Blogging Mama Andrea @ Blogging Mama
Wednesday, March 31:
Angie @ Seven Clown Circus
Thursday, April 01:
Crash @ Crash Test Dummy Diaries
Friday, April 02:
Steenky Bee @ steenky bee
Saturday, April 03:
Gretchen @ Second Blooming

If you are unfamiliar with these authors, I encourage you to check out their blogs so that you get a feel of their writing styles.
See you when I return.

Friday, March 26, 2010

F2: Out like a lamb

Welcome again to Friday's Feast1. Today I'll be talking about March as a possible turning point in your menu selections.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

You know the old saying: "March— In like a Lion and Out like a Lamb". Typically this refers to the weather. At the beginning of March you probably have snow and bitter cold weather— and by the time the month concludes it looks more and more like spring. I also think that the dishes we prepare follow a similar pattern.

When March begins, we are still cooking dishes that help keep us warm. These bold lion-like dishes are powerful and keep us going when we feel cold and run down.

By the time you have reached the end of the month, you are now thinking spring and your dishes seem to reflect this. They may not be timid like a lamb, but they are lighter and cooler.

What are your thoughts? Do you notice that there is a certain point when your dishes change?

Next month is April. Even though I will be away next week, this gives you two weeks to share something April-like. Here are some ways of interpreting this month's theme:

  • April is in my [Blank]. What foods remind you of this month.
  • This year April also has Easter, do you have any Easter dishes or traditions you want to share.

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

1 If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Analytical Sophisticate

Today I'm putting my own spin on this week's Spin Assignment: It's all about ME!

I do not remember when I started describing myself as an Analytical Sophisticate— but that is one of the phrases I use to describe myself simply. I have the tendency to make up small phrases that take on profound meaning to me when I look at it closer. Being that this phrase is only two words long one would think that the definition would be pretty straightforward. It couldn't be further from the truth.

I consider myself to be quite analytical in nature. I like to see "how things work". In this way I am constantly trying to look at things differently. I pride myself in the fact that I can see the big picture as well as focus on the details in things. I tend to concentrate more on principles and concepts of processes rather than the facts or specifics of a certain thing.
Part of analysing is conveying what you analyze to others so they can analyze it as well. Being an educator I am trained in being able to teach those things I know to others. Being able to describe what you see to others is very important to me. I strive to be simple in my descriptions so that you are not lost in my words. I do not say what I say to impress you— though there are times I feel I am being a bit lofty.
At first I took this term as more of being sophisticated than anything else. I feel that I have a class about me. I like to think that I am intelligent and can behave in that manner. I also feel that I am old fashioned and a bit of a romantic at heart.
Being that I tend to make up or misuse words— I felt that I should look up sophisticate just to make sure that I am using the term correctly. What I found added new dimension to the whole phrase.
I discovered that there is a second meaning to the word sophisticate— being worldly. I know that I like to be open minded and enjoy seeing how other people see things. I believe that I incorporate those things that normally would not be mainstream into the way I view the world. In this way I am very accepting of other cultures as well as other people's viewpoints.

I consider myself to be an analytical sophisticate. This is what I am and this is the essence of my being. A lot of what I do and say stems from this phrase, so simply put: "I am an Analytical Sophisticate".

small cycle

Friday, March 19, 2010

F2: Baked Potato

Welcome again to Friday's Feast1. Today I'll be talking about making baked potatoes.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

With people posting recipes on how to make various Irish dishes, we tend to forget about the Irish potato famine. So I figured I would honor this with a simple potato recipe. Besides… the other day someone tweeted that they needed to know how to bake potatoes "the old fashioned way" since they typically cook theirs in the microwave.

With inspirations from DS&P

Baked Potato:
4-6 Russet Potatoes
1-2T Chilled Bacon Fat2
If you don't have (or can't have) bacon fat, you can substitute Vegetable Shorting.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Coat the potatoes with the bacon fat.
    If you want to keep your hands clean, you can use a plastic sandwich bag to spread with.
  3. Place the potatoes in the center rack of the oven.
  4. Cook between 45 and 60 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Remove from oven and serve.
  6. Enjoy.

Even though Saint Patrick's Day was Wednesday— this month is still March. This month is also International Peanut Month (Jimmy would be proud). I also hear that today is St. Joseph's Day (Anybody for Italian). I'm looking for posts that relate to this festive time. Ways to interpret this topic include…

  • "Goin' Green"— foods that are (or can be) green.
  • What Irish foods do you serve on Saint Patrick's Day?
  • Why on earth would they dye the beer green… does it make it more potent?
  • St. Joseph is Italian… Any Italian dishes or traditions you want to share?
  • George Washington Carver came up with many uses for the peanut… can you?

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

1 If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

2 I typically cook my bacon in a broiler pan and drain the fat into a jar and store in the refrigerator for use later. I promise that I will post on this one soon if you are curious.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blogging The Brand

Today I'm putting my own spin on the Spin Cycle's topic:
Behind the scenes of a blog.

So often we hear about brand loyalty. There are some people who will only buy certain products because of the brand it has— even if there is a less expensive product that is just as good. How can we as writers show our blog's "Brand" and gain readers.

There is a concept in the business world called "Living the Brand"1. In this concept, a person has a picture in their mind as to how they want to be perceived by other co-workers, and even their customers. This picture is their brand. Using this picture, the person then strives to present themselves so that they will be perceived by others according to the brand.

How do you present yourself through your blog? In the article by Tara entitled: Your online identity: the art & business of crafting your online self, she talks about communicating your "true self" through your online identity.

I have a statement: "Be true to yourself as your own self true". In this context this means that whatever you are writing, you need to be truthful. You cannot make up some persona if it is not the true you— nor can you write things that are simply untrue.

Many of you have either commented or communicated to me your impressions on my writing style. I have even had some people mention the way in which I comment on their blogs. With these words I get a sense of validation— and with that I am both moved and humbled.

If you are new here, or just curious as to what I am writing about— feel free to read my About this Blog page. I feel that it is a good mission statement and offers a flavor of the topics I cover.

I strive to live my brand in that I don't just say the words I say to impress you, or impose my philosophy upon you— but rather impart of myself to you so that you can know "me" a bit better. Through my writing and comments I am "Blogging The Brand" and striving to live up to those words I convey.

1 More information about this concept can be found on the site:
Living The Brand.

small cycle

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Out of Sight and Out of Mind

So often I use the statement "Out of sight and out of mind". I typically use it as a way of justifying the feeling one gets when they feel that they are being ignored. I feel that there is a lot to this concept— so it deserves delving into a bit in order to wrap our heads around it better.

The term "Out of sight" does not always mean that the person is not within your field of vision. So often we See people on a regular basis. Even if we only talk to them on the phone, their presence is with us. It is this presence that we recognize and that presence is what makes us know that they exist. Since we tend to favor sight, using visual terms makes this recognition easier to digest.

The regularity of interacting with other people becomes routine to us. Many parents will tell you that with routine the responsibility to perform tasks become easier over time. We tend to get used to the fact that they are there and take that connection for granted. So what happens when that routine is broken?

What is forefront in our minds is what we are currently dealing with at the moment. If we do not have that routine of interaction with someone, we tend to forget about their existence. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and say to myself that they are just busy— but I also wonder if the connection was strong enough to begin with. Even if they are busy, shouldn't they reestablish the connection when they are no longer busy.

So often I find myself thinking of someone that I lost contact with. Many times I wonder if I should reconnect because the time that has elapsed has become so great. What is there to talk about? Will they still remember me?

I know that it seems like a catch phrase to say "remember me", but often times they do remember— and very fondly as well. I never want to hold it against someone that they suddenly became busy then forgot to reestablish the connection— so I am more than willing to start fresh. I try to fill in the gaps between the time that we lost contact and then try to focus on the present. Sometimes you will be surprised to find a whole new friend in the process.

Is there anybody in your life you no longer see that you would like to reconnect with? Do you find that people tend to forget you unless you are constantly reminding them of your presence?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter to the Editor

When I was a Sophomore in college, I wrote a letter to the editor. Based upon what I wrote about you can determine how old I am— but that is not the exercise. Looking back on the article I realize that what I talked about still seems to apply today. I am going to present both my article and one that was printed in response to my article a few days later. Enjoy:

View activists with open mind


With the rise of events in such places as Nicaragua and South Africa, political activists have formed committees to help support or protest these happenings. An analogy can be drawn from these political activist groups active in the '60s such as groups for and against Vietnam and civil rights.

Many of these activist groups are formed and only live a short time, which brings me to the question: Why do we even form such groups in the first place if they don't last?

Basically, these activist groups are making a political statement about society through their public actions. But with all this hype, the committees draw in overzealous individuals which don't gorily represent the underlying ideas, but only exemplify them and blow these ideas out of proportion.

If you can understand the underlying ideas and opinions created by these groups without being caught up in the hype, you can then directly observe history in the making. So I encourage you, if not for yourself— for humanity, to look at both sides of all of these groups' ideas with an open mind, not a biased one, so then you can have a better understanding of today's world and how it works.

Christopher Johnson
Music Education

Activists are history in making


I am writing in response to Christopher Johnson's letter on Tuesday, April 15 concerning viewing activists with an open mind. Mr. Johnson drew an analogy between political activist groups of today and those of the '60s such as groups for and against civil rights and Vietnam.

Mr. Johnson questioned the reasoning behind the forming of such groups stating that they didn't last very long.

He then went on to advocate being unbiased by not getting "caught up in the hype" and this unbiased attitude according to Mr. Johnson, would allow one to directly observe history in the making.

What Mr. Johnson actually seemed to be advocating was indifference, non-involvement and apathy. With Mr. Johnson's views of directly observing history in the making came as an image of being acted upon by one's circumstances rather than acting on them.

As I looked back on the pages of history, I was keenly aware that had it not been for the formation of activist groups, this country would not be America. For surely it was those who took a stand that made a difference.

Because I am a part of mankind, I am concerned about its destiny. Therefore, I choose to be an activist in any positive way that I can in order to further mankind.

It is far past time to cease from be in indifferent! I encourage you to look around you and view history in the making: Nations are engaged in conflict with each other and our being indifferent to this, and other issues, will only hasten our destruction.

I therefore urge you — if not for yourself, for humanity — to stand up and be counted; to be an integral part in making history not merely in observing its making.

Robinzina Bryant
Social Work

What's your opinion…

Friday, March 12, 2010

F2: Happy Birthday F2

Welcome again to Friday's Feast1. Today I'll be talking about how Friday's Feast has changed over the past year.

Participants in this weeks Feast are as follows:

  • M2I @ Ca-Joh
    Here's a Birthday Cake Recipe to help celebrate.

A little bit over a year ago, I decided I would like to have a recurring feature post. In it I would give food related topics for people to link up with. So I came up with Friday's Feast. As far as I know I have not changed the rules too much since I first conceived the idea. Here is a snip-it from that first post:

Some of you may have heard me mention that I would like to develop my own recurring feature post. Well… here is my attempt at doing something on a regular basis and having everybody join in the fun. I call this feature: "Friday's Feast".

The whole idea behind Friday's Feast is to promote all things food. The way that you can join in the feast is as follows:

Every Friday I will post a topic for the following weeks post. If you want to participate in that next week's Feast, just leave a comment and be sure to include a direct link to your post. I will then gather up the links and put them in that next post. The best part of this is that you can leave a comment at any time (even after the next week's post has been posted)— as well as linking to any post that you have written (even if it was from long ago, or in the future).

Some broad topics that I have thought of are:

  • Celebrity chefs
  • Cooking disasters
  • Cooking shows
  • Favorite and/or not so favorite foods
  • Food allergies
  • Food commercials you love and/or hate
  • Food facts
  • Product placement
  • Recipes
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Stories about eating

… and the list goes on and on. Hopefully that will give you some idea as to the kinds of topics we will cover. I always welcome more ideas, so leave a comment to let me know if there is any other topic that you would like to use.

Originally I used Mr. Linky to capture who was participating, but sometime around May they were experiencing technical difficulty so I abandoned that and used the current method of participating which is to leave a comment with a link to your post.

Around October I started to use monthly themes. I'm thinking that this may be easier for participants to remember— as well as make it easier for me to come up with themes. Here is what I have for my monthly themes:

JanuaryWarm Dishes to beat the cold
FebruaryValentines' Day, Love
MarchSt. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day, Green, Italy
AprilEaster, Spring
July4th of July, Summer
AugustDog Days
DecemberChristmas, Hanukkah

As you can tell, I don't have anything for May. I am sure that I can fill these months out better too. Feel free to suggest themes that go along with the various months so I can add them in.

Now that Friday's Feast has reached a year old, I am hoping that more people will participate. I am really struggling with how to promote this feature. I have heard a lot of people say they like this feature, but I haven't gotten too many people participating from week to week. I don't want to stop if people like this, but I would like this to be a participation style post where people join in the feast.

This month is March— which means Saint Patrick's Day. I also hear that next Friday is St. Joseph's day. I'm looking for posts that relate to this festive time. Ways to interpret this topic include…

  • "Goin' Green"— foods that are (or can be) green.
  • What Irish foods do you serve on Saint Patrick's Day?
  • Why on earth would they dye the beer green… does it make it more potent?
  • St. Joseph is Italian… Any Italian dishes or traditions you want to share?

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

1 If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What worth is the world to myself

I forget what I was going through when I wrote this poem, but I do find that it seems to sum up the feelings one gets when you find things come to you way too easily.

What worth is the world to myself
if I have found the wonders of great wealth.

My riches they give not to me
but only restrict and make me not see.

So why have it all and never have none
and think that you've won one more on the shelf.


I have used the phrase "Why have it all— when you can have none". I typically use that phrase to show humbleness. So often we strive to have it all. If we ever have it all we believe that everything is ours for the taking and never consider the consequence of our actions in getting it all. If you have it all do you really have it all— or is there just one more thing that you want?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tempest Fugit

And then the one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

10 Years… that's a long time. Today I get honored for 10 years of service at my current job. I actually started in January, but it takes a while for them to come up with the names and awards and all. This is the only place where I have worked the longest. Before that I worked in the same place for eight years— but strangely enough who I got my paycheck from changed every three, so it's hard to justify.

My wife finds it interesting how the skills that she picked up from previous jobs seem to help out in her current job. In the job I had for eight years I worked for different vendor companies as a desktop publisher. I used a lot of "Find and Replace" skills to change wording in documents quickly. I find that these skills help me as a programmer when it comes to using Regular Expressions and making bulk find and replace strings to data.

I worked as an archivist for a Pre-press company. Through that job I learned how to organize your files and be able to archive those files you no longer use. I still use a similar folder structure to organize my projects that the pre-press operators used to store their projects they worked on.

I worked as a support technician for a library automation software company. I had to support librarians who used our software over the phone. I have been told by many people that I have very pleasant phone skills and I attribute it to this job.

Looking back on my career path and seeing how each job seems to culminate with the next makes me realize that I have been quite successful in what I do and I look forward to the next 10 years here.

1 Excerpts from the Pink Floyd song: "Time" from the album Dark Side Of The Moon.

Friday, March 5, 2010

F2: Corned Beef Hash

Welcome again to Friday's Feast1. Today I'll be sharing a recipe in honor of March and Saint Patrick's Day.

Many times you find that you have left over corned beef from making corned beef and cabbage. Here is something you can do with the left over corned beef:

With inspirations from Mrs. Mackinac

Corned Beef Hash:
1 Can Corned Beef
Unless you have left over Corned Beef
2-4 Medium Potatoes
1 Yellow Onion
Peanut Oil
  1. Remove the corned beef from the can and place in a bowl.
  2. Peel and quarter the potatoes and onions.
  3. Using a meat grinder, grind the corned beef, potatoes, and onions together.
  4. Place enough peanut oil to cover the bottom of an iron skillet.
  5. Heat the skillet.
  6. When the skillet is hot, add the ground mixture to the pan.
  7. Place a lid over the skillet and let the mixture brown for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and flip the mixture over.
    If the mixture is sticky, add more oil
  9. Remove from the skillet and place into a serving dish.
  10. Enjoy.

This month is March— which means Saint Patrick's Day. I'm looking for posts that relate to this festive time. Ways to interpret this topic include…

  • "Goin' Green"— foods that are (or can be) green.
  • What Irish foods do you serve on Saint Patrick's Day?
  • Why on earth would they dye the beer green… does it make it more potent?

So… if you have anything that relates to this topic, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL so I can include you in next weeks feast. Even if you have already posted on this topic in the past— your links are always welcome.

1 If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast— be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution. Also, if you want to see a particular topic— feel free to suggest it as well (I'm always looking for new inspirations).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writer's Workshop: I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I have decided to tackle Prompt #2:
Tell us about your trip!

Author's Note: Since I have not actually been on a trip in several months and did blog extensively about the last one I was on— I have decided to grab an old journal of mine and describe my first time I flew by myself. Please bear in mind that this was written when I was about 14 years old and my not be constructed very well. All the same— enjoy…

Here I'm sitting on a might be couch (actually) a couple of foam polyurethane with nylon covers sitting on bricks (it looks good though) waiting for a plane to come in about 4:40.

I might as well start from the beginning.

It all started when I stayed up and read The Stand. So far it was a good book even though I only read about "80" pages. Then we all went to the airport. "Wait" go back just a little. Before we started off my dad wouldn't find the checkbook. He looked everywhere, sure he looked right where he found it. He blamed it on the dental things or insurance papers which they were under. When we got there mom and dad were worried about getting to the right place or elevator to the right terminal.

Then we were inside carrying my back-pack got to be tiresome my dad said to carry it on both arms, I refused. Then he told me that it would put more pressure on one strap and it might break, it didn't. At the ticket booth or terminal well my way to the place— I got it the ticket check in. That's it. When we were there my dad was supposed to get a stand-by basis ticket— that is you would get on only if they had the room. Well stand-by tickets weren't working or doing it for five years. My dad had to pay full fare instead of half. He blamed it on one of his bridge partners who so I hear has a problem with her husband or something like that. Well anyway he always has to pass the buck to somebody anyway.

When we got to the terminal gate which was as so written on the ticket holder H-7 his handwriting was fast but we could figure it out well anyway I could because I had the ticket in my hot little hands. On the way to the terminal mom was talking about something it's on the tip of my tongue but I forgot it actually it's about a price slash on round trips dad said only on round trips but mom said he checked it first. Actually the slash is made from a reserved ticketed rather than being it at the luggage check in area.

Well when we were at the terminal gate and we waited for the plane and learned that it was delayed by the rain and thorms in the area from 11:30-11:50. We also had to check in at gate 9 instead of 7 because that's where the plane came in. When I finally got on the plane and we were ready to take off. But the plane was delayed by the thunder storm and we didn't take off until about 12:10. The people in back of me were very rude as you might say in fact they didn't know they talked alot.

I was alone in the two seats and so was the person in front of me. Well things got worse. I wanted to get some air on me and I saw a button to pull so I pulled it and the waitress came and asked if I needed anything. I said no I don't think so and was very startled until she told me that I pulled the call button. I felt stupid. She left then I wondered when they were going to serve lunch they did in a few moments. They had turkey sandwiches and potato salad with mustard salt and pepper and a tomato. I ate it all. "The potato salad was good" I said to myself even though I hated potato salad. When the stewardess served the drink I had a Sprite she spilled it on my pants and had to go all the way to the front to get an extra napkin. I tried to read the book The Black Marble but it was too distract-full on the plane. I saw what I think was Cairo ILL and the Mississippi river and I knew we were getting close to our destination. When we landed I got up and looked in back of me to see that lady she might be good looking she wasn't at all!

Then I got off the plane and out into the lobby and out of the gate at Memphis airport was pretty good looking I could say and it was small too so I got around it pretty easily but it had it's problems too. I had to find the place where my next flight was to take off at. It was pretty hard. First I saw where the small planes took off and it said restricted do not enter. So I was baffled so I sat down and waited for 4:40 to roll around and I didn't understand anything. So I asked one of the ground crew where the small planes took off and while explaining the situation at the same time. He told me to go to the luggage check in under United Airlines the one the ticket was under and ask about it. So I did and they told me to go downstairs.

Oh yes I almost forgot to tell you about my luggage pickup. I did and from that the fishing pole case was broken in one spot nothing much but the chain.

Well going down there he said to get someone and call this one place, well nobody there I was confused. Disgusted I went back up and asked again. He said to call Memphis Aero and I did, well I tried. I put a dime in the phone and it said that the number was not in service. OK I tried again same response. Then I found out what I was doing wrong. I then dialed the right number and it finally rang about 12 times then a lady answered the phone and I explained and she said they'd send transportation over.

Excellent. So I waited for about 10 minutes and was thinking of calling back but it came and I got in and we went over there and when we did the driver asked some questions about going over there to Mountain Home. I thought he was talking to me but he wasn't he was talking to someone else.

When I finally got inside and I tried to get my ticket checked.

Fortunately/unfortunately that is where it ends. I thought I had more on how I flew in a small plane, but I didn't. I think that getting to where you started is good enough.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I can't think of a third

My wife and I came up with a game where you list two movie titles with something common between the first two, then announce that you can't think of a third. It is then up to the other participant to determine what is common with the frist two movies and say what the third is.

Here is my challenge to you— the first list is easy, and the second is nearly impossible:

  1. Joe and the Volcano
  2. You've Got Mail
  3. And I can't think of a third
  1. The man with one Red Shoe
  2. The Burbs
  3. And I can't think of a third

The problem with that last one is that there really isn't a third. But I will give you a clue as to a way to connect the first list with the second and come up with the bonus third. Both lists have a common actor playing opposite another. If you can figure out which movie has the two opposites playing in the same movie together you have won.

In order to be fair, I am going to turn on Comment Moderation. I will post comments that don't include guesses. Then on Friday I will post all of the guesses (if there are any) and let the winner know they won.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2010 Spaghetti Dinner

If you like spaghetti, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual spaghetti dinner. All proceeds go to our Honduras project which helps provide education opportunities to Honduran children who typically do not get any education beyond 7th grade. I'm including the information about the event below in case you want to come:

Children under 10 $3.00
Meat or vegetarian sauce will be served

Saturday, March 6, 2009
4:30 to 8:00 pm
Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage
Chicago, IL

I look forward to seeing you there.

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