Dennis is a retired Colonel living with his wife, Barbara, in Tecumseh, KS. Some of these Posts are filtered through the memory of a "not so Young Man" and you might have to utilize your built in crap detector to filter truth from memory errors. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. Our current Congress is "Stupid with zeros on the end...
The temperature fell 40 degrees yesterday evening. I am sure glad I had a chance to get out when it was 70. The old game of fetch the stick with the dog just doesn't seem to ever get tiring. Oh well, it will be January tomorrow so I'd better expect to have some cold. This morning everything has about an inch of ice on it. It took about 10 minutes to clear the window on the truck so I could take out the trash.
I had a couple of people comment on the enchiladas. About any meat will do, My son loves left over Turkey and I prefer beef. I have also made them with smoked chicken and they are wonderful. I mixed a couple of pounds of hamburger and a half pound of sausage cooked with onions and garlic. I start with fresh corn tortillas and fry them in oil for a few seconds on each side. Throw them in a pie pan of sauce and then put them in another pan to fill them. Fill them with a mixture of a tablespoon of the meat, a teaspoon of the Mixed Vegetables and a pinch of cheese. I use toothpicks to hold them together and then put them in a pan and pour a little more sauce on them a little more cheese and about 20 minutes in the oven. The mixed vegetables are a filler that we had in a Mexican restaurant and I love it. You can skip that if you wish but try it once and see if you too don't find that it adds to the taste. They are great right out of the oven and better re-heated the next day. Be very careful of the hot oil and the tortillas. Never put them in the oil with anything but a good set of tongs and make sure you don't have and sauce on your fingers when you handle them. Splatter city if the tortilias have been frozen and have some ice on them. In fact, I find it best if you have one person doing that step and someone else getting messy putting the filling in them. It is messy but the results are worth it to me.
I have some chili to make and big old steaming bowl full with some corn bread sounds wonderful.
I can tell that Barb is nearing the end of her cold but Dave came over and helped me make the enchiladas. It really helps to have one person putting the corn tortillas in the hot oil and the into the sauce. If you get the red sauce on your hands, it does not pay to handle the corn tortillas as they go into the hot oil. It is splatter city unless you use tongs and keep everything dry and clean as you use hot oil. Yes, I know that it adds calories to fry the tortilla a little but I have tried to make them with out that step and they are just crappy without it. If someone can find a better way, I'll skip frying but so far nothing I have tried works or tastes the same. Dave worked it all out to a matter of timing and did an excellent job. We both smelled like enchiladas after cooking but what a great smell.
I ended the evening watching the KU JayHawks play basketball. The coach really moved the line up around (for a lot of different reasons) and again a different set of guys stepped up and really helped the team win. Texas-Arlington was a great team for about 1/3 of the game, a fair to middling team for about 1/3 of the game and provided the hawks with someone to play against for 1/3 of the game. Thankfully it was at the end of the game that they just were there and the hawks won handily. For the first 10 minutes of the game it was hard to watch but the last 10 minutes were great. Come on Bill, a win is a win. They are kids playing a game and winning.
This morning it is in the mid 50's and windy. Normally this means that a cold front is headed our way. Warm air sucks up from the south and meets a cold front with mixed results. Many times when I was in the Guard, there would be a blizzard closing I-70 and a tornado near Pittsburg, KS. Who knows what this front will blow up.
I escaped the Christmas season without the world piling up more stuff for me to take care of. A new pair of jeans, a multi tool and a good book was the total haul. The thing that has made everything really great is the people and great meals we have had this week. Tonight we will host a few more people over for enchiladas. Some will be turkey and some will be beef. I will make Barb wash her hands well and not touch anything. She has had a head cold for over a week and She is Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired. For the record I am sick and tired of her being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Poor Baby. For the record, all I have is one ear that flutters from being full of fluid. Not much I can do about that.
I have kind of made up my mind to not make any resolutions for 2011. Yes, I know in a way that is a resolution but if you can't live with it, bite me! I do wonder how many hours it will take to figure out the taxes this year. I have complicated the matter and have several new irons in the fire. I am pretty sure that I have to upgrade Turbo Tax to the one that has Partnerships in it.
Oh well, better get things on the road.
Reverse Bucket List
Roller Skate or ride a skate board.
Drive a car as fast as it can go.
Kiss my Mother.
Own a new car.
Climb a mountain.
Shoot a deer.
Go to war.
Fly in a small personal aircraft
Water or Snow Ski
It does give me a good excuse to get out today but dang, I hate to start making a "To Do" list in retirement. I do put shopping items on my I-Phone from time to time but don't want to run my life from a list.
Is it just me or did the delay in the passing of the Tax Bill by Congress delay the release of Turbo Tax this year? This will be the most complicated Tax year for us ever. I love the Tax programs but throw in a sale of a house and a Partnership and Oil Royalties and it gets convoluted.
Oh well, moving on...
What Does It Mean?
Based on that and much good fortune also, I often say I have everything I need and most of what I want and a Walmart near by. I apologise if you or anyone else think it is bragging about things just related to money. While I am truly blessed to have a good life after a lifetime of working, the true blessing to me is the love and life of my wife and son.
I went to the little restaurant next door and got her an ice cream bar. I know an adult could not have eaten it but I'm sure the cold felt good to a little girl. As she ate it, she said Mean Uncle Denny, Mean Uncle Denny. My sister Myrna Sue said, "Yes, your name is MUD today"
For a long time after that, when the girls would cal me MUD, they would giggle. I have always tried to remember that sometimes when I growl at people there are unintended consequences and that poking fun at myself is a good thing.
So, in the spirit of a loving Uncle, Mean Uncle Denny or MUD wishes you all a Happy New Year and remember to smile when you growl at little girls.
Barb and I built this house and it has a wonderful big kitchen. For the first time it felt like it wasn't big enough as in the middle of cooking a Turkey dinner that kids made cookies and divinity. The treats and the food were all great, it was just the bumping of butts kinda got in the way a time or two. Oh well, it was all good.
This morning, our house guest Mel is of to visit her family and Barb is still asleep. It is really nice to sit here in the quiet and think about how fortunate we really are. We are truly blessed to be able to share with so many people. Even the animals out in the yard have food and water.
This morning we saw the pileated woodpecker just outside the house. This is a 20 year first for us. It is the one with a top notch that looks like woody woodpecker. There is one tree not far from the dining room that he likes and so far I haven't been able to get to the camera in time to shoot a picture of him. Perhaps soon.
Oh well, I'd better get on to bigger and better things. Merry Christmas to you all.
MUD, Bobwa, Dave, Barb Jr, Mel Kyler and Austen
This past year Barb Jr's nephews lost their mother and we have included them in the Petty family gatherings. They are a couple of sweet kids and we will also have them over tonight for Christmas eve. I'm pretty sure that Santa Barb has some things under the tree for them. She loves to shop for the kids for Christmas. The problem we have is that there aren't as many little kids around as much any more.
Today I am going to cook a turkey and make my garlic Smashed Potatoes. I'm sure there will be stuffing, vegetables and rolls. In fact, i hear the Baker up there banging pans and baking breads and getting ready to make fudge and divinity. Sure wish Kenny was here to share the fudge.
In the short period I have been writing this, the snow stopped and the birds are back at the feeders en Mass. I just love their system of stopping in to get one seed and flying away to eat it. They return shortly for another. It still cracks me up when a newby shows up and tries to stay in the feeder to eat. They soon get chased out and all returns to normal. I am not sure when the house finches will show up but the regular finches show up all the time. The males have given up their bright yellow feathers for a more subdued color but you can still tell the males from the females.
Oh well, time to move on and get some things done. Merry Christmas to all of you and yours.
Just a Few Thoughts
Rick, My Brother
This Christmas was one of the first times in a long time that he and I got to sit and just visit over a few cups of coffee. In the past, there was always our mother and the subject of taking care of Momma that just seemed to eat up the time. We both are proud of the time we spent doing our best to make Mom's last few days as happy as we could.
I hope that Rick and I have many more opportunities to sit and talk about the world and life. I wish you all had someone as nice as Rick to talk to.
My Sister Carol
As a kid, we would often go to my Grandmother's house and have grand sing alongs. Carol got a guitar and with grandma (or mother) on the piano and Carol on the guitar we sang up a storm.
I can't give Carol all the credit for my love of music, she will have to share it with Mrs. Holloway the Music teacher at Minneha, but Carol sure put the love of music in there so I could have it to love. I hear lots of people say they can't sing, but the truth is they probably didn't have a music muse to inspire them to sing. I did and I do.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my brother and sisters have also gifted me with nieces and a nephew. They along with my son are the future of the world and I am glad to have such a fine bunch of people in the family. Janet, Carrie, Jennifer, Kim, Bob, Becky and Kristy make me about as proud as I can be.
Sing a Christmas carol for Carol lee. It is "With a song in my heart" and a smile on my face that I tell you about Carol.
Back to the reason for the Photo. Barbara has helped me plan and execute a wonderful life plan. She worked hard as a Special Education teacher for over 30 years and touched the life of so many people that it is hard to go anywhere without a person coming up and saying hi to us.
Barb is one of the most generous people I know. She always shops for the kids at Christmas and send a package of goodies to her brothers and sisters. This year she reached out and adopted a family to share our happiness with some people less fortunate.
Now that we have both retired, we are traveling some and really enjoy taking the Roads Scholar programs in photography. IT is some to learn new tricks but mostly to go places that are beautiful. Barb manages to capture the beauty of everywhere we go. I'm sure that the beauty she see's is a reflection of joy she gets and gives during her life.
I want to thank my Grand Niece, Amanda, for taking this picture. It is very nice to have a picture of Barb in her element.
Fame or Flame Out!
Who would have Thunk It!
Actually there isn't more paper as much as more data. It really isn't facts or information until it is fact checked and or organized. Just as Facebook and the Internet have exploded the volume, the standards of what's what has gone down to Nil. I don know how many notices to beware of something I get in a month only to find out that it is a rehash of an urban legend or just some completely made up story out there making the rounds. There is also that group of publicists in Hollywood that feel that any news is good news.
On the other hand, our family get together was completely stories of our lives and laughter that brightened our spirits. There was enough soup left over to feed a small country and whoever hosts the get together generally winds up with a white elephant or two left instead of going home with the giftee. We started with a bucket of books and now have two. Oh well, it was all worth the fun.
Da Barbs came up with that game Fact or Crap and we made into a family truth or not game that was a hoot. The next time we will go around the room between questions and share the embarrassment. Very creative stories. they would mix in just enough fact to hide the crap side. For example Rick said he got hit in the head with a hatchet. In fact, it was the back side of a double bladed axe.
I hope that this is just the precursor to how much fun Christmas will be.
Barb bought a game to play tomorrow. It is truth or crap. Each person will write five statements that are either truth or crap. The group will have to decide if they are telling the truth or telling crap. Should be a fun game. With this family, finding out the truth may be a challenge. There are many gifted story tellers. The one that always kills me is Barb. Little miss innocent can make up some whoppers and no one thinks she is any where capable of telling lies. On the other hand my story telling prowess is well known.
My dad's first cousin, Mark Edmonds just sent me a couple of small pictures painted in the 40's by my grandfather E.E. Petty. The were gifts to Mark's family and one's I had not seen. One is a winter scene in Kansas and the other is a boat tied up by a stream bank. It is very obvious that they both have darkened. I need to seek out someone at the University to see if there is some way to clean them up a bit. I have one picture of a skunk and a snake that is so dark you almost can't see the snake. Mark, or Tiger as he is known to his fellow long riders also sent me a copy of his book, Confessions of Scooter Trash. Doctor Edmonds taught at St.Leo University in Florida and just recently retired. I hope he can get back this way this next summer. He has a ride planned out in draft but with long riders, the wind and weather always has a way of changing things. a small taste is available at http://www.drmarktigeredmonds.com/
I love it when Barb and I get to share ideas at the breakfast table. She thinks that the Republican party will have to adopt the President if he gets any more Bush like. We both are trying to imagine just who the Republicans can nominate to attract the 20% of the uncommitted in the middle. It is pretty clear that Sarah has 40% of the vote but the middle and the right both think she is old news and not all that good at that. The problem with Republican nominees is they self destruct by going over to the Regan side and scaring away the middle and the left. The Democrats just can't keep their hands and their peckers out of the cookie Jar. I wonder if the POTUS is keeping his cigars out of the oval orifice? He did have Bill drop by this week.
Miles to go and lots to do, have a great day out there.
Christmas is almost here and I don't have that warm cookie feeling this year. You know, the same feeling that a hot chocolate and a cookie gives you early in the morning. I guess I should stop listening to Dave Ramsey and the problems of the world. I'll see if my radio can bring in some Christmas music and quit listening to Talk Radio.
Just when I thought our Government was headed the right direction, they pass a bill that hold steady the tax brackets, cuts withholding and extends unemployment. In my humble opinion they need to cut spending, pay the bills and head the Government to way we would all run our family. The simple rule is that outgo must be less than or equal to income. Ideally with the level of debt, It needs to equal and include a percentage of the debt repayment. Adding a Trillion to the debt is not my way of getting out of debt.
Oh well, moving on...
Pithy Pieces and Comments
I think the Hawks are going to steal the AD from Tulsa and hire him to replace Lew "something-er-other." It would not surprise me that with the Tulsa and Bill Self connection, he was behind the selection. So long as he pays attention to business and keeps the tickets being sold, I really don't care who it is. After all, it is a business from the AD end of things.
The BIG XII will need a new name. Barb doesn't think we should just change names with the BIG X as things will change. I vote for the Heartland Conference. One way to keep the name is to add two more teams to our list. I think Tulsa would be great and If they put football back in their program Wichita State University. We could be the BIG XII and nothing need change. I think SMU would have been great but they jumped ship this year and it is too soon to change again.
The birds are working the food over this morning. Normally that happens right before a big storm. What do they know that the weatherman doesn't? Could be the clouds have them confused. It is not sunny today and will it have to work hard to get above freezing.
OH well, planning, cleaning and cooking for the next couple of days. Can't wait to see where Josh Selby will fit in Saturday. He would be welcome here for soup but he will probably be a little busy.
- If it is the middle of the Political spectrum that elects the President. (40% Republicans and 40 % Democrats with 20% undecided) How can we select just those people to vote and eliminate the need for an election. What possible way could we determine the real need of the rest of us and cut the cost. I know that a lot of those that have made up their mind just don't want to listen to the crap for a year ahead of the election.
- Just where should we spend our money as a Government? Is the Constitution even a good guide anymore? Lets see, it was National defense, The Post Office, Common commerce between states and Congress. We have a Government doing so much that it is no longer recognizable from the language in the constitution. Is this what a Republic evolves into? Is it evolution , devolution or revolution?
- Why is it so easy to listen to the good things about a religious and moral society and then get side tracked when things get a little hard. Why did we elect a Democrat during the Depression and Germany elected Hitler?
- Where does it say that the Government must rush in and save us from ourselves? Smoking is an end to its self. Can and by what right can the Government save your rights if it tramples mine? By the same notion, at what point does the Government spending take the extra money that is needed for investment and growth out as Taxes. If my momma said you can't spend yourself out of debt, why doesn't the Government listen?
How can people in the United States say that it is the teachers fault that our children aren't getting the best education? If almost 40% of our couples can't make a marriage work, why do they get trusted with raising children? If our Government solutions is to jump in and take over, every single man should be issued a woman and children to take care of. No more free ride Jimbo, take those children to raise.
It is our money, our rights, and "Our Government." Why can't we get it just right, just once?
Every morning I get up and open the curtain to the world down below the house. It is always interesting to see what is going on in the local world. I also check for signs that the possums have discovered the bird seed outside but so far they are absent. The finches squeeze the thistle seed and leave a pretty big mess. The possums eat that and it goes through them like grease through a goose. They leave what looks like little footballs made out of seed.
Barb has Rabbit Run about decorated for Christmas. I bought an 8 foot White Pine tree but is doesn't seem to be as big around as the usual trees. I guess it is just a normal tree and pretty but it doesn't fill the room like some did. Next year. After the first of the year, I'm going on a wall painting move. After about 10 years, the walls need some help. I may also take some of the wood trim off and re=finish it where it has been banged - a lot.
Oh well, I hear a cuppa coffee calling my name.
Petty Family Gathering
GPS Vs Maps
The only feature that I really don't like is the "Recalculating" it announces when I am forced to change direction or decide to make a short side trip while going somewhere. Pull off the road to buy gas and it will announce, "Recalculating" until you resume the right road and prime direction. having been married for 42 years, I have had a live person make the announcements that I was going a way or to places unknown. I have only been completely lost a very few times. I even have been known to take short detours like my Dad did to bypass towns on trips to the same places over and over.
I am sure that if I were to be a delivery driver or a person making calls on people, I would even find more uses for the Garmin. This is one gift that keeps on giving and one i would recommend for your Christmas list.
Why would ESPN say the roof at the dome in Minnesota collapsed when this is the 6th time it has deflated in snowy weather? Seems like someone should have been there to inflate and deflate the roof a little to knock off the snow. After all, this wasn't the first time. Another job performance review that should be than less stellar.
Why on God's green Earth would anyone expect the KC quarterback to play today after having his appendix out on Wednesday? Brett Farve had the crap kicked out of him last weekend and everyone want him to play today. Hell, I know 40 year old's that have fallen down and wound up in the hospital. Give him the Iron Man Award and let him watch.
What is in the method of Coach Bill Self to claim the hawks are slipping after they win by 20 points over Colorado State? Kind of like the neighborhood bully beating up the little kids and then calling his team sissies. Colorado State probably has their sights set high after such a fine game and here is Bill kicking sand in their faces.
It took about an hour to park and then un-park at the Sprint Center in KC. That was my first and last time there. Even with Garmin Nuvi, I wound up getting out by feel not stellar directions. In the valley of the tall buildings, the Garvin kept losing its connection to the real world. The persons directing traffic in KC were terrible. Another job performance review that should be a lot worse. Surely there is someone that could synchronize the lights and traffic flow to let 16,000 people escape the clutches of KC traffic. Heck, it was 8:30 on a Saturday night so what it they blocked off the roads a little. It took us most of a half an hour to get out of the parking garage.
What would about a thousand birds be doing for food this morning if it were not for the feeders here? They are standing four or five deep to get into the suet block and the seed feeder.
Sometimes I wonder why I try to write this crap?
Opened the curtains this morning and three deer are out in the yard. They did lift their heads up and look at me but they know I'm no threat. Barb has banned shooting Bambi here at Rabbit Run. If I were to get a gun out, I would probably shoot those nasty bushy tailed squirrels that chew on the house.
Yesterday I bought a Christmas tree and it was in one of those tree wraps. I got it home and it is pretty sorry. I will probably get the duty to go get another one when Barb gets up and really looks at it. There is hope that it will open up some but not much. Oh well, she wanted a tree for the Birds.
Better run and see if I can get the sausage cooking before barb gets up. She hates sausage.
Sunshine, In my Window - Makes me Happy
Tomorrow Barb and I will travel to Kansas City to see the KU Jayhawks play Colorado State at the Sprint Center. We might even stay overnight there because the weather is a little iffy and it will give us a chance to get out and like My Daddy said -"Blow the stink off."
Barb got the Christmas packages off to her family. She puts together a small package of goodies and gifts for the kids. Now days most of the kids get a few dollars up to the age of 18. Just the postage this year was darn near $50.00. Oh well, it is something she loves to do. The Bonus is I get to sample the cookies, fudge and divinity.
We have adopted a family through the United way this year. We don't have the details yet but I'm sure that Barb will do a great job of picking out things for them. Normally we also shop for a Christmas meal for them too. That will be my job.
Barb's nephew is married to a soldier. She just completed some advanced training at Fort Huachucha, AZ and is headed home. We wish her god speed and a safe trip. It made me think about what our Military stands for. I will use They for all the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard:
They love peace but prepare for war. They love life but are willing to lay down their life for us. They love their families but are willing to go far away to fight to keep the battle there. Most of all they love freedom that they are willing to give theirs up so we don't have to.
Can you see the smile on my face now?
What are you Worth?
For a lot of my life, I worked in jobs that were more work than pay and I treated them as such. As a caddy, I carried damn heavy club bags and ate what I was paid as lunch. If I wanted to go home with any left over money, I went over to the driving range and picked up range balls. back in those days there was no fancy caged car, only a funny looking thing that allowed you to pickup 25 to 50 balls without stooping. I made a lot more money mowing lawns.
I remember a job that paid 6 bits (75 cents) an hour to clean up a horse farm to get ready for a horse show. We cut brush, whitewashed barns and fences and raked up accumulations of horse manure by the cart load. We even took tickets at the gate on the day of the show. Hot hard work and I'll bet we drank a gallon of water an hour.
One tough job was Vietnam. The pay wasn't bad, but the hours were terrible. In the Field Artillery, we worked 24 on and 24 on. There might have been some guys in the rear that had time off but not where I was for the most part.
One thing that stands out the most in my life is the degree of difficulty in the jobs I took. One day I went to my boss to complain that he had over tasked me. He calmly said do the best you can and report back. If it was easy, they would hire someone for a lot less money that they are paying you.
So, whether it is what you are worth from a Net Standpoint, or from a pay standpoint, most of the time we are worth what we are willing to work for. For me, I'm priceless and rich beyond my wildest imagination.
Watchin' the Hawks
I found it especially poignant that on the day when the Jimmy V games were played, Elizabeth Edwards passed away from Breast Cancer. Some day we will have a cure for cancer that works every time. It will take a concerted effort and $ but it will happen someday. I also want them to continue tests that detect cancer early. The sooner they start working on the cure the better the result.
I agree with Jimmy V that the mark of success in life is your ability to live it and inspire others. None of us will live forever and our only hope of success in life is our ability to live on in others. I hope that when I exit life here, I will be as remembered as my mother was. She was far from perfect, but she gave the best hugs I have ever had and damn if she didn't look good in a red dress. At one time I said, I was the only hell my mother ever raised but, after seeing her in that red dress at Mel's wedding, I'm not so sure.
The painting is done for this round and now there is the clean up to do. Barb has been very patient with me so I'd better get busy and finish the clean up.
Freedom Of Religion Or From Religion?
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. Go: Washington
Clearly, George Washington, one of the men most responsible for the form of Government we were to have after our War of Independence, he believed that God was an important part of what makes our Government good. He goes on to point out that it is possible for us to promote knowledge, practice a religion, have virtues as well as an increase of science.
Given a country where we were forced to live under a religious rule, I would probably be a rebel on the front lines. Given the choice of having a country that has religion as a part of the values we are establish by, I would choose the latter every time. If you wonder where "God Bless America" came from, read the above again and try to understand the respect one of our founding fathers had for who we are and what we stand for.
My crack patching is still ongoing and most of that is because of the length of time it takes to dry between coats of thin mud on the wall. I want it to look good and probably am being too careful but time is not the concern right now, appearance is. A well painted wall over a crappy patch looks crappy. A poor paint job over a well patched job looks a lot better. My goal is a great paint job over a well patched job.
I am really torn over the Cam Newton situation. Will the NCAA come back and take Cam Newton's eligibility away after the end of the season because his dad shopped his name to Mississippi State? I would rather see it done up front and over with than come back and take the Season and the Heisman away after the season. It just goes to show you that nothing illegal can ever be done in this electronic age without someone revealing it. The sad part is that he will go on to make millions in the Pros and his team will be the one's to suffer.
Oh well, cracks to finish patching and paint to apply.
Just a point of reference, If you plan on making fudge or divinity, get a good candy thermometer. There is just little room between a batch of either that is too gooey or too hard. It isn't rocket Science, it is chemistry and temperatures make all the difference in the world. If you just want to fool around, make Rice Crispy treats. If you want real Christmas candy get a good thermometer. Somewhere I have the recipe and directions and will post them sometime before Christmas.
The patch efforts are ongoing. I apply several light coats of plaster rather than one big thick one. It takes a while to let it dry before you can sand the excess down to make it all level. One big crack has been working over three days. I hope to get that one finished today and a coat of paint by tomorrow at the latest. It is one dusty mess right now.
Better get on the stick, cooking bacon and making a pot of coffee hardly makes a full days work.
Spendin' Saturday Patchin" Cracks
Yes, it started with a trip to Lowe's with Barb. Paint one damn wall and then move on to the next wall on the list. Can't just paint that wall, gotta patch cracks first. Fill a little, sand a little, fill a little, sand a little and on and on until it is smooth enough to not see any filler or marks on the wall. It will be nice but new paint makes the rest of the joint look bad and I will be all winter painting, filling and redoing. OK, there is time for naps and Blogging so it isn't all bad. 'Cides Barb will be here making it all worthwhile. Yesterday was day one on the Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chips. There will be Mom B's Fudge, divinity and tons of more stuff between now and Christmas. The BONUS is that we finally got a bag of oranges worth the name. Sam's Club brought us our first bag of sweet oranges. Yea!
Better get back up and do some fillin' and and sandin or I'll never get done. The Big 12 had won all four of the games with the PAC 10. Serves them right. Let 'em have Colorado.
What Does Christmas Mean to you?
I know that Grandma Petty grew up poor and never had much in her life. I am pretty sure that piano lessons and a WWI Widow's pension were her only sources of income. In spite of that poverty, I always got something from her. In a lot of years it was flannel pj's. I would rather she kept her money but that was what she bought so...
Now that I am a retired adult. (Read Child with time and money) I am always wondering just what the heck to ask for. In the real world of things, I have everything I need and most of what I want. The part that adds to that is there are all kinds of stores nearby that will take my Debit card. Yesterday, I set out on a journey to buy a great flashlight. I had a DeWalt flashlight and it would brighten up the night like none other. The charger died so I gave that rig to Dave who has the old drill and a great charger. I went looking for a Makita Flashlight so I could use my current charger and batteries for the Makita Drill ken bought for me. No such luck. The closest was a Riobi flashlight. By the time I bought the battery and charger I was up to about $80.00. Not my cuppa tea. I wound up with a 1 million candlepower flashlight with a built in rechargeable battery and a charger cord provided. (About $10) There is even a car charger cord so I can take it on trips. That sucker not only lights up the night, it actually heats up your hands if you shine it on them. (Bonus)
Barb, skip this paragraph - I am going to look around for a heated gray passenger side leather seat for a 2004 Crown Victoria. That will be Barb's present if I can locate one. She always comments about the cold seat so I will do my best to warm it up for her.
Yesterday, I put on a new coat of paint on the south wall upstairs. Barb wanted the color different and the first coat was Caramelized Onion in color. Yes dear one's it was a crappy color and I even thought so. I consider myself "pretty challenged" and it looked nicely painted but the color looked like a pair of wool Army Field Pants. On my flashlight journey, I bought some Flax Seed color paint and it is as pretty as a speckled pup. Today I am going to start patching the cracks on the wall. I will dig out the old crack and put in some crack preventer tape and then cover it with new mud. It will look good for a while but how long it will last is unknown.
Better get crackin'.
Paint in a Can vs on the Wall
Why do we celebrate the performance of an actor? Why do we watch those reality shows where extremely dirty people do things that few of us would endure? My friend Mindy asked on her Facebook account today who are our Heroes? I want to know what it is that makes people a hero and others who for the lack of notoriety don't get recognized? I might shine in my own little world, but the guy that runs the transient shelter that houses the homeless in cold weather make a much more positive impact in the world. A dry warm bed and a filling meal might just make the difference to someone less fortunate.
Can anyone tell me why someone would spend $40,000 on a Chevrolet Volt and expect a $7,000 rebate from the Government? Will reducing my carbon footprint to a lower level save the world worth the added expense of an electric car? I really do understand why my brother bought a Prius because he drives to hell and gone all over the State of Oklahoma each day to serve the patients his company supports. I don't know, and I expect he doesn't either know, if the value of the Prius is supported by the expense in the long run. In the short haul it looks good but if it dies ugly like my Vega did, will it be a good return on his money?
My niece Amanda was looking for a topic for a paper in her Econ class. I told her that investment is a grand topic. For one, when does the return of my money become more important than the return on my money. If the rate of return is based on risk, when does it just not make sense to send your money out there in the cruel world. I for one can tell you that the stock market has absolutely not been my vehicle of investing. Custom Electronics and General Motors both took my share value and crashed it on the rocks. Did the bells not go off when Bernie Madoff was sending a rate of return way above the market? The part I don't understand is how so many people lost every dollar they had invested in a single source investment.
When does life that is tranquil become one of boredom? Why can't people find enough to keep them satisfied with a nap now and then? Oh well, I have stirred up enough weevils in the soup today.
I Hates Winter!
The other day I was out at Lowe's and saw a row of snow blowers where the mowers normally sit. makes me wonder if I should break down and buy one. Nah, I'll stay home when I need to. If it were entirely up to me, I would strap a snow shove on the top of the car and go south until someone says, "Senior, What is dat on jour rof."
Barb and I painted a wall in the living room that had been sponge painted blue, white and cream. It had been good enough for a while but when the new couch showed up, the color scheme is now brown and red. Blue is the new verboten color in the living room. The ceiling in the living room is a cathedral ceiling and it is almost impossible to paint the very top. I have to lean the ladder on the beams and step across to the ledge below the window. I always feel like an acrobat when I do that and it is not my favorite move. After a short while, my knees start to shake and it makes painting a straight line a real pain in the patootie. Oh well, it is done for now.
Got a nice letter from my Friend in Florida. His Grandmother is my Great Grand Mother on my Dad's side of the family. He is a retired College Professor, poet, story teller and all around nice guy. Dr Mark "Tiger" Edmonds is his name and he has several CD's out with tales of his motorcycle adventures. It is kind of like cowboy poetry but it centers around his long rides on his BMW motorcycle. If you would like to hear some of his poetry go to www.drmarktigeredmonds.com Better yet, if you really like the samples, buy one of his CD's and listen to them while you are traveling down the highway. I have one downloaded to my I-Pod and love the sound of his voice telling about his travels and travails. he sounds like Sam Elliott to me. You know, that deep slow voice that sounds like he has smoked too many Marlboro's and drank coffee late into the night. The kind of guy that thinks about what he is going to say then you could listen to for hours. Seems like he is going to be up this way next summer and would like to meet us. I will use it as an excuse to invite my sisters et al, over for a meat grilling fun time.
I really need to find a way to load the bikes up in the trailer and head south. I feel like I am getting way out of shape and hate the idea that I will need to work so hard next spring to regain my recumbent legs. It is either that or make circles on the exercise bike and I hate that. Oh well, one or the other.
Better run and see what wonderful ideas Barb has for the curtains.
Wiki Leaks et al...
It seems like yesterday that everyone was up in arms about the airport screenings and it was building to be a bigger deal on the heaviest travel day of the year. Big friggin deal. I wonder what the next big deal will be.
Barb thinks that Sarah Palen is getting way too much press lately. She was in Wichita at a Dillon's store doing a book signing and it made the news big time. On a scale of 10 this whole report was about a 2. I think it must have been a slow news day and I'm glad that there aren't a lot of really big deals that hog the front page or lead off the news.
Oh well, have a great day!
Monday Morning Musing
We are going to spend some time working on the house this winter. Barb is pretty sure that I need to shore up the supports for the roof to help the walls stop moving as much. I am pretty sure that in Kansas, walls crack and all the reinforcement in the world isn't near as good as a little dirt work on the outside. Get that mean old water away from the foundation and it will stop walking as much. Our niece Carrie has agreed to come over and take a look at things and to give Barb ideas. She is the architect that designed Barb's ideas into reality.
I just finished a book about a returning Iraq veteran with PTSD. It was kind of hard to not put myself into the story and feel too involved. In the end, the PTSD was mostly a smoke screen for a mystery. I do understand that surviving combat was traumatic and the mind game you had to play to survive did make it kind of hard to re-adjust when I got home.
For me, it was tough to find the place where I had enough adrenalin flowing to make me alert enough to stay out of trouble without crashing between the highs. It was tough to need naps and not take them out in the jungle. There were days that I just sat down and cat napped after a day of humping from location to another. I think it was the nights that were the hardest for me. Staying awake when you are way tired was hard enough. Being out where things go bump in the night is tough.
Oh well, better shut this down and go see if Barb can find a color for the end wall.
Breezy Days in November
If you don't like the weather in Kansas, wait a day. Generally a warm southerly breeze in November means a cold front will be here tomorrow. It was 50 this morning and that is never a good sign.
In honor of rules to live by, here are just a few that have popped up this week.
- Never take you wife to a Home Depot or Lowe's unless forced to. They get ideas and that always spells work with a capital W. For some it means money but I notice Barb has been putting some back beyond what she normally saves.
- When a downstairs couch is replaced by an upstairs couch that is being replaced by a new couch, it is time to make a dump run. (Insert the Lone Ranger Theme here - To the Dump, To the Dump, To the Dump, Dump, Dump...) Perhaps on Monday I can also take a trailer load of stuff out of the storage room also.
- If you live in Kansas and have been in your house more than 5 years, there will be cracks in the wall. Just the good old Kansas clay walking and talking with wet and dry.
- When you favorite basketball team gets challenged, it is probably because all they played in the early season were lesser teams. Arizona got 11 minutes of hell from the Hawks and just didn't give up. A little more talent and they might have made it a real challenge. With less than 3 minutes left in the game, it does no good to foul Brady Morningstar or Tyrell Reed. Just let them pass it to someone that doesn't hit about 100% of their foul shots in the closing minutes of the game. It made that damn game go well past my bed time.
- Just a note to anyone that comes to Rabbit Run. When Barb gets out her camera, smile if she aims it at you. You just might (insert Probably) get posted on Facebook.
- Barb Juniors nephews were over yesterday and Barbara put them to work making small Christmas trees covered with candy mints. They look pretty good on the table with the home made candle holders we made. I will leave it up to Martha and Barbara to come up with the good ideas, I'm good with tools not pretty. I like Austen's view that women are a mystery to him. The Petty Corollary is that it doesn't bet any better when they get older, they just have more things to change their minds to.
- Do the potato pancakes get better as you cook more or does your technique get better. I saw a cooking program where they fried their pancakes in a pan full of butter. Mine don't get really good and light until almost all of the oil is gone. I'll have to study this more. The good news is that Taco like about anything I feed him and I think he prefers greasy one's better than crisper one's.
Oh well cracks to fill and places to go.
Good Old Days
I will try to spell linoleum without spell checker (I finally cheated to get something I think is close). Our house had an industrial linoleum wall to wall, front to back. It was gray with black streaks and looked like an elephant that a bunch of kids had scuffed up. Right to the end, the seams were splitting open and by the time I left home there were many places where there was sand filling the splits. This last year we lost our friend Dennis L to lung cancer. One time we had to give a verbal book report and Dennis got a book about George Washington carver. When he got to the part about all the inventions George made from peanuts he absolutely flubbed saying lineoleum. One time we got stopped and dennis was driving - "What;s the problem ossifer?" Guess who had to get out and blow on the breathalizer. Dennis was the designated driver and hadn't had anything that night. Oh well, I'm sure he is at Fiddler's Green waiting to share a canteen cup of grog. I'll bet that damn cup wont be made out of alummmunum either.
I think I am trying to revive the thoughts that there really were good old days. I wouldn't trade a day today for a month back then. It may have prepared me for Vietnam but not by much.
After watching KU absolutely dismantle a pretty good team last night, I am a lot like Bill Self and ready to see the team grow up and stop the chippy comments. I'm sure that a lot of the fouls called on one of the Morris twins was because the referee got tired of the crap. T.Rob even got a Technical for it. I am ready for them to play up to their potential and see them play Arizona just to see how good they are.
Oh by the way, does Auburn have to get so damn far behind just to stage a comeback? They should get an Oscar each week for letting their opponent score three or four touchdowns and then stage a comeback. What's wrong with playing hard the entire game?
Did Boise State finally show some weakness? I have enjoyed their games except for that blue playing surface. It reminds me of the cheap color TV we watched as kids. I remember going to Harvey's and watching Hoss Cartright riding his horse and being followed by a yellow and blue doppelganger in the early days. I would rather stay home and watch "Whirlybirds" in black and white.
OH well, no one said life would be perfect.
Post Thanksgiving Party
Our niece Jenn is having a schedule conflict with the Petty Soup kitchen dinner on the 18th. We have tickets to see the hawks play at 11 AM on the 18th and we could move the dinner to 3 PM. We;ll see how much that screws with everyone else's schedule. That time of the year, there is always more to do than we can get done.
Yesterday we had a flock of turkeys make a visit about 10 AM. There were between 8 and 10 birds in a flock that paraded across the path down the hill. It was pretty cold so I imagine they were looking for food. So far there aren't any signs they like to come up to the feeders by the house but it isn't really cold and winter yet.
This last summer we put in a new furnace and AC at one of the rental houses. Last night it stopped working. I went over and the filter was pretty plugged and needed changed. There is some kind of error code that flashes and unfortunately I don't know how to reset the damn thing. I did find a set of replacement filters this morning and will look for a really high efficiency set later. The repairman will make a visit today and I hope to learn how to reset the flashing light. I read the booklet that came with the furnace but I went away knowing about a roll out valve that I could not find. Oh well.
Barb is in her redecorate mode so there will be some changing done some time this week. I think our new couch will be delivered today so that will be the kick off.
Better go see what she wants me to do.
A couple of weekends ago, we traveled to my brother's house and we were discussing life in general. My nieces said that they thought my mother was a terrible cook. They only ate at her house when she was older and perhaps some of the bloom was off the vine. I think Mom tried to cook as much as she could until at the family soup kitchen Christmas she confused Cinnamon with chili and made a big old pot of something so disgusting that no one could eat more than a spoon full. Oh My God, how could she not smell the difference even if she was way past reading the fine print on a spice packet. Now that I am also older, I realize that the sense of smell does go away and I no longer smell the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie mix.
One of the first traditions to go away in our family was the pie making the day ahead of Thanksgiving. Someone pointed out that Mrs. Smith's and Marie Calendar both made such delicious pies that nothing we could make at home would rival those store bought pies. I think some of the enthusiasm was because neither of the a fore mentioned pie makers made mince meat or sour cream pie. I'm sure that Mom missed them but none of us kids ever will. We miss Mom, but there are no treasured recipe cards for those pies.
The Tulsa group now have a tradition of buying the entire Thanksgiving meal at a local store and no one has to spend hours cooking. I can understand it to a certain extent but there are things that a special touch makes so good and no commercial meal can quite match. OK, I have gone to Stove Top stuffing, but I use my own grilled sausage and chicken broth to bring it up to my standards. We have a local store that has hand made bratwursts and I always try to grill a few the week before Thanksgiving. I think it is funny that when squeezed out of the casing to add extra smoke to the meat the brats look like someone grilled dog poop. Looks funny but taste's great.
I am not sure why, but imagine it is my mind racing ahead to the meal, but I do not sleep well on Thanksgiving eve. Perhaps it is knowing that a nap will overcome my ability to stay awake in the afternoon, but it is probably my mind trying to go over the "To Do" list and not forget anything. When I hear people over exaggerate how cold it is or how something is going badly, I remind them that if it was that bad, you would find dead bodies after such an event. I promise you that we only look dead after stuffing ourselves to the brim.
Once the dreaded 5 pound bloat is out of our system and we have eaten the last of whatever leftovers we could imagine, the next step in our lives here at Rabbit Run is candy season. It all starts with Barb picking up a package of pecans and those Crisco containers that look like sticks of butter but aren't. I said, "Why are you buying marshmallows, we aren't going to have sweet potato casserole." Duh Dennis, it is for the famous Aunt B's fudge I so love. That will be followed by divinity and Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Barb will box up a small goody box for her family members and send it early enough to have by Christmas.
Well, better go up and see if the turkey has thawed out enough to take the giblet package out of the bird. I never seem to get that part right. Oh well, on to make my own memories of food and basketball.
I got home in time to watch Duke play the same brand of basketball and they were just professional and sound. They forced K-State into 21 turnovers and shut Pulliam down to 4 points. I kept hoping that K-State could turn the game around but they never could play up to Duke's number 1 status. When Coach Martin threw a fit during a time out, the TV had to blurr his mouth because you didn't have to be good at reading lips to know what he said. I think Manhattan needs a coach as good as their team. He looks bad in purple, especially when it is his face.
Man do I want to go to Vegas this weekend to see the Hawks play there. Oh well, I'll have front row seats here at Rabbit Run and won't have to be patted down unless I beg for it.
- I am allowed to live where and how I want. We got ready for retirement and we are having the time of our life. You might have to work hard early, but in the long run you can live like no one else if you do.
- I am proud of our strength as a country. We could nuke north Korea off the map but don't. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. The bullies of the world don't attack the strong (at least not often - never say never)
- I am absolutely floored when I walk into our grocery stores. We have the most and best food from all over the world. My coffee is from Columbia, My chicken is from Arkansas, our corn from Iowa and our beef is from right here Kansas. You can buy good food and afford to do it.
- We are blessed to have some of the greatest family and friends. There are times when we don't see eye to eye but in the end we all can share a warm home and a great meal. Our Son and his wife will be here for Thanksgiving and we will laugh and enjoy the friendship and food. Our glass isn't half full, it runneth over.
- Earlier this year we stood in the valley of the Virgin River and saw the beauty of Zion National park. The next day we were on top of the mountain looking at down at Brice Canyon and the following day we were at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you can find more beauty anywhere in the world, you can go there with my blessing. I for one have not seen enough of America and plan on going east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason Dixon line next. 'Cides Dexter might want to see his Mean Uncle Denny and Auntie Barb.
- I am proud to live in a Republic where we change the leadership with a vote and not a rifle. There are times I get frustrated with the pace of change but I am never frustrated with the peace we have in our homes. I am proud that we have room in our debate for my sister and I to disagree. I would tame down some of Barb's spirited debate but I would never advocate silencing it. We all earn our right to speak our piece and to find our definition of peace.
- I am thankful that we have Face book and Blogs to write on. I cannot imagine living where I was afraid to say the king was wrong even if he was or is. I will freely admit that I have been wrong from time to time but I might be mistaken about that.
Most importantly I am proud to hear that the free Thanksgiving dinner here in Topeka has all the food and all the help they needs to share a turkey dinner with all those that need one. I hope that you have everything you need and most of everything you want. I do.
Yesterday I bought our Thanksgiving Turkey and when I brought it home, I put it in our freezer. This morning I read that it should be in the fridge (I almost wrote Ice Box but Barb thinks it shows my age when I do) one day for each 5 lbs. Then another person said the day before you can put it in cool water and thaw it out the day before. Another person said never brine a Turkey and someone else tried to sell us a kit to brine one from HyVee. I think there are just so many people that confuse celebrity with intelligence and they feel they must say something to fill their time on the air. Hummm, is that what I do here on my Blog?
This morning, I got an E-Mail message from one of my old friends. Yes, I do have a few young friends but it is mostly the old one's that send me stuff. A lot of it is spam and gets deleted but there are a few that just get my blood pressure up. This morning's E-Mail indicates that our President is somehow involved in erecting a statue of Jane Fonda. If this is true and not an urban legend, it is just one more example of how out of touch he is with the mainstream America. When Hanoi Jane went to North Vietnam and sat in an air defense gun position she by my standards forfeited her right to be a US Citizen. I for one, will never spend a dollar to buy, see or support anything that has her name on it. Unless or until the Government sees it to remove her citizenship, she has the right to do as she pleases. I have the same right and I will continue to boycott anything that has to do with the name Jane Fonda. May she rot in hell!
We have a cold front stalled out across the eastern half of Kansas. If you go 50 miles west, it is 10 degrees colder. If you go 50 miles east, it is 10 degrees warmer. I guess I had really better enjoy whatever temperature it is here. In Twin Falls, it will get down to zero and their high will be only 21. They also have snow falling to add misery to their discomfort. I am glad we are right where we are and will wait for winter a little while longer and enjoy summer after that. We have 4 true seasons and they are as pretty as a puppy. OK, they do turn into the Dog Daze in August but I enjoy a good sweat from time to time.
The birds are sure hitting the feeders and suet block with gusto this morning. I need to get out and refill the suet block holder and change the water. Oh well, when I start looking for things to do rather than write on my blog, it must be time to go. Bye!
This morning i asked Barb when she wanted to shop for our Thanksgiving meal. her comment was, "You should shop today". Cook one meal and forever I am the chef! OK, I let her do all the gardening because she took the Master gardening course. Turn about is fair play. I will have a turkey but right now am not sure how I'm going to cook it. I love a hickory smoked bird but I'm not adverse to a bird in the oven. There will be garlic smashed potatoes, dressing (Savory and cooked outside the bird) green bean casserole and rolls. There will probably be some kind of a salad and dessert but those are Barb's area. My favorite is a Waldorf salad and any kind of pie.
I guess there is so much crap stirred up about Airport screening that my blog yesterday didn't stir up any comments. I think we are way too soft as a nation and it has been so long since most of us have had to pay any price for our freedoms that we forget just how hard the rest of the world works to achieve or maintain what they have. I think that some of that is also why the Government has been able to spend so much money and not have it get on our radar screens. Because it is spent in Washington, it must seem like that it is OPM (Other People's Money). If it goes for something good, everyone thinks a little ear mark can't hurt. Every piece of legislation should contain in clear language how much it will cost us to maintain the building/agency created. Most importantly, how the hell it will be paid for and what won't be funded if this new thing is created or funded.
Oh well, on to the shopping...
MUD the Turkey Cooker