Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why I Don't Believe Her

There was once a 9 year old girl who escaped being molested by her 21 year old cousin.  Some 60 years later she remembers every detail.

She remembers her cousin asking her to go for a ride at night to 'shine the deer.'
She remembers the pickup truck was red and white with rusty spots on it.
She remembers the seat cover was red plaid with some spots worn through.
She remembers the smell of stale cigarette butts in the ashtray.
She remembers when they stopped at the edge of a field and he plugged the spotlight into the cigarette lighter.
She remembers seeing three deer in the light from the spotlight.
She remembers how dark it was when he turned off the light.
She remembers feeling sick to her stomach when he started kissing on her.
She remembers crying and him stopping and telling her she better not tell.
She remembers spending the remainder of the evening at her aunt and uncle's house, drawing cartoon characters over and over again with a pencil on notebook paper.  Goofy and Pluto and Mickey Mouse, mostly.
She remembers pretending to be asleep in the back seat of the car on the ride home, listening to her parents talk.
She remembers her mother saying something was wrong and she thought the cousin had done something bad.
She remembers her father saying he didn't think the cousin would ever hurt his daughter.

She never told.  Her mother had often told her that she was a bad girl, for she was headstrong and tended to get into mischief.  Children often believe when something bad happens, it is their fault, so she remained silent.  When the girl was a grown woman with a family of her own and when she knew none of it had been her fault, it made no sense to hurt family by dredging up the past.  It did not take years of therapy to come to that conclusion.  It just took believing that forgiving is the right thing to do.

You just can not convince me that a 15 year old girl now a grown woman has so few memories of an attack except for the name of a man who is up for Supreme Court Justice.  A man who has never had even a whisper of scandal associated with his name.    It may be what the Dems want to hear as truth.  It may be what her lawyers have told her is truth.  But you just can not ever convince me that her testimony is the real truth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Be Back Soon

Taking a few days off.  Been feeling sort of like something you might want to scrape off the bottom of your shoe.  Pretty sure some chicken soup and sleep will fix me right up.  Until then, read those in the side bar.  Lots of good stuff there. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Russian Food Preservation

A couple of posts back I mentioned that I had a new home health care nurse, Tatiana, who was born in Russia, immigrated here and became an American citizen.  On her first visit she noticed my shelves full of home canned food and remarked that many in Russia did home canning.  When she was here last Friday, I asked her more about the subject.

Tatiana told me that back in the old USSR, everybody canned everything they could find.  It was a matter of survival.  She said the grocery stores had very little in the way of food, canned or otherwise.  She remembers standing in line for over an hour to buy one loaf of bread.

Her mother used the old fashioned canning jars that had glass lids held down by stiff wire.

I asked if her mother used a pressure canner to process food.  Tatiana wasn't sure what a pressure canner was, so I showed her one of mine.  She said she hadn't ever seen one in Russia and that her mother used large kettles similar to my stock pot.  Food was boiled and ladled into the jars and the glass lids tightened down with the wire.  She  said much of the vegetables were preserved in a vinegar brine and they made lots of sauerkraut because it required only cabbage and salt, both of which could be had fairly easily.

I asked if her mother had ever canned meat and she said she had not heard of anyone doing that.  She was amazed at the variety of meats that may be canned.

Tatiana says that things are much better in Russia now.  The stores carry a large variety of foods and people don't spend nearly so much time standing in line.  Like here in the USA, home canning isn't done as much as it was years ago.  And like here, the Russians, especially in the cities, don't bother preserving food, but just get what they want at the stores.

I found it fascinating to compare how things are done in one part of the world to another.  If we kick the politics into a corner and just concentrate on the people, we may find we aren't so different after all.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Prayer Request

A regular commenter on this blog has become one of those friends I will never personally meet, but is considered a friend, nonetheless.  She just this past week buried her beloved husband of 40 years.  Her home is owned by the company her husband worked for and must be vacated within 60 days.  Her adult daughter is chronically ill.  The lady has a lot on her plate.

Through all of these hardships she has not lost her faith in God.  She and I both believe in the power of prayer.  I know that some of you are already bringing her situation to the Throne of God.  I would humbly ask that any of you who are of a mind to, please include her and her daughter in your prayers.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

And So It Begins...

Once in a while I will go from one room in my apartment to the next, only to forget why.  I wasn't too worried about this.  Talking with others of my vintage and even younger, I find this is fairly common.  But there were a couple of things lately that make me wonder if I have started on the downward slide toward total memory loss.

Today, Thursday, my grandson Chris is having surgery to repair damage to one of his fingers due to an accident at his place of work.  (His mother, my daughter, called to tell me the surgery went well and is successful.) So yesterday, Wednesday, I called my daughter to find out how the surgery went.  Daughter said I must have lost a day somewhere, for the surgery was the next day.  I thanked her for giving me back my lost day and hung up the phone with the sound of her laughter ringing in my ear.

About suppertime yesterday Duane showed up with a club sandwich and fries from the little restaurant in our neighborhood.  He knew I had been feeling a bit off all day so he brought my evening meal so I didn't need to cook.  Bless him!

Anyway, while he was here I asked him if he had noticed any changes in my memory capabilities lately.  I told him about calling his sister a day early for surgery results.  And I said there was one other thing that made me wonder, but I couldn't remember what it was.  He just laughed and said as far as he could tell, I still had all my marbles.

Later in the evening I messaged him on FB...

"The other thing was yesterday I couldn't remember how to work my apple peeler.  Peeled all those apples by hand.  Remembered how it worked this morning.  Plink - plink - plink-  the sound of marbles hitting the floor."

His response was a cartoon picture of some sort of little animal, rolling on the ground, laughing hysterically.

Deep, exaggerated Sigh along with a grin.  :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Silly Phone Call Day

So the first phone call today was from my caseworker for the county government nursing and housecleaning services I use.  He thought it would be a nifty idea if his office collected the fee I pay to have my groceries delivered, and they would then add that to my monthly bill.  It took some time and lots of patience to convince him that my grocery delivery service was a volunteer service for Seniors and has nothing to do with his government department.

The second call later in the day was from the very same caseworker.  He was concerned that I was paying for the supplies used in the care and treatment of my legs, out of pocket.  He offered to call Medicare for me and find out if they covered those supplies.  I understand he might just be trying to be helpful, but it still took some time and lots of patience to make him understand that I had already done that when I first found out that I was responsible for the supplies and found they weren't covered.

He then suggested that I get prescriptions for the supplies so that my prescription insurance would pay for them.  It took some time and lots of patience to convince him that I had already checked into that possibility and found it was just as cheap and less of a hassle for me to order supplies from Amazon than it was to go through a prescription.   I can order in bulk and Amazon delivers to my door.

Sometimes I think that some government workers have the mistaken notion that their clients do not have more than a couple of functioning brain cells.  I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on them as they are likely used to folks who work harder at getting free stuff than they would at a regular job.  To run across someone who takes care of her own stuff is a shock to the system.

The last call was from Kevin at Windows who was terribly concerned about the state of my computer.  Being out of time and patience, I informed Kevin that he was a fool if he thought I was going to fall for that old scam.

I wonder just how many fellows named Kevin there are in India. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Farmer's Market Haul

There was a time when my son would make a Farmer's Market run and bring me bushels of produce.   Now that things have changed and I can no longer process bushels of produce at one time, the haul is smaller, but still very welcome. 

There were 2 small - a little bigger than grapefruit sized - cantaloupe.  I ate one last evening and the other for breakfast this morning.  They were delicious.  I saved some of the seeds.  One of my daughters has a small garden and I think I can maybe talk her into planting some of them in the spring.

There were a dozen green and two red bell peppers.  What a difference between the  store bought peppers and the ones from the Farmer's Market.  These I sliced thin, packaged in individual portions and froze them.  I probably wouldn't have thought to preserve them this way, but one of my readers left a comment a couple of posts ago telling me that's how he had preserved his peppers.  Thanks, "Red."

The last item was two bags of apples - about 20 lbs. total.  They aren't pretty enough to sell in the grocery store, being of different sizes and not uniform in color, so they are sold at a reduced price as 'seconds.'  I don't know why the buying public has to have the perfect looking produce.  These apples are fresh picked locally, which is more than you can say for those in the stores.  We have been enduring another heat wave that should end by tomorrow, so then these apples will become applesauce.  The applesauce will be canned in half pint jars, which is just the right size for Son to take in his lunch for work and for me to consume.

Today I had a new home health care nurse attending to my legs.  She is from Russia.  When she saw my shelves of home canned food, she asked if I had canned it all myself.  She said that here in America she hadn't seen anything like that.  She works in city areas and I told her that it was fairly common in the rural areas, but many living in town just go to the grocery stores instead of canning at home.  She told me that in Russia, everyone cans food at home.  She said that they can't count on the stores to have what the people need and if they didn't garden and can, they might go hungry.  She thought the Farmer's Market was the most wonderful thing. 

Tatiana immigrated from Russia and became an American citizen.  She speaks fluent English with just a slight accent.  She is a lovely lady who came highly recommended and seems to be doing a good job in her chosen field of nursing.  She is the kind of immigrant I will welcome.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Full Speed Ahead

Which is sort of a joke as speed isn't exactly working too well for me these days.  However, I am in full food prep mode and moving along, even if it is at the rate of a turtle's progress.  :)

After putting away my groceries I shredded two heads of cabbage.  They are in zip lock bags in the fridge and tomorrow morning they will go in the dehydrator.  The rest of the veggies will be shredded in the morning and will go in the other dehydrator.  I am drying them separately because some dry faster than others.  When everything is dry they will be mixed together and packaged for storage.

It rarely happens, but this time there was a mix-up in my order.  I ordered frozen hashbrowns and got Simply Potatoes.  Frozen hashbrowns have already been blanched and can go directly into the dehydrator.  I'm not so sure about the Simply Potatoes, so I sent them back.  I will just re-order in two weeks.

The 4 lbs. of frozen green beans are resting comfortably in the freezer until I am finished with the fresh veggies.

Over the weekend, 15 lbs. of hamburger will be browned, packed into pint jars and canned.  I decided to can the hamburger plain.  As much as I like having taco meat canned and ready to use straight from the jar, upon reflection it makes more sense to me to can the burger without seasonings so it can be used in a variety of ways. 

This past week I learned a lesson that falls into the category of 'what not to do.'  Do not leave bags of apple slices in the freezer for 5 years and expect them to be good.  After slow cooking them all day I wound up with much of them being the consistency of soft leather.  The apples were just in the freezer way too long and this was the result of freezer burn.  I expect they would have been fine being frozen for a year, but 5 years was just too long.  There were 3 bags of peach slices that were frozen about the same time, with pretty much the same results as the apples. 

I took time to make a pan of Rice Krispy bars.  Makes me think of my childhood where they were considered a special treat.  Still are.  I messaged Oldest Son telling him there was a possibility that there would be Rice Krispy bars at my house.  He messaged back that I would see him as soon as he got home from work.

Bribe them with food.  Works every time.  :)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dear Celebrities...

I wonder how many of you remember just what your job entails.  Let me remind you.  Your job, the one you chose to make your life's work, is to entertain me. 

It may be that you chose to be a comedian.  You have a library of jokes and stories that make me laugh and over the years you have succeeded in doing just that.

You may be an actor.  Through movies, plays and television you have shown me a world beyond that of my imagination.  You have pulled at my heartstrings, caused me to weep, to smile, to think, to remember.  You have given me many hours of viewing pleasure.

Perhaps you are a star of the music world.  Your voice has risen to incredible heights.  Your instrumentals have been heard with heartfelt awe and emotion.  Your music has accompanied both the good times and the sad times in the lives of your fans.

Maybe you are one who excels at sports.  You are the one my grandson looks up to and the one he wants to be when he grows up.  You are a role model to him.  You represent not only talent, but also fair play, sportsmanship and the willingness to be a team player.

I have to tell many of you that you have failed to do your jobs.  You have gone out of your way to loudly and proudly proclaim to the world that you have become unhinged when it comes to our President.  You have not only disrespected the office, but you have done so in the most vile and vulgar of terms.  Some of you have taken to disrespecting our National Anthem and our beloved American Flag that represents the country that gave you the freedom to do so.

I will defend your right to say or do whatever you feel the need to say or do within the confines of the law.  But I will remind you that words and deeds have consequences.

If you think it is funny to stand before an audience and talk about our President and those who work for him and support him, in the most vile and disgusting of terms, I will not watch your performances.

If you think it is cute to spew vulgarities at an awards ceremony or during an interview, or if you really think I appreciate your wisdom in telling me how I should join you in your hatred, I will not watch your movies or television dramas.

If your concerts or songs include rants against our President, I will listen to someone else's music.

And I will encourage my grandson's parents to point him in the direction of sports heroes who not only have talent and ability, but who also have class.

I do not believe it is required of us to love our President. There have been some over the years who, in my opinion, had less than stellar performances.  There hasn't been even one with whom I was in complete agreement.

But the office of the leader of the free world deserves our respect, as does our Anthem and our Flag.  And if we fail to do so or if we, by our silence, condone this slap in the face to our President and the symbols of patriotism and love of our country by those who are citizens of the same and who enjoy more freedoms than any other nation on earth,  then we are as good as finished.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

I Have Plans

Today was a good day.  I canned 29 half pint jars of peas and with what is already on the shelf, I should have enough to last at least one year.  I seem to use peas a lot.  I put them in tuna-macaroni salads and eat them as a vegetable with a meal.  My favorite is creamed peas on toast for a  quick meal.  My mother would make creamed peas or asparagus on toast every once in a while and I still like it.  Reminds me of home.

I didn't have as much butter in the freezer as I thought, so I decided to build up my supply before canning.  I only have 6 lbs., so will wait until I have 15 or 20.  Butter here is spendy, so I only order 4 lbs. at a time in my grocery order.  I can wait.

Now that the weather has cooled down some I am back in 'fill the shelves'  mode.  I looked to see what I needed before filling out my grocery order for Monday.  Here's the plan:

4 bags of hashbrowns to dehydrate
4 lbs. of frozen green beans to dehydrate
12 lbs. of hamburger - with the three lbs. in the freezer I will have 15 lbs.
fresh vegetables:  cabbage, carrots, celery, green peppers and onions.

It takes about one lb. of hamburger to fill a pint jar.  I also ordered taco seasoning.  I think I will make taco filling and can it.  I tried that once before and it was a success.  I just this past week used my last jar of taco meat and I love tacos, so that seems like a good use for the hamburger.  I will can at least two more cases of plain hamburger later.

 The fresh vegetables will be shredded, mixed together and dehydrated.  A couple handfuls of the dried vegetable mix adds flavor to soups or casseroles.

My groceries aren't delivered until Thursday.  In the meantime there are several bags of apple slices in the freezer.  I am not a tall person.  I can not reach the bottom of my chest freezer without practically standing on my head.  Oldest Son has taken pity on me and said he will come over after work on Sunday and drag the apples out of the bottom of the freezer for me.  They will go into my big roaster to cook down for applesauce.

So that's the plan.  Now, I realize that often when we plan, God laughs.  And I believe that when God finished creating this wonderful world we live in, he said, "OK, Murphy.  You're in charge."

 So we shall see how the plan works out.  :)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Once in a while...

an absolutely perfect day comes along.  Yesterday was one of those and today is shaping up to be more of the same.  The sun is shining which is welcome after a considerable amount of rain earlier in the week.  Temps are dropping to the mid-50's at night and staying under 75 degrees during the day.  It is a relief after the hot summer days.

I have bags of frozen peas and several pounds of butter thawing to be canned tomorrow.  If all goes well, on Monday I hope to cook down several bags of frozen apple slices for applesauce to can.

A few months ago I decided I needed a Mr. Coffee coffeemaker.  I had been using this to make coffee.

My Dad gave me that old drip coffee pot years ago when I didn't have a coffee pot.  My parents bought it right after they married - 73 years ago.  That old pot makes better coffee than the new one does.  The new one is now on a shelf.  The old one is still producing really good coffee, which is important to someone like me who considers coffee the 'elixor of life.'

And now I believe it is time for a short nap, after which I may sit out on the deck and crochet for awhile.  It is just too pretty a day to be indoors.  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


I have been watching some of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh.  The pure evil spewing forth from the mouths of some of the Senators on the left is breathtaking to behold.  This hearing has little to do with the confirmation of a judge and everything to do with getting President Trump.  I am convinced that if Jesus Christ were the one being questioned, the left would find fault and blame it on Trump.  I knew there was hate and discontent but I didn't realize how deep that hatred went.

Pray for our nation.  I am beginning to doubt that we can ever overcome the pure evil among us.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Still Here...

Just busy.  I found some new to me information about my family tree, and have been sorting that out to share with my cousin in Texas.  And she is doing some research on another branch of our tree.  It is fun to be working with another relative.  I enjoy the search and don't even mind so much the tediousness of organizing it all, even though it is awfully time consuming.

There was a little bit of sadness in my life this morning.  I have two nurses who deal with the cleaning and bandaging of my lower legs.  Ingrid is the one I see most often and today was her last day.  I am sad at losing her, for she is very good at her job and I really like her personally.  I credit her with saving my life, or at least prolonging it.  She was worried about the low numbers when she took my oxygen levels and she finally had a talk with me, explaining that low oxygen over time would cause some vital organs to be damaged or to shut down.  And when I didn't agree to getting the oxygen setup right away but said I would think about it, she went over my head and called my daughter, who called her brother and sister, who kidnapped me for a doctor visit and the order for oxygen and a nebulizer.  I still hate being tethered to a machine, but it has made a world of difference.  Ingrid has taken a job as a school nurse and I am happy for her.  And the other nurse, Caroline, is just as good and is a boatload of fun to be around.  Could be worse.  Could have gotten a Nurse Ratched.  :)

Duane likes to go to the State Fair.  He usually goes alone and likes to wander around, look at some exhibits and mostly eat. 


Dole Pineapple Whip

The crowd, which is why I don't go to the fair!!

I asked if he was going to bring me some Fair Food on a Stick, but he said anything on a stick would go bad before he got it home.  This afternoon he showed up with a paper sack full of goodies.  He said there was no food on a stick, but there were three boxes, each containing a different flavor of fudge.  He took a thin slice off each and left the rest for me.  I may have to hide some away or I will be tempted to dive in, head first.  :)

Youngest son, David, showed up early this afternoon.  He sat and visited with me for quite a while, showing me pictures he had on his iPad from his job.  They were mostly of things his landscape crews had missed.  He takes pictures to show them what needs to be done, but in most of them, the problem area was circled and he had added text to tell them exactly what to do.  It isn't rocket science.  It is pulling weeds, mowing grass, replacing shrubs, planting flowers, and cleaning up after themselves.  Jobs that should be self explanatory to seasoned crews, and yet, if David doesn't point out specifics, the jobs don't get done.  I asked if workers were becoming more stupid and he said maybe, but most times they take no pride in a job well done.  I am not surprised.

David also had some video he took with his drone.  He was at his house, practicing with it.  There was footage of their dog, Oreo, in the back yard.  She would sniff at a spot on the lawn, roll in it and then run like mad around the yard.  And do the same thing again.  And again.  I remarked that it might be a good idea to check to see what Oreo found so fascinating.  Dogs love to roll in the nastiest of stuff.  :)

And that's how my day went.  How was yours?