Friday, November 30, 2007

This Year's Tree

Oh my tree this year is going to be so beautiful. It's nonflammable, it's prelit...and it's white. No strings of lights to untangle is the absolute best thing ever. I remember in years past waiting for anyone to walk through the front door and untie me. There were always at least ten strings of lights that someone (who shall remain nameless because I can't find anyone to take the blame) removed from the tree, did not disconnect one from the other,and just rolled them into a ball and threw them in a box. Know why? Because it is just too much trouble to take care of at the time, and I really don't want anyone to miss out on the ranting and raving that will follow the opening of "the box". And the screams of "who put these lights in this box?" I think it may be time to come clean with myself. I know who it was that put the lights in the box. I'm the only one who decorates in here, and I'm also the only one who "undecorates", so why deny it? Undecorates. I think I may have just made up a word. I wonder if it'll work in Scrabble? But I digress. So the tree is in it's infancy...I started the decorating earlier this week and am adding things slowly so that it's all even and doesn't have the "stood back and threw the junk on it" look. While I may be a bit impatient removing the tree ornaments, I have the patience of Job when it comes to the actual decoration. Once I could let the sheer beauty of the live tree take the brunt of the disorganizational frenzy of frolic. But now, sigh, we have a fake tree. Or to put a better spin on it, we now have a Faux Tree. I got a white one to celebrate the fact that no one in the house smokes anymore, (a nicotine coloured tree is the most horrible sight to behold). I've always wanted a white tree, imitation's supposed to be in the 60's today so it's a bit of a stretch on the imagination, but if I turn the a/c on and get it to about 50 I can put on a sweater and stand in front of tree with a cup of coffee to help warm me up. That's after I finish decorating it. By the time that happens it may be in the forties outside and there will be no need of pretense. I will be done with the decorating as soon as I reach "critical mass". Not one limb left unadorned, not one light left unlit and the floor groans with the sheer weight of it all. Ah,'s the most wonderful time of the year...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Something to Remind us: The Reason for the Season

I hope you will all enjoy this as much as I did. I believe in sharing goodies...this is better than a goodie...


Thank You Susie Q

You Are Rudolph

Sweet and shy, you tend to be happiest when you're making someone else happy.

Why You're Naughty: You sometimes stick that nose where it doesn't belong

Why You're Nice: Christmas would be a sad affair without you!
Thanks to Susie Q ( I am now nearly complete in Christmas knowledge as to who I am, What I am, and Where I am(?). Fun fun fun! See what Kari started?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Live Vs Artificial

I think everyone knows by now that Mac (Wallace to His Family) was in the Navy for thirty years, which carried with it a lot of sea duty. Sea duty should have had the word "over" included, since the ship(s) mainly went far away...they didn't run out five or six miles and play war games then back in time for dinner. Even when they were in port, he often had "Duty" which meant he had to stay on the ship overnight at least once a week. He averaged six months at sea every year. Sometimes more. That's the thing so many people don't understand about Military families, it doesn't matter if there's a war going on or not, families are going to be separated. Well, the first Christmas that the ship was at sea at Christmas, the boys were devastated. Not see Daddy at Christmas? You're kidding, right? Right? Well, sadly I was not kidding. No Daddy at Christmas, it was 1977 so no Internet...just snail mail that could sometimes take up to two weeks to arrive from port to home or home to port. We had always had a live tree and I was adamant that we would not have an artificial tree. Ever. My reasons were mainly that they didn't look real. I had other reasons, but that was the main one. So I've got the beautiful live cedar tree all decorated by December 15th, water in the basin of the tree holder, plop an aspirin in (don't ask me, Mama always did it, I figured she knew). Every few days, add water, add presents, feel needles...sing a carol. The ship was due in the end of December, so I figured the tree would still look pretty good by the time he got home. Christmas came and went, so did the new year, no ship, no Mac. January 12th and I add more water, more aspirin, no carol this time, but a prayer instead. "Dear God please don't let my tree die this week". Like it wasn't already as dead as the proverbial hammer. And dry. There's Mac's presents laid neatly beneath a quickly drying cedar tree and I'm imploring the boys "for heaven's sake, don't brush against the Christmas tree, the needles are getting dry." It's now February 1st, the ship has once more been delayed. The boys are standing in the living room with a couple of their friends and Craig (Wallace's friend) says "you've still got your Christmas tree up." That was all, just you've still got your Christmas tree up. Of course by this time it looked more like a Christmas stick. With lights. "We're waiting for the boys' daddy to get home" I explained. To a five year old. "Oh," was all he said. By this time of course, we no longer turned the lights on, I was afraid of fire. It was no longer even plugged in. When the word came down that the ship was now due on February 14th I was so relieved I was nearly sick. I had taken to sleeping on the sofa next to the tree to keep the cat out of it so that it might have a semblence of shape and a few needles when the big day finally arrived. Women go through an awful lot to make Christmas work for everyone. In my mind, it was still the Christmas season and no one could convince me otherwise. Wow, what a day February 14th was, what a wonderful Valentine's day it turned out to be as we drove to D&S piers to greet the ship and all I could think of was the pile of needles on the floor , the cat crouching in the middle of the tree, so by now I was certain what remained of the tree was now covering the packages that contained some lovely winter wear and here we were fast approaching spring...after arriving home, I quickly plugged in the tree for the brief time it would take to shove packages into Mac's hands. He opened them, oohed and ahh'ed and I jumped up, unplugged the lights and grabbed the tree and quickly dragged it out the front door and dumped it unceremoniously onto the front yard where it burst into flames before every one's amazed eyes. I swear I could smell the cedar firing up as we sat in the floor. I don't think I've ever moved quite so fast, in my life. As for my opinion of artificial trees, no longer a live cedar snob, I agree with all and sundry...don't they look natural?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What my Christmas is like

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.
Kari, what in heavens name have you started? And why do I suddenly feel like Jan Brady waiting to trip Marsha Marsha Marsha as she runs down those endless stairs?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Something about Christmas

The Christmas Season is now upon us, it comes all in a rush when the Thanksgiving turkey is nothing but a carcass to be put out with the trash. As we are scraping dishes and cleaning the kitchen our minds are already filling with the list of things that have to be done to insure a convivial Yuletide. There are trees to be trimmed, lights to be strung, attics to be raided, and Christmas villages to be laid out on the fireplace mantel or deep bookshelf, high out of reach of toddlers. And not once do we really ever think about it as being work. It isn't work, it is the pleasure of childhood that comes roaring back to life and makes us kids again. It's the thought of sitting on the sofa with knees drawn up to your chin and just gazing at the sparkling splendor that is your Christmas tree, being held aloft by the pile of presents that lay beneath all gaily wrapped and awaiting the pirate hoard who will rip into them, opening the treasure with abandon and noise. It's the anticipation of the family gathering together, all the hurts and worries of the year now behind us, a distant memory not to be recalled here and in this place. And it is the memories of Christmas's past, when other loved ones gathered around a distant tree all aglow with lights and gay ribbons of red and green, Santa's bounty awaiting eager grins. And it all started with the birth of a Child. Hush. Do you hear it? It sounds like Angel wings gliding gently down to the earth. How often do we forget that what we are preparing is the ultimate Birthday Party. All the gentleness and forgiveness, all the charity and love that is filling our hearts and souls now, was taught to us and passed down from parents to children for generations untold. And so I say, Merry Christmas...and anticipate a Birthday. Let the party begin.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Just Following Kari's lead

Okay, so I was over at Kari's house (Just Living Large, see favorite blogs) . She was having so much fun that I just had to join in. She was checking out what kind of tree she was and what kind of crappy present. It looked like a good thing to do, so I decided to find out what kind of tree I am and here she be...

You Are a Tinsel Tree

For you, Christmas is no different than the rest of the year.
And this means you do things your own way - and continue to surprise people.

Now, next I'm going to find out what kind of present I am...but I'm delighted to know that apparently I keep Christmas year round...too cool...if you want to know what kind of tree you are, just click on the, what kind of present am I?

You Are a Christmas Sweater!

Over the top, colorful, and totally flashy.
You're not afraid to be a little tacky.

So, it seems that Kari and I are the same. You know, I kept telling her that I am really her mother, not her maybe she'll believe me. Ah, the Christmas season, I love it love it love it...what other time of year can you become a child again and not feel silly when you act it. So what gift are you? Go check and see...I'll be in later to tuck you in and see whether you're a Grinch or a Who.


Just a quick little Thankful Post

I'm so thankful that here it is Sunday, took that awful medicine on Friday and I'm feeling super duper good...thankful thankful thankful that I haven't been horizontal on the couch the entire weekend...come on with me and Maxine, we'll paint the town red! And if anyone breathes a word to Dr. Dougherty about how grand I feel, they'll be the Thanksgiving day turkey next year!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Day of Surprises, yoo ha

A few weeks ago the Melbourne Cup was run and guess whose horse won? Mine did, mine did...Effienct came in like a champ, I was pulling for him all the way and because he had such merry running legs, I won this gorgeous horseshoe, all decorated for Christmas. What a lucky girl I am, and I mean Jenn and Jacqui ( ) have really been too generous. I received a lovely day planner, the most gorgeous pen with a rose attached (that looked so real, Mac (WTHF) picked it up and smelled it, then my buddy Joanne did the same thing! A Womans Day magazine (Australian!) and the most lovely picture of rabbits , it made me want to cry. There was a Cadbury (best candy in the world) Cherry bar...which Mac immediately grabbed and ran off, they're like children...anyway, he reports it was just too wonderful, too wonderful for words, it's marvelous, so marvelous...well, you get the picture...he's a pretty darned good singer, but he has two left feet and the dancing was really bad. He tells me it was like a mounds bar but instead of chocolate covering the coconut, it was a cherry jubilee...he gets pretty graphic when candy is involved...Well, here's the pictures of my haul...I mean, my gifts....I am so very Thankful for my friends, Jenn and Jacqui...and if that was not enough, they have given me an's the friendly site award, and I do appreciate it, girls. Love you too!!!

The Day after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over for another year. I'm groaning, because as usual I ate to much. The turkey was good but I've decided that I perhaps do make the best dressing in the world. Of course, I got the recipe from the 1918 edition of the White House Cookbook, so I can't take one dab of the credit. Not even a smidgen. Just when I think that someone else may have a better tasting, better consistency, better flavored dressing, along comes Thanksgiving and proves me wrong. The dressing was the best. Don't mess with success. The turkey was a bit on the dry side, but that's why God invented gravy, right? The cake was a huge success, and I'd take a picture of the remains were there any remains to be snapped. The apple pie, which I made with splenda instead of sugar was very good. You'd never know there was no sugar in there. I enjoyed my son and daughter(in-law) being here and that everyone agreed it was the wrong day to be on a diet. Okay, so am I bragging on myself to much? We call that tooting our own horn, and I don't believe it in false modesty! Yesterday Jacqui and I went over to my father's house and gave the kitchen a good cleaning, something it hasn't had since Mama left us. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed that day. It was good to be with my friend/sister (remember evil sister?) and we talked about all that had happened in our lives since we last lived close to each other. Daddy came in from the clinic and we fixed him lunch and the loveliest pot of Yorkshire Tea (thanks to Sophie) and sat and talked to him. So all in all my day after Thanksgiving was very good, and I hope all of yours was as pleasant as ours. Soon Christmas will be upon us, and I see that Jefferson folk are no slackers when it comes to decorating. There are some beautifully done homes on Angelus Road. Everyone needs to "come see". I'm getting in the spirit now. I may even set up the reindeer today...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Night before Thanksgiving

Yes, it's the night before Thanksgiving and I am whipped, people, I tell you I'm dragging behind as never before. When I haven't been baking, I've been cleaning, when I haven't been cleaning, I've been cooking. So far I have made the wonderful "Mama make the Good Cake", an apple pie, (I used splenda instead of sugar for this) and a pumpkin pie. Mac (WTHF) went and pulled a lovely bunch of turnips for me, but unfortunately I had to wash and pick through them myself. Anyone who is familiar with collards and turnip greens knows, they can't be too clean. I know, I've heard the old saw that we all eat pounds of dirt before we die, but I don't want the dirt coming in on my food. I'd rather be sliding into home when I eat my pounds. So, before I run around visiting everyone, I'm going to post some pictures. The sweet lady you see is Mama...I have three pictures of her to share, the top one is her holding me as a baby, the second is on the speed boat, she loved the water. The third is when we moved to Ruby, that is her with the Shelties. What wonderful pets they were. Some of my snowmen villages I've started setting up and last but not least, two views of the "Mama Make the Good Cake" Now, for anyone who is going to try this, the batter may seem to be to stiff to you..Take my word for it, it is not...just divide it evenly into the two pans and smooth down into the pans and voila! I couldn't believe how lovely and flat the tops were, no humps up in the middle of the layer like with a cake mix. They came out lovely. I had to make WTHF leave it alone. I may have to set an armed guard out tonight! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you all!!!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Mama and the Meatballs

You know, I'm so thankful for the response from you all that I received from my earlier post about Mama's cake recipe and how I came to have it. I was laughing with Good Sister yesterday about how Mama could take a piece of shoe leather tough beef and make it Fillet Mignon. GS said she remembered her Swedish Meatballs and I just howled with laughter. I think I have mentioned before that my kids loved their Grandma's Swedish Meatballs and whenever we came home (being military, it was usually only once or twice a year) they always looked forward to that dish. Now, I wanted to satisfy my family's tastebuds and finally asked her for the recipe. At first I got a lot of the old song and dance about pinches of this and smatterings of that but I had finally convinced her (or so I thought) that she really needed to share the recipe with me. One day I received a card in the mail (we were then living in the Motherland) with the recipe included. I still have it. I was so happy to finally get it that I made up my mind to prepare it that weekend. Now, I know most folks serve the dish on noodles, but we've always been rice eaters, so we serve it over rice. I had gathered my ingredients to me and set to with a sense of pride and, dare I say, joy. When the time in the oven was up, I lifted the heavy baking dish onto the top of the Aga and just enjoyed the wonderful smell that was wafting its way to my nostrils. I had the table set and everything was ready, the rice was done, the asparagus (which only Mac and I eat, I think the boys were using the old allergy to green thing at the time) had been steamed to perfection, the green beans were just right. We all gathered at the table and after saying grace (how apt) we began to dine on what I was hoping was pure ambrosia. Okay, ambrosia it wasn't, but it was good. It didn't taste exactly like Mama's, but it was okay. I was let down a bit, but put it off on the odd tasting British beef (sorry all my was the fishy taste that got me). Okay, so off and on we had Swedish Meatballs, but never with the anticipation of that first meal. So, after over three years, we were back in the homeland, on our way to Mama's and of course the second night after we arrived we had, you guessed it, Swedish Meatballs. As soon as I tasted it, I knew that it wasn't the British Beef that affected the taste (at least not much). It was something much more diabolical. It was Mama herself. I looked at her, eyes narrowed in only a way we Douglas women can narrow our eyes (the menfolk swear they see flashes of fire) and asked her quite bluntly, "Mama, what did you leave out of my recipe for the meatballs?" My God that woman could give you the most innocent look, it was driven snow. "Why what do you mean?" she asked, her eyes blinking in complete bafflement. "Don't hand me that malarkey, you left something out. I'm not quite sure what it is, but give me a minute, I'll tell you." I stuck my finger, yes my finger, in the sauce and sucked that sweetly delicious sauce delicately off my finger. I tasted the cream, the cracked pepper. Um, just a little bit more...the hint of butter and salt, the beef drippings...ahh, the cream again....and then, oh yes, and then I had her. "NUTMEG" I cried out. I may as well have yelled J' would have been just as fit. "Now, you don't think I'd intentionally leave anything out of a recipe, was probably an accident." Well, now I make Swedish Meatballs as good as Mama's. And for Christmas, I'm gonna make us all a "Mama Make a Good Cake" wily Mama...what a cook...and she finally came through. The picture is of course the White House Cook Book and on top of it, the handwritten recipe that Mama used. Just seeing her handwriting, I felt her right there with me, urging me on!

A Gift from my Mother...Grace Douglas Valverde

I've been doing some heavy cleaning today, trying to play catch up with the weekend that I missed. You know, it's that medicine thing. I'm sure that all is going to go well where that is concerned, I have no doubt. That's what makes it work, my belief in the power of myself. So, I'm moving the cook books around and dusting under them, packing up knick knacks so I have a place for my Snowmen...I have a lot of snowmen...I love snowmen. There is this cookbook that my mother gave to me a few years before she passed. It's the White House Cookbook from 1918. As I was dusting it and flipping through the pages I found a recipe for her Gold Cake with Butter Cream Icing. It actually fell out and landed on my feet. This is a cake that she was famous for, and I'm not sure but I think we sort of renamed it the "Mama, Make that Good Cake ". You know, I love Paula Deen, but my Mama could cook circles around her. Paula darlin', you ain't got nothin' on my Mama...So since Mama gave me this gift, and you know darned well that I know she gave me this gift...I've had this cookbook for at least ten years, I've cooked from it before, and until now, the "Mama Make that Good Cake" recipe has hidden from me. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I forgave her for going and dying on me this week? Denial lasted a long time too, my friends. I think she would like for me to share it with my friends, so here is a gift from my Mama, to you. I hope your kids and grandkids will be saying "Mama make that Good Cake" for many years to come.

Mama Make that Good Cake:

Ingredients: 3/4 cup butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

6 egg yolks

6 tablespoons sour cream

1 3/4 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (omit if sweet milk is used in place of the sour cream)

2 teaspoons lemon flavoring

1 teaspoon Yellow food coloring


Cream butter and confectioners sugar, add 1 yolk at a time, beating well after each . Add sour cream and beat well. Add flour mixed with baking powder and soda. Add lemon flavoring and yellow food coloring and beat well. Pour batter evenly into 2 nine inch cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack for five minutes, then turn out and continue till thoroughly cooled. Frost with Lemon Butter Cream Frosting

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting:


1/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups sifted confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice (or light cream, I use lemon juice)

1 teaspoon lemon flavoring


With electric mixer at "cream" mix butter, salt, 1 cup of sugar until light, add the rest of the sugar and lemon juice and beat until very smooth. Add lemon flavoring and blend well. Enough to frost two cake layers...

I hope you enjoy this cake. We did for years. It's one of those things that when the person who prepared it is gone and you don't know how it was made can be lost forever. You know, her name was Grace. She was pretty amazing. And now when I sing "I once was lost but now am found", it will have an entirely new meaning for me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Little Behind

Yes, a little behind, it's what we all dream of...oh, no that's not exactly what I meant. I'm a little behind today because someone called me a Grinch yesterday and I made that somebody take me Christmas shopping and now that somebody wishes he had kept his mouth shut. I had loads of fun, I promise you. Yesterday I went to see Dr. Um, my Podiatrist. There I was thinking I was going to get the lecture about having surgery to correct my hammer toe situation (I have 8 toes involved, not 10, so it is still a situation, not an abomination). I was quite surprised when he didn't bring it up at all and instead I got the most marvelous foot massage, nail clipping (he said he was a farrier on the side and was quite happy that I got his little joke...I neighed quite happily, even managed a whinny or two). My feet felt five pounds lighter and ten years younger when he was finished. The foot massage was so great that if I was still a smoker I'd have had a cigarette before leaving the treatment room. So, that's why I'm a little behind. Now I'm going go visit all my friends and see what you have been doing...something noteworthy and fun, I'm sure....see you in the Blog Rooms...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hiho Hiho it's off to Dr. Um's I go

It's off to the Doctor's office for routine visit this's raining outside (yippee!!!) but I thought I'd leave you with these words of wisdom: When you is sad and lonely and a little chill is in the air...when you is down in spirit...snuggle up with a friend in a chair!

As told to me by George and Sylvester (McBride) seen here. They flunked English in school...but they're cool...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Thanksgiving Celebration

We're about to celebrate another Thanksgiving and most of us of the female persuasion have been preparing the meal for many days now. There are pies and cakes to be baked, not to mention the cornbread for the dressing. There are collard greens to be washed and cut up to cook in the big pot with a side of fat back, sweet potatoes for baking and cranberry compote to prepare. It dawned on me, while looking at a painting of the first Thanksgiving, that the women were standing and serving and men were sitting and eating. Just as I have suspected for years, it all became clear: men invented Thanksgiving. They are the ones who have the most to be thankful for, after all. Thankful for the splendid meals that their women folk prepare, thankful for the 72 hours of football that will consume the hours of a Thanksgiving weekend. Thankful to be able to loosen their belts so they can cram in just one more turkey sandwich and maybe one more slice of sweet potato pie. Thankful for that one long belch that left burp status 45 seconds ago. They are thankful that they have the day off to enjoy this wondrous day of feasting and bonding, an absolute orgy of food, football, and bloated bellies. Oh yes, does anyone doubt it? Men definitely invented Thanksgiving.

I know what most women are thankful for, too. They are thankful to be able to turn off the oven at long last, put everything on the back burner and take a breather before it is time to set the table. Then they are thankful if everyone shows up for dinner on time and doesn't throw off the the whole feeding frenzy. After the demolition of what they laughingly call "the dinner" they are more than thankful if just one person stands up and says, "let me help you with the dishes" and not only won't take no for an answer, but follows through to the drying part. They are thankful that there are at least 72 hours of football to keep the men occupied and out from underfoot, since they have the day off. They are thankful to have two television sets so that they might watch what they want to watch, if and when the mood (and the time) strikes them. And while it was wonderful to have the whole family together for at least one day, they are thankful that when the guests are gone, they can lay down and take a nap. For, now that Thanksgiving is over, it is time to begin all those Christmas preparations, the baking, the shopping, the trimming, the party planning, the house cleaning, the "fence mending" from the fights that broke out during Thanksgiving's big football game. Yes, a long nap is definitely in order after the big day. So ladies, shove the big lug out of the recliner, because as the jingle goes, you deserve a break today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Thankful for a Generous Husband

Yes, I am thankful for a generous husband, and right now I'm tryig to decide just how I am going to thank him. Will it be a kiss or a smack? You see, for my anniversary I received a laptop and I am still trying to figure out how it works. The keyboard is the same as any, just a smaller configuration? No, it seems to be just exactly the same. But appearences can be deceiving, as we all know. Do I not appear to be an easy going sort of person, taking everything in stride and going about the day to day without a whimper? Well, as most of the people I worked with, in what ever capacity,and most of my family and friends can tell you, that is an accurate description. Most of the time. Sometimes my temper gets the best of me, but I don't think I lose it too often. Until today. But I've been working on this post for over half an hour and don't seem to be getting anywhere. Fast. There is no mouse, and mostly that is not a problem, the keyboard works fine, so just what seems to be my problem? I find I am doing more backspacing than I've ever done in my life. Wow, got through the entire sentence and had to backspace not once! Alright, maybe I'm getting the hang of it. I'm sitting in my dining room, using my computer and not one other piece of equipment is taking up the tabletop. Okay, by George, I think I have it! Back later, gonna run give WTHF his thank you smack...a good warm hug to go with it!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Today being the day we are observing Veterans Day, I have to say that I am thankful for all the young men and women who are willing to do their country's bidding. There is no draft, so these folks are doing their job out of the loyalty of their hearts. They're certainly not doing it for the money. The job doesn't pay that well. How many are out there who sacrifice their time, their family life and unfortunately all too frequently, their very lives, so that others may live free? More than you might suspect, and I wish there were a web page and enough people to sit at the computer to put every name of every Service member in every free nation so we could see just what it is these wonderful people are doing. In my family the ones I know personally or have heard of, (though they be dead, their names should still be spoken aloud) who did their Duty as Military Personnel are as follows:

Senneth Charles McBride USN , Deceased
Hiram Wallace McBride , Junior (known as Uncle Junior to us) US Army, Decorated by President Truman, with The Soldier's Medal , Deceased

Martus Douglas, US Army (Deceased, victim of WWII)
William Merriman, US Army
Milton Wallace McBride, Sr US Navy (Retired)
Timothy Bush, US Army
Lewey D. McBride US Navy (Retired)
Joe Frank Steed, US Air Force (Retired)
Randey Hayes US Air Force
Nick Adams US Air Force

Ken Hayes, US Air Force
Betty McBride Davis, USAir Force (Reserves)
Jack Davis, US Navy (Retired)
Michael Kent McBride, US Navy (Deceased)
Joseph Hayes, USAir Force (Reserves)

I'm sure there are so many others that I have left out, but that's the beauty of editing...I can come back and add those names as folks remind me who was left out.

Monday Monday, Just Love that day

It's Monday morning and I got up this morning with a spring in my step...I should have a spring, after all I don't think I got far from the bed the entire weekend. But up I am, and I am telling you all, if you haven't tried the Yorkshire tea, what is wrong with you? What, no pals like my Sophie to depend upon? It came in the sweetest little pasteboard tea chest, which I intend to lacquer when it's empty so that I can continue to keep it in the cupboard...also other teas to choose from and Marmite...wonder what happens if I never open it and the jar just sits in plain view? Sorry, but the OXO went in my soup straight away. It can not remain unopened...then I ran postehaste over to Jenn and Jacqui's to see what I had won. It was a horse race, you know...wish I could have seen the race but you have to go over there and see the perfectly delightfully decorated Horse's mine, all mine...I do know it has to be hung with the ends up, so all my luck doesn't run out, and thankfully it's decorated so that it's easily hung properly. Or is it hanged? No, a man is hanged and an item is hung. I love my "caricature" that the lovely ladies did, too. It was so good, I thought it was my prize! You'll love it, too. I am sitting here feeling sorry for Kari who is neck deep in Christmas Ornaments and today Texas is in a heat wave. All I can say is crank that a/c down to about 60 and you'll be in the mood...put that Marshmallow World in the loop play and have at it. I can't wait for the pictures to be posted. Please don't let Randey fall off the ladder...I worry about things like that. I see where Santa Clause III is due to come out on DVD so have to put it in my queue at Netflix...Mac (WTHF) says it's time for a serious Christmas movie again, but Jimmy Stewart isn't with us to put just the right spin on it and there's no Natalie Wood to bring the waterworks what's Hollywood to do? First off they need to settle the Writer's Strike (in the Writer's favour, may I add?) Then they need to get sex and violence out of the mix. But can they? Is it possible we have crossed the line of decency when some idiot is offering a thousand dollars to some money hungry person to allow the birth of her child to be filmed for an ADVERTISEMENT on the Super Bowl? What in God's name could they be advertising? And if Janet Jackson's clothing malfunction raised such a stink, can you imagine what this will do? Okay, that's enough from me, I'm headed over to all my friends and see what's been going on with them while I've been lying abed the weekend! Wow, it's good to be back! Just one more cup of Yorkshire, and I'm set.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yorkshire Tea

Okay, I've dragged myself in here to post my Thankful for for today...I'm oh so thankful for the Yorkshire Tea (amongst others, Earl Grey, Breakfast, Afternoon and also a lovely little jug of Marmite and OXO...I'm sipping on Yorkshire, and if I ever needed it, I needed it today...Thank you are a dear...

Thanks Jenn and Jacqui

I'm not on long this morning...Friday night meds are kicking butt today...but wanted to say thank you to Jenn and Jacqui at the Bowerbirds Nest...what a wonderful gift, you girls are so talented! As you can see, I have posted the "redo" of my picture on the blog...I just love it! I won this from a horse please pat my horse and take him a nice bunch of carrots and an apple from me!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007


I've been a bad girl, let two days go by and no Thanks...I'm thankful for my niece Kari's tolerance of her crazy aunt (for yesterday)
for today, I'm thankful for Nannie Cat's improving health...He's such a nice cat...more on Nannie soon

Blog Checking

You know, I have a certain routine when I get up in the morning, and have for the past couple of years. I get up, go into the bathroom and turn on the shower and when the water hits me, I'm awake. After drying and dressing I wander into the kitchen and turn on the coffee pot, get the cat food ladle and feed the kids, outside kids and inside kids...let Mindy go out and wander the property and take care of business in general. Check in with the coffee pot and take the first cup into the computer room and check the e-mail. Then I check my blogpals and see who has been busy at this time of the morning. What did I do before I started this computer habit? I worked like the devil for the county, smoked like a chimney and did a lot of time on my knees in the flower beds. Now that I don't or can't do any of the aforementioned, I have lots of time for the computer. And this morning I see that I have been tagged by the darling T*mmy at My Gentle Retreat ( has tagged me. I understand that I am to post the rules and then get on with the tag. It's a meme tag, I'm to tell you about 6 habits or facts about me that you may not know and then I'm to tag thing the coffee pot is here goes: the rules are:

Rules:A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.C. At the end of the post, the player then tags people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Ahem, so here goes, six facts/habits about me that you may not know
1. I am the 2nd daughter in a family of six (four girls 2 boys)
2. I am the granddaughter of a farming couple, Dwight and Nancy Douglas
3. I love to read, always have at least two books going at the same time
4. while I have an artistic eye, can't draw even a recognizable stick picture, can lay out a flower bed and water features that are awesome
5. when nervous or upset, I one time I paced and smoked...thank God (really) the smoking thing is over
6. blue lights and sirens make my heart beat faster and my brain starts thinking in 10 know like 10-8 10-41 (on duty and ready for service) or 10-23 10-6 (I have arrived and am busy on this call)...sort of like how the old retired milk cart horses would get excited when hearing the milkman's bell.
Okay, so that's six things or habits you may or may not know about me, and I now intend to tag me a couple of folks. I want to tag those that I haven't tagged before so that I learn new things about new friends. I tag Penny at, Terri at and Adla at and I'd like to know a bit more about SusieQ at
and Kathy at and one more makes six...Lisa at

So, there you have it...get busy girls, I'm retired, I have all day to learn about you, but the computer is not my entire life, you know. Sometimes I wander down to the creek to see if there's any water in it. Right now, not so much.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Where has Country Music Gone?

We settled back with snacks and drinks to watch the CMA awards last night and it was the most uncomfortable night I have spent in a long time. I kept waiting to see the country music stars and all I saw were babies up on the stage. Now while I like Carrie Underwood, she's no Reba (McEntire) and her hit video "before he cheats" makes me laugh out loud, but she doesn't have the dulcet tones of Tammy, either. Kelly got up and sang her song about how her mama abandoned her (like she's the only child that has ever been abandoned) and to me, the end was pure acting. I know she can act, I've seen her do it. When she was on Give me the Mike (Charlotte) she didn't appear to be the ditzy blond that she portrayed on Idol. She doesn't have me fooled, she is not the empty headed ditz she makes herself out to be. Granted she can sing, but where was Patty Loveless and Faith Hill? I know, I know, they weren't nominated. Well, why weren't they? Where was Alan Jackson? The audience pan revealed none of my favorite singers. Where was Loretta and George? Where was Tim McGraw and Alabama? Why do they call Sugarland a duo when only one person sings and the other stands back and strums the guitar? I never saw him open his mouth or crowd in at the mike. And when will Kix Brooks start contributing his voice a bit more to Ronnie Dunn's vocals? What happened to Boot Scootin' Boogey? Is CMA ashamed of Minnie Pearl and Stringbean, Grandpa Jones and Roy Acuff? The closest thing we have to all that is Allison Kraus, and she doesn't sound anything like she did ten years ago when their was some blue in their grass. Why didn't Vince Gill sing, since he wasn't hosting this year? Porter Wagoner, who died last week barely got a mention and Hank Thompson, (The Wild Side of Life) who passed on Tuesday and last performed on October the 8th at age 81, got no mention at all. Both are members of the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame. Such a pity And to compare Jason Aldean to Johnny Cash is like comparing rocks to diamonds or sows ears to silk purses. Where has all the Country music gone? Gone to pop stars, everyone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mama and the Vivisectionist

My Mama was probably the tallest girl in her family, and even then she was only 5'6. She was every bit the lady and had us walking with books on our heads to improve our posture from about age eight. She taught us all she could about cooking and cleaning (note I said could, not knew) and at some point just gave up and let us start learning a few things on our own. She was an animal lover and we always had cats or dogs (rarely together or at the same time) around the house. She was a sucker for puppydog eyes and while we might hear the cat meow as a militant gesture of world domination, she heard sweetness and light. Right after we moved to Ruby, world domination began and cats began to show up. If they were wise, they stayed in the back area near the woods, but some were just wild and without a clue so Highway 9 became the end of the road for them. Now, the highway is a good 500 feet from the house, so there was never any reason to wander up that long drive way, or for any stranger to wander down it. All the citizens of Ruby knew where the Doctor and his wife and children lived, they also knew where he worked. The only reason anyone would come down the long circular drive would be at invitation or a medical emergency, or else you were a family member (which took in about 1/3 of the populace). Strangers did not venture down the drive because frankly, by the time you saw the entrance, you had already passed it. In your mind would be "was that a driveway..." and the next thought would be "hmm, maybe not." It's the trees you see. The house actually sits in the midst of woods. Mama had a large area cleared in the back for her garden, flower beds were laid out and the middle of the circle was filled with Magnolias, Dogwoods and flowering Cherry. She had green fingers, you see. Anything would grow for her. One morning she was out preparing to plant the daffodils throughout the woods when a van pulled in. Now, she had been told earlier that morning by one of the patients that "a vivisectionist" was in town, which was akin to saying that Sherman was marching on Atlanta to Mama. She later told me that this large man, whom she had never before laid eyes on, unfolded himself from the drivers seat and approached her. She pulled one glove off and walked over to the front courtyard entrance. The man approached her smiling and looking oily, she said. He gave her the shivers. He introduced himself and told her he was new in the area and someone had told him that she had some cats she was looking to be shed of. Mama glanced around at one or two of the cats who sat quietly on and near the walkway and back at the man standing nearby. She asked him just who had volunteered any such information to him, making a mental note to later call said person and gently ask them not to be telling perfect strangers her business. I was quite sure she really believed she intended to be gentle, but I knew my mother and I would not want to be on the business end of that conversation. Mama had a way of "dressing you down" that was unique in that you didn't realize your legs had been cut off at the knee till you were face down in your own yard. So, this "liar" starts hemming and hawing, unable to come up with a name, but still insistent that he had received this info from a neighbor or friend. Excusing herself, Mama went to the side door, and when he attempted to follow, she waved him back and told him she would return shortly. When she did return she was carrying a shotgun that was bigger than she was. "You know mister, " she told him, "if there's anything I hate worse than a liar, it's a vivisectionist. I smack liars. I shoot vivisectionists." And she closed the breech. She said she'd never seen anyone that big move quite as fast as he was beating a trail back to his van. He took off in a hail of gravel and oyster shell and Mama said she wished he hadn't left in such a hurry. I asked her why, and she said she really wanted to look in the back of that van and release any cats he might have already picked up. Fearless, that's what she was. They say the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree...Mac would say the nut, but we'll forgive him this time. I can honestly say I have no love in my heart for vivisectionists. I get it from my Mama.

Dog to God

Now, I know, I've been busy in here today and later on this evening I intend to be back but I just had to share this picture with you...I know if God listens to me, he is listening to this pair...when I received this picture it almost brought tears to my eyes. I had just gotten off the phone with my son who is very concerned about Animal Welfare, just as I God, who listens to my prayers, must be listening very hard to this one...

Jenn and Jacqui, The Bower Birds Nest

Did I happen to mention that I had won the big Horse Race in Melbourne? No? Well, I did...or rather my horse won...can't wait to see what I won at the lovely giveaway from Jenn and Jacqui, will let you know when I know...go see the girls, will you? They're on my blog as one of my favorites, just look to the right and click like mad

Kat-in-a-Flap...we're pullin' for you honey

You all know our wonderful Kat (of who has been ill just recently. I keep going in to her blog to see if our darling girl has been posting, and yesterday I decided to send her an e-mail and check on her. I received an answer from her this morning. I was so glad to hear and wanted to share it with you , my friends.

"Hi Sandi,I was so sad to read about your nephew,Karen must be heartbroken,he was a beautiful young man,his goodness shone from his face.You know I think Angels walk the earth and sometimes God calls them back.I am getting better each day and feeling stronger.I am going to get better,no doubt about that,it will justtake time.I feel very sick and tired but ok otherwise.I love Autumn and am now lokking forward to Christmas,Hugs to you Honey,Kat xxxxxxxx"

Still thinking of others, that's what our community is about. Hugs to you our dear Kat, and when I say we're pulling for you, you know we mean it.

Group hugs and kisses


I'm thankful for out community...together we can do so much good...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Horse Race

I have always loved horses and horse racing. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont...I read everything I could get my hands on about Seabiscuit, that magnificent runner and descendant of some of the greatest champions known to man. When we arrived in England I was surprised (I don't know why I was surprised, but I was) to find horse racing nearly every day. They raced at Haymarket, they raced at Brighton, they were running at Yarmouth and Ayr...they ran on flat and they had steeple was a horse lovers heaven. We hadn't been settled in our new home too awfully long when I learned how to place a bet. I never bet too much, usually no more than a pound, sometimes only 50p. But like the lottery over here, I played a ticket every Saturday. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost. Every so often I would play the ITV7, which was based on 7 races in a row... the races were held on Saturday morning. The boys would usually be out playing and Mac and I would be filling out our tickets then one of us would run down to the OTB (Off Track Betting) shop and place the bet. This one morning after we both filled out our separate tickets, it would be me going in to place the bets. Mac had worked all night (in London) and was planning on going straight up to bed after the tickets had been filled in. Now, you can bet the tickets Win Place and Show and doing it this way you have a better chance of getting some return on your money. If there are more than, say 7 horses in the race, and your horse comes in third, you get a bit back on him and your ticket is still viable. So anyway, I had my system of how I chose my horses. If I liked the name, or the horse was pretty, it didn't have to have know, very scientifically calculated...then that's who I bet on. If the odds were long, well that was a plus. Okay, so I have my ticket ready, Mac has his ticket filled out but now I'm marking the Win Place or Show when Mac glances over and does what men do when women are perfectly content to go on their merry way as they were. "I'd play it win only." I looked over at him and asked him to explain himself. "Well, that third race only has 3 horses in it, if your horse comes in 2nd, it won't pay out place or show. You have two races like that. I'd just play it Win only. Why waste money?" Well, it sort of made sense to me. I don't know now why I listened to him, it's not something I'm known for doing. But listen I did and win only was how I paid the ticket. Now, in the ITV7 you have to keep the ticket going, you have to win (or place and show if that's how you mark the ticket) all the races in order to collect on any. And this is how I almost became rich. You note I said almost, which only counts in horseshoes, not horse races...

The horses were lining up in race 1 and Mac had already gone up to sleep. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, jumping up and down and urging my horse, on and he came in for me at 25 to1. The second race lined up and Clouded Vision, a vision at 37-1 was running his heart out and when he won (after I had been warned he was a dog by the fella at the Betting Parlor) I nearly fainted. The races proceeded and I won both the races that had only 3 or four horses and was feeling good and had one race to go. My horse was a shoo in, I was assured by all and sundry that all this horse had to do was show up. He was picked for me by Mac, who also had him on his ticket. I had figured up that so far I had 198,000 pounds in the bag and my heart was pounding as they lined up. I saw something that disturbed me so much, I stood up to watch the race. The horse had blinkers on. This boded ill, and I watched as the horses walked down from the paddock to the track and he was so beautiful and arrogant, his jockey so calm and sure, I relaxed when I watched him gallop sideways and try to reach back and bite his jockey, he was full of p*ss and vinegar, all black and glistening looking like the biggest hobbyhorse I had ever seen on any carousel...I loved this horse. This horse was going to make me rich. I began spending the money in my mind, imagined the beautiful red leather heels with matching purse I would purchase to take my trip into the city to collect my winnings. I'm telling you, this horse looked at me and said "it's in the bag". The bell went, the wire went up and they were off! There were nine horses in the race, and they all started out in the lead then gradually, most of them fell to the back of the pack. Now it was a four horse race and my horse was in the lead. On they galloped and my horse decided to stop and wait for the other two horses to catch up. I began to scream at the tv set for him to RUN DAMN YOU RUN, and when the other two caught up, they were off again. The race came to a photo finish end between the three lead horses . My horse, my beloved horse, came in second. SECOND. I sat straight up on the sofa and my eyes narrowed. My gaze went towards the stairs where someone lay sleeping, someone who had told me "I'd play it win only." Someone who had told me that all my last horse had to do was show up! I picked up a pillow off the sofa and slowly mounted the stairs. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I went into the bedroom, kill him or merely maim him. Kill him was high on the list. I satisfied myself with beating him with the pillow, thus bringing him up out of a sound sleep. He never slept that soundly again before a race. Nor did he offer me any advice on how to play my tickets. At least not untill the second time I did the unthinkable and took his advice. More fool I.

November 6th Thankfulness

You know I can't let another day go by without saying how thankful I am for my blogging friends. Other people might laugh at the closeness we have attained in here, but we are meeting and getting to know people from all walks of life, from different nations and diverse backgrounds. How shallow can it be? We have laughed with each other, cried with each other and more importantly prayed for each other. Every day that we remember to mention our community in our prayers is a blessing on everyone. I'd like to thank Adla, my new beloved friend, at who so kindly granted me the Community Blogger award. I'm not sure what I did to deserve it, but I am no less thankful for it. Thank you Adla! You really need to go and visit Adla, she has some real treasures to share! Also, in the Melbourne race, my beautiful horse , Efficient,came in a winner at the Cup lucky am I? Well, later on today I'll be back in to tell you all about how I ALMOST won 250,000 pounds...missed it by this }much. Well, more later pals...
Thanks for the award again, is much appreciated