Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year To My Friends in Bloggerville

Happy 2009 !!!


May the New Year bring;
peace where there is turmoil, good health where there is sickness, prosperity where there is poverty, love where there is hate, friends where there is loneliness, warmth where there is cold, food where there is hunger, harmony where there is discord.....
Wishing you all a wonderful 2009 !!!



Friday, December 26, 2008

FOOD FRIDAY

It may be the day after Christmas but it's also Food Friday. Here's a simple recipe that anyone with a can opener can make.

Linda's Quick & Easy Vegetable Soup

1 can beef broth, 1 can vegetable broth, 1/2 can water, 1 can cut green beans, 1 small can whole kernel corn, 1 can mushroom pieces, 1 can cooked diced tomatoes, 1 can kidney, pinto or northern beans, 1 can sliced carrots, 1/3 cup barley, minced onion (I use the dried) & some garlic powder.

Put all these ingredients in a large kettle and cook on medium heat for a couple hours. Stirring occasionally. You don't need to add any salt because the salt in the canned veggies will be plenty. This is so good, very filling & the left overs are good warmed up. And like I said, anyone with a can opener & a kettle can make it.

We had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Bob's kids. I've retrieved Gabi from my grand daughter and have been busy all day getting ready for my Christmas dinner tomorrow. I'll try to do an entry about our time in Enumclaw, either Sunday or Monday. I hope everyone had a good couple of days....until next time. Linda

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday's Christmas Song

Merry Christmas to All




Even though I'm away from the computer today,

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I still have a ga-zillion things to do today but wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. My posts for tomorrow are written and will appear automatically even though we'll no doubt be away. (I love that feature that Blooger offers us.)


Take care ~ stay safe & warm.....wishing you all love, joy and peace...........Linda & Princess Gabi

Wednesday's Christmas Song

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Finally Put Away















All the Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons & bows that is. Bob finally finished his shopping this afternoon and wrapped what need to be wrapped. He got his teen age grand kids Target gift cards but he had stuff (toys) that needed wrapping for the 18 month old and the 4-1/2 year old. But now it's done & I've carried everything out to the shed and put it away. I use my ironing board for wrapping so it's been sitting out all this time too. It's been put away also.

My new neighbors made a snowman the other day. It's really cute and it's sitting out by their mailbox~I'm sure the mailman gets a kick out of it. Well, Bob took this picture of it today, I printed it out and he got a frame at the dollar store and we've put the picture in the frame and wrapped it up. I'm going to take them some fudge and a loaf of cranberry bread tomorrow and will give them the picture at the same time. This way the kids will have a photo record of their first snowman at their new house. And I've had a great picture to put in my blog.


We're still undecided about our trip to Enumclaw on Wednesday. They are saying we could get several inches of snow tonight & tomorrow so will play it by ear. Lisa commented that staying in the camper sounded cold....will Lisa it's ok. There's a nice wall furnace in there that will drive you right out of the thing if it's turned up too high. We've stayed at several ski resorts during ski season and we've been very comfortable in there. But thanks for being concerned.

Well that's all for tonight. I'm going to make some popcorn and get out a movie, since there doesn't seem to be much on TV tonight. Until next time,

Tuesday's Christmas Song

Brrrrrr It's Still Cold


Well, our snow & ice remains. Yesterday we didn't have snow but the temperature didn't get much over freezing. Maybe 35* at the highest. Some of the stuff melted and then last night when the temps dropped again it all froze. We tried going to the grocery store yesterday afternoon~what a nightmare ! The parking lots are all such a mess, no one has had them scooped. Cars were stuck, others were slipping & sliding and spinning out. Bob finally maneuvered my car out of there & we left. We decided to go back last night about 7pm. Meanwhile I'd talked to my son-in-law and he needed to go to the store too. He wasn't able to get their car out yesterday morning to go to work, so we went by & picked him up. Thankfully most people were home by this time so we were able to find a parking spot (at least we think it was a spot~no lines were visible). Then I was in for another shock once I got inside the store......in some cases the shelves were bare. I was able to find everything I needed but I'm sure others were disappointed. For instance there were no eggs....not even a broken one. The gal that checked us out said they hadn't had any deliveries for days. Fred Meyer's warehouse is in Chehalis, WA which is south of us on Interstate 5 and that area has been hit hard by the weather too.


Our plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day include traveling to Enumclaw, WA which is about 35 miles north east of here. Our plans are to take the truck & camper and camp out there at the home of one of his daughter's (he has 4 so it's hard to keep them straight sometimes). We're invited to the home of daughter #2 on Christmas Eve and daughter #4 on Christmas Day. Of course his daughter #3 & her family ( from Pasadena, CA)are already up there with her mom and grandma. And we are hearing that his daughter #1 and her daughter will be at daughter #4's house on Christmas Day too. BUT.....now we're hearing that the snow is supposed to start again tonight or Wednesday morning and continue for several days. The weather is always worse in Enumclaw than here and it's up hill all the way to get there. So, we will take a wait and see attitude on these plans. I have made arrangements for Princess Gabi to spend Christmas with my grand daughter in case we are able to go.


Yesterday I made a batch of peanut butter fudge and today I'm going to make a batch of the fantasy fudge with chocolate chips & marshmallow creme. I'm going to be dividing it up between some neighbors & some to my daughter and family. Well, I might eat a piece or two.....


Ok, I'm out of here for now ~ I need to get busy around here. Hope you are all having a good day, completing those last minute details. Until next time..linda


Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two More Sunday Night Pictures


Tonight just before 10 o'clock I opened the mini blinds and looked out the front window. Wow ~ it looked like a winter wonderland....I grabbed my old camera, spread the blinds apart and snapped these two pictures. It is so beautiful! But I'm ready for it to go away, now. It causing too many problems for some people.



This is that big cedar tree in my front yard. I hope none of the branches break off from the weight of the snow. It has been snowing here for over 8 hours now.
We watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the Canadian TV station. After the movie was over, their news came on. It seems most of Canada is experiencing the same icky weather.

Sunday Evening Pictures

I guess I need to clear off the bird bath, again. This is snow accumulation from the last few days. This picture is a little blurry. I held the camera out my sliding glass door (after it was getting dark) and shot this picture of the back yard.
There's a little bird over to the left on top of the bird house. Waiting his turn at the feeder.
The snow hasn't bothered my little feathery friends today. At one point there were two of them sitting on the snow on top of the feeder. Notice how the snow is scalloped on the porch railing.
And tonight it's still snowing. I made 4 loaves of cranberry bread today, all but one little one I'll give to neighbors. Monday I'm going to make peanut butter fudge & chocolate fudge. My shopping list for the December 27th dinner is made out. So in the next day or so we'll go to the store and get the needed items. Bob did go to Costco today and bought a bag of frozen meatballs. I'm going to make the "Ultimate Party Meatballs" again-the recipe is on the back of a bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce. Plus we're going to have a spiral cut ham, cranberry molded salad, coleslaw, fresh pineapple, fiesta green beans, baked potatoes and for dessert~dutch apple pie, pumpkin pie and I'm hoping to find a sugar free cheese cake. Sound good? Well, you're all invited to join us.

I got a call from my former neighbor, Mr Newton this afternoon. He and his wife moved to Kansas City, Missouri in October 2007. I miss them so much~they are such dear people. They are really missing the northwest~it's been way below freezing where they are & they don't like it at all. He said he'd rather be shoveling snow here than back there in the bone chilling cold.

Well the weekend is over. I hope everyone had a good one. Until next time..Linda

Sunday's Christmas Song

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATES

Good Sunday morning, We did get more snow yesterday afternoon & evening. But my area did not get the strong winds that were predicted. However, there were some parts of western Washington that saw winds of 70 even 100 miles per hour plus snow, Saturday evening.

Many churches have cancelled their regular services and Christmas programs this weekend. The State Patrol has asked that everyone stay home and off the streets & highways unless it's absolutely necessary to be out & about. Interstate 5 that runs north & south thru our area is compact snow & ice~very treacherous !

We usually get some snow here each winter but maybe just a dusting for a day or two & then it's gone. For it to drag out like this, complete with the below freezing temperatures is unusual. And it's especially difficult because of the hills everywhere. You can hardly go anywhere with out going up and/or down a hill. Some of course are steeper than others and all of those streets remain closed. The mayor of Seattle was on TV last night and said that even garbage service was being suspended in some neighborhoods because it was too difficult for the trucks to navigate the hills.

I'm so glad I have everything I need, for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. I do need to do some shopping for my Christmas dinner on the 27th, however.

Yesterday, I posted a video of Amy Grant singing a Christmas song. I plan to do this each day thru Christmas Day. I hope you will all take a few minutes, go to that entry and enjoy the first musical video. I'll post another one this afternoon. Until next time, Linda

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday's Christmas Song

Saturday Morning Update

For starters; they safely removed the two buses that crashed in Seattle. (see previous entry). Apparently there were no serious injuries among the passengers & the two drivers.

Bob, his daughter, son in law & two grand kids made it here safely. He was dropped off here about 9:30pm last night and the rest of them continued on to Enumclaw, they called about 10:45pm and said they'd arrived there safely. In all they were on the road for 30 hours when in fact it should have taken 17 - 20 hours to drive straight thru from Pasadena to western Washington. There were 4 of them driving, so it wasn't the lack of drivers....it was road conditions.

Our weather forecast for later today and thru the night is very dismal. High winds (up to 50 or 60 mph) with snow are predicted for all of western Washington. Of course we have so many convergence zones that it will be a little different from city to city. I'm going to try & get out for another gallon of milk this morning and other than that we should be fine. If the power goes out (that's expected) we have the wood stove for keeping warm & cooking soup & heating water. I've told my son, if the power goes out he needs to come here until it's back on. There's no reason for him to stay in his apartment freezing to death when he can come here & be warm. My daughter & family also have a wood stove that they use in times of emergency~hopefully this weekend won't be one of those times.

I finally have all the Christmas gifts wrapped except for one item I ordered on line last week. It will be here any day. The only thing left to buy is the ham & meatballs I'm going to serve for my family Christmas dinner on December 27th. That can even be done on the 26th so I'm not worried about that. Everything else is taken care of. I always have this dinner in the Clubhouse here at the mobile home park. So in the next week, I'll be packing up serving dishes, silverware, etc that needs to be taken there Saturday morning. I'm getting better each year at remembering everything I need so I don't have to go back & forth between the Clubhouse and here to get the missing item(s). There's a full kitchen there so I do all the cooking & all the dish washing up there.

Well, that's all for now...I hope everyone has a good weekend. Stay warm & stay safe. Until next time~Linda

Friday, December 19, 2008

FOOD FRIDAY

I let it slip by last week so today I'm leaving you with 2 recipes you might consider using this next week. Enjoy..........Linda

Breakfast Egg Casserole
With a mixer beat 10-12 eggs, add 1 pound grated jack or cheddar cheese, 1 small carton of small curd cottage cheese, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 small can of mild diced chilies (drained), a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix all these ingredients well and pour into a 12 x 9 baking pan, that you've coated with melted butter. Bake at 400* for 10-15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350* and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Holiday Cranberry Nut Bread
Mix together; 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Stir in 3/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon grated orange peel and 1 well beaten egg.

Mix until well blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (coarsely chopped) & 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Spread evenly in a well greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 55 minutes(Or an inserted tooth pick comes out clean). This recipe will make one full loaf or two small ones. This is a great holiday treat.

Winter Drama Playing Out in Seattle

Two Greyhound buses coming down a hill in Seattle, hit ice & slid into each other~one was knocked out over the freeway. They were carrying Job Corps students from eastern Washington to Seattle to spend the holidays with their families. The drivers and all the passengers escaped thru the emergency exits and are being checked at the scene by paramedics. A passenger who called into the TV station said she didn't think there was any serious injuries. Meanwhile, traffic on the freeway is backed up, due to debris on the roadway below and of course the danger of the buses falling further. Tow trucks are coming to the scene and will be working on safely removing the buses. What a scary thing for those people on those buses.
I took these pictures off my TV so they are not the best quality but you can get an idea of the situation. The sun is shining brightly here today, but it's still below freezing out there. Various roads remain extremely icy and dangerous.
Bob and family are still trekking up Highway 101~ the last time I talked to him they were near Coos Bay, Oregon. They are seeing some snow but not as much as there is on Interstate 5. I guess being right along the ocean, it's a little warmer then in the interior of the state.
I did have a non-urgent doctor appointment this afternoon but I called & re-scheduled it. It's down in Puyallup and I'm not sure about the roads getting down there so decided it can wait.
If anything more turns out in regards to this bus accident, I'll let you know. I would imagine, they'll remove the buses and it will be a done deal. Until next time, Linda


Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Getting Worse

Inside, looking out~
Taken about 4:15pm this afternoon~

One of the big Douglas Fir trees in my back yard~


Truly, the last rose of summer~



No laundry done today~ Meanwhile the wind is blowing the snow in all directions, it's very strange. Almost like a whirlwind of snow.
Bob & his family have the left the house in Pasadena. They've had to head over to Highway 101 because the Grapevine north of Los Angeles on Interstate 5 is closed because of heavy snowfall. Their plan at this point is to go to San Francisco on 101 and then over to I-5. If it gets to ugly, I'm sure they'll turn around and go back to the house.
My son stopped by here to wrap a "Secret Santa" gift for his work. He lives less than 4 miles from me and it took him 45 minutes to get home.
There are public transit buses stranded on the hills of Seattle, some have been stranded for almost 12 hours. There's so many accidents and the hills of Seattle are so bad, there's not enough tow trucks to rescue everyone quickly. They are saying "do not depend on buses." Seattle is a city that's built on 7 steep hills, it's beautiful when the weather is nice but ugly on days like this.
There's a 20+ plus car/truck pile up on Interstate 5 in Olympia, that part of the freeway is closed and other parts are parking lots.
Some semi trucks have had to stop and chain up on I-5 between Fort Lewis and Olympia (there's quite a grade there called Nisqually hill) ...this has caused a parking lot type back up for miles & miles.
Today is "Thankful Thursday" ~ I am thankful to be retired which means I didn't have to go out to work today.




Mother Nature & Old Man Winter Have Ganged Up On Us!

I took this about 1pm Thursday afternoon. The snow is coming down again and this time is falling on the stuff that froze last night. Yesterday I went out twice and the streets were bare & wet. But all of that wet froze last night as the temperatures took a dip. Today the roads are treacherous everywhere in our area. They are saying that Seattle is almost completely closed down.



This is the big cedar tree in my front yard. Great shade in the summer and in the winter it's looking like a graceful snow catcher.
Out in the back yard, there's not much snow yet, but it's increasing. We are getting a strong wind from the north (my back yard is on the north side of the house) and cold air moving down from Canada. So it could get worse out there. My poor washing machine is getting covered in snow~glad I don't have to do laundry out there today. LOL !
Bob, his son in law, daughter & grand kids are leaving Pasadena this afternoon, heading this way in their vehicle. His son in law & grand kids are going to fly home on Jan 1st but his daughter wanted to stay longer, so that's why Bob went down there, to drive his daughter home when she's ready to go. Then he'll stay a couple more weeks & then drive his truck back up here. So he gets to make 4 trips up & down Interstate 5, the 1,200 miles between here and Pasadena in the next month. BIG FUN!!!
I had an Olive Garden lunch planned today with the local gals from my high school class. That's been cancelled, as some live in areas where they haven't been able to get out for several days. And I could get out but I'm not going to risk an accident or getting stuck. I think now we'll wait until after the first of the year when the weather calms down a little. Meanwhile I have a pot of vegetable soup I made yesterday.....but somehow just not the same as soup, salad & bread sticks at the Olive Garden with friends.
I hope everyone, is having a good day, and if the weather is ugly where you are, that you're staying safe & warm.
I want to wish our friend Robin & family a safe trip as they head out to Arizona for the holidays. Until next time~Linda

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New~ Wal Mart Wine

Wal-Mart announced that, sometime in 2009, it will begin offering customers a new discount item ... Wal-Mart's own brand of wine. The world's largest retail chain is rumored to be teaming up with Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery of California to produce the spirits at an affordable price -- in the $2 to $5 range. Wine connoisseurs may not be inclined to put a bottle of the Wal-Mart brand into their shopping carts, but " There is a market for inexpensive wine." said Kathy Micken, professor of marketing at University of Arkansas, Bentonville. "However, branding will be very important." Customer surveys were conducted to determine the most attractive name for the Wal-Mart wine brand.
The top surveyed names in order of popularity were:

Chateau Traileur Parc
White Trashfindel
Big Red Gulp
World Championship Riesling
NASCARbernet
Chef Boyardeaux
Peanut Noir
I Can't Believe it's not Vinegar
Grape Expectations
Nasti Spumante

The beauty of Wal-Mart wine is that it can be served with either white meat (Possum) or red meat (Squirrel).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm A Horrible Mom!

I have searched high & low and I cannot find my daughter's Santa picture. The folder it came in is in her little kid photo album but the picture is gone. (Hmmm.. maybe she has it) Anyway, this header picture is of her in December 1963....just after her 2nd birthday. If I could have held out for 21 more days, she would have been a Christmas baby in 1961.

MAMMA MIA !


It's for sale on DVD today at your local retailer !!! If you didn't see it on the big screen...this is your chance to see it in the comfort of your home. I ordered it last week from Deep Discount DVD.com because I figured if the weather was bad, I didn't want to be running from store to store to get my copy. I saw the movie in the theater~it was great and one that I definitely want to watch again & again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Community Photo Challenge~Ornaments

The Community Photo Challenge this week is ~ Ornaments. This challenge is open until December 18th at 9pm EST. Marie is going to be making a collage of all the entries submitted. So here's my entry~an ornament given to me by my daughter and son in law Christmas 1989. Hand made by them and cherished by me. My little Christmas tree is just to my left as I sit at my computer and that ornament is right there where I can always see it.



Blogging Acronyms, etc.

TBBGIIMC - This Better Be Good - I'm Ignoring My Children
ISSBFMFTC - I Smell Smoke But First Must Finish This Comment
BE - Banner Envy
PWCEBB - Proceed With Caution: Extremely Bitter Blogger
JHTMF - Just Here To Mooch Followers
SICS - Seizure-Inducing Color Scheme
ECIZ - Extreme Crafts Intimidation Zone
UMO - Unwarranted Music Onslaught
CPA - Comment Performance Anxiety
INTGTTBFFH - I've Needed To Go To The Bathroom For Four Hours

**************************************
I woke up to 20* this morning, I have eBay sold items to get to the Post Office & Avon to deliver, so at noon, when the temp is supposed to be up to 29* I'll head out carefully and hope the snow on the roads has been worn down and/or melted. My son called and said when he went to work at 6:30am, it was icy but he didn't have any problems. Bob only got as far as Medford, Oregon yesterday afternoon. There were signs along the freeway "Chains Required Ahead" and "Expect Delays." He decided he didn't want to put chains on in the dark & the snow...so hunkered down in a warm motel room, watching movies and eating KFC. He called this morning and said he was going to wait until the noon check out time to leave, so the traffic would grind down the snow & ice on the freeway. At this point he's about 1-1/2 hours from Siskiyou Pass in northern California. I don't worry too much about him, as he's driving in snow & blizzard conditions hundreds of times. When his kids would have a snow day at school, he'd load them up in the family car and head for the mountain to take them skiing. So he's got lots of experience driving in the white stuff. Although he said yesterday, going thru Portland, Oregon was some of the worst road conditions he's ever encountered. At least after getting over the Siskiyous and thru the Redding area, it should be smooth sailing all the way to Pasadena.

Ok, I'm out of here to get ready to go out into the perma~frost. I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. Until next time......Linda

Update~ Bob has called and he made it thru that northern California mountain pass ok. He went thru just as the "Chains Required" order was lifted. He said there was so much sand & gravel on the highway it was like driving on a dirt road. He was about 70 miles north of Redding and taunting me with the In-N-Out burger he would be getting once he got there. The rat!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

I went out to Fred Meyer around 1pm today and stocked up on food, in case the weather guy is right and this snow stays with us all week. I could see the sun, big in the sky, trying to shine thru the gray clouds to no avail and now it's obvious what those clouds were all about. They were full of snow. It's coming down pretty good now, the road out in front of my place is white and it's collecting on the trees, etc as well. And it's still below freezing so it will stick around. There's some little ones visiting next door and they are outside whooping & hollering, having fun in the falling snow. This picture was just taken (Sunday 4:15pm), out my front room window.

Bob's on his way to Pasadena, he's covered lots of ground today but was slowed almost to a halt going thru Portland. He said there is compact snow and ice on the highway running thru Portland and cars & semi trucks were all over the freeway. He managed to snake his way thru all the wrecked cars and jack knifed semi's with no mishaps. He's was hoping to get thru the Siskiyou Mountains in northern California today but last time he called he said it didn't look good. Darkness was closing in and the snow was pretty heavy.

I'm thankful I don't have to go to work anymore......snow was not an excuse to be late or not there at all. I'll be home in my nice warm house thinking about all those out there heading for the office in the morning.

Brrrrrrrrrrr

I stepped out on the front porch to get the paper this morning and was greeted by this view ~



And the thermometer out there is reading 28*. As you can see there's just a whisper of snow here, other areas north of Seattle really got dumped on. And the mountain passes are a mess. The weather guys on the TV are saying it's going to be cold like this for the next 5-7 days.

I put my two hanging baskets in the shed yesterday morning, I'm not sure I'll be able to save them, but I thought I'd try.

I guess summer is over.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

HOLIDAY EATING TIPS



1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.


2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn in to an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!


3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.


4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.


5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?


6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.


7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.


8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?


9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.


10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.


Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Storm's A Coming!

I just heard a weather blurp on TV and the storms they are predicting are heading this way. They showed scenes from Westport out on the Washington coast where there are 22 foot waves crashing over the breakwater (ohhh I wish I was out there!), heavy snow is falling in the mountain passes, wind gusts to 55 miles per hour have been reported on the coast and are heading east (inland). It's been rainy, sunny, rainy and gusty here all day. I'm all cozied in, have plenty of food and firewood on hand.....so let 'er blow!

I did go out in the car this afternoon, briefly and it was a trip I'll never forget. Not too far from me there's a Franz Bakery Outlet over behind what's known here as the B & I store. I decided to go over there so I could another loaf of bread & some English muffins. The bakery outlet is on a road that goes behind this big B & I store and there are big speed bumps along it so people will go slow. Anyway , I was creeping along and this white car with real dark windows pulled out of the B & I parking lot in front of me. I almost got the notion that it looked like an old police car other than the fact that the windows were so dark. Next thing I knew, I heard sirens and saw two police cars coming in my rear view window so I pulled over. Then 2 more came from the other direction.....3 of them pulled in to block off the white car and the 4th one pulled up along side of me. All of the officers jumped out of their cars with their guns drawn and the one that pulled up next to me, yelled at me to "back up, back up." This old lady shoved it into reverse and backed up as fast as she could. Before it was over, there were 8 or 9 police cars from Tacoma and 2 police cars from the city of Lakewood and 2 county sheriff cars. There were 6 young men in the white car and they came out one by one with their hands up. They were cuffed up, searched, etc. The last one was cuffed and an officer had him over the back of the police car right in front of me. After the officer patted him down, he pulled out a wad of bills from the kid's pocket. There were so many, that some fell out and they were blowing down the street past my car. The officers were chasing the money down the street and eventually gathered it all up. Anyway, he nicely suggested that I turn around and go to the bread outlet from the other direction, explaining that "this is going to take awhile" so I did. It's probably about a mile to go back & come in from the other direction and when I got there, did my shopping and left to come back home, they were just wrapping things up. There were still 3 police cars there and a tow truck was pulling up to get the car. There were passengers in the back seats of all three remaining cars.....I think they may have been getting a ride to the Cross Bar Hotel. Christmas in jail~not a pleasant thought.

I have been faithfully carrying my camera with me for days~but did I have it today ??? NOT !!!!!!!!!

That's was truly enough excitement for this old lady for the year.....

How Many Zeros in A Billion ?


This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.
A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain... let's take a look at New Orleans ...

It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number...
what does it mean?
A. Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you each get $516,528.
B. Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or... if you are a family of four... your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C ~ HELLO !!!!

Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
(Truckers) Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt...
We had the largest middle class in the world...
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened?

Can you spell 'politicians!' And I still have to press '1' for English. I hope this goes around the USA at least 100 times

What the heck happened?????

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Catch~Up

I've been doing a little decorating around the house. Not as much as I did when my kids were still home however. Since my family Christmas dinner is always up in the Clubhouse here at the mobile home park, rarely does anyone actually come to the house. So what I do is for my benefit and for those who pass by.
We all have dusk to dawn lights on the post that holds our mailboxes. So I took off the round white globe and put my plastic Christmas soldier on my light.
I found this mat in a closet~it was still new & unused It most have been one of those after Christmas bargains I got one year.
I decorated my old milk can with a few silk poinsettias and bright red bow. This sits at the top of the porch steps and greets the UPS guy or anyone who might stop by.
I took the usual cat theme wreath off the front door and put the Christmas wreath there instead.
And I put some silk poinsettias on the little white table that sits out on the porch. My hanging baskets are still blooming but our friends in Canada are sending a cold front our way & we are being told to expect snow this coming weekend. My precious flowers are doomed!
These little snowmen sit on the white table in front of the pot of poinsettias. I found them at our local Goodwill Outlet. They are new, still had tags on them. The GW Outlet sells everything by the pound, so the snowmen probably cost less than $1.00. I got 2 big sacks of stuff including some Christmas dishes for just under $12.00. Bob put the icicle lights on the outside of the house. It doesn't look as good in the picture as it does in real life. Since my house is blue with white trim, it really looks nice with the lights.
In this picture you can also see my Christmas tree. My house has minimal outside decorations compared to some in the park. There's a place down the street from me that is totally covered with lights and has a large Nativity scene, plus Santa, Snowmen & other figures all lit and many of them are moving. Then there are some houses that have nothing.
And I'm happy the little birds have finally found the bird feeder I hung out last week. They sort of line up on the porch railing and take their turn at the feeder. I took this picture thru my sliding glass door and it's screen so it's not real clear.

Today I'm thinking of my dear Grandma Smith. (She was my dad's mom). Today would be her 116th birthday. She was born December 11, 1892. She passed away September 24, 1978 and lived here in town. In fact, after she retired from the Milwaukee RR, she and her father lived across the driveway from our family home in a duplex my dad created for them. (My great grandfather died in 1958 and then grandma's sister moved into his side of the duplex) She wasn't the apron wearing, cookie baking grandma like my other grandma but she was a great lady. She made the best peanut butter fudge in the world and my cousins and I don't have a clue where that recipe is. I can remember her taking me downtown when I was little. After shopping we'd go to Manning's lunch counter and get these fat, yummy tuna sandwiches, served with a big pickle and potato chips. For dessert we'd cross the street to Woolworth's and sit up at the counter and she'd order each of us a Cherry Soda. She would also take me to work with her during the summer months from time to time. She was a telegrapher for the Milwaukee and the shack where she worked was between Milwaukee & Union Pacific tracks. She worked the graveyard shift and I loved being out there with her all night. Although, when she had to walk out into the darkness to change a switch~it was kind of scary for a young girl. But grandma would carry her lantern and a Billy Club with her on those walks. Grandma Smith was near by when my daughter Julie was growing up. Since my mom babysit Julie, all she had to do was walk across the driveway to "great-great's" house to get treats and spoiled. Grandma was older of course when my son was born, so other than when he was a baby she didn't have as much interaction with him. He was 7 yrs old when she died and by that time she was in a nursing home. However we visited her frequently. Happy birthday grandma~I sure miss you.

I've received so many lovely cards and I want to thank you for them. I have to admit, I didn't send many out this year. I've barely started wrapping...but I'm going to do better here soon. It seems like I keep getting distracted. Bob is leaving for California Sunday or Monday (but he'll be back for Christmas~it's a long story). Once he's gone, I'll do better except by then Barbara will be back from her trip to New Orleans, and there's lunch out with the girls next Thursday and a doctor's appointment next Friday.....it doesn't look good does it? In the old days, when I was working full time, I could get the wrapping done in a day or two. Now, retired, I have all the time in the world and can't seem to get anything done in a timely manner. Too many distractions, me thinks.
Well I hope everyone is having a good week. Like I said earlier, they are telling us that a cold front is coming down from Canada and we can even expect snow here in the lowland this weekend. That will take some getting used to after the days and days of moderate temperatures. Until next time, Linda and Gabi



P.S. I haven't updated my travel blog for awhile. Perhaps this weekend or the first of the week I can continue. The next entry will feature our day (October 1st ) on Catalina Island. http://packyourbagsletsgo.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Header Picture

December 1972~my son, Jim only 16 months old. He obviously didn't think too much of Santa. He didn't visit with Santa again for several years and that was a Santa that visited the hospital's day care center in 1975. The only photo of that visit is a very poor snapshot. What's comical about this picture is you can tell exactly where I was standing, while he was on Santa's lap. Once they snapped the picture, I grabbed him up and snuggled him so he wouldn't cry anymore. I have to admit, this Santa looked pretty scary.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor



Remembering today all those who lost their lives in December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. May we never forget that day. However, I'm afraid many have forgotten already...I didn't see any mention of it in my Sunday paper today. Maybe the article was so small I missed it. It should be plastered on the front of every news paper in this country. In another 60 years will what happened on Sept 11, 2001 be forgotten too?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

AOL Uncut Videos~Going Away

You may have received an email telling you that AOL Uncut Videos is going away December 18th. I just transferred mine over to Motionbox as they suggested. It's very easy and only took about 10 minutes to transfer 30 some videos. AOL is getting rid of everything~will those of us who have AOL as our ISP be next? If so, where will you go? I don't know what I will do because I have DSL thru Qwest (my phone company). I'll have to check with them & see what my options are.

As I was going thru my various video's I couldn't help but think about each one and which one pleased me the most. There are a couple from past cruises that remind me of pleasant vacation events. But one stands out from all the others. For anyone that's new to my Blog, you may not have seen this one when I posted it originally. It's bath time for my little sweet kitty. Gabi is a rescued Exotic Shorthair (aka short hair Persian). Gabi took over my house on October 4, 2005. At the time, the Vet felt she was approximately 2 years old, so I gave her the birthday of 10-4-2003. She is now about 5 years old and still weighs just under 5 pounds. She's a petite little girl but that doesn't stop her from letting me know what she wants & when she wants it. When she's ready to eat Fancy Feast in the morning, if I'm not up~she runs back and forth across me making her soft little throaty cat talk noises until I get up. She is definitely the Princess of this house. And did I tell you that she has a crush on Possum, Raisin and all of Lisa's (Bison Farm) male cats~well she does. And two of her best girlfriend's are Katinka & Nina over in the U.K. She's got a huge network of feline friends......

Friday, December 5, 2008

It Looked Like A Space Ship Was Landing

I was out and about in my car today and as I pulled up to a stop light, I looked to my left and couldn't believe my eyes~it looked like a space ship was about to land on our always beautiful Mt Rainier. After the light turned green, I pulled into the nearest parking lot and got out my camera. (Monica, I actually had it with me today & I got this at Cirque Drive & Bridgeport Way). It's views like this that make me realize how blessed I am to live here in the Pacific
Northwest where~on any clear day Mt Rainier is always there.












Thursday, December 4, 2008

FOOD FRIDAY


I've posted this recipe before but decided to repeat it since the Christmas holiday is getting closer and it's perfect for your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner.


Cranberry Jello Salad

one 6 ounce box of raspberry jello

1 cup very hot water

1 can whole cranberry sauce

one 16 ounce can crushed pineapple (drain & save the juice)

2/3 cup saved pineapple juice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Mix all of these ingredients well and then pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and chill until firm. Several hours before serving; mix one 12 ounce package of whipped cream cheese and 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Spread over the top of the already chilled jello mixture and refrigerate until dinner.

This salad is so very good. I have made it a couple times since first getting the recipe from my friend Judy and it's always well received.

I have finally finished my Christmas cards. I'm not sending as many out this year as I have in the past, but I still had so many that needed a note, so I wrote a basic letter in WORD. And then added and subtracted to make each letter suitable for the individual who would be receiving it. Oh, do I ever love my computer & WORD, especially this time of the year. My next step is wrapping~which I always dread. But I want to get it done, so I can relax the week before Christmas. Until next time..linda

Happy Birthday To My Daughter, Julie !

My daughter Julie Michele was born December 4, 1961. Here we are checking each other out a month later on my birthday.




The day she was born was also my dad's 48th birthday....he always said she was the best birthday present ever.

This was taken om Mother's Day 1962 at "the farm" where my folks lived. You can see the pasture in the background.


You can see why she captured her grandparent's hearts.

Here she is with grandpa blowing out her four candles in 1965. She loved horses & my dad worked for the railroad so every once in awhile my mom or I would make a sheet cake and decorate the top with a pasture scene with little plastic horses and a plastic train running across the pasture. But this particular year the cake was strictly a girl's cake.


Here she was in one of her Christmas nightgowns. She has always received something with a Christmas theme for her special day.
December 4, 1989~This is the last birthday shared with grandpa. A few months later he suffered the first of several strokes and by September 1990, he had passed away.



Julie has always been a special joy to me. She's married to a great guy and just happens to be the mother of my two grand angels.


Happy birthday to my dear daughter! Love from your mommy