Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 1999

Oh my do you remember back then? Did you stockpile some canned food ? How about some extra cash ? We were afraid the whole world would come to a screeching halt. It was sort of a relief, here on the west coast as we watched other parts of the world ring in the new year and nothing drastic happened. And then eventually it was our the clock inched toward the magic hour of midnight~oh my gosh....the power stayed on and there were no catastrophes after all. The year 2000 was finally here.

It's been 10 years since that scary new years eve. A lot has happened, some good and some bad. And now another year is almost upon us. I pray that this new year will bring all of my Blogger friends peace, happiness and good health.
I'll be home but for those you that will be out celebrating~please celebrate responsibly.
P.S. I confess~I had a couple boxes of canned food set aside and $100 cash (in small bills) stashed just in case.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Prayers For The Family

Last week I posted an entry about a shooting of two sheriff deputies here in the Tacoma, WA area. (

Late this afternoon Officer Kent Mundell was taken off life support at Seattle's Harborview hospital and within an hour he passed away. He was surrounded by his wife, Lisa, his 16 year old daughter and 10 year old son. They are saying that his memorial service may be held next Tuesday, no doubt here in Tacoma. Fortunately, the other officer was able to be released from a local hospital last Thursday afternoon and was taken to Harborview to be with his partner before he went home to spend Christmas Eve with his family.
There have been 8 law enforcement officer's shot in the Seattle/Tacoma area since Halloween night. Now 6 of these 8 have lost their lives at the hands of 3 different men who have criminal histories and apparently no regard for human life. Two of them shouldn't have even been out on the streets. That in itself is something to think about when we vote for local judges and we should be screaming at the top of our lungs for stricter laws for habitual criminals. I know our jails and prisons are crowded...but something has to be done.
God bless those who daily put on the uniform and are out there putting their very lives on the line to protect our communities.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Only 363 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Hi there~I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was a little different this year. Of course I had my family dinner on Saturday December 19th and it was a fun day. The food was all ready to serve at the same time, there was plenty of it and it was good. (even if I do say so myself.) My youngest niece was able to get here from Washington, DC the day before so we were blessed to have her with us this year. I got the three dolls finished and my great nieces loved them. My sister in law brought along the game “Apples to Apples” which we played for a couple hours. I sat in on the last hand and it was fun. I recommend it as a great family game & lots of fun, played with a group of people. We all had such a good time, just enjoying being together.

Below is the Clubhouse at my mobile home park~this is the way it looked before my family arrived.

family christmas 12 19 097

My three beautiful blonde nieces and my daughter in law to be

family christmas 12 19 0913

Now my son has been added to the picture

family christmas 12 19 0916

Some of the gang playing “Apples to Apples.” That’s my “little” brother over on the left and Bob is back in the kitchen.

family christmas 12 19 0931

Wednesday, late afternoon we met Bob’s youngest daughter and family at a popular Mexican restaurant in Tacoma’s north end. We had a happy time with them, passed Christmas gifts back and forth before they headed out to take their little ones to Point Defiance Park’s Zoo Lights.

Christmas eve Bob and I went over to my brother and sister in law’s place. All of their kids, spouses and grand kids were there. The little kids opened their gifts and then us adults had a $10 gift exchange. I guessed the correct number so got to choose first. And no one stole my gift. It’s a beautiful cream colored throw and I love it. After the gift exchange we had dessert….they had bought an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, baked a cherry pie and my sister in law made a baked pear dessert….it was wonderful.

When we left there we headed out to Bob’s place in the boon docks. I have to psyche myself up to stay there very long as there is very limited TV (but lots of old VHS movies) and basically no internet access. YIKES!

Christmas day we woke to bright sun and 31 degrees. After individual breakfasts (I prefer my Kashi Crunch in the morning) I cleaned up the dishes and Bob climbed into the wretched sail boat to make sure the heat lamp was still on. It’s sitting on it’s trailer in the pasture in front of the house, so it’s just right there.

yoville and boat10

Around 1pm we headed out for the little community of Port Orchard. If any of you read Debbie Macomber books, that’s where she lives. However, according to her last Blog entry she and her hubby, Wayne, are now at their winter home in Florida. Anyway, we went over there to see if the China Sun Buffet was open~sure enough it was. Bob has been there before and raved about the variety and tastiness of their food.

I was amazed as we walked in at the row after row of tables of food~oh my gosh~it was amazing! On Friday and Saturday they also have a huge array of seafood besides the Chinese fare. Bob loaded his plate with crab legs and I did the same with the small steamed clams. Oh they were so good. Of course we sampled a little of almost everything they had to offer and left there feeling gorged! (There was no evening meal to cook after that feast). From the restaurant we drove into downtown Port Orchard. It sits on the shores of Puget Sound and across from the naval ship yard at Bremerton, WA. It was so beautiful down at the waterfront….the sun was shining, the water was so blue and the Olympic Mountains were sticking out behind Bremerton.

You can see the aircraft carries across the bay and the Olympic Mountains in the back ground.

christmas 200915

christmas 200919

So deceiving….looks like a warm summer day.

christmas 200914

christmas 200933

It was such a beautiful day, we took the long route back to Bob’s place. Wandering thru one little community after another. When we came thru the little town of Allyn, I asked Bob to pull over so I could get a picture of the little Allyn community church. It sits on the main road thru town with a finger of Puget Sound behind it.

christmas 200932

One day, I’d like to travel around my area and photograph all the churches I can. They are of every size and architectural design…..this one is one of the most charming.

Christmas evening I went thru the many VHS videos he’s stocked up and pulled out “How To Loose A Guy in 10 Days.” I’d seen it in the theater but it was fun to watch it again. And I can never get too much of Matthew McConaughey.

Woke up to sun and freezing temperatures again this morning. We headed into Tacoma and were amazed at the number of cars on the road. Almost like the freeway in Los Angeles on any day……

christmas 200926

The traffic across the Narrows Bridge was unusually heavy, I guess lots of people went “over the river and thru the woods” this year. They say the economy is bad but you’d never guess it at times. We stopped at Tacoma Costco so Bob could gas up his truck….we contemplated going into the store but the parking lot was full and cars were circling looking for a spot. Later when we were on Interstate 5 and cruising by the Tacoma Mall….once again the parking lot was packed clear to the outer fringes. Maybe it’s folks spending their gift cards~hoping to find the deal of a lifetime.

Speaking of gift cards…as requested, Santa brought me gift cards again this year. Let’s see; there’s one for Target, Wal Mart, Regal Cinema, Mc Donald’s, Fred Meyer (a large grocery/department store here in Washington) and a gift card for Zynga, which buys coins, etc for a game on Facebook. I also received Richard Paul Evan’s latest book “The Christmas List” and 3 disk DVD set of “1001 Classic Commercials.” There’s a picture of Speedy Alka-Seltzer on the front ~it should be fun to watch.

Bob’s #2 daughter and family are flying home from Cabo tonight… we’ll have a Christmas get together with them sometime in the next week. And then it will be time for New Year’s eve (another opportunity to watch old movies) and then the first back to work/back to school day for most (January 4th)~ my birthday.

........................until next time, Linda

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

"And she shall bring forth a son and call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21
Sending a Merry Christmas wish to each and everyone of you,
I hope you all have a wonderful day............Linda

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hundred's Gathered To Protest Global Warming

(I've checked this out with Snopes and they say it's true)

Hundreds gathered to protest global warming!

Another Tragedy

Last night there was a domestic violence call from a rural home near the town of Eatonville (south east of where I live but in the same county). Two Pierce County Sheriff deputies answered the call and where asked by the man who answered the door to remove his brother, who was an unwelcome guest and was also violating a protection order that was in place, in regards to his 15 year old daughter who was living at the house with her uncle.

The man, who apparently has a long history of offenses, agreed to leave but said he needed to get some things. He left the room, came back into the room with a back pack and unfortunately a gun. He shot both deputies, one multiple times however one of the deputies was able to return fire and mortally wounded the man. The other man and the deceased man's 15 year old daughter were uninjured and able to give medical assistance to the injured deputies until help arrived.

The most severely injured deputy was air lifted to Harborview Hospital in Seattle and the other one was taken by ambulance to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis. This morning the latest report was that the deputy at Madigan was doing well and would perhaps be released in the next couple days. However, the other deputy, Kent Mundell, is in very serious condition and on life support at Harborview.

Once again, both of these dear men are married and have children. This area is barely beginning the healing process after the shooting of 4 Lakewood police officers, November 29th and the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle officer.

There are so many prayer needs here; the wounded officers and their families, the brother of the deceased man, the 15 year old daughter, who was living away from her father and was under a protection order but still witnessed the shooting and death of her father and the officers and first responders who once again were called to the scene of another "Officer Down" call.

Monday, December 21, 2009

One You Don't Hear Very Often

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, come swiftly and run.
Christ is born, tell the folk of the village,
Jesus is sleeping in His cradle,
Ah, ah, beautiful is the mother,
Ah, ah, beautiful is her Son.

Hasten now, good folk of the village,
Hasten now, the Christ Child to see.
You will find Him asleep in a manger,
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He slumbers,
Hush, hush, peacefully now He sleeps.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Silent Night

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Sunday Night Pictures

My little Christmas tree, I keep it decorated, wrap plastic around it and put it in the storage shed after the holidays. All I have to do is unwrap it, and bring it into the house and plug it in.

An old watering can on a little table, next to a chair on my front porch.

My treasured old rusty milk can. Given to me many years ago by my late step son. I love it. And it's always filled with silk flowers of the season.

The white round table on my porch. In the summer, the portable BBQ sits here on a board to protect the table. My car is just behind it.

And finally ~ at 5:45pm Sunday evening, this is what the driveway and street going by my house looks like. The dangling icicle lights add a nice touch.

Ok, Call Me Crazy

I just posted this on Face book but decided to post it here too. I have always had this fascination about how tall people are. I've wondered that about all the presidents, movie stars, etc. I just found out that Regis is 5'7" and Kelly is only 5'3".

I know Barack Obama must be tall because I've read that Michelle is at least 6 foot tall. And since I've never met most of you who read my Blog....I'm wondering the same about leave me a comment and let me know how tall you are. Ok ?

Oh and me...when I was younger I was nearly 5'8" but with old age and a spinal fusion I've shrunk down to slightly less than 5'6".

Hope you are all having a good weekend. We have had record breaking low temperatures the last week. On top of that, because of stagnant air, a burn ban was put into place. So I haven't been able to use my wood stove. I'm afraid to see my electric bill the end of December. But the ban was lifted this morning and there's a fire burning as I type this post. The weather man has predicted some snow for the lowlands around here. My friend from Olympia called a little while ago and said the ground is white there (Olympia is about 20 miles south of me). And there's a little sprinkling of the white stuff here.

It's been two weeks today since that senseless murder of 4 Lakewood, WA police officers in a Forza Coffee Shop~just a few miles from my home. Yesterday that Forza re-opened officially at 8:14am (the time of the shooting) and by days end 1,100 coffee orders had been taken and sold. People lined up starting at 7am to have the chance to show the owner and the employees that we must not let that evil act stop the business at this popular community meeting place. Among the customers were many, many fire and law enforcement personnel. A plaque featuring pictures of the 4 fallen officers hangs on the wall of this coffee that they will never be forgotten.

Ok....don't forget~let me know how tall you are. Thanks........

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reindeer Facts

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer, however retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should have known......ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.............

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Freezing Cold Day

Wow it's so cold here. I think it was 14* this morning at 8am. It actually did get up to about 34* towards the middle of the day and now tonight the temperature is dropping again. The worst part is that they announced a Stage 2 burn ban this morning and that means no wood stove burning. So this evening my furnace has been running almost non-stop. If we'd get a little wind it would clear the air~so a breeze is on my Christmas Wish list tonight.

I got my notice from the Social Security Administration yesterday. If you're on SS and haven't received yours as yet~it's on it's way. One good thing is that the Medicare medical insurance benefit will not increase in 2010. But the part of this notice that blows my mind is the following;

"By law, Social Security benefits increase automatically to keep pace with inflation. When there is a period of no inflation, the law does not permit an increase in benefits. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Department of Labor, there was no rise in the cost of living during the past year, so your benefit will remain the same in 2010. The CPI is the federal government's official measure used to calculate cost-of-living increases."

Is there anyone out there (besides the Department of Labor) that thinks the cost of living has not risen in the last year? My word, all you have to do is go to the grocery store, or the department store and look around. Even the Goodwill has raised their prices in the last year. My space rent went up $16 a month in October and anyone who's living in an apartment gets yearly rent increases. Homeowners have their property taxes go up. Here in the state of Washington our sales tax increased to 9.3% this past year. And all my medical supplement insurance co-pays are going up in 2010, that includes office visits and prescription co-pays.

It blows my mind that the government is giving the bail outs on the backs of America's senior citizens. We are paying for the greed and lavish life styles of big-wig CEO's.

I'm really angry about this. I know there are dear senior citizens living on a lot less than I am. I wonder how some of them will be able to make it.


tacoma dome mt rainier 

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest, if we were able, spent most of yesterday glued to our televisions.  The coverage of the 4 Lakewood officers started shortly after 9am and continued until after 5pm.  The procession was so long that the service actually started an hour late.  It was a very long day for the families & friends of the fallen officers as well as the thousands of fire and law enforcement personnel who traveled in from across the continent. There were over 700 Royal Canadian Mounted Police in their red uniforms as well as several hundred officers from north of the border.   The runway at Mc Chord Air Force Base was the staging area for the over 2,000 vehicles that formed the procession.  There were approximately 347 agencies were represented in the procession.

It was a very cold day, I doubt if it ever got much above freezing but yet thousands lined the streets as the procession slowly made it’s way the 10 miles from Mc Chord to the Tacoma Dome.  I stayed home….I wasn’t brave enough to be out there with the others.

The pictures I’ve included were taken off my television. The quality is not great but will give you an idea of the magnitude of yesterday’s events.


Above the procession vehicles are lined up waiting for it start.


As the vehicles left Mc Chord they all drove under an arch provided by the Lakewood and University Place fire departments.

The procession traveled from Mc Chord Air Force base to the Lakewood Police department where it met up with the 4 white hearses carrying the fallen officers. 


Above the hearses pull up in front of the Tacoma Dome.  After the vehicles carrying the families arrived , the caskets were moved  one by one into the Dome.


The service lasted about three hours.  The local paper described it  best “a ceremony to honor the fallen is steeped in tradition and symbolism.”    There was a riderless horse that accompanied the lead vehicle towards the end of the procession, there were bagpipes that played “Amazing Grace” and a 21-bell salute as officers knelt near the caskets.  At the end of the service the tears fell as the “last call” came across the Dome’s P.A. system. (The following is quoted out of today’s local paper)  A dispatcher’s voice, authentic right down to the static, called out for each of the officers in turn, asking for their location.  Getting only silence, in response, the dispatcher said “Out of service. Gone but not forgotten.” 

For more coverage and or pictures of this event please visit;

I saw a great coming together in my community since this horrific thing happened the morning of November 29th.  I hope that continues.  I hope we can remember that like our military our law enforcement and fire personnel put their lives on the line everyday as they report to duty.   I realize some folks have a distorted view of cops. Yes, I agree there are some bad ones, but there are also bad electricians, doctors, pilots, handymen, teachers…..there are some bad people in every walk of life.  But on the whole, these officers are good people who happen to have chosen law enforcement for their profession.  And when I sat and really thought about it, I don’t know why anyone would want to be a cop. It’s a very dangerous, stressful job.  More than often they have to deal with the scum of the earth on a daily basis. 

Like our men and women in the military, the police and fire personnel deserve our thanks for all that they do.

I pray that the families and friends of these 4 people can begin the healing process and that they can all find a little sliver of joy in the coming holiday season. 

Tina, Mark, Ron and Greg……may you all rest in peace.  Thank you for your dedication to Lakewood, my home town.

Tina, I will especially miss you this next spring and summer. You drove thru the park almost daily and waved and smiled as you cruised by my house.  

And Greg, your birthday is the same as mine~every year from now on, I will say a special prayer for the family you left behind.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Day of Tribute


I took a couple pictures from the TV, that I wanted to share with you.  (You can see my little Christmas tree in the reflection of my front window)procession4

The picture above shows the huge contingent of police and fire vehicles lined up on the runway at Mc Chord Air Force Base that will be in the procession, thru the city of Lakewood and on to the Tacoma Dome for the memorial service.   There was also another area of hundreds of vehicles parked in an “over flow” area that will file in behind these vehicles. 


As the vehicles leave Mc Chord they all drive under this huge flag draped across the street by the Lakewood and University Place fire departments.   (This is just a few blocks from where my son lives.)

All of these vehicles have met up with the four hearses waiting at the Lakewood Police Department. I understand from the TV reporters that there are hundreds & hundreds of folks lining the streets along the procession route. It’s showing just 23* on my thermometer at this moment.  Those are brave folks.   I can’t get out to the route as the streets are blocked. So I’m home~watching this unfold on the television.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The Tacoma Dome here in Tacoma, WA will be the scene of the memorial for the 4 Lakewood police officers that were gunned down on Sunday November 29th.

lunch out6

Our local newspaper reports that approximately 20,000 law enforcement personnel from across the USA are expected to come to this memorial service. Local hotels and filling up and are also offering substantial discounts to those coming from out of town. And some of those coming into town will stay with local officers and their families. Alaska Airlines is offering reduced fare for those flying in from other parts of the country. Costco donated all the food that a local vocational school culinary class is using for the refreshments for the reception after the service.

They are expecting about 1,500 emergency vehicles to participate in the three hour procession and that doesn't include the family’s motorcade and Lakewood police and emergency vehicles. The procession will travel down South Tacoma Way (about 5 blocks from my house) to the Tacoma Dome starting at 10am Tuesday morning. The service starts at 1pm.

Since the Tacoma Dome (pictured above) only holds about 20,000 people, several large churches and other places will be open for people to come and watch the proceedings via a live feed. It will also be broadcast on one of Seattle’s TV stations.

I will be at home…watching and sending out prayers of peace and comfort for the family and friends of the 4 people who were lost.

I believe there are at least 6 people in jail now….charged with various crimes involving this shooting. All are family members or friends with close ties to the alleged shooter, Maurice Clemmons. I understand some who are close friends of these 6 people were in one of the court hearings last week wearing T-shirts that say “Free So & So” the “so & so” being the name of one of the defendants. I guess they feel these folks who aided a cold blood murderer should not be held accountable for what they did. This mentality boggles my mind.

There will be continuous online coverage of the procession and memorial service at;

December 7, 1941

It's been 68 years but we should never forget. Pausing to remember those who lost their lives that sunny Sunday morning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mrs Miracle........

..........will be shown on the Hallmark Channel on the following days;

Saturday December 5th at 8pm
Sunday December 6th at 8pm
Friday December 11th at 8pm
Wednesday December 16th at 8pm
Thursday December 17th at 2pm
Thursday December 24th at 6pm
Friday December 25th at 12n
Monday December 28th at 8pm
Tuesday December 29th at 2pm

this is according to the Hallmark Channel's web site. I hope everyone out there gets a chance to watch it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

One of My Favorite Authors

A book by one of my favorite authors (Debbie Macomber ) has been made into a Hallmark Movie. Debbie lives just about 15 miles from me and regularly comes to speak to our Reader's Group. She's a delightful lady and her books are uplifting and fun. I hope you will all get a chance to watch "Mrs Miracle." The book was re-issued December 1st so if you wish to purchase it, it should be in your local bookstore or perhaps even Target.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clouds with filtered sun


The sky this morning has reflected the mood here in Lakewood, Tacoma and all of Pierce County…

Yes, we woke up to the news that the suspected shooter in the deaths of 4 Lakewood Police officers this past Sunday, was no longer a threat to society.  A Seattle officer investigating a possible stolen vehicle was confronted with Maurice Clemmons a little after 2:30 this morning.  Shots were fired and Mr. Clemmons was shot and killed.  Apparently some of his family and friends  have been driving him from place to place allowing him to allude the police who were searching for him. His sister, apparently was the one that drove him to Seattle and helped him bandage the wound that occurred when one of the Lakewood officers shot him, before falling ~ mortally wounded himself. There are 3 people in custody now for helping him and more are being questioned.

About 8 hours after Mr. Clemmons was pronounced dead in Seattle….a somber procession delivered the four fallen Lakewood police officers from the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s  office to Mountain View Cemetery.   Mt View is about  a mile from my house and it’s where my parents, grand mother, great grand parents, other relatives and friends are buried.   When I heard that they were taking the officers there, I got myself together and went  about 5 blocks over to South Tacoma Way, the main drag thru this part of town.  There were other people waiting and a motorcycle officer at each entry to the main street.   There were also many news helicopters in the air over this area. 

police procesion4

Soon a group of motorcycle officers came around the corner of South 84th and South Tacoma Way heading in the direction of the cemetery.  Following was the procession of 4 Lakewood Aid Units and then at least a hundred police vehicles from different local agencies.  All driven of course by law enforcement officers but many of them containing non-law enforcement passengers~I would suspect they were the families of the slain officers.

police procession3

police procession1

police procession2

Even though Mr. Clemmons is dead, this doesn’t make this whole tragic affair any easier.  Nine children have lost their parents, families have lost their husbands, their wife, brothers, sister, fathers, mother, uncles, an aunt.  And now another family has lost someone who was no doubt loved and will be missed. He may even have children….I don’t know.

In our local paper today there’s a rundown of Mr. Clemmon’s history with the criminal justice system.  In 1999, at age 27, while in an Arkansas prison, he applied for clemency of his 108 year sentence. The clemency application is a seven-page form.  One question reads, “What is your reason for requesting executive clemency at this time?”  Maurice Clemmons answered with a single word; “Mercy.”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

9 Children Lost A Parent Today


As the investigation continues into the heinous crime committed in my community of Lakewood, Washington this morning……the names of the Lakewood police officers murdered while they prepared for their day on duty, have been released.

mark ren

Mark Renninger ~ age 39~ left a wife and 3 children

ronald owen

Ronald Owen~age 37~left a former wife and 1 child

greg rich

Greg Richards~age 42~left a wife and 3 children

tina gris

Tina Griswold~age 40~left a husband and 2 children

Please remember the families and friends of these four folks in the coming days as they deal with this tragic loss.

Thank you for all your kind comments.


My heart is breaking....this Sunday morning at 8:15am and a lone man walked into a Forza Coffee Shop and gunned down four Lakewood, Washington police officers. Three males and one female officer had gathered in the coffee shop, laptops open, they were planning their day serving my community. We have 102 commissioned officers in Lakewood and now 4 are gone, murdered by some sleaze bag.

It was just on Halloween night that an officer was killed at point blank range in Seattle, while he sat in his car doing reports with a trainee. Even those of us here in Tacoma (Lakewood) some 30 miles south of Seattle were touched by that needless death. I watched as thousands of law enforcement and fire department personnel gathered for that officer's funeral. Fortunately that alleged shooter has been captured.

Now...just a month later this horrific thing has happened just a few miles from my my community.

Please take a moment today and say a prayer for the families and friends of these officers. Also, this was carried out in a coffee shop....there were other people in there who were not injured physically but to witness something like this would be emotionally injuring. I understand the witness are in shock and very traumatized.

As a post script~since I wrote this entry.....I've found out that one of the officers killed is the uncle of one of my friend's grand daughter.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Here's a great way to use up some of that left-over turkey

Chicken (or turkey) Enchilada Casserole

3 cups diced, cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken broth
1 small can mild chopped green chilies
1 can cooked, diced tomatoes (partially drained)
¼ cup salsa
1 small can sliced olives
1 small carton sour cream
12-15 tortillas, torn into bite size pieces.

Mix all of these ingredients together and pour into 9 inch by 11 inch baking pan (I spray with Pam first for easy cleaning). Sprinkle ½ pound grated cheese over the top of this mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour if using corn tortillas, a little longer if using flour tortillas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Word of Warning

It seems lately that I've been getting frequent comments on older entries....some from back in 2007. Fortunately I have my security set so that comments received after 60 days have to be approved by me before they post.

All of these comments are from someone listed as "Anonymous" and all are either spam type comments or very sexually explicit. I'm not sure if there's anyway to stop these comments from coming in but at least we have the option to "REJECT" them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I want to take this opportunity to welcome DB (Vagabond Journeys) back to Bloggerville. You were missed!


Only in the great USA is the Friday after Thanksgiving referred to as "Black Friday." That's the one day of the year, retailers can count on those cash registers ringing up sale after sale....thus putting them in "the black."
This year I see some stores are opening at midnight~yes just a few hours after folks have indulged in their Thanksgiving dinner. Then some are opening at 3am and some at 5am. Prices will be slashed to the bone, and the shoppers...hungry for good deals will be lined up at the doors waiting for them to open and then they'll take off in a run to grab that $5 doll or that $85 television.
I have never really participated in this craziness ~ usually spending the day putting stuff away from Thanksgiving dinner. Or even using that day to start addressing my Christmas cards.
However, last year Bob and I did go out shopping but not until about 10am. This year, I'm not sure. You see the retailers hold off telling us what super duper sales they are having until Thursday morning, when we open our newspaper.
My heart goes out to all the clerks and shelf stockers in the stores involved in this crazy tradition. You all deserve "combat" pay for this particular day....


I'll be part of a large group at my brother and sister in law's house today. But before I leave I wanted to wish you all a wonderful day as you gather together. Let us all remember to count our many blessings.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coffee Filters

Coffee filters .... Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing even the large ones.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Place them over the drain holes in your pots, before putting in the potting soil. Water will drain but you won't loose the soil out the bottom of the pot.


Friday, November 20, 2009


Better late than never~it's been a wild week. But here's a simple recipe, great for a Saturday evening supper and if there's any left over~it's even better warmed up.

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I use dried)
1 eight ounce can tomato sauce
1 sixteen ounce can diced tomatoes
1 & 1/2 cup water (I use the water after rinsing out the tomato sauce & tomatoes)
1 sixteen ounce can kidney beans
1 envelope Taco seasoning

Brown hamburger and onion, drain fat. To a large sauce pan add water, green peppers, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, undrained beans, taco seasoning and hamburger mixture. Simmer for at least an hour. After spooning into soup bowls sprinkle with grated cheese and add crumbled tortilla chips. Enjoy.

Note: if you want a less spicy flavor just use half a package of taco seasoning.

Friday, November 13, 2009


This is another recipe that I've shared before. But it's so good and very easy, a great thing to throw together for a winter evening's supper.

Baked Bean Quickie

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped sweet green pepper (I use the dried flakes)
1/2 cup minced onion (again I use the dried minced)
1/2 cup diced celery (optional)
1 eight ounce can of tomato sauce
1/c cup water
1 clove garlic, minced (garlic salt or powder can be used)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/c cup brown sugar
2 regular size cans of pork and beans (such as VanCamps, S & W, or B & M)

Brown ground beef in skillet until done, drain grease. Saute onions, green peppers and celery until tender. In a large bowl add all ingredients (including cooked ground beef) and mix well. Pour into oven proof casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 375*. This stuff is so good! It's even better on day two (if there's any left) reheated. Come on guys....even you can make this one and who doesn't love Pork & Beans?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day in every free country, it's a day to remember those who served and those who gave the supreme sacrifice for our many freedoms.

Military service goes back a way’s in my paternal grand father served in WWI, my dad in WWII and my son was in the Air Force during Desert Storm. Thankfully my son served stateside except for a short time he was sent to England. My dad served in a railroad battalion in Italy, Sicily, France and North Africa. He continued in his civilian job in the U.S. Army as a train dispatcher in those locations. I have no details about my grandfather's military service, just pictures of him in his uniform and the Bible that was given to him when he went off to serve.

All of my family members came home, safe. Today we remember all veterans, those past and present. We thank the ones who are with us still and we honor those who didn't come home. Hundreds of thousands from all peace loving countries.

I've had the privilege of working with nurses who were in the military and served in Viet Nam. Their life over there was no picnic. In the United States women have been serving in the military since the American Revolution. I read in one report that there are almost 2 million women veterans in our country.

I know here in my area, I live so close to an Air Force base and there are many women pilots flying those big cargo planes over my house.

We must also remember the 4 legged veterans. The United States started training dogs for the war effort in 1942. They were used extensively in WWII, the Korean conflict, Viet Nam, Desert Storm and even today, they presence is seen in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

May we all pause for a moment in the next couple days and remember what these brave men and women have done for us.............Linda

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another Update on DB

I just got another note from DB in today's mail. It sounds like his computer is officially dead. It's very sad for him as he is somewhat isolated and his computer was indeed his life line. He is thinking he won't be back online until he has the funds to purchase a new computer. And with his limited income, that may be a long time from now. He's worried about everyone forgetting about him and I intend to send him another letter letting him know that we absolutely won't forget about him. So send some good thoughts his way....hopefully he can figure out a way to replace his ailing computer.

November 7, 1940 "Galloping Gertie"

This event did take place about 14 months before I was born. About 11 o'clock in the morning of November 7, 1940, the bridge collapsed due to wind induced vibrations. Having just opened on July 1, 1940 the way it was constructed there was no allowance for the strong winds that blow thru this area. The wind literally twisted the concrete road bed which cause it to break up and fall into Puget Sound below. There were several cars on the bridge at the time, the people driving the cars managed to run to safety but the cars and a little dog were lost as the bridge collapsed. Growing up, I heard my parents relate the details many times. I also remember that when we went to Bremerton, WA to visit my cousins we had to take a ferry across the Tacoma Narrows because the bridge had collapsed. A replacement bridge opened up in 1950, It was four lanes...two in each direction. Over the years the traffic back ups, especially during rush hour were unbearable. Finally in July of 2007 a new 4 lane bridge, right next to the 1950 version opened up to eastbound traffic. What a relief for commuters who travel to and from work every day. The old bridge remains at the bottom of Puget Sound as a reef and a great place for divers to explore.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood

An awful tragedy occured today at Fort Hood Army base. A senseless act has taken the lives of so many and injured many more. Please remember the victims and their families.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Updates

I'm sure by now many of you have noticed that our friend DB (Vagabond Journeys & Vagabond Tales) has been missing in action. I knew he was having serious computer problems and yesterday I got a second letter from him. He hasn't been able to get online since October 13th and says that so far he's spent 37 hours on the phone and over $200 on attempting to get the problems fixed. He's done everything they've told him to do including buying some sort of new cables. His final words were that he didn't know what else to do until he can save enough money for more repairs or buy a new computer. I feel bad for him because his computer is sort of his life line. Hopefully, he'll back online soon. I'll be sending another note out to him on Monday, I'll let him know we're all still waiting for him to appear again.

It's a beautiful sunny day here in western Washington and in just a little while, I'm going out and use my leaf blower again. Those big old oak trees still have leaves but I'm sick of them all over my porch and in my carport. The park has a riding street sweeper type thing and I don't know why, they haven't come thru the park and sweep up the leaves that are accumulating. Maybe they are waiting for the very last leaf to fall.

It's hard to believe that it's the first of November already. Wasn't it just Thanksgiving and Christmas a couple months ago? There are Christmas displays in the store already and Christmas catalogs are in the mailbox almost everyday.

My son and his fiancee' continue with their March 12, 2010 wedding plans. She even scheduled a manicure for me the other day~it's March 11, 2010 at 4:30pm. She had requested that the two mothers wear dresses within the colors she has chosen. One is a chocolate brown so a couple weeks ago I Googled "brown dress" and found the most beautiful deep chocolate brown dress on sale for $41.00 (regular price was $85). It arrived last week and I love it. Now I just have to find shoes to go with it. I just can't wear anything with much of a heel anymore so am hoping to find some attractive low heeled shoes. Perhaps I should Google "brown shoes."

The picture of the white church in my header is a little church over in eastern Washington. Once I finish the Olympic Peninsula in my travel Blog ( I'll move on to our trip to eastern Washington and Roosevelt Lake that we took in September. Eastern Washington is so different than western Washington. We drove for mile after mile thru rolling wheat don't see that over here.

That's all for now....please don't give up on DB, he'll be back as soon as his computer is either fixed or replaced. Until next time......Linda

Saturday, October 31, 2009