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