I just watched the movie Wild Hogs tonight. It was a silly movie about middle-aged men trying to recapture the freedom of their younger days, but, it was also highly entertaining. These guys have nothing on real bikers though. In fact, I’d like to introduce you to the original “Wild Hog.” Her name was Alice Newman and she was my husband’s granny. This is a photo of her on her Cushman motorbike. Doesn’t she look tough? 🙂
The War September 27, 2007
I’ve been watching the new Ken Burns documentary The War on PBS this week. To say it’s an amazing piece of work is quite an understatement. Watching our country today, it’s hard to imagine the United States actually pulling together, supporting and sticking to something like this for 5 years to see it through. Wow, just imagine that even though horrific things were happening overseas and at home, our nation’s citizens and their elected officials motivated themselves to do whatever was necessary to get the job done.
As I watch the footage and hear each person describe in their own way their experiences during WWII, it is so obvious that our generation has no concept of sacrifice. A mother who hangs more than one gold star in her window because they’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for their country is something you don’t see today. People giving up some of their own personal comforts so that the supplies needed by the troops could continue. Buying War Bonds, having scrap metal drives, planting Victory Gardens—these are things we have no experience with today. Over 407,000 United States military persons were killed in that war, with the total loss of life worldwide hovering around 72 million people. Today, the total losses in the Wars in Iraq total 3800 United States military persons. While no death of either soldier or civilian is easy, the number pales in comparison to the sacrifices our parents and grandparents generations suffered.
While our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan, what do they hear from home today? Complaints that what they were sent to do is wrong. Complaints that it’s a war based on greed, a war with no merit. Politicians who freely voted to send troops to Iraq are now busy pointing fingers at others to make excuses to cover for their own decisions, largely because elections loom on the horizon.
We complain about gasoline prices that hover near $3/gallon, but, we still have gas to drive our luxury cars. There is little talk of supporting our troops overseas. People are long past sending care boxes and giving a little extra to make sure they have comforts from home.
It was ironic that the Ken Burns series was showing while the President of Iran was making his controversial remarks at Columbia University. I recall reading that if Hitler were alive today, they would have extended an invitation to him, too. Times and people certainly are different than they were 60+ years ago.
I can’t help but think that we have become a selfish generation. We’re focused on ourselves and our comforts. We talk openly about our rights and liberties, but, we don’t have the stomach to protect them. One of the old gentleman being interviewed last night made the comment that he sincerely hoped we were each able to truly enjoy our freedoms each and every day and that while we do he hoped we would remember those who sacrificed to protect them.
What will you be thinking about today when you speak your mind about the state of our government, our people and our world? I’ll be thinking that in other countries I’d be executed for writing something like this in my blog, but, here I can write anything I want. Freedom isn’t free. It’s just easy to make yourself think it is.
Apple Dumpling Roll September 25, 2007
Want to know what’s really hard about being on this diet? Some of my favorite food items come along with fall weather. Pumpkin pie, Applesauce Cake, Apple Dumplings, mmmm.
Well, if I can’t eat them right now, at least I can read cookbooks and share the love with friends. One of my favorite recipes I got from my Auntie Brooks. It’s the taste and texture of apple dumplings, but, a little easier to eat. Hmmm, that just makes it easier to eat more, right? 🙂
Apple Dumpling Roll
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
milk, enough to make a stiff dough
4 cups apples, sliced (I have always preferred Jonathon or McIntosh)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
sugar to taste
Melt butter in a 9×13 pan. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and shortening. Mix as you would a pie dough, adding milk as necessary. Roll the dough out and cover with sliced apples. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over apples. Roll the dough jelly roll fashion and cut in 1/2 inch thick slices. Place in pan over the melted butter. Combine 2 cups water and 1 and 1/2 cups sugar. Heat and pour over the dumplings. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
These are best warm with a little vanilla ice cream. Mmmmm!
The first day of fall September 24, 2007
Well, the first day of fall 2007 has come and gone. It was a hot one, for sure! My crew returned home after the Mizzou game (another win for the Tigers) wearing their sunburns like badges of honor. I think football season is a great time of year, once you get to the point you can wear sweatshirts and use your stadium blanket!
The weekend was fruitful and I didn’t cheat too badly on my diet. However, I did eat some of my sister Sue’s new cookies. They are to die for and would be big trouble if she has them very often. Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. Oh…my…gosh…they’re…sinful.
My husband continues his furniture making operation and is making good progress on our closet built-ins. I can hardly wait for this project to be finished. I’ll have so much storage space I’ll have to go out and buy new clothes to fill it up! 🙂 He also started on a huge picture frame for a print we bought awhile back. He’s just going crazy out there in his shop!
Not much more to tell from the weekend. It was good to see the whole family (sister, nieces, nephews, aunts, etc.) at Mom’s for dinner Saturday night. There sure are a lot of us these days. Nice to get together though.
Small amount of progress September 22, 2007
It’s the end of my first week on the new diet and, despite Fat Chick’s prediction of failure, I’ve actually dropped 4 pounds.
Nothing to set the world on fire, but, at least it’s moving in the right direction.
Oh, no, not that again… September 20, 2007
Fat Chick: “Oh no, you’re not starting this diet thing again? Really, how many times do we have to go through this?”
Me: “As many times as it takes. No matter how bad my day, no matter how stressful life gets, this time I have to succeed.”
Fat Chick: “Riiiiggggghhhhhtttttt. I’ll believe that when I see it. You, the world’s worst stress eater not eating when you’re stressed. Not gonna happen.”
Me: “Yes, it will. I’m motivated. I’m tired of being overweight and not feeling good. I can do this!”
Fat Chick: “So, what’s so different about this time?”
Me: “I’ve been motivated by watching Celebrity Fit Club and The Biggest Loser. If those people who weigh 300-400 pounds can actually run, I guess I ought to be able to walk enough to make a difference. I’m surprised some of them don’t have a heart attack!”
Fat Chick: “The visual I have of you running is pretty entertaining. So, how long have you been on a diet THIS time?”
Me: “Just since Monday. But, I’ve already lost 3.5 pounds. Aren’t you impressed?”
Fat Chick: “That depends on whether you lost 3.5 pounds because you deliberately put on your heavy shoes to log your beginning weight and then took them off to check your progress at the end of the first week. You know, like you usually do.”
Me: “Gee, I didn’t know anybody else knew about that! Nope, this time it’s all legit. 3.5 pounds of me is gone. It sure would be nice to log those double digit losses like the folks on the Biggest Loser, but, I’m good with losing anything. One guy even lost 31 pounds in one week!”
Fat Chick: “Well, good luck with the diet, although I don’t think you’ll make it. You never do. What are you doing differently?”
Me: “Well, I’m doing something that’s very important to my future lifestyle. But, you won’t like it.”
Fat Chick: “What’s that? Giving up chocolate?”
Me: “Nope. Eating chicken about 4-5 times a week! Notice that this issue has a lovely chicken potpie on the cover.” 🙂
Fat Chick: “CANNIBAL!”
Consult your Funk and Wagnalls September 17, 2007
I had a fun weekend. I ran away from home!
Actually, my husband and I tagged along with my cousin Kevin and his wife Jayne and spent the weekend in search of antiques and MKT Railroad collectibles. It was lots of fun. I didn’t buy a lot, but, was completely taken with an antique wooden box that Jayne found. It happened to be a great old box with a label printed on the side that said “Funk and Wagnalls literary guides.” I just had to have it!
You see, Funk and Wagnalls always reminds me of my boss Chris. Whenever someone in our office made a really bad grammatical error, she’d chuckle and say “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!” So, now I have the box and after a little looking on eBay this evening, realized that on future trips I need to look for some of the very early editions of the Funk and Wagnalls guides. They started printing their literary guides in 1890. That sounds like a great place to start!