Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MY CREED by Dean Alfange

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon. I seek opportunity to develop whatever talents God gave me - not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.

I will never cower before any earthly master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say - 'This, with God's help, I have done.'

All this is what it means to be an American."

What more can be said? Or what more should be said and done?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jim Update: 6/28/2011

Jim had the MRI for his knee last Friday. They said he would hear something in two days, so we're hoping for this afternoon.

He's feeling a little better, getting around part of the time without crutches, and having serious cabin fever.

He's able to sit a little longer, so I would not be surprised to see his bloggy self here sometime this week.

He made us an awesome dinner Sunday evening -- steak and veggie kabobs done on his smoker/grill, with a baked potato, and corn smoke/grilled in its husks. I hope he did not over-do standing/walking/sitting. He seemed really happy to be able to do!

I hope to report (or have Jim report) great news soon! Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quote of the Week: 6/27/2011

"The most effective way to do it is to do it."
--Amelia Earhart, American Aviation Pioneer

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Come on over. . .

I didn't have time to post for Jim today, but you can come on over to my blog for something different, if ya wanna:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting Ready to Cookout: Homemade Worcestershire Sauce (for making BBQ sauce this weekend)

Jim is still not able to sit long enough to blog efficiently, so here I am again.

Let's get ready to make some BBQ sauce later this week (for me, this weekend). It's gonna be a good one, and features my favorite fuzzy fruit. From Palisade. Hint, hint.

One ingredient you can make at home that tastes way better than store-bought is Worcestershire sauce. It's quick and easy, and even if you don't can, you can store it in your refrigerator for up to 3 months! That'll get you through summer, right?

You'll need:
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons of molasses
a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
a whole jalapeno, slit open
1/2 a nutmeg
6 cloves
a chunk of lemon peel, not too big
a chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and then simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest until cooled, then move the covered saucepan to the refrigerator and let it sit for 24 hours.

Prepare a sterilized jar. (I usually do a load of dishes in the dishwasher and use the heated dry setting.) Boil some water in a small saucepan and prepare a canning jar lid by turning the burner off once the boiling starts, and toss in the two-piece lid and let it sit until you are ready.

Strain the sauce to get out the chunks. I usually use cheesecloth to do that. Then re-heat the sauce and transfer it to the sterilized jar. Put the lid on. Let cool to room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator and store it tightly covered. It will keep about 3 months.

Get it ready now, 'cause we're making BBQ sauce this weekend!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I LOVE cooking and food magazines.

I have subscriptions to several, including Bon Appetit, Food Network, and Taste of Home.

I love the colorful pictures.

I love reading the recipes that make my mouth water.

I love the thought of being in my kitchen making something artful and tasty.

I love that as I read the recipes, I'm already thinking of what I might do differently to make them more my own.

Then I remember about the clean up.

Then I remember to recycle by passing my magazines on to someone else.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the Week: 6/20/2011 (and a Jim update)

"Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name."
~William Wordsworth

I hope you all had a good Father's Day. Jim still has his dad. Mine has been gone 10 years. Sometimes it seems like forever, sometimes it seems like yesterday. I miss him everyday, though. He was a great one.

Jim's knee is still pesky. He had a doctor's appointment last Friday. Though he is doing some better, and can even walk without crutches for short distances, he's still not doing great. He is still having pain and discomfort and can't sit just anywhere or for just any amount of time.

His doctor wants him to have an MRI, because she is suspicious that he has a torn meniscus or ACL, so she wants to take a look to be sure of what could be going on.

So. . . I will still be blogging while he is "out." Lucky you, huh? :>

Have a great week! I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

And speaking of frosty frozen treats that get me in trouble when I'm with my sister

ALSO with my sister (Kristi): We went to a meeting and decided to stop at Wendy's on the way home for a little Frosty.

Frostys are so cheap and quick and tasty!

Kristi was driving again, and we pulled up into the drive-thru to order, and waited. And waited. And waited.

We were just starting to think that they were closed OR to get indignant, when we saw that we had not pulled up to the drive-in speaker, but to the newspaper box! We were waiting for our order to be taken by the newspaper box! Ugh.

We laughed so hard that I had to raise myself up off the seat to make sure I did not piddle in her husband's car!

We were still laughing when we reached the ordering speaker. So much so, that it was hard to talk. (I can't breathe! I can't breathe!) Kristi finally managed to spit our order out in between laughs.

When we arrived at the pick-up window, there were three or four people waiting to see who we were and what was going on.

Now I'd probably be embarassed enough that I would have skipped the Frosty and driven right on through.

Well, truthfully, I probably just would drive to a different Wendy's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A little blizzard was all I wanted

Jim can still not sit at the computer for more than a few moments at a time because of his knee. Something he said last night reminded me of a story about my sister and me and our adventures at drive-thru windows when we were in our 20's and 30's.

My sister and I used to live in the same apartment complex, so we would go do laundry together or go to Taco Bell or DQ for a treat pretty often. We also used to go to our parents house and visit with whomever might be there at the time. (There are 7 kids in our family, so you could pretty much always run into someone there, and my Dad was usually available for visiting in the evenings anyway.)

One summer evening I was really in the mood for a Blizzard from DQ, so we met at her little truck in the parking lot and we went to the DQ in our neighborhood, with plans to go see our Dad after.

We can talk. I mean, we can really keep on going, and it doesn't even have to be about anything. Those of you who have a really good sister know what I mean.

When we got to the DQ, the drive thru line snaked around the building and the end of it was right at the street where cars would enter the parking lot. That was okay -- we were used to that at our DQ. The inside was always packed in the evenings, too, so there was no way we were going in. And we always had talking to keep us occupied, so that's what we did.

We talked and waited, talked and waiting, inching up as we could.

Finally we realized we were one car away from the pick-up window. But we hadn't ordered! No one had asked for our order when we were at the speaker, but we didn't even notice with all the talking we were doing.

It had taken us about 1/2 hour to get to that point. There was no way we were going to wait another half hour.

Our little Blizzard-deprived pea brains engaged, and we decided to just pay for whatever was given to us at the window and we would just take whatever it was and go.

Straight-faced, we pulled up to the window and were given a total. We handed over the money, took the order, and left.

When we got to our parents house and could see what we had, we were very disappointed. The people in the car behind us had NO taste buds or imagination, it seemed. They had ordered a cup of ice water, some plain vanilla ice cream, and a Dilly Bar.

It was not exactly what we had in mind.

Dear persons in line for DQ: Please think of others when ordering. Be sure to get something good. Your taste buds -- or mine -- will thank you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FEED YOUR FACE: A Quick Quiche Lorraine

I love quiche, but especially Quiche Lorraine. What's not to like about bacon, onion, and cheese with a crust?

This one is quick to make, which I like mainly because then it is quick to eat!

The ingredients are:
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 3/8" to 1/2" pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, greated
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 prepared pie crust (either you can make it or Pillsbury can make it for you)
  • salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste
First, place the pie crust in the pie pan (or a small cast iron skillet) and let it rest the entire time you are preparing the recipe.

Place the bacon pieces in a skillet and cook them until they are done. You are the one who decides what "done" is. Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess bacon grease. Let cool.

Toss the onion into the grease left in the skillet, and cook them until they are carmelized. They will be brown anyway because of the hot bacon grease. Snobby people think that's a bad thing. I'm not a snobby people, and I think the color is a good thing. Remove these with a slotted spoon to another plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess bacon grease. Let cool.

Crack the eggs and place them in a bowl. Beat them by hand until they are smooth. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Then add the cooled bacon and onion, cream, and cheese, and mix to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust, and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Sometimes my oven and my pie plate decide that a whole hour is better, so just check it to see if it is as done as you like.

When you take it out of the oven, let it set for a few minutes (I would say about 10 -- long enough to cut some watermelon to serve with it).

Cut it into 6 wedges and serve.

If there are only two of you, that's okay. Just wrap each cooled leftover piece in clingy plastic wrap, and either freeze or refrigerate. Then you can have some later!

If you want a fancier quiche that will take much longer, this one really looks good:
Someday I will make it and will let you know if the extra time and steps are worth it.

In the meantime, I'll just stick with the quick version.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quote of the Week: 6/13/2011

What is it that you like doing? If you don't like it, get out of it, because you'll be lousy at it. ~Lee Iacocca

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word

He's back! The little bird was back in his sleeping spot last night. He's giving me a second chance!

I was particularly careful to be quiet when I left the dog out, and I waited until this morning to water the garden.

I'm glad I didn't scare him off for good, but I will be more careful now. (Even though I am not a bird fan.)

Jim update: His x-ray couldn't be read because there was too much fluid surrounding the injury to his knee, so they can't see if he tore anything or not. So, he got medicine and a knee brace and crutches, with instructions to ice, stay off of it, and come back a week from Friday.

Usually his taking Vicodin leads to "unusual" conversations. But last night? Zonked right away.

He probably won't be blogging anytime soon, but I'll keep you up on his progress.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with the song Jim sang when I told him the bird was back.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Backyard Camper

Jim still can't sit comfortably at the computer to blog, so I'm back (Kathi). I thought I would tell you about the bird camping out in our backyard.

I noticed a bunch of bird poopies on the patio near my garden. Then I saw bird poopies on the inside of the patio just above that. I wondered who was doing that! I decided to evict him. I am not a fan of birds anyway.

Then, we came home after bowling one night and saw the bird was sleeping on a cable that runs the length of that wall, snuggled up against the wall. How could he sleep on that little cable without falling off? Why didn't he sleep in a tree or something?

We kept an eye out and discovered he arrives between 8 and 8:30 each evening, but is gone by the time I get up at 4:30 in the morning.

I decided I would just tack a piece of paper up there until he realized he couldn't sit there with the paper in the way.

Then I thought about how pitiful he looks perched there on the small cable, hugging the wall, and all alone. I felt bad for him. He obviously needed a safe place to sleep, where he didn't have to worry about being bothered or killed. And alone!

So, I decided he could stay. I wouldn't do anything to encourage his moving in, but I wasn't going to turn him away either.

I went out last night to take his picture while he was sleeping. I zoomed in from the patio door, but couldn't get a good shot. I moved in about five feet, but still couldn't get a good picture. So, I moved about half way up the patio to take one, and as soon as the flash went off, he woke up and fluttered off.

I didn't see him there when the dog went out before bed.

I didn't see him when the dog wanted out at 1 a.m.

I didn't see him when I watered the garden at 5:30 a.m.

I think he might be gone, 'cause his little nook is no longer really safe. I feel bad that I'm the one who made it that way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Uh, oh. . . not good

Hi, Kathi here.

Jim hurt his knee at bowling last night. He was bowling his last frame of the evening, and made his approach, and just before the line he hit a dry spot and his foot came to an instant stop. Unfortunately, the rest of him kept going because of the momentum. His knee basically stayed put, and the upper part of his leg kept going.

It hurts, and he can get around with the support of a cane, but sitting to blog isn't working out for him right now.

I sure hope he feels better soon and heals quickly. I kinda wonder if he's out for the rest of the bowling season (but I sure hope not).

I have a feeling I might be back here again tomorrow. Until then. . .

Monday, June 6, 2011


"We must never be afraid to go far, for success lies just beyond."

Marcel Proust
French novelist

Friday, June 3, 2011


I'm setting here this morning in my new caffeine shorts trying to lose a pound or two. And I was reminded of a hunting trip with my day, years ago.

My Dad really likes his coffee. If he does not get that first cup in the morning, he is a real bear for most of the day. Well, one morning when we were up hunting, he was walking the floor in his trailer. He hadn't had his coffee yet because when he packed up the trailer, he forgot the innards for his coffee pot. And seeing as my brother-in-law Robert and I wanted some coffee also, I volunteered to make some good old cowboy coffee. So I filled the pot with water, lit the burner, placed the pot on the burner, and started to put coffee in the pot.

Well, Dad hollered and cussed a blue streak. He said there is no way in h### he was going to drink coffee with grounds floating in it. He said he would chew the grounds before he would drink any of it. I told him that all he needed to do was strain the grounds through his teeth, and I and Robert laughed.

Boy, oh boy, did Dad go off then! He said for me to not even try to make any of that cowboy sludge. He would think of something, and HE would make the coffee before we started to make breakfast. Well, what could we say? We went ahead and got our gear ready, and loaded up the truck. When we came back in, Dad was in a much better mood. He had that coffee pot just perking right along.

Robert and I never said a word. We set the table and sat down. Dad had also made breakfast. Man, did it look good. And we could smell the fresh coffee, bacon, hash browns, eggs, and toast with orange juice. A great meal for the mighty hunters.

Until it was time to chow down.

Dad poured us our coffee, we were just taking our first bites, and Dad was taking his first sip of coffee, and Dad gave us a funny look. He looked kind of crosseyed, and his face turning a kind of greenish gray. He then took another sip and asked us if the coffee tasted kind of funny. Well, I hadn't had any yet.

Dad took another sip and got greener around the eye balls. He spit out the coffee. He gave us a dirty look and demanded that we each take a sip. So Robert and I knew something was up. Robert and I looked at each other as we picked up our cups and gave each other a look that said you-go-first.

Well, that coffee DID have a funny taste to it. Kind of like soap. Robert and I spit out the coffee we had not swallowed back into our cups. At the same time we both asked what in the heck he used to make the coffee taste like this.

Well, he looked at us and said that he thought that if he put the grounds in a clean sock and put it in the coffee pot, that it would perk around in the pot and make coffee. And Dad then took another sip and said that it didn't quite taste like soap, but more like Downy fabric softener.

Well, duh -- Mom had cleaned his stuff and had used Downy as she always had. We threw out the coffee and ate our breakfast. Robert and I tried real hard not to look at each other, cause we knew that if we did we would lose it and laugh our heads off. We already knew we would pick on Dad the rest of our hunting trip.

Even our breakfast tasted like Downy. I went and used about half a bottle of mouthwash to get the taste out of my mouth. I don't know what Robert used. My Dad told us to just leave the mess, and we would clean up from breakfast when we got back to camp. So we loaded ourselves in the truck and away we went.

Robert dropped off Dad at the spot he wanted to hunt, and dropped me maybe about a half mile from my Dad. Robert when on down the road to where he wanted to hunt. I walked into the heavy timber. I found a nice place to park my butt, and wait for my chance to get my deer.

I sat there for a few hours, then I heard a shot. It came from the direction of where my Dad was. Then I heard another shot from the same direction. I started walking to where my Dad was, hoping that I might get a shot along the way. As I was walking through the trees, I heard a truck go by. Maybe it was Robert, and he had heard the shots also.

I never did see anything, and as I came upon my Dad I saw he had a nice fat doe on the ground, and had it almost field dressed. He looked at me, all smiles and such. So, I helped him finish field dressing his deer. As we were working I asked him how far of a shot was it. He turned a little red, and said it was maybe 40 feet or so. I gave him a look, wondering how the deer could have gotten so close. Well just as he was going to tell me, Robert showed up.

We dragged the deer out of the woods, and down to the road where Roberts truck was. We loaded up the deer and we headed back to camp. As we neared camp, Robert leaned a little forward and looked at me. Robert asked, do you smell something? And I told him I did, and it smelled a lot like Downy. We both leaned in towards the center of the seat where Dad sat and we both inhaled deeply. Robert said that Dad's clothes smelled of Downy. I took in another whiff, looked at Dad, and said it wasn't his clothes, it was his breath. At just that time we pulled into camp, and Robert and I jumped out of the truck before Dad could smack us or say a word.

Dad grouched at us a bit, and we helped him hang up his deer. As it was hung, Robert gave the deer a sniff, looked at Dad, and before Robert could open his mouth Dad told Robert that if he said a single word he would be sleeping in a wet sleeping bag outside.

But I couldn't let this pass.

I sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed all around Dad's deer. Finally stopping in front of the deer's head I took another sniff, looked at my Dad, and asked, "What did you do? Did you try to kiss this deer? Cause we both can still smell the Downy on your breath."

Well, Robert and I ran around the camp for a bit while Dad tried to whack us with a big stick. He never did catch us.

For dinner that night we had fried taters, salad, steak, and cobbler in a dutch oven. And, oh yeah, we also had cowboy coffee. By the end of our hunting trip, Dad found out that cowboy coffee was not all that bad, as long as the sugar held out.

When we got home and Dad talked to Mom, he spilled the beans about himself. Robert and I never did tell her about how it seemed that his deer smelled of Downy. But Mom made a remark about how his deer seemed to be kind of spring time fresh, even when it was Fall.

The following year, Dad tried to make nylon-sock coffee. Robert and I never found out if Mom was missing a pair. And, yeah, it was NOT good.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I don't know if any of you saw this on Yahoo this morning. We now have a new way to lose weight. It is caffeine pants.

So now all you need is to pour your morning coffee into your shorts.

Now before you do this, I'm talking about just the ground up beans. If you pour your morning coffee in your shorts, first, you will burn certain things that should never be that hot! Second, you will have wet shorts. And third, you will stain your shorts brown. Unless, you already have brown shorts.

The way they say this works is that your butt, thighs, and whatever else absorbs the caffeine and it will melt the fat away. I think it does not melt the fat off, but rubs it raw. Like using sand paper. So if that is how it works, why not just have your shorts made of sand paper?
Or, just go to the beach or your hardware store and buy a bag or two of sand. Then fill 'em up.

I'm sorry, you tea drinkers will have to find another way to lose the unwanted pounds.

Though I also wonder if different brands of coffee work better than others. . .

Plus, can you use instant coffee for instant weight loss? For when you need to lose that weight for a party this Friday night.

And what about cream and sugar?

If you are wearing your coffee shorts, how do you dip your morning doughnut?

People need to know these things before starting any weight loss program.

I think we need a lot more research.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We had a nice and tame Memorial weekend.

Saturday, we went with two of our friends and had lunch at Helga's German Deli and Restaurant. They have a patio that is dog friendly, and the deli is not all that big. The food is pretty good and the price is decent.

If I were to rate Helga's, I would give it 3 1/2 burps on a scale of 5 burps being the best and 1 burp being the worse. The reason I gave it a 3 1/2 was because I, being a southern boy, like my tater salad cold, not hot. 'Course that is how they do it German style. If I had been better prepared, I could give it a higher score. I just had my mind and taste buds ready for cold potato salad. It is a neat little place to go to feed your face if you are on the east side of town. It is out off of I-225 and a little east on Exposition.

Sunday, we had a party to go to for someone from Kathi's work. The food and munchies were really good and I got to meet some new people. And seeing as it was near Fort Logan, we made our trip to Fort Logan at that time. I think it is better to go a day early because the crowds are a lot thinner and you don't feel like you are being rushed. It was a lot easier to find a place to park, so we didn't have to walk miles to get to a loved one's resting place.

Fort Logan, as always, was beautiful, with all the little flags blowing gently in the breeze. We spent time at my grandfather's (Pappy) site. He is on a little hill facing south. Then we went to my nephew's (Grant) site and spent some time there. I wish I would have had a little bottle of Hennessey whiskey. We could have had a little drink together. I'll catch him next time I go there. Then we went to visit Kathi's dad, and we spent some time there also. He and my nephew are in the same area. 'Course, we cried some and remembered stories of them. It was a nice way to end a Sunday.

Monday, we slept in just a little, did some errands, and pretty much hung around the house. Later on we had bowling. Kathi's team did not do too well. And the team I am on? Well, we won three games. YAY! But not by a whole lot. We just squeaked by, kinda quiet-like. After bowling, we went to Denny's for a bite to eat. While there, I got a phone call from a friend of mine from high school (Joe). He was with me when I got busted years ago in my youth for riding a Big Wheel through Red Rocks Park. But that is a story for another time.

So our weekend was pretty much, nice and peaceful.

I hope that the rest of you all had a good weekend and didn't over do it on Bar B Q!