Sunday, November 29, 2009

Local News & UFO Sightings


It seems there have been an explosion of UFO sightings here in Nevada. Our local news did a segment on it the other night. They appear to be mostly sighted around mines (Nevada has some really big mining operations), and energy producing sites. I might add that the mines use tremendous amounts of energy.

The segment mentioned an organization that is dedicated to the scientific study of UFO sightings, and has as members people from the scientific community as well as NASA. It has people located here to monitor them. I went to the MUFON website and found it interesting.

Whether you believe in UFOs, or not, I find it interesting that more have been sighted in Nevada over the last three months.

What does it mean? I have no idea. It could very well mean that the military is working on a new toy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Feeling Grateful



This has been a tough year. For so many. And while I was lying in bed this morning, thinking of all the things I had to do today, I took some time to feel grateful for having these things to do. I had to wonder how many people in our country would not have a Thanksgiving dinner, let alone worry about every detail being perfect. And what about the world -

So I decided to be grateful, truly grateful that I have a family. I may not always get along with my sibs, but I love each and every one. Even if one of them is the polar opposite of me, politically. He is my little brother (age 50), and is genetically my "full" brother. We lost our mother to breast cancer when I was six and he was six months old. We have always been close - until W and The Rogue. My other sister and brother are "half" siblings, but we have never thought of ourselves as "half." We are whole in so many ways.

Thanksgiving is the time that is reserved mostly for the four of us and our families. All other get-togethers usually include friends and extended family. I find it is a good time for us. We talk with each other, revel in our children, laugh, heal our wounds. We have one rule in our family and that is that everyone is invited to Thanksgiving. Our family doesn't leave anyone out, no matter how obnoxious they have been during the year. Hurts and misunderstandings heal over turkey and stuffing, we have found.

So I will cook all day, make sure the house is beautiful for my little girl, who arrives tomorrow. Fresh flowers in her bathroom and bedroom. I will hug and kiss my nieces and nephews and play with their children. I will cook like crazy, loving every minute of it, then try to finagle some time with my daughter when her friends start to call. I will be grateful for this moment in time. No one is sick, we have enough food, shelter, and plenty of love. Life is good.

What are your plans? I hope you have a wonderful day, and for my international friends - hope you have a great day, too, even if you aren't stuffing yourself!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Men Who Stare At Goats


We went to see this movie yesterday. It had George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Ewan MacGregor, and Jeff Bridges. All actors that I enjoy. I think what made watching the movie fun was first reading a special post that Linda Pendleton did a while ago. Go here to read about psychic spies - which is what this movie was based on. It was a special unit known as Stargate. She included a video of an interview with Joseph McMoneagle, who was known as Remote Viewer #1.

This movie was worth watching. It was funny and worth the price of admission.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And The Pursuit Of Happiness...


I loved last month's Maira Kalman, especially considering the bill before Congress regarding health care.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We just never know...


We never really know what's going on in people's lives, do we?

Our neighborhood grocery store has decided to be uber-friendly. You can't walk through the store without being greeted several times. It gets annoying, actually, especially for someone like me who is trying to remember exactly what they came for. But yesterday as our groceries were being bagged, I noticed that the lady who was doing the bagging was not friendly even a little bit. In fact, she kept her head down, and when she had to look up, did not acknowledge my husband or myself. In this particular store, it seemed odd. Then I noticed that she seemed sad. Her mouth was turned down and her eyes appeared tense.

We really don't know what's going on in people's lives during this difficult time in our country's history. We do know that more people are going hungry, houses are being foreclosed on people with good credit histories, jobs are continuing to be lost every day. Nevada, the state in which I live, is number two in the race to be hardest hit. This lady, who is Latina, is part of a group often in the bottom tier economically. One can only guess why she did not feel like smiling or greeting, deciding instead to just get through her day.

It was a reminder to be kind to all those that cross my path, whether they reciprocate or not. To have patience, even when people are being impatient. And to be extra vigilant, giving to food banks, and charitable organizations whenever possible.

We just never know what people are going through, do we?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Purse shopping+husband = :-(


One of the very odd things about early "retirement" is that your husband comes with you when you go shopping. He would rather have pulled out his last hairs, by the roots, than join me on a shopping trip a year ago. He simply would have refused. His time was very precious to him back then.

I have a birthday coming up, and he kindly asked me what I would like, or what I would like to do for my birthday. I informed him that I wanted nothing more than a new purse this year. This sounded great to him. No worrying about the right size, color, or object for that matter. Just go buy a purse! Yay, he thought.

Macy's had a big sale today, so off we went to check out what they had to offer. Driving down to Reno from Lake Tahoe, we ran one errand and decided to split up - with me going to Macy's and him to REI, Lowes, and some other male-loved retailer. He asked when he should pick me up and I mentioned we needed to pick up my yarn that was being wound into balls by 5:00 - which gave us three hours. What!? His face registers extreme alarm! He was thinking a half hour! One hour at the most!

Needless to say, I had to set him straight.

A word of advice to my male blogging friends - if your wife, mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or grandmother says she needs to go bag shopping - be prepared. Do not try and rush her! You will only cause her to purchase one that will not do in the end, and only cause you another trip. So find someplace to settle, grab a snack, play with your I-Phone, bring your book along, whatever. But do not rush her!

It needs to be the right color for the season, it must hang the perfect distance from shoulder and fit snugly under her arm. Too high won't do - too uncomfortable - too low won't do - too uncomfortable. It must have the right and perfect opening - wide or narrow - it is a personal choice. Then it must have the right zippers, pocket for cell phone, additional inside pockets, and sturdy magnetic closures or other fun accessories. It requires that she do a pass through to see what is available. Then another pass to gather a few to take to the counter. Then she has to take everything out of her purse and put it into the new possibilities. Just to see how it hangs, how heavy it is, and what it looks like when she is carrying it. This is done with the saleslady urging her to buy the more expensive of the two or three. Which of course requires that she discuss this with other women standing nearby, who are engaged in the same activity. Comments and advice are appreciated, and exchanged.

You get the picture.

No, not to be done in half an hour. Not to be done in one hour. But less than three.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's happening?


My grandson, age 23 months, always asks "what happen?" It's his baby way of asking what's going on? Lately I've been wondering the same thing.

I'm in one of those intense research modes. Sort of like studying for a very difficult class that has copious reading material. You remember those classes? Three giant text books and several books the professor wanted you to read in addition to the required reading? Or you have a giant project due at work that requires great concentration and coordination. But you keep reading other things that you know you shouldn't, and you are not getting your work done. Too many interesting things keep getting in the way.

Well that's sort of where I am right now.

I received two giant boxes of books from Amazon. I have a list for the library. I keep finding stuff that I want to explore on the internet and other blogs. I feel the need to go in a certain direction, but keep getting distracted. I feel like time is going past very quickly, and I need to be prepared. There is definitely "time anxiety." But for what?

What's happening?

Do you ever get like this?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Going Veggie, well mostly...

(Veggie "chicken")

Considering the latest information on meat and health, we have been cutting down on our consumption of meat. Trying to eat a mostly plant-based diet hasn't been an easy transition. Since there now is a correlation between cancer and eating meat, and not just red meat, I am making a decent attempt, however. I am quickly entering the second half of my 50's, and with a family that seems to have cancer as a nasty companion, I'm looking for some alternatives to our beloved recipes.

My husband is a reluctant traveler along this road. He loves meat! All kinds - usually half raw. So this has been a bigger transition for him. We are not complete vegetarians. But we are working on eating less of it. Factory farming is the main reason, but also environmental factors that can no longer be ignored. We need to find alternatives.

Enter Quron. It is a company that makes very good vegetable-protein products - not soy products. It's main ingredient is "mycoprotein (“myco” is Greek for “fungi”). The mycoprotein comes from Fusarium venenatum, which was originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire, England. In the late 1960s, initial product development began, soon recognizing mycoprotein’s potential as an efficient and nutritious protein source." In other words, mushrooms.

The end result is some tasty products. I really don't care for the soy-based meatless products. We have tried several. (Sorry, but Tofurkey doesn't taste much like the real thing.)

My vegetarian daughter is visiting for Thanksgiving and I really want her to enjoy the meal. It will probably include turkey because other family members would feel cheated without it. (Although the vision of Sarah Paylin blithely yammering away while all those turkeys lost their heads behind her has ruined my taste for turkey. Permanently.)

I made tacos the other night with their "hamburger" crumbles, and after adding the taco seasoning you could not tell the difference between what was in the pan, and ground beef. My husband helped himself to only a tiny little spoonful for his first taco, but came back three times and filled the shell with the "meat" after that. If he likes it - believe me, it must taste very close to the real thing. I think the key is to add it to the end of a recipe, not at the beginning. It does better with less cooking.

If anyone has any tips or products that we should know about, please leave a comment. Good Cook did a great post on E-Coli and alternatives to factory-farmed animals. There are farmers out there that believe in raising animals in a humane way for consumption. Although when visiting the website for Heritage Foods I found choosing a chicken that still had it's feathers made it a little more difficult for someone used to seeing her chicken nicely packaged in the grocery store. Which makes a strong statement in itself. BTW - has anyone else been creeped out by that commercial that has the turkey carcase being chased through the grocery store?

We are doing our best to stay healthy, eat more plant-based foods, exercise, etc. But the bottom line - food has to taste good. Food preparation is very important to me, and I am not going to stop cooking great food now. Fortunately, some wonderful chefs are jumping on the veggie bandwagon and some really incredible food is the end result. It think it's finally catching on. We had a Reuben sandwich at Vita Cafe on Alberta while in Portland this week that rivaled any that I've had. You had your choice between "turkey" that they made in their restaurant, or tempeh. I chose their "turkey" and it was delicious.

What about you? Any dietary changes?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Under a two-year-old thumb!

("Peace" from a two-year old.)

Two year-olds rule, there is no doubt about it. I had forgotten the power they wield. From daylight to bedtime the day revolves around my grandson. It's been twenty years since I've spent 24/7 with this particular age group. Bedtime has never felt so good! Ha.

And why is it, exactly, they seem to get more energy the more tired they get?

Of course all the incredibly cute and ridiculously funny things they do and say more than makes up for dragging tails at the end of the day.

I am helping my oldest daughter get settled in her new home. It has been a house with only one male this last week. This tiny male is an exacting supervisor. My daughter and I have missed his father and grandfather more than once in the last week. What is it about something that is put away being an attraction to take back out? We all know what it's like to move and finally get something put away, knowing you have 80 more boxes right behind that one. Naturally, this is very interesting to my grandson, who feels the need to take it back out to examine, only to abandon said objects in a heap, once he has satisfied himself that it is safe for his mom or grandma to come along behind him.

Pizza for breakfast, and late nights not-with-standing, I wouldn't miss the opportunity to be of service. It feels good to be needed, really needed, once your children are grown. It's that time between needing, and being of service, that is so good for the soul. I tend to take it for granted, sometimes. I've reminded myself that it might not always be this way. It may have been that remark my daughter made about me never dying, that she needed me to be here, that I realized that it wasn't always going to be so. I won't always be here. I won't always be strong enough to chase a two-year-old, 24/7. All things pass.

But for now, I am going to be grateful for the opportunity to feel needed. A simple thing, really. And it's the simple things that I'm paying attention to lately.

And also that only young women have babies.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane..


Okay, so it's not a private jet plane!

I'm off to help my daughter move. This is the crazy season for her husband, so he is on the run, and she is also moving at her job. My youngest also moved in the last week, and I have heard from her several times, unusual to say the least. Could it be? Am I needed?

Last I heard oldest daughter didn't have Internet yet. Geeze, withdrawals.

But I will have my little guy to chase, and a two-year-old moves pretty fast!

I'm not the only one...

(My kitchen last October.)

This article was interesting to me because of the lessons learned. This women tells the story of a remodel that did in her marriage. Having just gone through a complete remodel, I could relate to much of what they went through. It also highlighted the differences between some men and women when it comes to dealing with stressful situations.

But it was the last sentence that caught my eye...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Face Lift


I continue to be amazed and entertained by all the beautiful blogs that I visit. Like someone who crawls into their old car after new car shopping, I am comfortable with my blog, but it feels dowdy. One of the reasons that I became hooked on blogging? Because I was continually amazed at how creative people were with their blogs. Not only in the content of their posts, but also in the way they looked.

I have had people offer to give me a makeover for free, but not knowing them I have hesitated to do so. All those dire warnings about incorporating viruses with widgets has me spooked. So, I ask you, what do you think I should do? Give it a major makeover, or just incorporate a few widgets? Maybe a new header? Or just leave it be and concentrate on my writing?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Biggest Fear


I think we all have a fear of something. Whether or not we have ever experienced it makes no difference. Somewhere in my life, or lives if you believe in reincarnation, I was trapped in a submerged car. As far as I know it must have been a dream, but the fear itself, is very real. I have had it for my entire life. This, living in the desert for most of those years. But even deserts have lakes, rivers, ponds, irrigation ditches, etc.

We were living in Minneapolis when the bridge collapsed and the ensuing disaster held the news for many months. Recently three young college students lost their lives after going into a farmer's holding pond during a night of stargazing in North Dakota. It can happen anywhere, drainage ditches are in every state. My family goes over bridges daily in Portland, Oregon, and I have gifted "hammers of life" to all of them. So please take just a moment of your time and read this.

You might want to pass it on to all those that you love, as well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Labeling Your Posts


Do you label your posts? You know that little box at the bottom that says "Labels for this post:"
Well, for some strange reason I decided early on that I wouldn't trouble myself with that little doohickey. Just a bother, I thought. Now I wish I had done it from the very beginning. I'm having to go back over 300 posts to make it easy to retrieve information.

Take a bit of advice - if you haven't already, then start labeling your posts. You never know when you might want to take a peek at what you've already written on a certain subject. If only not to contradict yourself! Ha

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fondue



We went out to dinner with friends last night to a local restaurant that serves fondue. If you have never had this fun meal, trust me - it's ideal for a cold winter night when you want to extend the meal to include plenty of wine and conversation. This particular dinner included both the cheese and the hot oil pot. It had a very cool butane burner that I finally found through Amazon.com which keeps the oil nice and hot. Much better than sterno. I've added it to my "wish list":


We have always had fondue for New Year's Eve. We never enjoyed the forced feeling of frivolity, preferring to stay home and have a nice fondue dinner in front of the fire. We start with a toast of champagne, and open a really good bottle of red to follow.


This year we have offered to babysit our grandson so our daughter and son-in-law can go out. I wonder if they will eventually decide to stay home as well. It is a great time to look over the past year and decide what worked, what didn't, and where you would like to go in the new year. At any rate, fondue is a fun way to spend an evening.