Thursday, September 27, 2007

What A Week !!

This has been one hell of a week - work is kicking my butt !! I would like to hit Alt/Control/Delete - close it down and start over fresh !!

So ... last night was the season premier of Private Practice and tonight Grey's Anatomy.

I.don' !!

A bit disappointed - yet willing to give them another shot.

* Addison does a C-section without anesthesia and not in a hospital -

* Izzy saved a deer - shock paddles and all -

* A man was in an accident that left his brain severed from his spine - and he lives!

* A lunatic with a messed up knee gets a perforated stomach because he swallowed scissors (and clips and money and cotton balls, etc) -

* A woman has her arm severed but gives birth during the surgery -

All very bizarre ....

What do you think ??

Do any of these even vaguely resemble real life ??

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun Monday # 12 - Favorite Recipe(s)

Lisa - The Food Snob is the gracious host this week. Her challenge is:

I want to see your favorite recipe, be it either because your grandmother wrote it, it's the easiest thing you can slap together that everyone likes, it makes you feel healthy, it's cheap, etc. You don't have to make it (although you could if you want) but let us see the index card, cookbook, printed paper from the web, and why it's a favorite in your house. If you have a lot, just pick one, I know I'll have to!

This is a favorite of my boys. In the fall/winter, they call me to see when I am going to make a batch - then they stop by to pick up some to take home. Neither one of their spouses will make them for them - nobody can do it like Mom !!

Cowboy Beans

2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion (chopped)
1 (16 oz) can pork and beans
1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans
1 (16 oz) can Great Northern beans
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup catsup
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. white vinegar

In a medium skillet, brown ground beef and onion. Put the mixture in a slow cooker (crock pot). Add remaining ingredients and mix well (do not drain the beans). Let simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours on low. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

For my boys, the servings are cut in half, well ... because they like it and eat a larger than normal serving. We like to fix corn bread to go with it.

I got this recipe from my Mother when I left home. As you can see from the recipe card, it has been around a while and used many times. My kids like them, I like them, my siblings like them and even my ex-husband has asked me to make them (I gave him the recipe and told him to do it himself!!). It is a must around the holidays and any time there is a family gathering. They are easy to make and very tasty.

No Bake Cookies

Mix together in a sauce pan:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 lb. butter (1 stick)
4 Tbsp. cocoa

Bring to a full boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter. Blend well, stir in 2 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal. Spoon onto waxed paper and let cool.

I get lazy and spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, let cool, then cut into squares.

Make sure you go and visit Lisa to see what others show as their favorites. Then, make plans to try them all before the year is over !! (I will)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fun Monday # 11 - Home is Where the Art Is

Sayre of Sayre Smiles is the host for Fun Monday this week.

Her assignment is: Brush off your interview skills. Talk to everyone who lives in your house. I want to know what their, and your, favorite piece of art is in your home. Photographs do not count. If there was a fire in your home, everyone would grab photographs, but what is the non-photographic piece of art you would grab on your way out - and why? (Edit: These don't have to be paintings - these can be wall hangings, statues, lumps of clay by your child, anything that is artistic expression of some kind EXCEPT photographs.)

Since I live alone, I had no one to interview!! If there was a fire in my home, other than the photographs (they are a must), I would grab my camera, at least one of the paintings/drawings that a dear friend of mine did for me and most importantly (after the camera), I would grab the two hand plaster casts that hang on the wall on the landing. These were Mother's Day gifts from each of my boys when they were in kindergarten. (They had the same teacher). Imagine a foam meat tray filled with wet plaster and a wee little child sticking his hand into it. When it dried - the end result is what is hanging on the wall. One was done in 1981 and the other in 1983. Like the Master Card advertisement - these are priceless !!

Be sure to go visit Sayre and check out what everyone else would grab.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Flag That Doesn't Fly

Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB. Check out the dimensions of the flag.

The Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars, comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants, with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Freedom Walk Pictures

As promised, here are pictures from the Freedom Walk

Waiting to start the walk.

Look up on the roof ... passing the Lincoln Memorial

Approaching Memorial Bridge

Not the most flattering picture, but ... I was there !!

We passed the new Air Force Memorial on the way to the Pentagon

The first glimpses of the Pentagon and the flag. In the foreground is the construction site of the America's Heroes Memorial. You are not able to take pictures of the Pentagon close up (security reasons, they say) so they are from afar. From the street, it is heavily guarded, hence the iron security fence.

Following the attack on September 11, 2001, several rescue workers and military members hung an American flag from the top of the Pentagon's damaged western wall, to show the world that we were far from beaten. That same flag has been displayed each year during the week leading up to the anniversary.

In 2002, on September 11th, in front of a completely rebuilt western wall, a ceremony was held to remember those who were killed in the attack. A piece of limestone, taken from the original wall, now covers a dedication capsule containing objects memorializing those that lost their lives. (This is the only thing you are allowed to take a picture of when you are right up close to the Pentagon).

America's Heroes Memorial:
This memorial commemorates 184 victims of the terrorist attack. The two panels on either side of the opening depict the medals awarded to the military and civilian casualties. The panel on the left depicts the Purple Heart medal, awarded to military members injured or killed during a time of conflict. The right panel depicts the Defense of Freedom medal, which was created in the aftermath of September 11 as a civilian counterpart to the Purple Heart. The back panels of the memorial list the names of the 184 innocent victims killed in the attack.

This is the flag that covered the casket of remains which was buried at Arlington Cemetery.

This is one of the stained glass windows inside the actual chapel.

I "snuck" this picture (I am surprised that I actually captured what I was trying to take a picture of). If the tour guide (a rather young Navy soldier who told us that he was in 9th gym class the morning of the attack) would have caught me taking this picture - he would have taken my camera !!

Directly in front of the western wall of the Pentagon is the area that will become the permanent site of the September 11th Outdoor Memorial. At the heart of the memorial will be 184 illuminated benches, arranged according to the victim's ages, from 3 to 71, in a landscaped 1.93 acre plot. The benches for those who were in the Pentagon will be facing in that direction. The benches for those who were on the planes will be facing the sky. There will be fountain pools at each bench.

On the way back home, I spotted this sign on the Metro:

It says:
Escalump ( person who becomes a human speed bump by suddenly stopping at the top or bottom of Metro escalator.

I thought is was a great play on words.

And lastly, here is the fine artwork of the DC ambulance attendant

If the area above my kneecap looks huge ... IT'S BECAUSE IT WAS !!

After I got home, I took a soaking bath to make sure my wounds were clean and took it easy (with my leg elevated)for the rest of the day. On Monday,the swelling had gone down a lot, but I went to the doctor just to make sure I hadn't broken or cracked anything - I hadn't. My knee is just badly bruised (along with the majority of the rest of my leg down to the ankle). I am walking fine with little or no pain. Just don't bump into me - I.wouldn' happy.camper if you did !!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's Been Six Years ... Freedom Walk

Today is September 11, 2007. It has been six years. How I do remember that day... in 2001.

The sky was a brilliant blue and there wasn't a cloud in sight. It was quiet and peaceful. The ride into work that Tuesday morning was a smooth one UNTIL I was minutes away from my destination and the news came over the radio that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in NY. I thought "What?". I parked my car and went into work. People were milling around and everyone was talking in a low tone. Then an announcement came over the speakers that a second plane has just crashed into the other tower. All hell broke loose - chaos was everywhere (I work for a Defense Contractor company). The management was scrambling to find TVs to bring out and turn on (we only used them for training usually). Eventually, a few were located and they actually had to run "homemade antennas" out into the parking lot because the reception was not very good. Nothing was getting done - everyone was trying to find out what was going on. A bunch of us went out to the parking lot for a change of scenery (and so the smokers could light one up!) It was eerily quiet. Then we heard a loud noise that just echoed through the air. We all went inside shortly after seeing a bunch of planes go over our building. I worked very close to an airfield that is on an Army base. We got inside and were told that a plane had just crashed into the Pentagon. I worked about 11 miles south of the Pentagon. The noise we had just heard was the impact of the plane crashing into the building. I will NEVER forget that sound. It wasn't extremely loud, just very pronounced at an otherwise hushed moment.

The phones weren't working very well (hit or miss when trying to dial out) and cell phone reception was just about non-existent. Both of my boys worked in Arlington at the time and I spent hours trying to get through to their job. Finally, I spoke to one of them and then I felt OK. They were both OK. They heard the roar of the plane flying real low - they heard the impact and felt the earth shake. They weren't in the path of the plane, but pretty damn close to it.

I had moved into my townhouse on September 8, 2001. Just 3 days before the world changed forever. As I got home that evening, I thought to myself "Please God, don't let anything else happen today. I want to live in my new house at least a month before tragedy strikes again. I live less than 25 miles from the Pentagon. Flight 93 was rumored to have been headed to either the White House or the Capitol. No one knew if the terrorist attacks were going to continue. Thank God, there weren't any more BAD planes in the skies for the rest of that day.

Sunday, September 9, 2007 Freedom Walk sponsored by America Supports You

I gave up my opportunity to sleep in on Sunday morning and instead got up before the sun came up. My neighbor and I left at 7AM and headed up the road to catch the Metro into DC to participate in the third annual Freedom Walk. The Freedom Walk honors the victims of September 11, provides an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms, and pays tribute to our veterans, past and present. The Freedom Walk in Washington, DC begun at the Lincoln Memorial and continued over the Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon crash site.

My neighbor and I got off the Metro at the Foggy Bottom station which comes up into the campus of George Washington University. From there we had to walk six blocks down to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. My neighbor and I are bebopping down the sidewalk, just chatting away and I hear a woman say "Are you OK?" I am wondering - who is she talking to - and in what seemed like slow motion, I hit the ground - left knee and right palm - with a thud! DUH - she was talking to me as she saw me start to lunge forward and because it happened so quickly, I didn't realize I was falling. I got right up and brushed myself off and looked behind me. The sidewalk had sunken in and the corner of it was sticking up off the ground about 4 inches. I evidently stepped right on it and then was propelled forward - looking much like Superman (I am told) flying through the air!! Being a bit embarrassed (lots of folks walking behind us), I just got up and kept on walking. We got down to the Mall and picked up our t-shirts and proceeded to head towards the starting point. (I have pictures of the Freedom Walk, but can't post them at the moment because I am not at home and this computer doesn't have a slot for my kind of memory card!!)( I am dog-sitting for SJ's in-laws because they all are headed for Hawaii in the morning)

Anyways, back to the walk ...I looked at Kit and said "I think blood is running down my leg". I looked down and sure enough the knee area of my capris is soaked with blood. Kit freaks out and goes up to a police officer and asks if there is a first aid station close by. He didn't know but went over to some others that were around and then directs us to go down along the Reflecting Pool and there should be one next to the port-a-potties. Off we go - we get down there and see a DC ambulance. That's the first aid station! We wrap on the window to wake up the two guys in it and they direct me to enter the door on the side. The nice lady inside cleans up my knee (and hand), asks me when was the last time I had a tetanus shot (hell if I know) and tells me that I did a good job. Multiple puncture wounds and it looks pretty deep. Probably needs a stitch or two but she can't tell me that I need them (HUH?). She pulls out numerous gauze pads and folds them over in half and tapes them to my knee using what seems like the entire roll of tape. I tell her Thank You and I climb out. Off to the starting area, we go - to wait.

We listened to the opening speeches, a military band played and a woman sang an incredible rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and then observe a moment of silence. Thousands and thousands of people gathered there and you could have heard a pin drop. Family members of the victims lined up behind the Honor Guard and the walk started at 9:15. We walked to and then across the Memorial Bridge and down the street towards the Pentagon. As we rounded that last bend, you caught glimpse of the huge flag hanging off the side of the Pentagon just to the right of the crash site. Even though I was feeling a little pain in my knee, this was the sight that I had to see on this day. The closer we got, the quieter it got ... and all the horrible sights of that day come back to you in an instant. Tears well up in your eyes ... you stop and say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives that day ... then continue on.

As we entered the parking lot to the Pentagon, we were handed a card that said "THANK YOU for participating in the America Supports You Freedom Walk." I stuck around for a while so I could take the tour of the Memorial Chapel that was built inside the Pentagon at the crash site. It was awesome. I got to see the blackened stone up close and personal. I got to see the construction site of the America's Heroes Memorial.

I will continue this post in a day or so when I have access to my pictures. The pictures make what I have just told you about the Walk so much more realistic.

On the news this evening they were broadcasting part of some one's speech at a memorial service. I can't remember who he was or where he was, but part of what he said has stayed in my mind all evening. "Today, we can not hug our loved ones, so we must ask God to do it for us."

Late this afternoon, I watched Oprah - The Children of September 11. Needless to say, there were tears streaming down my cheeks by the time the show had ended.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Fun Monday # 10 - Good Deeds

The host this week is Nikki and her assignment is:

We've seen your shelves, peeked inside your cabinets, looked at what your house looks like in both the summer and winter, viewed at some of our handmade pieces and even talked about our best friends. Now it's time we do something. Have you ever had someone out of the goodness of their heart do something for you without anything asked in return? Offered you money when you needed it the most? Helped you change a flat tire in the pouring rain or even just simply held the door open for you when you had your hands full? For Monday, September 10th, we are challenged with doing a good deed. I am not looking for a story of when you have offered your help in the past, I actually want you in the next two weeks to go out and help someone. Go visit a nursing home, cook dinner for someone sick or with a new baby, donate to a charity or even send just a "thinking of you card" to someone who needs it. It doesn't matter what your good deed is, or how great it is. It just needs to help someone!

I didn't go out of my way to do a special deed in the past two weeks - these are just things that I normally do (but they did take place during this time span).

First: my lawn mower decided to die on me, so I borrowed my neighbor's. Since I was out there cutting my grass ... I cut hers too! I have done this in the past with my own lawn mower ...I figure, what the hell? Why should two people get hot and sweaty when only one has too ! We live in townhouses, and hers is an interior unit so her lawn isn't that large - I just pretend that it is a part of mine and go for it.

Second: On Labor Day, I made the trek up the road and stuck out my arm to donate blood. It took 3 hours because there were so many donors, but I hung around until it was my turn and gave my 51st pint. If you have read any of my past posts, you would see that I donate on a regular basis, so this good deed is routine for me.

Thirdly: I have an elderly neighbor that walks across the street over to my porch with her little dog EACH.AND.EVERY.SINGLE.EVENING, just to chat for a few minutes. She never has much to say ... usually she just complains about something in the neighborhood (she is at home all day). I dread the doorbell - Ding Dong, Ding Dong - she always rings it twice, but go out and sit with her anyways. It keeps me from doing the little things that I need to do when I get home from work - but what is a few minutes if it makes her happy? I only hope that when I get old and lonely, someone will take the time to do the same for me.

Lastly (for this little exercise): I ordered something on-line for my youngest sister - Just because I COULD !

Because WE ALL are such nice people, stop by and visit Antics of a Crazy Mom to see all of the good deeds we have done in the past few weeks.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

September Saturday Silliness

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Got a iPOD?

Today feels like Monday - but it's Tuesday !!

AND I'm tired !!

I managed to drag myself to the grocery store. When checking out, I received a coupon for 25 FREE SONGS for your iPOD or any MP3 player.

One problem, I DON'T HAVE an iPOD!!

I hate it when free things go to waste ....

UPDATED: (on Wed. evening) After a closer look at the coupon, you have to sign up for emusic and the offer is for a 100% risk free 14 day trial period. If you can remember to cancel after the 14 days, you get to keep the music and that's the end of it. If you don't, you have signed up for emusic and there is a cost. It says cancel anytime and keep the music. Choose from over 2.7 million songs.

If anyone still wants it - let me know and I can send it to you.