Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Recycled Christmas Carol....sort of!

new   Recycled Christmas Carol for the season...

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
The children are still fighting!
They fight when summer days are bright,
They fight when winter snow is white.
No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
The children are still fighting!

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
No Christmas Tree or presents!
How oft at Christmas tide they whine,
O Lord, I need a drink of wine!
No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
No Christmas Tree or presents!

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
Forever children squabbling.
Your voices shout in the daytime.
I’m going deaf, by night time.
No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree
No Christmas Tree or presents!

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree,
Another mess they made today..
Pushed my last button, they have done
I need a cave, to hide away.
No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree
No Christmas Tree or presents!

That is all for now.

(Yes, I stole it from our other blog from last year!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back to it...

After giving thanks last week, it is time now to get back to it.  What is "it" you ask?  It's back to work, for Dave.  It's back to Kansas for my mom.  It's back to school for the Monkeys.  It's back to the bike for both Dave and I.  It's back to the never-ending laundry you know, housework and such.  It's back to my favorite time of the year for cooking and baking--yet trying to keep it healthy too.  Now that can be a struggle!

Back to it, means planning out the winter training on the bike, and looking forward to the 2013 ride schedule.  We will swap rides from this year, with Dave riding the t-shirt rides I did this year, and vice versa.  It also means time to start doing the heavy maintenance on the bikes including new bearings in the wheels, idlers and headsets as needed, swapping out my crankset and BB, swapping cranks around on Dave's bikes and using new BBs as needed, new chains maybe...

Then there is house maintenance--paint, fence repair, reseeding areas, pruning the shrubbery, putting up and taking down the Christmas decorations and lights...and so on.

We also try to "give back" when we can.  We do a bit of work at the local food pantry.  We try to help out at a local dog rescue where we have connections.  Little things maybe, but at least we are now in a position to help, even just a little.

And back to it also means having a bit of fun when we can!  We went to the Al Stewart concert earlier this month.  That was our first date-night in ages!  We do get to ride our bikes which is always enjoyable.  We do get to do some family events with the Cub Scouts.  And we do even get to go to the range on occasion!

I guess "Back To It" is mostly just getting on with life!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Focal point day...

Ever have one of those days where it seems EVERYTHING is happening at the same time?  Well, the other day was one of those for me.

Nov.17 2012 was a Focal Point Day.  I had already been scheduled to ride the Denton Turkey Roll fundraiser ride for the Breakfast Kiwanis.  This was a ride I that had been on my list since Dave had ridden it last year on a horrible windy day.  I planned on doing the 52 mile route, which I knew should take me about 4hrs.

Next, Monkeyboy had a Cub Scout event in the early morning, as a pancake server to help his Pack fundraise for the sponsoring church.  I had to miss that, as I was on the bikeride.  But Dave took the kids over to church and they all ate pancakes...with chocolate chips mixed in!

Meanwhile, out in Golden Colorado, a special event was beginning...the Spyderco Factory Seconds sale!  We obviously could not attend, but I had been able to find a kind soul who WAS going, and who agreed to be a buyer for me.  I emailed them a list of what knives I was looking for, and we agreed on a dollar limit and a payment method.  I had no idea what they would find from my list, if anything, since many folks show up for the sale, and stuff is at such good prices that it all goes FAST!

Regarding the Turkey Roll...I had a nice ride--pleasant temps and light winds with lots of sunshine.  I finished the day with 52mi and a 4hr time +/- a couple minutes.  I did stop to enjoy a post-ride snack, and then I had to get loaded, and drive half an hour or so back to home.

Once home, it was time to shower and get ready for the sitter to arrive, so Dave and I could go to our final event of the day--a concert at a small venue in downtown Dallas.  We had a wonderful time at Poor David's Pub, watching Al Stewart and Dave Nachmanoff play some amazing guitars.  Al was in fine form, and Dave is amazing on a guitar!  I didn't think you could get a 6 string guitar to sound like a Midi keyboard, but he did!  I sure hope they both come back to DFW soon.  It was a great show.  The last time I saw Al Stewart was back in the early-mid 90's, in Kansas City, at the Midland theater, I think!

Traffic was a bear going home though.  You'd think that at 11:30pm, that it would have cleared out, but no....some idiots decided to play bumper tag under the High 5, and we were delayed about 30min.

After finally getting home, paying our sitter and getting ready for bed, I checked email to see if we had heard anything on the Spyderco sale.  YAY!  We scored 4 knives, all from my list of requests.  Check back in on the blog, and there will be some reviews up after I get a chance to play with them all.

Whew!  A long day, well done!  I'll wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and prayers for any of you who are traveling this holiday weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

On being thankful...

With turmoil and chaos all around, I read a blog post somewhere recently that posed the question, "What are you thankful/grateful for?"

Things I am thankful for (in no particular order):

Getting to spend this Thanksgiving with my mother in law
My husband's continued employment
My husband
My husband's family
The State of Texas
My friends
My family
Redeemer PCA
My health
My dogs
My kids
Dave Ramsey
My mom and her friends
My sister & her family
John 3:16 and 1Cor. 15:51-55
Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo gloria

I know there are other things that I am forgetting to mention.Please forgive my forgetfulness.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Leaves for Leontien

If you remember my earlier post of the Iris, in Flowers for Leontien, it seems her friends have started an autumn posting for her to enjoy, of Autumn Leaves.

Bradford Pear
More Bradford Pears

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Camp cooking...cub scout style!

Last weekend our son's cub scout pack had their fall family campout at one of the local Scout Camps.  Great place to camp, and all the scouts and sibs had a blast!  Parents too, though somehow sleeping on a small air mattress isn't as easy or as comfortable as it once was!  Must be that 'getting older' thing!

I decided, a couple campouts ago, that it was a good thing to be on the Food Committee.  It lets me help out, and also to have input into what the big people get to eat.  Since I am feeding a diabetic in the family, input is a good thing! 

Last year, I cobbled together a beef stew at the fall campout, that apparently folks are still remembering fondly.  I was asked if something like it could be done again.  Sure!  Though I did want something more soup-like this time.  Apparently it came out well, as evidenced by the fact that folks polished off at least 5 gallons of it, and I swear I saw some folks coming back for 4ths!

But the best part was teaching a handful of Webelos how to make baked beans tasty!  The Pack often serves up baked beans on campouts, and inevitably, they don't get eaten in quantity.  I hate to see good food wasted, so this time, when the scouts wanted to help make the beans I told them to bring me a few additional ingredients beyond the basic cans of Bush Original beans... Yellow mustard, ketchup and sugar.  They looked at me like I was from another planet!  But they were willing to listen...

One scout put 4 cans of beans into the bean pot.  Then they got to taste the beans before alteration.  Another squirted  'enough' mustard, and a third added 2-3x as much ketchup as mustard.  Yours truly added the sugar.  The beans were then stirred and warmed on the camp stove for a little bit.  Then my helpers were allowed to taste the sauce again.  Wow! I had never seen young boys so ecstatic over a pot of sweet beans before!  The helpers were literally doing the happy dance over the beans!  We then added a little more of everything, and they were served with the hot dogs that the kids were rapidly consuming.

Soon, I heard a cry of "MORE BEANS!" from the serving table.  We whipped up a second batch with the remaining cans of beans, and of course, the secret ingredients!  There were ZERO leftover beans!  I think that is a 'first' for our pack.   There was even one parent who came up later that evening, saying that those were the first beans their son had ever liked.

Now, if there had been any cheap BBQ sauce (think Kraft Original, etc), I would have used that instead of ketchup, but we didn't bring any BBQ sauce.  A rough estimate of the additions to 4 cans of beans was 2T mustard, 4-6T ketchup, and about 1/2c sugar...but start with less, and add until it tastes good.

One final note--this is not something I invented.  This is how my mom taught me to make beans (what we refer to at my house in the South, as Sweet Beans). 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remember, remember

I remember stories from my Dad of growing up in Liverpool in the '30s, and begging a "Penny for the Guy", on a long-ago today...of the bonfires the neighborhoods built at the end of streets, not to burn down the 'hood, or cause destruction, but to burn the effigy, and roast potatoes wrapped up in foil and placed in the coals. 

As long as I can remember, I have known about Nov.5th, at least as it related to English history.  This website, has a good summary of what happened long ago on this day, and what happened to those responsible for the wasn't pretty then, and it isn't pretty now.  But treason never is...

With our own country's elections concluding tomorrow, I know this is a divisive issue.  I only ask that you pray we, as a people, choose thoughtfully and wisely whom we would have lead this country for the next 4 years.

Remember Remember poem
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DeFeet, not just for your toes any more!

Years ago, Dave had introduced me to DeFeet socks.  They do make a nice set of socks, especially for cycling.  I have several pairs--they come in all sorts of interesting designs and colors.  I even have a pair of their wonderfully obnoxious Chili Pepper socks!  Colors so loud as to make your eyes water...I love it!

DeFeet Air-E-Ators in Chili Pepper

Due to the traffic we routinely ride in, we have become huge fans of visibility.  Not wishing to become hood ornaments, we now tend to favor anything to improve our visibility, from DiNotte lights, to 3M SOLAS tape, Glo-Gloves, to Illuminite leg warmers for night riding. 

So imagine our mutual surprise when Dave stumbled across DeFeet Arm Warmers.  Not only a basic pair of arm warmers for that chilly riding weather that passes for winter in DFW, but really LOUD arm warmers!

2 pair were promptly ordered, of course in Neon Headache Hi-Viz Tennisball Green.  The picture on the DeFeet website truly does not render the color well, or at least our monitor fails miserably to do it justice.  These things are LOUD!  Stare at it too long, and I bet you will get a headache...

DeFeet Neon Arm Warmers

These DeFeets are different that my old pair of white arm warmers in that they have a wrist cuff like a long sleeve shirt would, and NO rubbery spandex stuff at the top that other warmers use to hold them in place.  Initially I was concerned the DeFeets would slide down with out the grippy stuff.  I didn't need to worry however.  These warmers stay put!  No sliding or slippage, and no pinching either!  The fabric does a great job of blocking wind, and seems to breathe well too.  I'm sold on 'em now.