Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Must Have Items!

The holiday give me buzz now begins even before the giving of thanks ends. It starts earlier every year. Retailers can no longer wait until Friday at 5am to start collecting our Christmas cash and are now open on Thanksgiving. Some are incredibly thoughtful and do not open their doors until midnight. How kind of them to wait. I am sure their employees appreciate that gesture. I guess a big chunk of the blame has to be placed on the consumer who willingly spends their day of thanks strategically planning their score of the must have items. Gratitude, thoughtfulness, and family are thrown aside for the selfish pursuit of the latest and greatest gadgets at the lowest price of the season.

What are your “must have” items? There might have been a time in my life when it included the state of the art video game Pong or Barry Manilow’s album featuring the hit song Mandy – and now you know how old I am – but thankfully I have grown up. My wish list can’t be purchased. Some of it may not even be attainable but that doesn’t stop it from being included in my daily prayers. 

First on my list would be to open my door and find my prodigal had returned home. 

I would want for the health of my dad – who loves to piddle in his yard – to be restored and for him to be able to enjoy cutting his lawn again.

For my son whose “happily ever after” ended heartbreakingly, I would want him to be able to trust when love came knocking at his door again. 

For my generous and giving daughter who is just the cutest mom to my adorable grandson, I wish for her to be blessed with another child. (And for the record, her hubby is a pretty cute dad as well!) 

I would love for my daughter who would never ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings to find a mate that would deserve her kindness – without ever having to go on another blind date!

For my 6’2” son who would love to grow to be 6’8” and have a career in the NBA, I hope he will be perfectly content with the life God wants him to have.

For those whose list include a big screen television or the iPhone (insert current number), I am not sure if I envy or pity those people. Maybe they have been fortunate and have escaped the kind of heartache that causes deep reflection about the priorities of their life. And yet isn’t that what makes us kind and compassionate human beings. I will gladly take the sorrow that accompanies my “grown-up” wish list because I would much rather be surrounded by family than amongst a group of strangers fighting over a PlayStation 3 at Wal-Mart any day of the week. Health, happiness, family, faith, and love should be everyone’s must have items this and every holiday season.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kick the Can :)

I grew up living on a cul-de-sac. I think if every house was on one, we would have less people joining gangs and serving time in jail. There just is something about being able to walk out your front door and have your very own baseball field on your street. The kids in my neighborhood would gather in the middle of our circle and organize kick soccer, hide-n-seek, and red rover all without ever having to send a single text. My absolute favorite game to play was kick the can. We would play it for hours on a long summer night. My parents did not really need to worry about our safety, and we enjoyed doing what kids should be doing – running around outside.  

Today I am offering a suggestion to kick the can for the environment and quite possibly your waist line too. If you have ever opened a can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup and wished you had a less fatty alternative, well I have it and am willing to share. 

Cream of Chicken Soup Base

2 2/3 cups nonfat powdered milk
1 1/2 cups flour
6 Tablespoons chicken soup base
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup butter

Mix all dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Store in refrigerator.
Mix 3/4 cup soup base with 1 1/2 cups water. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
Use in place of a can of cream of chicken soup in your favorite recipes.

Author’s Note: Being as this blog was not created with political intentions, and since too many posts have been directly related to politics recently, I was writing simply about a recipe to improve health and the environment. However, when I typed “kick the can” into Google search today, in order to find a cute illustration to accompany my post, the result offered some rather funny political cartoons, and because I am weak, I just could not resist. So, if you are tired of politics, you have my permission to skip the following cartoon. And we will still be friends. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Notes

I love doing Sudoku puzzles. When my son recently brought one home for extra credit, I was all too happy to help. A logic puzzle came home the next day, and I was in heaven once again. I spent a little too much time helping on that one. If you love them like I do, but feel a little guilty spending time on such frivolous things when world peace is so elusive, I have a solution. Here are a couple puzzles that not only tease your brain but will enlighten your mind on political knowledge and government spending.

 Political Puzzler

Nancy, whose last name is not Rockefeller but Pelosi, beams brightly at just the prospect of spending more tax payer money for bailouts, stimulus, and entitlements.

Candidate B, who won’t release his birth certificate, college transcripts, or his love letters to Bill Ayers, makes an issue out of Candidate M’s refusal to release all of his tax returns, Swiss bank accounts, binders of woman, and bubble gum money.

Romney, whose first name is Willard and not Mitt, is positively a Mormon. Obama, whose middle name is not Washington, Adams, or Jefferson but Hussein, is definitely not a Muslim. 

Reid, whose first name is not Mitt but Harry, is also a Mormon, but seems @%#* mad at the other Mormon for giving Mormon’s a bad name, paying absolutely no taxes, and I believe owning a dog. 

Bill, whose last name is Clinton not O’Reilly, is giddy about the possibility of a President Clinton living at the White House again in four more years. Young female White House interns, who are not elated but scared at the idea, are considering other career options.

Clinton, Hillary and Bill, are both looking for the “binders of women” – each, of course, for entirely different purposes.  

Axelrod, whose first name is David and not Sleazy, favorite word is “he is a liar.” Wait! That is four words. Shoot, now I guess I will be counted among those whose math just doesn’t add up. 

Elementary math, not calculus, states if you spend $4 but only earn $2, you will need to borrow $2 from China. Big Bird, not Wealthy Willard, thinks that’s a good idea. 

1% is the amount of bad guys in the US.

51, not just dollars but $51,883.23, is the amount each person in the U.S. would need to contribute today in order to pay off the 16 TRILLION dollar national debt. 

Wife A, who wears designer clothes, should be ashamed for never having worked a day in her life. Wife M, who spends $500 on altering a $50 Target dress, understands the plight of the common woman. 

Ryan is an elephant. Biden is a jackass. Oh, I mean donkey.

Tax payer A, who owns a little pizza store, might fall off the fiscal cliff when taxes and government mandates and regulations increase. I guess even without voting for the guy with the 99 weeks of unemployment benefit plan, I just might be able to collect. Unfortunately, I am not sure of all the consequences I might "enjoy" from this election.

Sudoku Washington Style








Ryan’s budget



Binders of Women


Michelle’s arms








Axelrod’s mustache




Big Bird



Can’t figure out the Sudoku puzzle? It’s like politics and elections – very bewildering indeed. Despite David Axelrod threatening to shave his mustache, Donald Trump’s big October surprise that wasn’t, the question of whether it is time for Big Bird to grow up and be self-sufficient, and what was the impact of hurricane Sandy, all I know is that every presidential election they claim it could possibly come down to a handful of votes in Ohio. And a whole lot of money is sure spent for those few votes.  After a year of divisiveness, let’s hope our coming together isn't a unified fall off the fiscal cliff. I am sure Nancy Pelosi is currently dreaming of how she can save the day. Oh, heaven help us!