Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros





Hello!  It is me---your very favorite, but always late, Pacific Time Zone, blogger!

Being a procrastinator and participating in memes sometimes is a problem.  I mean, it's only 8:00 pm here in the west,  but I think it's just about midnight in New England...where Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea, is hopefully waiting patiently for her last blogger to post  in  First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros.   That would be me!

Go to sleep now Diane.

But before you drift  off---think of this first sentence-first paragraph:

When I was eighteen, I wrote a magazine article that changed my life.  The piece was called, "An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life."  It was published in the New York Times Magazine with a photograph of me on the cover.  In it, I described growing up in the sixties, expressing a profound sense of world-weariness and alienation.  I spoke of wanting  to move to the country and get away from the world.  "Retirement sounds tempting," I wrote.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I think I will!  The book is  "At Home in the World" by Joyce Maynard, the author of Labor Day (which has just been released as a movie starring Josh Brolin ).    This is a memoir of her life and her affair with JD Salinger when she was 18  (he loved her article, wrote, told her so and they began a correspondence which later evolved into a love affair) and he was 53.
I just love memoirs.  And authors.  And correspondences.  (I am a huge letter writer).    I will read this one very soon  (before the library makes me give it back!)






This is what Goodreads has to say about it:

When it was first published in 1998, At Home in the World set off a furor in the literary world and beyond. Joyce Maynard's memoir broke a silence concerning her relationship--at age eighteen--with the famously reclusive author J.D. Salinger, then age fifty-three, who had read a story she wrote for The New York Times in her freshman year of college and sent her a letter that changed her life.

With what some have viewed as shocking honesty, Maynard explores her coming of age in an alcoholic family, her mother's dream to mold her into a writer, her self-imposed exile from the world of her peers when she left Yale to live with Salinger, and her struggle to reclaim her self of sense in the crushing aftermath of his dismissal of her not long after her nineteenth birthday. A quarter of a century later--having become a writer, survived the end of her marriage and the deaths of her parents, and with an eighteen-year-old daughter of her own--Maynard pays a visit to the man who broke her heart. The story she tells--of the girl she was and the woman she became--is at once devastating, inspiring, and triumphant.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spicy Hermits


I have come across Hermit Cookies off an on over the years, and I've always wanted to make them.   It's just that a highly spiced cookie is not something on my family's 'LOVE'  list.  But yesterday I thought  "to heck with them" and made them anyway.

The Handyman does not like them.  My DIL, Jess, does.   No one else in my family has tried any.  I was thinking of sending one or two, wrapped in plastic wrap, to my grandchildren in their 'pen-pal' letter this week, but I am not so sure that raisins and ginger and molasses will appeal to them either.
Having said that tho, this really is a good cookie.   Soft and chewy and highly spicy.  Like a soft gingersnap.    And yet---different.  Really different from my     Soft and spicy Gingersnaps.      And also very different from my  Soft, Chewy, Molasses Spice Cookie (with orange essence) .
It seems as if I LOVE a spice cookie, as they are coming in 2nd to what kind of cookies I make most often... Chocolate Chip being #1!
Spicy Hermits are an old, old fashioned cookie: a chewy, raisin spice cookie with a sweet glaze.  A New England specialty.  So, they are kind of a regional thing, I guess.    I've just always wanted to try them.   I like them.  And they are really easy to make---just a couple of steps and then roll them into a log  (which looks pretty gross), bake them, drizzle glaze and then cut them into bars.   I've  looked on the internet and in Canada they use dates also, which I think would be very good.   I might try that next time.

Spicy Hermits
from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients
1 cup  raisins
2 tablespoons  finely chopped crystallized ginger 
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups  all-purpose flour, plus more for the board
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup mild/light molasses 
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup  confectioners' sugar
Instructions
Process raisins and ginger in food processor until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain, about 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
Cut butter into 5 pieces and heat in small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nutty brown in color, about 10 minutes. Watch it carefully because once it starts to brown it can burn easily. Stir in cinnamon and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir butter mixture into raisin mixture until well combined; let cool to room temperature. (Note: It will not form a paste but will still have some liquid around the raisin mixture. Set on a wire rack for faster cooling.)
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl to combine. Stir brown sugar, molasses, and eggs into cooled butter-raisin mixture until incorporated. Dump in flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined. Dough will be very sticky.
Refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 24 hours. 
If using one oven, adjust racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Use spatula to turn dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cut dough into quarters, using a bench scraper. 
Transfer one piece of dough to lightly floured board and with lightly floured hands roll into 10-inch log, about 1 1/2-inches wide.
Transfer to a prepared baking sheet.  Use ruler to neatly square off sides. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake until only shallow indentation remains on edges when touched (center will appear slightly soft), 15 - 20 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment to wire racks and let cool completely.
Whisk orange juice and confectioners' sugar in small bowl until smooth.  Drizzle glaze onto cooled logs and let sit until glaze hardens, about 15 minutes. 
Transfer parchment to a cutting board. Cut off ends and cut logs (with a serrated knife) into 1 1/2-inch bars, 7 - 8 per log.  

a couple of pictures of the "log" (it looks like sausage!) and the what they look like when they come out of the oven:


I am linking up to Weekend Cooking  (this week I am coveting the cookbook she is sharing)




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Snapshot


What's wrong with this picture?



the definition of a forest:

1.
a large tract of land covered with trees and underbrush; woodland.
2.
the trees on such a tract: to cut down a forest.
3.
a tract of wooded grounds in England formerly belonging to the sovereign and set apart for game.
4.
a thick cluster of vertical objects: a forest of church spires.



We don't usually have  large tracts of land covered with trees.
We have large, vast lands covered with sagebrush.  Like this.




So, why do you think the United States Forest Service  (or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as the sign states )  deems this  a "National Forest"?
I've always wondered that....as has everyone else who lives in the state of Nevada.

It's not to say you won't come upon a small grove of Aspens.  They're here.  It's just that when I think of a forest, I think of  evergreens, pines and firs and spruces.  Not Aspens.
Although,  one of the most wonderful sounds in the world is the sound of the Aspen leaves with a breeze flowing thru them.
You'll have to come visit to find out.









We don't even have FOREST fires in the Humboldt National Forest---we have 'wildfires'




I am linking up with West Metro Mommy and her Saturday Snapshot meme.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Answer is NOT Censorship

I like that sentence:  the Answer is NOT Censorship!

I have to backtrack a bit and then meander a while, before  you will understand what I'm talking about.
Yesterday, Sheila from Book Journey  wrote a post called "When Paper Hits the Road (a moment of heartbreak).  You need to read it...and then we'll talk about what censorship means to you and me.

Meandering to the post I wrote a few days ago---I wrote a quote from the book 'The Monuments Men' which stated:
(they are talking about art, which I believe includes books)

It is, and always has been, the visible evidence of the activity of free minds
(page 21)

The evidence of the activity of free minds.

If you cannot let people express themselves thru art (music, painting, literature, dance, etc),  you are lost.  Lost, as a smart, thinking culture.
Which in my mind trickles down to a smart, thinking generation.  I would never ever not let my grandchildren read any book.  But I'm also secure in the fact that their parents feel the same way. (because I am not the parent, just the grandparent and I don't get to choose.  I might let my opinion be known but in the end, that isn't up to me, so I am blessed with children and children in-law, who don't believe in censorship either)

I used to have a 'book blog'  where I wrote only of books and related subjects. It got to be too hard to have more than one blog, so I combined the two, and this is what you are reading now-- but in September 2008, I wrote 2 blog posts on my book blog  stating (very passionately)   how I feel about censorship. 
 I thought I'd share them here (in answer to Sheila's question--she said she'd love to know our thoughts)
Included in these 2 posts are  quotes and answers made by  my original Friday Friends, because I had asked them what they thought about censorship---and so it was natural to include their answers.
There are a couple of times in the posts, where, if you didn't follow my FF Forum (this was 2008, and about the only people who  did  follow me were my friends) it might seem confusing.
But I decided to share anyway because I was really passionate about it.

Let me just state AGAIN that I don't believe in censorship of any kind, but I do believe in the rights of parents knowing age appropriateness of their child--for things they read, watch and listen to.



Book Banning, an opinion

I find myself in this interesting blogger world... and kind of in between. I've always been kind of an "in between" person. Friends with everyone. Respecting everyone's viewpoints, enjoying their likes, applauding their causes.
But then sometimes that leaves me feeling, "unknown" to some of even my closest friends.

Why am I writing this? Because I just sent an e-mail to my "Friday Friends Forum" (that's what the "FF" stands for in my blog name ) about book Banning Week.
I STATED AN OPINION. I actually got off the fence!! And then I get nervous. What if not all of my friends agree with me? What'll I do? I'm a dork.
In my own little way, I'm a political wife. My husband is on the city-council of our little town. I've attended functions, shook hands with our governor, ate dinner with our U.S. Senator, organized a candidates night... but I don't like to be "too" political. I just want to appreciate you for who you are!! And I want you to appreciate me for who I am.

Let me back track a bit here.... I find myself, in this blogger world, reading and following blogs from stay-at-home, homeschool mom's all the way to very "intellectual, in-depth, book reviewers. Not to say that we MOMS aren't intellectual, I'm just trying to find a way to show/state the broadness of the blogs I follow.
I go back and forth, back and forth, jumping around reading everyone's opinions and following their stories. And I like them all.

And right now, before I post about my favorite Children's Picture Book, I'm going to post my little rant on Banned Books...hoping it gets lost in the middle.

**I'm not as dumb as I made myself out to be in the 2nd paragraph. I do have opinions, and I think that MOST people can pretty much tell my stance on things by the life I lead. I'm really not afraid to stand up for what I believe. I just don't like to "force" my opinions and beliefs on people. That's it...force. I am not a forceful person. As in: forcing my opinions down your throat. (but you better darn well agree with me here...)

Here is my rant to the FF Forum:
(and a couple of comments from Friday Friends at the bottom. It's a forum, not a blog, so they just e-mail me back. LOL )

My Platform.
Yes, I do have one.
The only thing I am not a fence-walker on.
The only thing I cannot "see the other side" on.
The only thing I feel so strongly about, that I am willing to go out on a limb and walk naked down the street for!! (okay, not naked, but it kind of seems like I am naked when I have to take a stance in front of everyone, because that is not my usual "m.o."
I like to say "oh really? Imagine that.", In lieu of being committal... but...I can't do it on this )
SO HERE IS MY STANCE--naked or not!

BOOK BANNING.
I'm against it.

oh wow! I feel free....free....free.....
I've stepped off the edge.

oh, what's that you say? You already KNEW I didn't believe in book banning?
OH.

Well, anyway.... here is a bit of a blog from author Lois Lowry, (Number the Stars, The Giver, etc)


Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
September 27–October 4, 2008
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).
BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

If you want to read all of Lois's Blog, go to...
http://loislowry.typepad.com/lowry_updates/2008/09/from-someone-whose-books-have-been-banned.html

and yes, she does mention Sarah Palin. Once again, I am not stating my political choices, but I cannot agree with book banning. FOR ANY REASON. I can, however, understand and endorse "parental rules and discretion" when it comes to what our children read. It's a parent's obligation to teach their children well (or was that a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young?...no that was "teach. your parents well" ) (I'm REALLY sorry I get off on tangents like that)

And on the flip side, I can, understand children disobeying (OMG....did I just say that?) those same rules and sneak reading books in the night (me, Mario Puzo and the Godfather, 1972) (me, William Peter Blatty and The Exorcist, 1973).

My parents had no idea what I was reading. They thought I was still on "Betsy and Tacy" books---which are very good by the way--- my point? I have none, EXCEPT be aware of books that have been banned and GO READ THEM!!!! (and call all the book banner wanna be's HITLER)
See? I really do have an opinion on something. (other than the no ketchup with hot dogs, which is also very important)

I just might make myself a sandwich board and walk up and down main street!!!

comments from
Shelly in Nevada:
I double-dog dare you to!

and Carolyn in Idaho:
I am also against book banning, but I won't walk naked with you----even wearing a sandwich board.....you can still see in the sides!
*************************

and from September 9, 2008

Book Banning, II

I guess I should have clarified yesterday....I don't agree with book banning, but age appropriateness is okay. So is parental "censorship". (even tho I hate that word...but I preface it with "parental" ) I just don't want you telling me what "I" can read. And I won't be telling you what "you" should read.
It gets a bit complicated I guess.
Here are three comments/opinions from Friday Friends (of the originals), one is my sister in law, Meghan. She is the mother of two elementary school children. And Traci, my friend who works in a school district Media Center. And my friend Kevin, who worked beside me as the computer teacher in the computer lab when I was the librarian at the Grammar School.

from Meghan:
Funny you mention book banning... I have been kinda worried about the books my kids are reading! Not worried...but ... well, Devin is into the Junie B Jones books..... these are IMMENSELY popular with the kids and ALL the 1st grade TEACHERS read them to the kids and they even go see the LIVE show at the Chabot theater... but we were reading it last night and I kept having to say 'you know that's not ok to do or say' when Junie would call someone stupid or be rude to her teacher... and correcting Junie's grammar as it is terrible... so I AM CENSORING!! I don't know, I guess Ramona books were kinda like that as she was a sassy spitfire... but this seems like it could be a bad influence in a kid susceptible to bad behavior, ya know? And Nate, who is a struggling reader.... his teacher does not believe in giving homework just for the sake of doing another worksheet at home (LOVE her) so asks that the kids read for 30-40 minutes a night...we bought a ton of books to help him get interested... then were recommended Diary of A Wimpy Kid.... which he loves!!! but there are cartoons depicting things that aren't 'appropriate'...calling people morons and such. We sometimes swear in front of our kids, and say silly things but we KNOW our kids .... there is no way they would say anything like that in school... but most 6 or 8 year olds (who are not as exceptional as my kids, lol) would tend to repeat this stuff! what do you think?
I too used to sneak books from my moms closet and read what I was forbidden to... Wifey by Judy Blume (I HAD read all her others! why not this??) and Erica Jung come to mind!

from Traci: I agree with the banning, but I do have question for you?
How do you feel about books that give misinformation (outdated or just morally wrong)to young people. Do you still put the book on the shelf or pull it???

from Kevin:
My first banned book was Tom Jones by Henry Fielding. It was also a banned movie, but the book was one of several the Montrose librarian caught me with in the stacks. I can also remember a big push to ban "Catcher in the Rye" and burning of writing was very popular.
When I was a senior, at the second new high school I attended, I was in the journalism class. I wrote a column about freedom, of expression, and got the whole school newspaper burned.
Lois Lowry is one of the many dynamic writers Debbie introduced me to, when she was the Grammar School librarian in the last century. Just the other night, I watched a movie with the same theme: "Freedom Writers".

So... (me again) what is the answer?
I cant' even remember why Catcher in the Rye was banned. Times have changed, haven't they?

"morals" are subjective, so what I might find offensive, you might not, and so forth. And that's what I don't like about any person or group of people deciding what "I" can read. I want to decide for myself what I can read. And hopefully the "age appropriateness" can kind of weed out the unlawful and "wrong" books for the kids. I don't have a "pat" answer for that question. I don't want any political, religious, or social group telling me what is right or wrong to read, or what is right or wrong for my children or grandchildren read. I don't want educators or community leaders telling me so either.
And, I, in turn will not censor their books. Or their children's books.
It's really a lot more complicated than just a blanket statement. But I would still say I am against the banning of books...any books.

"outdated" ....but it's so much fun to find old books that say things like "Mommy stays home and cleans the house while Daddy goes to work" LOL...too funny. Outdated in non-fiction, of course, but in fiction? How can you be outdated?

And Holy Cow, I've never read the Junie B. Jones books (now you know I'll have to), but I was never a huge fan of serial books until a few years ago and now I'm into mysteries with returning characters.
That too is a complicated situation.
Why is it that some very popular authors have to use means like that? I don't like that, but I wouldn't "ban" it. It's hard sometimes to not cross the line from spunky to obnoxious when writing about a character, I guess.
As a parent I think the way you live your life and let your views be known, your children will pick up on. It's really hard when all the teachers love the books and use them. And in conversation if you voiced your concerns about them, you could be labeled as a CENSURER!! OMG!! Who knew Meghan was a censor. LOL

BUT ... you are still reading them to your kids and having "conversations" over them and about them. YAY!! You didn't ban them or go picket against them. You have a concern as a parent.

I did appreciate those concerns...having to address or look at things from a different view point.... they are things to think about.

List of a few: (from the Forbidden Library dot com)
http://title.forbiddenlibrary.com/

The Call of the Wild. Jack London. Ace; Bantam; Grosset; Macmillan; NAL; Penguin; Pocket Bks.; Raintree; Tempo. Banned in Italy (1929), Yugoslavia (1929), and burned in Nazi bonfires (1932). Who knew Nazis didn't like sled dogs?

Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger. Published in 1951, this immediate best seller almost simultaneously became a popular target of censorship. A 1991-92 study by the People for the American Way found that the novel was among those most likely to be censored based on the fact that it is "anti-Christian." Challenged by Concerned Citizens of Florida who wanted the book removed from a high school library (1991) in Leesburg, Florida due to "profanity, reference to suicide, vulgarity, disrespect, and anti-Christian sentiments." They were unsucessful: a review committee voted unanimously to retain the book.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. Bantam; Knopf; Penguin. Removed from a locked reference collection at the Boulder, Colo. Public Library (1988), where it had been placed because the librarian thought the book espoused a poor philosophy of life.

A Doll's House. Henrik Ibsen. Penguin. Four members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee (1983)--presumably the same who objected to The Diary of Anne Frank --called for the rejection of this work because it propagates feminist views.

The Egypt Game. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Dell; Macmillan. This award-winning novel was challenged in the Richardson, Tex. schools (1995) because it shows children in dangerous situations, condones trespassing and lying to parents and ostensibly teaches about the occult. The school board declined to ban this book, but did decide that parents should be notified when it is used in class.

The Happy Prince and Other Stories. Oscar Wilde. Penguin. Challenged at the Springfield, Oreg. Public Library (1988) because the stories were "distressing and morbid."

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Dee Brown. Holt. Removed in Wild Rose, Wis. (1974) by a district administrator for being "slanted." The administrator also said "if there's a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it."

The Lorax. Dr. Seuss. Random. Challenged in the Laytonville, Calif. Unified School District (1989) because it "criminalizes the foresting industry." Isn't that the de-foresting industry?

My Friend Flicka. Mary O'Hara. Harper; Lippincott. Removed from fifth and sixth grade optional reading lists in Clay County, Fla. schools (1990) because the book uses the word "bitch" to refer to a female dog, as well as the word "damn."

Where's Waldo? Martin Handford. Little. Challenged at the Public Libraries of Saginaw, Mich. (1989), Removed from the Springs Public School library in East Hampton, N.Y. (1993) because there is a tiny drawing of a woman lying on the beach wearing a bikini bottom but no top. Yes, but did they find Waldo?

A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L'Engle. Dell. Challenged at the Polk City, Fla. Elementary School (1985) by a parent who believed that the story promotes witchcraft, crystal balls, and demons. Challenged in the Anniston Ala. schools (1990). The complainant objected to the book's listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend earth against evil. Got it. Let's cross Jesus off that list, shall we?

I could go on, but I won't. I will say "AARGHGH!" before I leave tho. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Madeleine L'Engle, who was the writer in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, until she died last year.

Okay, that's it. That's my blog for today. :~)

PS I think my niece and nephew are exceptional too!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's late, but it's still Monday (what are you reading?)





It's been a slow reading week here.  I finished the Orphan Train this morning ( i really, really liked this book ) and started the Monuments Men this afternoon.



Of course, I'm not very far yet, but 
I want to share a quote from the book....
(they are talking about  art)

It is, and always has been, the visible evidence of the activity of free minds
(page 21)

I like that.
The activity of free minds.

*****************************

The Monuments Men is a 'free' book for me as it's just for fun. 
I have to read  "This is Where I Leave You" and  "The Goldfinch" by the 26th and 27th, for book clubs. 
I will be hard pressed to get all 3 done by next week.

I'm linking up  with Book Journey for her weekly meme "It's Monday, What are you Reading?"







Sunday, February 16, 2014

Oreo Cheesecake (again) Friday Friend recipe #9




I have made this before  (see here), but in the spirit of making everything from the FF cookbook, I thought I would do so again.  So that it all fits in the 'time line'.

This is a great tasting easy  no-bake cheesecake (I have a baked one from another FF--for another time) and everyone will think you worked for hours and hours  and they will love you and thank you for being such a good cook.
I should know.  This happened to me at Lit Wits book club the other night.  As everyone was in a frenzy over how good my dessert was, there sat Shelly, the original owner of the dessert.
Hopefully she didn't notice everyone's  bliss at eating something she originally gave me.
(sigh)

Shelly and I met about 16 years ago when she moved 'back' to Winnemucca like I did.
She and I had never met before, living here at different times, but we had friends in common.   When our friends knew that Shelly was moving back here, they started talking so fondly of her.... all their sentences began with..
'when Shelly gets here'
'Shelly will be here then'
'Shelly does that'
'Shelly will'
'Shelly'
'Shelly'
'Shelly'

I got very tired of hearing it and I said sarcastically to my friend April, once...
Well when SHELLY gets here,  everything will be perfect!
and guess what?
She does make a PERFECT  Oreo Cheesecake.

Truthfully, now that Shelly is here... I would be very very sad if she ever left! She's become one of my closest friends.
(and she has heard that story many times before and she knows I love her!)







Oreo Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
4 T. melted butter
**mix and press into a 10" springform pan. Place in the freezer.

(I opted to use a store-made chocolate cookie crust . It was not big enough)

Filling:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whip till stiff
3 8-oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
24 Oreo cookies, quartered
**whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and blend. Fold in cookie pieces. Add whipped cream. Turn filling into the frozen crust. Smooth top. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Glaze: (optional--I didn't use)
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate--melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
**Add whipping cream and vanilla to cooled chocolate. Glaze the top and sides of the cheesecake. Refrigerate 30 minutes until the glaze sets.




And now I give you Friday Friend(s)  Shelly Noble and her daughter Hayley*.
(we were on vacation together, at Wallowa Lake--North Eastern Oregon.  See previous post)


*this is the rule about my Friday Friends daughters----once they are in college, they are mine.  I mean they are fair game to be asked questions,  the silly, non-important, intimate kinds of things I ask.
Some daughters have become Friday Friends--join in my forum.  Some never do.
I call them petite Friday friends, because in the book " Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', they called their daughters 'petites'.
I have known a lot of most of these girls since they were little.  Hayley was in the 2nd grade when I first met her.  Now she just graduated from College.
I have both a love/hate relationship with time going by.



I am linking up with  Weekend Cooking
hosted by 
Stop by and see what  foodie thing everyone else is sharing!





I'm going to do the same with  See Ya in the Gumbo
hosted by

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Just thinking


It's a small world. 

How many times have we heard that phrase?
Earlier today, I posted  a photo for Saturday Snapshot,  and just a bit ago I received a comment from a reader who knew EXACTLY where my pictures were taken.
Her grandparents-in-law lived there.

How fun to find someone in this blogging world who knows what you are talking about!!

The strangest "small world" incident that happened to me was  in November 2002.  I went to New York City with a friend of mine who was running in the NYC marathon.  The day of the marathon, after the race, and she slept for a few hours ,woke up and needed a big juicy hamburger,  we went to the Empire State building.  It was very late at night and there were only a handful of people on the observation deck.  We were busy looking at the sights--all bundled up because it was cold, when all of the sudden two girls said..."Mrs. McNish?"  (her name, not mine).   Come to find out, their younger sister was on the same swim team as Mrs. McNish's daughter back in California!

That was just so weird.   Clear across the country, in the middle of the night, on top of the Empire State Building to run into someone you know.

How about you?  What's your funniest, strangest,  'Small World' story?


Saturday Snapshot


It is Saturday!  Time for a snapshot!
Here you go!





I LOVE this place!
The Wallowa Valley in north eastern Oregon.
My great-grandparents homesteaded here.
I don't have a photo of their....

.....wait, wait, wait  (I'm going to the old photo albums)

okay....I'm back....
my great-grandparents homestead in the Wallow Valley of North Eastern Oregon:



That's my great-granddad, James Larkin Staggs, on the horse.  About 1926. I have my grandma's little photo album and she kept pictures in it.  Labeled  everything.    I should be so dedicated. (sigh)
The black and white photo does not show the beauty of the place, but as you can tell from my more recent photos, it is very pretty.

The Handyman and I were watching TV last night and a commercial came on for Oklahoma-- a tourism commercial--and it said  "Oklahoma! An Amazing place!!"
But we looked at each other and said  "we think every place is an amazing place."  
Of course, we love our home, but don't you agree that every state has something AMAZING about them?