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Monthly Archives: December 2011

United States Capitol

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Pass the word along everyone!  Working together we have more power than working alone.  We Need This Now!  Tell your Congressmen and women!  Tell your Senators.  We Will Not Be Ignored!

This is something the All of us can agree on; Not just Independents, not just Republicans, not just Democrats, not just Tea Partiers, and not just Occupy Wall Street protesters, But All of U.S.
It’s time we put an end to congressional privilege.
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a  law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of  GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why? Simple!  The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed
around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011       
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2.  Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan,  just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message.  Don’t you think it’s time?

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

Pass it along!  Swell the Chorus! Raise your voices!  Let us all, at last, be heard!

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A field of opium poppies in Burma.

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Have I ever told you that I am For legalizing drugs?  Especially the cannabis plant?

This position might lead you to believe that I do drugs, or that I Want to do drugs if they were legal; however, I don’t  do them, nor do I Want to do them.

I’ll explain my position thus:

CIA Map of International drug pipelines

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Making these drugs illegal did Not make them unavailable.  It does not save anyone from poor processing methods. Nor does it save our society from the evils of them.   In fact, quite the opposite has occurred.

1) Pretty much anyone who wants to use them can get them.

2) There are no safeguards on their manufacture,  and

3) It is Very expensive to maintain the criminal justice system around the unenforceable and really lucrative sale and distribution of illegal drugs,

4) There is a far larger cost to human lives than would be sustained by people doing the drugs legally, because of the nature of doing business with illegal items, and further;

5) The only people who benefit are those who:

a.  Do not pay taxes on the sale of them,

b.  Do not choose to abide by our laws,

c.   Do not care about the value of anyone else’s life, and

d.   Represent a decided hazard to the society around them.

Making the drugs legal would m0ve the growing, and manufacture of them into a different realm.  The public would benefit by:

a. Being able to collect taxes on the sale of them,

b. Better manufacture methods would be employed,

c.  Fees would be collected for the licensing of the facilities, and

d. Fines imposed if the methods for producing them caused a greater hazard to the users.

When legal drugs for sale to the public are created, they are generally tested to see what dosage is appropriate.  Taking any of them at more than the recommended dosage is courting disaster, but especially when it’s being done as a method of “entertainment“.  At present, there are no set limits on the use of drugs that are deemed “illegal,” but which are nevertheless being used as entertainment, and little to no judgement being used in the application of this entertainment.

I don’t know whether it’s sadder that so many more of our youth are lost to this form of entertainment, or that I have actually heard of some respectable, middle aged, supposedly rational people who have begun, late in life, experimenting with various drugs; only to end up, like so many of our youth, as addicted, mentally strung out, and physically destroyed individuals.

This form of entertainment ends so badly.  The feel good only lasts for a little while (if at all), and the crash on the other side leaves you worse off than you were before, but people will still do them anyway; so the best scenario for this is to make them legal, and issue guidelines for safer use in this context.

In addition, the taxes collected on the sale of them, could be used to pay for the health care of the individuals who hurt themselves or others with the use of the drugs.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo

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I wish to share a thought for those who are alone on this day.  Although you may not have company in a physical form, that spirit which was sent by him who’s day we are celebrating today is with you if you listen.  The Holy Ghost was sent to all as a witness and a comfort in all times, and in all places.

No matter your status, your location, or your health, he is with you. You have only to reach out with your heart and mind, and be willing to listen with your spirit in order to hear him.

You will know when you have heard him, as he always speaks peace to your soul.

With all sincerity, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cancer CounselingI am thanking another blogger who took the time to share this Doctors article on how to die with dignity.  More to the point, what Not to have done in the event that you get diagnosed with a terminal illness, or have a horrifying accident that does major damage.  It’s refreshing to hear that not all medical professionals would encourage radical treatment for something, just because it is doable.  Doctors don’t ask to have all those treatments done on them.  They just go home and die peacefully in the loving arms of their family members, some times, months, or years later than their diagnoses had suggested.

It saddens me though, to realize that the social services and courts don’t have this mindset.  If they did, then that little boy with the cancer that he didn’t want treated with chemotherapy and radiation would have gotten his wish.  Instead, his parents got dragged into court, treated like criminals, and in the end, were forced to watch as their son underwent the full assault of possible treatments available in the U.S. for Cancer, though that was Not what He wanted.

Did we ever hear about how his “treatments” went?  Did we hear anything about his survival?  I’ve been watching, but I haven’t seen anything.  Have you?

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

kittens spooning

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For Angel and Sirocco

We gave away two kittens today, one female and one male.

One had dark brown ears and bright blue eyes and stripes upon his tale.

One lithe and quick and playful, one thoughtful and sincere,

One’s throat as clean as fallen snow with paws almost as clear.

One’s coat as short as velvet, one’s shiny as sateen;

One’s face a mask of smoky streaks, with sand thrown in between.

We gave away two kittens today, but all we now can feel

Is sadness that we’re missing more than two could e’re have been.

 

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cat Conspiracy

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My cat has been here  7 years.  She’s fixed and quite the lady.

My daughter brought home half grown kits; they’ve had some pretty babies.

We’ve kept a few that grew on us, but have to get their rabies.

There’s no more room, the place is full. My cat is going crazy.

The first cat thinks  the second cats are terrible and lazy.

She doesn’t think that other cats should be allowed the spacee.

My cat dislikes to share her place, and doesn’t share her people.

She growls at them and hisses too, for them she has no scruples.

I try to hug her tight to me, but she scratches, and she pulls;

she eyes the others with distrust, and hides beneath the table.

I miss my cat; her soft meow, her silent, rumbling purr

was often felt to me a solace, to stroke her soft black fur.

Sometimes she will call to me, and arch her back for petting,

but then she spies the other ones, and leaves the room complaining.

She doesn’t feel her place is right, while others are in waiting.

And so she misses out on love; because she’s busy glaring.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I have the privilege of helping to shepherd the children ages 3 through 11 at my church.  We have a two hour block of time to teach basic scriptural principles and have fun.  The two hours covers one hour of Sunday School class time and 1 hour of singing and sharing a fun activity as a larger group.  This Sunday was the Children’s Christmas Party.  We didn’t actually do much different this week than we usually do in sharing time, but the story was Christ’s birth and the children got to stick paper presents on the tree whenever they answered a question.  They loved it.  And there were favorite songs sung as well.  The main difference this week was that we added a food treat.

Food treats for any group can be challenging when you factor in allergies and philosophical preferences.  We have some who are allergic to dairy, and some allergic to wheat (gluten), and some who can’t have any nuts.

I managed to find a treat that could fit those criteria.  I used a basic Crispy Rice treat and modified it for taking out the dairy and still retaining a wonderful flavor. It only required a simple substitution of Coconut oil for Margarine or butter.

You’ll need:

1 – Large (preferably non-stick) pot

1- very large bowl or pan (spread a tiny little bit of coconut oil in it to keep the mixture from sticking to the sides)

1- large (preferably wooden) spoon

6 cups of Crisped Rice product

4 1/2 cups little marshmallows

1/2 cup of coconut flakes

4 tablespoons of Coconut oil

(Wal-Mart has the cheapest food grade coconut oil available – though you can pay way more for it at a health food store)

Put a large pot on low heat and put three tablespoons of coconut oil in the pan.  Add 4 cups of the little marshmallows. Stir it until all of the marshmallows are evenly melted.  Add 2 cups of the Crisped Rice, and 1/2 cup of coconut flakes, and stir until you have picked up as much of the marshmallow mixture as you can scrape off the sides of your pot.  Turn this out into a very large bowl or large pan (spread a little coconut oil in it if you don’t want anything to stick to the sides) with the rest of the crisped rice already in it. Mix the contents together until all the marshmallow mixture is evenly distributed through the crisped rice.  At this point decide if you want to pat it all down into an even layer  to cut up later, or as in our case, we made little individually wrapped snow balls out of it with the coconut flakes added into the mixture.  It was a hit with the all the kids but one (I have a vegan I didn’t know about)

Next time I will find or create a recipe that works for her as well.

Hooray for the new challenge!!!   😀

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bread
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I love fresh baked bread.  More than that, I love actually making it myself.  It’s therapeutic to mix all the ingredients and feel the dough in your hands, and finally to “Know” when it feels “just right”, and it’s ready to place in a warm spot to let rise.  And the Smell of it…..  Ahhhhh ……  so wonderful, from the yeast growing in the bowl to the actual baking in the oven.  It’s such a heavenly aroma that fills the whole house.

My favorite recipe is derived from a “Redbook”, magazine back in the mid-70’s of all places and times.  It works every time, and it’s so easy to modify and still get great results with.  I believe the key ingredient, and the reason for the delicious taste in this recipe, is the molasses.  You can use golden molasses for a light sweet flavor or full dark (but not black strap) molasses and get a full bodied, robust flavor out of your wheat bread.  It doesn’t hurt to have an extra dab of butter put on just before it finishes baking either, as this makes the crust deliciously chewy and moist.  This recipe makes two full size loaves of  sweet wheat Bread that isn’t too heavy or dense.  My family loves it.  It’s Just right.

You’ll need:

1 – really large bowl (to mix it all up in)

1 –  two quart bowl (to measure the flour and salt into initially)

1 –  small sauce pan for heating the milk, butter, sugar and molasses in

1 – one cup measuring scoop

1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon

2 – bread loaf pans ( or two large baking pans depending on whether you want to make loaves of bread or dinner rolls)

a surface suitable for punching your bread down on (it helps if this surface is lower than your waist)

This can be done inside the really large bowl if it’s large enough to fit both your hands easily into the bottom of it.

Ingredients list:

1 cup of lukewarm water

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar

1 –  8 ounce stick of margarine or 1 cup of butter

(plus an extra stick of butter or margarine for the little extra bits of butter on the tops 0f the baking bread, and for eating it after it’s baked)

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon of full dark or golden molasses

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups white all-purpose flour

3 cups whole wheat flour

In the really large bowl, mix together:

1 cup of warm (not hot) water (Remember, heat kills yeast, so cool everything down to lukewarm to mix it together)

1 tablespoon of molasses

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

2 packages of active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each) or 1/2 an ounce of active dry yeast from a jar (That’s the equivalent of 1 1/2 tablespoons)

Stir this together till all the yeast is melted into the sugar/molasses water, and let it sit (and grow) while you mix and cool the other ingredients.

In the small sauce pan mix together and bring Just to a boil (some recipes prefer to “scald” the milk – that’s what happens when you boil it a little):

6 ounces of margarine or butter

1/2 cup of white granulated sugar

1/4 cup of molasses

*If you don’t have molasses, but you do have brown sugar, you can substitute 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar for both the molasses and the white granulated sugar.

1 cup of milk (preferably whole milk)

Then let cool off while the yeast is growing in the bowl.

(do Not add these ingredients Hot to your yeast mixture – it would immediately die if you did, and your bread wouldn’t rise then)

While the other ingredients are cooling, get out the two quart bowl and  measure into it:

Three cups of white flour

1 teaspoon salt, and

Three cups of wheat flour.

Mix these ingredients together thoroughly.

*If you don’t have whole wheat flour , you can use all white flour but you will need an extra cup of it. This substitution would result in a sweet, light golden bread.

When the milk/butter/sugar /molasses mixture is cooled off, pour into the really large bowl

Add one cup of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and stir in thoroughly.

Add another cup and repeat this step until five cups of flour are stirred in.

It will get quite stiff when you are nearly there.

Put some flour on your hands and begin to knead the dough in the bowl.

(you can do this on a flat surface like a table but put some flour down on it before you put the dough down on it or the dough will stick to the surface)

Add some more flour to the mixture as you are kneading it.

Knead in the remaining flour until the dough feels a little less sticky and a little more elastic.

It should spring back when you poke it with your finger.

Knead for at least 5 minutes, then cover the top of the dough with a little butter or margarine, and put some in the bottom of the bowl too so the dough will not be impeded in it’s rise and won’t get dried out.

Cover with a clean dish towel while it’s rising to keep things out of the dough.

Place the bowl in a slightly warm location while it’s rising for the next hour.

Prepare the loaf pans by buttering the bottoms and sides with one of the remaining two ounces of butter.

When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down again and knead for another five minutes (if you don’t knead it for five minutes it will get a large bubble under the top crust when it bakes),  then divide the dough in two parts and place in the buttered loaf pans.  Butter the top of the dough again.   Let rise undisturbed for another hour.

When it has doubled in bulk again, place the twice risen bread dough in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

During the last five minutes, pull out the oven rack with the loaves on it and use the last ounce of butter on the top of the still baking loaves, and put back in the oven for a couple more minutes to make a nice chewy crust.

It’s always nice to have the people who want to eat the bread available when it is just getting done, as there is just about nothing better to eat than freshly baked bread with butter on it.

To store this bread, wrap it in plastic wrap while it is still hot, and it will stay moist until you are finished eating it.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Once upon a time, I wasn’t feeling very good about myself.  I had let someone talk me into doing something I didn’t want to do that day, so I felt like shit.  The person who had talked me into it, then had the audacity to take me to a “Party” to celebrate my new status.

So now,  I let some different people talk me into taking a large dose of over the counter cough medicine.  They said I would have a “trip”.  I was a very small person then. I only weighed about 100 lbs.  The amount that the other people recommended was a full four ounces.  I knew at two ounces that I had had enough, but the others kept pushing me to finish the bottle.  Maybe for them, weighing closer to a couple of hundred pounds, four ounces was needed to have their “Trip”, but not for me.  Even so…

I finally finished the bottle at their constant urging, and immediately regretted it.  I threw up a total of 7 times in the next 15 minutes.  Probably a good thing I did, as I spent the next 8 hours afraid to go to sleep, for fear that I would stop breathing if I went to sleep.  The room and the other people in it became still scenes from a photo album.  With each beat of my heart, I got a snap shot, but in between there was only blackness.  In the morning, when the others had awoken from their sleep, I told them of my experience.  They said I had a bad trip.

Wow!   Really???!!

These were the same people who, after I had taken the four ounces, and finally finished throwing up, then proceeded to tell me that several of their “friends” had committed suicide, because of the long term affects of over dosing on this over the counter drug.  What kind of “Friends” would keep doing this same thing, then, and not only that, but would encourage others to do it as well.

With friends like these, who needs enemies.

I hadn’t been having a “Bad Trip.”  I had been poisoned and barely survived the experience.
It was Stupid.  Never again would I let someone talk me into doing any kind of drug without there being a medically valid reason for it, and at the proper dosage.

There is a reason it’s called “Dope”.

I responded to an invitation on Twisteens’ blog to describe a time I nearly died with a portion of this, and decided it was worth re-telling in my own post.  Thank you ziiAn for telling us of your brush with a painful accidental electrocution and nearly dying from it.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ever have to throw out a whole bag of flour because it got bugs in it?  Or corn meal, or oatmeal, or any of the many grains you bring home from the store.  I have finally found a way to stop the eggs from hatching, and keeping the grain from being ruined.

I had heard of freezing the grain overnight before using it, but that only works if you are going to use it all up really soon.  If you really want to prevent the eggs in the grain from hatching out Ever, freeze it for a whole month.

I had the definitive proof of this recently when I went to make bread.  I had to throw out a whole ten pound bag of white flour because the eggs had hatched inside the bag even before it was ever opened; and it was a sealed plastic bag.

All I had left were a couple of partial bags of white flour and a half a bag of whole wheat that had been opened in my shelf for a while.  They were 5 pound bags that I had left in the freezer for a long time before opening them and using some of it for cookies, etc.  I did not put the partially used bags back in the freezer, and had not used the grain again in at least a month.  I was really afraid that they were going to have bugs in them too.  But when I unfolded the tops, and looked inside, not only did they not have any bugs showing up, they didn’t have any evidence of bugs in them either.  No webbing, no stringy stuff, no worms, no little moths.  The flour was clean.

Yippee!  I had enough flour to make four loaves of wheat bread.  Mmmmmmmmm…….I’ll post the recipe for my fantastic Sweet Wheat Bread recipe next.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pain comes from disappointment.

We expected more from ourselves.

Our expectations are our enemies.

Anger comes from fear.

We fear what we do not understand the end of.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

Despair comes from giving up on yourself.

You are afraid you don’t have the right stuff.

God believes you are always worth hoping for.

If God believes it, why don’t you?

He is smarter than you.

He already knew you before you were here.

He knew there would be difficulties.

That’s why he agreed to pay the price for you ahead of time.

After everything you can do, he will do the rest.

Do everything you can.

Do what you must.

Trust him.

He will bring you home.

He is not disappointed.

He already knew what would happen.

He only wants you to let him help you.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I was angry.

Now I am not.

I was afraid.

Now I am not.

I felt despair.

Now I have hope.

There is no rational explanation for what I feel.

It just is.

Because it is what it is.

That is the nature of the challenge.

If there were no difficulties,

How would there be a test?

If there were no test,

Why bother with this type of existence?

God could make us all run on automatic with only a little tweaking.

But he doesn’t,

Because he wants the test to show us what we are, and can do, and can’t do.

Then we will be satisfied

that where we are placed is the right place for us.

We will all be happy.

Everyone will be happy.

I will be happy.

So I may as well start being happy now.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Spaghettis

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Beef being cooked in a frying pan.

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Beef being cooked in a frying pan. It has been...

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A can of Contadina tomato paste.

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Cooking spaghetti. Photo by Eloquence.
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I know, I know…. good spaghetti is supposed to take forever to cook.  All the herbs have to simmer the flavor into the sauce, yada, yada, yada.  Well, be that as it may, sometimes you just don’t have time for all of that, and this recipe works Really well in a fifteen minute pinch.  For those of you who already know how to cook this stuff, don’t mind all the little details.  I will write it for those who may not have had a lot of experience in the kitchen, just in case this gets read by someone new to cooking spaghetti.

Things you need:

One large skillet

One two or three quart pan for boiling the noodles in (or you can use that upright  noodle cooker thing)

Two or three quarts of water (depending on how many people you are serving – this recipe can stretch a little)

If serving three people, enough spaghetti to fit inside a ring made by your thumb and middle finger (if you have small hands like mine)

If serving four add a little more spaghetti.

(and a tiny bit of oil for the cooking noodles to keep them from sticking to each other while they cook)

1 pound ground beef  * (can be frozen – but then you have to keep cutting it off as it cooks in the pan)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or one crushed garlic clove

Half an onion, chopped fine, or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder (onion powder is fairly potent)

1 teaspoon iodized salt (where else are you going to get your necessary trace iodine?)

1 tablespoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon powdered summer savory

1/4 teaspoon powdered thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

(Or you can use two tablespoons of your favorite Italian Seasoning mix)

1 small can of tomato paste

1 16 oz. can of tomato sauce (you need both of these)

Start the noodles cooking first.

Put the water on to boil, add a little salt here if you want, and the little tiny bit of oil (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon added into the water)

While you are waiting for the water to boil put the ground beef into the skillet and start it frying (turn the temp between 6 and 7 on an electric stove)  If the meat is frozen, you can also add a little water to help keep it from browning too much while all the parts cook, but then you need to cover it some to keep all the heat in (add a little iodized salt onto the cooking meat, it smells better) (You really do need your trace iodine to make your thyroid function properly).

When the water is almost to a boil, add the noodles.  It can stick out of the pot initially.  As the noodles cook, keep poking them down.  They will sort of bend/melt into the pot of water as they start cooking.  Stir them up as they bend into the water to get the little bit of oil to coat them all evenly.  The noodles are done when they turn almost white.  They Won’t look translucent (sort of see through) anymore.

When the ground beef is all browned, pour some of the grease off of it.  How much depends on how much there was in it before you started cooking (some ground beef doesn’t have much to begin with).  You don’t have to get All of it off,  just most of it.  Don’t pour this in your kitchen drain, it has a tendency to harden down in the pipes and make everything stick to it, and then you’ve got yourself one heck of a clogged drain.  If you have rose bushes, save the grease for them.  They love the fat from your cooking  (don’t pour it over them hot). Pour the cooled grease around the base of the roses.

When the grease is off the meat, add the tomato sauce into the skillet with the browned meat (I did say a large skillet), then the tomato paste.  Then add the salt, onion, garlic and herbs.  Let this simmer together for a bit.  If you are serving four people, add a  1/2 cup of water to it. If it is going to be a little while (maybe someone is late), add a little more water and let it simmer down.  When finished, the sauce should be just a little thinner than a good ketchup.

While this is simmering together check on the noodles.  They should be getting about done by the time you have added all the ingredients together.  Drain and rinse the fully cooked noodles in a colander under cold water.  The cold water stops the cooking process so your noodles don’t get all gooey ( If your spaghetti has to sit for awhile, leave the noodles in some cold water to keep them moist).

If you have some ready salad fixings this goes well with spaghetti.  Red leaf lettuce, baby spinach,  and a chopped tomato,  some halved radishes, and thinly sliced cucumbers, with a little salt and a little Italian dressing…  Yummmm…

If you still have some time, butter some bread on one side, sprinkle lightly with salt and garlic powder, and slip this on a cookie sheet under the broiler for a little bit (watch it like a hawk, so it won’t get burnt).

Place a portion of the cooked noodles on a plate and ladle the finished spaghetti sauce over them.  Serve hot, with the salad on the side and garlic toast.  This meal goes well with milk, dark grape juice,  mulled cider, or a dry red wine if you like it.

Note*  If you are working on disaster preparedness, this recipe can be used with a 16 oz can of beef chunks substituted for the ground beef.  All the rest of the ingredients can be part of your food storage.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I love a beautiful, lush garden in the front yard of any home.  Some neighborhoods aren’t allowed to have vegetables in the front yards, but did you know that there are a lot of edible flowers?  Some of them used to be grown for food, but people have forgotten that they were good for that too, and just grow them for their beauty instead.  The salad garden used to be full of edible flowers.  Roses were used for salads, including the rose hips, which are known for their vitamin C content.

Lilies.  All the true lilies are edible, root, stem, leaf and flower.  And they are delicious. I especially love the short  little yellow lilies that are grown so often in clumps as a favorite of landscapers.  They bloom all summer long, and their flower petals are  slightly sweet, and ever so slightly spicy.  You can grow several different kinds of Lilies and have different colors blooming all summer long.

Don’t include in that group the Lilies of the Valley which are not actual members of the same family.  They are more a cousin of Foxglove and both provide forms of digitalis.  The little flowers have a smaller amount than the larger flowers.  They are good for people with heart problems, but not for people who have a healthy heart beat.

Chrysanthemums are used in a variety of ways in China, including as a form of tea.  Sometimes they are used as a fancy garnish on food plates.  Their flowers are edible.

Speaking of fancy teas, Jasmine flowers make a wonderful, relaxing  tea.  I just love the smell of Jasmine tea.

Hibiscus flowers also make a great drink.  Take the flowers and dry them. Crush the dried flowers into water and let steep.  Serve hot or cold with as much sweetener as suits your taste buds.

Grow peppermint in your garden. You can harvest it about three times a year.  My peppermint started from one sprig that got chopped up by a weed-eater.  Since it rained a lot right after that, all the pieces took root.  I soon had a garden full of peppermint. It has lovely little purple flower stalks on it in the late summer. The bees love it .  My daughter uses it for her digestion.  She puts a little sugar in it for sweetening.   She also likes it with lemon juice added to make a Peppermint Lemonade.  It’s especially refreshing on a hot summer day, and you can’t beat it served hot for helping ease your breathing when you have a cold in the winter.

Of course there are some fruits that are also good for growing in your gardens.  Strawberries make a great ground cover, and they are one of the earliest  fruiting  plants.  Raspberries are early bearers too.  Their canes are tall and have thorns so be sure to grow them in the very back, and they grow well in shade.  If you grow them under your windows, they are a natural deterrent for thieves.  If you want a later bearing fruit, blackberries also grow on thorny canes, and they don’t mind shade or boggy ground, but don’t cut them during the growing season.  They will spread out along runner roots all over your garden.

Tomatoes are a fruit too, and used to be grown only for their decorative effect, back in the days when it was thought that their red fruits were poisonous.  They are worthy of being grown in the front yards in the sunny corners.  And I just love the beauty of a watermelon vine. the leaves on them are so gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to see them twining their way through a patch of other assorted flowers, like nasturtium, which has a spicy flower and leaves, or around the base of your rose bushes.

I know some of you are thinking, “Why is this silly woman writing about this now?”  “This is the wrong time of year for planting!”

That’s true, but it’s the right time of year for planning what you want to grow next year.  This is a great time to buy gardening books as presents,  and don’t forget to order the seed catalogs. Happy garden planning everyone!

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dear Ford Motors,
Thank you for your candor in reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It isn’t often I see the decency that you have displayed in your summation of this faith.  You have given me another reason to shop Ford in the future.  If I were a betting person, I’d buy Ford stock about now 🙂  What the heck, it’s a sucker bet.  Buying Ford stock after the publication of this article isn’t a gamble at all.  You’re gonna get some Great business in the coming years from members of this faith.

I wrote this as a comment on another blog published by Alan Osmond (Alan, I hope you don’t mind my re-posting it here – it’s going to show up twice in my Facebook page now, as that is where I saw it first) who posted the following article:

Following is an interesting article written by Ford Motor Company for its employees. It was presented by the ‘Ford Interfaith’ group as a message about the LDS Church .

The Ford Interfaith group promotes unity by sharing information about all faiths and features these types of articles about various religions and faiths.

QUICK FACTS & INTERESTING TIDBITS about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fleeing continued mob attacks 158 years ago, the first Mormon
pioneers desperately started their Westward trek from Illinois in the dead of winter. Of the 70,000 who began this 1300-mile journey, 6,000 were buried along the way, including many children. The following are quick facts and interesting tidbits about this now flourishing church.

OVERVIEW

* Named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”; informal
nicknames are “LDS” or “Mormon” -named after the prophet-historian

* Believes it is the Lord’s restoration of original Christianity as
foretold to occur before Christ’s Second Coming.

* Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in this
life and exaltation in the next.

HISTORY

* In 1820 14-yr-old Joseph Smith told of a vision of God and Christ
foretelling a church restoration.

* Organized in New York in 1830, the church moved to near Cleveland, then near Kansas City, then Illinois .

* Fleeing Illinois , Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City in Utah and over 600 other Western communities.

SALT LAKE CITY

* Temple Square in Salt Lake has over 5 million annual visitors, more
than the Grand Canyon .

* The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the world’s most famous choir and has the world’s oldest radio program.

* The Salt Lake Temple is the most famous, but there are 128 other
temples built here and around the world while
others are under construction.

* Home of the world’s largest genealogy database; visit it online or
through 3,700 free branch libraries.

ACTIVE CONGREGATIONS

* Sunday services entail a three-hour block of three meetings; about
27,000 congregations exist worldwide.

* Highly vibrant programs exist for youth, children, singles, men, and women; very strong family focus.

* Everyone has a calling; some surveys show LDS have the highest U.S. attendance and service rates.

* Families receive personal fellowship visits at home from other members on a monthly basis.

FINANCES

* Members tithe 10 percent, plus donate generously to the needy the first Sunday of each month.

* Clergy and all other congregational positions are unpaid (however, much of the janitorial is paid).

* The church has no debt; all buildings are paid for in cash (average of two new congregations a day).

* The paid positions in Salt Lake are famously low-salaried; funds are frugally used and tightly audited.

HEALTH CODE

* With a health code from 1833, LDS avoid alcohol, tobacco, illegal
drugs, coffee, and tea (herbal tea is ok).

* This 1833 code also teaches grains (especially wheat), fresh fruits and vegetables, and sparing use of meat.

* A UCLA study showed that active LDS live longer than most Americans, men by 11 years, women by 8.

* Utah is 50th in smoking, alcohol consumption, drunk driving, heart disease, cancer, and sick days.

EDUCATION

* With four colleges, Utah ‘s BYU with 30,000 students is the largest
single-campus private college.

* BYU Independent Study with 130,000 students is North America (340 web courses, 530 via mail).

* Seminary, a daily class usually held around 6:00 A.M., serves 376,000 high school students.

* There are Institutes of Religion at 1,950 colleges worldwide that serve 367,000 college students.

* The church operates schools in parts of the Pacific Ocean and Mexico for 10,000 students.

* Utah is 50th in spending per pupil, but first in adults that graduated from high school and attended college.

WOMEN

* In 1842 the “Relief Society” was organized; it’s the largest women’s
organization in the world.

* Wyoming was first to allow women to vote; Utah was second, two months later, in 1870.

* Women preach from the pulpit and serve as organization presidents, teachers, committee chairs, etc.

SHARING CHRIST’S GOOD NEWS

* 61,000 missionaries serve in 165 countries; 93 percent are college-age; 22 percent are female.

* Unpaid and paying their own way, most work 65 hours a week for two years, often in a new language.

MEMBERSHIP DISTRIBUTION

* LDS are 70 percent of Utah, 30 percent of Idaho; after Catholics, LDS are the largest sect in 10 states.

* The church has 5.5 million members in the U.S., making it the fourth largest individual U.S. denomination.

* Some memberships: New Zealand 95k, Japan 115k, UK 175k, Philippines 500k, Brazil 900k, Mexico 925k.

* Worldwide 51 percent are female; about 55 percent are not Caucasian; about 70 percent are converts.

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

* For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwide joined the LDS church.

* Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth is
highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.

* Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50 years.

* In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; so far growth has been faster.

* As this growth has been steady, it will be the next major world religion since Islam.”

CHARITY/SERVICE

* Members in need obtain welfare from the LDS Church (thus Utah
government welfare spending is very low).

* LDS donate time at 220 welfare storehouses or canneries and about 400 farms.

* There are 210 employment centers placing over 175,000 people annually, and 64 family service centers.

* The church operates 46 thrift stores, in part to provide employment for the disadvantaged.

* The 61,000 missionaries spend half a day each week doing

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

* Over 200 million pounds of food, clothing, and medicine were donated in the last 20 years in 147 countries.

* Almost all of this help is to non-LDS; LDS charities also work with and donate to many non-LDS charities.

* Very rapid disaster relief has been given in 144 major disasters since 1986.

* Almost 3,000 welfare “missionaries” work without pay in 55 countries (farm instructors, doctors, teachers, etc…).

* LDS charities fund a wide variety of projects like drilling water wells or funding small business startup loans.

* New in 2001, members in poor areas can get low-rate college loans;
10,000 loans have been made to date.

GRAB BAG

* Utah is first in: charitable giving, producing scientists, household computers, children with two parents, and birth rate.

* Noted LDS included five senators, and other famous dignitaries
(click on link)
the Osmonds, Gladys Knight, Steve
Young, and the inventor of TV -Philo T. Farnsworth.

* LDS played a key role in the 2002 Winter Olympics; the chair was the former governor of Massachusetts .

* Hawaii ‘s #1 tourist site is the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center ( Tonga and the Samoas are one-third LDS).

* LDS have sponsored Boy Scout troops since 1913; 23 percent of all Scout troops are LDS.

* The BYU Women’s Cross Country were national champions or in second place each of the last seven years.

DETROIT AREA

* The Detroit metro area has 30 congregations; the Dearborn chapel is on Rotunda by Ford’s Building #5.

* Detroit has a temple, storehouse, cannery, employment and family
service office, and family history libraries.

* LDS include former Governor Romney, three former Lions quarterbacks,
and hundreds of Ford employees.

A member of Ford’s Interfaith Network,
the author of this note sends out monthly interfaith notes to thousands of Ford employees who have asked to receive them.

Watching the debates was, as always, educational.  Each of the candidates has been tested in this kind of forum before.  Each of them were prepared for most of the questions, and each of them had their shiny moments.  As always, each of them also revealed their weaknesses.

All candidates have weaknesses.  Most candidates who have made it this far, have strengths.  Our job is to decide which of them has:

1)  the best ideas, or the most feasible ideas, to aid our country in surviving and growing,

2) the most likely to succeed in getting those ideas to work,

3) can carry enough votes to win the race.

It’s a tough choice.

Given that I don’t think the current occupant of the position is, or has been doing a good job, he is not on my radar for getting voted for.  That leaves looking at the other runners in the field.  There have been quite a few to choose from.  Many of them have really good ideas.  Some of them have some hare brained schemes that sound catchy, but in reality would hurt more people than it would help.  Some of them are dead right about a number of things, but the feasibility of some of their solutions is impossible.

Under the circumstances, it’s impossible to choose one that says everything that you want to hear, and/or whose ideas would work if elected. So choosing is based on best possible scenario.

For me, that best possible scenario would be a match with Mitt Romney running for President and Ron Paul as Vice President.

Between them, there could be some real, effective change in Washington.   And that’s a ticket worth a 10K bet.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you absolutely knew you were right, and the other guy was wrong, would you offer to make an all out bet with the one who was wrong to see if he would back down?

If you were playing poker and you had a royal flush, would you go all in to bet on it?

From a poker playing angle it probably wouldn’t be a smart move, because the other guy would fold, but that’s what was wanted in this case. For the other guy to admit he wasn’t sure of his facts.  To fold his hand.

That’s what happened in the  debate  between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.  Rick made a false statement about what Romney had written in his book, and Romney knew it.  Romney offered Rick a sucker bet of $10,000.00.  Rick backed down because he wasn’t that certain of his facts. Rick probably figured he could get away with making the false statement because it might be difficult for someone to fact check it.

There’s a lot of buzz about this issue, even whole websites set up to take advantage of it.  Democrats are jumping up and down with glee over it.  Billboards are being planned, and television ads that highlight what $10,000.00 can buy the average American.

The average American would love to win a sure bet like that.  The average American is making $1.00 bets everyday in hopes they can win at least that amount in the Powerball lotteries.  Sure you’ld offer the bet if you Knew you would win.  Who wouldn’t when we all need the money so badly.

Mr. Romney has more than that amount riding on this Presidential race.  He’s betting his whole future on it, and ours.  I sure hope he wins this one.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m not always the most persuasive person.  I call myself straightforward, other people call me blunt.  Either way, you always know where I’m coming from.

Just so you know, I love trees.  They are beautiful.  They are also a renewable resource.  Meaning that they can be regrown.  Here in Maryland, trees grow like weeds.  They can become a serious nuisance when not kept in check.

What I’m getting at, is that I like a nice environment as much as the next person, but there are ways, and then there are ways of having that.

And none of the environmental considerations will matter to any of us if we end up tearing each other apart over no jobs and high oil prices.  So here’s my contribution to the dialogue below.

Subject: THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING OIL STORY, WORTH READING

Oil Anyone?

By the way, this can be verified.

Check it out at the link below !!!!!!

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911

Cruz Construct

http://www.cruzconstruct.com/services.php

(I do not know where the below letter came from or I would credit it properly, but I got it in my email, and have copied all the bits of it into here).

They are doing a lot of frack sand mining in Wisconsin near Chetek. It’s a special sand used in the extraction process from the oil shale deposits.  As you may know, Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just 6 months ago.

They sent every Kenworth (9 trucks) we had here in Alaska to North Dakota and several drivers. They just bought two new Kenworth’s to add to that fleet; one being a Tri Drive tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it. They also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for that division.

Dave Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months in ND than Cruz Construction moved in Alaska in the last 6 years. Williston, ND is like a gold rush town; they moved one of our 40 man camps down there since there are no rooms available.

Unemployment in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked. See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling North Dakota’s economy?

Here’s an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information: About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. Was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; How much oil does the U.S. Have in the ground?” Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.

” The U. S.. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, Western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana.

Check THIS out: The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to Eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates It at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable( 5 billion barrels), at $107 a barrel, We’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

“When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea..” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.

“This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’ It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. Oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves, And we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, Those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL !!!!!!

That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight. And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from 2006 !!!!!! U. S. Oil Discovery – Largest Reserve in the World Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels.

On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off- shore drilling?

They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates: 8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia 18 times as much oil as Iraq 21 times as much oil as Kuwait 22 times as much oil as Iran 500 times as much oil as Yemen And it’s all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.

WHY? James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.

Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price even with this find? Think again! It’s all about the competitive marketplace, it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? Got your attention yet?

Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this: Pass this along. If you don’t take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices, by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain. Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to every one in your address book.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferior” . . . Plato

Enthralled with form, the function ignored.

The reason was there, without the rhyme.

Her loss of focus reduced the words

to one of convenience in limited time.

The question nags her to voice her concern.

She hangs her head no longer to worry.

The gift neglected, in moments returns;

the prose, select, when not in a hurry.

What words to us, as time directed,

Birth the newest conceptual image.

Choose carefully the picture selected,

Else chaos reigns o’er the resulting scrimmage.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why?

She asks.

Do you care?

What’s it to you?

Cautious, she hesitates.

You aren’t the one.

Who sees me?

Not you.

Her.

Woman.

Stands alone.

Having been one.

Her present is more.

Her future less.

She is now.

Content.

Once,

There was

Another

Who cared for me

When no one else did.

He is enough.

God is good.

Only

Him.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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