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threegraces

I have five beautiful daughters.  Each is their own type of beautiful; no two really alike, though there are similarities among them.  None of them realize just how much they mean to me, individually, or collectively. All of them are strong women, each handling difficult situations in their own way, and facing challenges and obstacles with determination and perseverance. The learning curves are steep for all of them, as the examples they had to model themselves on weren’t very good (Yes, I’m talking about myself and their fathers). Though each had their own advantages as well, whether they recognize them, or not.

I had my own challenges and obstacles to overcome. I’m still dealing with the fall out from a chaotic child hood, where, yes, sometimes bad things happened, but there was good in it, as well.  The tough part is sorting out the chaff from the grain.  Unfortunately, my daughters were born in the middle of that sorting process. After many years, I finally learned to let go of anger at my parents for not being perfect, but not before my daughters were already grown.  I realized, at long last, that each of my parents did as well as they were able, with what they understood.  Sometimes that grieves me, but I accept that they are who they are.  I hope, that someday my daughters can do the same for me.

Our individual levels of what we understand to be good, vary widely.  The material we are made of, how we respond to our various stimuli, sets the boundaries that we work within, with the gifts  we are given upon entrance to this world, and the experiences we collect traveling through it. I hope I live up to my best potential; although, sometimes I fear that sloth will be the finish of my dreams.  Or maybe it’s my frequent low energy levels that keep me from accomplishing my goals, though I doubt it.

Some of my goals don’t require a lot of energy, they just need me to get started on them.  Once I begin a painting, there is usually no problem finishing it.  I just have trouble getting started on stretching a new canvas, and applying the first dab of paint to it. Being in school again, helps me with some of that.  Where there is a requirement, I tend to follow through.  I just need to get myself to believe I have a requirement to get my own ideas onto canvas, or translated into real pieces, so all those things I want to show my daughters, and the world, will exist in a dimensional reality, and not just in my head.

I hope that my daughters find it easier to get started on their dreams, and aren’t afraid to find out how they’ll turn out.  I hope each of my daughters have their own dreams, and hopes.  Ultimately, I dream we will all get to know each other better, and be able to appreciate the grace that is in each other.

pleiades-sisters

Thanks to The “Three Graces” rock formation at the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado SpringsColo.trekearth.com, and the image of The Pleiades, from bing images.

Other Sites:

The Music of Poetry

Defining Values for Politics

© Ellen M Lattz and emariaenterprises, llc 2016.

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

 
Tim Allen

Image by Alan Light via Flickr

I feel like making those famous Tim Allen grunting noises (huhhh, huhhh, huhhh). Not for extra powerful motors on ordinary home improvement tools, but for extraordinarily successful experimenting in the kitchen.  I’m so pleased with the way it turned out.  It all started with a thawed out, cut up chicken, and a desire to eat it fried, but I was out of eggs.  Without an egg in the milk, the flour batter would fall off too easily…. 😦  What to do, what to do…..

I looked around my kitchen for some kind of substitute batter solution.  In the refrigerator there was a half a can of condensed Cream of Mushroom soup.  Hmmmm….  and I had an open bag of instant potato flakes.  Would it work?

Potato flakes can be used to make potato pancakes…..

I turned on my stove and put the large wok on the burner with a cup and a half of corn oil in the bottom of it.  I made sure I had my largest pot lid ready to cover it.

I quickly put the condensed cream of mushroom soup in a bowl large enough to dip my

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Image by avlxyz via Flickr

chicken quarters into, and added some water (about a the same amount of water as the soup in the can) and stirred it up; just enough to get it to a thick creamy texture, so it would stick to the chicken.  I got a second bowl out to put the  potato flakes in, also large enough to roll the chicken quarters in.  I had a lot of potato flakes, which is good, because you want it to have plenty of flakes to create the  crust.  The creamy mushroom soup was just right for absorbing the flakes and getting it all to stick to the chicken pieces.

I also put a three quart sauce pan on the back burner with lots of water and some butter in it to boil to use up the mashed potato flakes after I was done with the chicken pieces, and I put on a smaller pan for some green beans that I added seasoning salt to for flavor.

 
 

I had my large wok pan with plenty of oil in the bottom set on a good medium temperature (between 5 and 6 on an electric stove) already hot before I put the chicken quarters in and a good large lid to hold the heat in while the pieces were frying.  

 
 

The oil was just about half way up the chicken pieces so they were steaming on the top while they were frying on the bottom.    After about ten minutes, I flipped the pieces over to fry on the other side.  The Mushroom Potato crust stayed on!  And it looked good too. 

 

Another ten minutes on the second side and I took the pieces out and put them on a plate with some paper towels to absorb some of the oil, and then popped them into the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure these heavy chicken pieces were cooked all the way through.

I repeated this for a second set of chicken pieces as they don’t all fit in the pan at the same time.  I actually had enough pieces of chicken that I filled the wok pan a third time before I was finished.  

 

For the third set of chicken pieces, I just put the pieces in the still heating oil, and let them fry themselves while we ate.  The portions of potato crusts that had fallen off the previous chicken pieces adhered themselves to the third set of frying chicken parts, and they turned out delicious, as well.)

Rachel had fried chicken. Delicious and sweet....

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Add iodized table salt over the tops of the still hot chicken pieces, just before you put them on the table.

 

An added bonus to this cooking experiment was the left over cream of mushroom soup went into the already cooking season salted green beans, and the left over potato flakes went into the boiling water pot to become Mushroom and Chicken Seasoned Mashed Potatoes.  There was no waste and it was all delicious.  Even my picky eater who doesn’t like mushrooms liked it all.

Ron Paul

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

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Ron Paul, and his supporters, know what it’s like to have their words taken out of context and used to malign them unfairly.  As a result, being the fair man that he is, Ron Paul took a nearly unprecedented step during a Presidential Primary run to defend one of his fellow candidates , Mitt Romney, who was getting that treatment, yet again.

Mitt Romney was describing, to a rapt  audience in New Hampshire, his philosophy of keeping businesses honest, and hardworking, by saying that he Liked being able to fire people who provide services to him.

After all, what happens in a business that you can’t fire?  It tends to get cocky, arrogant, and self-serving.  Instead of providing good service to you, you end up just being the vehicle to providing more money to the ever increasing demands from the company. This is Not a good business to consumer relationship model.

As an example, lets look at what has happened to service from our city/county utilities.  First, they tend to have removed as much as possible, the face to face contact.  In our area, you have to go to a bill paying service center that is mostly about check cashing, and otherwise is about paying several different bills in cash.  And on top of all that, you have to Pay this bill paying service center more money to let you pay your bill here. Of course, you Can pay them electronically…. but again,there is no personal contact.

Then, the utility companies removed as much as possible of the voice to voice contact, sending customers through an ever expanding menu of options designed primarily to frustrate the user, wear you down, and prevent you from actually solving problems.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten to where I just hold the phone for five minutes while it runs through it’s litany of menu choices and let it finally decide that I must be one of the three people in the nation still using a dial phone, and then it will let me talk to an Actual person, whereupon I usually get Much better results (Usually).

Or, how about the Cable company.  Do they give good service?  I remember when they first came into existence, and people said, why do we want these guys?  We have free T.V. now.  And the Cable companies said, “We’ll keep the cost down.  It’ll be real low.”   And it was, for a little while, until the initial contract ran out, by which time people were hooked on the convenience of tuning in to Many more show choices, and the cable companies raised the rates.  A lot. And they make it difficult to return the equipment in a timely manner; And they charge you all kinds of extra fees…  I could go on, as I’m sure you all could too.

The same thing happens with retail companies that have a lock on market products in an area.  They too, become difficult to work with and start thinking that They are doing You a favor by letting you shop at their store.

Suffice it to say, if you don’t have choices, firing the people/companies who “Serve” you is difficult; then, You end up serving them instead.

© 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.

Mourning Dove

Image by mizmak via Flickr

When in doubt, I close my eyes, hold my breath;

I open them again, and count to twenty.

Breathing in, breathing out, leaves death to death;

Refocus my heart on seeing plenty.

 

The things I’ve seen are all recorded;

engraved upon my heart forever.

If someday diligence is rewarded,

Pain and suffering will visit, never.

 

While I’m waiting here, there will be others

Who’ll use another to make life easier.

There’s no single day that comes to mothers

where someone’s life is not made queasier.

 

she was looking around in the vegetable market...

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For those in bondage, there is sympathy;

Mourning tears for the dearest departed.

Those gone before would not begrudge me,

I hold up my head, not broken-hearted.

 

;Name :Pelargonium quercifolium 'Fair Ellen' ;...

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In setting aside the pain and suffering,

We make time to honor what remains;

Not forgetting time for sorrowing,

There’s still time enough to live, and love again.

 

© 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.

A field of opium poppies in Burma.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Four ounces of low-grade marijuana, u...
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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

Image via Wikipedia

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.

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.

Bread
Image by ulterior epicure via Flickr

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.

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

Image by HatM via Flickr

Beef being cooked in a frying pan.

Image via Wikipedia

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

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A can of Contadina tomato paste.

Image via Wikipedia

Cooking spaghetti. Photo by Eloquence.
Image via Wikipedia

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.

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.

Well, hello again.  It’s been a while since I wrote because I’ve been distracted by a number of other intensive efforts, but I’m back now.  I had some time to peruse the internet today and pursue the sometimes chancy proposition of locating enough information on a candidate to be able to tell if I like his position or not.

It’s a tough time to try to determine who might do the best job for us.  We are going to lose some things.  There is no way around it.  So it’s all about choosing what we lose.  Is it stuff that we can do for ourselves by exercising a little self discipline?  Is it something we can grow into?  Is there a way to transition smoothly without doing too much damage?

There are some things that we really can’t do without, and shouldn’t even try to do without at the Federal level.  A strong standing army is one of the Few things that we are Supposed to have at the Federal level, so downsizing that when the world is in so much turmoil isn’t very sensible.

With some candidates, of course there is enough stuff out there, but they didn’t have what I was looking for.   Ron Paul, for instance, is a very good candidate, and has several stances that I really admire, but his foreign policy smacks of isolationism.  We’ve tried that before when we were even Less connected than we are today.  It really doesn’t work well for anybody.

As for Jon Huntsman…  I like and admire him, and I love his foreign policy (as who shouldn’t), and his Utah business policy has been very good for the state of Utah, so Maybe it would also work for the nation.  Would he be a really good President?  Effective? Why do I have doubts about him?  Not because he’s a Mormon, and Not because he’s not likable.  Maybe it’s because he reminds me of someone else.  If he runs as an Independent candidate, I might have to give him another look. But I don’t think he can carry the Republican party.

So let’s get this out of the way. I don’t trust Newt Gingrich.  Not because he wasn’t constitutional enough (at least at one time), and not because he changed his mind some times, but rather, because he changed his mind about the wrong things.  At least, in my opinion, he did.

I’m not against someone who changes their mind sometimes, if the things one learns along the way seem to warrant it, that’s a Good thing.  I just prefer to see them change their mind in the same direction I would.  Gingrich didn’t do that.  He went the other way too many times.

I will dispense with discussing those candidates who are already on their way out.  Enough said already.  So that leaves me with looking again at Mitt Romney.  What does his platform say now?  Jennifer Robin’s recent post in her Right Turn blog lays it out fairly well (and I didn’t have to sign up on anyone’s site to find out).  I like his rational approach to the problems with Medicaid/Medicare, and his stance on job creation (of course, everyone is For job creation, it’s the methodology that is employed to encourage them that has us all on edge).  Mitt’s strategy to give some power back to the states is a definite plus.  The closer the decisions are to the people they affect, the better the outcome usually is (and if it isn’t, you vote out the state government and get new people).  All down the line, things seemed to click for me.  So, unless Romney’s platform changes radically between now and Election day,  I think I’ll vote for him.

I have been pondering this for a while.  A recent article that oddly mixed news of whale bones and Hooters waitresses in the same article got me thinking about it again.  Someone at a Career day in a special needs school got offended that a person who was a waitress at a Hooters restaurant was speaking to the children about her type of work; that is, serving tables in a Hooters restaurant.

Wow.  I thought.  What is her problem?  Does she never go out to eat?  Maybe she only eats in fast food restaurants, or buffets, and doesn’t let anyone wait on her.  Or maybe she only cooks at home and does all her own serving.  Still, even if that were the case, why look down on someone who is taking food orders and delivering it to people who want it that way?

If this is because of the pay scale…..  again, I say Wow.   This is a subject that seriously needs addressing.  The inequalities present in our system are there because we put them there.  We choose to place one person’s type of work above another’s, in spite of the fact that we want all those different types of work to exist within our society.  We choose to assign different levels of pay to those different types of work, in spite of the fact that all the types contribute to the smooth functioning of all our lives.

Does the person who works in the tall buildings with the corner window office actually believe they would be able to do their job as well without all the things provided him or her by all those people interacted with on a daily basis?  What makes you think that the  person serving you your coffee at the drive up window, to help you be alert and ready for your job,should be paid less than you?  Or the person who cleans your suits to make you look presentable for your other interactions. Why is their  job considered less valuable than yours?   The arbitrary dollar value someone places on the different jobs is not actually a good indicator of the worth of either the person doing the job, or the necessity of the job being done.

The fact that some people had to pay large amounts of money out for a required education is sometimes used as a justification for charging higher fees for services.  That is a subject for another day, but suffice it to say, that the founding fathers wanted our nation to be educated in order to compete with other nations.  A College education should be free for all our people, all the way through a Bachelors degree, since that is what is required to be competitive.

If we take out the need to repay the educational dollars as a reason to assign an arbitrary dollar value, that leaves just the expense of doing the job.  For doctors, that would mean more, since their equipment is more expensive (shared offices help with that),  and the liability issues become another factor (torte reform).

Some people believe that the number of people served is a justification for an increase in pay scale.   Does the person who thinks this live on an island, entire of itself?  Yes, that is a reference to Don John.  We do not exist without each other.  There is no real independence except for hermits who live in caves in the hills or holes in the desert, and they don’t get paid by anyone.

The garbage collectors in New York city proved that they are a necessary and valuable part of your existence.  They had to stop doing their job to make you acknowledge it, but you finally gave them their dues.  Now they get paid a better wage.  The person who harvests the food that you eat is also worthy of the same consideration.  Alabama is now finding out just how valuable that job should be.  No one who is Not an “undocumented worker” will stay with the job at it’s current pay scale.  The tomatoes are rotting in the fields because there is no one to pick them.

The person who drives the bus to carry so many people to work is valuable, and so is the person who drives the bus that carries your children to school so that they may have the ability to properly co-exist with others both in the now, and in the future. Why should their pay scale be so low?   Or the teacher who shapes their views of the world?  Why should you think that the advertising executive should get paid so much more than the street sweeper?  Does the advertising executive actually improve the most people’s live’s?   The street sweeper keeps the streets in a state of clean that makes it possible for many people to walk about or drive on it in a reasonable condition.  The successful advertising executive only improves the lives of  those who work inside the firm that they work for.  Why should you respect the advertising executive, and not the street sweeper?

Why should the worker who serves you the hamburger be despised for their work?  Are they not giving you something you want?  Are they not providing you with a valuable service?  If you wanted to be serving yourself, you’d be in a different restaurant, or at home, making your own food.  If you don’t directly benefit from someone who serves hamburgers for a living, then you benefit indirectly.  The hamburger server provides a service to many people.  All of them members of your society, in one context or another.  When someone, anyone, provides any service to you or any member of your society, that you could not, or did not want to do for yourself, that service is valuable to you, and should not be dismissed as beneath you; neither the work, nor the worker. They have added value to your life, they are worthy of your respect.

I’m still pondering the ways and means of how we could change things in a fair way, to raise the pay of one type and lower the pay of another type of work until we all get paid the same for an hours work.  Maybe this isn’t possible, given that no one would then harvest the food, being as it is harder work than sitting at a desk writing.

Hah!  Wouldn’t  that be something, when the food harvester gets paid more than the advertising executive.

© 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 going to apologize up front.  This is going to be a rant.  A Milk Rant.  I love whole milk.  It’s my favorite drink.  I grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and whole milk.  They were the main staple in my picky-eater diet.  Milk is still my mainstay.  Whole milk. It’s my go to food when I’m in a hurry.  It’s my re-hydrater after a really hard work out. It’s my snack between meals, and my treat when I get home from work.

For a while there, when I was a child, we even had real, whole, un-homogenized milk straight from the dairy farm.  That milk had a Lot of cream in it.  It would rise to the top when the milk sat for a little bit.  We would skim part of it off and put it into a quart jar and shake it for about 45 minutes and turn it into butter.  Even after we did that, there was plenty of cream left in the milk to make it taste good.  It was wonderful milk.  And I never got fat on any of it.  We just didn’t have the total caloric intake to make that happen. Not for any of  the 13 of us (including step siblings).  We weren’t starving, but we didn’t any of us get heavy.

The milk at the grocery store had to have at least 5% volume of cream left in it to qualify as whole milk.  It tasted pretty good.  Then they came up with 2% Milk.  Yechchch!   And then 1% milk.   Bleh!   And the final insult was the even worse skim milk, which had no taste of milk at all, just awfulness. Ptuie!!!!

So Ok, I bought 5% pasteurized homogenized milk my whole life.  Until lately.  What is this stuff?  I bought a gallon of milk with the red cap on it, like it always had when it used to say it had 5% milk fat in it.  My mouth was watering for it.  I was all set to quench my thirst with that rich cool liquid food.  I filled a mug with it and raised it to my lips, poured it over my tongue and swallowed.  “What,  I thought, is wrong with this?”   I tried it again, savoring the liquid for a bit to sort out what was different.  “It tastes like it doesn’t have enough fat in it”, I thought.  I called my teenage daughter over and asked her to try it. She likes milk almost as much as I do.  She raised the cup to her lips and tasted the milk.  A puzzled expression came over her face.  She tried it again.  Yep. she said, it’s 2%.

We both looked at the labeling, in case we accidentally bought some that said 2% but had a red cap on it.  Nope.  There’s no indication at all of the percentage of total milk fat.  They have changed the labeling.  It doesn’t say what the cream percentage is anymore.  It has a whole lot of percent daily value per serving going on in it, but nothing about the volume of cream in the milk.  I compared the new jug of milk to an older jug that I bought from a different store.  We had drunk that milk and then cleaned out the jug and put water in it for emergency storage.  Surprise, it too had no indication of the total percent volume of milk fat in it.  That gallon of milk, though, didn’t taste like 2%.   It  tasted normal.

So, what is the deal?  Why the change in labeling?  Are you trying to change over all the milk to a lower fat volume without us noticing it?  It’s not going to work for those of us who are true milk lovers.  I never liked the 2% milk.  It’s barely recognizable as milk.  It’s tolerable if it’s added to sugary cereal, or if you add chocolate to it, but otherwise I’d just as soon not drink it.  By the way, adding 2% milk to sugary cereal doesn’t reduce your total caloric intake.  It raises it. No fat, plus sugar does not equal a diet food.  And who wants to drink a glass of reduced fat milk with a carrot or an apple anyway?  No one.  It’s wholly unsatisfying and therefore will not work.

Stop the nonsense and get back to real food.  The milk fat levels for whole milk should remain at 5%.  And put it back on the label!

 

© 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.

A report on the Fox news channel in Michigan highlights the progress we’ve made as a nation, or lack of it, in the last 60 years.  It  has never been made more evident than by the threat from a city in Michigan to a woman growing a vegetable garden in her front yard how much freedom we’ve lost to the never ending cycle of create legislation to appease the complainers.  Imagine the effrontery.  How dare she attempt to feed her family with home grown vegetables, and then flaunt it by planting the garden in her front yard.

Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan used her front yard to showcase a very orderly vegetable garden.  Someone in her neighborhood complained that she shouldn’t have it in the front yard.   The city of Oak Park decided to interpret a city ordinance that stated that a front yard should have suitable live plant material in it, to mean it should only have grass, trees, and flowers.  No vegetable garden allowed.  At least, it’s willing to spend a lot of taxpayer money to go to trial over that.  I guess they didn’t get the memo from the First Lady.  Vegetable gardening is good.

In my opinion, the woman should be given an award for community service.  Her garden will help those around her who may not have as much knowledge of gardening, to understand more about where our food comes from; not only that, but growing her own food may be helping her stay off of food stamps.  If she can help teach others how to grow food, maybe some of them could avoid food stamps too; or at least, not need as much help from the state.

I’ll go a step further and say that we should require that people who live in government housing grow vegetable gardens in their front yards, and give them the seeds and the assistance from the county agricultural extension agent to succeed at it.  In a time where every state and city and community is stretched to it’s max for tax dollars, we should be encouraging people to grow their own food where ever a garden can be grown.  Front yard, back yard, side yard, or roof-top garden.  It’s all good.  It’s all food that helps people live better.

We should support her efforts.  Create your own community protest and spread the gardening.  If your front yard gets good sunshine plant some vegetables in it.   A little border of lettuce, some radishes, a cucumber growing up the trellis.  Tomatoes in pots on the doorstep (they used to be grown for their decorative quality).  Put onions in the planters with Marigolds, and potatoes up against the porch.  Grow a pumpkin around a corn stalk, or a patch of Sunflowers with squash in between.

Do you like flowers better?  Look up the plants for an edible flower garden.  All lilies are edible except Lilies of the Valley.  Hibiscus flowers dried and powdered and added to water make a great drink. Hardy Kiwis are beautiful green and pink vines (you need a male and a female) to grow over an arbor. Plant some real fruit trees, dwarf or full size,  instead of the flowering only decorative kind (coordinate with a neighbor if you need both a male and a female tree and you don’t have the room for both).

Use this coming winter to plan and prepare your protest garden.

© 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.

When a grass roots movement on the right meets a grass roots movement on the left, and they share some common goals, it’s time to pay attention.

Adrian Sainz of the Associated Press reported that during a lively question and answer session, the members of the Occupy Memphis movement informed their cultural counterpart Memphis Tea Party movement of some of this groups aims. When the Memphis  Tea Party movements group heard how the Occupy Memphis group wanted to limit the influence of lobbyists on Legislators, they extended an invitation to join ranks.

If the two movements link up, even temporarily, to achieve the goals they have in common, the legislators are going to have a tough time ignoring them.  If members of both movements can meet in each city, and discuss what their goals are, and when finding common ground, agree to work together for those goals, there will be no wriggle room for their respective legislators to deny them success in those goals.

I became an Independent voter because of the apparent lack of a rational middle ground in either party; however, I believe there are people of all parties that desire, or at least would settle for,  a rational middle ground, rather than the total stalemate that currently exists.  Our legislators will continue to use the extreme issues to deny us all of any forward progress as long as we continue to polarize ourselves.  It’s an easy control measure for them only if we let them use it.  We have to be smarter than that if we want real, effective change in our government.

Our Forefathers, who set our form of government up, did not agree on everything, but they came together and discovered their mutual goals, and agreeing on those, fought for their independence from the tyranny of any corruptible Crown.  Our legislators have become confused by influences that do not have our countries best interests at heart.  The personal and professional agendas have taken precedence over the health of the nation.  This has caused an egregious burden on the average working person, no matter what your party affiliation.  As a result our people are re-discovering their power to influence, because if we don’t do it, who will?  Each movement has some valid points.  Each movement has people with good intentions in it.  But neither movement can, by itself, obtain goals that both movements want.  Joining forces to achieve common goals, like our Forefathers did, is a sensible and probably necessary thing to do.  For the health of our country.  Perhaps it’s not everything that either movement wants, but it’s some progress, and some progress is better than no progress every time.

© 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 read with interest Steve Almond’s “In Defense of Male Clutter”.   Though I am not male, I too have a lot of clutter, and I wanted to see what his defense consisted of.  The main points were memories (I cheer for that one) and the second one was about someday being able to do something with an object.  I sympathize with that one.

I grew up in a military family.  Every time we moved, we got rid of everything not essential to the household.  I had very few items left to remember my childhood with.  There are few objects to help me picture a scene, or moment from my childhood.  I have little to pass down to my children.  So I treasure odd things now.  I keep things that others do not understand the reason for keeping.

I have lately come to realize that some of the things I keep could be put into scrapbooks, the more easily to tote about and the more easily to pass on to my children as well.  Sorting through the boxes of items that have been lugged about is a daunting task. One that has so far been put aside for other priorities.  So I still have boxes full of things cluttering up the spaces in my home.

The other things I keep are more about the idea that I will do something with them sometime.  Every time I follow someone’s well meaning advice and get rid of something, I end up wishing I had it back six months later.  Of course, that’s when I needed the item.  It doesn’t matter what it was, it only matters that I don’t have it anymore and now I have to go out and buy another one to do what I was going to do with the item in the first place.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if I had unlimited resources, but I don’t.  In fact, my resources, like many other people’s are very limited.  So I’ll keep my clutter, thank you, and live better with the results.

© 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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