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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie #Recipe

pie crust
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to fold my gently into quarters, to transfer it more easily, then unfold it in the pie plate.)

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

Do ahead: Pie should keep for up to three days at room temperature but I have never, ever seen one last that long.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

the otter

Mr. Personality in the animal world may well go to the otter. A member of the weasel family the otter is found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Otters are normally small, with short ears and noses, long tails and soft dense fur. Not all otters are the same size as some are quite small in size while others are considered to be giants of the breed. However, one thing is for sure most otters are found in freshwater rivers, lakes and the Pacific Ocean. 

The long slim bodies and short limbs of an otter offers them a few of their dramatic features. The otters feet are webbed and are useful in swimming as well as the ability to hold their breath underwater. For protection the otter has sharp claws and a muscular tail. Another feature of the otter is found in their soft insulated underfur found under their outer long hair. The inner fur helps the otter to stay dry, warm and buoyant under water.

The insulated fur helps the otters that live in cold water and need to stay warm. Because of the otters life in the water they must eat plentifully. Most otter species will hunt for 3 to 5 hours a day in order to find enough to eat.

While many consider otters cute there are several several other defining characteristics as well These factors include:

  • aquatic
  • fish eaters
  • member of the weasel family

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Monday, May 27, 2019

What's on Your Burger

Many, I believe, most likely dined on hamburgers and hot-dogs this Memorial Day. What is it that you like to eat on your hamburger?? Do you like it plain with just a bit or do you load it up like a Dagwood?? The truth is I have had mine a number of different ways. 

Some great toppings include but are not limited to the following


  • Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Pepper Jack
  • Blue


  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Red onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Pickles
  • JalapeƱo peppers


  • Mayonnaise
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Ranch
  • BBQ sauce
What do you top your burger with??? 

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Joe Cool

I am sure that recognize the character above as snoopy. But did you know that snoopy had an alter ego known as Joe Cool??

Snoopy makes an appearance as Joe Cool on the TV special "You're not elected, Charlie Brown" "There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown" an "He's a Bully, Charlie Brown"

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Reading the Key To Success

Reading holds the door open to a future that is great. It seems that it is important to read with nearly activity. From grocery shopping, reading want ads or whatever it is being able to read is very important

You can do your child a favor by helping to keep reading fun and creative. Allowing them to see you read is one way to help them want to read. A few other ideas include:

  • Having a reading area where your child is comfortable, has a great variety of books at hand and is a place of their own is an awesome idea. If a reading corner in your home can be found that is awesome if not there are other great ideas
  • As I mentioned earlier reading takes place in a grand variety of places. Helping your child learn to read more than just books allows them to practice reading and helps them learn social skills as well. For example, have them read the menu when deciding what to eat, the name of streets that you walk past, instructions to games and activities that they help with. Reading is everywhere so your child should be able to read anywhere
  • Help your child understand what they are reading and if possible talk about how it applies to life. By seeing how stories in books have lessons that apply to real life your child may want to read more
  • Have reading materials within reach of your child. They need to see that reading takes place not only in school
  • Take your child to the library and get a library card. Your child has a wide choice of books to select and read at the library. 
  • Make reading a night time routine habit. This type of habit will help to see your child that reading can be relaxing
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Celiac Disease Awareness

Gluten-- the protein found in wheat, barley and rye is also the cause of a serious genetic autoimmune disorder known as Celiac disease. The protein known as gluten can damage and destroy the part of the small intestine known as villi.

Celiac disease can lead to many different health issues including

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  • malnutrition
  • cancer
  • thyroid disease
  • osteoporosis
  • infertility 
  • autoimmune diseases
Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease is genetic in form. Consuming gluten causes those with Celiac disease to damage the villi of the small intestine when their immune system responds to what it believes is danger. There are an estimated 1 in every 133 Americans that have celiac disease. However, the number could be larger than believed as not all sufferers are diagnosed correctly. 

It is estimated that many individuals will suffer between 6 to 10 years before correctly diagnosed with Celiac disease. There are no medications or treatments that have been found to treat Celiac disease. The only known thing that helps those that suffer is a 100% gluten free diet

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Moment In History

On May 5, 1868 General John A. Logan gave an order that all should take note of.

  • "The 30th of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the grass of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land...."

On the last Monday of May a great memorial for all those that have passed are honored. The day was originally set aside to honor the Northern Civil War soldiers that died. Since the beginning the day has been adapted to include fallen soldiers of any war.

Waterloo New York hosted the first Memorial day on May 5, 1866. Henry Welles a pharmacist in Waterloo New York spoke to veteran's organizations regarding graves of the dead being decorated. Decoration day would also see flags flying at half - mast, a parade that led to the local military cemetery and patriotic speeches. Another early celebration was led by Sue Landon Vaughan from Jackson Mississippi.

Sue Landon Vaughan, niece of President John Adams, desired to have the Confederate graves decorated on April 26, 1865. One year later four women from Columbus Mississippi decorated the graves of their fallen soldiers in Friendship Cemetery.

The individual to originate Memorial day in not known as many were involved around the United States making sure fallen soldiers were remembered.

May 30th 1868 saw the first nationwide Memorial Day Parade. A group of Civil War Union Army Vets led the parade. The date being so near the date that the south had surrendered the civil war offended the southern states. In 1891 Florida defined a new date that coincided with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. June 3rd as the Confederate Memorial Day However, this led to other states choosing their own date for Memorial day.

It was not until the end of WWI that the American Legion took over the task of creating a uniform Memorial Day The day would honor American service people both men and women from ALL wars or conflicts. There is only one state, Alabama,  that does not observe the stated day of Memorial Day. Alabama chose to celebrate the 4th Monday in April rather than the last Monday in May as their day to honor those who have served. Perhaps the day consistently remains a bit different in celebration but all have realized those that have served should be remembered.

Religious services and patriotic parades are all planned for the Memorial day. The tomb of the Unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery has a wreath placed by it on this day as well. At the Gettysburg Pennsylvania cemetery school children will place flowers over the graves of the unknown civil war soldiers.   In addition, an organization known as "hands Across America" raises money for the homeless and chose Memorial day to create a band of hands that would reach across the entire continent.


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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Create a Wild Life Garden in Your Back Yard

If one goal of your garden this year is to attract wildlife then you may be interested in reading this post. Now days it is easy enough to find wildflower seeds in garden centers as well as mail order seed suppliers. There are many lessons that can be learned from a wildlife garden. From the rich habitat where insects, amphibians, birds and small mammals of all kinds that are attracted to the garden to the variety of plants that can fill the spot that is shared.

Flowers provide nectar, pollen and seeds for all those that are entranced by the garden. What exactly will come to live in the garden are most likely the wildlife that is located in the local area. With this in mind selecting what plants to grow in the garden are the same ones that will help provide the inhabitants of the garden food, water and shelter.  Think of it like this if you will,,,, The Sesame Street Twiddle-bug that lived in Bert and Ernie's garden depended on what they could find in the garden to live.

A garden that contains the right plants can provide food  and shelter for insects and birds during the whole year. Plants that are rich in pollen and nectar feed the bees, butterflies and other insects in the spring thru the summer. Other plants that provide seeds and berries help feed the birds in the fall and winter months. Likewise plants that die off provide just the right amount of foliage that can shelter those that live in the garden. In addition, pines and related bushes provide a home and protection for the birds that stay in the garden. For a great list to find just the right plants to attract insects, birds and animals to your garden visit here

A few things to keep in mind when you are preparing a rich resource for nature and its inhabitants:

  • be sure to have a place where the animals can get to water. A resource like this should be perfect for drinking, bathing and breeding \
  • A place of shelter in bad weather and protection should be made available
  • the garden should include a place to reproduce, protect and nourish the young
Happy Gardening!!!

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A Bit About Paper Airplanes

My grandparents were foster parents and lived in a large house. One of the best things about visiting my grandparents was playing with all the kids. In the winter time we would spend hours flying paper airplanes in the upstairs hallway. At that time and place we were just concerned with having fun and were not concerned with the why's behind things. However, the fascination about things was simply slower to come.

Who did make the first paper airplane?? Why did they do it?? 

The Chinese deserve some credit for helping to create the airplane. Over 2000 years ago they created the first airplane. Another great explanation of creating the airplane was the inventor Leonardo DaVinci. It was a creation that occurred he was working on another invention DaVinci was always interested in the idea of human flight and most likely played around with paper while creating his designs Jack Northrop takes credit for helping to design the modern form of paper airplane. Northrop was the co-founder of the Lockheed aircraft corporation during the 1930s. .

Did You Know

  • a paper airplane in space will not fly straight?? Rather the Paper Aircraft Association says it will float in a straight line 
  • Paper airplanes are used by scientist, engineers and students to study aerodynamics
  • The longest that a paper airplane has ever stayed up in the air was 29.2 seconds.
During WWII the paper airplane gained lots of attention as many toys could not be produced they turned to paper to have a bit of fun flying airplanes

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The Lindy Hop

In the early 1900s there was a great fascination around the world. Some of the excitement was brought on by music, dance and entertainment. At about the same time there was a new fascination that included airplanes and pilots. Charles Lindbergh also known as "Lucky Lindy" had been observed and impressed many with his nonstop flight from New York to Paris. While Lindbergh was inspiring the world with his flight taking skills a new dance had started to spark as well.

The Lindy Hop, said to be named after the aviator who was inspiring the world had sparked dance marathons. It was a dancer, not knowing what move imparticular he was doing, told a interviewer he was dancing the "hop-- the lindy hop" The name was printed in the newspaper and before long the dance was known as the "lindy hop" Thus the dance craze had begun.

The dance originated in Harlem, New York City during the early 1930s. It is a combination of jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston dance moves. The dance is primarily known as a street dance. However, is considered to be a member of the swing dance family

The Lindy Hop craze swept America and then spread across the world Based on dances that were well known the Lindy hop is a dance for both partnered and solo dancing. The dance has often been called the Jitterbug as well because the two dances are very closely related. The Lindy Hop appeared in movies and was also spread via traveling soldiers. However, the dance would become a sign of the times

The dance was revived in the 1980s with American, Swedish, and British dancers. Changes have been made to the dance but the key elements remain. The Lindy Hop allows dancers to share their self expression, improvisation skills, energy, rhythm and swing skills.

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Rural Life Sunday

One special Sunday in May is set aside as Rural Life Sunday. On this day the heritage of the church is celebrated and communities are called to gather to celebrate by raising food and fiber. In addition, the ongoing crisis of life in the rural areas of the world are recognized.   

The date is set by an annual conference of the United Methodist Church. The date may honor individuals who have been stand out leaders in the rural church and community and often places on God's blessings upon the earth and its crops.

                                      O Lord, you have given us the gift of land.
May we ever protect and preserve it.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of water.
May we keep it pure and safe.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of air.
May we keep it pure and fresh.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of plants and trees.
May we ever use and protect them justly.

O Lord, you have given us the gift of birds and animals.
May we preserve and enjoy them.

O Lord, you have given us care of the earth.
O Lord, we accept the care of these gifts as our sacred stewardship.

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