Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easter 1974

Robert Todd & Tiffany 1974

Poor Man's Lasagna

This is the original recipe.. which is great.. I made a few changes which is why I've reposted it here.

Poor Man’s Lasagna

  • 16 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (24 oz)
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • Johnny's Seasoning Salt
Boil the pasta according to instructions on packaging. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. While the pasta is still warm, I like to add the cream cheese and cottage cheese to the pan with the pasta. Stir together until well mixed.
Brown the ground meat & chopped onion. I usually add a little Johnny's seasoning . Drain the meat.
Layer a 9×13 pan with pasta mixture, meat, and pasta sauce. Repeat. Add shredded cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
If there are a lot of leftovers, I often freeze them for a later time. You could also freeze it before baking and it would make a great freezer meal.

Downton Abbey...

I'm obsessed. My shelter friends were discussing this and I hadn't even heard of it. When I looked it up and found the Elizabeth McGovern was starring as Lady Cora... I bought the first season and gobbled it up.. and then went to Costco and gobbled up the second season like a novel that you can't put down. I tried folding laundry, but you really can't take your eyes of the screen.. so that didn't work.
What will happen to Mr. Bates and his faithful wife? Will Matthew and Lady Mary ever make it work? What will happen to Downton in the new age? Lady Sybil and the chauffeur? I can't wait to find out.
Maggie Smith is so brilliant. I love watching her roll her eyes, plot, manipulate and act all tough.. we know she's a marshmallow on the inside. Love it...
Downton Abbey
Don't miss.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Little Dorrit...

This was one that I missed when it aired on PBS... Goodness. This adaptation is brilliant and all family members but one are obsessed. I should buy it though. I hate how everything from Netflix comes scratched.. Netflix is on my list this week.

The Secret World of Arrietty...

I have to say that this film moved a little slow. However, my children were mesmerized by it... they barely blinked. TRAILER HERE..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lunch for my Valentines...

I have been waiting all month to have a lunch for my Valentines.. today was finally the day and even though there was small water issue and the disposal broke and a few other mishaps.. It mostly came together.. I did leave the broccoli in the steamer for the second time it did not make it to the table.. I'm done with broccoli..
Happy Valentine's Day... We're celebrating all month :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

George Washington... Happy President's Day!

George Washington...

No Man has a more perfect Reliance on teh alwise, and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary.
~George Washington to William Gordon, May 13, 1776.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bell Jar...

Thanks to Michelle for showing me this fun way to display
It will be nice to release all thoughts of Bell Jars from Sylvia Plath.. thank you very much.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This above are photos of Jen's brilliant President's Day Lunch.. the only President's Day lunch I've ever been to.. but I hope there will be many more. Thank you Jen! It was a perfect day. (Fabulous photos courtesy of Jennie Dopp.. Thank you Jennie!)

Friendship is a sheltering tree... ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Most of us don't need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with. 
~Robert Brault

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gratitude is a Princely Grace...

I wrote this article for Homemakers for American and they didn't end up using it.. so I'm going to publish it here and hope it's helpful to someone...

In the age of Entitlement, Gratitude is a Princely Grace: 10 Ways to make Gratitude Part of Your Childrens Lives

One of my husband’s professors in business school related a story about boarding a big city train with his large family. He was asked, "Are ALL of these children yours?" He answered that they were. "In a world of finite resources, how can you in good conscience have so many children?" The professor answered back, "We teach our children to contribute more than they consume." In an age of entitlement, that is the answer to many of society’s ills. But, how do you do that. Here are a few things that worked in my family growing up that I am trying hard to teach my own children.
1. Teach your children to love books. My mother and father read to us often. My mother preferred to read us large format stories with amazing pictures by talented artists. All of my mother’s children are art lovers. We loved horses, my dad read us books about horses: The Black Stallion, My Friend Flicka and Black Beauty. My Dad also loved the great poets and introduced us to Kipling, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Frost and others. When I was little, my parents weren’t rich, but we were surrounded by great books and so we had the world at our finger tips even though we lived in a very small town. We were introduced to other cultures and ideas and we knew what real poverty looked like. I remember coming home from the school library with a teen romance and having my dad send it right back to be replaced by books like The Hiding Place, The Robe, and books by James Michener and Irving Stone. I learned from those books about history and great writing and about courage and loyalty and other great values. I’ve noticed that many of the books on the current school list are quite light some of these consequential themes.
2. Be vigilant about the media you allow in your home. Children do not understand that the point of a program like The Simpsons is to make fun of bad behavior. Children will see you laughing and they will imitate that behavior. Bart is banned in my home as is Shrek and anyone else with bad manners or poor morals. Sponge Bob.. NO! I don’t expect that characters in books, music or film will always make right choices, that’s not art reflecting life, but I don’t allow media in my home that is not honest about the consequences of wrong choices. Children need to know that consequences always follow choices. In addition to the moral depravity you will keep away from your children, you will also keep them from advertisers who are anxious to tell them they can’t live without this or that thing.
3. Teach your children about money. I don’t believe in allowances. Out in the world, you don’t get an allowance, but I also don’t pay my children for every little thing they do. I don’t get paid for every little thing I do either. Some jobs we do just because we are part of a family and it takes efforts by everyone to make things run smoothly. After a certain age, children should be responsible for their own things. But, I also believe there should be ample opportunities for children to earn money of their own. When they are old enough to earn their own money, they should also be taught to manage it. What percentage should be saved? What can be spent? AND, what should be donated? Yes. I believe that children should learn to tithe. They should give 10 percent back to the Lord. If they don’t belong to a church, there are other ways they can learn to give, but a portion of what they earn should be given back in some way. I suggest ten percent. They should be taught to be charitable by example.
4. Teach your children to be grateful. This is pretty easy I think. If you are grateful, if you use the words "please" and "thank you" even when speaking to them, they will use those words as well. Count your blessings and teach your children to count theirs. Remember people in conversation who have helped you during the day, "Wasn’t it kind of that man to open our door?" Mention to your children how grateful you are for your home, for your church for your country and they will feel those things too.
5. Give your children yourself rather than toys or things. Nothing creates a brat faster than a child who is given stuff rather than attention. Nothing makes a child feel more special that a date with dad for ice cream. When I was little, I thought my dad loved pushing us in the swings more than anything else in life. Every once in a while my mom would say, "It’s your day, we can do whatever you want." Those words still make me happy.
6. Teach your children to admire the wonders of nature. My parents are not campers or outdoorsy in any way, but my dad loves his vegetable garden the pretty songbirds that visited our backyard, the sunsets and the stars. My mother loves the mountains, the flowers and the change of seasons. Growing up they often commented on these things and brought them to our attention and made us feel and acknowledge the wonder of the beauty around us.
7. Teach your children to have great joy in simple things. My grandfather always anticipates seasonal produce. He loves to stop and buy the cherries from a local grower, get the Vidalia Onions just as they come to market and buy the pick-your-own fresh peaches to make a pie. If you can’t be excited about the first bite of a new fall apple, you are missing something great in life. But, my point... there is something wonderful to celebrate everyday. Learn to be giddy about peaches and you’ll have a pretty happy life.
8. Learn to be patient. No one is above experiencing traffic, spilled milk, long lines and other minor irritations. Don’t make a big deal out of these things and the kids won’t either. Impatience is a lack of gratitude.
9. Don’t be afraid to discipline, but don’t yell and don’t hit. The point of discipline is to teach a child to discipline him or herself. If your kid doesn’t unload the dishwasher and you choose to ignore it, you aren’t doing the child a favor, When a child grows up and they don’t do their work... their boss will fire them. Families should be a training ground to make children ready to care for themselves and others. Allowing a child not to follow through teaches them that they are somehow entitled.
10. Love them. Let them know that they are loved, valued and appreciated and they will learn to love, value and appreciate others.
In my family now and growing up. These are some of the things that made a difference. I grew up in a family of seven children. All of my siblings have become people I admire and are people who contribute more than they consume.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Go Gators!

Go GATORS!!! or Florida State... :)
Custom Wedding Cake toppers

The Red Hunter by William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley was about the only defender of Senator Joe McCarthy. I miss William F. Buckley, the founder of the National Review and really the Conservative movement. He died at work at his desk in 2008. President Regan said of him, "You didn’t just part the Red Sea — you rolled it back, dried it up and left exposed, for all the world to see, the naked desert that is statism,” Mr. Reagan said.
“And then, as if that weren’t enough,” the president continued, “you gave the world something different, something in its weariness it desperately needed, the sound of laughter and the sight of the rich, green uplands of freedom.” I really miss him during great political contests like the one we are embroiled in right now. It is this contest that has me interested to go back and read some of Buckley's thoughts.

It was Buckley's firm belief that socialism and communism were the great enemy of our country and I agree with that more every day. In this book, Buckley talks about McCarthy's investigations into people and organizations that were determined to be loyalty security risks. Loyalty security is still something that is tested in our country. Long questionnaires, interviews and investigations are required to participate in government work at a security level. We would not want someone who is having a secret affair, a closeted gay, someone deep in debt to serve in a position where they could be blackmailed.  In addition to that, it mattered to McCarthy and a great number of Americans as they learned the truth about Stalin and his communist regime that America also be protected against communist ideologies.
Sadly, McCarthy had his own problems. Addicted to drink and with an Iago whispering horrid advice in his ear, he fell from a high place besmirching his own name and all the work he had done.
Today, communism in our country doesn't often go by that name, but it exists in the highest offices in the land. You still can't get a security clearance and be deep in debt or ironically an alcoholic... but you can hold any office while supporting policies that are responsible for enslaving millions.
A very interesting read indeed.

One Day...

In many ways this film was really well done. Just watching Anne Hathaway's changing hair and costumes kept my interest since it takes place during my own coming of age decades. But, though I'm also old enough to be a little more of a realist than a romantic. In high school and college.. this would have been a five hanky movie... no more.
With age and wisdom, this film is more of a cautionary tale. Love is a choice. Choose wisely. Instead of a love story, I saw a woman who wasted her life on a Heathcliff. Do you read Wuthering Heights as a cautionary tale? When my daughter reads Wuthering Heights, I might show her this film. Well, apparently, that's all I have to say about that.