Belated Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful

Random Thoughts

I am a Patriot.  Flawed though I sometimes feel this country is, I would fight to the death to defend it.  We live a very privileged life in this country and quite often we forget that.  No, we’re not perfect and there are so many things that need fixed (why are there still children going to bed hungry here in the Land of Plenty?).  And being Free also means the freedom to be bad and awful.  Still, I would live nowhere else.

The Stars and Stripes flying high is the symbol of our land.  The symbol of our freedom.  The symbol of all the lives given in her defence.  I never fail to get teary eyed when the flag is flown and our anthem played, still, at 52 years of age.

My son found a video by Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Alligiance.  I love it.  Yes, it dates me.  Yes, there are those who are offended by the ‘under God’ part.  And, actually, those two words were added later.  But it is a reminder of what the flag stands for – The United States of America.   Our America the Beautiful and the people and the freedom it represents.  I’m posting a link to a version that a teacher did for her students with a photo montage that runs while Red Skelton talks.  It’s beautiful.  For those of you with other belief systems, please ignore or substitute.  Old Glory loses none of her meaning or power, whether those two words are there or not.

Life at Our House

So it’s been nearly a month since my last post.  Yeesh.  There’s been migraines, possible food poisoning?, computer issues (thankfully, finally resolved), storm with power outage, graduation parties, Boy Scout camp (1st of two), a heat wave that threatened to cook the computer (I had ice packs under the lap desk fan under the computer just so I could watch the Tour de France), um, The Tour de France is going on, and that nasty old, need to kick its ass to the curb, tomorrow, tomorrow… (didn’t I do a post about this already? *sigh*)  Oh, and should I say it’s 11:00 pm right now?  Must resolve to do better and then do it.  Some highlights:

I got to help shorten our power outage by helping the linemen find an exploded transformer.  Which, by the way, I had been told no longer existed because the new substation down the road was supposed to have replaced it.  Snort.  The  transformer up on the hill in the woods in front of our house had gone out so often and took at least 5 hours to repair each time that I acquired a nice little collection of oil lamps.  Finally, one year when a serious storm came through and really made a mess which required hours of chainsaws just to get to the transformer, they decided to put in the substation down the road.  Well, we’ve had very few problems since then.  Then this storm came through and the non-existent transformer went and put on a major explosive type light show.  Lightning hit the substation.  No power.  Well, my back up battery for the fish tanks was dead (no air for the fish) and I was fretting and decided to go outside with a battery lantern and pot some plants.  So I was there when the linemen came looking for the reason they couldn’t get the power back up.  Sooo, I walked out to the street to one of the men walking behind the truck, pointed straight up, and told him, “It’s on top of the hill about here.”  He looked up and up and asked if there was another way to it.  I told him there were two ways to get there.  One was to go through the yard of the neighbor diagonal to us and follow the lines.  It was the long way in and horribly overgrown because no one comes to keep the line clear.  Which is what usually starts all the problems.  The other way in, the short way, was to climb the hill (it’s steep enough you can reach out with your hand and touch the hill while going up), tie a rope to a tree and toss it down for the others to use to get up while hauling equipment.  “You’re kidding me, right?!” he exclaims.  “Sorry,” I replied.  So he went up the hill with much muttering.  Shortly after that another guy tried the other route with much muttering.  A guy in a bucket truck came by to see what was going on and left, laughing.  They chose to hike the longer less steep route following the lines.  Power came back on not too much later.


So one of the things on the agenda was my nephew’s graduation.  Already?   *sigh*  It was both fun and not fun.  The not fun sent me to the bathroom immediately upon arrival home.  Spider Bait followed the next morning.  Of my group, no one else got sick.  Turns out we were the only two that ate the chicken.  There wasn’t a mass problem at the party, but my son and I have highly sensitive insides.  It sucks sometimes.  For the ‘fun’, my SIL had a photo booth brought in.  I was forced to wear a chicken on my head.  Don’t ask how my son cut me out of the group photo, I have no freakin’ clue.


I did manage some work.  I got some fresh dill put up for the winter.  Bought a bunch from the farmer’s market.

Snip off all the soft bits and wash.  I leave out the woody stems.

Then put it in a mixer with 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil for every cup of gently packed herb.   Whir till it looks like pesto.

Put in ice-cube tray and freeze.

Pack in zip lock bags or, what I love, use a Food Saver (worth every penny, food keeps without freezer burn for ages).


Okay, Saver of Bugs.  Here is the recipe for

Hamburger Stroganoff

  • 1 lb. ground meat
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper or 1/2 tsp. canned ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 small can mushrooms
  • 2 tbls. flour
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • pasta or biscuits or mashed potatoes

Combine hamburger, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and flour.  Cook until meat is browned.  (Since I have grease issues, I put the ground meat in alone till most of the grease/juice has come out of it and then drain it.  It will still have pink bits.  Then I throw everything in and finish browning it.  The flour binds the grease but is also necessary for the brown bits at the bottom.  If you add the salt, etc. before you drain it, you will drain that out with the grease.)  Add the soup, undiluted, and heat up.  I then turn the heat off with the soup smeared all over the bottom to soften the brown bits and then go finish fixing the noodles.  When the noodles are done, I scrape the bottom of the pan to get up the brown bits.  Then I turn on the heat and add the sour cream.  Heat through.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

 Sooo, I don’t always get caught out with animals, but this time I did.  When I bought my Bearded Dragon I knew he would get big.  But I thought I had time before I needed a large cage.  Oops.  Nothing in the books said how fast they grew.  But I noticed I couldn’t keep this guy fed and he was getting skinny.  Part of the problem was also my fear of impaction.  I decided to go surfing the net and see what I could find that sounded reliable.  According to the breeders, these guys can grow up to 2 inches a month.  2 INCHES A MONTH!!!  -ACK!-  Not to mention the fact that crickets now cost 10 cents a cricket!  (*head to desk*)  So I’m going to have to work on procuring lodgings sooner than expected.  The most likely scenario will be putting all the hermit crabs into one tank and giving the other 20 gallon to him.  I have a 90 gallon that was originally for the hermit crabs once I got the house in order.  (Thanks to a one time job on a construction cleaning crew during our high school remodel.)  But it’s looking like the lizard is going to get it unless I can find a cheapo tank in a yard sale.  Or I score major cash at Christmas.  Oh, and I’m going to start raising crickets again.  I can’t afford to keep buying them.  He’s currently eating mealworms for breakfast (I have a mealworm culture from my last lizard) and 20-25 crickets for dinner.  My 50 lb dog doesn’t cost this much to feed! *sigh*  Say hello to Galen.  His first picture is the day after I brought him home.  The second picture is from today.  Excuse the lighting.  Still working on how to get pictures through the glass.

Wow, long post and it’s nearly 1 am.  I’m off to bed.  Night!

Mug of the Day

2 responses to “Belated Happy Birthday to America the Beautiful

  1. Great new post. Way to be a power hero.
    And I love that “then & now” photo! Wow.

    • You have no idea the struggles and arguments before I even sat down finally to write this and then I found things had been ‘eaten’. Damn Mercury. I hadn’t even been paying attention to when this was coming. But I will persevere!

      Yeah. Galen. 2 bleeping inches a month! Whimper.

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