If you really want to make a friend, go to his house and eat with him. The people who give you their food, give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez
Obviously, I cannot have everyone come to my house to eat. There is neither enough room nor enough chairs. So I share the recipes; then you can have a bit of my heart in your own home.
It’s cold weather time, which means time for cold weather food – warm soups, hot dips, warm sandwiches, aromatic things which make you sigh with contentment. I made baked spinach and artichoke dip the other evening while I was speaking with my daughter on the phone. She sighed and stated that her husband loves it, but it makes so much that she rarely makes it. Hellooooo? Then make it and invite friends and family over!!
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare 9″ pie plate with a thin film over olive oil. Cook the bag of spinach as directed, drain and squeeze out excess water with paper towels. While spinach is cooking, chop artichoke hearts. Soften cream cheese in microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Combine cream cheese with mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese, stirring until smooth and creamy. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika to cheese mixture and fold in. In pie plate, stir together artichoke hearts, spinach and cheese mixture until evenly distributed. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn broiler to High. Sprinkle dip with Parmesan cheese and return to oven to brown the cheese on top. Watch carefully as it will occur quickly and you don’t want to burn it, just achieve a nice golden brown color – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with tortilla chips, wheat crackers or pita bread.
That right there, my friends, is a lovely way to end a day. Friends, food, comfort and conversation.
In all actuality, I am getting ready to go for a run and I will probably have some leftover dip as a snack when I return!
“Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days. The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands is going to be something else.” ~Rick Klein, ABC News political director, Tweet, Jan 7,2021 (now deleted) but placed on ABC’s homepage.
Do you spot something interesting in this photo? Look closely. Out of all the people photographed performing the now infamous “Nazi salute”, one man is standing, arms crossed, refusing to comply. Oh my gosh! A rebel! In 2021, he would no doubt be tagged as a “deplorable” or better yet, a Trump supporter.
There stands a man with convictions. And he paid for them dearly . . . with his life. He refused to capitulate. Love for his family was of more value than his own life. Our country was formed on the basis of such values. Many men forfeited their lives, their families, their livelihoods, businesses, fortunes and reputations to make America what it has been . . . up to this point.
The quote I’ve posted above, came not from 1930’s Germany, but from 2021 following the “insurrection” at the US Capitol. Insurrection? A small group of protesters (without guns) and admittedly infiltrated by members of Antifa, breached the Capitol doors. Or did they? Video shows Capitol police moving the gates and waving protesters past. Additional footage from cellphones of those “breaching” the doors, show Capitol police standing by silently as they enter.
August Landmesser, the brave gentleman shown in the photo above, stood on his principles and refused to continue supporting the Nazi party of which he’d been a member. The Nazi salute was a mandatory act for German citizens to show loyalty to the Nazi party. Mr. Landmesser’s refusal to do so was outright defiance. Two years after joining the Nazi party in 1931, August met and fell in love with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman and proposed in 1935. After word of his engagement got out, he was expelled from the Nazi party. Attempting to procure a marriage license was in vain as the Nuremburg Laws forbid marriage to Jews. This photo was taken in 1936 and a year later, August attempted to flee with Irma and their daughter to Denmark but was detained and charged with “dishonoring the race” under those same Nuremburg Laws. He was acquitted after a year and instructed to forego any relationship with Irma. Being a man of principles and integrity, he refused and was arrested again and spent the next three years in a concentration camp. Irma herself, now pregnant, was sent first to an all-women’s concentration camp where she gave birth to their second daughter and then to an extermination camp where she was killed. Following his time at the concentration camp, August was pressed into wartime service and was later reported missing, assumed dead in Croatia. (The tragically powerful story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute | The Independent | The Independent)
Imagine, growing up and believing that your country espouses and supports freedom: freedom of religious belief, freedom to work and prosper, freedom in the pursuit of happiness (including marriage), freedom to align with a particular political party, and freedom of expression. Now imagine:
Suddenly your social media feeds are censored, blocked or removed because you do not support the popular political party.
For months, a virus with a 99.4% survival rate, has resulted in forced business closures, social distancing, mask mandates, lockdowns, limits on family gatherings, forced abandonment of older family members in nursing homes with no physical contact, and cessation of religious services. ALL in the name of health . . . for a virus with a 99.4% survival rate?
Governors of states, such as Florida and South Dakota, who refuse to follow strict mandates pushed forward in other states such as California and New York, are ridiculed, put down and censured. All the while their states continue to flourish – even with Florida and New York having the approximate same number of citizens. Matter of fact, South Dakota’s increasing tax revenues gave them a budget surplus. How many other states can claim that during forced lockdowns?
For four years, “peaceful” (insert snark here) protests resulting in riots, murders, looting of businesses, takeovers of portions of cities (Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington come to mind), attempts to overthrow federal buildings — are not only condoned but encouraged by leaders in the Democratic party.
What comes next? You tell me.
If you’re reading this . . . please . . .
Don’t go along mindlessly with the flow. Be an August Landmesser in a sea of sheeple. Stand on YOUR principles.
“I’m unapologetic not because I’m strong-willed or overconfident, I’m unapologetic because this is it; this is my life. There is nothing I can do, no one I can please. I am a person with a strong sense of being, that is all.” ~ Jean Seberg
It’s time. Time to stand up for what is right. Time to no longer sit down quietly, and let others decide the course of events that will affect me, affect my family and generations to come. Time to let go of popular things that many people cannot fathom living without.
Facebook – gone, deleted.
Instagram – gone, deleted.
Censorship – done with it.
Factcheckers – literally uneducated quacks who strike down anything that doesn’t fit with the current narrative – can kiss my ass.
Yes,I voted for Trump. But he’s not the be all and end all. While he did a great number of good things for the US, he was also human; he had his foibles. While I identify with the Republican party, the party and it’s representatives are also not the be all and end all. Many of the elected Republican senators and representatives have turned tail in the face of adversity. Instead of standing for the Republic that was the United States of America, they have allowed themselves to be cowed, or bought, or frightened of losing their positions of power or economic comfort.
Sanctions are rolling in:
Democrats calling for sanctions against and removal from office of Republican representatives and senators who dared to follow the Electoral Count Act of 1887 and call into question the electoral votes. Something Democrats have done previously in 2001, 2005, and 2017. Did Republicans call for their removal from office? Of course not, because historically Republicans follow the law.
“In 2001, House Democrats challenged the certification of electoral votes for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, a Republican, but the objection failed because no senator agreed to sign the written objection. “The objection is in writing, and I do not care that it is not signed by a member of the Senate,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said during the 2001 joint session of Congress.”
Even during Trump’s inaugration in 2017, riots and looting ensued. Democrats were notoriously quiet.
“Six police officers were injured and 217 protesters arrested Friday after a morning of peaceful protests and coordinated disruptions of Donald Trump’s inauguration gave way to ugly clashes in downtown Washington. . . . Bursts of chaos erupted on 12th and K Streets as black-clad “antifascist” protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police lined up in an eastbound crosswalk. . . . Anti-Trump protests also broke out Friday in U.S. cities, including New York, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. Authorities in Seattle say one person was in critical condition at a hospital with a gunshot wound.”
Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham told CNN, “We have been pointing out all along that this is a very isolated incident, and by and large, everything is going peacefully. . . “
Reading the above quote, what is reported is far from peaceful. If you Google “peaceful defined” this is what returns: 1. free from disturbance; tranquil. 2. not involving war or violence. How anyone can read the quote above from CNN and find it free from disturbance, tranquil and not involving violence is sadly hilarious, because in reality you cannot describe the above scene and call it peaceful. Nor is having these incidents spread across several cities, “isolated.”
Now with the election of 2020 confirmed, Democrats control the House and the Senate with a Democrat president and vice-president. Following the last four years of vitriol and undisguised hatred against President Trump, against the working class who supported him, and virtually anyone who speaks or has spoken in his defense – I am fearful. Rioting and looting has been encouraged and supported by the Democrat leaders:
“No peace, no sleep! No peace, no sleep! . . . If you see anybody from that cabinet (Trump’s) in a restaurant, in a dpeartment store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them . . . ” ~ Maxine Waters, D-Ca, 2018 (encouraging harassment of Trump supporters)
“You know there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.” ~ Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) (apparently this only applies to Democrats protesting and rioting)
“I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. . . ” ~ Spkr. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
What are my fears for the future? History has a tendency to repeat itself. Let’s look back at 1930’s Germany, shall we?
In 1928, the Nazi party only received 2.5% of the votes in Germany’s parliament. By 1930, the Nazi party received 18.3% of the vote, expanding their seats in German Parliament from 12 to 107. Move forward two years, and in 1932 the Nazi party received 37% of the votes. Hitler was made chancellor by the German President and it just snowballed from there – parliamentary members were evicted from their seats (sound familiar?). From there, the German President passed the “Enabling Act” which allowed Hitler as Chancellor to “deviate from the constitution as necessary.” From there labor unions and political parties were banned and censorship went into high gear.
This is all historical fact – not a conspiracy theory, not a fairy tale. You can find it here or here.
Words hold power, and as such must be used carefully. Truth is expressed by words, but so are lies. Words heard often enough but not researched for factuality will often become passed along as gospel truth. Repetition has long been used as a form of brainwashing in concentration camps, cults, and now increasingly through our mainstream media. Don’t believe me?
“A colloquial term, it is more generally applied to any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action against the desire, will, or knowledge of the individual. By controlling the physical and social environment, an attempt is made to destroy loyalties to any unfavourable groups or individuals, to demonstrate to the individual that his attitudes and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling party.“
I chose to removed my Facebook page and Instagram accounts because I choose not to be subject to the censorship that abounds through those channels. I meticulously check and double-check the news that I read from reputable and multiple non-US sources against what is reported stateside.
I am angry. I am furious. I am unarguably unapologetic because my life matters, not to those in power, but to me and my family. My stance will not be popular, I will be labeled such things as “conspiracy theorist” or “overreactive” or “lunatic” even, but I promise this . . . I will not back down.
“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
I don’t claim to know everything, in fact I’d rather not. But I do take some pride in being smarter than the average bear. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out inconsistencies in the last US Presidential election that warrant further investigation:
Several swing states that suddenly stopped counting ballots when the Republican candidate was ahead and then when reconvening the count, amazingly showed the Democrat candidate had jumped ahead by more than a few votes.
Video footage of suitcases of ballots being pulled out from underneath a table where they appear to have been hidden after ballot counting had been shut down for what was reported to be a “water leak” (and was in actuality a singular clogged toilet) and yet . . . those ballots were removed from underneath a table and counted while counting was stopped (and captured on recorded security camera footage)? Yeah . . . that’s not hinky!
Sworn testimony of US postal workers, ballot counters, and registered voters ranging from mail in ballots that were not creased or having appeared to have actually been mailed in, to being forced to mark ballots with a Sharpie marker (which renders them un-readable by the machine and leads to adjudication by a person who decides what the voter actually “meant”), to voters receiving mail-in ballots which they never requested, not to mention numbers of deceased people voting from the grave.
Independent audits of the Dominican voting machines which shows how votes can easily be flipped, and shows a 68% rate of error in tabulating votes leading (again) to adjudication.
Yet the Democratic party, courts, judges, Senators and Representatives are shoving these questionable results down our throats. I, for one, hate having anything shoved down my throat without logical explanation. It has a tendency to piss me off, for lack of a better turn of word.
Why? One of my first words and one that drove my mother crazy. I have difficulty accepting anything illogical in blind faith. Especially, when there is an opportunity to provide explanation.
Why not let the courts hear the evidence? If there is no wrong-doing, it will come out in the end.
Why not examine the Dominican voting machines? If there are exaggerated claims of error, it will come out in the end.
Why not allow the testimony of witnesses to be heard? If they are lying, it will come out in the end.
When I am under attack, yet sure of my position, I welcome any and all investigation into the facts. If accusations are false, they will be found out. If I am wrong, I am willing to admit it, but I will not lie down and accept questionable bullshit that is compounded by an unwillingness and downright denial of examination.
My anger is not solely directed at this last Presidential election – it is a fear for the future of my country. If this election has been manipulated and is fraudulent, why continue the voting process at all. What is the point of having a farce of voters going to the polls if manipulation is not only allowed but encouraged. When the people are no longer allowed to elect their leaders, we have not a democracy but a dictatorship.
“When I look in the mirror, I try not to see myself becoming wrinkled with age. Instead, I try to envision myself as acquiring a beautiful patina which only appears with time.” ~ Unknown
I believe we can safely assume that I have an innate fondness for old things. Furniture, clothing, homes, my recycled sari skirts are just a few examples. An acquaintance recently made a comment specifically about the skirts and the words struck a chord in me.
” . . . one has definitely been well used. I like that. A patina of another woman’s life.” ~ Andrea Jones
Apparently the words resonated with several women due to the comments she received. For the last few days, I’ve been pondering those words. My father lived in an older section of Independence, Missouri when I was a teen. Driving to his house on the rare occasion, we would pass thru historical sections with old houses (which were already intensely fascinating to me by this age). I can remember my step-mother and I discussing the history that may have occurred in those homes and “if only the walls could talk.”
As I wear my skirts, I wonder what occasions they’ve seen – joyous, mundane, or painful. I wonder about the women that wore them prior to myself – what they were like, their age, their experiences, whether they had young children that played in the folds, or whether they were older with children grown.
It’s the same with the houses – I walk thru on the original hardwood floors, contemplating who walked here in years past. Who touched the wooden railings, perhaps carried sleeping children up the stairs to put them to bed? What scenes have played out behind the original windows with their cotton candy glass panes?
Antique furniture raises even more questions. I wonder where it was purchased and by whom? Whether it has traveled far from it’s origination? Was it a gift? Who else lovingly ran their hands over the surfaces? What did they see when they looked in the mirrors?
I firmly blame such movies as “Somewhere in Time” or “The Love Letter” or even “Bridges of Madison County” for my fascination with how lives will affect other lives throughout time. It doesn’t have to be a life of infamy, just the routine life of an Iowa housewife whose family learned new things about her after she passed. I wonder what my children will learn about me, for they don’t know everything. I only hope they can take joy in some of the things they learn.
“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ~ Carl Sandburg
It is customary in most jobs to have a performance review or a progress report done annually. This allows goals to be set, and allows both the employee and the employer or supervisor to monitor progress towards the goals. Pretty simple concept.
Often in my walk of faith, I check in with God for a progress report. Usually done in quiet, this gives me a chance to see if I’m doing well, if there are things I need to change, new ideas that may or not may be in alignment with His plan, etc. It’s not a scheduled event, just something that occurs when I feel a certain heaviness or restlessness.
This time, the tete-a-tete occurred in the quiet stillness of a misty night while sitting alone in the hot tub. As I glanced around at the silhouettes of bare trees against the grey sky, I first marveled at the seasons and how each feeds into the next. (Cue the “Circle of Life” from The Lion King, here if you choose.) This segued into the idea of the seasons of our lives – infancy, childhood, teen years, young adult, mature adult (give or take), older adult, even wiser and older adults. We start out taking in infancy as we rely on others to meet our every need, but (hopefully) as we get on in years, we are giving more than we take, guiding and mentoring those who are younger.
My next thoughts were, ‘Am I doing enough?‘ Being an overachiever with OCD and a propensity for perfectionism, I’m very concerned with no doing ‘enough.’ Who gets to arbitrarily determine what ‘enough’ is, I’m not sure.
To what standards am I holding myself? There are many. Proverbs 31 describes a great role model for women. Titus 2:3-5 gives instruction for older women. From a young age, I’ve been an avid reader of biographies of strong women: Corrie ten Boom, Amelia Earhart, Gladys Aylward, Jessie Benton Fremont, Louisa May Alcott, Wilma Rudolph, Florence Nightingale, Lillian Trasher and Joanna Gaines. Most assuredly I am not perfect, nor do I aim to be. I have made more than my fair share of mistakes and will own my part in them willingly.
As recent upheavals and life events have started to settle down, my next question is, “What’s next?” Life is never dull; it isn’t to be viewed as an observer but a full-fledged participant. While I don’t exactly know what’s next, I know that I am more than likely already on my way to the next set of adventures.
Ever have those times where you are so simply and perfectly happy, that you try to hold the moment in your head and your heart as if it were a photograph? Memories that can be pulled out, dusted off and reviewed when things are painful or difficult are important?
While I hate medical diagnoses, I think sometimes that’s what it takes to make us truly appreciate the life that goes on around us. When you realize that our time is finite . . . . I guess what I’m thinking is that some of the things we THINK are the most important are really not that important, and the things we take for granted are some of the MOST important.
Take for instance — weddings. People spend thousands of dollars on the reception, the honeymoon, flowers, the dress. Months are devoted to planning the venue, the wedding party and the menu. Is it the ceremony that is so important, or is the years that follow — making memories as a couple? There is usually photographic evidence of the ceremony as well as the license and of course the rings. But those moments that are precious — stepping into the first home, celebrations of personal milestones, arguments and make-ups, or just moments of pure happiness — those are the things that are really important.
Graduations are just as bad — ceremonies, photos, diplomas, parties. Not that the accomplishment isn’t important. The work is generally difficult and time-consuming. The certificate and/or honors are well-deserved. Of greater importance is the aftermath — doing something with what was learned. What is the point of obtaining greater knowledge if we accept the diploma and then stop?
The holidays in our household aren’t always traditional. Sometimes we are with family, others we aren’t – it may just be me, or me and one of the kids, or all of us in one place. Regardless, it is a time to make memories. Some of my best memories of Thanksgiving are the years that we were invited to go to our pastor’s house. They had this huge, beautiful old Victorian farmhouse (maybe that’s when I fell in love with old houses). It was one of the few times that I can recall being in a crowd of people and not feeling as if I were drowning or as if I were an alien out of place among strangers. Thinking about it more in depth right now, I think it was the house that played the main character in my memories more than the people or even the food.
I don’t know when my finite time clock of life will run out, but I sure as hell know that when I go, it will be with a head chock full of memories that make me smile.
“You can do so much in 10 minutes time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone for good.” ~ Ingvar Kamprad
Time is something we all have in common, every single one of us. 365 days a year. 52 weeks in a year. 24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. Even scarier . . . 1,440 minutes in a day, 10,080 minutes in a week, and 524, 160 minutes in a year.
I compartmentalize quite a bit. It’s easiest to “do the things” in timed increments rather than open-ended, mindless, drag-it-out episodes. Having a set idea of how much time I can spend on something seems to enhance my productivity. If the event is something I don’t enjoy, having a time limit encourages recognition that although something may be an unpleasant experience; it will not last forever.
Sometimes, things that we procrastinate doing actually take 10 minutes or less to finish. Such as:
Vacuuming or sweeping the floor
Cleaning out the refrigerator
Taking out the trash
Putting on my make-up
making the bed
Putting away clean laundry
Scrubbing the tub
Mopping the floor
There are multiple things than can be done in 10 minutes or less. I plan to work in the yard for 10 minutes because I feel like I’m too busy or have other things I need to do. Those 10 minutes will stretch into 30 or 40. The key is being flexible and loose in the planning.
Tonight, even though I had worked all day and was exhausted (both physically and emotionally), I took about 10 minutes to work on cleaning my Franklin treadle sewing machine. Returning it back to it’s lustrous beauty will be a long process requiring patience.
Tomorrow will be a electronic device-free day for the majority here. I will probably check it in the morning and then again later in the afternoon and evening. I need that time away from meaningless drivel to focus on some things needing to be finished here at home.
What things do you avoid that could be completed in less than 10 minutes time?
Preheat the oven to 350. In a skillet**, combine the hamburger, onion and garlic. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink. Stir in 1 c. of chicken broth, the can of Cream of Mushroom soup, the hashbrowns and cottage cheese. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
**I use a cast iron skillet so I can brown the meat and stir everything else in yet still slide it in the oven when it’s ready.
Navigating the taste preferences of a teenager can vary from day to day. At the risk of receiving a snappy response, I suggested this meal and was rewarded with a “that sounds really, REALLY good!” Yes! Success!! I was quite pleased that she had two servings at dinner.
Leftovers were consumed the next day and were just as tasty as when it was first made!
What are some of the comfort food casseroles that you remember from YOUR childhood?
“It’s not selfish, but selfless to be first, to be as good as possible to you, to take care of you, to keep you whole and healthy, that doesn’t mean you disregard everything and everyone, but you gotta keep your cup full.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
I post a lot about self care and with good reason.
I cannot be the best ME if I don’t take care of me. If I am so tired from meeting the needs of everyone around me, except mine, I am soon useless to anyone. I’ve compared self-care to the pre-flight safety speech about the oxygen masks — place your own mask on before assisting anyone else, even a child.
I’ve read stories or posts or meme’s about Mom’s who took their children to a Mother’s Day out program or took them to daycare, even when they were off for the day, so they could go have a looky-loo at the shops, or a cup of coffee, or what have you . . . ALONE! I love my family, I adore them to pieces but I cannot constantly be on the phone, or messaging, or texting.
I have three types of things in my life: wants, needs, requirements.
Wants — those hobbies or interests I’d like to pursue when i have a moment. Reading, sewing, crocheting, crafting.
Needs — sometimes a want can become a need depending on the reason behind it. Taking a class — I need to read to study. Making a specific garment for someone — I need to sew to complete it. Renovation items for the house — need to be done to make the house a comfortable haven for myself and my family.
Requirements — Grocery shopping which leads to cooking which leads to eating. If I don’t eat regularly. . . well, let’s just say it’s not pretty. Sleep, especially when my SLE is acting up is a must. Frequent naps become a thing. Work is how I pay the bills to do the things — I have to work my scheduled hours. Sometimes those working hours increase my need for sleep.
Sometimes, I am in need of quiet solitude and I just don’t want to talk. I have personal things going on that I don’t feel like sharing with anyone and that’s okay. If and when I’m ready to talk, I will. Otherwise I will take my time and space to rest and build up the energy needed to deal with everyone else’s needs.