Posts Tagged ‘Musings’

“I said what I meant, I meant what I said..”

Last year’s Presidential election saw a surge in political comments, cartoons, and rants in social media. Any hopes we “common folks” harbored that this would all go away after inauguration have been dashed. The President is a magnet for criticism and over analyzation.

Listening to the news this morning I heard a phrase that I must have read several hundred times when our daughter was young. She loved elephants after our trip to California in 1986. First there was the Dumbo ride with her Aunt B. Then a departing gift, a stuffed Dumbo became the favorite “security/comfort” night time must have.

It was probably a few years later that she brought home the required school library check out. It was

At the time she was not an independent reader and had merely chosen the book because there was an elephant on the cover. That night I dutifully read through the book and rediscovered the joys of Dr. Seuss. Then I read it again the next night, and the next and so on. Library day came one week later and she wanted to renew her selection. The teacher said that wasn’t the way this library worked and put the book in the return bin. She selected another book but left it at school in her locker. When I asked what we were reading at bedtime the darling little girl began to retell Horton in amazingly accurate recall. There was special emphasis on the phrase, “I said what I meant, and I meant what I said. An elephant is faithful one hundred percent!”

In the morning I told her to bring the library book home from school. After all I was a teacher! Well you guessed it no library book again that afternoon. I loaded her up in the car and said before we could go to the barn, (another whole book), we were going to the library to check out a book. She asked for Horton at the front desk and the librarian took her right to the shelf. checked the book out and off we went. We usually listened to the country station on the radio as we traveled to the barn but not today. There sat our little girl in the back of the car reading her book.

Eventually, I had to buy a personal copy. That was the long road to creating an independent book loving reader.

That is how the spokesperson’s comment, “He said what he meant, and meant what he said”, triggered a 25 year old memory for this Mom.

Dr. Seuss is alive and well in this technology crazed world.

Family Favorites

I have served this “special cake” at Christmas time for over twenty years. One modification I made for many years was using sugar free pudding mix for G. Often I made two cakes because so many people enjoy this cake. Our Grandson asks to take home the “left overs.” It’s my favorite winter treat.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
1 pound cake mix 4 eggs
3.5 oz. vanilla instant pudding mix 1/4 cup Galliano liqueur
1/2 cup veg oil (canola) 3/4 cup orange juice

Grease & flour Crock-Pot Bread ‘n Bake pan and cover. Turn Crock-Pot on high to pre heat. In large bowl blend cake mix & pudding mix. Mix last 4 ingredients in separate bowl. Combine mixes & liquid and mix on high for two minutes. Pour batter in cake pan, cover, and place in covered Crock-Pot. Bake on High 2 to 3 hours. Check center for doneness with toothpick after 2 hours, continue to check until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove cake and lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

We finally have cold weather, no snow but cold.

My best guess puts this Crockpot at over thirty years old. I have searched through the little recipe booklet for a date but can’t find one. This little old crockpot has provided us with many wonderful dishes. I took a photo of the booklet, maybe some knows the date it was printed. IMG_2452

Thursday’s Thirteen – An Explanation

For some time now I have thought of 13 as “my number” and have decided to dedicate any posts I write on Thursday to 13. Hopefully, I’ll be able to connect any Thursday post’s with 13.

Here are some of the connections I have found in my life with 13;

Birth year digits = 13
I am one of 13 children
High school graduation year digits = 13
Best friend born on 13th of the month
Married year digits = 13
Significant medical problem year digits = 13
Favorite bakery always gave a bakers’ dozen (13) highlights
First and last names contain 13 letters
The 13th letter of the alphabet is my favorite
Favorite candy has 13 letters on wrapper (maker+name)

We are waiting for our first big winter storm in two years.
Stay safe everyone.


It’s been too long between posts. However, I found a fun filled weekend has given me inspiration to post.

After several years of following blogs on cooking, gardening, quilting, education and creative bloggers I just found interesting I thought I was ready to jump in, well easier said than done. As our SIL helped set up the page and get me started I thought my writings would center around what I have done in retirement. Many of my peers expressed feelings of doubt, thinking I would be bored or even lonely if my husband didn’t retire at the same time. Oh, how wrong they were….

As I stated above I had a refreshing weekend – going out to dinner with good friends, golfing, cooking, watching a movie on television, and attending a demonstration luncheon with several other ladies at a new condiments shop in our town. These activities reminded me about why I had this blog. It was also an invigorating three day weekend and what I love about retirement.

Here’s a short list of what I’ve been up to:
Enjoying breakfast and completing my “puzzles” before ten in the morning
Playing golf, even made a hole-in-one last summer
Attending movies, dinner theater, and cultural performances during the week
Visiting family and friends on our time schedule
Week night dining out, thanks Groupon
Picking grapes at local wineries
Touring/tasting breweries, wineries
Trying new recipes
Having time with the Grands
Joining a Writer’s group
Participating in charity walk/runs
Wine strolls
Just relaxing

That’s it for today going to bind a quilt.

SUNday Morning

This morning as I tuned into CBS Sunday Morning I realized that I was developing a new ritual. Over fifty years ago I had a Sunday paper route and I have made it a habit to read at least one Sunday newspaper since that time. Today I sensed the change in my ritual that has come about in the past three years. My husband may say the change is due to my inability to have our dog retrieve the paper for me.
Newspapers have been in decline with the emerging electronic advances. First television news programs and commentators slowly replaced the print media and now the internet dominates with its speed and many sites. However, we still subscribe to a Sunday paper and I make it a habit to read most of it.

This Sunday morning I tuned in for the full ninety minutes. In the central time zone “Sunday Morning” begins at 8 AM. I find myself multi-tasking during the show, eating breakfast (blueberry muffins), emptying or loading the dishwasher, dressing, planning tonights dinner, and going over my weekly calendar. These activities would not be possible if I were reading the newspaper.

Charles Osgood has become my favorite anchor. He opens every show with the traditional teases. Today’s main theme was the Presidential Inauguration. Along with the cover story there are several features which I enjoy – Almanac, Television, Passage, Profile, Opinion, By The Numbers, and Nature. I always manage to gleam some interesting facts/trivia, knowledge, and reaffirm some of my educator/life philosophies.

Almanac was presented by Mr. Osgood and reviewed the life of Audrey Hepburn on the anniversary of her death in 1993. She is a favorite of our daughter so I sent her the link on this story.
Television featured Highclere Castle otherwise known as “The Real Downton Abbey.” I texted a good friend to tune in because like so many others we watch the series on PBS.
You can’t have an Inauguration without the President so several stories, including the Cover Story, pertained to past Presidents, and as a student of American history I sat down and paid close attention. Two Presidential biographers outlined what they believe were the essential qualities in a good President. A President must be wise and honest, (taken from John Adams letter to his wife Abigail), he must have courage, patience, determination, and integrity. D. McCullough stressed that the good Presidents, “Lead not only with actions but with words.” I especially liked D. Gergen’s addition to the list – persuasion. He cited Thomas Jefferson as the first President to use inside the beltway persuasion to achieve political success. I also felt that both men wanted a President to be friendly, especially with his political adversaries. Citing J. Meacham in “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” Gergen said, “He believed, I think rightly, that it is harder to say ‘no’ to someone when you know them.”
Passage was another Osgood piece and covered the passing of Dear Abby. I grew of reading Pauline Phillips “Dear Abby” advice column in the newspaper. She died of Alzheimer’s disease this past week at the age of 94.
By The Numbers Nine was the number today. This is the number of Presidents who were not sworn into office on January 20th before noon. I learned that Calvin Coolidge was staying at his home in Vermont. The house had neither telephone nor electricity so the news was delivered to him in the middle of the night by his father who later sworn him in by the light of an oil lamp.
Profile talked with Warren Buffet on life and investing in stocks. He is very interesting.
Nature took us to the USA’s first national park, Yellowstone. This segment is always wordless and is about a minute long video that the show closes with. Today I watched the geysers in the snow, beautiful.

SUNday Morning always features numerous suns. Today mt favorite was a snow covered sun.
Check out the show next SUNday Morning on CBS

2013 Beginnings

The title of this first post is not exactly right, but I’ve procrastinated far too long.  Perhaps a better heading  would have been, “What To Do?”

That is a  question I’ve asked myself many times over the last eighteen months.  It was two years ago that I started the retirement process and at a recent holiday gathering a good friend and fellow educator contemplated her upcoming retirement. She wondered what she would do all day.  I reassured her that there was plenty to do.  She laughed and said, “I know, just look at you and your partner in retirement, Dee.  It seems we hear of a new adventure or activity every week!”  

I have been thinking of that exchange for three weeks now. The questions that arose over and over were: What have I learned about myself, my family, our neighborhood, Kansas, and the world? What life lessons have I applied to retirement? What activities have I found fun and fulfilling? And finally what did my lifelong friend, Nancy, mean when she told me there would be no regrets?

Now, I have come to the conclusion that this blog will be about what I’ve been doing with myself since retiring from the education field. There will be posts about family, learning, senior moments and frogs. One of my 2013 resolutions is to post at least once a week.

Hoppy New Year!