Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 22, 2008

End of Days

Many of you have written in asking for recipes.  The holidays are upon us and many of our traditions are centered around food – be it turkey and stuffing or cookies and hot chocolate.  If you ask me it’s really comfort we seek.  So Margaret and I have decided to share a favorite recipe from each of us for each of you.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

helen-mug1 From Helen:
As much as I love this web page blog, I love my family more.   So now I need to go and get everything ready for the holidays.  At my age, you never know how many more of these times you’re going to get.  So many things to do and so few days left to do them before the first wave of family begins to arrive.  Mind you, I’m not complaining.  At least this isn’t the Palin house where guns and evidently now drugs need to be checked at the door this year!  You gotta believe that woman is praying harder than ever for end of days to get here.

It starts before Christmas and continues several days past.  One family comes before so that they can be with the in-laws day of.   Can’t imagine why I never got the “day of” visit but they say a son is a son until he gets married… how true.  Now how you can have a suitable holiday when your in-laws are vegetarians is beyond me.  No ham? No turkey?  No thank you.   And then we get another house full on Christmas morning, but they are in-town so I really don’t give them a choice in the matter.  I feed them well so it can’t be all that bad.

My family has grown so much these past few years.  Sons became husbands and their girlfriends became daughter-in-laws.  My own precious daughter is now a Mommy of three. Seven grandchildren total and a whole mess of nephews and nieces and great-nephews and nieces.    And most recently we are excited that the first great-grandchild will be joining us in 2009.   Now when did I get old enough to be a Great Grandmother?  It never seems to slow down.  You never really do get to sit back and say, “There.  All done.  Now I can just relax and have a piece of pie.”

I do have much to be thankful for… much to be joyous about.  When I look at my children and their children and soon even their children, I find it hard to believe that it was ever even close on who would be our next President.  The audacity of hope… audacity indeed.   I believe America is in good hands.  Maybe, just maybe I can relax now.  Maybe…

But about that recipe:   Bacon.   Forget about sausage, nuts or god forbid fruit for your stuffing.  That’s all just a bunch of crap.  The surefire way to have the perfect holiday meal is bacon.  Unless, of course, you are Jewish or vegetarian.  Then I can’t help you.   A little day-old, plain, white bread, some butter, onions, seasoning,  a little celery and a pound of bacon –  fried crisp.  Mix it all up complete with the bacon grease from the pan.  You can’t go wrong.  It’s the perfect stuffing every time.

And that will have to take us into the New Year everyone because I’ve got a family to feed. 

margaret-mug1 From Margaret:
Well, Helen dear, here we are again on the verge of yet another Christmas. My but the days do seem to be flying by, don’t they? I can just picture you in your very active household. I can tell that all is indeed well in your world. The day you tell me that you just can’t fix another meal or stir another drink is the day I will know that my dearest Helen is slowing down. Won’t happen anytime soon, I know.

Howard and I do wish you and your Harold the best of Christmas. It will be only Howard and me for Christmas this year since we spent Thanksgiving with his family. You know me, Helen; this is the way I love spending my Christmas. Me, Howard, the dogs, and my beloved bird. Presents for the dogs and bird are wrapped.  My work here is done.

And as for that recipe?  Buy a pie at Hannaford’s…life is too short.

Happy  Holidays to all our new friends out there.  Celebrate as if they were your last.  Leave a recipe for all to enjoy.  And do stop by again in the New Year.  We mean it.  Really

Helen’s Perfect Stuffing (Unless You’re Jewish or Vegetarian)

3 loafs day-old white bread, air dried

1 lb bacon

1 stick butter

1 large onion

1 stalk celery

2tsp poultry seasoning

Salt & Pepper to taste


Prepare the night before. Chop the bread in a blender or food processor.   Fry the bacon but leave the grease in the pan when you remove the bacon.   Add stick of butter to the grease to melt. Chop onion and celery and cook in the grease/butter mixture.   Combine contents of pan with bread and crumbled bacon.   Toss in poultry seasoning and salt/pepper.  Mix well and if the dressing isn’t “gummy feeling” go ahead and moisten it with chicken broth or warm water.  Refrigerate until morning.  I like to stuff my bird – just make sure you adjust your cooking time to accommodate.   And forget about all that crap you hear about not stuffing a bird.  Been doing it for 60 years and we’re all alive and well.  Enjoy.


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  3. What a pleasant surprise! My New Year’s resolution was to find a fun blog and discard the ones that were, quite frankly, sending me up a wall.

    So, hi everyone…I’m new….and I love to cook so will provide a few favorite recipes before long.

    I really love the idea of these two lovely ladies…they seem to have great fun and witty comments to offer.


  4. Been off awhile doing the holiday bit. It’s great to read all the posts here, and now there’s a new commentary by M&H! Hooray! It’s a great new year with Obama coming in. I’m filled with hope.

    JuneauJoe, glad you made it back to Alaska. This weather in Oregon is CRAZY! I-84 closed today both ways out of LaGrande (high winds and blizzard conditions); 11 closed out of Pendleton to Walla Walla; 204 closed over Tollgate.

    Happy New Year to all of you!


  5. Oh-Werner took one for the porch/parlour team.
    Oh yuck- Hope you are feeling better soon Werner. Somebody here said vinegar gets the slime off pretty welll


  6. Hey greytdog and all
    I just about manged to click away from team Sarah before I needed that barf bag, but now I am here in the office feeling all sick, and that on the worst day of the eyar (monster call ammounts since everyone and his brother can’t remeber their passwords…. why do all people leave theior brains in the holidays? ……. LOL
    But uurgs again to team Sarah, where do they find all that braindead goo? I just don’t get it!
    well till later, werner


  7. AnnΔ
    It has seemed open and obvious that you are part of the 3rd wave… it is a solid piece of ground to occupy even if more work to maintain footing … Hamas seems happy to hold up their dead babies as proof of righteous hatred. The hope must lie within the broader populace of Palestinians…And it is not wrong to be wary of the “grave menace” of Hamas…


  8. Just to expand because I am often too concise- the position of the third wave described by Pfeffer is where I have been for 20 years and just keeping quiet.


  9. I still feel stronger than previously the grave menace of Hamas.Is Israel the canary in the mine- will we have young girls blowing up in our malls ?While Israel vacates its schools to protect its children, the targeted leaders of Hamas store their weapons in mosques and in homes along with their wives and children and cry out about it.Are they crying about their children or their ammo? There is another part to this 3rd wave;when I speak to other and smaller than before group of Jewish american liberals;it is this”maybe we have been wrong”…I am struggling with a changed outlook.What will Obama stand for-15 days.


  10. CO almost native said-
    “AKM warned not to link to Team Sarah from Mudflats, so I would suggest them same from here- I got off and used Google…”

    Thanks for taking a hit for the team CO. It all sounds spooky- the gov brings out spooky folks- here at home and Outside.
    AnnΔ – I hope you are getting your bearings back today… getting your feet back under yourself. Greytdog’s cite of Pfeffer puts a lot of things back into human perspective- the kind of exercise that always helps ME.
    Jean is right about hatred being a choice. Fear is just a reaction…very real and very intense… but it is not thought.
    Feeling some stupid crowd’s blind hatred of you- in the Jewish sense of you- ought to scare the heck out of you . It should scare the heck out of everyone- whether they are part of the reviled group or not.
    It is the truest , most utter failing of our AK gov that she refused to recognize what she whipped up in crowds here at home-about Mr Obama -in her selfish zeal to get crowd approval when stumping for VP.

    Amongst other things, Δ is for change…often measured as change in a system measured across time…
    We can borrow that lil piece of science lab shorthand here … hang in there neighbor!


  11. Good Morning everyone! Ann, have no fear – I found this on the J-Street Blog :
    Anshel Pfeffer, correspondent for Ha’aretz, portrayed the debate within the Jewish community outside Israel today slightly differently than Rabbi Yoffie. To him, the three parties to the debate are, first, the “large number of Pavlovian flag-wavers, good and innocent Zionists and Jews who see only the trauma inflicted on the people of Sderot, Ashkelon and other parts of the country’s south-west” and, second, those on the far left who feel “compelled to atone for Israel’s manifold sins and join its enemies in the demonstrations and sign petitions accusing the Zionist entity of war crimes.”

    Then, says Pfeffer, there is a

    “third stream of Jews – perhaps not the widest one, but I believe quite significant – who have more complex and uncomfortable feelings on the matter. They care deeply for Israel and understand even why its government felt compelled to launch the devastating Operation Cast Lead, but they are extremely disturbed and hurt by the level of civilian deaths and destruction that almost seems part and parcel of the action. Surely, they say, there must, there has to be another way of doing this. And they live with those doubts, often unexpressed, even among families and close friends because the worst thing they find is that others around them don’t seem to discern between the different nuances, and can’t find in themselves compassion for the dead and wounded on the other side. They begin asking themselves very awkward questions: Are they surrounded by latent racists, or is something wrong with them that denies the feelings of certainty of those around them? Or does everyone have similar doubts but are simply afraid to express them?”

    Yes I support Israel, but support does not have to blind or Pavlovian. True support requires critical thought, questioning, and providing alternatives to a set action. Unquestioning support of a government is not support at all – it is national fascism.


  12. Dear, dear Ann,

    I am so sorry you were frightened. You can’t let some silly little 18 year old who doesn’t have a clue about what the conflict is all about to get to you. She is only mouthing words that somebody else put in her mouth and has succumbed to the ‘mob mentality’. You are stronger than that!!!

    I can certainly understand how you feel. Anyone with an ounce of empathy knows that this is all wrong, wrong, wrong and is not solving anything. It only perpetuates the ancient enmity. I had hoped by giving the historical basis for this, people could understand the roots of the hatred and how ridiculous it is to perpetuate it.

    Propaganda goes after the GNP (Gross National Psyche) when the real underlying reasons are the Gross National Product!

    My brother was killed in World War II in Italy at age 24. My younger sister died of Hodgkin’s Disease at age 27. I have looked death squarely in the face three times myself and stared it down.

    My mother often said, “Experiences like these can either make you BITTER or BETTER, whichever way you CHOOSE to use them.” I chose to make me better.

    You have choices too! You can CHOOSE not to be frightened. And not to hate either. Hatred is a poison whose first victim is the hater.




  13. I have lurked on Team Sarah, and it’s sister site Susan B. Anthony List. I wanted to point out their choice of title was ironic: Susan B. Anthony was very pro-womens rights and against the Church teachings, but you have to register- not for me. Their focus is anti-abortion, getting rid of Planned Parenthood, and spreading the love they have for Sarah Palin (gag). No other issues, like support of the war, no taxes, are mentioned- not even family values. Oh, there was a rant about “90 radicals” spreading lies on their site, but I don’t know what that was about.

    Neither site lists the founding members, unlike other political sites.

    AKM warned not to link to Team Sarah from Mudflats, so I would suggest them same from here- I got off and used Google…


  14. Well the problem with getting frightened is bringing more hate into the world…but maybe agressive action could end the hate-and so it goes.My mom had an epiphany in 1978 after my sister was killed in a plane crash and she knew the loss of a child just like the mothers of the soldiers. She became active in Peace Now.We took the education and friendship route for a long time..maybe that Hamas rally was my epiphany -I saw real hatred of great intensity and fundamentalist religious cmmittment to conquer the world. It is more real to me now. That is so scary. Imagine being threatened every day like that. But of course I would be pretty mad if enemy tanks bulldozed my house because my first cousin once removed was a suicide bomber…it sucks all around-So anyway I appreciate that you do not want to spread germs Alaska Pi ,Thanks.You too Greytdog .


  15. Well… maybe we can get JuneauJoe to do the manly swashbuckly thingy and check the place if we take up a collection for hipwaders for him. I’m not much for letting a fellow do a lady’s work and in real life I have waded through more real waste-of ALL types- than most could imagine…
    I’m just SPed out right now and session hasn’t even started. I just can’t do it right now!!


  16. I was torn about googling Team Sarah. I did google though then decided I didn’t want them to give their traffic ticker another hit. But I am curious that their website addy is a .org – so are they a non-profit organization? Hmmm… maybe they’ll help pay back the RNC for Palin Shopapalooza gig. Or use whatever nonprofit funding to kit her and hers out for additional gig?
    AnnΔ, I get frightened too over the news coming from Israel. For me, knowledge is the armor – so i’ve been trying to read more of the Peace Now blogs as well as some of the proPalestinian blogs. The Peace Now blogs have both immense sadness and an undercurrent of . . . I’m not even sure I can adequately “label” it – so I just remember Psalm 121


  17. I didn’t have the guts when I saw AKM’s mention of this , Greytdog.
    “For night fright fans, google “Team Sarah”. Bring along your brown barf bag and disinfectant though.”

    Do we need to borrow the power washer Mr Obama’s transition team has lined up for the pre-clean of Oval Office to hose each other off with after a visit?

    AnnΔ –
    I still have a cold so I won’t offer even virtual hugs…
    I’m sorry people are so stupid.I can’t fix em… but I’m sorry whenever someone like you gets scared.


  18. For night fright fans, google “Team Sarah”. Bring along your brown barf bag and disinfectant though.

    AnnΔ, I’ve always found those kind of rallies to be counterproductive and soul-eating. Glenn Greenwald @ had an interesting article on the Israel/Hamas conflict but the comments that followed were of more interest to me. You might, if you feel like, want to go there and read that. . .it’s simply another perspective.


  19. Thanks…my ex in Jerusalem sent me word of a destroy Hamas rally in Miami today….I did look at the website I confess: and it did turn me off. I also turned to Faux News briefly but it was not of interest. Guess I will be alright.


  20. Oh AnnΔ, don’t worry – it’s from your mouth to God’s ear 🙂 God knows I’m a rambling rabble rouser. . .you’re only in peril if you head out to South Beach on a weekend night during season. I suspect you’re much too intelligent for that!


  21. oi vey greytdog; my existence seems in peril. I am not feeling so liberal or even historical,theological although I give you and Jean kudos for the info.


  22. One of the things that I’ve always found interesting was that the desert tribes, like tribes everywhere, had multiple gods – as did the Greeks and Romans. Each tribe also had their own “special” god – as did the Grecian and Roman communities. The move from this pantheon of gods for the desert tribes occurred when Mohammed had his vision – in which it was revealed to him that there was only one God – and lo and behold, that one God just happened to be the God worshipped by and protector of Mohammed’s Tribe. I’ve often wondered what would have happened if another member of an opposing tribe had likewise had a similar vision – oy!
    The monotheistic religions are often accused, and rightly so, of conversion by the sword. What we fail to remember, however, is that the Goths and Celtic tribes also killed nonbelievers. . . and the headhunters in the Philippines often killed rival tribe members for worshipping the “wrong” god or for failing to convert to their chosen god.
    Theological history has reams on chosen gods and their people – for me, the lesson is that very few people are special enough to gain the attention of (a) god – but we have a propensity to believe that we are somehow more special than others because of our god.
    As for the elevation of Mary, well that’s been quite the subject of theologians. I’ve always viewed the Mary cult as a continuation of the Goddess religion anyway, so I’ve never had problems with it other than as a very interesting wrinkle in Christianity. But as I’ve said before, so many of our Christian rituals and even some beliefs are simply paganism dressed up to please the visiting relatives from out of town.


  23. My Mother called while typing in the site which is……. 2009/01/call-me-templeton-rat.html Also you might like to go to Israel National and browse around.I find it of interest. I became frightened when a friend sent me a you -tube of a pro hamas demonstration in Fort Lauderdale Florida on Dec.30 2008. There were 300 very angry people.A pretty young women of about 19 years kept yelling that all Jews should be put back into ovens.That would be me! Not feeling so pacifist right now and would like your feedback Thank you, Ann BTW This demonstration was not on the news; yet it was as large as pro hamas rallies that were reported in other parts of the world! !


  24. Dear Helen and Margaret and everybody else,

    Brrr, it’s COLD! We are not going to the beach today because it’s overcast, spitting rain and 74 degrees. I know, I know. But our blood has thinned out plenty and there is no such thing as heat in our house. All we can do is layer up and snuggle up to keep warm.

    So far, my little narrative biography has presented the upside of Mohammed’s life. Now for the downside. It may explain a few of the complex reasons why SOME men and increasingly SOME women go around with a Bible or Koran in one hand and a deadly weapon in the other.

    Mohammed proved himself to be an effective leader in both spiritual and temporal affairs. The influx of more than two hundred ‘MUHAJIRIN’ into the then small city of Medina overwhelmed the resources and patience of the local people. Living arrangements had to be made. Tensions mounted as food shortages became acute.

    He diplomatically appealed to the spirit of the new religion. To obtain food and other necessities, he then cheerfully reverted to the time honored tradition of RAZZIAS, plundering raids, on the merchant caravan. He personally led many of them himself!!!

    This is the method Mohammed used in dividing up the spoils: Four-fifths, equally divided, went to those involved in the raids. If a raider were killed, his share went to his favorite wife/widow while the raider himself went directly to Paradise. The remaining one-fifth was given to the Prophet to use as he saw fit for religious purposes and charity.

    Beginning as small raiding skirmishes, the raids escalated into tribal warfare and ultimately outright widespread conquest. The RAZZIAS turned into Holy Wars, the JIHADS; the battle cry, “Allah is Great!”

    Mohammed himself seemed to have no problem with the savage brutality that took place during the raids. It soon extended to anyone who opposed or spoke out against him and Islam.

    At first, he was magnanimous toward Jews, Christians and even Zoroastrians. He accepted all their books and prophets including Jesus as a prophet, but NOT as the Messiah. He acknowledged himself as the final prophet but conceded that people of other faiths could be saved if they followed the precepts of their own religions.

    His religion was based on the natural laws of the universe, as revealed to him by Allah through the angel Gabriel. It followed that the law of man would have to be a belief in a moral government. Like Judaism, religion and law were one. He even made Jerusalem the QUIBLA, the revered place that all believers should turn to in prayer. He welcomed Jews into the new state’s affairs with full citizenship. He began to take exceptions however.

    He felt that the Trinity of Christian belief was a form of polytheism with Mary elevated to that of a goddess. Islam has always been adamant in its objection to idolatry. Also, the Jews began to look askance at such a warlike religion. They took exception to his claim as the ‘Messiah’ and felt Mohammed was misrepresenting their scriptures. The Jews had been through all that with the Christian claim of Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ over 600 years before! (From time to time, ’Messiahs’ have popped up with some regularity.)

    In 624 AD he reversed his decision regarding Jerusalem, and made Mecca and the Kaaba the QUIBLA. The Jews considered this to be reverting to idolatry. With full authority as head of state, he banished seven hundred Jews, forcing them to leave everything they owned behind.

    Mohammed spent ten years in Medina. His visions and revelations in the Koran more often than not reflected the every day problems he ran into administering to his people and directing the RAZZIAS.

    His scripture as recorded in the Koran describe Allah as all-powerful but also merciful. The all-knowing Allah predetermines the past, present and future. Presaged by an aura of divine predestination, a characteristic of fatalism is prominent in Islamic belief. With this precept, the harsh desert life was easier to bear. Since only Allah knows the hour of death, the warriors went off to battle with equanimity.

    (Some Protestant sects did and as far as I know still do believe in predestination. This was ONE of the major bones of contention between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Churches. In fact, they waged a ‘Thirty Year’s War’ all over Europe starting in 1618 and dragged on in some places until the Seven Year’s War (1756-63). These wars were ostensibly about nit-picking details of theology but in reality mostly about who had the power and the money.)

    The practice of the Islamic faith is summed up in four duties for all Moslems to follow: prayer, alms, fasting during the holy month of RAMADAN and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. Belief in Mohammed as the Prophet makes up the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’. The adherents are required to acknowledge the precepts of Abraham, Moses and Jesus. However, where there are contradictions, Mohammed’s divine inspiration takes precedent over all others.

    Much the same as Moses and Zoroaster (Zarathustra), Mohammed used religion to promote general hygiene, cleanliness being moral godliness. His ethic was one of the fear of punishment and the promise of heavenly reward on Judgment Day. He emphasized his correct belief and its consequences more than good behavior.

    This was in direct contradiction to the Jewish ethic of good conduct being attended by the faith that such goodness is designed for the glory of the one God. With the covenants God had with them as his chosen people, the Jews were expected to set an example for all of mankind to emulate regardless of the consequences.

    Mohammed’s vivid descriptions of heaven and hell as contained in the Koran took on a poetic quality. All of the earthly luxuries would be lavished on the believers in heaven. Wine and other alcoholic beverages were condoned in heaven, but forbidden on earth. Seventy-six beautiful virgins, HOURIS, would attend the men. Women, too, would attain heaven, but just how their sensual pleasures would play out were not specified.

    Four wives were permitted here on earth. The high rate of mortality on the battlefield justified polygamy. Mohammed himself made a number of widows his wives. He ultimately exempted himself from the four wives rule and during his long lifetime, had ten wives and two concubines. He was frustrated in his yearning for a son. Some of his wives were barren. One did provide a boy but unfortunately the child died in early childhood.

    (CHARLEMAGNE united Europe and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800AD by Pope Leo III. The Holy Roman Empire once again grew to be the single political head in concert with the Church. This bold concept was the cornerstone in Europe that ushered in the idea of the DIVINE STATE and the DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS that would continue until the collapse of the Hapsburg Dynasty of Austria during World War I.

    In Charlemagne’s lifetime he had four wives, five or more mistresses and eighteen children. His birthplace is unknown although his native tongue was German. He could speak Latin and understood Greek, but never learned to read and write with much proficiency.

    He set out to conquer and Christianize Bavaria. And that he did! He personally led some fifty-three successful campaigns. Next he waged eighteen bloody campaigns with the GERMAN SAXONS who fought as fiercely as Charlemagne did. The defeated Saxons were offered Christian baptism or death. Charlemagne beheaded 4500 Saxons in one day!

    Why is this: If someone commits murder, he/she is sent to prison or executed. If someone kills ten people, he/she is considered a lunatic and sent to a mental institution. If someone kills or is responsible for the deaths of thousands, history hails that person as a hero. Where is the logic in that?)

    Back to Mohammed’s life. Obviously he loved and admired women with several provisos prevalent in his and other times. He considered it to be a man’s obligation to beget children and women to be a ‘tilth’, a field for men to sow.

    Included here are the ONLY direct quotes I will make from the ENGLISH translation of the Koran. We do pick and choose our quotes from scripture, don’t we.

    “The wife should recognize the superior intelligence and therefore superior authority of the male; she must obey her husband; if she rebels he should ‘banish her to a bed apart, and scourge her’. (iv, 34).” “Every woman who dieth, and her husband is pleased with her, shall enter paradise. (iv, 35).”

    Still, this is a step up from the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s assessment. He asserted that women were ‘mutilated males’ and had no souls!!!




  25. to read first hand accounts by Israeli women living within rocket range by Hamas please type in this link that does not seem to come as click and go- http.//shilomusings.blogspot.com2009/01/callmetempleton-rat html


  26. Raji wrote: “In college, early 60’s we also had courses in marriage and family.”

    Hmmm. . . in mid-70s we didn’t necessarily have courses dealing with marriage and family but we sure did a lot of comparative anatomy work!

    Raji – I work mostly with canines but have also worked with equines – massage and physio. There is a non profit group near here that works with horses to assist physically impaired kids/adults with their balance as well as socialization & much needed exercise. I go periodically and muck out stables. So I thoroughly understand – I too spend most of my time communicating with those 4 legged sentients!


  27. Evening everyone! Just checking in and reading all of the marvelous posts.

    Greytdog you hit the nail on the head once again! Great post. No we are not safer. If anyone thinks we are then they have been watching way to much Faux News.

    When will they finally throw out the abstinance only approach. It has never worked and failed miserably after the 50’s. Teens are engaging in very risky sexual practices more than ever. This subject drives me crazy!

    I remember sex ed in the 8th and 9th grade of course it was called health class then. We had a fantastic woman speaker from the health dept and she fully informed us about all types of protection and yes it involved putting a condom on a banana. Much snickering and tee heeing but we were armed with knowledge. We also had to learn how male and female reproductive organs worked.

    We seem to be moving backwards in many ways in our society and it scares the living daylights out of me. If any of the parents would realistically look at what their children are watching on regular TV they would run them to the nearest Doctor or clinic and make sure they are fully educated in how to take care of themselves.

    Anyway I am rambling and about to mount a soapbox so I will wish you all well. I am off to have a lovely bloody mary to warm myself up as it is snowing here once again.


  28. Elsie, You are so right. I am not Indian but the name is. I was fortunate to have very good friends from India at one time. What a learning experience. One of my very good friends was named Raj and his brother was named Dev. They helped me to aquire two Irish Wolfhounds which I then named Deva and Raji. I use the name Raji as anyone that has ever known me will recognize who I am since my wolfhounds were so well known in the horse world.The problem was both my wolfhounds were female and I had to come up with a female version of Raj and Dev. The brothers weren’t too sure they felt honored. Of course the names Raj and Dev were very abreviated from their original names and I couldn’t type it all out if I tried. I’m a WASP that broke tradition and created a UN backyard and helped raise over 500 youngsters over my lifetime to have a different view of life.

    I should add when I say I usually only communicate with the animals, I meant four legged!


  29. Hey, Chrissie….remember that Helen’s grandson, Matthew, keeps a close eye on things here. He set up this site for his grammy. So, if something came up, then we’d probably hear from Matthew. Who knows, Helen might be traveling around a bit and too busy to sit down at someone else’s computer. I’ll get worried when/if Matthew just shuts down this site without any notice. And, from what we’ve seen of Matthew’s involvement, I don’t really think he’d do that with no explanation.


  30. No…really….I feel like something has happened to Helen…or to Margaret….they are not back yet?!?! Look at their usual routine…something is wrong. This can’t be good.


  31. yeah, Greytdog, I’ve heard about the teen sex parties… Back in the days when I actually caught a few of Dr. Phil’s shows, he got pretty agitated about kids saying that oral sex isn’t really sex. Same thing you point out.

    I guess that was also about that time that Bush’s abstinence-only failure became the program of choice.

    I really hope that our nation’s kids begin once again to receive intelligent sex education, not the religious dogma based on whichever religious group is preaching to them. I’ve talked with a Swedish acquaintance who told me that the European countries teach sex education beginning early (there’s even an abbreviated version in the elementary schools), resulting in GREATLY reduced numbers of accidental pregnancies. They don’t wallow around in religious theories; they just teach sex education straightforwardly.

    And, for all our leadership in various other areas, our nation is woefully behind so much of the rest of the world with our birth rates and medical care here.

    16 days and counting…

    Hey, Raji…you’re not wordy…you are just communicative! I keep wondering — what is the origin of your name? It seems Indian to me, but it probably is anything but that!


  32. Greytdog wrote:original statement – are we safer now? And looking across the financial debris littering Wall Street & Main Street, the collateral damage of the collapse among small businesses, the bankruptcies, the ponzi scheme victims, the blasted hole left by the unregulated mortgage industry, the crumbling infrastructure

    I will also add Amen. Once upon a time, I was an international banking manager, also an international political science major, and have tracked over the years the rise and fall of Wall Street. Saw this one coming. Too many Americans don’t understand how our economy is dependent on global affairs. The financial world is made up of the “Have’s and the Have Not’s and the result of this fiasco is we now have the “Have’s becoming the Have More’s” and the “Have Not’s are the Have Not anymore”!

    I too have been wondering where M&H are. Maybe they are just reading the forum they have created and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. I certainly am enjoying it. What a great group of “old broads” and a few of the younger set adding their input. Wow, this has been quite a learning experience.

    Don’t know much about red wine, but do have a good list for white. Any white wine is good 🙂 30-yr old single malt Glenfiddich is quite acceptable.

    Elsie, that’s a good one! “pledges as proof that teens will abstain. (THEY COUNT THE PLEDGES AS PROOF THAT TEENS WILL ABSTAIN–DID YOU GET”
    I got sex education in my small high school back in the 50’s and we learned more than they do today. Good grief. The doctors and preachers got together and offered sex ed for classes of boys and girls. In college, early 60’s we also had courses in marriage and family. I think we were better educated than our teens today.

    As to the exercise program, (Jean, I love the scroll up and scroll down) Tai Chi is wonderful for balance but you also need to add Pilates for core muscles. After I gave up the financial world, I became an equine riding instructor specializing in the rider’s balance.

    Boy, am I wordy tonight. Must be time to get a glass of white wine and call it quits. You guys have encouraged me to be verbose. I usually only communicate with the animals 🙂


  33. Jean. . . .(groan) . . .

    Elsie – teenagers who sign the pledge of abstinence are more likely to engage in “riskier” sex – and local clinics around here have seen an uptick in tweens and teens with oral STDs. A couple of friends have kids who signed the pledge – and their parents were so proud of them . . . until they found the kids indulging in Oral/backdoor parties – which the kids explained allowed them to stay “true” to their pledge because it wasn’t vaginal intercourse. Uh huh.


  34. hahaha


  35. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    You had better get back here and get us all on track! We are off and running all over the ballpark in all directions. I’m happy today and feeling good so I’m on a roll. I’ll get down to serious business later.


    Absolutely! Anything with chocolate is definitely one of the major food groups, with the probable exception of ExLax.


    About a good red wine. Many of our friends swear by MERLOT. CABERNET SAUVIGNON is another, but personally, I think it is too sweet and heavy.

    The Francis Coppola (the movie director?) winery has come out with a nice PINOT NOIR. I heard it on the grapevine (my bad pun!) that there is a new one that has an anti-diuretic in it for old timers who have to get up and go to the bathroom at night. It is called PINOT MORE.




  36. Hey, did y’all see Ellen Goodman’s opinion piece printed yesterday in the Boston Globe? She addressed the total failure of the Bush administration’s “abstinence-only until marriage” programs aimed at teenagers.

    Here’s just an excerpt from Goodman’s column yesterday:


    “The Truth about Teens and Sex”

    A recent study compared nearly 1,000 teens. They were divided into two groups: one group had taken a pledge of abstinence-only until marriage; the second group came from similar backgrounds and beliefs but did not make the same pledge. The findings concluded there was absolutely no difference between the two groups in their sexual behavior, or the age at which they began having sex, or the number of their partners.

    So far, $1.5 BILLION OF OUR TAX MONEY has been squandered on this failed program, with nothing to show for it, other than to enrich the whole “cottage industry of abstinence-only-until-marriage” programs.

    Here’s something I didn’t know:
    Goodman explains these broken ‘virginity pledges’ “are one of the ways that the government measures whether abstinence-only education is ‘working.’ They count the pledges as proof that teens will abstain. (THEY COUNT THE PLEDGES AS PROOF THAT TEENS WILL ABSTAIN–DID YOU GET THAT PART?) It turns out that this is like counting New Year’s resolutions as proof that you lost 10 pounds.”

    “All in all, abstinence-only education has become emblematic of the rule of ideology over science.”

    Goodman ends with: “Teens are not the only masters of denial. But we are finally stepping back from the culture wars. We are, with luck, returning to something that used to be redundant — evidence-based science. That’s a pledge worth signing … and remembering.”

    Tom Daschle will be Obama’s new health czar. Hopefully, he will prioritize strong, helpful programs founded on evidence-based science. Our teens deserve honest information about sexuality, including contraception, and the importance of delaying teen sex.

    Out with the old; in with the new, and not a moment too soon! 16 days and counting!


  37. Margaret & Helen are spending much-deserved time with family. We’re just keeping the porch light on and making sure things stay tidy for their return.


  38. Where is Helen?? Where is Margaret??? I’m concerned….


  39. hmm… i don’t do gin, but how about 30-yr old single malt Glenfiddich?


  40. And gin, Greydog. Don’t forget the gin.


  41. Thank you for your support but please no applause, just send money 🙂 (bwahahaha)
    Anyway avotresante has a wonderful idea what with the Tai Chi. And I believe there is even a problem for folks with physical disabilities and impairments. (As for the ballet thing. . . um . . .no, not unless you want to come see me do my version of the Dancing Disney Elephants from Fantasia) The only “graceful” activity that I adhere to is fencing – it’s mental and physical chess.
    JuneauJoe and Pi, maybe Bristol and Levi will move into the Gov’s mansion after their wedding? Or are they planning to live with the in-laws or the out-laws? I finally figured out the reason most people when polled said they’d like to have SP as their next door neighbor – it would be a quiet neighborhood because she’s never there!
    And I do try to eat well. . .really I do. But honestly, isn’t cappuccino cheesecake or Black Forest Cake covered in dark truffle ganache, etc. . . that’s healthy yes? I mean, mental healthy cuz it feeds the soul. . . and isn’t chocolate a major food group? Like coffee?


  42. Good mornin to you all.

    For the gathering and food on Helen’s porch, I’ll bring the tamales!! An assortment of kinds so you can try each kind!!

    AlaskaPi–hope you getting over the snorfly part of crud!

    avotresante–not familiar aout theGold Rush celebration. REmind never to go to it. Will make me too angry. My former Mother-in-law had the name of Muskogee Josephine.

    GRetdog–thanks for all t he things to try. Will try them. Hope you enjoy the book. Maybe we can talk about here.

    Troutay–sorry t o hear y ou have been having p roblems and if I have been of any help I.m always available. Over the years I’ve had lots of friends that have good shoullders!!

    You in Alaska are so lucky to have a dark Governors Office.
    OUr governor and the budget mess is awful, and then he goes s kiing in Idaho. Go fiigiure.

    I keep wondering what Helen and Margaret are going to have on the first rant of the NewYear!! Looking forward to it.


  43. Welcome home Juneau Joe-!
    Let’s wait and see if this was a lot of miscommunication between field staff and bigwigs. No love lost at Trooper Hdqtrs for the gov…
    Most important that the drug bust hold if evidence warrants as drugs are tearing up that part of the state.
    Also- when we manage to hold the gov’s feet to the fire . it needs to be watertight- airtight… all the tights we can wind round her!


  44. Greytdog – excellent post! I don’t think Rush the idiot will not use your valuable information though.

    I am back in Juneau and there is lots snow as well as a vacant Governor’s mansion.

    As I read the Anchorage paper, this article jumped out at me. Was the Johnston Oxycontin investigation get held up because of our Gov running for VP?


  45. I second the AMEN!
    Just had a thought — maybe it’s the grumpy old broads in this world who are actually going to bring the changes we need by just not taking the bullshit anymore. I can’t think of one other group of people who has the courage.
    Jean, you are such a hoot! That one was good for an all-day smile. Seriously, though, you’re right about exercise, and I’ve found a couple things that work pretty well. One is dancing, I started a ballet class before I got seriously ill this year. Going back as soon as I can. Looking ridiculous is half the fun. Another great workout is Tai Chi. Both are graceful movements anyone can do, and you feel like you’re floating when you’re done.
    Also, we must all eat well, and try to get as much natural food as possible, without chemicals. Losing weight just happens when you eat better. And don’t forget the wine! Very healthy! Who can recommend a good red wine?


  46. TO which, not which to…
    language… wonder if I’ll ever get a handle …


  47. Greytdog-
    I echo Elsie.
    Such thinking is not merely sophistry. To the extent which to language is an activity, such thinking has become one of those dangerous shortcuts folks like to think stands for real thought.
    Looking across the smoking landscape of our country which you have taken such an excellent snapshot of I am amazed that the safety folks have missed all the rubble they are tripping over…


  48. Greytdog: AMEN!


  49. Jean, thanks for the exercise tip! My index finger is much more lean and strong now! 🙂
    So as I’ve welcomed in the new year by vaccing out the old year, here are some leftover thoughts rumbling through the mind-maze:
    One of the arguments concerning the presidency of GW is this (and I quote a troll here): “thank your lucky stars that we have been safe since 2001”
    I’ve always found that to be a form of sophistry. As Pi pointed out to that troll, being safe in our own borders is not an accomplishment. Think about it. First we had the recon attack on the WTC followed by the actual attack. Now according to communiques and such, the attackers and their planners were not expecting to bring down those buildings. That was, in their minds, a delightful bonus. But many people forgot the Bin Laden tape in which he himself declared the main objective: to financially bankrupt this country. So to circle back to the original statement – are we safer now? And looking across the financial debris littering Wall Street & Main Street, the collateral damage of the collapse among small businesses, the bankruptcies, the ponzi scheme victims, the blasted hole left by the unregulated mortgage industry, the crumbling infrastructure, the uptick in homelessness, and so on. . .no I don’t feel safer. I don’t think GW and Cheney made this country safer after 9/11 – I think they made us extremely vulnerable. If this country were a company and I was a corporate raider, I would see easy pickings. What 9/11 proved however was the ease by which a democracy can slide into fascism. The willingness of a nation to turn its back on the foundation on which it is built in exchange for false security/ law & order. And it showed that when the citizenry abdicates its responsibility, democracy is but a shell of itself. I feel safer now – not because of anything GW did, but despite of his actions. I feel safer now because I have hope – a hope restored by each and everyone of you and those across this nation who rose up and said, “This is OUR country and we’re taking it back” And it’s really nice to know we’re once again watching each other’s back.


  50. Jean:

    I tried your exercise program. It really works! I can feel the burn already!

    scrolling up……….
    scrolling down…….



  51. Holey Moley!
    Fresh bread and lasagna?
    I’m a crummy cook but I’ll bring the music.
    Just returned from a once a month concert by local musicians and finding it hard to wind down -per usual. We have a lot of really talented musicians here- from classical to country. All through the winter we have concerts – snow or no- in a lil church downtown. It’s partly the music- it’s partly the friendships . In this time of the long dark , friendships and fiddles see us all through…
    We made lots of jokes tonight , on the way down off the ridge, about how the gov’s mansion holiday lights should read “vacancy’- but it really isn’t funny having SP as gov. It’s downright ghastly. As my lil sister keeps saying we didn’t want to send her on and we didn’t really want her back.
    troutay- I’m sorry you have that Bachman creature. I had always hoped there would be more Barabara Jordans when we ladies made more inroads in politics…What ARE we doing sending all these dippos to state capitals and DC?

    Elsie- I hope your friend gets through her tough times and Grandma Katie- looks like you’ve marshalled a posse of ideas .
    Don’t tell homeland security, but Werner’s wonderful potato salad is probably an illegal import so we ought to enjoy it while we can!
    Thank you Helen and Margaret for allowing us all in. For me, it has been a especially nice holiday season -all the food and friends and family in real life and all the same here in your parlour. I hope you both had a wonderful time with your own real families..
    We didn’t tear the place up too badly – only had a couple rats.
    I can’t vouch for what will happen if Jean makes us follow through with all the dang exercise stuff.


    Proud said-

    “As far as the swearing in ceremony for PE Obama I am in the camp that this is a meaningful moment for him, maybe more, as much as it is for America and he should be able to celebrate this moment how he chooses.”
    Amen, Proud…Amen


  52. Hi Everybody,

    I forgot about New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s vow to lose weight, be nicer to people, stick to our diets, lose weight, improve our minds, lose weight, give up all our bad habits, lose weight and exercise.

    The older we get the more important it is to incorporate this exercise into our daily routine. This is necessary to maintain cardiovascular health and maintain muscle mass.

    If you’re over 60, you might want to take it easy at first, then do more repetitions as you become more proficient and build stamina. Warning: It may be too strenuous for some.

    Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program!

    SCROLL DOWN………….


    That’s enough for the first day. Great job!

    OK. Now lets have some antipasto, white zin, home made bean soup, two kinds of home made bread, lasagna, garlic bread and cookies. Sorry, we polished off the last of the holiday cheesecake this evening.




  53. Greytdog, thanks for that link. I sent it on to a friend of mine whose heart is heavy these days. I KNOW that this link will bring tears to her eyes even as it lifts her spirits.


  54. A friend just sent this to me. I was surprised as she’s not overly religious. . . but I enjoyed the link. So wanted to share – in case anyone here might enjoy it. The pictures alone are beautiful


  55. I happen to love my senior citizen’s discount! Unfortunately, some of my favorite places don’t have a senior citizen special or whatever. . .sigh. But oh when it comes to travel – I love that discount. I drove my 80+ mom up to Maryland and we stopped overnight in Raleigh. At the hotel I requested the AARP discount – and my mom panicked because she couldn’t find her card – so I whipped out mine! And the desk clerk asked for ID to verify my age! I loved it – reminded me of being carded at the bars. . .(which no longer happens). As I tell my friends who urge me to color my hair – hell no! I earned each and every one of those gray hairs!
    Lasagna – yummy. I’ll bring the garlic bread and the antipasta


  56. Whoo boy Greydog! and IU t hought I was alone in firing Dr;s. I’ve fired 2 drs, filed a complaint about another , fired a dentist and thinking about firing another one. Cranky old broads we are.
    Lots more to say in reply to some of the ot hers but will keep it for another day.\
    I have been rereading this from Helen’s original rant. My goodness the subjects we have covered. From mouth watering reciipes to history to psychology tocold and flu remedies to oh well it’s wonderful.
    I am in a very nice Board and CAre residence with excellent caregivers. BUT, there are only five of u s in residence at the time.

    the other 3 laies aater86 ^ 89 wuth Alllzheimers. Absolutely no conversations there. The gentleman is husband of one of the ladies Hi is almost 90 and a new gentleman is scheduled to arrive next weekkk (age 98) Now y ou understand why this conversation is so stimulating to my brain!!
    I have a recipe that I t hink I cna remember for a pineapple pie that is scrumptious..
    Fortunately my two youngest live close by and I get to see their children often
    Happy New Year to all of Helen’s front porch gang.Love to all of y ou from me.


  57. Dear Avotresante,

    And to your health too!

    You are welcome to join the ‘Old Broad’s Club’! We are not exactly a select group. Just a bunch who are not afraid to speak up.

    I’ll have some lasagna, thank you. I’ll bring my own White Zin – and share.




  58. Nuts, I forgot, the Bush information came from Think Progress, that should have been included, sorry.



  59. Wow! 381 comments, I am definitely on the bottom of the food chain over here.

    This week, George W. Bush spent what are expected to be his final days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas as president. Bush is on his 77th trip to the ranch, and according to one CBS reporter, he has spent nearly 500 days in Crawford during his presidency.

    Bush’s presence there over the last eight years had boosted the small Texas town’s tourism industry. But as one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history leaves office, the local souvenir shops “are starting to deeply discount” their Bush-related products:

    Already a couple of souvenir shops in Crawford have closed as the Bush boom started to peter out over the past year and as the nation turned its attention on the new race for the White House. For the two remaining shops, things have slowed to a trickle.

    There’s up to 30 per cent off prices at the Yellow Rose, a cavernous place on the corner of the main intersection in town. Mugs, T-shirts and beer coolers badged with a presidential seal and the words “western White House” are flanked by life-sized cardboard cutouts of the President. Bush and his wife Laura will be moving to Dallas after he leaves office.

    There goes the neighborhood!

    Happy Belated New Years Ladies.



  60. JuneauJoe, seems that AKM (mudflats) is right – politics makes for odd “bedfellows”! But I don’t think this is even a matter of politics but of ethics. It’s becoming increasingly clear that SP has no ethics – which shouldn’t be a surprise considering convicTED was her political mentor.
    Grandma Katie, will be heading over to the local B&N to pick up that book! I went to the MD’s website – very fascinating stuff, that!
    Be sure to follow Jean’s advice – it’s very very sound. WE have to advocate for quality healthcare which means asking (Sometimes demanding) that the medicos and such speak plain English, clearly and concisely. I’m a grumpy enough broad that I have fired a couple of doctors because of their less than professional manner (One, I swear, acted like he was desperately trying to channel Bob Marley – oh ya mon!), refusal to consider outside consult, and adamant rejection of any medical research and questions I brought to the “table”. So just let your neuro know that YOU are HIS/HER healthcare partner! And let us know how things go. . .


  61. Troutay, I’ll enjoy the lasagne and wine, and I’ll leave the porch light on for you!!!!!! YUM! Just make sure you go to the bathroom before you get here or bring a fuzzy toilet seat. 🙂 It’s getting to be the southern version of cold.
    Someone said something about “old broads.” I would be honored if you will all count me in on that category. I’m old enough to get a senior citizen discount and mad as hell there aren’t any anymore — and taking names!
    Grandma Katie, you aren’t unloading on anyone, so don’t even think twice about that. Just get better and be happy. How about a nice, southern fried pie?


  62. Sorry not in New Mexico but Oklahoma!!


  63. The book I have been referring to is called “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge, MD.
    It is available at BArnes & Noble for $!6.00 paperback. I’ll keep y ou posted on what I find out.

    Some of the best therapy was when I spent some time in the election c ampaign off ice of a lady running for state legislature. Of all things stamping envelopes for three straight hours. Nice improvement in the right hand. I am not completely incapacitated. When Ifirst came here to this Board and Care residence I couldn’t get out of bed without help.
    Now I walk everywhere with a walker, shower alone, dress self, etc.
    My chief caregiver has set me up a room in the garage where I have my workroom. WAs making Gratitude beads until I got low on beads. I have numeros projects just waiting for it to get a bit warmer to goout the.
    Yes I have an evcellent therapist, one of my former students in fact. (I was at school on Friday and in ER on Monday 12/3/07)
    I’ in Southern CA. I’m really making progress, just think shoul be fartheralong.
    Margaret and Helen blog and all of you wonderful peoople and your ideas are wonderful.
    I come from a long line of very independent females wh o want to do things themselves! So it is getting myself in gear and doing it.
    There is a new election campaign coming up and I plan on voilunteering again. City council election to replace the lady who went to state assemblly.
    The reservations in New Mexico were divided up into headrights of 160 acres. My ex inherited the remaining 75 acres of his mothers baby brothers portion, which I am now
    in 07. He had d eeded it over to me since he knew I would see it stayed in the family. So much history for all of us in our families if we just listen.
    Had my morning chuckle, comments on the Republican party reinventing itsef.
    17 more days!


  64. My God! Will she never end? Does she not know the meaning of “ethics”?

    Trash. Just plain trash. I am so glad she is up there and not here. We have our own Bachmann to deal with, a woman of the same ilk.

    JuneauJoe: Here is hoping this new year brings an end to this woman.


  65. Hi Folks,

    The Sarah Palin saga continues: How did the future son in law get into an apprenticeship program with a waiting list and requires a hs diploma? Did Gov Palin pull some strings?

    Wish all a great 2009.


  66. Dear Grandma Katie,

    You are halfway there. You are MOTIVATED!!!!! Do you have a good neurologist? A youngish one who is up on all the astonishing advances that have been made and are being made every day in science in general and neurology in particular. Have you had physical therapy?

    I have an academic background in research Physiological Psychology. I am not a clinician. From what I have read that you have written, there is NOTHING wrong with your COGNITIVE (thinking and understanding) functions. So that tells me that your SENSORY (incoming information) is fine. From what you said about your arm and leg, it seems that there may be some impairment in MOTOR (outgoing directive) functions.

    The connections between the brain and enervating bodily muscles CAN be rejuvenated after a stroke over time. You just have to be patient. So you make a few typos or misspellings. Who among us here on this blog doesn’t, right and left! I sure do.

    Go see your neurologist. You may have to be pro-active. We old broads can do that, Gal! Ask him EXACTLY what structures were affected by the stroke. Write them down or ask him to write them down. (Doctor’s handwriting is notoriously illegible.) But the NAMES of most of the brain structures are in Latin and some are similar thus the correct spelling is important.

    Then tell me what he said and maybe I can explain where they are in the brain and what they do. There is a lot of redundancy in physiology so some you can do without.

    Just know that all of us here enjoying Helen’s hospitality love you!!!!! I love you!!!!! So you can’t miss!!!!!




  67. my husband and i have participated over the years in gatherings of indigenous peoples from around the world. we have talked with elders from hawaii and alaska and other nations’ “people of the land”.
    in recent years we came together at six nations reserve, the home of true democracy ~ the iroquois confederacy ~ in canada to share land and resource issues and the teachings from shared prophecies from this side of the world. we have had our own prophets. and writings. euro-centric anthros just can’t get over their judeo-christian mindsets and hierarchal paradigms, to listen to the people of the land.

    there have been many long walks for america’s first nations. most people heard something in history class somewhere about the cherokee’s ‘trail of tears’ (the journey where the people cried)
    however, most people are not aware that it wasn’t the cherokees who were crying.
    we were putting one foot in front of the other, trying to survive and keep our families together. it was the newcomer settlers watching the removal of human beings from their homeland who cried.

    most people are unaware that the third reich patterned their concentration camps after the holding pens for the u.s.a.’s “removal” and the reservation system. (u.s. federal indian policy)

    very few learned that the supreme court of the u.s.a. ruled that the cherokees had our own legitimate government and could not be removed from our ancestral homeland. but andrew jackson, the devil himself, removed us anyway. don’t be surprised if you come across a $20 bill someday with a slash mark or a blow dart inked in right between that devil’s eyes.

    contrary to popular belief, the u.s.a. did not ‘win’ the land in battle, they defrauded the tribes out of land with treaties/contracts and promises, that have all been broken.

    now, some folks say, “that was a long time ago, and the indians should get over it.”
    this gramma challanges you to get out a ruler and draw a line scaled at 1/4 inch for every 1000 years. there is physical proof, sandals made of hemp, that 2 leggeds have been on this turtle island for at least 10,000 years. our oral stories tell us that we have been here since ‘time immemorial’.
    now under that line, draw 1/8 inch line for how long it has been since old chris got lost on his was to the spice islands.

    the foreign occupation of this hemisphere is but a blip on great spirit’s radar screen.

    heard an outspoken nee mee poo (nez perce) modern warrior say, “we are still here, despite all the efforts of the white man to the contrary, and we are not going away, and it is time that the newcomers to this land, paid proper respect to the elder status of the first nations.)

    there are hard times ahead of us all. and we need to pay attention to our responsibility to the earth that supports our lives in the vast universe. there are sacred sites and sacred teachings on this side of the world, just as there are on the other side of the world. and i urge everyone who walks on this turtle island to learn about those sacred sites.

    we have many stories passed down on this side of the world about when the people became too materialistic and we were forced to abandon the universities (pyramids) and migrate into four directions, stories of when the hierarchies abused the people and were overthrown and the power was turned over to the women.

    btw…. don’t forget folks, joe whitehorse came back he carries a pipe this time, and he is singing at a drum on the powwow trail, when he isn’t out counting spotted owls, polar bears and native rainbow trout.

    this cherokee gramma in chippewa country



    and for techniques to live a more balanced life….

    Okay, I’m done.


  69. Dr. Taylor wrote her story in what became a New York Times best seller: My Stroke of Insight. Her web site is

    Greytdog’s interest in the neurosciences compelled me to add these links and this information. Perhaps something connected to this will be of some assistance to Grandma Katie.



    Just this morning, I came across this link in some notes I kept to share with my daughter who is studying psychology now. I found the subject fascinating as does my daughter who has now seen this speaker on video here. Perhaps Helen’s visitors might also enjoy seeing this speaker. She is Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a neuroanatamist, a brain researcher, who “studied her own stroke as it happened — and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.”

    “One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness …

    “Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the ‘Singin’ Scientist.'”


  71. Grandma Katie – are there any acupressure practitioners in your area? I’ve been thinking about your situation and one of things that is of concern in stroke recovery, as you probably know, is atrophy. Acupressure is not invasive but can certainly keep the circulation in the affected muscles and at the same time, a good practitioner would be able to do passive ROM. As a massage therapist, you know about the body – surely there is an LMT in your area that you know and trust? Can’t they come in and work with you? Where are you, exactly? Maybe we can all put our heads together to figure this out?
    You mentioned a book on the Brain and a doctor connected to the book who has a clinic? What’s the title of the Book? I’d like to read it. I have several books on neurology – mostly neuropsychology, but I am interested in anything having to do with neuroscience.


  72. Dear gramma rock,

    Along with slavery, some of the most shameful pages in American history center on the treatment of Native Americans. Of course, many, many tribes on the East Coast were simply annihilated by either disease or massacre. They are extinct.

    Here is an updated version of essentially the same thing that has been going on here in Hawaii.

    A brief thumbnail sketch of Hawaiian history. The Hawaiians had a complete culture, both good and not so good, but it was THEIRS! Because of its strategic position out in the middle of the Pacific, it was a toss up whether it would be absorbed by the U. S., Japan or Russia. In fact, there are ruins of two Russian forts on our island. The Hawaiian king was strong enough at the time and kicked the Russians out.

    The U.S. take over (ahem, annexation) in 1898 was accepted as a joint resolution by the U.S. Congress. It was a relatively bloodless business coup supported by a few Marines.

    Missionaries from Yale had come out here, and as the saying goes, “to do good and they did right well!” The missionaries and their descendants married into Hawaiian royalty and thus acquired VAST amounts of land. The Bishop Estate is the largest trust in the U.S. Among other enterprises, Bernice Bishop established the Kamehameha School for Hawaiian children in response to the Punahou School for ‘white’ children. Both are very fine private schools. Obama attended Punahou.

    Hawaiian society had been somewhat feudal with the royalty class, ‘peasants’ and slavery. One of their religious rites was to bury a slave alive at each corner of their ‘heiau’ (temple) in dedication when it was built. Queen Liliuokalani was the last reigning monarch and was a domineering old matriarch. She was big on beheading anyone who opposed her will.

    Something most people don’t know is that beyond the five principal islands, the State of Hawaii is composed of over 100 islands extending all the way out to Midway Island. Most of the other islands are very small and uninhabited wild life sanctuaries.

    There are a number of small but quite vocal groups agitating for ‘Hawaiian Sovereignty’.
    They are not very well organized and are usually feuding among themselves.

    Our junior U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka is a dear sweet old fella in his mid 80’s. Everybody out here loves him and has sent him back, term after term. His one and only bill ever introduced in the Senate has to do with granting the Hawaiian people the same status as the Native Americans. It has rarely made it onto the floor. I have not read the bill, so can’t say what it contains.

    Our senior U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye is a distinguished statesman, also in his mid 80’s. He fought and lost an arm in World War II in Europe in the much-decorated Japanese regiment. That was at a time when feelings toward the Japanese ran as hotly as they do now toward Moslems.

    Both Inouye and Akaka are Democrats and vote a straight Democratic Ticket – always. It is common knowledge that Inouye wakes Akaka up when it is time to vote in the Senate and tells him how to vote.

    A few years ago there was big flap on TV and in the news about the ‘Hawaiian Sovereignty’. A ‘lady’ professor from the University of Hawaii was quite prominent for a while. But she put her foot in it big time when she called Inouye a “One armed bandit!” Haven’t heard much from her since.

    There is a tiny little uninhabited island, Khaoolawe, just south of Lanai and west of Maui. For many, many years the U.S. Navy used it used for target practice. It is now nothing more than a deserted, desolate place with probably unexploded bombs.

    A few of the Sovereignty people want that to be their ‘state’. Yeah, right. If Akaka’s bill should ever be passed, they could park the Hawaiians on a ‘reservation’ on Khaoolawe and then just forget about them.

    Of course, there are those out here who support the Akaka bill because it would bring in gambling for the first time. It has ALWAYS been prohibited because of the Yale Missionary influence. We do not have a state lottery. Plane load after plane load after plane load of local people go to Las Vegas every week to drop their money in Nevada coffers. We attended a 50th Wedding Anniversary Bash for some friends at the California Hotel in downtown Las Vegas once. That’s where all the Hawaiian people go.

    Since sugar and pineapple plantations have gone to the Philippines or elsewhere because those crops are so labor intensive, our ONLY lifeblood economy is based on tourism. Starting with the fuel prices last summer and now with the national economy so far down, well you get the picture of the history and problems facing Hawaii.

    I’m betting there could be 48-49 other stories from every state about their histories and current problems. Are their any snap answers? I sure don’t have any!



    P.S. Oh, yes, then there is the Hawaiian ’blood quantum’ requirement for admission into the Kamehameha School wending its way through the courts, probably all the way to the Supreme Court. The case centers on a kid who did not meet the ’blood quantum’ test. In the meantime, the kid went on to school elsewhere, grew up and has gone on his merry way.

    The Hawaiian people, with no exposure and no immunity, were decimated by Venereal Disease and MEASLES to about 5% of their original population. There are very few pure blood Hawaiians left.


  73. doesn’t the Trail of TEARS get to you?
    My ex husband was a descendant of the CReeks. Back in the early 70’s the government paid reparations to the descendants for the land the whites stolle. The firgure was publihed was in the millions. Ha. When the paid out the checks my kids received $149.00. Iiiii aaaalways have suspected that the lawyers made out like fat rats.

    I think WErner wanted to know what I did. At 61 I went back ito school and became a massage therapist. In 2001 I started teaching hands on massage in a trade school until the stroke laid me flat.

    BEfore that I have done a lot of things.

    I have the address of the Dr who has learned so much about what the brain can do that they have taught was notpossible before. He has a clinic at the University of Alabama.
    So my plan is to see what they have available for those who cannot travel there A DVD is mentoned inthis book.
    I can do many things, but being aalone. is not practical right now.
    Sorry to unload on youall. But many thanks to you all for your encouragement. There are so many so much worse off than I am, that I have no reason to feel sorry for myself.

    AS my oldest son said a couple of weeks ago, it is up to me to search the internet and go from there. Finding this page and all of you was the most wonderful CRristmas gift I could receiive. Bless you all/

    to Margaret and Helen, thanks for letting us visit on your front porch.


  74. I have lasagna I can add avotresante. And I have a heater (electric) that can al least heat the bathroom.
    And wine.
    And Grandma Katie, you might have physical problems but a lot of us have mental ones that keep us from doing things we want to do, but we are all in this together. Here, you can be what ever you want to be.

    thank you all for helping me through a rough period of time. You gave me hope, personal strength, and more faith in myself.


  75. Hey folks! Dinner’s on at Avotresante’s! Sounds sooooo good and totally warming! Homemade bread. . . homemade soup. . . oh yum, cookies. But you’re right – times will be hard in some way or another – but how we face those times and how we choose to deal with those times will determine our course. . . and this is one thing I have learned over the years – Life is a gift, as Avotresante pointed out, a gift that we can unwrap every day, a gift that is pristine and beautiful each and every day. . .
    And perhaps the unexpected gift of M & H is that they have, without artifice or avarice, created a community of folks who can talk, chat, argue, disagree, agree, laugh, sing, dance, whatever. . . knowing that what is truly celebrated here is friendship & family.


  76. Again, Grandma Katie — I need to lift my own spirits after thinking about the Trail of Tears again. I wanted to tell you that I think you’ll have a good year. Being in the company of the people who can think is exhilarating (sp?), inspiring, and motivating, and I think everyone here will be sending you their best wishes in reaching your goals. Times will get hard for a lot of us, whether it’s financial or physical problems, or so many other challenges there are, but just keep in mind it’s life itself that’s the gift. We’re down to heating one room, so today I baked bread (4 loaves cinnamon raisin potato bread, 2 loaves white bread), a batch of cookies, and I have a pot of good old bean soup on the stove. It might not be the smartest way to handle the cold, but it sure smells good in here, and it’s just warm enough. You can do anything you want to do, and the ways will open for you. Believe!


  77. It has been awhile…and not even going totry to catch up on all the postings. I just wanted to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year and may it bring love and contentment to you and your families!


  78. Granma Katie wrote:
    I had been in a very low mental attitude for qui te awhile. Finding all of y ou ihas been so invigorating mentlly. Hard to explain. It’s like my brain has been stirred up. So. I am telling you all my Years Resolutions.
    From a book I hauve been reading on the Brain and how it Changes Itself,
    I am going to find out how to do the exercises and get the use of right let and arm back and once again live on my own!! and maybe be able to practice my profession again

    Granma Katie, you can do this! I have been listening to what you have written and have been inspired myself, having a lot of physical problems in my late 60’s (almost 70) from what you have written. Do what ever exercises you need to do and rejoin the world. It is hard but You have given all of us inspiration and we want to give you the same. I almost gave up but your words have inspired me. Keep us posted on your progress. I have several elderly friends who have had strokes and have watched their progress. You are better than most. What was your profession before the stroke?
    If nothing else comes from this blog but Granma Katie getting back on her feet, YEAH!


  79. New Year’s Resolution #100001: re-learn proper English Grammar and sentence structure


  80. Grandma Katie, Werner, Avotresantre – as you’ve all noted, ” to the victor belongs the spoils” and part of the spoils is the “right” to write the history. I’ll never forget, as a child, standing in the Vatican Museum with my parents and a friend of theirs – a professor of theology and art history – who made that comment to my father. . . and who referred to the Museum as the Great Museum of Plunder.
    I am hopeful, however, that Obama will at the very least, be more cognizant of and be active on behalf of the Indian Nation(s). I was hoping that he would appoint a Native American to head the BLM/BIA but not sure if that is a political appointment position or not.
    Grandma Katie, keep doing those Suduko puzzles – and one of things a close friend of mine does – she had a stroke over a year ago – is play those Hidden Object games on the computer. She says it keeps her mind active – without requiring her to overthink the situation. I’ve played those myself and they are a lot of fun – the objects are cleverly hidden but not ridiculously so – often hiding in plain sight so to speak – but you really have to concentrate. Those might help keep the synapses firing. Another possibility would be to check into the Great Conversation DVDs/audiotapes. These are actual lecture tapes of some of today’s top philosophers, scientists, theologians, writers, etc. . . I bought a couple of the audiotapes when I was having to travel for my job – and instead of listening to static or searching for a radio station in every new town, I just listened and learned from those tapes – that’s what hooked me on quantum physics!


  81. Grandma Katie — It’s heartbreaking. The first gold rush in the US, in the area of Dahlonega, GA, which started the Trail of Tears tragedy. To this day, the event is celebrated as Gold Rush Days, a weekend festival every October. The real story of the Cherokee and others isn’t told, unless you’re lucky enough to meet a descendant. As Werner said, what’s presented to the world is from the perspective of the “winners.”
    So very sad.


  82. Thanks Werner for your well thought out answer.


  83. Hi Ann
    yes it is terrible, but very common, from the times of Rome, history and what of it was teached in schools, was ALWAYS only recorded by the winners, we know next to nothing of the most infulentual tribe of History in Europe, the Celts, since only the Romans kept written records, we are only in the last 20 years discovering that the Vikings (A melange of 25 to 30 northern European Folk groups, all differnet from each other) did at least as much trading as they did raiding, since only the church (who considered them heathen pagans) kept written records, so don’t wonder that the school of the white man ignores native indian history, it’s completly normal.
    All we can do is vote and work for changes to change this in the FUTURE!

    We all can learn from our mistakes, and if we don’t we are (brain) dead.



  84. Grandma Katie, so glad you are in a good frame of mind; I am trying to hang onto mine. Anyway I used to live in Tennessee. Cherokee Blvd was a nice street in my town. I did not know anything , but there were some burial mounds near a path… My cousin wrote his thesis in grad. school on The Trail of Tears.So while I do not know much, I know it was a terrible event, a forced march to move the Cherokee people to Oklahoma- I think. Isn’t it pathetic that that is all I know and it was not taught in school.


  85. Hey Grandma Kathie

    GOOD resolution. the most people I know that are eldery (70+) and are in good mental shape are busy like (uups) “Hell”, so do what ever you can to keep busy.
    I would suggest, after you mentioned “living on my own again” that you maybe try some remote course on a SERIOUS (watchout for rippoffs) University or community college? Or try to be a guest hearer in your local University when you can manage the transport?
    Maybe soem of the others can suggest some, from here in Canada it’s a bit hard….

    Guess if you give us your interessts we might come up with a suggestion or 3!

    But your defenitly on the right way, BTW any one with physio experince here that could suggest exercises the help Kathie improve the use of her lesft side?



  86. Here we go
    Werners famous Bavarian potato salad:

    Bavarian Potato Salad

    Pre-cook 5 – 10 lbs (depending on people to feed) of potatoes in their skin the day before

    or at lest 2 – 3 hours before using, so they can cool throughly.

    Cut potatoes in small, eatable pieces.
    for every 5 lbs of potato cut into small dices one big onion and 10 -12 smmall cornichons

    or 3 – 4 big polish dill pickles (Do NOT use sweet pickles, dosn’t fit) cut into small pices and mix into potato salad
    Add dry or fresh herbs to taste!

    Try to find bacon in a pieces, (if not use sliced) cut into small cubes, fry in pan and mix

    into salad WITH the bacon fat (apporx 1/2 lb for 5 lbs potato)
    (For Jews and Muslims, substitue Turkey Bacon if you can get it or smoked beef (WITH


    Than make for the first 5 lbs of potatoes 1 liter and for each additional 5 lbs an additional half liter of broth (chicken, beef, whatever you like) and add 1 tbls spoon of Mustard to the broth add 1/2 tbls spoon for each additional half liter.

    Pour the broth over the potatoe salad (Yes it will swimm, thats as it should) and let it

    sit a MINIMUM of 3 hours, better in a cool place if too hot in the fridge, best let it soak

    overnight upto 24 hrs. (The idea is that the potatoes will suck up the broth…. mmmmmhhhh!)

    When ready to serve, remove (pour off or change bowl) leftover broth.

    This tastes best served luke warm (Warm bowl in microwave or oven, but DON’T heat it, just

    WARM it!) but can also be eaten cold or at room temp.

    On a lot of parties this was the biggest dish on the table and the one first gone….

    Enjoy (this goes esepcially well with “Schnitzel”!)



  87. Hi how do you like this?

    4 meals out of one chicken:

    First get a fresh BIG chicken for soup, have it cut (sawed) in half at the butchers (so the bones give you a good soup). set it on the oven in a big pot with 4 liters of water and cook it for half an hour with some rough salt. Remove the raising foam that bouils up.
    Than add any veggies you can find in the fridge (carottes, cellery, an onion cut in half and spiked with cloves and laurel, leek a bit of garlic, etc.) and add 10 -12 peppercorns, than cook it for one more hour.
    This will leave you with about 3 liters of good chicken broth, doesn’t taste much yet, but that’s intended, please DON’T add any industrial chicken broth. but I always like to add 1 tbl spoon of mustard (Dijon). Use a sieve to clean broth, than remove 2 liters of the broth and keep in fridge for next meals.

    After that, take the chicken out, remove breast drumsticks and wings, clean of skin and set them aside for next meals in fridge.

    Than remove the small letftover pieces of meat , this will give you a “mountain” of cutoff small meat pieces, take half of that and add it back into the remaining liter of broth, add the small cut veggies (you can also use fresh veggies at this point if you still have any, it will taste better, but if budged is low, why waste what you got?)

    Finish the soup to taste with salt, peper, curry if you like and a bit of lemon juice (I love to add a shot of “Maggie”, but thats for everyones own taste)

    So you have a good chicken soup, lot’s of work, but leftover for 3 more meals.

    secomd meal is “Suelze”
    for this you need the other half of the leftover meat, some mustard corns and half a liter of broth.

    Heat the broth, add the meat , the mustard corns, salt and pepper add a small blanched Carrot or Cellery or both and add a good shot of white vinegar (it should “burn” when you taste it) add as much Gelatine as is needed to make it nice and stiff pour it into a nice cermaic pot or casserole and meal number 2 just needs cooling to be ready.
    Eat it with buttered whole wheat or Rye bread with a good glass of white wine…… mmmmmhh!

    From the last part of the broth you make a Risotto, standard recipe, you can spice it up with an onion, fresh mushrooms and good parmesan cheese chicken liver or other liver… let your fantasy flow…..

    Now we still have the breast, drumsticks and wings for meal number 4:

    roll them through flour, egg/milk mix and breadcrumbs (better 2/3 breadcrumbs and 1/3 parmesan and add a bit of italian spice mix) and fry / bake them in a high frying pan with about 1 finger thick oliveoil (watch, DON’T burn it, you want it HOT, but NOT smoking) dry on kitchen towel and serve with potato or other salad.

    This was 4 meals from just one chicken.

    I will post my world favorite bavarian potato salad in the next post in a minute!

    Enjoy and share with people with low bugets!



  88. Good morning!!
    Been reading all your comments about Obama. Also just read on MSNBC ( I th ink) about the values he learned growing up in Hawaii. Good. Explains sime iiiof how he is so calm and composed. Have also read about how he plans on keeping his volunteers busy in the coming years. 18 days!!

    Now I am going to get mushy.
    Thanks toall of you, starting with Margaret and Helen and especially all of you on Helen’s front porch.
    What ever industrial cleaner it takes to get rid of the trool tracks–use it!!

    I had been in a very low mental attitude for qui te awhile. Finding all of y ou ihas been so invigorating mentlly. Hard to explain. It’s like my brain has been stirred up. So. I am telling you all my Years Resolutions.
    From a book I hauve been reading on the Brain and how it Changes Itself,
    I am going to find out how to do the exercises and get the use of right let and arm back and once again live on my own!! and maybe be able to practice my profession again!!

    Margaret and Helen have proven to me that just because we’ve reached a certain age doesn’t mean we are dead between the ears.

    Would love to go back toschool!!

    Thank you all for the all the comments. Stirs up the brain.
    I love you all. Do feel that this year will be hard, but much better.

    BTW, ever hear of the Trail of Tears, and the Long WAlk?


  89. You guys are great! Helen, if I could write like you, I’d start a blog of my own right now. How did you learn to write so well? Have you been honing your style for a long time, or are you just a natural?


  90. Hi Girlz and Boyz
    Troutay, I reblogged Jay’s explanations on my blog, Lovin’ it!

    Hi Ann, from 2 days back, I re-blogged the Moron-Juice Killer on MY blog, so no reason to read anything the Idiot wrote except the sign, while his spelling makes me seriously doubt that he can write at all…….LOL

    I also mentioned the problems a little Fakir’s boy faces in a cussion fight and the geometrical problems with a Penrose triangel.
    If that doesn’t force a smile on your new years face you are certainly without a mean streak!

    And to PCO from above, knowing from living 7 years on the road, once your problems boil down to your mornings breakfast, or even worst, on how to finance your next bootle or fix, shelter becomes secondary, and seeing that the Guy Pi mentioned had a tent shows that he already started to at least think about his situation.

    When I was on the road I always hated staying in shelters where people stank (true) and stole from each other and prefered to stay out in the cold instead.

    In scandinavia they had an experiment going with sleeping boxes (triangulare, apporx 8 x 5 x 4 Feet with the possibility to conncet a hot air duct for heating) they where lockable and “rented” free of charge for 3 months at a time, gave people at least a small ammount of privacy, sinc the where locable and on the ground of a secure organization (don’t remember if state or church charity, too long ago I heard about it) the offered some security against theft and the main idea was to get people to get used to a “fixed” place in live and lead them on from there to jobs and appartments……

    Don’t know if this would help for you and Pi, but since you are active in community work, maybe just spreading the news and reviving an old but practival idea let’s it fall on fertile ground.

    It’s a cheap solution (hot air ducts are easily and cheeply connected to existing central heating systems and prevent people from freezing to death) and as far as I remeber it was rather successfull.

    There was talk of “trolls”, refusing the “doghouse” solutions as unfit for humans, but ask yourself, whats is better, an undignified homeless in a warm doghouse or another stiff (sorry the pun) for the statistics?

    So, after this food for thought, greetings to all, gotta go back to work



  91. Good Morning everyone!

    It is a new year and I have a mixed bag of feelings about the start.

    As far as the swearing in ceremony for PE Obama I am in the camp that this is a meaningful moment for him, maybe more, as much as it is for America and he should be able to celebrate this moment how he chooses. A prayer is just a message sent out for hope and to me no reason to get tied up in knots about it. IMHO

    I do wish that people would stop with the lawsuits to nowhere as we may need those courts free to deal with some very serious issues brewing on the horizon.

    Alaska Pi thank you for the update and I am glad that the professer is going to keep an eye out for the “Kid”. I am very saddened by the “Vet”. Call me crazy but it just really makes me mad that in this country we can’t find a solution to help people find housing and take care of their basic health care needs, and don’t get me started on education or I will go into a crazy wild rant.

    Thank you to the troll slayers! Nice clean up! Try vinegar for slime removal it works wonders on all kinds of surfaces!


  92. dang! I missed it!


  93. Troutay – Despite the thorough housekeeping we do to ensure M & H’s porch and parlor are tidy and clean, trolls reappear. I think of them as the dust bunnies of the ‘net. You never know where they will crop up, but you know if let alone they will multiply. And so my perusal, my midnight wandering through the postings. . . using my cyberduster but Alaska Pi went in with her cybervac and hoovered them up – I think I still hear them squealing “eureka” but Pi responded “nope, hoover” and keep on cleaning.


  94. Here is one for whirledpeas.


  95. Yawn
    I guess I missed the trolls. But hasn’t that post been there a couple of weeks now? Aren’t they a litttle late and a dollar short? Way behind the times, they are. typical no?


  96. You two crack me up with everything you write. Good going. i read you guys for humor and for all my smutty romance novel-type needs, I read Happy New Year.


  97. Oops- double oops. It may feel like a palace here but I meant PLACE…
    Hi-ho,hi-ho- it’s back to bed I go…
    The wind quit howling…
    It’s quiet enough to sleep…


  98. Greytdog-
    Thank you ! Now- I’m worrying about the unpleasant fact that we all have neighbors like that poor box creature Nunya. In the spirit of “yes, WE Can!” do we kill-em-with-kindness by securing them well paying jobs,decent healthcare, and decent education for their kids? I think we must, but I’m cranky enough -with this cold and leftover anger at the last 8 years- that I have a hard time being gracious about it…
    Some lil meanie part of me wants to stick my tongue out at all the chickenshits who have helped make this mess by huddling under their beds wrapped in the flag and singing “jesus-loves-me-more-than-you” …
    Oops- getting snorfy all over Helen and Margaret’s palace here .Better go back to bed. May have to try Werner’s trial-by-fire- recipe yet…


  99. (Just got in from the last walkies of the night – the dogs are a-bed and snoring while I am now WIDE effing AWAKE)
    Alaska Pi, your response was wonderful! I think you spanked that troll really good – much than the Billy Goat in the original story. Poor Nunya, soooo . . . blind, and so JTP/SP type
    Jean – You’re right – there is a lot of work to do. A lot of folks think Obama will getting a pass from all the progressives who voted for him – I think we’ll be watching, weighing, and measuring as diligently as ever, perhaps more so. And I think part of the work ahead means we have to weigh, measure, and assess our own performance – Obama may be the “point man”, but behind every good point man is a legion of workers who bring those goals and dreams and ideas to fruition. The slogan wasn’t ” Yes Obama Can” but “yes, WE Can!”


  100. Ah Jean- It wasn’t somber…just a big reminder we have lots of work ahead and not to get lost on the way to work!
    OOGH…one trollie REALLY slimy…other one lives in a safe lil closet or box or something…??


  101. Me agaiin,

    I didn’t mean to sign off on such a somber note.

    I sincerely hope we can all take a Pisgah View of our country and the world in 2009 of peace, health and much happiness! We deserve it!




  102. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Happy New Year everyone! Our group here has grown too large for me to name all of you individually today. This is a heartfelt wish for each of you. 2009 is finally here and everything is gonna get much better!!!!!

    We spent most of the day ‘denuding’ the house of the holiday decorations. Thud. Anti-climatic as hell. There is nothing quite ‘over’ as much as the holidays when they are over, right? We packed up 55 years of memories in boxes and put them away for another year. Next year we will add some more to them!

    A few serious thoughts. I have read the many comments here and there are certainly of a wide variety! A few of them jump out at me. Regarding the inauguration. I don’t think it matters much some of the details that seem to concern some people, especially in the news. I’m not crazy about Warren, the guy who is going to give the invocation or something. In fact, personally I think he is an egotistical jerk. That’s beside the point. He has a wide following of people who are Americans too. Obama wants to be inclusive. Maybe Warren will take back that message and his experience in Washington will convince him that Obama is a pretty good guy after all. Let’s hope.

    Obama will bring his personal convictions with him to the presidency, so how he chooses to take the oath of office should reflect his own commitment, integrity and the weight of the enormous responsibility he is assuming. Also CEREMONIES are meaningful to demonstrate the solemnity of the occasions.

    The Supermarket Tabloid Set will no doubt continue to obsess over such trivia as the color of Obaman’s tie. Red, he’s kissing up to the Republicans. Blue, he’s snubbing the Republicans. “And Heaven’s to Betsy! Did you SEE the cut of Michelle’s inaugural gown that will go into the Smithsonian”! Blah! Blah! Blah! C’mon. Who cares? Not me!

    I think it is very important to keep in mind what really matters. People are sick and dying because they don’t have adequate health care. Our children are being deprived of a quality education that they deserve. And then of course, there is war, war, and more war. It is very expensive to kill people, destroy their homes and infrastructure and then have to rebuild. Of course, the dead are dead, no matter who kills them. These are not just the enormous problems of our country, but worldwide.

    Our government is darn near broke! Do you know the size of the National debt??? The amount of INTEREST we are paying on that debt blows my mind. The National credit card is well over its limit. The people, principally China, who are holding our paper and collecting that interest are in a position to dictate plenty, particularly in terms of trade policy. China is already demanding higher interest rates for buying our paper. What a god-awful mess!

    I think we should just be thankful that the Bush Administration’s policies will be STOPPED – NOW. It will take time though to reverse those policies and we need to be patient. There will be time later on to exact a ‘pound of flesh’ from the likes of Cheney et al for possible war crimes and such. I think we should take care to refrain from revenge, but look ultimately for justice – in courts of law, domestically and internationally. For now, the court of public opinion spoke loud and clear in November!

    Now, let’s all get to work.




  103. For anyone wanting some New Year’s “fun” – troll alert on “if the shoe fits”. Two trolls. Must be cold and lonely under the bridge for them so they came onto Margaret and Helen’s porch . . .lots of slimy streak marks. . .


  104. Happy New Year, my dear friends!

    May you be blessed with much happiness and many joys in 2009!

    May the world be blessed with Peace & Justice in 2009!


  105. whirled peas on the beginning of days

    Thank you, that was beautiful.

    Happy New Year, everyone! Don’t you wish there could be a world wide blog for everyone to wish for peace. Margaret and Helen’s come the closest I have ever seen. Maybe it’s the tea and pie and everyone is on their best behavoir at tea time 🙂

    Werner, love your flu remedies. My childhood doctor prescribe, tea, honey and brandy and the mother was to administer every 1/2 hour 🙂

    Granma Katie, I too found peace and warmth today so maybe there is hope for a better year. My glass is half full.


  106. Grandma Katie, please let me know if you enjoy the books.


  107. Good day to all!
    I’m going to stop a minute here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour for virtual hot tea… and then go have some more real hot tea. The wind is still howling out the hills JuneauJoe but we are supposed to warm up enough to snow in a day or two.
    Thank you to all who extended wishes and recipes for beating this crud. I’m in the cranky phase of snorfiness now…but a pile of good books and my down comforter should see me through the worst and a few sips of the kahlua my sister makes for me every year will knock me out tonight.
    Grandma Katie-
    I want to catch your “feeling of Peace and warmth and worry free. … as an omen for the coming year.” !!! Cough it all around here some more…!
    Oh and tamales… I’ve only ever had beef…
    Are tamales like pie? ALL flavors are good?

    Some of the “wrap-up” of the old year has been sad here where I live- 3 doors off Main St.
    Proud- “the perfessor” has promised to put out the word to keep an eye on “the kid” this winter but he also brought the news that “the vet” died right before Christmas. “the vet” was one of the broken men we brought home from Viet Nam and were never able to heal. He retreated to a tent in the hills and what books he could scrounge up .He died from injuries sustained from a fire – he fell asleep reading and knocked over his candles.

    I am thinking today of the almost co -incident events coming up…
    The Inaguration, the re-convening of the Alaska Legislature, and Dr King’s birthday.

    but I am too snorfy to make sense of whats and whys and hows…

    Like Elsie said
    “I hope that an Obama presidency will lead us into polite discourse in which more of our differences as Americans will be set aside to better appreciate our similarities.”

    We are still the same cast of characters, nationwide, and we must count up and treasure what unites us that we may work through what divides us.

    I’ve been thinking about recipes to try to make Jean’s pie-
    “when people are carefully taught from childhood to hate, fear and have suspicion of people they don’t even know PERSONALLY, how do we turn those intensely ingrained feelings around in adulthood? “
    I think I have found some ingredients here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour… but I’m a crappy cook so maybe some of the better cooks can advise at some point…?
    Thank you…
    Iam going to close my eyes now and think of a warm spring day near my house…
    My youngest sister and I always walk to the end of the trail that takes one to the foot of the mountains which hold the icefields. We hunt wildflowers and sing ditties to warn off bears… We picnic by a creek fed by a waterfall that seems to fall out of the sky ( we can’t see high enough to see the ice which feeds it…)
    I ALWAYS fall asleep listening to that waterfall and breathing the air full of furiously growing green shooting up the mountainsides…


  108. Love your blog, love your friendship, love your attitude and love your outlook. Thanks for sharing, and wishing you both a wonderful ’09. I’ll be tuning in!


  109. Well grandma Katie,
    I guess you’ll hear a (rather interessting) word or two about those grands of native lands to new white immigrants from grandma rocks….. (With those the stealing of native land started in the late 1400’s)

    And discussion of politics and religion is what started all this…..

    But your defenitly right, Pie and cookies and good drinks is what it Should all be about!
    If only all the morons out ther would let us!

    A propo drinks, here’s one for the Ladies from my time when I was still on the wrongs side (the working one…. lol) of the bar:

    Take a shooter glass, fill in 1/4 to (MAX!!!) 1/3 of Bols Banana liquor (otherwise it will be too sweet) fill up with real hot coffee, enjoy while hot!

    You can also pour a good shot of Banana liquor in your cup of coffee, but the above recipe is more precise and will taste better for that.




  110. Happy New Year to you all!

    Last n ight I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of Peace and warmth and worry free. I took this as an omen for the coming year.
    Ann, copied the book names and next trip to library will lok for them.
    WErner, a former boy friend of my youngest daughter is a descendent of one of the first 120 or so families who came w ith the explorers. A relative was granted a large grant of lan for his role i n the ubilding of the Cathedral in Santa FE. This young man has the control for the family of the remaining 10,000 acres.
    The original family came in the late 140o’s.

    Why can’t everyone practice the “Respect Everyone” My dad said he had heard so many fights in arber shops that when he got his own shop that the first thing he did was
    lay down the rule “Absolutely no discussion of Religion or Politics.”

    Hope everyone gets rid of the bugsand start off the New Year heathy.

    19 more days.


  111. “Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
    — Arundhati Roy

    Thank you Margaret and Helen, and Matthew and all of the wonderful folks in this village you’ve all created. I feel the breath here.


  112. Hi JuneauJoe
    With a name like yours it sounds as if you’d come from “Le belle province” (Quebec) yourself…. LOL! Acadian?

    In Canada, if you have a good company healthplan your OK, payments are low and private healthcare is available and most of it payed, but even my wife’s healthplan (she is a prof in a CEGEP = last 2 years of highschool) stinks, she payed through the nose ($100.00 plus every 2 weeks) and gets next to nothing back (most paramedics are not payed and more than 50% self cost for most things), so she opted into mine.
    The provincial / state healtplan takes care of most basic things but they still make you pay up to $300.00 per year before medication and treatments become “free”, (remeber, it’s sposed to be covered by our rather high taxes!) but the downside is that you wait months and sometimes years for treatments and even emergency consultations cann take weeks or up to 2 months.

    So, yes, it is good in principle, but we also get more and more 2 tier healthcare and it is nothing compared to Europe, esp. Germany. Or as an excample, my mother waited 8 days for a scan and was outraged while I waited 2 1/2 months and was astounished how “fast” I got it…….
    But I have a buddy in Glocester, Mass who opted out of healthcare after his plan went to $1.200.00/month for the family, but now risks losing his house and live savings if someone get’s really ill, compared with that, Canadian Healthcare sounds like heaven.




  113. Werner,

    Health care is a big issue and a big mess in the US. I keep reading that the Canada single payer system is a system to be seriously considered in the US.
    Personally, I am amazed at how screwed up the medical care is here in the US. People are going bankrupt because of just regular medical care and monthly medication needs.

    How is the Canada system from your perspective?


  114. It is a beautiful day here in south Florida;I hope for a beautiful year for all.I am learning more and more details about all the unfairness and BS that sorounds us…that is a first step I suppose. Once again- Thanks Whirled Peas for the fireworks- I forwarded it to friends and everyone is thrilled! Werner -Thanks for the bio and the history lesson.And the recipe- which reminds me that ,although I have slept in , now I must get out and take care of my politically liberal, and not so secretly Jewish , Danish and Dutch warmbloods. If anyone needs a horsehoe for the sauce- I am your girl,although I suspect that CARROTS PLEASE has some too!


  115. Alaska Pi:
    Here’s some from Northern Germany, being close to the open Ocean always brings out the best in people I always thaught.
    The mouth clams up, but when it counts, their hearts open…….

    So here the influencia killer from Friesland:

    Take a good bottle of Rhum, fill a good 2 fingers worth (horizontal 2 fingers, NOT vertical!) in a mug, fill up with hot water add sugar to taste and repeat 3-4 times or until well dizzy! (This is called a rather stiff Grog)
    Than put on an old jogging and a warm sweater and go to bed, sweat until you can wring out that suit of yours and….. MAGIC…. all bad is gone the next morning!

    And don’t worry if you have to go to work, through all the sweating you won’t have a big head the next morning, only important part is, IF you wake up in the middle of the night, change into something dry before you sleep the rest of the night!

    Hope sincerly this will help, happy new one



  116. “So help me god…….”

    A comment from an Atheist:


    1) It might help bind religous groups closer to the president and support his decisions, that’s not bad.

    2) The poor guy needs ANY help he can get, even from a nonproofen entity, IF there is a god, hey he might take a moment and help a good cause, and if not, What has he got to loose by these 4 words?

    To the peolpe working the lawsuit angle:
    Stop wasting your time and our money and go find some real problems to solve, if you take your nose out of the sky and look along it, I bet that even you can find a bunch of real live problems (hungry children and poor people) within a few miles of your middle class homes………

    And to Obama, all the luck and all the help he can get, and Sir, IF you see any unfair advantge: Go get a good grip on it and USE IT!



  117. Werner – S.O. = Significant Other

    Amsterdam has long been a haven of tolerance and “live and let live” – a beacon to the displaced of the world. The Jewish community in Holland (as well as in Denmark) was often the backbone of education and banking.


  118. Grandma Katie,
    just for your info: the majority of the “Conversos” made their way to the then spanish provinces of the Netherlands, (few could afford the rather exorbitant cost forthe trip over the ocean, and quiet a few lost their lives when it was discovered that they carried a lot of value with them, they died of “unvorseen” illnesses and the goods got confiscated) espacially to Amsterdam, which then as THE trading capital of the world, but had also a big jewish communitiy.
    They helped the Conversos in the secret woreship most still practiced, even if it was dangerous. Amsterdam, even then much more liberal than the rest of Spain, turned into a more or less “safe Harbour” for a lot of jewish families.
    This info comes from a really good, and sadly since 2 years dead, friend of mine, whose familly made the trip and became a major player in the Amsterdam community.

    In the memory of Alexander Salavtore da Pinto, Montreal.



  119. Hi Greytdog and all
    Happy, Happy new year to you all,

    Peace, love, luck and happiness to you all, even the Orks, you never know, it MIGHT just change ’em….. LOL!

    What is a S.O. pls? (Sys Op?)

    To my anchestry and living habbits, I am German, born in Gunzenhausen/Mfr. which is in Northern Bavaria (Mittelfranken) but I went into political exil with 7 to Swabia (Bad Cannstatt, part of Stuttgart) but that didn’t help much, same stubborn pigheaded people as in the old place, so when I started to think for myself (around the age of 12) I started to run away from home and from the age of 14 I lived for 7 years “on the road” all over Europe. Than I thaught it might be time to calm down a bit and started to live in my favorite City: Hamburg, that was in 1979.
    Their I made a programmers education, but never really found a job in a big Computer Center (That time computers where still big as Cupboards with 256KB Main memory (IBM system /36 or early AS400s)) so I opend my own company serving people with the first PC’s in the early 80’s. This was mostly a one man show, I took jobs inbetween until in 1991 I met my wife and in 1995 I moved to Canada with her. (She is Qubecoise) Here, after several jobs, I was IT Manager for a mid sized company with subsiduries in the US (Boston) and France (Orleans) for 7 1/2 years until I got replaced by I a Phillipino that I trained myself who did my job aside of his programmers job for a 5K raise! (NOT a racial slure, just a fact of live, and NO I am NOT bitter about it, and to better understand it, this was a Electronic Brokers business that had a hugh fluctuation of people, so when I left the company was about a 3rd of the size as when I joined) After I “was left” from this company I had 2 more shitty jobs until my live finally improved and I found a helpdesk job and I found out that this kind of work gives me the biggest jobsatisfaction!
    I just LOVE helping people that are up to their neck in the deep and brown of it. I lost on the salary side, but luckly my wife has a rather good one, but really gained on the live improvment side.
    So for the moment I run the Helpdesk of 7 fortune 100 companies in the after hours (supporting Europe in German at Canadian daytime hours) and enjoy makeing music again (I am a blues freak) and cooking (I am a cook by passion!) when I find the time…….

    So, Ann and Greytdog, now you know quiet a lot about me, aside of that I hate Nazis, and I do read a lot (I don’t watch TV anymore).



    BTW cooking: If you make a good spaghetti sauce (take 4 -6 lbs of minced meat, whet with 3-4 cans of diced tomatoes, add garlic and spices to taste and let it simmer for a minimum of 3 hours.) NEVER forget the “horseshoe test”!!!
    That works like that: after the prescribed cooking time throw a horesshoe into the pot, IF it swimms, all OK, IF it SINKS…… it wasn’t enough meat!!!
    But, seriously, I love to throw a rack of cold smoked ribbs into my Pasta Chuta sauce (cut in strips 3-4 bones wide and remove bones when cooked, before serving) this gives it a nice twist. And NEVER forget 1 to 2 spoons of sugar in the sauce, tomatoes taste sooo much better with a touch of sugar… (Better, if you can get it, is a good shot of maple sirup)

    but enough now……… till then!


  120. Welcome to 2009 everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful time welcoming in the new year and ushering out the old one! Alaska Pi, sending you lots of healing wishes and a virtual toddy!

    For those interested, WaPo had an interesting op=ed piece from Robert Lieber on the current Israel/Hamas conflict:
    (If the link doesn’t work, just go to, then the Opinions page and the article is titled “Hard Truths About the Conflict.”

    And WaPo has a fluff piece on the “in/out” perspective – their list(s) are interesting but I guess I’m showing my age as I don’t know what half the in/out items are. . .sigh.


  121. Happy New Year Everyone!!

    Pi – I will be freezing with you soon!


  122. The End of Days…

    The Beginning of Days!

    and so it goes…. Happy New Year everyone!



  123. Close your eyes Pi. Pretend you are in a hammock under summer leaves. Warm breeze, cicadas singing,
    water running somewhere.
    If you open your eyes, you can see the sun on the edge of the leaves all golden.


  124. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    peace ~ Δ ~ light


  125. Gramma Rock, I suspect you might be onto something there. . .

    Happy New Year everyone! Alaska Pi, feel better soon! I’m still croaking like a frog in the swamp, but at least the fever has gone bye bye. So take care – hunker down with some great reading, warm tea (although I prefer a hot toddy), and snuggle in!

    Take care all – have to walk the muttskis to celebrate the NewYear – 19 more days. . .


  126. greydog,
    do you think that the archangels and the thunderbeings (thunderbirds) could be 2-legged interpretation of the same entities ?


  127. troutay-
    Here is Pi…poked my head in to wish everyone the best in the new calendar year!

    I am tired and on the edge of getting the crud that is rolling through my neighborhood so I’ ll not stay long tonight. Close your eyes Elsie… The winds off the icefields have been blowing cold for days… already well below zero wind chill tonight and the puppers need another stroll.
    So much here again…
    Greytdog- thank you for sharing your correspondence though it is sad and disheartening at this moment-
    “Fatah is unlikely to lead a Palestinian community that will live in peace. Iran, Syria, and Islamic Palestinians will do what they can to revive Hamas.”
    gramma rock- glad to see you back again!
    It is the different but the same here in Alaska. I think we have more footing here in some ways- we are a larger part of the population – but much is the same. Our current gov needs to be watched very carefully as she is part of a movement to strip away some of what was saved .
    Oaths, treaties, laws- some of the best of what we can be when kept. The worst of what we are when not…
    Fooey on whether Mr Obama promises on a bible or a beercan, it is the promise which matters.

    The human urge to formalize promise making is universal and as old as we are- as Greytdog points out. Whether it is a wedding or signing a will or an oath taking by a public official there are bits and pieces which cling to the rituals which are meaningless to some participants…
    they don’t change the promise.


  128. Texan rumaki:

    Wear gloves and eye protection for this one:
    Take a bunch a jalapenos. Wash, halve and seed them (I find a melon baller is the quickest for seeding the jalapenos quickly.

    Fill each 1/2 jalapeno with your choice:
    cream cheese
    cream cheese/veggie mixture

    Make sure the filling is level with the sides of the jalapenos.

    Wrap each filled jalapenos slice with bacon. I personally prefer to use precooked bacon, because it is crispier in the finished product with less grease. Secure bacon strip with a toothpick.

    Bake at 350 until the cheese mixture is brown and bubbly and/or the bacon is crisp and browned. If you didn’t use precooked bacon, you will need to pour off the bacon grease a couple of times before they are done.

    Drain on paper towels. Best served warm, so I often make ahead and then heat for about 5 minutes just before serving.

    This is really time intensive to make (hence my shortcuts), but well worth it — always get raves from the tasters!


  129. The BIA is one of the most corrupt government agencies around! If the Lakota are looking for the money, they might want to look under Tom Wilson’s bed


  130. the courts have ruled that paha sapa , the sacred black hills, were never ceded by the sioux (lakota, nakota, dakota). those lands
    were taken, in violation of treaty. and the old unkles were oredered by the courts to pay for the stolen land, but the sioux won’t sell.

    now theorhetically, that money was set aside to pay for the stolen treatyland of the sioux
    and it drawing interest. yah, right! this gramma’s bet is that the bia ‘lost it’ with the $30 billion in royalties from the oil, uranium, coal, and agriculturall land leases.

    but it’s irrelevant now, because bush spent it to bomb the iraqis off their oil rich


  131. “the Presidential Inauguration is filled with theological meaning from the Invocation, through the Oath (which is deemed as sacred or hallowed), to the Benediction.”

    “I think to me those things are more of a human tradition than pinned to any one religion.”

    I don’t believe that I equated those things with any particular religion; rather, I was pointing out that throughout human history, certain acts, certain rituals have been endowed with a sense of the Sacred – and among those things, oath-taking is perhaps one of the most deeply sacred. If you’ve ever seen the documentary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, you’ll see this enacted in a most ritualized manner – what I find most interesting, and which always brings a smile to my face, is when the Archbishop, takes the young Queen and “presents” her to her people – he does this 4 times. Now for some observers, this may simply mean a way of “greeting” the vast crowd throughout the Cathedral. But the reality is that this ritual is quite ancient and pagan in its roots – and the Queen is bound to the land, and is presented thusly to the 4 quarters (or in some accounts of the Old Religion – the 4 Watchers) which over time, were later represented in the great mystic traditions of the monotheists (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) as the 4 Archangels. As I’ve said, oath taking has always had a sense of the Sacred – in all cultures – throughout time. That we do not have the highly stylized rituals of the European monarchies does not detract from the fact that when the POTUS (or any elected official) takes that oath, he/she is participating in a sacred pact to not only uphold the Law of the Land (our Constitution) but to BE the United States of America. That is why, to me, the transgressions of Bush and Cheney are not simply waved away as “shadow governments” or fascism gone amok, but they are, pure and simple, oath-breakers. And perhaps it is my own paganism coming through, but I hold no truck for oath breakers.


  132. “…every first grader should know how to spell treaty. every second grader should know where the ceded territory is in their own backyard….”

    about five years ago the native american veterans outreach in northern minnesota walked for four days from cass lake to st. paul to deliver petitions to governor pawlenty and education commisioner sharon yecke to have have indian treaties taught in all minnesota schools. now, pre-european contact history is finally filtering into some classes. but minnesota is still affraid to teach treaties.

    if treaties were taught, there would not be as much racism in reservation borders towns. & descendents of railroad right-of-way squatters would understand reserved rights and dependent nation status better.

    and americans just might learn something from their own history. this gramma finds it quite interesting to watch now as mainstream america must now deal with the legacy of having their culture and system of trade yanked out from underneath them because of the greed of the powerful.

    perhaps it is time for an official apology for the genocide.


  133. Gramma rock, while I’m not of Native American descent, and am as white as they come, I can empathize with you. I studied a lot about the different tribes of North America and learned in college straight from several Indian elders what they won’t teach you in high school. I’ve studied indigenous cultures for years and quite frankly, everyone could learn a lot about respecting our planet from the “uncivilized ones.”


  134. Where is Pi?


  135. Gramma Rock, you’re so right. The Wounded Knee massacre occurred because the US Govt had outlawed the Ghost Dance – a sacred Lakota Sioux ritual. Mt Rushmore is built on sacred burial grounds – and on top of that “injury”, add the “insult” of the four Presidents who were part and parcel of the Manifest Destiny doctrine which meant ridding the west of the Indians. . . the trail westward is littered with the trail of broken treaties and promises.


  136. What are some of the sacred sites that you are denied access to?

    sights that are rich in natural resources and controlled by the dept. of interior for several.

    native americans have to struggle continually to keep our footing in our homeland. for every concession that the old uncles on the hill make for indian people, in reality we lose more ground that we gained in some other arena.

    we have guarded hope. obama has promised to create a cabinet position to keep him abreast of issues in indian country. maybe he will look at the possibility of getting us some civil rights on our own reservations.


  137. gramma rock,

    It is so very sad that “Christians” force “Christianity” upon others, to the point of starvation, arrests, and murder. How do you manage to let go of hate in your heart for injustices done by the American government against Native Americans? Do you see any recent improvements in relations between the government and Native Americans? What are some of the sacred sites that you are denied access to?


  138. a separation of church and state in the u.s.a. lacks real truth. it’s one of the newcomer’s fairy tales and this gramma sees this as a superfluous argument.

    federal indian policy dictated that native americans be converted to chirstianity.
    indians who refused to convert were denied rations, arrested and/or killed. there was an insane assylum built just for indians that refused to play by ‘christian rules’.

    in 1976 the native american religious freedom act became law. however, we are still denied access to sacred sites. and we have to get ‘permission’ to use sacred objects like drums and the pipes in many cases.

    why can’t said athiests just put their fingers in their ears and hum during the ‘praying part’ ? oh, unless, of course they are affraid the feds might bid out an insane assylum just for them someday.


  139. “the Presidential Inauguration is filled with theological meaning from the Invocation, through the Oath (which is deemed as sacred or hallowed), to the Benediction.”

    I think to me those things are more of a human tradition than pinned to any one religion. This is sort of why I like Christmas too (because it’s not “just” christmas but has roots in many cultures and traditions over thousands of years). Currently, one can see these things as Christian only, but those traditions all came from somewhere else. I think this is why certain religious things don’t bother me, I think I view it as part of the collective human experience.

    Kind of a “many paths to the same place” sort of thing. If I was in charge of inauguration, I might have a moment of silence to reflect on certain things and to hope for a better future. Isn’t that, at its heart, the same as an opening prayer? The words are different, the invocation of a deity is different, but the spirit is kinda the same, IMO

    I dunno. For now I’ll focus my ire on the folks who leave tracts in the (government building) bathrooms, rather than old traditions like that 🙂


  140. I meant:
    Do they have to file a lawsuit because their feelings are hurt? Well, apparently so.

    At the end of the CNN article, the plaintiff acknowledges that he doesn’t expect to win. He hopes “to eventually succeed through appeals and (hopes) future inauguration ceremonies would exclude religious references.”

    Thanks, carrotplease. I try to be accommodating to the beliefs of others, in the same way that I want to be accorded respect.

    I hope that an Obama presidency will lead us into polite discourse in which more of our differences as Americans will be set aside to better appreciate our similarities.

    We don’t normally say grace at our mealtimes, unless we have guests in our home who always ask a blessing before eating. In those instances, we ask them to please offer a blessing, to accommodate their spiritual or religious needs. It’s not hypocritical; it’s about being sensitive to our friends and loved ones.

    If an atheist is our guest, we’ll just pass the food and get on into the meal! To me, that’s just being a good hostess.

    I’d like for ALL OF US to get along. Could it be that maybe I’ve just been hitting the eggnog a bit too much lately?

    Greytdog, you always explain things beautifully. I think all of Helen’s friends here would have a wonderful time at her table, regardless of their spiritual beliefs. You, like Helen, have much to teach, and I continue to try to learn.


  141. I find it interesting in an abstract way that we claim separation of church and state, but that the Presidential Inauguration is filled with theological meaning from the Invocation, through the Oath (which is deemed as sacred or hallowed), to the Benediction. The Inaugural is about a pledge – and most pledges, most oaths, have meaning because we hold such things as “sacred”. What I do appreciate, however, is that despite the fact that we uphold such oaths as sacred, we do not require a National Church, State Religion, or Testament of Faith for Officeholders. And that sort of separation of Church and State is just fine with me. I have no argument with atheists; I think this lawsuit is frivolous at the most, and meaningless in the least. Perhaps they needed something to do over the next month or so. . .


  142. Elsie, I tend to agree with you, and I’m an atheist.

    I just think these lawsuits and demands just make atheists as a group look as “angry” as religious folks always like to think we are.

    I think in terms of an inauguration, the elected person really is the one who should make the choice. The ceremony is about the president elect, right? So shouldn’t it be meaningful to him? If a religious prayer is what makes it meaningful to him (and is tradition) then I don’t see a problem.

    In anycase, Newdow (or however you spell his name) doesn’t speak for all of us.


  143. Hey, this afternoon, I noticed this story at

    “A number of atheists and non-religious organizations want Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony to leave out all references to God and religion.

    “President-elect Barack Obama will use the Bible Abraham Lincoln used for his inauguration.

    “In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, the plaintiffs demand that the words ‘so help me God’ not be added to the end of the president’s oath of office.

    “In addition, the lawsuit objects to plans for ministers to deliver an invocation and a benediction in which they may discuss God and religion.”

    There’s more to the story at that link, but you get the idea, I’m sure.

    I STRONGLY support separation of church and state, but this lawsuit just irritates me no end. I’m sick of being politically correct. If atheists believe that “having to watch a ceremony with religious components will make them feel excluded and stigmatized”, I think they just need to get over it. Are they not adults? Can’t they just deal with a tradition that goes back to the beginning of the presidency?

    Do they have to file a lawsuit because their feelings are hurt? Well, apparently not: “’Plaintiffs are placed in the untenable position of having to choose between not watching the presidential inauguration or being forced to countenance endorsements of purely religious notions that they expressly deny,’ according to the lawsuit.”

    Oh, really? I “countenance” stuff all the time that I don’t endorse; that doesn’t make me feel all put-upon and mopey about my personal choices.

    I’m just miffed about this. Anyone else have any thoughts on this subject?


  144. *Grandma Katie, My mother lent me a really good novel and you might like it too. “People of the Book”by Geraldine Brooks. It has to do with the Inquisition.The other book is”The Last Jew” by Noah Gordon.Neither trace the conversos to the southwest but they tell the story of the danger and the forced conversions a most entertaining way. Happy New Year. Ann


  145. Like everyone else, I have been very busy the past couple of weeks so haven’t been here much. But this is something extremely important that I got in my email this morning and need to pass it on to all the wedgies here:

    Submitted by Bob Fertik on December 30, 2008 – 1:40pm. Activism Bush Prosecution
    On December 15, Vice President Cheney admitted on national TV that he authorized torture, including waterboarding. That shocking confession makes Cheney a war criminal. But apart from Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, the Corporate Media barely noticed.

    Under the Geneva Conventions, the United States must prosecute Dick Cheney for war crimes. So we submitted this question to President-elect Obama at

    Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor – ideally Patrick Fitzgerald – to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?”
    -Bob Fertik, New York City

    At the end of the first round on December 15, our Special Prosecutor question was #6 but Obama’s team only answered the first five, including one on the legalization of marijuana.

    The second round began on 12/30 and ends at midnight on 12/31. Once again, marijuana legalization is #1. We need your help to make our Special Prosecutor question #1!

    Sign in at
    Search for “Fitzgerald”
    This will display several similar questions, so look carefully for “Bob Fertik”
    Look right for the checkbox, mouseover it so it goes from white to dark, then click to cast your vote.


  146. This is all good folks but – perhaps just another distraction. Let’s not let the bastard walk off scott free!


  147. Good morning to you all and Happy New Year!!
    Andmany thanks to Margaret and Helen. This blog has been so informative and so many new friends here on Helens front porch.
    and thanks to all of y ou for comments on my typing!! (thanks to the back space key it is improving)
    Just one year ago my right side was paralysed.

    Now for some Jewish history. This has only come into public knowledge
    slowly in the past 40 y ears ago.

    In Spain during the Inquistion, many Sephardic Jews converted to escape the terrors. They were called “conversos”. During those days many migrated with the Spanish
    explorers and settled in New Mexico.
    and passed down some odd customs to their children. With the advent of mitochrondial testing , families could be traced. That’s when some people found they were descendents of the Spanish Sephardic Jews. Now you can find people who practice both religions, Catholic and Jewish. Property rights are sometimes tanglled due to being passed down in the famiy for hundreds on years.

    There is more history there that is fascinating,but not to bore you glassy eyed. But it goes to show you how long in history the horrible attitudes have gone on over religion. NOthing has changed.

    BTW, it’s my mothers Grand-son-in law, MY son son-in-law and grandchildren.

    20 more days.


  148. Thanks carrotplease (?). I printed everything out so I can make them this weekend.

    sounds good!


  149. troutay, the recipe is here

    I saw it ages ago, copied it, and have never gotten around to trying it. But it sounds delicious to me!


  150. I had an alarm inspection yesterday at work.
    The inspector was waiting for our IT guy, so we talked a bit.
    He said that he has been so angry at so many people this year. Bush, etc. But! He said on New Years day he would forgive everyone and start all over. What a great and positive idea!

    Here is to forgiving, starting over, beginning anew.

    Humans have 365 days to make mistakes every year, and they have 365 days to correct them.

    Be good to yourselves and others. Happy New Year!!!


  151. Good day to all!

    I am posting early as I have a busy day! I want to wish everyone Peace, Prosperity and much Love in this New Year ringing in tonight!

    I am spending the morning at the food bank handing out the last meals of 2008 before the onslaught of 2009. I will be praying that our lines do not get any longer but I worry they will.

    Tonight is dinner out with friends we decided years ago as our lives got busy and our children grew that we would not pressure each other about being together at Christmas. Instead we go out New Years Eve and take turns paying for dinner and a few drinks to toast the New Year.

    Bless you all! Make Memories Everyone!


  152. JEAN! It is so cool that you have learned the word Rasha! Just so you know : the opposite of the Rasha is the Tzaddick- a man who wears the garments of his G*dly soul ALL THE TIME.Most of us are Beinoni. We struggle to use our heads to control the animal soul and do the MITZVOT- commandments.Many people might know the term Tzaddick… probably not the others. Now if you should use it with a Jewish person you will not be surprised if they do not know it…and you can explain it. These concepts are expounded in THE TANYA written by Rabbi Shne ‘ur Zalman around the 17th century and deal with the struggle of good and evil within the human soul.LOL Ann


  153. L’Shanah Tova everyone! and as 2008 rolls into 2009, may we all raise a glass and proclaim L’Chaim!
    To Life!
    Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve – stay safe! Happy New Year to all!

    (and on Friday Jan 2, the diets start. . . ick)


  154. Greytdog Δ

    Thank you for your posts; they are very informative and give another perspective on a convoluted situation. I feel for Israel, and I feel for the Palestinian civilians, walled in with little hope.

    Deep down, I think the only solution is to get both sides to sit down, face to face, and develop a solution both can live with. I don’t think a solution can be imposed, by any outside country- especially the US.

    May the New Year bring us hope with Obama and peace to weary parts of the world-


  155. Just moseyed back through the blog posts and comments from the last couple of months. My! What a helluva ride! And just 20 more days. . . 20 more days. Dear God Almighty, 20 more days. . .


  156. Dear Helen, Margaret, Greytdog, Ann, Raji, Werner, Maven, Troutay, Bob, Alaska Pi, Grandma Katie,

    Did I leave anyone out? I don’t mean to.

    I appreciate your clarifications, Greydog and Ann. I was vaguely familiar with Ashkenasim and Sephardim but your explanations were much more comprehensive. Also we have an abbreviated Yiddish dictionary, but it isn’t that much help. You both were! Now I know where to go for more answers.

    Raji, I went back and re-read the piece on Madoff from the perspective of it as tongue in cheek. NOW I get it! Since I don’t travel in Anti-semitic circles, I didn’t before. All I really heard about him was in the news. Madoff is indeed a ‘rasha’ as is ‘What’s-his-name’, the governor of Illinois. They are both typical examples of gargantuan egos run amok. Unfortunately, they both give Jews and Democrats in general an undeserved black eye and add fuel to the uninformed, who just love to do nothing but throw brickbats in all directions regardless of targets.

    And Bob, I am a hopeless idealist! BUT I have to look at the world as it is, not as we all wish it were. However, there has to be a goal to aim for even if it is unattainable perhaps in our lifetimes. Good luck with your new job, neighbors. We are on Kauai.

    I think most of our parents had blind spots. I know mine did. I nearly drove them nuts when I was little, always asking ‘why?’ I’m still at it! But I loved them and was literally dependant on them for my survival! This business of accepting what we are taught in childhood has most to do with the approval or disapproval of our parents and the communities we lived in. It was essential to have a sense of belonging. As we get older and ask ‘why?’ more often, we learn, and we learn and we learn. Then we can discard some of the foolish ‘know it alls’ of youth.

    ONE of my favorite philosophers is Spinoza, a Dutch Jew, who wound up not only being excommunicated from his synagogue but risked being roasted by the Catholic Church as a heretic! That took courage!!! A kind of courage I’m not sure I would have when faced with; beyond disapproval, but life threatening condemnation.

    These past eight years, we have been threatened with the condemnation of not being ‘patriotic’, ‘not loving our country’, ‘not respecting the flag’, blah, blah, blah if we didn’t support the outlandish policies of the Bush Administration. Fortunately, it is finally over! With the New Year, we are starting the countdown to a whole new era of better lives for everyone. I have lots of hope!!!!!!

    I have to get busy so I’ll sign off now until after New Years. But I’ll be back! Wishing each and every one of you a Happy New Year!!!!!! It’s gonna be a good one!!!!!



    P.S. Just so you’ll know, I love my husband, my kids and their wives; my grandkids, reading, classical music especially Chopin and opera; and chocolate brownies with walnuts!


  157. Werner, my S.O. is German and to this day gets very upset when folks equate all Germans with the Nazis. I think the fear of American Jews (and perhaps Jews everywhere) with the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme is that his crime will be equated with all Jews. Just as Americans are damned by our government’s action (or lack of action as in Darfur) – it is amazing how we like to automatically equate one group of people with the travesties and the anomalies of a few. Where are you in Germany? S.O was born in FrankfurtaM, Germany (I was told to specify the lower case a upper case M)


  158. Grandma Katie – Suduko scares the crap out of me. It’s very mathematical and I’ve grown up with a major math phobia – which I can trace back to my 10th grade geometry teacher, the jerk! But I think I’ll give it a try anyway.

    One of my email correspondents is with a professor emeritus from Hebrew University. When the University was bombed, his most promising doctoral candidate was killed – a young Arab man who was literally days away from receiving his PhD in International Peace Studies with plans to work with Peace Now at The Hague. What a loss to the world. Anyway, here’s part of the latest missive from a man in his 80s, whose children and grandchildren are in either the IDF or the reserves. . .
    “No one should view this as Israel’s war to end all wars. Fatah is unlikely to lead a Palestinian community that will live in peace. Iran, Syria, and Islamic Palestinians will do what they can to revive Hamas. We should expect an escalation of Palestinian nationalism and hatred of Israel, the United States, Egypt, and other Arab elites that have not signed on to the Hamas rhetoric. Signs are apparent in demonstrations in Arab villages, urban neighborhoods, and the universities with concentrations of Arab students, along with their Jewish supporters.

    Mahmoud Abbas is not the man to exploit the situation. Nor is there anyone else in the aging cadre of Fatah leadership who seems up to the task. Younger Palestinian politicians may be just as intransigent, at least in the period after this war.

    It will be enough, for the time being, if Palestinians and other Muslim extremists fear Israel.

    Is this pessimism?

    I view myself as a sad optimist. Palestinian casualties and the persistence of the traditional Palestinian posture sadden me.

    I am optimistic for Israel. I admire its capacity for lively debate, opposition to any simple view of a national mission, and ability to cope with serious problems. The IDF was busy during the years of tolerating missile attacks on civilian areas close to Gaza, and seems to have recovered from Lebanon 2006. The homefront command is better prepared for rocket attacks. Intelligence is impressive, including telephone numbers of families living in buildings also used for storing or manufacturing missiles. The army phoned them, in Arabic, and warned of impending destruction. ”

    If he, this very wise gentle man, has no answers, I certainly know I don’t.

    Also, Tine, I’m not sure which is worse – when I was in Israel, it seemed every sacred site to whatever religion, had a convent or a monestery (sp?), or a church on it. I was struck, however, when standing on Mt Tabor amid the Crusader fortress ruins what a strong grip this small part of the world has on the rest of us. We are all drawn to it – and have done for centuries.


  159. I know some people who chew fresh ginger for upset stomach.


  160. Maven
    Ginger ale is not just an old wives’s tale. However, you will have to really look for a ginger brew as the ginger ale in the stores is nothing but high frustose corn syrup. Look at a Whole Foods store or a high end deli. One brand is Reed’s, premium ginger brew. I always keep a few bottles around.
    And don’t let me get started on high frustose corn syrup or I’ll never shut up!!!


  161. Pi. You hit the nail on the head! Greytdog, thanks for all the education.

    Alsaka Pi wrote:
    BUT STILL, when people are carefully taught from childhood to hate, fear and have suspicion of people they don’t even know PERSONALLY, how do we turn those intensely ingrained feelings around in adulthood? “

    Granma Katie, Thank you for the story about your Dad. May we all wish our back yard looked like the UN. Mine certainly did! Although my Mother and Mother in law certainly didn’t approve but my children are the better for it and now their backyards look like the UN. One step at a time!


  162. Bob (12/30 @3:15 pm): Can you believe this fool out of Illinois, btw? We’re shaking our heads, but you know the rumors about Illinois politics. Reckon there may be some truth to ‘em.

    As an Illinoisan (and a Dem), let me just say that not only have the Bush Years been traumatic, but the governorship of Blagojevich has been equally trying. You should know, however, that many Democrats in Illinois have always disliked the guy. Heck, his own father-in-law can’t stand him.

    Please just remember that we are also the state the gave the US Barak Obama. (Don’t pimp me on the technicalities of his birth state, I just mean he was our state Senator.) So sometimes even we get it right.

    I am forgoing another piece of pie as I am up to HERE with holiday treats. Is ginger ale for upset stomach just an old wive’s tale?

    Δ Maven


  163. Werner; somehow I do not want to see the brain dead idiots blog,but I would like to know you better here in the parlor on the porch,or even in the kitchen. Grandma Katie, I enjoy what you write and I think that your typing is becoming better! What a wonderful side effect from visits here!


  164. Good luck Bob. Have fun with the pool table.

    Werner – always speak your mind.

    Kelly – I want that recipe!!!


  165. Hi Helen and Margaret,

    Gille cooked the Christmas turkey the other day, and last night she made her spectacular turkey soup. I swear it gets better every time she makes it. We can’t get turnips and rutabagas here in Hawaii (something about root mange and how it could wipe out all agriculture on Maui) so we’ve turned to using parsnips, which we can get. A little sweeter than turnips, but they work pretty darn well.

    I got Gille earrings (again), Gille surprised me with a pool table which is now in residence in the garage. Loads o’ fun. Can you believe this fool out of Illinois, btw? We’re shaking our heads, but you know the rumors about Illinois politics. Reckon there may be some truth to ’em.

    I start a new job in the AG’s office for the state on Monday, Gille’s hoping to ditch the TSA and move into a state job as well. We’ll see how it goes.

    Best to you both,



  166. Hi guyz just blogged (reblogged) a braindead idiot with a sign: “Death to all Juice”!

    Comment of the original blogger: “And then they came for the juice, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t that thirsty.”

    Well, well if only all idiots would be that easy to spot
    link on the left through my name…..



  167. Hi Girlz, Guyz and Grandma’s
    I think I need to appologize a bit for my oversimplification of my middle east solution, but I find it so utterly frustrating, Isreal has been well established for many years now and i’d just love to see the stupid fighting and the stoking of the fire of hatred by a MINOROTY (And i refuse to belive that the majority of the arab and the jewish population are more than easy victims for the manipulation of the few zealots, fundamentalist and general political assholes) and people can’t get on with their lives in PEACE!

    And my illusion with the fistfights was stolen by Erich Maria Remarque, he came up (In: Nothing new in the West) with the Idea that wars should be fought by the politicians responsible with bats in a stadion with paying visitors to cover the cost… (And please give me none of the:” than we get only brawn, no brain in politics, up to know I couldn’t discover to much brain in politics anyway….. LOL)

    Well and my oversimplifying German mind (Yes I am and I am proud (NOT to be German) that I have fought rightwing assholes and Nazis mentally and Neo-Nazis physically all the 51 years of my life!) to try to come up with something that might actually WORK within a generation or two…….
    Create a Status Quo and try to find a way to IGNORE the drivers of hatred, LAUGH them out of existence if it helps / works …….

    Aw shit, I AM dreaming again…..

    Well you see, lot’s of hope but no real solution either, but I find it important that we talk and educate each other and that EACH OF US speaks up when he hears again some braindead idiot makeing his/her comments without even getting close to the switch that might or might not switch on their brains….

    Margeret and Helen created a good peace of hope here by giving us all a “platform” to share and try to find a way to move on things, I see here people not only from the US but from all over the planet trying to communicate, and if nothing gives me hope that does, so I want to say THANK YOU GIRLZ, keep it up and I try to stop my rumbling from now on.

    Oh, and BTW I am really gratefull for the educational comments above.



  168. Bacon sure does make everything better. 🙂

    I have a recipe for bacon-chocolate-chip-cookies that I’ve been meaning to try for ages. I guess I should get going on that…


  169. I don’t care what sort of tamales you make!
    I love them all!


  170. Do you have a prederence in tamales or would you like a mixture? Beef, pork, chicken or sweet?
    Sorry about the lime pie. Ca’t make one until I get every think out of ostorage. The cookies I have made every y ear for about 50 so recipe is firmly in m y mind.


  171. Grandma Katie, it sounds to me as if you haven’t been ignoring a thing! There are lessons to be learned (and taught) in the smallest things.

    Happy new year to you too!


  172. I am amazed at the eduction on these comments! During so much of my life, I ignored so much of what was going on globally. Too busy raising kids I guess. that and dealing wiith an unpleasant marriage. However, the way I was raised by my parents was great. My brother adn I were taught to treat everyone with respppect. I wasn’t until I had been married for anumber of years that I found out that my parents were very prejudiced, products of the Mid West and early century thinking of the time.

    To tell a family story that I heard the last time I ever saw my dad before he died. He was a young barber from asmall town N of a large city. One day a young lady came in, the othersbarbaers snickered and passed her to my dad. He cut her hair, asked if she were satisfied, she paid ad left. A day or two lady my mother camd to meet him, go out to dinner and a movie. The shop was near the center of town. Two girls passed them of the sidewalk, one was the customer of a day or so before. My dad tipped his cap and said “Good Evening, Ladies” and went on. The next day the girls came into the shop and asked him the lady was with him. He replied that she was his fiance. They responded with “Why did you speak to u s?” He answered ” you are Ladies aren’t you”. The young ladies h appened to be prostitutes. They brought in all the girls from the streets, hteir pimps, and all the bootleggers. They tipped my dad heavily and that is how he bought his wedding suit and topcoat.
    Ishocked them often by the mixture of people I brought home. My mother passed away
    before she acquired a black son in law and 4 mixed race grandchildren.
    My back yard used to look like the UN.
    They played happily together. AT first my m other would have been very polite to my son in law and bit her tongu e until she got to know him.
    MY daughter and her father didn’t s peak for five years because of her marriage.

    Too bad more people couldnt learn that simple rule. Threat every one with respect.

    Raji : I got hooked on Sudoku by my first Daughter in law. I do pretty well with it.tho I don’t do it exactly as the instructions. Keeps the brain working.
    Thanks for the tipp about Kahlua for the cookies.
    Juneau Joe: 21 days!!
    And to all the rest of you on Helen’s front porch



  173. I wish we could all get along in peace…wag more bark less…and everyone gets to eat the pie they favor and not ram their choice down someone else’s throat. I have no answers.


  174. Can’t we all just get along?

    PEACE ~ Δ


  175. I just got tears in my eyes thinking of a Christmas without my son. I suppose we all grow and it’s part of life isn’t it.

    I’m glad you’ve got your family around you!


  176. The Guardian UK has some interesting perspective on this conversation (I’d post the website, but then it would get caught in moderation hell).

    There’s a lot of hate toward our country and already our president elect on the response boards there.

    We think it’s bad when trolls come to throw rocks at us about the War on Christmas? Geesh, there’s people fighting and DYING for their beliefs all over the world.

    I don’t know how to break the cycle of hate– thinking about it could make me loonier than Tom Cruise. (Pie helps. And Tamales. And eggnog.)

    I’m not a big proponent of telling others what to do or how to live their lives. I’ve said it before, I try to let peace begin with me– and I try to stay up on the global perspectives on world events. It makes my heart ache, but it also reminds me that we are all in this together.

    I’ll try a new one– let hate stop with me.

    Missed all you wedgies; it’s taken me days to wade through the comments.

    Hope all are well and safe.

    Δ skyewriter Δ

    PS: Tried a double wedgie; extra pie to share? Or perhaps “surrounded” as I am on this blog by fertile minds?


  177. Good Morning everyone. I have not commented but have been reading your posts with interest.

    You are all giving me a better understanding of the situation in the middle east. Though I confess it is with much bewilderment to me that I still can not wrap my head around all of the complexities of the situation.

    Like others here I have to ask myself is your life and your childrens life and even one other life taken from another worth all of this? Obviously many people think so but I just can’t grasp the concept.

    “BUT STILL, when people are carefully taught from childhood to hate, fear and have suspicion of people they don’t even know PERSONALLY, how do we turn those intensely ingrained feelings around in adulthood? “

    Jean and Alaska Pi: That question resonates with me and my first reaction is we can’t. I can only pray that those children will someday see beyond and are exposed to other ideas and cultures and realize that we are all people and very flawed people at that.

    Bless you all


  178. and yes, terrible spelling, but heartfelt words.


  179. Ms Pi:
    We need someone to lead the way sometimes and make us think. You do this so many times and we can’t thank you enough.

    I should not have come back here. There are too many mentions of food, I did not eat breakfast, and I am starving.

    I just want to say that it is a remarkable thing that we can come here, learn, teach, listen, speak, share, and go away feeling like there is some good in this crazy world of us. I know it is silly, but you have become good friends to me, even though I do not know your lives, your families, etc.


  180. Greytdog Δ and AnnΔ – thank you for fleshing out some of the complexity of what is Israel. When I was trying to understand the 2nd Intifada I subscribed to an english edition of an Israeli newspaper. That was my 1st intimation of the broad spectrum of thought and feeling in the Israeli people. (We’ll skip right on by why I had the dumb idea Israelis all thought the same way before that…)
    I , too, have cringed oft times at the govt’s response but cannot let go of the utter wrongness of the vow to wipe Israel from the face of the earth…nor let go the wrongness of some Arab people using the misery of Palestinians to further a cause of hate.

    ( bowed head and shuffling feet…)It is a measure of getting ready to jump on a high horse (no, no, no- don’t do it Pi! ) that I didn’t read anything very well yesterday…apologies, apologies.

    AnnΔ said- “Isn’t it amazing that we are to the point of discussing the midresh that Ishmael used Yitzhok (Isaac) for target practice on Helen& Margarets blog for Holiday Stuffing and pie!”

    We maybe need to work off some of the calories from all this wonderful food?

    It is Jean’s question which demands more pie and tea (and tamales?) and thought….

    “BUT STILL, when people are carefully taught from childhood to hate, fear and have suspicion of people they don’t even know PERSONALLY, how do we turn those intensely ingrained feelings around in adulthood? “


  181. Isn’t it amazing that we are to the point of discussing the midresh that Ishmael used Yitzhok (Isaac) for target practice on Helen& Margarets blog for Holiday Stuffing and pie!


  182. Greytdog- with regards to Madoff spit spit pooee pooee I could not agree more!


  183. Just to add to what Greytdog wrote so well… Today in the diaspora and in Eretz Yisroel there are both secular, cultural jews and those that adhere to the old ways and are very learned. The latter insures the survival of the jewish people. Politically in Israel there are modern and traditional groups with a variety of political positions. However the religious believe 100% that G*D gave us the land as it is stated in the Torah and all negotiations will come to naught. I fact in Numbers Chapter 33(I think) It is written that G*D says to drive all strangers from the land or He will do that to Jews. In addition whenever the arabs secure a sacred Jewish site such as the Caves of Machpelah where the Patriarchs are buried-Abraham Isaac and Jacob and their wives of blessed memory it is destroyed .This is not just a war of contemporary communities but goes back to the days of the Patriarchs.


  184. AnnΔ – and that’s what makes his crime(s) even more diabolical. It’s like finding out that Santa Claus is really Jack the Ripper – or Dick Cheney.


  185. Yiddish… A heymishe person is someone that is a mensche. A mensche behaves with dignity and fairness towards others and according to the mitzvot (commandments).Heymishe is an adjective.Madoff appeared heymishe but he is really a rasha (Hebrew) -a person of no spiritual dignity who wears the garments of his animal soul the most.


  186. heymishe (or haymishe): yiddish in origin; means a warm, friendly, homey type of person or type of place. A place of homelike comfort.
    As requested – On the Jewish Diaspora:
    THE FIRST JEWISH communities outside of Israel are established during the Babylonian Exile (700 BCE). Jews also settle on the Arabian Peninsula and in Egypt. After the Jewish revolts against the Roman occupation (66-135 CE), Jews are banned from living in Jerusalem and Judea. Under Byzantine rule (324-640 CE), Christianity is introduced in Israel and many anti-Jewish laws are enacted. By the 6th century, Jews have become a minority in their own land. After the Arab conquest, the Jewish population declines further. At the time of the first crusades (11th century), only a few thousand Jews remain in Israel.

    Jews for many centuries form the only religious and ethnic minority in the countries they settled in. They live in their own communities separate from the general population under special laws and restrictions. They use the Hebrew language or dialects that combined Hebrew with the language of the country: Yiddish among Ashkenasim, Jews who originally settled in Germany; Ladino among Sephardim, Jews who have migrated to Spain, and Judeo-Arabic among Jews in North Africa . Despite their enforced separateness, Jewish communities in the Diaspora adopt many customs of the surrounding cultures. Integrating non-Jews into the community through marriage is common practice. Many also convert to Christianity or Islam. As a result, Jews in the Diaspora usually are members of two cultures (Jewish and Arabic, for example) and also resemble outwardly the surrounding population.

    Jewish communities in Moslem countries, in Spain and Portugal, prosper culturally and economically, despite some restrictions. Jews in Christian Europe are subject to oppression, persecution and sporadic expulsions alternating with periods of relative peace and prosperity. Sephardim and Ashkenasim develop different customs and religious practices over the centuries.

    With emancipation, the granting of equal rights, and the diminishing role of religion, Jews begin to integrate fully into the societies they have lived in for hundreds of years. For many, Jewishness becomes a secular and national identity. In the 19th century, Zionism, a Jewish national movement, proposes a return to Israel and the re-establishment of a Jewish state. During the 19th century, many Jews emigrated to Israel during the Russian & Polish pogroms – many were farmers whose lands had been seized during the pogroms. Whatever monies had been saved were used to purchase small homesteads in the Jordan and Tabor valley region – a swamp region where the settlers battled malaria, diptheria, and cholera while using their farming skills to turn the land into what would become the “bread basket” of Israel.


  187. Jean wrote: Raji, could you define ‘heymishe’? Reading between the lines of the piece on Madoff, it seemed to me a little anti-Semetic itself. “

    The entire article was “tonque in cheek” regarding anti-semetism. I forwarded it from a jewish friend for information on how much damage a man did to his own as well as others all in the name of Greed.
    I have no idea what “heymishe” means.


  188. No No No Pi

    That was not directed at you. For all the voices we have here, yours is one I listen to the most. I read all your posts and along with Margaret and Helens, I watch for yours.

    I should have said it was for Mr. Tumbo or what ever his name was.

    Sorry for the poor attempt to communicate.


  189. Dear Greytdog,

    Thank you so much for your explanation!!!!! I never knew most of the details of what you wrote. Of course, we were all aware of the struggle to establish – FINALLY – the State of Israel.

    I feel these disputes are more over socio-economic issues than anything else but people ostensibly use religion combined with political power as a cover. If only people would take the time to get to know one another, they could sit down and settle their differences without bloodshed and distruction. My Mantra!

    BUT STILL, when people are carefully taught from childhood to hate, fear and have suspicion of people they don’t even know PERSONALLY, how do we turn those intensely ingrained feelings around in adulthood?

    How far would I trust? I can’t honestly say since I have never been faced with such a horrific decision. I wish sincerely that I had easy answers.




  190. And on a totally different subject – there was a lot of airplay today concerning the avalanches out west and in Canada – and minimal attention given to the avalanche and coal waste lehar in Tenn. Folks, this is the result of Clean Coal (HA) From The Washington Monthly:
    The initial estimate on coal waste in central Tennessee was more than 360 million gallons of sludge. Now, it appears the total will be more than 1 billion gallons. The CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority today pledged to clean up the massive spill.

    Yeah right. Maybe after they take off another mountain top or two. . .


  191. Wonder if “Tripp” is a reminder that Levi “tripped” up not using protection or that abstinence is not a great “tripp”?

    Anyway – let me apologize for getting all het up today. I’m worried about friends over in Israel who are in the IDF and reserves – as well as friends who work in the Palestinian areas. . .and there are no easy solutions, no easy answers in all of this. But some background as requested: (from
    The Palmach (Hebrew abbreviation of Plugot Mahatz – פלוגות מחץ) was the elite striking force of the “Hagana” – the underground military organization of the Jewish community, its national institutions and the Zionist Movement prior to the establishment of the State of Israel.

    The Palmach was founded in May 1941
    (World War II) in order to help the British to
    defend the country (then Palestine) against the
    approaching German armies. In the fall of 1942,
    as the threat of invasion receded, the British
    authorities ordered the dismantling of the Palmach,
    which caused it to go underground. It became a fully
    mobilized voluntary force consisting of young men
    and women, organized in six platoons and in special
    companies: the “Palyam” (marine force),
    the “Germans”, the “Arabs”, the aviators, and
    the paratroopers who landed behind the German
    lines in occupied Europe. The Palmach units were
    stationed in Kibbutzim, where they underwent
    military training but also worked on the farms,
    14 days a month in order to support themselves.
    They did not idolize military attributes but created unique social and cultural life.

    From the summer of 1945 until the end of 1947, when the British administration suppressed the Jewish settlement movement and blocked Jewish immigration into the country, the Palmach was engaged in bringing 65 ships with tens of thousands of Jewish refugees and Holocaust survivors from Europe (Haapala – העפלה) illegally. The Palmach also launched violent guerilla warfare against the hostile British mandatory rule and its military war machine: destroying police stations and radar installations, sinking naval vessels, mining the railroad system, demolishing the border bridges and more.

    At the same time, anticipating the withdrawal of the British and the subsequent Arab military uprisings, preparations were made to counter the attacks of local Arabs and of neighboring countries.

    Following the U.N. decision of November 29, 1947 to partition Palestine, Arab armed gangs blocked the roads and besieged Jewish towns, including Jerusalem. At the time 2,200 Palmach fighters were the only force ready to engage in battle, though they were poorly armed. As the War of Independence unfolded, they operated all over the country, liberating Jerusalem and other besieged towns, conquering territories, opening roads and, with the newly organized “Hagana” troops, defeated the invading armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. They fought valiantly but suffered many casualties – over 1,168 dead and hundreds wounded.

    Upon the declaration of the State of Israel, May 15, 1948, ZAHAL, the Israel Defense Army (IDF) was established, founded on the infrastructure of the “Hagana” and its striking force, the Palmach. The three brigades – Harel, Yiftach and HaNegev, reinforced by new immigrants – were considered the elite units of the IDF until the end of the War of Independence.

    Most of the Palmach’s notable attributes and warfare ethics were incorporated into the IDF, such as, a pioneering spirit, a tradition of volunteering and complete obedience to the Jewish legitimate authorities (the motto “Always at your command” [לפקודה תמיד אנחנו]), moral warfare codes, commando tactics, leadership in battle (the famous battle-cry of field commanders “Follow me” [אחרי]). For many consecutive years, most of the high-ranking commanders of the IDF, including 6 Chiefs of Staff and 40 generals, came from the ranks of the Palmach.

    I have no answers – only deep sorrow because the hope of Israel, the mitzvat of Israel was “never again”. So while I support Israel’s right to defend itself, the actions of its government has often caused me to great anguish – which is why I joined Peace Now. But peace comes when all people sit down and work out their differences. So how do you sit down with someone who only wants to see you and your people wiped from the face of this earth? How far should trust go? How far would you trust?


  192. Tripp. Good grief. Since I have nothing nicer to say than that, I shall now shut up.


  193. Dear Helen, Margaret, Greytdog, Raji, Werner, and everybody else,

    I read your comments with interest. Greytdog, could you expand on the ‘Diaspora’? Some of us are fuzzy about the historical significance of it. Was it when the Jews were taken into exile (slavery?) when they were defeated by Babylon in 7-6 BC? And when did they return? Also could you explain what ‘Palmach’, Hegenah’, and IDF mean?

    Raji, could you define ‘heymishe’? Reading between the lines of the piece on Madoff, it seemed to me a little anti-Semetic itself. “…..Jews control finance, entertainment and the media.” Huh? Ted Turner????

    My genealogy is English, French, Irish, Scotch, German and American Indian. My paternal great-grandmother was a full blood Arapahoe Sioux in Colorado. So I am in no position to throw rocks at ANY heritage. My ancestors were either an adventurous people or a bunch of unconventional bounders! Take your pick.

    Although, one time many, many years ago I was reading “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” when my husband wandered in. I said, “Don’t speak to me, Paleface!!!” He said, “Huh?” He didn’t even know he was one!

    My physical appearance could be just about anything except Scandinavian. One summer between college years, I worked at an Italian restaurant as a waitress. Patrons assumed I was Italian. Hey, if it boosted tips, I was Italian.

    One of the things we like best about living in Hawaii is that the ethnic and cultural hodge-podge is such a mix that nobody pays much attention to differences. You have NOT LIVED until you have been invited to participate at an annual ‘Bon Dance’ at the local Japanese Hongwanji Buddhist Temple!

    Out here for a while I sold bundles of tropical flowers from our acreage at the local farmer’s market once a week. The tourists always wanted to take my picture of the nice Hawaiian lady with all the beautiful flowers. Hey, since it helped my sales, I brushed up on my Pidgin and put on a muumuu. At $3.00 a bundle, we cleared enough money to take us to Pizza Hut every Wednesday night!




  194. Another Palin –

    This time it’s Tripp.

    They just keep reproducing stupid.


  195. troutay said-
    “Please do not jump on me. I have already stated that I do not know enough about the situation to make an honest and intelligent reply.”

    I’m just shouting in the wind…
    Mr Tumbo’s remarks lit a fire I try to keep damped down.
    Your own remarks have been measured and sensible. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to understand Israeli/Palestinian issues when the 2nd Intifada started…
    I gave up .
    I understand WHAT people have done and some of the WHYs.
    I simply cannot fathom why so many folks want to blame one side or the other exclusively as if a single act- devoid of context- defines the conflict and who the bad guy is.
    I cannot understand institutionalizing hatred as Hamas has and then having the nerve to point to their own dead babies when their own behavior gets them in the soup.
    I don’t really know much either- I just get madder then hell when anyone takes unnecessary chances with the safety of their babies and lobbing shells at Israel is unnecessary.
    freD points to our own urban ghettos- the messes we don’t know how to fix. Part of it comes from within the ghettos- part from without.If Hamas wants to be the government in the Gaza they better get their buns to work feeding and caring and building hope for a better future… they may not be able to live comfortably in the world they build but their children could and should have the chance to do so.
    It pains me so every day to think of all the nameless Iraqi and Afghani children who have lost their parents or their own lil lives -as well the loss of our own young men and women in the armed services- in the name of our own stupid,stupid government’s whirl at unnecessary chances with too many of everyone’s kids!


  196. A Pi:

    You go! you have a right to your opinions and you have a right to voice them. I must have missed something this morning so I will go back and check.

    that said:
    I do have an opinion. And I voice it. But I do not know everything there is to know about the situation.
    I have always supported Israel’s right to exist. And I understand that they need to defend themselves to the nth degree. However, I also support Palistine’s right to recover some of their lands. I also think Israel goes to extremes sometimes just to prove they can.

    Please do not jump on me. I have already stated that I do not know enough about the situation to make an honest and intelligent reply.


  197. Gaza is 1.5 million people fenced into 140 square miles of desert ghetto. I think fixing that situation would be much more difficult than fixing State Fair Detroit or South Central L.A. Maybe when Americans succeed at improving their own urban ghettos they will then be taken more seriously when advising the Israelis / Palestinians?


  198. Greytdog, troutay, Werner, Helen and Margaret et al-
    Many apologies for losing my cool this morning.
    Thank you for coming back with some of the background Greytdog…There is more- it suited and still suits the purposes of some of the Arab world to treat Palestinians poorly. Clear back to Nasser et al- to present day Iran.
    If my so-called brethern saw me as a poster-child for war I’d change my frickin name and pretend I didn’t know them…
    Oops. Getting whupped up again…
    Yes, America lost a lot of moral high ground in the last 8 years but that does not mean individual Americans cannot holler from the rooftops . If we know it’s wrong here, it’s wrong anywhere- Darfur, Cambodia, the slums of Soweto, Wounded Knee, Selma, Rwanda…
    Jeez- I can’t keep it together…
    Grandma Katie-
    I’m gonna shut up and wait for virtual tamales. Maybe I better wait outside til I cool off.


  199. Dear Margaret and Helen, I didn’t know either of my grandmothers but I like to imagine that they would have been a little like you. Bless you both.


  200. Raji:

    Tell your friend that assholes come in many shapes, religions, colors and sizes (and genders).

    I am not a jew hater. They are just people to me.
    and most of the people I know do not take joy in other peoples misfortunes.


  201. I just received this from my dear Jewish friend, thought I would share. So so sad. Will the greed never stop?

    Subject: The Madoff Betrayal Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 18:54:06 +0000 Bradley Burston / The Madoff betrayal: Life imitates anti-Semitism By Bradley Burston
    For the true anti-Semite, Christmas came early this year.

    The anti-Semite’s new Santa is Bernard Madoff. The answer to every Jew-hater’s wish list. The Aryan Nation at its most delusional couldn’t have come up with anything to rival this:

    The former chairman of Nasdaq turns out, also, to be treasurer of the board of trustees at Yeshiva University and chairman of the university’s business school. Rich beyond human comprehension, he handles fortunes for others, buying and selling in a trading empire that skirts investment banks and other possible sources of regulation. He redefines avarice, knowingly and personally bilking charities and retirees in the most classic of con games.

    Even better, for those obsessed with the idea that Jews control finance, entertainment and the media, is the idea that Madoff’s greed was uncontrollable enough that he targeted fellow Jews, even Holocaust survivors, some of them his own friends, as well as Israeli companies who insured Jews, including Holocaust survivors.

    The beauty part, for the anti-Semite: Madoff’s machinations, which could have been put to use for the sake of humanity, have directly harmed Jewish welfare and charity institutions.

    He has managed to harm contemporary Jewry in ways anti-Semites could only dream about. He has sapped the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles of 11 percent of its assets, or some $18 million. In the words of prominent educator Avraham Infeld, he “obliterated” long-standing charitable foundations for Jewish causes in Israel, Eastern Europe and North America.

    Along the way, Madoff assured the story enormous play, not only with the scale and the impudence of the scheme, but with his A+ roster of celebrity victims, among them Stephen Spielberg, Elie Wiesel, and billionaire real-estate tycoon, media mogul, commentator and former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Mort Zuckerman. A senior U.S. senator is one of his client-marks, as well as present and past owners of professional football and baseball teams.

    Then there was the betrayal of old friends like philanthropists Carl and Ruth Shapiro, megadonors to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Brandeis University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    “The scandal rippled far beyond the multimillion-dollar private foundation run by Madoff that channeled money into hospitals and theaters,” Reuters reported, “and swept up charities large and small, directly and indirectly, along with wealthy Jewish investors Madoff personally advised.”

    Adding the element of clannishness, The New York Post was more direct. “Working the so-called “Jewish circuit” of well-heeled Jews he met at country clubs on Long Island and in Palm Beach, and through his position on the boards of directors of several prominent Jewish institutions, he was entrusted with entire family fortunes.

    “The guy was totally respected. He was a heymishe Jewish guy. He had sweet old ladies and he let their children in,” said a Manhattan lawyer who invested with Madoff.

    “This guy was dealing with all the rich Jews in Roslyn and the rich Jews in Palm Beach. This was passed down from family member to family member because he wouldn’t open up to new people.”

    It remains to be seen how far we’ve come from the days of the frank Jew-hate and genteel anti-Semitism of the likes of Henry Ford and F. Scott Fitzgerald. We can only hope that the Meyer Wolfsheim Effect remains dormant, the Great Gatsby heritage of “the man who fixed the 1919 World Series.”

    ” .. If I had thought of it at all, I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain,” Fitzgerald’s narrator confides. “It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people – with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.”

    In the meanwhile, Bernard Madoff, you’ve made the days of uncounted devout Jew-haters.

    This year, all they want for Christmas, is you.


  202. troutay, I agree with you. We, as Americans, lost the moral high ground the day we accepted the rationale to invade Iraq. We continued to erode that moral high ground when we accepted the Patriot Act in exchange for national security; and the foundation completely crumbled when we failed to speak out against the legalization of torture. But it’s always easier to tell others how to do things rather than to do it ourselves. There is a plethora of problems out there – and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one in a million. Too bad no one raised such angry voices during the genocide of Darfur – or Cambodia – or even at Wounded Knee.


  203. Werner and Greydog:

    It is an ancient thing too. So many conflicts are based on age old clan/religious/tit for tat things in this world.

    I guess, Werner, I haven’t felt like I could say a whole lot about this considering what my country has done in the past 8 years. It is a little like the pot calling the kettle black.

    I agree. If we can’t clean up our own yard first, how can we tell our neighbor to keep theirs clean?

    in other words, how can we as Americans embroiled in our own bruhaha in Iraq, tell others what to do.


  204. Virtual tamales on the virtual porch! Hooray! 🙂


  205. Werner wrote: “Yes the palestines WHERE cheated in 1945 by the Jews moving in, and in the 6 day war in the 1960s they again lost part of the terretory, but this was a long long time ago, can no one just ACCEPT realities as they are in the moment?”

    Actually several Jewish settlements have always been in Israel, not all Jews were part of the Diaspora. Secondly, Jewish settlers were going to Israel before the 1940s; settlers bought their land – mostly swamp land or rocky barren land, and worked hard to transform that land into fertile farms. The British partitioned Palestine – and their anti-Semitic policies simply inflamed the tensions. Durin WWII, the Arab mullahs sided with and work with the Nazis; the Palmach (Later on Haganah and then the IDF) were trained by the Brits and saw action at Tobruk as well as smuggling Jews out of the German occupied countries. When the Brits left Palestine, they basically said good riddance to both the Jews and the Arabs, I’ve always suspected that the Brits hoped the two parties would annihilate each other; both Jews and Arabs claim that spit of land and will always fight over it. As for the 1967 war – to the victor belongs the spoils. And part of those spoils is land. How come no one objected or raised their voices when the Israeli families left Gaza, left behind homes and businesses (prosperous, thriving nurseries) and when the Gaza Palestinians moved in (under UN order) instead of using those nurseries for economic recovery they BURNED them to the ground. . . how come no one thought that was pretty stupid?


  206. Dear Ladies,

    Hope your holidays were great! Tis the season to remember what to be thankful for! Family, friends, good health, and only 22 days left till Bush leaves office.

    Looking forward to your posts in 2009! Your wisdom and insight are a pleasure to read!
    A fan from Ohio!

    Happy New Year Ladies!


  207. Why NO one uses commen sense in the Middle East?
    Yes the palestines WHERE cheated in 1945 by the Jews moving in, and in the 6 day war in the 1960s they again lost part of the terretory, but this was a long long time ago, can no one just ACCEPT realities as they are in the moment?
    Don’t move Isrealy settlements out they worked hard to prosper, even if they used the wrong political motives, but let Palestines PROFIT from this prosperity!
    Draw the line where it is at today, no more occupation.
    If you live on palestine soil, you vote and pay your taxes according to the laws of the country you CHOOSE to live in, if you don’t like it, MOVE OUT, but as long as you live by the law and pay your contribution be safe not to be thrown out. And the same for palestines living in Israel! An no more of that bullshit like:” They gonna outbreed us!” Face reality as any country with migrants has to do!
    Let the UN move in and disarm the whole bunch of infantlie bragards, if they can’t stop to fight, let them us there fists!
    No arms except for police and UN Military, enforce commen sense if you have to and let’s see if the future generations don’t have better things to do than shoot rockets and retalliate against innocent civilians!
    Oh F”K! Peace on Earth?
    Let’s start cleaning up in our own backyard (Middle East) It’s gonna be hard enough, I am fully with Alaskan Pi, if a people that got cheated and ripped off as the first nations can make peace, why shouldn’t other people be able too? Or will they openly admit that they (their leaders I mean) are to dumb to do it?
    A rather upset


  208. AS I said in a previos comment , a Christmas card I received had the word HOPE on the front. I suppose t hat can be ur wish for the coming year. HOpe that all the hatred and anger finally gets through to people that it solves nothing. Listened to 60 minutes last night and all on Obama. Listening to his voice gives me Hope that the next year will
    be the beginning for something better. Laura Bush says the opinion polls that say George is the worst president ever. is wrong She says history will prove him to be a good one. Yuk.

    Jean, I had never heard the name AISHA until a few years ago when I had a student by that name.

    Alaska Pi, you got it. TAmales at the next visit to the virtal tea and pie on Helen’s porch.


  209. Tried your dressing for Xmas. My family LOVED it! Thank you


  210. Da*n woman! You made my day! We are quite proud of our bread stuffing over here, but the thought of bacon, too, I gotta give that a try! And yes, stuff the bird! Makes all the difference in the world, but if you’re afraid of it, just pop it in the oven with a little extra stuffing and a little soup stock and bake it til heated through. Should take the worry away.

    Hope you both had a great holiday and best wishes for a wonderful 2009!
    Looking forward to more posts!


  211. Mr Tumbo-
    I AM outraged…One more generation of Palestinians have offered up the blood of their children to fight a battle which should have been over a long time ago. One more generation of Israelis is being taught to be over-wary and ever ready to fight.
    It’s waaaayyy past time for the BS to stop.
    I am of mixed blood- the First American part of me has to stand down and keep it’s mouth shut oft times… the wounds are deep and within living memory. If the new generation- my son and my grand- are to move on and build a place of peace it must be without the old wounds.
    It IS important to remember how badly we can go astray but we have to let go the hatred.
    Hamas idealogues are teaching their children to hang on to the hatred…
    Every child lost to hatred is as lost to the world as those poor broken lil bodies lost to war violence…I am outraged.


  212. Thanks, Raji! Gonna add it to the New Year’s Menu.

    Tag on to Recipe for War: Where’s the outrage of the continual shelling of the Israelis by the Palestinians? Where was the outrage when Hebrew University was bombed?


  213. Greytdog – the black bean soup recipe is one of those handed down by word of mouth. I’ll try.

    Bag of dried black beans, soak overnight, drain. Saute onions and green peppers in olive oil, add ham hocks, soaked black beans and cover in water. Simmer until beans are tender, add salt, olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste. Soup is best if cooked all day and served the next day. Add water as necessary. Each cook has added their own touches as the years have passed but this is the basic.


  214. We do condemn any warlike action Mr. Tumbo.
    However, we condemn ANY war like action and that also includes Palistine. Both sides in this conflict don’t seem to know when enough is enough. Palistine won’t quit taking pot shots, and Israel goes over board.
    Mr. Tumbo: It takes two to tango. Both sides have to stop their aggression towards each other.


  215. I would rather talk about the recipe for war. And here, I am wondering where the outrage towards all other countries engaged in wars and conflicts, even your own, goes to when it comes to Israel. These guys have killed more people than the terrorists killed in Mumbai, India.

    Why is nobody condemning them?

    And as you rightly put it a while back. It is the children who suffer. I watch the kids run from the bombed houses, and I am wondering, is there murder which is justified.

    Aren’t lives just that, lives. And here, lives have been lost, and it is Israel which is taking them. Surely. A line has to be drawn somewhere…

    I am curious what your perspective of this issue is?


  216. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Well, all hell has broken loose – again – in the Gaza Strip, continuing the ancient enmity between Arabs and Jews. So much for ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men’. If Georgie Boy and the Dick Cheney had their way, they would go in there with blazing guns and raining death and destruction from the skies; as if that has ever really solved anything. Let’s hope they don’t try it in the next 23 days! It is pretty obvious that neither of them has a clue of understanding of other cultures and religions beside their own.

    None of us should to lose sight of the significance of religion in people’s lives. It is entirely possible that ‘spirituality’ is innate. Individual spirituality that is, as opposed to organized religion. There is a big difference! We tend to think of myths and superstitions as SOMEBODY ELSE’S religion!!!

    Just as a different language is totally incomprehensible, another religion can seem unintelligible to our own. But once we get the hang of the meanings behind it, we can understand that ALL religions express ways of coping with human experience and self-actualization. The promises of consolation through faith give comfort to poverty and to the grief that sooner or later overwhelms every human being.

    This is to say nothing of the unsung acts of charity, the building of schools and hospitals that continually goes on quietly with no fanfare.

    Where the problems begin is when the triumvirate of ORGANIZED religion joins forces with politics and military might. Just like everything in life, it is not the USE but the ABUSE that begets trouble. As the old adage goes: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

    Before the Holidays, I left everybody hanging with my little biography of Mohammed. I KNOW you are all waiting with baited breath to read the rest of it! This is some of the upside of it. I’ll get to the downside later.

    One of Mohammed’s first converts was Abu Bekr, a relative with some prominence in the Quarish tribe. From his private fortune Abu Bekr purchased the freedom of converted slaves and also brought five other Meccan aristocrats into the fold. The recollections of these six ‘Companions’ came to be the most treasured Islamic traditions surrounding the Prophet’s life. The ‘Companions’ may be compared to Jesus’ disciples.

    The year 619 was tragic for Mohammed. His beloved wife, Khadija, and his familial protector, Abu Talib, both died. Abu Talib never embraced Mohammed’s new religion. Still, true to the ancient tradition of family and tribal loyalty, Abu Talib, always defended and protected his nephew.

    Mohammed recovered from the losses and at age fifty married another widow, Sauda, and also Abu Bekr’s seventeen-year old daughter, AISHA.

    A significant vision occurred about this time. In his dream-like state he was taken to the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem and flew to heaven and back on a winged horse named Buraq. (The Greek Pegasus?). This revelation made Jerusalem the third Islamic Holy City along with Mecca and Medina. Thus the eternal conflict between Moslems and Jews over Jerusalem.

    As his visions and preaching continued, tensions in Mecca increased. A group of merchants from Medina heard his message and took it back home with them. Medina is a city about 200 miles north of Mecca. Many people in Medina, including some Jews, could find little difference between his new creed and that of the Medinese Jews.

    A large contingent of Medinese came secretly to Mohammed to ask him to make his home in their city. He answered with the question, could they guarantee his safety even if they lost their own lives protecting him? They promised they would, but how would he reward them? Mohammed’s one-word reply was “Paradise.”

    The Meccan Quarish leader somehow learned of the plan. He was suspicious of Mohammed’s growing power and afraid that, once established in Medina, a traditional tribal war would break out between Medina and Mecca. The Quarish plotted to capture and probably kill him. Of course, Mohammed’s followers found out about it and he escaped to a cave at Tharu, a few miles from Mecca where he hid for three days. Abu Bekr’s sons brought camels. After riding day and night for two hundred miles, Mohammed and one other man reached Medina.

    A large contingent of Mohammed’s adherents, or refugees, ‘Muhajirin’, had also fled to Mecca in disguise. Along with Medinese followers, they met Mohammed at the city gates in triumph. This date – July 16, 622 AD – became the ISLAMIC official first year of the Mohammedan Age. (As opposed to the Christian Age dating of BCE and AD.)

    The ‘Hegira’, from the Arabic word ‘hijr’a, meaning flight, was to become one of the most revered precepts of the Islamic faith. ‘Hejira’ has always meant a trip or journey taken to escape a dangerous place or the means of arriving at the desired destination. “The Road from Mecca to Medina” is now a metaphor for the passage or the way from peril to safety and protection.

    Mohammed’s first sermon in Medina was to proclaim, “Allah [God] is most Great.” He then prostrated himself at the foot of the pulpit three times as he prayed, submitting his soul to Allah. This gave the new religion the name, ISLAM , ‘to surrender’, or ‘to make peace with Allah’.

    The name MOSLEM, or MUSLIMIN , means ‘the surrendering ones or ‘those who have made their peace with Allah’. He then exhorted that this ritual should be continued in perpetuity. Mohammed was the self-proclaimed new Prophet.

    This tradition is why devout Moslems often carry ‘prayer rugs’ with them, and prostrate themselves to pray. They also prostrate themselves in the Mosques for prayers.

    Incidentally, the SPELLINGS of ‘Moslem and ‘Muslim’ are technically interchangeable and acceptable. The ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION of the word more closely resembles the ARABIC PRONUNCIATION when ‘Muslim’ is used. I have chosen to consistently use ‘Moslem’, since pronunciation is not germane in the written text.




  217. Raji – cough up the black bean soup recipe, please. 🙂


  218. Granma Katie said:
    “My youngest son gave me a Sudoku puzzle box. Picking u p the number tiles is going to be good therapy for the right hand”

    I have never got the hang of those puzzles. How are you doing with them?

    For the rest of you in Fl (where I lived for 28 years) the weather in VA is a balmy 70 degrees and I might have to clip the Icelandic ponies if this keeps up.

    Our favorite for New Year’s is black bean soup and rice with ham hocks, lots of olive oil and red wine vinegar. My mother always did the hoppin’ john but while in FL I changed that to black beans.

    Our favorite cornbread recipe is as follows:
    1 box Jifffy Cornbread mix
    1 can creamed corn
    1 tbs. sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 egg
    1/2 small container of sour cream

    mix all ingredients and pour batter into a greased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

    Happy New Year to all.

    I also have a key lime pie reipe from Key West which I will be happy to share.

    Beat 3 egg yolks until they are light and lemon colored and add 1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice and 1 tsp grated lime zest. Beat in the contents of a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and a drop or two of green food coloring to attain a natural lime tint. Pour the custard into a baked pie shell with a fluted standing rim. Beat 4 egg whites stiff but not dry and beat in gradually 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar and 1 tsp lime juice. Spread the meringue thickly over the filling, bringing it to the crust all around and pulling it into irruglar peaks. Bake the pie in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for about 15 minutes until the meringue is delicately browned. Serve the pie well chilled. This unusual recipe originated in the FL keys.


  219. Grandma Katie, I second Tine’s take on your NM Christmas dinner. Yum….. we’re having a cajun-style New Year’s dinner – enough with the turkey, the ham, the whatever. So we’re starting off the New Year with a salute to NOLA – with jambalaya, gumbo, greens, hoppin’ john, dirty rice, and cornbread.


  220. Trish – My mom used to pop stovetop popcorn in bacon grease instead of vegetable oil. It was SO good.

    Grandma Katie – I’d love to have a lime meringue pie recipe! And your NM-style Christmas meal sounds mouth-wateringly delicious.


  221. And thanks for all you do! Happy New Year to you and your families.


  222. Everything is better with bacon! (and butter and chocolate and garlic). If the recipe doesn’t call for one of those, I’m probably not interested. I will definitely try your stuffing, probably in a chicken, as I’ve had enough of turkey for a while


  223. The burn from the sunburn has tamped down a bit. . . got the flower beds cleaned out and replaced the annuals for a nice spring show (I hope). Building some raised beds in the back for the kitchen garden – trying organic gardening this year but that’s a usually hopeless endeavor in FL thanks to the bugs and the high humidity that brings mold and mildew. The dogs think I’m making them a nice digging place. . .sigh. Finally got the composter set up and hope that will help turn the sand into loam. And as a final aside, made a blackberry cobbler and plan to hike up to the store for some good old french vanilla ice cream. Margaret and Helen, can’t thank you both enough for opening your porch and parlor to us weary travelers. . . sanctuary always feels like home when good conversation and laughter occurs, and the smell of pie garlands everything. Have a safe and Happy New Year, y’all!


  224. Oh good Proud…
    So, it’s off this ridge to work I go…
    A hardware store maven’s work is never done… someone will have lost their shovel in a snowbank and be in need of another to uncover it.


  225. Grandma Katie-
    Yes- we have HOPE now… lots of work, but hope to lead, guide, carry, push us forward.
    ( Could you/would you bring tamales sometime when you visit? We could pretend they are pies… yum! )


  226. Alaska Pi I am feeling much better today. My humor has kicked in and I have some energy!


  227. Morning all!

    The snow is melted! Yay! No sunburn for me! LOL Just digging out my waders as we now have water and mud everywhere.

    Wanted to check in and see that everyone is doing well.

    Off to do Christmas clean up!


  228. Whirled said-
    “I just saw this and I couldn’t think of a better crowd who would enjoy it as much as I did:”

    My machine will NOT buffer well enough to give more than choppy 2 second blips of film…darn. Is there a transcript somewhere?

    This lovely warm place here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour has indeed been a place of sanctuary these past few months… as we all held our breath before the election and hollered from rooftops after… Loads of work ahead- all across this huge country-for 2009.
    The winds are due to pick up off the icefields here today…and folks in Florida have sunburns and are planting flowers ?!
    Get well Proud and safe trip home troutay…
    Best to all!


  229. on the faces of the Obama suppppporters. Proof reading didn’t find the mistake!!


  230. Good morning to all of you!!
    The last of Christmas came yesterday for me. Oldest son came to visit from Las Vegas. WE’re going shopping today.
    I have another recipe if I could get to it in storage. It’s an old o ne my mother got at a cooking school years ago. It is called Lime Pie. not keylime but the big kind. BAsically it is a lemon p ie filling recipebut tinted green and a marshmallow and lime juioce meringue. And of course lime juice instead of lemon.
    Had a great , for us, a New Mexico Christma dinner. Green chili stew, posole, beans, and tamales! Shows h ow much we miss living there!

    I received a lovely Christmas card. It said on the front just one word -Hope_ That said it all for the coming year. It was on of the Obama supporters on election night.
    So my wish for these great ladies <Margaret and Helen, and for her wonderful grandson Matthew
    and all the wonder Front Porch visitors the best of everything for the New year! Looking forward to seeing you for pie and tea. and of course Helen’s rants and all your comments.


  231. WhirledPeas, thanks for the vid-link. Communion Whine indeed!


  232. Helen, Margaret and all,

    Good Morning! I just saw a short video wrap-up of 2008. It was depressing to see actually. The only real positives were Michael Phelps winning 8 Gold medals in the Olympics and Obama winning the Presidential Election and sending W back to become the idiot of Texas.

    I am glad 2008 is almost over! I am looking forward to 2009 because of President elect Obama and this website.

    Helen and Margaret – Thank you for the sanity of your site during an W melt-down year. GW and Cheney = THE WORST!


  233. Hello Ladies!

    I just found your blog and I think that it is faaaaabulous!!!

    Happy New Year!!! 🙂


  234. I just saw this and I couldn’t think of a better crowd who would enjoy it as much as I did:

    A Christmas message for Christians

    I wish KO had said that..

    PEACE ~ Δ


  235. Need to body clip my horses.Warm in South Florida…Sorry you got burnt Greytdog,it seemed so chilly only days ago we were thinking we might have to go south for the winter…


  236. Oh—have to agree with all the bacon lovers. Bacon makes everything better. So does REAL butter 😉

    Bacon grease is an excellent seasoning too. I use it in veggies and also put a little bit in my cornbread.

    Fried eggs: they simply must be fried in bacon grease…in a cast-iron skillet. YUMMY!


  237. Same here, Greytdog Δ. 80’s and humid again! A/C is back on. I’d be sunburned too, but I stayed inside most of the day.


  238. Δ Tine, believe or not, a couple of us were actually grousing the other day that 80 degree temps just didn’t make the “season” . . . we had a cool spell last week that made us hopeful the weather would be nice and cool(er) for Christmas, but alas, the winter-gods ignored our petitions and so on. . . . my shoulders hurt tonight – SUNBURN!!!! 🙂


  239. Love the site Margeret and Helen! A favorite since I first saw it a few weeks before the election.

    I was talking to my oldest recently as we were on our way to VA for Thanksgiving, and told her I think bacon makes everything taste better! She likes to think of herself as a vegetarian, and said she wants to become vegan.

    Well she had some of the venison (my sister’s family are big-time hunters), and asked if I could l give her a couple of pounds when I dropped her off at home a few days later.

    I’ve asked several vegetarians a question, and haven’t ever gotten what I think is a decent answer: If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re all made out of meat? Just needlin’ ’em I guess, but whoever invented bacon was a genius!

    Happy New Year, everyone!


  240. Hey, Greytdog… I thought you weren’t going to mention your delightful Florida weather!

    Though it sure makes ours look extra-miserable, it’s actually nice to imagine the sunshine and warmth.


  241. The sun is out but the heat hasn’t set in yet; nice breeze swirling across the lanai here. . . S.O. and I are heading out to the nursery to pick up the plants for winter/spring plantings and repotting. Agenda today – homemade split pea soup for freezing, washing three very dirty dogs who celebrated the holiday by splashing and dashing and rolling at the dog park, and some quiet time. All is easy go around here – most folks are heading to the beach while others wend their way home through airports and seaports and train stations. . . even the roadways seem moderately passable without the heavy duty construction and restruction. . .


  242. Morning all!

    Hope everyone is having lovely holiday time!

    I have been under the weather and even lost my voice for two days. Guess that was Santa’s present to the husband!

    Crazy weather across the US it seems. We are finally in snow melt down here and I could not be happier.

    Have a great day!


  243. Morning all
    Well, the snow is melting in tucson. everyone is complaining about how cold it is. But I sit out on the patio with my morning coffee, a sweater, and watch the sun rise over Mount Lemmon. It seems pretty warm to me, being used to Minnesota winters.

    Alaska Pi: We are going to the Mesa swap meet tomorrow before I leave. tons of beautiful jewelry, etc and at lovely prices too!

    Stay safe up there in alaska.


  244. “JuneauJoe said-
    Troutay: We have had a foot and a half of snow where I am. Up the hill, they have had 3 feet. It is starting to rain so we now have the slush mess – yuk!
    Juneau has better weather and there is less traffic too. ”

    Troutay have fun! Sun or no sun- goofing off away from home…Don’t tell JuneauJoe it’s been snowingfor 24 hours now at home…
    We had six inches Tues and a whippy wind on Wed which launched a couple pretty good powder-lanches off down Thane way. Started snowing again yesterday and have had a couple good ‘lanches off Mt Juneau today.
    All these recipes are making me hungrier today than when they first started appearing… agh!
    Here’s hoping everyone’s family and friends get home safe and sound in the next few days.


  245. Dear Grandma Katie,

    I am so glad you have joined our circle of chit-chat here. You are a most welcome addition! Please continue to let us hear your voice.




  246. Dear Debbie, (12/24, 1:26PM.)

    It has been very rare for me to hear anyone talk about ‘Tourtier’ outside of my husband’s family and hometown. They pronounce it roughly as ‘Tourt’caire’. I have never been able to get the proper inflection either.

    EVERYBODY there had a slightly different recipe and I witnessed some hotly debated discussions on how it should be prepared. The amounts and types of spices were always a lively controversy. My mother-in-law made her piecrusts with pure lard. They were beautiful to look at but totally indigestible! As you know, the pies are quite rich. They were always served with sweet pickles to cut the richness.

    Some people used equal portions of ground beef, ground pork (unseasoned) and ground veal or variations of any of them. The meat was cooked in a skillet with just enough water to cover the meat and spices until brown and the water had boiled off. Some used allspice. My mother-in-law used ground cloves and ground cinnamon with a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. (I like course ground black pepper.)

    Some people used the meat mixture for turkey stuffing!

    The potatoes were boiled and mashed WITHOUT butter and/or milk and then mixed in with the meat. There was always a husband-taste-test to check the spice ratio! Then the mixture was spooned into piecrusts. (I use Crisco.)

    Some people used a top vented crust, others lattices. I like to twist six lattices to build up a pretty pyramid for the holidays. We know people who make 12-15 pies for the holidays and freeze them. That to me is WAY too much work! They are served for both Christmas and New Years.




  247. Dear Helen and Margaret,,

    I trust everyone had a wonderful holiday!

    We did! A third of our family was out here from Pennsylvania. Would you believe that ALL their flights left on time, they made ALL their connections, no problem and even arrived 20 minutes early thanks to a tail wind. Even their luggage arrived with them!!!

    In the meantime, we had a lovely time, pigged out and then pigged out some more. And most of all had plenty of quality time together. Unfortunately, they are going back tomorrow. Lets hope they have as good luck going as they did coming.

    Now it’s time to gear up to celebrate the New Year. It is going to be a banner year, I think. How could it help but be? This country has really hit rock bottom, so there is nowhere left to go but up!

    Happy New Year to everyone.




  248. Uh guess I just won’t mention that the high here today was about 80 degrees, bright blue sky, some white clouds, breeze from the east about 5-10mph, enough to keep the humidity down. . . and that people were torn between hitting the malls and hitting the beach. . . nope. Won’t say a word about that, not one word.


  249. Troutay: We have had a foot and a half of snow where I am. Up the hill, they have had 3 feet. It is starting to rain so we now have the slush mess – yuk!
    Juneau has better weather and there is less traffic too.

    I did go skiing up in the mountains and that sure was great!

    Grandma Katie, we need to count down the days until Texas gets their idiot back. Obama will have a hard job but I sure feel better with Pres. Obama than the tragedy of the past 8 years.

    Wish all well.


  250. Troutay, you are in a much better place — despite the snow! It’s drizzling on top of snow here in Minneapolis. Nice. Sloppy, icy, yuck. It’s so gloomy the streetlights never really turned off today!

    Thought you all might enjoy a virtual sip of the homebrew a family friend brought to Christmas dinner yesterday: The No Sarah Pale-Ale-In Brew. I wished I liked beer. I’d’ve drunk it all up!


  251. troutay? snowing in Tucson on December 26?

    I’m in Chicago metro and it’s 36 degrees here and about to rain….

    OK, who switched the weathermap around?

    Maven Δ


  252. I forgot to mentionthat my iron is cast iron. It has never been washed. just carefully wrapped in a plastic bag and stored til next year!


  253. New year Geetings to you all!! and thanks to all who mentioned me by name.I received a very funny joke but not sure about passing it on, however, my friend titled it “why didnt you call SAra Palin? I guess t he stories about her will be around forever.
    I did n ot include baking instrudtions for the cookies beause they take a cookie iron and are baked on top of the stove. The irons are available in kitchen stores. The new ones are aluminum but mine is about 50 years old. My mother gave it to me
    for Christmas in the late 50’s.
    My youngest son gave me a Sudoku puzzle box. Picking u p the number tiles is going to be good therapy for the right hand.
    Just over 25 days to the inauguration!! Obama is inheriting a horrible job.!
    Looking to Helen and Margaret’s comments and all of yours.
    A Very Happy and Prosperous
    New Year to you all!

    New Year to you all.


  254. Whoo hoo! Go, Grandma Katie!


  255. Its snowing like crazy in Tucson Arizona this a.m.
    Juneau Joe- thought you were going to have better weather in Oregon? Ha! you all got what, 6 inches this past week?

    sigh: I thought I could get away from winter (in Minnesota) but looks like it followed us all the way to the south west.

    cheers all!


  256. […] End of Days – by “best friends for over sixty years and counting,” Margaret and Helen: Our favorite phenom Old Friends share wisdom, grit, humor and holiday stuffing recipes; it is a must read (with over 100 comments). […]


  257. Happy Chinese New Years Day!

    PEACE ~ Δ


  258. Dear Helen and Margaret
    Merry Christmas!

    It was my special treat of the day to find your post. And YUM to all!

    Margaret – You made me laugh – no wonder you and Hele have been friends for so long.

    Grandma Katie – big hug

    To Everyone Here – May your life be filled with Peace and your hearts with Joy.


  259. end of a beautiful day here, and I just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of you.

    all the recipes sound yummy. I need to get the oven fixed, or replaced, and soon!



  260. Margaret, Helen and Grandma Katie — May the (g)God(dess)(e)(s) (?/?) bless you all — you make me smile!!!!


  261. It’s a bit after 9PM here in FL and the house is pulsating softly with the snores of various menfolk and doggies. . . the dishes are washing (thank you for the dishwasher GE), the food distributed, the presents opened and appreciated. Bellies are full, hearts fuller. Last night at the potluck we had enough canned food to put together seven baskets for others. The kids were very excited about helping other folks. The presents this year reflected our hearts – gifts to favorite charities, homemade gifts, and loads of love. The table was laden with special family recipes drawn from homes and hearth across the world. . . it was a very good Christmas. And made all of us realize how very wealthy we are – we have hope, we have love, we have dreams, and we have family. One and all.


  262. Merry Christmas all,

    These are some delicious cookies, I have to share. Everyone loves them but for some strange reason the men in my family go crazy over them. I call them crack cookies, they are very addicting. I have started giving them as gifts now so I won’t have to make them as often.

    Pumpkin Cookies with Cream cheese frosting:

    2 cups of white sugar
    1 cup of shortening
    1 egg
    1 can of pumpkin
    4 cups of all purpose flour
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup chopped walnuts

    Cream together sugar and shortening then add egg and pumpkin and vanilla.
    Sift together dry ingredients and slowly add to pumpkin mixture. Add walnuts. Drop onto cookie sheet.
    Bake at 375 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes

    If you like a moist cookie, do not over bake, and after they are cooled put them in an air tight container.

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    1 lb pkg cream cheese (room temp) 2 packs
    6 tblsp (3/4) stick of butter (room temp)
    1-1/4 cups of confectionary sugar
    1 tsp vanilla

    Cream together cream cheese then add butter until smooth, slowly add sugar, then vanilla. Whip until creamy.

    Once cookies are cooled add frosting as cookies are served.
    For a festive cookie add colored sugar sprinkles.

    Store frosting in fridge, cookies can be stored outside of fridge.

    Happy Holidays everyone and enjoy.


  263. Happy Christmas, Gra’ma Helen & Aunt Margaret!!

    I have just a moment while I wait for my mimosa to get here and I have to start Brunch Fixin’s, so here’s my recipe for what we’re having!!

    Dys Fluffy Belgian Waffles

    In medium bowl, combine:
    2 eggs, beaten until light
    1 ¾ cup sour milk (or buttermilk)
    6 Tbsp melted butter
    Beat and set aside.
    In a separate large bowl, sift together:
    2 cups flour
    ¼ tsp baking soda
    1 Tbsp sugar
    ½ tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    Add egg mixture very quickly with only a few strong strokes. Set aside.
    In another medium bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold lightly in to flour batter, leaving lumpy. Bake in waffle iron, buttered lightly between each batch.

    Serve warm straight from iron with butter and your choice of toppings: pure maple syrup, whipped cream & fruit, powdered sugar, apple butter…etc.

    [Tips & Hints: To insure quick and fluffy egg whites, use a metal bowl and place bowl and beaters in freezer for 15 minutes prior. If serving a crowd, you can keep waffles warm in oven set at 250°F. Place straight on rack to avoid softening.]

    Holiday Blessings from Seattle!!…Love to All!


  264. Meowy Christmas and Happy Howl-idays to all! Twelve kitties, one doggie, five foster kittens, one kitty cousin and various human relatives under one roof is my recipe for holiday hilarity and total mayhem.

    Santa left a note on the front door: “Delivery was attempted but I would have needed a shoehorn and some butter to get inside.”

    Please take a peek at my Christmas card–a visual recipe of my nutballs in their outfits! (Elves & Angels from Christmases past and present!)


  265. Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. This blog has turned into quite an extended family. Thank you Margaret and Helen.
    Granma Katie, you are an inspiration. Keep on typing.
    As to recipes, instead of vanilla use Kahlua!


  266. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Margaret and Helen! You have given me many smiles over the past few months. I hope your holiday will be filled with good food, laughter and lots of hugs from those you love.


  267. Merry Christmas, health and happiness to all.

    AlaskaPi: The good weather is in Alaska.


  268. What can I say?

    Merry Christmas all.

    ~ Δ ~


  269. …winter AND the light of your hearts.
    Not but, AND !
    I knew I shouldn’t have opened the homemade Kahlua from my sister tonight…


  270. Helen and Margaret-
    Best wishes to you and your familes. Thank you for having all of us in…!
    I gave up all the cooking years ago too, Grandma Katie, and could NOT begin to remember the particulars of most of my old favorites…
    I will be having holiday dinner with my best friend this year as our respective families are spread too far and wide and money’s too tight for too many to travel…
    My best friend is a great cook and I wash dishes and set table and empty trash like a champ!
    Best wishes to all visit here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour for whatever holiday you celebrate in the dark of winter but the light of your hearts!!!


  271. Thanks for the recipe. Sounds delic! But there is one thing missing…


  272. I love your blog. I think you guys are on the right side of the issues and do a good job of advancing progressive ideas. That’s why I am awarding you the Logic Award.

    (If you can’t see the Image you can find it here:

    If you choose to accept it these are the (abridged) rules:

    1. Conservatives cannot be considered for this award.
    2. You may give this award to as many others as you please provided they have contributed something toward advancing progressive ideas.
    3. You will post these rules along with the award graphic if you choose to accept this award.
    4. You will post a link to the person who awarded you.
    5. You will link to those who you choose to award this to.
    6. You will link to the originator of the award so that those who so choose will be able to gain access to the unabridged rules as well as the original graphic

    Unabridged Rules

    Keep on being awesome guys!


  273. Debbie – thanks so much for the Tourtiere recipe. My mom used to make them and we loved them so. However, I never found her recipe as I believe she made it from memory. I will try to make it for New Year’s Eve for my family.

    Helen and Margaret – I’ve enjoyed you both so much for your insight, humor and love of life. Best of holidays with your family and friends. Looking forward to your next blog(s).


  274. Bacon is Manna from the Heavens.

    It is the perfect food.


  275. Grandma Katie:

    Keep using that hand. We don’t care about misspellings.

    The recipe sounds wonderful.


  276. Helen, thanks so much for the stuffing recipe – it sounds wonderful. I’m a fan of bacon, so I know I’d like it. I may have to give a try next year. 😀

    Margaret, I’m with you 100% on the Hannafords pie – in fact, I have one of their pumpkin pies and a half of a strawberry-rhubarb in the refrigerator, all ready to go! Hannafords does a great job in their bakeries.

    For the holidays, I usually make a tourtiere pie for my husband. I never pronounce it properly as it’s French … but it’s a pork pie, reminiscent of a shepherd’s pie of sorts. I’d never had it until I met my husband and found this recipe, courtesy of a local cookbook with tried and true home recipes.

    Tourtiere – Pork Pie

    Mashed potatoes (I generally use about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds of potatoes to have enough.)
    3 pounds lean ground pork (ground beef may be substituted for part of pork)
    1 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    2-3 teaspoons salt (the original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon and I think that’s too much salt)
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 cup chopped onion.

    Pie crust for two 9-inch pies (either premade pie crust or your own recipe – whichever you prefer. I always cheat and use premade pie crust!)

    Start boiling potatoes first for mashed potatoes. Make these any way you wish with milk and butter, salt and pepper (but should be firm and not “soupy”. Having these done first is key to the recipe.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    Brown meat in saucepan. Add water, nutmeg, allspice, salt, pepper and onion. Cook for 30 minutes over moderate heat, stirring often to prevent sticking.

    Remove from heat and add mashed potatoes and mix well. (The mashed potato mixture holds the meat mixture together).

    Line two pie plates with pie crust, add the filling and top with second crust. Make a cut in top of pie crust for venting. Bake in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes or until well browned. Serve hot or cold as preferred. (We serve it hot with a side vegetable, but my husband will take a slice of it cold to work with him for a hearty lunch).

    Makes two 9-inch pies.

    The great thing about this recipe is that you have a hot, comfort food, stick to the ribs pie that is wonderful. I always slice up the second pie and wrap individual pieces in foil to put in the freezer. It’s handy to have this waiting in the freezer for nights when you don’t feel like cooking and don’t know what to have for dinner. A simple warm-up through the microwave and you’re all set!

    Thanks to everyone here who shared their recipes – I can’t wait to try a few new ones! 😀

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

    I really enjoy your blog, Helen and Margaret, it’s on my must-read list and I check in daily. I promise I’ll keep coming back to visit!


  277. ps: I call it dressing but don’t use cornbread, just day old white bread , torn in ssmall pieces adn lightly toasted. And have always stuffed the turkey like my Mother did.


  278. Interesant, dat nu vreih sa adaugi putin umor siteului tau :P? O poza haioasa cu animale care se schimba in fiecare zi.
    Daca da, da click pe numele meu


  279. Merry Christmas to Helen and Margaret and grandson Matthew.
    Hoping to see your blog for aa very long time!!
    My commputer acted up on me and finally got instructions from son on how to fix it!!I accidently hit (I think) the control button with bad had and shrunk the fone size to almost nothing.
    I have a cookie reciipe that is used in a cookie iron. mmy kids called them waffle cookies. I got fed up with cooking a long time ago except for making these cookies at Christmas. Don”t have Hannafords here bu8t Polly’s Pies make great pies.
    The best name for these cookies are ”
    1 pound butter
    1 pound brown sugar (I prefer
    dark brown)
    1/1/2 cups white sugar
    6 eggs
    1 ounce rum or vanilla
    7 to 9 cupps flour
    place by teaspoon on cookie
    iron and bake until brown
    Makes 13 to 15 dozen cookies
    Please excuse the typing. Typing is good t herapy for bad

    I have some delicious recipes, but packed in storage and this is main one I do n ot need a printed recipe for.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka,
    and Seasons GReetings to all of you!


  280. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


  281. Have a very Merry Christmas and ignore the calorie count.


  282. To both Helen and Margaret and families,
    A very, very Merry Christmas!


  283. Thank you for being a voice of reason in an often unreasonable wilderness, Margaret and Helen! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

    Apricot/Cranberry Bread

    1 Box Pillsbury cranberry bread
    1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
    1/2 brick cream cheese, frozen
    apricot brandy or any brandy

    Chop apricots and soak in brandy or hot water until soft (15 minutes). Chop cream cheese into small cubes (freezing makes it easier to chop).

    Make cranberry bread as per box instructions.
    Dump in apricots and cream cheese cubes. Bake per instructions or until done when poked with a chopstick comes clean.

    Stick with a fork or chopstick once out of oven. Cool fifteen minutes, then pour some brandy over the bread. Tastes better if it sits overnight.



  284. I’m gonna have to quit read this blog until after Christmas Day – you folks are making the menu bigger and bigger! We’re having our traditional Christmas Eve potluck with about 50 folks in attendance – I’ve now added the latkes and kugel to that menu – oy! Ann I loved your community’s noting of Hanukkah. What a great idea. . . I’m calling everyone now and having them bring over canned food so we can deliver it to the shelter tonight. S.O. played “Santa Paws” yesterday and delivered bags of food and cases of canned to three animal rescue groups who work hand in paw with Meals On Wheels. And for folks who are like me and like to cook up bangs of food – make some extra and take it to an elderly neighbor or food bank or whatever. Sharing is Caring. Love you all. Thanks for this community.


  285. Happy Holidays to you all!!!

    Now my favorite Appetizer:


    2 cans artichoke hearts drained
    1 cup Helmans Mayonaise
    1 cup Parmeasan Cheese

    Mix Heat in oven at 350 for about 30-45 mins and serve with butter crackers


  286. Elsie–
    Clearly you don’t live in Maine–or else you don’t consider shovelling out the driveway to be a form of exercise.

    Best wishes for a safe holiday to all. And if you want a white Christmas, I have at least 18 inches of the stuff (with more falling even as I write) for you to come and haul away.


  287. Last night we had a community Hannukah Party in the town square. We constructed a Menorah of over 3,000 cans of food. We had singing ,we were dancing and we gave out potato pancakes(latkes) and donuts (soufignot ) to all. The mayor lit the Menorah. Later we preserved the flames but we packed up the cans and they have gone to feed those in need in our area.A recipe for a Happy Hannukah.


  288. Well. I have a recipe for Thanksgiving. Late, I know, but it’s completely interchangeable with Christmas or any other special cooking occasion. IT is really a recipe to NOT make and you’ll soon see why.

    If I had a web page I’d post and link, but then who would go look at it unless they had already started reading? Here goes, and if I’m breaking a rule for overlong comments, I apologize. I just don’t know of a group this big who’d find it makes them chuckle. Maybe.

    Recipe for No Festive Dinner
    Written Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23, 2006)

    Actually, last night – which was after I baked a pecan pie but before I called the Fire Department because as I set about stuffing the turkey before dawn I turned the oven on again and as I sewed up the back end of the pink naked enormous but range fed turkey, I noticed smoke beginning to pour forth from the stove vents and from under the burners to such an extent I thought maybe there was a little more going on than a bit of spilled pecan pie juice – of which there was none, zero, nothing,

    “Here’s the pie,” I said to the Fireman, “Not a bit of spill-over” — and the smoke had got so thick, so fast, I was vaguely shocked: I observed a glow in the oven which was not a Halloween pumpkin or July 4th thrill-a-minute pyrotechnical array of joy and gladness with a smattering of fake patriotism thrown in at the last minute, so I opened the oven door a crack and, WOW!

    There were flames running all around the outside edges of the inside of the oven, up from the bottom of it and below, maybe. The smoke was foul and thick but I opened a cupboard, grabbed the Morton’s – iodized, of course — salt and hurled swaths of it into the oven and saw immediately this action was quite like lighting a tiny candle in an effort to warm an entire garage.

    Having seen a fire or two in this life I figured the phone ought to be my next stop, but as the walk-around phone wasn’t working yesterday I’d have to use the one in the kitchen, wired to the wall and me taking up smoking whether I wanted to, or not. Knowing I’d be wired in, so to speak, and unable to summon the other residents of the house whose legs, if you count them all, number 12, and I was momentarily glad the parakeet had died last summer because Smoke Kills Birds (oh, that’s bizarre, she’s dead and I’m glad she’s not dying?), so I raced upstairs, wavering between wanting to holler to What’s-his-name to get the hell out of bed and Help Me, and running gently to avoid waking up the slumbering daughter…

    The rest of it is, the Fire Department guys hauled down my street in 2 enormous trucks at 6:15 am (no sirens, thankfully) and I have now got a house full of dirt off those enormous boots they wear – I think I counted 8 or 9 guys in my house – and the black fingerprints all over the was-white stove and well, so was the floor, and the yucky Use This To Catch Your Oven Spills So You Never Have To Clean Your Oven Again silicone or something sheet I had on the bottom rack lied though its teeth.

    Windows open everywhere, they set up a powerful fan to blow most of the smoke out but another reason to Not Have Carpeting or Drapes is that since I have close to no carpeting or drapes, there is less for the smell to get stuck in. The naked pale turkey lay, well, naked, on the counter – I had been mere minutes from setting-it-afire-I-mean putting it in the oven – and they gave me strict instructions Not To Use The Oven Until I Cleaned It Thoroughly, like I’m going to light the stove again soon, let alone a stinking charred-looking oven?

    The floor, cleaned white and shiny by the nice Filipino woman a scant 15 hours previous, is all gritty, and so great was my appreciation, the poor pecan pie almost went with the firemen. Realizing at the last moment that pie IS our dinner, I kept it and said, “This is why we pay taxes,” and gave them a thumbs-up. A couple of them grinned and one guy, like, Got It, and said, “Yeah, that’s right!” and so I am here to tell you, I will surely not receive a bill from the City of Portland for their expert (oh, I do love to see Competence at Work!) handling of my little conflagration.

    As an aside, the 14-year-old daughter leapt out of bed in a flash, which motion I had nearly forgotten was in her repertoire after so many months of almost literally dragging her adolescent-my-biorhythms-are-shifting-mom self out of the same bed. So I have done what every year the Living Section of all the newspapers in the nation tell us not to do, which is to stuff the bird (I already had!) and leave it that way for awhile before roasting. I didn’t really feel like un-stuffing that naked ugly thing, so I threw it in a small garbage bag and hauled it down the cellar stairs, dumped it in the ice chest with lots of ice and sent my family back to bed, but not before I seriously suggested we all have some pie right now and since we’d have no turkey to take where we were going, we could just stay the hell home and call it The Year We Were Thankful For Remaining Alive.

    What’s-his-face did remark that the smoke alarm sure doesn’t work and vowed, “That’s the First Thing I’m Going To Do,” which I remembered after he’d gone back upstairs to bed; and the fun thing about your kid getting to be 14 is you can say, “I thought he said that was the First Thing he was going to do. Go get him.” And she gets the joke, likes it and even has the impulse to Go get him, but instead we laugh together before I send her packing on her two legs and what, eight more besides, I could no longer count.

    I do so hope this smoke business will discourage the tiny ants from entering the way they began to when the rains came, because the guaranteed year-long, We-Kill-‘Em-Dead service is kind of busy right now having Thanksgiving and engaging in swordplay with other people’s ants, and it’ll be Tuesday before we get them to come here and break up the Ant Town Super Highway they are trying to build through the walls. But as I was saying, before I so confusedly interrupted myself a dozen times or more….

    …..this all really really happened, and I’m freezing to death because as long as you have your windows open, why not turn off the furnace, as well?

    Oh, and Guess What? Since I knew for a fact the oven did not have spills in it — as recently as last night I knew that — when the pecan pie had a little warm sojourn in the same oven, and the Fireman-Who-Sticks-Head-In-Oven unstuck it long enough to tell me three times he’d found Evidence of Liquid Having Run Across the Floor of the Oven, it occurred to me to ask if something that boiled over on the top of the stove might cause the situation and he said, “Oh, sure,” though why he kept questioning me about the Spill-In-The-Oven Method for Liking to Pay Taxes, I have no idea. So, probably something ran down from under the burners, ho hum.

    In spite of ADD on the hoof here, all over, this house is not dirty and though since we all read all the time the place is cluttered with too much paper the way photographers might have negatives and light tables and some chemical baths lying around, we have books, magazines, New York Times Crossword puzzles (photocopied, one for each, and don’t cheat offa my paper dammitall!), you name it, if it has words on it, Grab It, Keep It, Read It (Hey-lookit-this-here-isn’t-this-interesting?), leave it on the edge of the tub for the next person on the toilet), or don’t read it but lie to oneself one will read it “later,” ha, ha.

    But even so, it is not piled high, and there is no need here for little arrows marking the floor, like; “Bathroom, This Way,” and “This Way To Stairs.” It’s “comfortable” to What’s-his-face, and confusing – blindingly so – to me, as in, “I fucking hate this! and you can’t expect a cooked meal from this sort of disarray, do you?”

    So our current partial birth solution, which won’t last and we’ll have to come up with another one before too long, is to have certain areas into which no more paper may come (my area), and my secret system of when I notice a periodical not getting read, at all, I toss the current one into the recycling bin, cover it with last week’s local and unread rag of a paper; then I wait for the renewal envelopes and put them in the recycling bin immediately. Lord knows what happens to stuff I think I want and someone else knows better. It’s liberating to not know, really.

    So I’m thinking we’ll bag Thanksgiving.


  289. Elsie your post just reflected what I have been thinking for the last few days! LOL

    More than ever, this year we should enjoy and party as we move into the home stretch of leaving a horrible 8 years behind us! Drink the egg nog, eat the pie and enjoy as the year ends! Wahoo!

    I am going out and braving the crowds today. We can finally get out of our driveway and I need to get Christmas dinner.

    Wishing all of you the best!


  290. Just looking at all the recipes and getting hungry…
    I keep kosher so no bacon for me, but here’s one of my favorite recipes that is always a hit with everyone:
    Butternut Squash Kugel (a kugel is a Jewish word for casserole or pudding)
    Put holes in and bake 1 large or 2 medium butternut squash at 350 F for about 2-3 hours until the inside is very soft when poked with a fork.
    Let them cool slightly then slice open and scoop out seeds (throw away), then scoop out the flesh.
    1 cup melted butter
    1.5 cups sugar
    1.5 cups white flour
    1/4 cup milk
    3 or 4 eggs (depending on amount of squash)

    Because I use fresh, you never know exactly how much squash you will have.
    If it looks soupy, add a bit more flour.

    Pour mixture into baking pan, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for about an hour at 350 F until fork comes out smooth.

    Enjoy, and happy holidays to all!


  291. i dont bake so no recipes from me but a hearty MERRY CHRISTMAS to all. If you dont celebrate christmas i wish you all a great week no matter your religion. cheers


  292. My favorite bacon recipe: Get a couple of big, thick Rib Eye steaks. Butterfly them and fill them with onions and habanero peppers. Then wrap them in bacon. Next double wrap them in aluminum foil, so none of the juice gets out. Broil or barbeque them until they smell done. The steaks will melt in your mouth!

    I’m with Elsie–I wanna go out hollering: “WOO-HOO!!!


  293. Elsie, you made me snort my beverage all over my keyboard. Bad Elsie.

    But I totally love it!

    Have a great holiday yourself. And what the hell, Merry Christmas….


  294. Helen, this came in my email today. It seems TOTALLY appropriate to repeat here in your “End of Days”. Enjoy.


    1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

    2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

    3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

    4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

    5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

    6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

    7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

    8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

    9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

    10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

    Remember this motto to live by:
    “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a glass of red wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, “WOO-HOO!! What a ride!”

    Happy Holidays, everyone.


  295. Holiday Blessings and Happy New year ladies!!!


  296. Decaf:

    You can also sprinkle just a tad of sea salt on those nuts. Its wonderful!

    Happy Holidays all!

    Bag is packed. Hello Arizona!


  297. Just got through making my Holiday Candy – I don’t shop for gifties anymore. Everyone gets a box of hand dipped chocolates. Around 14 varities.

    Good melting chocolate is important – I get mine from a confectioner’s shop. Melts evenly with a nice sheen to it. However, I find that adding some Ghiardelli’s 60 % coca chips, or unsweetened baking chocolate, gives an added taste explosion.

    Here are the very simple chocolate covered nuts.

    Ingredients –

    Nuts. Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts. (If you buy them “raw,” toast them for 3 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I discovered this after about ten years, and trust me – the difference is well worth it.)

    “Dipping” chocolate pieces. Good quality chocolate chips will do in a pinch, but they will not melt as smoothly.

    Melt the chocolate pieces (a handful at a time) in the microwave oven at 30 second increments until nice and smooth.

    Using chopsticks, pick up the nuts and dunk them into the chocolate, then set on a pan to dry. When hardened, pop them off the pan and into your mouth!

    Good variation –

    Buy some caramels, cut pieces into thickish slices, warm them slightly until pliable in your hands. (If you use a microwave for this – do it for only a few seconds.)

    Stick a nice toasted pecan half to a caramel slice. Dunk in the melted chocolate and let set.

    I’ll have to tell you later my recipe for chocolates with liquid centers (raspberry with brandy is my favorite, but Baliey’s Irish Cream thickened with confectioner’s sugar comes a close second).


  298. Have a wonderful Christmas ladies !


  299. Oh dear – see what happens when you try to finish up the Holiday preparations for just a few hours. . . people come on the porch and leave a LOT of great recipes. . . Maven, the dump cake sounds great and I think I might be using that particular recipe for the day after Christmas! And the Chocolate mousse. . . yummy. And Werner, you have made my S.O, very very happy since SO hails from Germany and so we’ll be incorporating those recipes. . . and then there was voltairesneighbor’s magic mushrooms. . .which made me laugh out loud at first (I thought OH YEAH!!!) but the recipe sounds really good and would be a nice complement to a salad nicoise. So okay, back to playing elf for friends and family cuz I still have the critter gifts to wrap and pet stockings to fill up and deliver. . . .where is Rudolph when ya need him?? Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Maligayang Pasko, Frohlichen weinachetn, Feliz Navidad, and Shalom to the World.


  300. Thanks for everything, Margaret and Helen! You’re the best and just what the country needed and needs.


    Chocolate Chess pie – makes 2!!!!!!!!

    Note: be sure to have whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream on hand because you’ll want one or both!!

    Pre-heat oven to 375*F.

    3c sugar
    7 Tablespoons cocoa
    3 Tablespoons flour
    4 beaten eggs
    1c milk
    1 stick melted margarine
    1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla

    Pour half of filling mixture into each of two pie shells. Bake at 375*F for 45 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate leftovers if there are any.

    This has been a favorite recipe in my family for decades because there’s a pie to give away and a pie to keep at home!!


    Merry Christmas all and may peace prevail on earth!


  301. […] End of Days Many of you have written in asking for recipes.  The holidays are upon us and many of our traditions are centered […] […]


  302. Dump cake (sort of like a cobbler):

    12 x 9 pan. No pan prep necessary.
    1 can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain), spread across bottom of pan.
    1 can cherry pie filling, dotted on top of pineapple.
    1 box white cake mix (don’t make a batter, just right out of the box) spread on top of cherries.
    Dot the top with pats of butter, about 3/4 stick.
    Bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes — until golden brown and bubbly. (The juicy layers at the bottom bubble up through the cake mix and the butter will brown the whole top.)

    No bowls to clean up!

    I think the name came from just *dumping* everything right into the pan. Anyhow, my family likes it and it leaves me time to cook other things rather than fussing over dessert.

    Happy holidays to M&H and all who visit!

    Δ Maven


  303. I meant recipe. Well! pea-brained me!


  304. Happy Holidays all! Thanks Helen and Margaret, right on as usual. Thanks for all your insights this past year and may we be blessed of many more years of your wisdom!

    Who has a good receipe for lemon pound cake? I had one that I lost during a move and cannot replicate from memory. Thanks in advance for the help.


  305. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, (indeed!) Ladies!!


  306. We are going to try your stuffing recipe it sounds delicious. You just can’t go wrong with butter & bacon. Have a great holiday & enjoy your family girls.


  307. Oh thank you. I have been looking for a good stuffing recipe. British stuffing is dry and has a weird texture. More like little rocks. I miss my American stuffing so will be making some this year.


  308. Hi girls,

    I want to wish you both the best holiday ever. you are the best. Just think what we’d all be looking forward to if the old guy from Arizona and the Alaska chick had won! Gives me the shivers.

    My famous line is, “If in doubt there is always the Colonel!”



  309. Happy Holidays to all! One more use for bacon:
    One of the hotels in which I used to work had a pastry chef from Tennessee, and she would make “Cat Head biscuits” ( I think they’re about the size of a cat’s head, hence the name.) they were spicy and had bits of bacon in them. Anyway, I loved them and wanted to reproduce them at home, but easily. (None of that silly pastry rolling for me, my friends). I use Bisquick biscuit mix, according to the package directions, but also stir in crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and any spice mixture I have around – in this area, of course, a can of Old Bay is required in every kitchen!
    Greytdog, my comment last week about the chocolate raspberry recipe was meant as a compliment…see, unlike your coworkers, I don’t have the actual treat in front of me, and moaning and whimpering tend to attract the wrong kind of attention in cubicle-dom.
    Look forward to enjoying my favorite blog in the New Year – cheers, all!


  310. Here’s my understanding of the stuffing/dressing issue as it has been resolved in our household. (I’m a Chicago native, partner is self-proclaimed ridge-running redneck).
    In the north, it’s made inside the bird with sausage and sage, bread, onions, garlic, a bit of celery, s&p to taste, stock and butter.
    In the south it’s called dressing, it’s made in a pan, not inside the bird. The south half of the family uses cornbread and a little white bread, egg, turkey or chicken, onions, butter, stock, some garlic and a pinch of sage.
    Both are fabulous; we make both. Also, I want to try the dry brining next time. I’ve been brining my turkey for years and it’s always so juicy and tender, even full of stuffing.
    Happy Holidays to all.


  311. Just had to share this story that I received today:


    Mrs. Donovan was walking down O’Connell Street in Dublin when she met up with Father Flaherty.

    The Father said, ‘Top o’ the mornin’ to ye! Aren’t ye Mrs. Donovan and didn’t I marry ye and yer hoosband 2 years ago?’

    She replied, ‘Aye, that ye did, Father.’

    The Father asked, ‘And be there any wee little ones yet?’

    She replied, ‘No, not yet, Father.’

    The Father said, ‘Well now, I’m going to Rome next week and I’ll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband.’

    She replied, ‘Oh, thank ye, Father.’ They then parted ways.

    Many years later they met again. The Father asked, ‘Well now, Mrs. Donovan , how are ye these days?’

    She replied, ‘Oh, very well, Father!’

    The Father asked, ‘And tell me, have ye any wee ones yet?’

    She replied, ‘Oh yes, Father! Three sets of twins and 4 singles !

    The Father said, ‘That’ s wonderful! How is yer loving hoosband doing?’

    She replied, ‘E’s gone to Rome to blow out yer fookin’ candle !!!!!


  312. Oh my goodness – you could build a houes with directions this long !! But it’s actually VERY simple – and I mean it- really !


  313. What delightful posts today. Yesterday, I had my favorite Christmas treat. I drove over to visit with my granddaughter and GREAT grandchildren (James – 4 and Anna – 2). While Mommy rested with the 3 month old baby, the toddlers & I made cookies. Here’s an easy one, that I make with Anise extract flavoring, but Vanilla can be substituted. I made the dough before I went over.

    In a large bowl, mix:
    5 cups of flour
    2/3 cup sugar
    5 t baking powder
    In a smaller ball,
    Beat 4 lg. eggs
    Stir in 2/3 cup of Crisco oil
    2 T anise extract
    1/2 t salt

    Blend togther with the flour mixture – adding some flour, if needed, and actually knead the dough until it is not sticky. It should be very soft & smooth to work with.

    On a lightly floured surface, I roll the dough out gently into long pencils. The children helped me form circles and braids & even letters of the alphabet. Place tham on an ungreased cookie sheet slightly apart.

    Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. They stay light in color, but are slightly brown on the bottom.

    In a small bowl, we mixed the glaze:
    1/2 stick of melted butter
    2/3 cup of powdered sugar
    1/2 teaspoon anise flavor
    approx. 2 T of warm water/milk to make
    it spreadable.

    After cookies are cool enough to transfer onto a piece of wax paper, use a small food brush to glaze them and sprinkle LIGHTLY (try explaining that) with colored sugar or sprinkles.

    This recipe made four cookie sheets – which they arranged on 2 “lovely” trays, that Mommy and Daddy thought were beautiful and delicious. They will bring some to nursery school today & leave some out for Santa.

    Merry Christmas to Helen & Margaret and all the visitors on this BLOG ! Aren’t we blessed !!!


  314. My stuffing is great too and less fattening.

    1 yellow onion chopped
    1 bunch of celery chopped
    1 pan cornbread crumbled (I use the recipe in the betty crocker cookbook my sister uses 2 jiffy cornbread mixes)
    1 loaf white bread cubed and toasted
    1 box chicken broth
    2 teaspoons sage
    2 eggs beaten
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    cram some in the turkey, bake the rest in a buttered casserole dish, mix the two together and yummy


  315. Sorry, Helen, your “stuffing” sounds perfectly dreadful. Honest. I mean it. Stuffing or dressing has to be with cornbread…and SAGE, for goodness sake. Still think you and Margaret are brilliant….just don’t agree with your stuffing. Big hug! 🙂


  316. I adore you two and wish that I was a member of your family. I’m be no trouble -honest – and I promise to help with the dishes. My family was from the South and so for me, it ain’t stuffin’ unless it’s cornbread stuffing.

    CornBread Stuffing
    2 loaves Corn Bread
    6 large celery ribs
    1 pound onions (about 2 large)
    1 pound sliced bacon
    1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, sage, rosemary, and/or marjoram or 2 tablespoons mixed dried herbs, crumbled
    1 cup Turkey Giblet Stock or chicken broth
    1/4 cup reserved fat from roast turkey or melted butter

    Preheat oven to 325° F. and butter a 4-quart baking dish.
    Cut corn bread into 1/2-inch cubes and dry in 2 large shallow baking pans in oven 20 minutes. Remove corn bread from oven and leave oven at 325° F. Coarsely chop separately celery, onions, and bacon.
    In a large, deep skillet sauté bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add celery and onions and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
    In a large bowl toss together corn bread and bacon mixture and transfer to baking dish. Stuffing may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered.
    Drizzle stock or broth over stuffing and bake, covered, 1 hour. Drizzle reserved fat or butter over stuffing and bake, uncovered, in upper third of oven 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.

    Drizzle stock or broth over stuffing and bake, covered, 1 hour. Drizzle reserved fat or butter over stuffing and bake, uncovered, in upper third of oven 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.


  317. Oh BTW if you love xmas songs that are a bit “alternative” Like “Me and Mrs. Claus” have a look at my blog, link is in the name to the left.



  318. Hi Girlz and boyz, merry merry whatever you celebrate! Most important, ENJOY!

    Here two of my favorites (no time for translation of grandma’s apple streusel cake yet, but it will come over the holidays!)

    Lumuba, (Hot Chaclate with Rhum)
    very simple very good, and excellent after a long walk in the cold:
    take a mug, pour 2 fingers of dark (brown) Rhum and fill up with hot chacolate, sweeten to taste. Enjoy!

    My stuffing (used for Quebec/Bavarian friendship wich is a stuffed porkroast with Maple sirup glacing and a Porto sauce) but I think it would work good with a turkey too:

    amount depends on size of bird

    take 2/3rds of apples and 1/3rd of sweet plumes
    mix with breadcrumbs and wet with maple sirup
    (should have good moist consistancy, but NOT liquide)
    add either fried bacon or I prefere diced proccioutto (or german smoked “Speck”, raw smoked bacon if you can get it)
    than rubb the inside with a bit of salt and pepper and than with a lot of ground nuts.
    add stuffing
    cook until bird is ready.

    Have a merry one



  319. Ladies, ladies, nuh uh. You know good Texas girls don’t use plain ol’ yeast bread for stuffing. We don’t even call it stuffing. You know it’s “dressing” and you know it’s made with cornbread. Tsk tsk tsk

    Love y’all!

    ;), you betcha


  320. Hearn,
    Are you sure you are defrosting the turkey fully? As much as I love stovetop stuffing, if cooked properly, a stuffed turkey is definitely the best.
    If you don’t defrost the turkey fully you can end up with a small dose of salmonella (I’m not sure if I spelled that right) to clean out your bowels.


  321. Toutay–have you tried celery root that way? It’s wonderful! Just have to get that disgusting outside off of it. My favorite combination is butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, and celery root with garlic and rosemary. mmmm

    Now, I always brined but I did the dry brine this year–just salted/peppered the bird and stuck him (her?) in a big plastic bag for two days. Rinsed him off, dried him and roasted. Best turkey I’ve ever made. And it made unbelievable gravy.


  322. Dona:

    In my house we love roasted root veggies!
    garlic, olive oil, rosemary, etc.
    They are wonderful and everyone eats every last bit of them.

    The Hearn:

    My husband is a turkey pro.
    Try baking 12 whole garlic heads. ( You might get a little high). Add butter to make a paste. Rub turkey under the skin with this, and then on the skin. Wonderful!!
    And yes, brined always turns out so moist!


  323. For Hearn


  324. Cheryl I am sorry that it does not print with the proper spacing! I don’t know why.


  325. What the F#*@???????


  326. cookie-press or spritz cookies-about 5 doz. sift together: 2 1/2cups all purpose flour,3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp.double acting baking powder, 1/2tsp. salt. Blend until mixture resembles course crumbs:1 cup butter Break into measuring cup: 1 egg If it does not measure1/4 cupadd water up to the 1/4 line .Stir into the crumb mixture and add !tsp. vanilla. Beat well then chill. Put dough thru a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. The dough should be pliable but if it becomes too soft rechill. Bake for 10 to12 minutes in a 350′ oven Cheryl- I hope this works. I found it in The Joy Of Cooking.. from1972 Ann


  327. Margaret, love, the reason you shouldn’t stuff a turkey is because in order to cook the stuffing to the point where you don’t spend all afternoon spackling the toilet with brown paste, you have to make the rest of the bird as dry as Oscar Wilde.

    Caveat: if you preheat the stuffing a bit, it’ll reach temperature just as the meat does, and then it’s balicious! (It also helps if you brine the turk.)


  328. Happy Holidays to both Margaret and Helen, as well as to all of you readers! I hope everyone enjoys the next few weeks with their loved ones! All of the recipes sound delicious!

    This really has nothing to do with this particular thread, but I had to see if anyone else has heard of this…


    Quite possibly the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard of, and disturbing as well!


  329. GrammyPam–we have vegetarians, too. I do a big pan of roasted vegetables–peeled and cubed butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, sometimes celery root. Toss them in some olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe herbs. Roast them at 400 until tender and brown–stirring once or twice while they cook. You can throw in onions or mushrooms or pretty much anything else and they’ll be good. Just don’t let them burn and you’ll be happy.

    The other thing I do is to thaw 5 boxes of frozen chopped spinach over a collander. Squeeze as much of the liquid out as you possibly can.

    Melt 4-6 tablespoons of butter and saute some chopped onion until translucent. Add 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir. Then add milk, cream, or half and half (about a cup and a half) and stir until thickened.

    Add the drained and squeezed spinach and 1/2 cup of parmesan. Put in a greased baking dish and top with more parmesan and some shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake at 425 until brown and bubbly.

    I do both of these as side dishes for the meat eaters and as a main course for the vegetarians. Everybody seems happy.


  330. Louise M….Great idea!!!


  331. We decided in our family that we don’t need any “things” for Christmas, but we all do need and like to eat! So that is it! We are exchanging food – cooked meals based on favorite family recipes with a few new ones added to the yummy list.

    So far I have made meat loaf with mushroom gravy, chicken marsala, roast pork and gravy, pot roast, beef barley soup, corn bread, Irish soda bread and pineapple cheese casserole.

    They are all packaged, labeled and dated and frozen – ready for a defrost and simple reheat. All the working couples are thrilled with the idea- and even old retirees like me! Iv’e been cooking up a storm and I don’t even like to cook!

    Yesterday at a pre-Christmas gathering, I received cedar plank salmon, Caribbean pork chops, sesame chicken, and grilled pineapple.

    I think this is going to work out. No more malling for stuff not needed!

    Pineapple Cheese Casserole

    2 large cans pineapple chunks -drained
    2/3 cup sugar
    5 tablespoons flour
    1/4 box (1 sleeve) Ritz Crackers -crushed
    1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    1 stick butter -melted

    Place pineapple chunks in ungreased casserole dish (8″x11″ approx.)
    Mix sugar and flour. Srprinkle over pineapple.
    Layer cheese and then cracker crumbs.
    Drizzle butter over crumbs.
    Bake 350* 35-40 min. Serve hot out of the oven.

    Great compliment with pork, ham, chicken, fish.
    Dresses up any simple meal.


  332. Love all the recipe’s. Here’s my Shrimp Dip recipe.
    2 cans tiny shrimp (drained)
    16 oz. sour cream
    1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix

    Mix dressing mix into sour cream, then fold in
    shrimp until combined.

    Super easy & great with potato chips.
    Happy holidays all.


  333. THANK YOU!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  334. Grammy Pam,

    It’s a product made from soybeans — I’ve heard it called “bean curd.”

    I’m not sure, but I think it was “invented” in the Far East, where soy is a BIG part of the diet.

    It often comes in little rectangular solids in the refrigerated part of the grocery store, although I’ve found it in little boxes under the brand name “Silken” in the non-refrigerated part. It serves as a source of protein for vegetarians, who have concocted numerous recipes and ways to serve it.

    My personal favorite is blended with fat-free pudding mix, nonfat dry milk, and skim milk to make a protein-rich, very low fat pudding. But some people grill it, cube it, and put it in salads and other recipes.

    As an aside for those enduring the hot flashes of menopause, I’ve read that a diet high in tofu can alleviate some or most of the symptoms, the reason being that tofu contains plant estrogens. Or you can just take soy pills instead.


  335. Cheryl they are Spritz cookies. Here is a receipe. I do not cook but these are some of my favorite and I have been known to make them. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 1/2 cups butter softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon no-color almond extract
    Makes: 7-8 dozen cookies.

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. In bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg milk, vanilla and almond. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool.


  336. And Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Aid Mubarak … or any greeting that you wish for the season to all!


  337. If anyone still wants to make candy for the holidays, this is fast, easy and, best of all, leaves no dishes to wash.
    Pretzel Turtles
    Three ingredients: Pretzel twists, Rollo chocolate caramel candies and pecan halves.
    On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the pretzel twists; place an unwrapped Rollo over the center and then slide sheet into 250 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Remove sheet and smoosh a pecan half into the soft Rollo. Cool (refrigeration helps this along), remove from sheet and store in closed container. Ta da!


  338. Whoop,s go overly enthusiastic and accidentally posted prematurely.

    Here goes again.

    Magic Mushrooms

    1 pkg Good Season dry Italian dressing mix
    1 lb (or more of mushrooms)

    Prepare the dressing mix as per package directions and drizzle over the washed raw mushrooms. Put everything into a plastic container that can be inverted (so that you can shake the mushrooms around in the marinade) and let marinate until serving. Drain marinade, put into a serving dish and if appetizers, put a bunch of toothpicks nearby.

    The longer they marinate, the soggier the mushrooms get. I personally like them a bit crisp, so I try to marinate no longer than about 1.5 hours.


  339. How wonderful to surf on in this morning and see a new post from M & H … and with recipes to boot.

    The bacon stuffing sounds wonderful … and yes, I too have been stuffing the bird for years … and not only have I never heard any complaints, but all have been well and healthy.

    Here’s an appetizer recipe (or you can use it as a side salad) that simply never fails.

    Magic Mushrooms


  340. What the hell is tofu??


  341. Merry Christmas, Margaret and Helen – and to everyone else!

    Grammy Pam – my son and I are vegetarian and bring our own main dish to my sister’s so she doesn’t have to worry about us. However – take Lucy’s sweet potato and apple recipe from above and add garlic, onions and lots of walnuts or small cubes of extra firm tofu. Dried cranberries brighten up the flavor as does a tablespoon of lemon juice. We like it savory rather than sweet so cumin and oregano rather than brown sugar.


  342. I need a recipe for the old fashion Christmas Cookies made with a “press”. Like a sugar cookie?? Does anyone know what I am talking about?? The dough goes into a long cylinder and there are various forms that you can use to make trees, snowmen, etc. I really need the recipe…help!!


  343. Helen & Margaret, may you have the happiest of holidays! You have made my year with this blog, ladies. I cannot now imagine a day without you two.

    The dressing recipe sounds AWESOME! Of course, bacon makes everything better.

    At our house, we start the day with a breakfast of corned beef hash and eggs.

    (feeds 2)
    2 c. of potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
    add to
    1 can of corned beef
    1/2 diced onion
    salt/pepper to taste
    a dash of Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning
    to a skillet with butter
    fry it up til you get “crusties”
    2 over easy eggs per person
    on top of a generous helping of hash

    Great way to start off a day!

    Blessings to all who enter. However you celebrate the holiday season, may you be blessed!

    Merry Solstice to my Pagan sisters/brothers!


  344. Jewish people eat bacon, too, unless they are kosher. Then they eat turkey bacon. And I suppose the vegetarians can find some sort of tofu bacon. Goes with the tofurky. No thanks, I’ll take the good stuff – nice and crisp.


  345. Sounds like the best stuffing ever! When that cholesterol build-up finally gets me, I’ll take a little warmth and comfort in in thinking that it was bacon stuffing that pushed me over the edge!

    Happy Holidays, ladies!


  346. Nice recipe for stuffing, even though I don’t eat pork, I can imagine how good it would be.
    I have a Vegetarian chestnut loaf recipe you can see here:

    I am no longer a vegetarian, but I like to make it once in awhile for a change and my brother-in-law is veggie, so it is now part of his present.

    Happy Holidays and all the best for 2009.
    A xx


  347. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Grandmas Helen & Margaret. I wish you and your families the best. Thanks for the stuffing recipe; I love bacon! You have been a blessing to all of us who faithfully read this blog everyday. We’ve become like babies and their bottles; gotta hav’em and don’t dare take it away! TOOTLES!


  348. Help! I have TWO vegetarians coming to my Christmas Dinner. This is a first for me!!! Any suggestions??


  349. Merry Christmas to you both. Thank you for bringing this website into the world.

    Enjoy the season!

    Peace to you and yours.


  350. Off Topic but a tag on from discussion meandering through “if the shoe fits”


  351. Nothing wrong with Vegetarians…leaves more meat for the rest of us!


  352. Merriest of Christmases to you both. You have brought great delight to my life through this blog, and I am thankful for the kindred spirits I have found in you. I’ll need to post a recipe later, I’m five minutes from heading out the door right now!



  353. Peace on Earth and…..
    Always believe in good will….

    I have no idea why my mother called it
    Monkey Bread…..but it sure was good on a cold Sunday morning before church.

    And easy! The whole family sat around the table and picked off the pieces….dripping in a gooey, brown-sugary glaze……..yum.


    Tubes of biscuit dough

    Cut individual round biscuits into four pieces and toss them in a covered tupperware with cinnamon and sugar. Pour all pieces in a bundt pan.


    More or less to your wish or need for more goo!
    Brown sugar
    some dark Karo syrup
    Melt in a pan or microwave in a dish and pour mixture over the dough in the bundt pan.

    Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes?

    Tip the bundt pan over onto a large plate and place in the center of the table.

    Provide forks, small plates and napkins. Enjoy!


  354. Happiest of holidays to you, Margaret and Helen. You are exactly what I want to be when I grow up (I’m a mere 61 now).

    These past 8 years have been horrible, but discovering your blog a couple of months ago made me laugh out loud again. Never take back what you said about Caribou Barbie! And now I rejoice with you at the results of November’s election, and enter the New Year with great hopes despite our tattered economy.

    As Mehitabel said to Archie: Cheerio, my deario, there’s a dance in the old dame yet.



  355. Happy holidays for everyone here….
    And wish you a Merry Christmas…

    Vegetarian is not bad, because it promotes us to keep healthy.


  356. A Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you both and to all our friends here!!!!!!!
    I have a vegetarian daughter.

    Morningstar Farms makes a great bacon and sausage product.
    There is no fat, but add more butter and your veggie friends and family can have a separate but delicious stuffing on their own!
    They could also bring it to be heated, saving you some work.
    Vegetable Lasagna is also a great way to something for everyone! Just saying!!!!


  357. Yummmm. Baaacon, baaacon.

    One of my favorite easy recipes with bacon is:

    Cut up 1/2 to 1 pound of bacon to bite size pieces, fry in a large deep sided non stick pan until cooked throughout. Add a head of cabbage, wedged and chopped. Toss until cabbage is soft and mixed in with bacon. Very delicious, half good for you (cabbage) and half bad for you (bacon). Salt to taste, but I usually don’t since bacon is salty to start with.

    I have a killer easy garlic/mayo grilled shrimp recipe, but I guess I’d better wait until summer to share it when the mainland grills come out for barbeques.

    President-elect Obama and his family are now in the Islands – hope I get to wave to them!

    Thanks Margaret and Helen and all other blog friends!


  358. Dear Helen and Margaret

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to both of you and your families (including the dogs and the bird).

    Thank you for making me laugh but more importantly, thank you for making me stop and think. You’re both treasures, worth far more than gold.

    Margaret, when I had a cat I wrapped Christmas prezzies for her so I love that you do it for your pets too.

    (Cape Town, South Africa)


  359. Happy Holidays, dear Margaret and Helen and all!

    Grandma Emma’s Baked Pierogis

    Dough- warm water, a little molasses, sprinkle on yeast and let sit til foamy, then add flour, a little oil and a bit of salt, knead to make dough, set aside. (1-1/2 c. water makes 1 loaf worth of dough).

    Filling- chop and fry bacon til crispy, saute minced onion and leeks with a couple cloves of minced garlic in bacon grease; add some parsley and savory, salt and pepper to taste.

    Roll dough thin, cut into circles, spoon filling in center and fold over, pinch edges to seal, brush with light cream and bake 35-40 min at 375.

    These store really well and are great food for road trips too!


  360. Hello, ladies! Here’s my recipe for pot stickers (or filled dumplings):

    First, you need to make the dumpling part–

    Put 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, then put a well in the middle of the flour. In a small measuring cup, crack open an egg and mix it with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water; when that’s all mixed together, put in the well of the flour and start mixing the flour into the egg mix until a dough is formed. The dough should be pliable and not overly wet. (If dough is too dry, add another 1/4 cup water at this time.) Roll into a ball and knead for five minutes, then let rest in a covered bowl for at least 30 minutes (longer if at all possible).

    After the dough has rested, put some of the leftover flour (if any) from the bowl onto a cutting board and roll your dough out on it. Keep rolling and flouring your dough, turning it over frequently so it doesn’t stick to the board, until it is as thin as you can get it. Makes 24 3″ squares (wontons!) or 18-odd circular wonton sheets.

    Once you’ve got the dough flat, you can freeze it for later or use it right away. Fill with whatever your heart desires, then fold the edges together, sealing with the liquid from another beaten egg, and drop into boiling water for at least five minutes. Yummy!


  361. OK, I have another, an appetizer that I loved, had recently, and replicated. Easy, again!

    large tortillas
    cream cheese
    taco seasoning

    black beans
    green onions, diced small (I would have loved this, but at my house this would’ve gone over like a lead balloon)
    whatever you like, diced small (tomatoes, black olives, etc.)
    sour cream

    Mix well the cream cheese with the seasoning can add sour cream to this if you’d like a smoother consistency. Spread thin almost to the edges of one tortilla. Add thin layer of other ingredients such as beans etc. as desired. Roll tight. Slice about 1/4 inch pieces. Repeat. Serve chilled with salsa.


  362. Here’s a very easy and delicious slow-cooker recipe to make if you want an extra meat or just to have going for when people need a little something to snack on:

    1 beef roast, any kind (better “fatty” cuts work great)

    french onion soup, 1-2 cans depending on roast size (meat does NOT need to be completely covered, or even close…maybe 1/5 covered to yield enough juice?)

    Several dashes Worchestershire sauce (never can get that spelling…optional, to taste)

    About 1/2 cup or so red wine, optional

    A whole bunch of sliced fresh mushrooms (again, optional….I said it was easy!)

    Buns and cheese…and yes, optional!

    Put your roast in the cooker, pour french onion soup over, add W-sauce, wine, and mushrooms if desired, slow cook on low for about 5 hours. Take meat out, slice thin, replace in cooker. Self-serve solo with juice (and mushrooms) or on buns with cheese.

    Have a wonderful holiday! Thank you for the great blogging, ladies. I’m looking forward to reading you in 2009.


  363. Happy Holidays Y’all!

    So here’s my recipe:

    D’s Super Special Cranberry Sauce

    1 can opener
    1 bowl
    1 can of cranberry sauce

    Open can of cranberry sauce with one can opener.

    Tip opened can above bowl.

    Serve as is.


  364. Peas, your holiday dinner sounds a lot like mine! I’ll think of you when I’m putting my lasagnas together.

    Happy layering and don’t forget to drink some of that wine before you pour it all into the sauce,



  365. I don’t really do recipes. It’s always been adjustable to your personal preferences.

    I’m making spinach lasagna.

    Marinara sauce (garlic a must) from scratch, (don’t forget the wine).

    Build lasagna with a mix of ricotta, mutz and parmesan cheeses, eggs and fresh basil/parsley. And of course spinach.

    Secret ingredient; saute spinach with ‘chunks’ of sweet onion.



  366. I mean, myself. No stopping myself. Merry Christmas!


  367. I already eat myself sick on stuffing. If I added bacon to it, there would be no stopping me.


  368. All these fantastic recipes showing up on M&H’s blog! I think I’ll print them out and make my own little cookbook!

    I will be starting a new online business soon. I sew and I make book covers. Maybe some of you would like a cover for a special M&H cookbook? LOL Check out my site for a few of my creations.

    Happy Holidays!
    (PS- I’m more of a sausage girl myself. Bacon, to me, is just ok..)


  369. I am gaining weight just looking at all these recipes!\

    Nestled and snuggling with two dogs in bed,
    while visions of chocolate mousse dance
    in my head.

    Night all…….


  370. I was lucky enough to have Christmas dinner with some dear friends and the meal was fabulous. The dessert was simple and finshed the meal nicely. Chocolate mousse. I’m sharing her recipe here for you and your other e-friends.

    I want to thank you both for being such an inspiration for alway being true to your own values and the benefits of speaking your mind.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    All the best,
    Duncan. BC

    Mountains of Chocolate Mousse

    12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
    6 egg yolks
    6 egg whites stiffly beaten
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    3/4 cup of almost boiling water

    Put chocolate chips and very hot water into a blender and whiz until smooth and the chips are melted. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and quickly re blend. Beat egg whites until very stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix. Nothing else needed, but a topping of lightly sweetened whipped cream or mascarpone cream with a little Triple Sec and orange zest is wonderful!


  371. Texas Belle – thanks for the recipe! I’m definitely gonna serve it at our Christmas Eve potluck! Merry Christmas and here’s wishing you a healthy healthy and happy New year!


  372. Thank you all for the good food ideas. We are all about the bacon around here. Sadly, I am sick and won’t be cooking this year for Christmas day. Here is a appetizer that is easy though and I will get my daughter to make it for us. It’s not a special day without the shrimp dip.

    Debra’s Shrimp Dip

    I can drained shrimp pieces
    1 carton soft cream cheese
    1/2 cup chopped onion (frozen is best)
    2 tabs. mayo
    1 teasp. lemon juice
    1 splash tabasco
    1 splash worchershire sauce
    cajun seasoning (Tony’s is best)

    mix everything and put out with anything (veggies or doritos)

    Happy Holidays my friends,

    Texas Belle


  373. Margaret, you are my kind of gal. I’m off to Hannafords!!!!


  374. Hi Maven,

    Are you here today?

    Thanks for the tips on italics and bold. Makes sense to me. I’ll try it next time if I can wrap my brain around the concept. I’m a little ‘Technology Challenged’!

    Probably won’t have time to comment until next year. I wish every one of you very Happy Holidays. Lets all get together and celebrate the New Year!!!! It’s gonna be a great one!!!!!!!!!!




  375. Stuffing without Sage??? I’ve never heard of such a thing….you must be mad! Please tell me you left out that ingredient…if not, you have missed life at it’s fullest, my dear. Sage. Trust me.


  376. Dear Margaret and Helen,
    Merry Christmas to you all and your families. I love you both.


  377. I’m putting bacon in my stuffing this year…sound delicious!

    I’ll add a recipe soon.

    Merriest of Christmases to Margaret and Helen! Thank you for all the joy you have added to each of our lives!


  378. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you both! Thanks so much for the sheer pleasure of reading your blog ! It has become a part of my day to check and see what you gals have to say! Looking forward to 2009 and what you both have to say……


  379. Ladies…I’m going to include a few of the recipes from this post with each Margaret & Helen T-shirt that I bought for stocking stuffers….Happy Holidays, Ladies….from your biggest fan!! 🙂


  380. Happy Holidays to both you lovely ladies!


  381. Thank you ladies. Happy holidays to you both, and to your families. I love the idea of that stuffing recipe. And buying a pie from Hannaford’s — that’s my kinda cooking! 😀 (My husband is the cook on holidays, the only time I get a break.) Now I can see I’m going to have to look through all the comments for even more recipes!! 😀
    Have a happy and healthy new Year too!


  382. What a fabulous blog with all the recipes! You have all made me so hungry, I’m CRAVING sweet potatoes! May all who come here be blessed with peace and joy and the love of our families — the human kind, the furry, fluffy, or feathered ones — all who are in our hearts whether they’re a hundred miles away or curled up at our sides. It’s a wonderful life if that’s what you choose to see. 🙂


  383. Recipes!

    My favorite drink: 1 liter ginger ale, 1 can Kerns peach nectar. Mix thoroughly and serve cold. Kids love it! (can substitute champagne for ginger ale, but I really prefer ginger ale)


    1 cup butter (3/4 cup oil if dairy allergies are involved)
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ginger
    2 3/4 cup flour (rice flour works nicely for gluten-free)

    mix together more or less in order given.

    1 tablespoon ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon or other sweet spice(s) as the spirit moves you
    2 to 4 tablespoons sugar

    mix together, starting with smallest amount of sugar, till it looks good to you.

    Roll dough into 1″ diameter balls, roll each ball in sugar/spice blend till covered. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets at 350F for 8 minutes. Let sit a minute or two and move to wire rack to finish cooling.

    Guaranteed 4 dozen; if you’re careful about the size, can get 6 dozen out of the recipe.

    As you can probably tell, I have a couple of allergies and intolerances to factor into my baking for friends and family.

    This is what I made for my berserker baking at work this year. They were a HUGE hit.


  384. Lucy – your recipe rang a few bells in my attic. . . the kind of apples are important – you want a more firm, crisp, tart apple – a good baking apple that will hold up to the oven and not turn mushy. Pick a McIntosh, a JonaGold or even a Granny Smith. The recipe I’ve used through the years also called for raisins, but I’ve tossed in cranberries and toasted hazelnuts too. Instead of brown sugar, I’ve tried a couple tablespoons of real maple syrup, once I tried just orange juice, and a couple of years ago, I splashed the whole thing with orange/cranberry juice. The kids like it – it gives a wee bit of sweetness without being cloying. It could be the raisins – try cranberries or golden currents. Or diced dates or apricots.


  385. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays, to both of you, your families, and the associated menagerie. Hope to see you back soon. We’ve had some beautiful, bright winter solstice days here in Alaska and way too many Christmas treats. For me, the dog, and the birds, that’s blessings indeed.


  386. Everything’s better with bacon! Thanks Helen!


  387. Oh I love you guys!

    Bacon yes Bacon!!!! Butter too!

    I agree with Margaret life is way to short and I am a lousy cook. The husband does a better job than I can! LOL

    Every grossry store I enter has a bakery and that is where I land!

    Cookies this year….well ssssh our little town has a cute new cookie store! That is all they make. I buy them throw’em in tins and voila instant baked goods!

    I don’t say I made them but don’t reveal my cookie source either!

    Hmmmm favorite receipe’s?

    Well it depends on which relatives show up.

    Let’s see, my side I go straight to the Vodka and raspberry cranberry juice in a tall glass and plenty of ice.

    His side Irish coffee they have never suspected that my great mood is from the best coffee ever. LOL

    Lousy cook but I mix a mean drink.

    When they all leave I am sober for another year!

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of the wonderful people I chat with on this blog! Bless Margaret and Helen for bringing us together!

    Sending Holiday (((Hugs))) to Grandma Katie!


  388. Wishing you both joy, happiness and health!!


  389. Grandma Sarah’s Corn Pudding:

    3 eggs
    2 c. whole kernel corn, well-drained
    1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 c. dry bread crumbs or panko
    2 T. butter, melted
    2 c. milk
    1/2 cup light cream
    1/4 cup finely minced green onions
    1/4 c. finely crumbled bacon bits (optional)

    Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 1 1/2 Qt casserole dish (grease or spray lightly with cooking spray) Beat eggs until they are light and fluffy. Stir in corn, sugar, bread crumbs, and butter. Add milk, cream, onions, and bacon bits. Mix well. Pour into prepared casserole. Place dish into pan of hot boiling water. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until custard is set. Garnish with parsley, bacon bits, and tops of green onions. (Serves 6 )


  390. Margret: I am VERY jealous.

    I wish I could just have a ‘small’ Christmas Holiday. I grew up with big family get togethers at my house, had to always share my new toys, etc. I was happy to do so, but now I find I feel much more at ease when I get to sit home on a Holiday and just relax – I so rarely get to do that on any day.

    This year, as many in the past, I will be with my in-laws. They do all the cooking, so I have no special recipes to share, but the food they serve is good, and the love is felt throughout the house.

    The only down side is that they are Fox-news fans and I will be subjected to 24 hours of Rush and company. This would be OK except that I expect to hear small jabs at my liberalism throughout the home and because of the etiquette I will not be in a position to say much in retort. Oh well, I guess I can forgive at this time of year – right?

    Anyway, have a great holiday, and happy days all year round.

    Peace on Earth, good will toward man.

    ~D in D


  391. Happy Holidays to you both. I hope your Christmas celebration with family, dogs, and the bird are the best.

    Our family has grown so large that we have multiple gatherings. Once the kids grow and have their own families, we have to learn to share them with others. No matter, watching the little ones enjoy the magic of the holiday is worth getting up for.

    Peace in the new year.


  392. You almost got it right. Needs cornbread to give it body & texture. To much “whte bread” & it feels & acts like a sponge. If you get serious about stuffing then add about 4-6 oysters. But one step at a time, cornbread first!


  393. Merry Christmas everyone, especially Helen and Margaret,

    Grandma Katie, I flew from Juneau to Portland, OR and Washington and Oregon have more snow and weather issues than Juneau does.

    We have 14 inches of snow in Portland today. The car is parked and I am being lazy.

    Wish all well!


  394. All the best Grandma Katie…Seasons Greetings and hugs- Ann


  395. God Bless you both and may we all be here next year together, celebrating a new and better America with all the dreams that come along with it.

    Happiest of Holidays to all….


  396. Sweet Potato Casserole
    I don’t much care for candied yams or sweet potatoes, but I found this recipe about 25 years ago and love it – can’t get my family to eat it for some reason, so I serve it to my friends, who all seem to love it. Also, I can’t find the original recipe so everything here is now a variation on what I remember from the recipe and you can add or subtract whatever you want and adjust quantities based on the size of your crowd:

    Get REAL sweet potatoes from your grocer’s produce department (this just isn’t as good with with frozen and you can forget about trying canned)
    Ditto for the apples, just buy whatever kind you like to cook with
    You should have equal parts apples and sweet potatoes. Pare and cut-up the sweet potatoes and apples and put in baking dish.
    Sprinkle with raisins.
    If you want, you can sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, add any nuts you prefer and put butter or margarine pats on it. It’s your recipe now – add anything you want that goes well with sweet potatoes – just promise me you won’t turn it into candied yams with marshmallows on top!

    Cover and put in a 350 degree oven for a couple of hours. You can cook it in the same oven with your turkey if you have room.

    I would be interested to know if anyone else can get their families to eat this wonderful dish. I’m still trying to figure mine out.


  397. What Greytdog said! 🙂


  398. Have a wonderful Christmas, Grandma Katie – We Love you!!!! And have a most loving New Year!!!!


  399. The bacon stuffing sounds great.

    There is a great food/cooking blog w/fairly easy recipes:

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!


  400. To Helen and Margare t, a very Merry Christmas adn so many thanks for your” Rants”. When I rant to my friends I call it being on my soap box.
    To all my new found friendif I called y ou all by name the list would take me a very long time to type!
    Finding th is blog has been a exciting experience. I begin m y morning with reading the rants and comments.
    I now residei in a Board adnCare REsidence where am fortunate enough to have mycomputer.
    There are only 5 in residence at this time, I am the baby at 79.
    Three of the ladies have Alzheimers and are in late 80’s. I call this site physical therapy for myself
    as it keeps my brain active!
    and the typing is good for my right hand. ( a stroke one year ago)
    Last night a good friend and her family took me on boat tour to see all the lights_fabulous!
    Hope you all here have a wonderful Holiday Season.Hope that the Alaskans are not snowed in somewhere with all the bad weather all over the country. To cover everyone all of you and their beliefs, I wish each and everyone of you-

    Seasons Greetings.
    Grandma Katie


  401. I celebrate a little like both of you. The 23rd we celebrate with the grandkids (4 of them) and my 2 sons and daughters (in-law). We order pizza and salad and usually brownies – after all it is the kids night. The 24th is my quiet day and night and the Christmas is a toss-up – some years I stay home others I go to a big family party.
    My recipe is Pineapple Angel Food Cake.

    Use an angel food cake mix. Add a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple (nothing else). Stir until smooth. Pour into a greased pan (I usually use a loaf pan). Bake according to directions on the cake box. Let cool – it is good plain but you can also frost with cool whip. It is really yummy.


  402. There’s a recipe for cranberry chutney on my site, that’s fabulous with everything through fall and the holidays….when I was a vegetarian, I still used it with stuffed squash. I was never a cranberry relish fan, and after someone gave me this, it’s been a mainstay of my household ever since…hope someone enjoys it! Happy Holidays to all!


  403. Margaret. Helen: According to Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic for Vogue magazine and frequent judge on Iron Chef America, bacon is a major food group. I concur.

    Even when turkey is the main dish, we manage to get bacon into the hors d’ouvres. We call them rimaki (which traditionally also contains chicken livers, which we omit).

    Drain cans of whole water chestnuts and pat dry.
    Wrap each water chestnut with 1/3 of a stripe of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    Bake in a 400-450 degree oven, draining off the fat if necessary, til crisp and delicious and the house smells of bacon. Eat as soon as they don’t burn your mouth. Yumm!

    In our family, we have Christians, atheists and reformed Jews (who eat port) so we can easily go through a pound of bacon this way!

    Happy holidays and a safe and sane New Year (the happy part begins on January 20!)


  404. Love your site. Always makes my day when you have a new post.
    Will have to try the bacon dressing.
    Only thing better than a good dressing is a good apple pie.
    Merry Christmas


  405. hello helen! u forgot to add muslims as they also avoid pork. i dont know how many muslims come here, but im muslim…and i love ur blog (tho i wont be trying the recipe:)


  406. I, too, love stuffed turkey. No one I know cooks it that way, so one of these days I will just have to suck it up and do the cooking myself.

    And Margaret…I love your pie recipe. I use it myself.

    Happy everything to you…and Merry Christmas!



  407. Happy Holidays!

    An for a sweet treat, here’s my mother’s (82 year-old Elsie Benevides) walnut square recipe:

    Ready in: 30-60 minutes
    Makes 2 dozen

    1 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


    Heat oven to 350. Coat the sides of an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment. Combine the sugar, vanilla and egg in a mixing bowl, stirring until smooth.

    Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add this to the sugar mixture, stirring well. Stir in the walnuts.

    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool in the pan before cutting.


  408. I get the vegetarian holiday meals from both of my daughters-if I see another piece of ‘chicken’ made from mushroom protein, I’m going on a rampage.

    Happy holidays to you and yours.


  409. Hey, Margaret, Jewish people like bacon too, just don’t tip off the Rabbi.


  410. Yum… there are some great recipes here!
    I love the idea of bacon stuffing and I know I will be making it… even if I don’t do a bird.

    Wishing everyone a Safe, Happy and Peace filled Holiday Season !


  411. 1 part peach schnapps
    1 part orange juice
    1 part lemonade

    Mix equal parts of each ingredient in a highball glass, top with ice, and serve.

    Yeah, baby.

    Merry Christmas, girls. I hope you both have a most wonderful holiday. 🙂


  412. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to America’s favorite Grandmas! Thank you for opening up your hearts and minds to all of us. (and BTW, according to a Rabbi friend, some Jews do eat “kosher” bacon but they just don’t talk about it!) Hoping your holidays will be filled with laughter, love, family, and friends! Be sure to take time to savor the pie!


  413. Hey, not all Jews keep kosher, you know.

    Posted a link to you here, and Merry Christmas to you both!


  414. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas however you spend it. We all have a very hopeful few years to look foward too!

    btw – I’m a vegetarian and do miss bacon and ham but manage just fine. 🙂


  415. Potato Latkes(kosher & vegetarian) Ingredients:5 large peeled potatoes.1 large onion.3eggs.1/3cup flour.1tsp.salt.1/4tsppepper.3/4cup oil for frying grate potatoes&onion on the fine side of a grater, or in a food processor.(not as good) Strain grated potatoes&onion through a colander pressingout excess water. Add eggs,flour, and seasoning. Mix well Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a skillet. Lower flame and place 1 large tablespoon of batter at a time into hot sizzling oil & fry on 1 side for approx.5 minutes untilgolden brown. Turn over & fry the other side for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain!! Continue with the remaining batter. Add oil as needed. Serve with applesauce on the side.-4-6 servings.


  416. Peanut Butter Kisses
    I won a contest with these and people always want the recipe–

    3/4 cup white karo syrup
    3/4/ cup white sugar
    1 18 oz jar crunchy Jiff
    2 cups Special K cereal
    30 Hershey kisses—unwrap before starting—or use M&M’s
    Heat Sugar and syrup to boil and boil for EXACTLY 1 minute—remove and stir in peanut butter and cereal—spoon onto wax paper and immediately top with Kiss—seriously these are the easiest cookies and so good–
    Ladies, have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year—-


  417. End of Days?

    Movement Conservatism Death Watch

    Human Events (Coulter) declares that Sarah Palin is the conservative of the year, not because of her incisive political mind or populist charisma, but because she could “drive liberals crazy”:

    The Council on Foreign Relations turns “loony liberal” by slamming Bush:


  418. Oreo Truffles

    1 package plain oreos, smashed to smithereens
    1-8 oz. pck. cream cheese, softened

    Mix cream cheese in with oreos – use your hands! When a sticky mess can be formed into one big ball, stick it in the fridge for an hour or so.

    Melt chocolate chips w/ a bit of crisco solid style (I stick about an inch of water in a pan, get it up to boiling, then top it with another pan that has the chocolate and crisco in it.

    Now, roll oreo mass into smaller balls, dip in chocolate and cool on wax paper. I usually put wax paper on cookie sheets and then pop them all in the freezer.

    These are best eaten frozen or at least chilled.


  419. Delightful……… two and your very politically incorrect dressing. It reads a bit like my gramma’s dressing: Day old bread torn up. Butter, to moisten, celery, onion, and sage. Then you add salt to taste. She must not have been able to taste well, for she kept on adding salt till I thought it delicious. The salt is the trick.


  420. Bacon makes anything taste good! I get my husband to eat green beans by cooking them with bacon. 🙂

    Stuffing is my fave Thanksgiving dish; I’ll have to try out your recipe. Yummy!


  421. Totally agree about the pie from Hannaford’s. They dost be good. (Yes, I live in Florida and I know about Hannaford. I worked a summer job in ME and stayed with my grandparents)


  422. yum ~ yum ~ YUM!!! BACON!!!!! will try the stuffing this year ::: wiping drool marks of the key board :::

    MERRY CHRISTMAS Margaret & Helen ~ and as Kinky Friedman here in Texas says “May the God of your choice Bless You!”


  423. Bacon in stuffing? Adopt me!!!


  424. Happy Holidays everyone!

    My Mom always said that when you couldn’t think of a good gift people will always love cash or beef.

    I personally am in love with bacon and real butter.

    See you next year!


  425. Bacon-eating vegetarian here. (*sheepish wave*) It’s just too yummy to give up. Plus, it’s completely unrecognizable as pig, especially the way I cook it (crispy like popcorn).

    Merry Christmas, Helen and Margaret!

    And thanks for the Crock-Pot bread recipe, Psychedelikat. That sounds REALLY good. (*scribble, scribble*)

    Here’s what I’m making for Christmas dinner. It’s meatless, but my carnivorous family is demanding it! (It’s that good.)

    Cheesy Lasagna

    1/2 c. chopped onion
    3 cloves minced garlic
    olive oil
    16 oz. tomato sauce
    12 oz. tomato paste
    1 1/2 c. hot water
    1 tsp. dried basil
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
    10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
    10-oz. pkg. silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu brand because it’s so soft.)
    3 oz. grated parmesan cheese
    3 eggs
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 lb. uncooked lasagna noodles
    2–3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
    2–3 c. shredded muenster cheese

    Preheat oven to 350°F.
    In medium skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Reserve 2/3 c. tomato sauce. Stir in remaining tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and herbs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 min.
    In medium bowl, mash and mix spinach, tofu, parmesan, eggs, and salt together with a large fork.
    Mix shredded cheeses together in bowl.
    In a 13″ x 9″ pan, spread reserved tomato sauce. Layer 1/3 each of noodles, spinach mixture, sauce, and cheese. Repeat 2 more times.
    Cover pan with foil and bake about 45 min., until hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake about 10 more min., until cheese starts to brown. Let stand 5–10 min. before serving.

    Serves 12.


  426. Dearest Helen & Margaret~
    I just love ‘listening’ to both of you. I am sending you lots of thanks for your wisdom, candor and especially your humor over the past months–and loads of love as well.

    May you both have a wonderful and warm holiday filled with love of family (even if family is 4-legged or has wings).


  427. Yum bacon. You’re right – can’t go wrong with bacon. They should have bacon-scented air freshners… smells better than that vanilla mango crap they peddle.


  428. I don’t think that what you eat has anything to do with whether you believe in Jesus or not. Some people just believe that it is wrong to eat animals.
    Myself, the more meat the merrier. Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Ham, Bison, and especially Beef. It’s all good.
    Happy Holidays all! No matter what religion or non-religion you practice or don’t practice. Have an excellent one… 🙂


  429. I, too, am a fan of the bacon. I teach middle school drama and we do “Secret Holiday Buddies” with our colleagues. The name I pulled this year was a pal of mine who teaches math. He’s also a Jewish vegan! Eliminated a lot of options I had thought about for gifts…including my Christmas tree-shaped pork chops 🙂 Happy holidays, ladies!


  430. Oh, and Happy Holidays everyone! Hope it’s yummy and fulfilling, even if you go without bacon… 😉


  431. Here’s a yummy recipe for crock pot bread. The bread turns out so moist and perfect! I got the base recipe out of the “Crock Pot” recipe book, but tweaked it a bit.

    Banana Strawberry Pecan Bread
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup diced, fresh strawberries
    1/2 cup sliced, fresh bananas
    2 teaspoons dried orange rind
    2/3 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons butter (not the margarine or light butter crap).
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    A little cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I never measure, just sprinkle what I think is a good amount)

    Coat 4 1/2 quart crock pot with cooking spray.
    Blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in medium bowl. Mix in pecans and set aside.

    Combine fruit and orange peel in separate medium bowl; pour boiling water over the mixture and stir. Add sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla.

    Add the flour mixture to the fruit mixture and beat with electric mixer on low until well blended.

    Pour batter into crock pot. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/4 hour to 2 hours, or until edges begin to brown and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. (I just use a fork)

    When done, remove the stonewear pot from the cooker and cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes.

    Remove the bread from stonewear pot and cool completely on rack.
    So, those are the directions. I like to play around with the basic bread recipe. Sometimes I add chocolate chips and nothing else. Sometimes I add different spices, like ground cloves and ginger, with cranberries and mandarin oranges.

    Needless to say, my husband has enjoyed the first four months of our marriage very, very much!


  432. Happy Holidays Magaret and Helen! For 2009 I wish you peace, love and happiness.


  433. Rose…don’t you know that most vegetarians don’t believe in Jesus?


  434. Bacon makes everything taste good. And
    I mean everything.


  435. Hey. What is your beef with vegetarians? Pardon the pun.


  436. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Whatever just be happy.
    Margaret you’re right, life is too short to spend all my time cooking when I can buy it.
    Stepson and family coming on Christmas Eve and I plan to feed them turkey and ham subs on paper plates. It’ll be a make your own so that I can enjoy myself then and not have to worry about a lot of clean-up later.
    Helen your stuffing sounds great.
    First year ever I’m on a diet. *sigh*
    Take care all and enjoy yourselves.


  437. My father in his mid70’s decided he really always had a passion for cooking and just denied it for 60+ years. So he now reads cookbooks like novels!
    May everyone be safe, warm and cozy this season.
    And feel free to send me all your leftovers!


  438. Miss Helen, I’ve told my friends I should adopt you as my grandma and here is further proof. Bacon. My food motto is the big three; everything is better with the big three… bacon, butter or beer. You can add garlic or cheese but really, bacon, butter or beer and you can’t go wrong.

    Thank you for the many smiles. I wish you both health and happiness in the new year.


  439. Oh, by the way,
    Happy holidays to you ladies!
    *big hug*


  440. Graham “snowballs”

    Graham crackers
    condensed milk
    chocolate chips (crushed)
    powdered sugar

    1. mix the first 3 ingredients together in a bowl and roll into a ball with your palm.
    2. done!
    3. sprinkle with powdered sugar for the “snowball” effect.

    The perfect holiday dessert for college students who can even screw up cutting an apple.


  441. Happy holidays to you both!



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