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Hey Family Guy!  Get a CLUE for Halloween!

Hey Family Guy! Get a CLUE for Halloween!

        The Griffin Residence 31 Spooner Street Quahog, Rhode Island —————————————————— —————————————————————- Meet The Griffin’s L to R:  Chris, Meg, Peter, Lois, Stewie, and Brian ——————————————————- Meet The Whann’s L to R  Sparky, Gordon, Spooky Lou, and Julie ——————————————————— Happy Halloween Are 

Barefoot Beach Teas

Barefoot Beach Teas

        Welcome to Barefoot Beach Teas I got the idea about 3 years ago to create a nice tea and have it look like the beach.  I even thought of putting some sort of seashell candy inside of the tea so that 

The Pot Thickens…  Musings of an Amateur Cook

The Pot Thickens… Musings of an Amateur Cook

 

 

 

 

 

Hi!  Welcome! 

So happy to have you here!

My name is Julie Lancaster-Whann and welcome to my:

The Pot Thickens…  Musings of an Amateur Cook

So, what makes me an ‘Amateur?’  Easy!  I don’t get paid!

And, because I don’t get paid you have every right to believe my words as being sincere because no one is paying me to sell you something.

I do not have a degree in the Culinary Arts like my husband, Gordon, but I do have a PHD in Life Experiences.  I’ve pretty much been eating for the past 59 years.  Well, there was that bout of anorexia that I had in high school where I was drop dead skinny gorgeous!  (From lack of food.)  But, that only lasted for a year or two.  And there was that eating disorder I had that lasted a few decades.

I hope to make this blog post fun and informative and I hope you will tune in occasionally to see what I have to say.

So, kick your shoes off and pull up a chair.  Wine is mandatory here btw, so fill that wine glass.  If you don’t have a wine glass and are using some regular kitchen glass?  OMG!  Then go out and buy one!  We have standards here, ya know!

Very sincerely,

Julie

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Me, with my Easy Bake Oven, age 5

What more proof do you need that I am qualified to blog about food?

I was also a Candy Cane aficionado for obvious reasons.

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I have been wanting to start some sort of blog post about food and kitchen related/food related interests that I have.  I never knew where to place in my website these things.  Which is why I created this post.  I am very excited to write about it here.  I hope you are too.  🙂

One of my favorite pizza’s I buy from Sprout’s. 

It’s an Italian Sausage.

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Blog Post Musings Start Here

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CURRENTLY MARINATING IN MERLOT

(Myself, not some recipe.)

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Sushi, Always a Favorite

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September 20, 2020

The Pot Thickens…. LITERALLY!

I couldn’t not post a recipe of ours cooked in a pot that was literally thickening without posting it here……

Thus, The Pot Thickens

This is a delicious Drunken Clam Chowder that Gordon and I created starring some Clam and Corn Fritters with an accent of Fried Clams topped with Bacon.

Clam and Corn Fritters

We created this Drunken Clam Chowder for our Family Guy Halloween post, in honor of The Drunken Clam.

The recipe will be on our Family Guy Halloween post. 

But until then, The Pot Thickens…..

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August 2, 2020

SALADS

I love salads! 

They are healthy, delicious, beautiful, crunchy, everything that I love about good food.

I love the alien looking Romanesco.

Salads are also very filling to me. 

I’m not one of these ‘salad with dinner’ kind of person. 

I am a’ Salad FOR Dinner’ kind of person.

I also love eating a variety of lettuce leaves.

The more the merrier. 

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Toasting some Pine Nuts….

Adding Hard Boiled Eggs and my favorite Manchego Cheese….

And lots of croutons.  My weakness.  These are Pumpernickel croutons.

But my biggest weakness is in the creamy salad dressings.  Oil and Vinegar just doesn’t cut it for me.  Sometimes it does when I am in an herby Italian kind of mood.  But most of the time I prefer the richer salad dressings.  I discovered this one and now it is a favorite.

My new favorite salad dressing. 

I had to get this image online because we ate ours so quickly I never got to photograph the jar.

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Whether in a bowl or a plate, I am so there!

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🙂

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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Our Beautiful Basil from our Herb Garden

Fresh Herbs for Dinner

Gordon’s Spaghetti Dinner on the Left, Mine on the Right

Eaten with our new favorite vegetarian meatballs.

I like to share products that we come across and enjoy.  We don’t eat red meat but we decided to try these and we love them!  Looks like now we can have meatballs with our spaghetti.

My Happy Dinner Plate

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July 21, 2020

Cheese Stuffed Pepperoncini

I love sharing delicious food products that I come across.

It was before July 4th. and I was looking for pickle/relish foods that we had not tried before when these cheese stuffed pepperoncini popped up on the screen when I was ordering online.  That red jar looked delicious so I ordered one.  I was so hooked!   So was Gordon!  So was Brodie!  That’s when the next time I did our grocery shopping online I ordered several more.  They are excellent to eat with our favorite roasted garlic/Feta Cheese/Italian rustic bread/sundried tomatoes/ etc.  A great addition to any time you would eat a pickle.  The oil is very hot and but so nice that I would love to fry and egg in that oil, or marinate some Feta Cheese in the oil to be eaten with some great chewy bread.

Our new favorite super-duper delicious food!

They taste great with a sandwich too:

p.s.  We love sending food items that we come across to people that we love for Christmas.  And sort of introduce them to it.  Most people that we know are only interested in food for Christmas.  This will make a nice addition.  Time to stock up!

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June 26, 2020

The Baconator, A Love Affair

My Baconator, not it’s real name, was purchased by me last year from an old favorite restaurant of mine in Tennessee through the mail.  It is a lovely piece of pottery, handmade by artisan’s from the area of Pigeon Forge.  I love it and we use it quite often.

The Old Mill Restaurant

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Baconator, and many other pottery and food items can be purchased here.  This is one of my most favorite restaurants in the south for good southern cooking.  Whenever I go I always order the Corn Chowder with Corn Fritters.

Dollywood

as in Dolly Parton’s, Dollywood

(This is from the mid 90’s when Dollywood wasn’t as grand as it is now and every employee in the park was related to Dolly Parton.  I even went to high school in Sevierville with a few Parton’s.  It’s a big family.)

Me on the water ride. 

We were visiting friends in Sevierville and we went to Dollywood one day.

That is little Veronica and I’m holding little Brodie.

I thought that since I was talking about the pottery and The Old Mill that I would post a few old photos.

I love making bacon in this thing.  I just drape the bacon all around it and place it into the microwave.  The cooking time depends on your microwave and the thickness of the bacon you are cooking.  My pottery also came with no instructions.  Typical on the south, we’re just supposed to know these things.  Well, I managed and all of us love it!

Potato Skins with Butter, Cheeses, and BACON!

🙂

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June 5, 2020

Bowls and Platters

These Remind me of St. Augustine, Florida

Gordon Brought ALL of These From Overseas

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June 2, 2020

“Is There Something Wrong With Your Food?”

Me:  “No.  It’s Just How I Eat.”

I suppose that I should have named this post ‘The Pot Thickens….  Musing of an Amateur Cook and Eater, but I didn’t so…..  I guess I just won’t worry about it then.  However, I would like to share with you something that I have heard quite often throughout my life where my eating is concerned.  “Is there something wrong with your food?”  And my answer is always, “No.  It’s just how I eat.”

I am a picky eater.  Not so much in what I eat, but how I eat it.

  1.  I usually don’t like the middle of a sandwich so I tend to eat around it.  To me the middle is just too thick with food.  I like a nice ratio of bread and filling and not a lot of filling and a little bit of bread.
  2.  I never bite against the grain of a Trisket cracker.  (Nothing to do with superstition.  I walk under ladders.  I open umbrellas in the house, etc. etc.  but I will NEVER bite against the grain of that cracker.

3.  Although Mackenzie seemed horrified when she saw me spreading peanut butter on potato chips, it is something I do quite often.  Peanut butter is my most favorite food in the entire world and I pretty much put it on many things.  Not just potato chips.  Although my favorite chip flavor that goes with peanut butter, is barbeque.  My mother would buy the largest tub of peanut butter when we were growing up.  It had to have been a good 5 pound bucket.  We would go through that 5 pound bucket in one week.  It was the cheapest brand of peanut butter too.  JFG was it’s name.  But, it was so cheap because it was real peanut butter and not loaded with sugar like all the other brands were.

4.  I only like to eat green bananas.  I will choke down a yellow one when I have to because I do get foot and leg cramps if I don’t eat one everyday.  But I am a happy camper when I sit down to eat my green banana.  (I started this habit in Hawaii.  I think because we had a banana tree in our backyard and all the bananas would go ripe at once.  All 60 of them!  So, I would try and eat as many as I could so that none went to waste so I started feasting on the green ones.)

5.  If given the choice of having something perfectly prepared for me to eat, or having it be a little charred, I’ll choose the charred one any day of the week.  You know, just like Mom used to make.

6.  I will NOT eat a runny egg!  Because they are gross.  When Gordon cooks me eggs if there is the least bit of “creamy” to them then I won’t eat them.  I also boil my eggs when making deviled eggs until they are powder.  Perfectly delicious powder.  🙂

7.  I don’t eat red meat.

8.  I mainly eat with a fork because I prefer to slide food into my mouth.  I hate using a spoon unless it is for soup.  I just don’t like the thought of inserting that spoon into my mouth and grasping it.  When I do use a spoon it’s mainly just to pour soup in my mouth and not embrace it the way so many people do.

9.  I tend to eat Top Ramen noodle soup uncooked.  We picked up that habit in Hawaii.  When the local children need a snack their mother’s will just give them one of the noodle packets and they eat it while they play outside.  So do I.  🙂

10.  Whenever we make mashed potatoes I always make sure we have green peas with them because I love it when they touch and I get peas stuck in my potatoes.  But not too many peas.  I prefer a ratio of 3/4 potatoes and 1/4 peas.  That’s important.

11.  I use two coffee mugs every morning.  I will not drink my two cups of coffee out of the same mug in the mornings.  I prefer a fresh mug.

12.  Soda just tastes better when you drink it out of plastic as opposed to glass.  Therefore, I won’t drink a soda if I don’t have a plastic glass to drink it out of.

13.  I wash my hands about 100 times a day which is why I rarely get sick.  (However during a highly contagious pandemic I don’t have as much control over my health right now as I would like.)

14.  I only like melted chocolate or creamy chocolate.  I don’t like hard chocolate and will pass a hard chocolate bar up in a second.

15.  Gordon “alleges” that I am like a roach when eating fried chicken.  I just pick all around the outside of it and leave the inside alone.

16.  I only drink red wine and I only drink it with a straw.  Me, Brodie and Mackenzie do that.  That way our teeth stay white and not stained.  And I only drink wine from a wine glass.  Brodie and Mackenzie aren’t as picky as me.  Gordon doesn’t drink much wine.  He tends to stick to beer.

17.  I LOVE Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter Cereal and have since I first tasted it when I was about 9.

18.  I LOVE SPAM!!!!!!  (FRIED, OF COURSE)!

19.  I have a love/hate relationship with mayonnaise.  I rarely put it on a sandwich because to me it’s gross.  But, I do put it in my Deviled Eggs, Potato Salads, Macaroni Salads, etc.  (It’s because when we were young my step-brother knew mayonnaise grossed me out so he would put it on a knife and lick it off as if he were some mercenary out in the jungle and had just killed an enemy, then licking their blood off the knife.)  So you see, I have no choice but to hate it!  He also used to mix Mayonnaise with Peanut Butter.  Thank God he didn’t ruin peanut butter for me!

20.  I hate cracklin’.  My step-father grew up poor in Texas and they would put cracklin’ in cornbread so he would have my mother do it occasionally.  And when they did I would not eat it.  I don’t like gnawing on food, much less a piece of fat.

21.  I LOVE SALTINE CRACKERS!!!

22.  If I get hungry during the day but I don’t want to really eat something big then I will eat a fork full of peanut butter and that will satisfy my appetite until dinner.

23.  I also chew funny.  I found out last year from my dentist that my mouth is deformed.  That actually explains a lot.  I’ve always had dentists to get frustrated with me when they wanted me to bite down so they could try and fit a crown, or take x-rays, only to get upset with me because things didn’t line up like they should.  Therefore they blamed me for not doing it right.  Finally, I found a dentist that realized the problem and now works with me instead of against me when these things come up.

Well, I guess this is all for now.  If I think of something else I will list it here.  If you are just as weird as I am then obviously you are not alone.  🙂

Julie

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June 1, 2020

Make Ahead To Freeze

When the Coronavirus Pandemic was heading our way and we were entering into a lockdown as a society I worried about what would happen to our food supply.  Will there be enough eggs?  Milk?  Butter?  Meats?

It was at that time that I started baking for breakfast!

I just felt that I needed to make ahead breakfast foods to freeze for a later date.  Little quiche’s.  Perhaps with some sausage, spinach and cheeses.  So, I did!  I’m still keeping them frozen, for now.

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MAY 31, 2020

Brodie’s Foods

Our Son Brodie, The Amateur Cook

 Brodie Recreating and Even Exceeding Gordon’s Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

Brodie Making Gordon’s Hawaiian Potatoes

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Brodie and his Girlfriend Mackenzie Recreated This Ultimate Tots Recipe From one of their Favorite Restaurants.

Brodie and Mackenzie’s Fried Steak

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Brodie Making Carbonara

This is probably his most favorite food he likes to eat and cook.

This was so delicious!

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Mackenzie and Brodie Recreating a Favorite Pasta Salad Recipe

Brodie in the Kitchen and Me in the Background on my Computer

Brodie Did an Excellent Job on This Pasta Salad

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OMG!  THE Best Banana Pancakes!

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And Lastly, Brodie and Mackenzie’s Italian Chicken

These are but a few of their many delicious recipes!

The reason that I am posting these delicious foods that my son and his girlfriend are making, is because they are so very talented and creative where food is concerned.  Their foods are delicious!  But, It really is up to them to write down all these recipes.  I have enough to do with all that Gordon and I have going on. 

But what I wanted to point out to you is that Brodie can watch a video on Youtube on how to cook something and then he can cook it in the exact same way as the chef in the video, Brodie can also expand on that recipe making it into something better, and Brodie can make it look good all at the same time. 

Mackenzie has also really grown creatively and the two of them make such a great team.  Just like Gordon and I complement each other in our creativity.

These two really do have a food future.  I hope they expand on it and do something with it.  Perhaps some day I will write down their recipes.  But in the meantime, I’ve got plenty to do as it is.

I do love that Brodie seems to understand the importance of carrying on our recipes.

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Chopsticks Mandatory

Fried Noodles

Cascade of Noodles

Click Here For:  Whann Way Aloha

Just scroll down this post until you come to our noodle recipe.  It really is good and you can add whatever you like to it.  It is up to your own personal tastes.  That’s how all recipe’s should be.

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May 30, 2020

My Expired Casserole

Last May, 2019, I was going through our food pantry to try and clean it out and get rid of some expired foods.  BTW:  They didn’t used to put expiration dates on food.  Maybe they did for dairy and butcher products, but not for anything else.  It was more of a judgement call by the cooks preparing the foods.

So, as I was tossing all these food products into the trash and looking at all that money we spent on food being thrown away and wasted, I decided to try and cook with some of them just to see.  After all, how does anyone know the exact date that the food product is no good?  Do they consult a crystal ball?

I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and some steamed broccoli so I decided to throw together a casserole using some of my expired foods.  Not anything that had been expired for longer than a few days and even a few months.

Although you cannot see in the photo above, I cooked a box of Stove Top Stuffing and then when it was done I placed it in the bottom of the greased casserole dish above.  I then tore my leftover Rotisserie Chicken into pieces and placed on top of the stuffing mixture.  I then placed the broccoli flowerettes on top of the chicken.  In the meantime, I cooked up two expired Pasta Dinner’s in cheese sauce and when done I poured them over the top of my casserole.

It Looks Good, Huh?

I baked the casserole for about 25 minutes in a 350F oven.

Then I sprinkled some expired Durkee Onions over top and placed the casserole back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes just to brown the topping.

It was actually quite delicious!

Perhaps we should just use our own judgement when it comes to the foods in our pantry and when it’s time to throw them out and not just rely on some dated stamp.

(P.S.  In this era of Covid 19 I’m not so sure we should be throwing food out willy nilly.  No one knows when they may lose their job and thus their income.  Perhaps eating something expired is better than eating nothing at all.)

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Because I believe my computer spy’s on me……

I heard my son tossing items into the trash can from the pantry and I immediately asked, “Whadyah doing?”  He replied, “It’s expired.”  I then asked, “What’s expired?”  Brodie:  “These cans of soup.”  Me:  “Put them back.”  Brodie:  “But they are expired!”  Me:  “Put them back anyway.”

The very next day this article pops up on my computer for me to read.

THE FOOD EXPIRATION DATES YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY FOLLOW

https://www.nytimes.com/article/expiration-dates-coronavirus.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Don’t tell me someone’s not listening!

Just think twice before you start throwing food away.  Especially in this climate.  I don’t want anyone to be hungry.

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork, Sausage and Mustard

Pork, Sausage and Mustard

        Welcome to Pork, Sausage and Mustard From the Kitchen of……. Gordon and Julie Today, we will be making MUSTARD, and lots of it! At this writing we are in the middle of a pandemic, the Coronavirus/Covid 19. Gordon and I decided 

Breakfast With Brodie and Mackenzie

Breakfast With Brodie and Mackenzie

          Good Morning Welcome to Breakfast with Brodie and Mackenzie  We have a few menu items you might enjoy. ———————————————————- Bagel and Lox Ingredients: One Bagel (I use the Everything or Egg style bagels.) Smoked Salmon (I use Fresh Market’s Nova 

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine

 

 

 

 

Good Morning!

Rise and Shine!

Our Sunny Kitchen Table

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Is Everybody Hungry?  Juice?  Coffee? 

Oh, I know, how about our:

Whole Wheat Heaven and Heat Breakfast Muffins?

Don’t they smell absolutely delicious?

If you’d like the recipe scroll down the post.

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Our Rise and Shine Kayaker’s Breakfast

We also have this breakfast treat for any morning occasion.  We just happened to have made these one morning before a kayaking expedition to Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida.

Quick, Easy, and Delicious!

(See Recipe Down Below)

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Also try our:

Sausage and Quiche Egglet’s

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(Recipe Down Below)

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AND,

Our Breakfast Knots with Eggs, Pancetta, and Cheese

(Recipe Down Below)

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First Up:

Whole Wheat Heaven and Heat Breakfast Muffins

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(We did double this recipe because we wanted to freeze several of them for future breakfast’s.  We do have a single batch listed here in the ingredients.)

The Ingredients:

2 3/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (You can use White All Purpose Flour.)

2 Tbsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. ground Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp. ground Sweet Paprika

1 tsp. Homemade Hungarian Paprika (optional)

1 tsp. Fine Ground Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Ground Turmeric

3/4 Cup Whole Milk

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Medium Red Onion – Diced

3/4 Bell Peppers – Red, Orange, Green – Diced

3/4 Cup Feta Cheese

2 Cups Spinach – Chopped

Pancetta, Italian Bacon – Medium Sliced

Preheat your oven to 375′ F. 

Again, we doubled the recipe, which is why some of the portions look larger than they should be.

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In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

Add your flour…

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….then your baking soda, cayenne pepper, and Himalayan Pink Salt.

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Then add your Turmeric

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In another bowl, combine your wet ingredients starting with the milk.

Now add your vegetable oil.

And now your eggs.

(I hope we don’t confuse you but we did end up adding an additional egg to the batter later on in the recipe.  Keep reading down below and we will show you where.  But for now just use 2 eggs here for a single batch of this recipe.  OR, you could just go ahead and add all 3 eggs NOW.)

This was an experimental recipe for us which is why we decided to add more later on instead of now.

Whisk the wet ingredients together well and set aside.

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Time for the Vegetables

Slice your red onion.

 

Also your bell peppers into small dice sized pieces.

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Nice picture Julie!

(Thank you Gordon!)

Using a large saute pan, add your olive oil and turn to med. heat.

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Here is a great picture of all the colorful vegetables we will use.

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I vacuum sealed the pancetta shortly after I bought it.

When your olive oil is heated, add your red onions and bell peppers to the saute pan.

Toss the ingredients in the oil.

Add your salt and pepper to taste.

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Use a spatula to turn the cooking vegetables when needed.  The picture on the bottom right is the finished product as they still retain much of their color.  Set aside to cool.

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Use a whisk to evenly distribute the dry ingredients.  I am adding sweet paprika I received from my Hungarian friend… amazing home-made ingredient.  This was an after thought to the original recipe.

Stir all the dry ingredients well.

Stir the wet ingredients one more time before pouring them into the dry ingredients.

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Now, add your sauteed vegetable into the dry ingredient bowl.

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Mix all the ingredients well using a spatula, being careful not to over mix the dough.

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(HERE is where the extra EGGS come in to play.)

As the batter looks dry, we decided to add more eggs.  Remember, we doubled the recipe which is why you see two in the bowl below.  All these extra ingredients have been correctly added to the original ingredients at the top of this recipe.  We are simply depicting our thought process as we were making the recipe.

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The dough looks great with the small bits of color.

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Now, add your feta cheese

Just crumble it in.

Now fold in your chopped spinach to the dough batter.

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Place one slice of pancetta into each muffin slot as shown.

(Gordon came up with this idea.)

Now, add a heaping spoonful of the dough into each muffin slot.

Bake the muffins in your preheated 375’F oven for 20-25 min.

Depicted below, are the extra muffins we made as we did double the recipe.

But we only used the pancetta in 12 of them.

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In order to crisp up the pancetta, Gordon flipped them over and placed them back into the muffin tin.

We could have pre-baked the pancetta slices for about 5 min. or so in the muffin tin before we added the batter.  Perhaps we’ll try that next time.

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Time to turn the oven on broil and place the pancetta side up back into the oven.

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Here is a great shot of them broiling…

They really turned out great!

This crisps the pancetta up so nicely!

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 They make a great portable breakfast for those on the go, without having to stop on the way to work.  This lessens your human contact in these times of the Coronavirus.

The pancetta here is like biting through butter.  There was no toughness to it whatsoever.  And we added just the right amount of heat  that gave you that great after taste.

Yummy!

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Rise and Shine Kayaker’s Breakfast

We needed a good breakfast before our day of kayaking Weeki Wachee Springs one day.

It is a 6 mile trip by kayak and we wanted to start our day off with something easy, healthy, and tasty.

Start by slicing green, red, and yellow bell peppers into rings.

Add some olive oil to a sauce pan on a medium-high heat and then place a few of the rings to soften.

Once they have softened a little bit, crack an egg into each ring.

Place a lid onto the pan for just a few minutes so that the steam cooks the eggs and they don’t run when you try and flip them.

Gordon Flipping Our Bell Pepper Eggs

Just Top With Some Salt and Pepper  🙂

Great Grab and Go Breakfast!

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Sausage and Quiche Egglets

This recipe idea was born out of a worry that eggs would be scarce in the beginning of this Covid 19 Pandemic, March 2020.  We started shopping online and grocery stores were limiting the amount of eggs that we could purchase.  Seeing how this was early on in the pandemic, none of us knew what to expect or where it would lead us?  So, I thought that if we at least got breakfast situated that it would be one less meal to worry about daily.  Having these delicious little quiche’s in the freezer would make things a bit easier on us just in case there did become an egg shortage.

At this writing, July 2020, eggs were never a problem and we have always been able to purchase as many as we need.  But, it’s still nice to plan ahead and have a freezer full.  Just in case.

This Recipe Will Make 24 Combined Quiche Egglets, and Sausage Egglets

The Ingredients:

2 tsp. ground Sweet Paprika

2 tsp. Fine Ground Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

3/4 Cups Whole Milk

12 Eggs

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Onion – Diced

1/4 Cup Green Bell Pepper, Diced

4 Mini Sweet Peppers – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green – Diced

3/4 Cups Feta Cheese, Crumbled

2 Cups Spinach – Chopped

Pancetta, Italian Bacon – Medium Sliced

A Few Salami Slices (We turned to Salami when we ran out of Pancetta.)

1 Package Turkey Sausage Links

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It’s always a good idea to read a recipe through before you start to make it.

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Pre-Heat Oven to 350F

The first thing we did was to place some Pancetta into our muffin pan.  When we didn’t have enough to fill all of the spaces, Gordon got some Salami out of the refrigerator to fill the remaining holes.

This is a non-stick muffin pan. 

There was no need to add any cooking oil spray because the Pancetta and Salami would produce enough grease preventing them from sticking.

The Salami turned out to be a very nice alternative and made cute little cups to hold our quiche’s. 

You will see further on down the post.

Time to place into a 350F oven for about 15 minutes to crisp the Pancetta and the Salami.

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Chopping the Onions

Gordon Chopped About 3/4 Cup

Here He Added About 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

..to a saute pan and softened the onions for about 7 minutes on a medium-high heat.

So, while the onion is sauteing It’s time to chop the Green Bell Pepper.

Gordon Chopped About 1/4 Cup

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Meanwhile, our Pancetta and Salami is ready to remove from the oven.

It looks like our Onions have softened.  See photo left top.

Now it’s time to remove our crispy Pancetta and Salami from the muffin pan and place onto paper towels for the oil to drain.

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Here Gordon is chopping the rest of our peppers into diced sized pieces. 

Approximately 1 cup total.

Time to add them to the onions and continue to saute until they become a bit soft. 

About 5 minutes on medium-high heat.

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Now it’s time to add 1 teaspoon Salt, and 1 teaspoon Paprika.

(NOTE:  I have listed in the ingredients above that this recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of both Salt and Paprika.  But here is where you only add 1 teaspoon each.  The rest is added later on to the eggs in the recipe below.)

We do love this very fine Himalayan salt as it adds a nice flavor.

Now it’s time to place back into our muffin pan, the crispy Pancetta and Salami cups.

But before you do, make sure that you have drained the grease out of it.

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Now it’s time to make our egg mixture.

In a medium bowl crack about 12 eggs.

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Add your milk, about 3/4 cup.

Whisk Together

Now it’s time to add the remaining 1 teaspoon of Paprika.

Also, time to add the remaining 1 teaspoon of Salt and now add about a teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

Whisk Together

Now It’s Time To Chop Your Fresh Spinach

Add Your Chopped Spinach to the Egg Mixture

Here Gordon is adding the sauteed Onions and Colorful Peppers to the egg mixture.

Now crumble in your Feta Cheese’s. 

Stir Together

Preheat Your Oven to 350F

Use a ladle to scoop some of the egg mixture into each muffin cup over the crispy Pancetta and Salami.

Now it’s time to bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. 

Each oven is different so keep and eye on them.  You want them to cook thoroughly but not burn.

When done remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack while still in the pan.

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Now It’s Time for our Sausage Egglets

I’ve got this great pan with the spikes that I am going to use to hold the Turkey Sausage Links.

We wanted to brown these in a sauce pan first.  These are Turkey Sausages.

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This was my idea (Julie), to place these sausages on these spikes and then have a quiche around them. 

So, here Gordon is placing them on the spikes.

Now It’s time to add the leftover egg mixture. 

If you find you may need more then add a few more eggs, salt, pepper, paprika, cheese……

Again, use a ladle to pour the egg mixture over the sausages and into each muffin cup.

Now it’s time to place them into a 350F oven for about 25 minutes. 

Again, your oven may cook faster, or slower, so keep an eye on them.

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When done remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack until cool.

Delicious!  They freeze well. 

We placed about 1 or 2 into plastic freezer bags and then placed into the freezer for future breakfast eating.

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The Leftover Mixture…

Gordon did not want to waste the last of this mixture so he added a few more eggs to it….

Placed some Olive Oil into the saute pan and added some Turmeric, and then poured the remaining mixture over top. 

He then cooked the egg mixture in a small oven proof saute pan over medium high heat on the stove top for a few minutes.

Now, turn the oven to 350’F and place the pan in it for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggs are firm and reach an internal temperature of 165’F. 

Hey, you just made a Quiche! 

And REAL MEN DO Eat Quiche  🙂

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Muffins to Freeze

When the Covid 19 Pandemic hit I also set out buying several packages of muffin mixes of various flavors and using the eggs that I already had in my refrigerator, I made muffins all day to freeze for a later date.

So, whether we are in a pandemic or not, it’s still a good idea to make ahead some easy breakfast muffins that are ready made and waiting for you in the freezer.  There is something reassuring in these uncertain times where planning ahead gives us a little bit of peace of mind.

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Our Breakfast Knots with Eggs, Pancetta, and Cheese

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This is Such a Nice Simple Recipe for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

These are called Hot Mama Knots and they are found in the frozen section of the supermarket.  Just follow the directions on the package and bake accordingly.  When done just let them cool a bit before you start the assembly.  (You can use any bread you like for this.)

Bake the Pancetta slices above.  Bake in the oven on a lined sheet pan for about 12- 15 minutes until nice and crispy and then place them onto paper towels for the oil to drain.

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Microwave Eggs

Ingredients:

6 Eggs

Pam Olive Oil Spray

3 Tbsp. Milk (1 Tbsp. per mug)

 Turmeric (Pinch per mug)

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Hot Mama Knots

6 Slices Pancetta or Bacon

6 Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese

(We ended up making 6 of these but I am only photographing the ingredients and instructions for 4 of these sandwiches.  Hopefully not confusing you too much.)

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Spray your Olive Oil into two microwave safe mugs and then crack two eggs into each mug.

Here you see the two eggs in each mug.

Add your milk to each mug.

Now add your Turmeric, fresh ground pepper and salt to each mug.

Using a fork, whisk all the ingredients together well.  Note: You could omit the milk if you wanted, but you still need to break the eggs yellow yolk as it could explode in the microwave during the cooking process if not pierced.  This is the same for when you microwave a potato.

Microwave the two mugs for 40 seconds on high.

Remove the mugs and using your fork, stir the eggs slightly to assist in the cooking process.

Microwave the two mugs again this time for 30 seconds on high.

Remove the mugs and again stir the eggs.  Here you can see the eggs are beginning to firm.

Place the eggs back into the microwave again for another 20 seconds on high.  You will see the eggs rise during the cooking process and may even get higher than the mug.  If this happens, stop the microwave, wait about 10 seconds then continue to microwave the eggs.

Here you can see both mugs of light and fluffy eggs.  They become fluffy from the stirring between cooking instances and the rising of the eggs almost out of the mugs while being microwaved.

Pour out your eggs onto a plate.  There shouldn’t be any runny eggs.  If there are, place the eggs back into the mug and microwave them for another 10 seconds or so.

When your eggs are properly cooked, slice them in half.

Now it’s Time to Assemble

Put together your breakfast knots!  Slice your knots in half ash shown, then add a slice of your Sharp Cheddar Cheese folding in the four edges so it all stays on the bread knot.  Then add your eggs and a slice of Pancetta.  Finally, place the top on the knot on the Pancetta and you are done!

If you like you can add some mustard as we did.

Enjoy!

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Have a nice day!

Julie and Gordon

 

 

 

Cooking With Brodie and Mackenzie, Onion Soup

Cooking With Brodie and Mackenzie, Onion Soup

          Onion Soup Topped with Toasted Bread and Melted Crusty Cheese (Pork Tenderloins and Grilled Asparagus compliments of Gordon.  Recipe write up at the bottom of this post.) We would like to introduce to you our son Brodie and his girlfriend 

Black and White Pearls

Black and White Pearls

        Black and White Pearls Our Very Elegant Pickled Pearl Onions and Balsamic Pearls How About An Elegant Edible Gift? Welcome to The Recipe, Gordon and Julie ——————————————————————- Be Sure To Also Check Out Our: Pickled Purple Pearls Also Check Out Our: 

Julie 2020 Blogging

Julie 2020 Blogging

 

 

 

 

Hey Y’all! 

(Getting Back to my Roots.)

Welcome to Julie 2020 Blogging

I sincerely hope that this year will be a good year for all of us.

If you are a regular reader of my blogs then welcome back.  I will do away with any introduction as you know me already, and my opinions.  If you are new then welcome!  The game has started so just pull up a chair and join in.  🙂

Seeing as how I am right of the dealer then it’s my turn to roll the dice……counter clockwise but I have a feeling that will be 2020 in a nutshell.

So, here goes!

Me, with Sparky the Chug, and Spooky the Chihuahua

Let’s Get This Blogging Started!

Julie

p.s.  I really do like my new pajamas and I will be wearing them a lot from now on.  🙂

Sadly, they do require hand washing.  🙁  The price we pay for beauty and comfort……

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If you would like to read my history of my blogs, here is:

Blogging With Julie In 2019

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AND,

Blogging With Julie Continues On

Blogging With Julie Continues Part 2

Blogging With Julie Continues

Blogging With Julie

————————————————————————————–

Julie Blog

Julie Blogs Page 2

Julie Blogs Page 3

Julie Blogs Page 4

Julie Blog Page 5

Julie Blogs Page 6 Archives

Julie Blogs Page 7 Archives

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We have been having lots of fun on Twitter if you would like to follow us:

https://twitter.com/JulieBarefoot

(My Twitter Account)

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BLOG ENTRIES START HERE

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With the Coronavirus ravaging our country and the entire world, everyday that I wake up feeling good I thank my lucky stars that I have one more day of good health.  I remember hearing as a child that ‘if you have your health then you have everything.’  I used to scoff at that as being ridiculous but now I get it.  Everyday that I am healthy is a good day.  I am just going to enjoy my life and appreciate every day until my days run out.  We come into this world crying and I hope to leave it laughing.  (That’s the plan anyway.)  🙂

Julie Lancaster-Whann

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For those interested in what I am currently working on in the website…….

Click Here For:  Current Website Events

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October 24, 2020

Entering Halloween Week

(My “The Birds” Dress)

I am almost too tired to even be writing this right now because of all our renovation prep Gordon and I are doing.  I am going to start a post about it once things get going.  Right now I just want to enjoy Halloween week.  Cooking, creating, projects…..  it’s fun!

Gordon was out today buying new carpet for Brodie’s room.  The company comes to measure his room tomorrow.  We chose something nice and “Pearl” with lots of cushion.  That room will be our new den.  We are very excited!  We also have the paint and we are excited to get started but we are awaiting our Brodie to exit it.  He is so frickin’ slow.  He has promised that he will be totally out by next weekend. 

While Gordon was out and about today doling the shopping he stopped by the Spanish store and got us dinner.  Can’t wait to try my Mexican wings and rice. 

I spent the day cleaning our bathroom.  Windows, shutters, bathtub, floors, doing bathroom laundry…

It was my idea to put all of our alcohol in our bathtub during these renovations so that we can keep track of it.  If you know what I mean.  I’ll have to post a photo as it wasn’t until we looked at all of it that Gordon and I turned to each other and said, “We’re alcoholics.”   And when I show it to you, you will also say, “Your alcoholics.”  

I’ll keep you posted on our renovation progress, but I also want to enjoy my favorite time of year.  I guess I’ll just do what I can.

My Charmed Mess

I am also trying to do more for my Charmed Halloween.  I found an old t-shirt of Veronica’s  with Piper and Leo.  She adored Piper.  I’ll have to pass it along to her once I’ve finished.

Anyway, all is well.  (For now.)  🙂

Julie

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October 22, 2020

Renovations, Coming SOON!

Carpet Samples

We’ve Settled on Sweet Basil

(We were considering Sunset but our son looked at it and said, “It looks like piss.”  Well, thank you Brodie for ruining Sunset for us.)

A few weeks ago our kitchen dishwasher leaked and water ran out the back of it to our living room carpet.  Gordon first noticed this very wet area and just assumed that our dogs had urinated there.  But, he then realized that it was a huge wet area on our carpet that had extended out a few feet from the wall and even crept underneath our very large entertainment center.  That is when Gordon realized that there must be a leak in our dishwasher.  So, he pulled it out from underneath the counter and turned it on to test where the water was coming from.  Sure enough, water started running out from underneath so I grabbed lots of towels and Gordon shut it down.

We didn’t realize the extent of the damage at first.  We just thought we needed some new living room carpeting but we have since come to realize that the water damaged the cabinets in an entire section of our kitchen.  We’ve been doing without a dishwasher now for a few weeks and we have been using lots of paper plates, cups, bowls, paper coffee cups, and cutlery.  I hate all of this plastic that we are using even though we are recycling most of it.  I preferred either hand washing, or running our dishwasher but with all the cooking we do it has become just too much for me to constantly hand wash everything.  (I didn’t grow up on some Little House on the Prairie.)

We’ve had two dishwasher repairmen out to our house and we either pay $400.00 to get it fixed, or we buy a new one.  Well, looks like we are buying a new one.  However, not until our kitchen renovation starts because it will just be one more appliance that we have to deal with until then so we are going to wait.  And renovations don’t start until mid-November.  We will be getting half a new kitchen, and all new living room carpeting.  We are buying the new dishwasher and might as well buy a new garbage disposal, and we are paying whatever to upgrade our kitchen counters.  We are looking into granite or quartz.  A neighbor kind of tried to shame us into buying marble and that’s when I said, “GRANITE COUNTERS MATTER!  GRANITE COUNTERS MATTER!  Yeah, don’t mess with granite cause once you go granite, you never got back.  🙂

Our contractor that is doing all this work came by yesterday and dropped off some carpet samples for us and lots of boxes and packing material.  Fun!  🙁

But before we can even touch that, Brodie has to clear everything out of his room and move it to his rental storage room.  He will be living with Mackenzie and her parents in Tampa for a few months.  Mackenzie’s twin sister Susannah bought a condo and they helped her move into it last weekend so there is a spare room and Mackenzie’s parents offered it to Brodie.  This was all before we knew we needed him to move out.  The timing was perfect!

Brodie has been packing up his room and I think that he will rent some sort of van to move the rest of his furniture out this weekend.  So, it looks like next week we will be painting his room and carpeting it once we finish painting it.  Then, we will move some of our furniture in there and start setting it up as a some sort of den with lots of book shelves and my treadmill will go in there as well.  We want to buy a T.V. to mount on the wall and move a computer desk and some chairs in there.  It’ll be great!  Once we do all that then we start packing up our precious things and then storing them in there.  I’ll let you know what happens after that…..

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For those of you that are wondering….  Yes, we did vote by mail a few weeks ago.  I realize I said that I wasn’t going to vote because I feel that we are constantly being manipulated by both parties, but getting rid of Trump is more important at this time than protesting our manipulative election process.  (By BOTH parties.)

I will say this though, the only time both parties ever work together is to push out a legitimate 3rd. party.  We’ll talk more about that in the future.  If there even is a future.

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You know, I keep hearing how we all need to vote for Joe Biden to restore the soul of America. 

Who says the soul of America is good?  I look at our rotten politician’s that so many American’s vote in again, and again.  We didn’t get to this point in our nation’s history because we are “good” people.  We got to this point because we aren’t.

I am a traumatized 59 year old woman because of all the trauma that I have experienced throughout my life because of my fellow American’s.  Being the new kid in school more times than I can count from all that moving around.  The mean girls in Junior High and High School that have certainly left their marks on me.  A few rotten bosses, back stabbing co-workers, nasty neighbors….  the soul of America?

In my experience with my own country, and my own country people, I truly cannot say that they have ever been very good.  As a matter of fact, the two people that have done the most damage to me in life were my mother and my step-father.  Closely followed by my rotten step-brother, and my cyber stalker, Paul Keith Gray.

There have only been a handful of truly good and honest American people that I have ever known in my life that I cherish.

The Soul of America?

Where?  Because I have never known it.

I hope things turn out well this election but if they don’t, I then see why The Middle East refers to us as ‘The Great Satan.’

I know that has been my experience.

Julie

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October 18, 2020

Happy Birthday Vivien!

Photos From Ireland

9 Year Old Beauty

Her mother Sabina made the cake.  She is very talented.

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Vivien in the middle, with her sister/our niece Lola in the back.  Looks like Lola will be tall like me.  Because I don’t get to see these girls grow up in front of me I only have Twitter and Email and Photos to judge their progress.  I am the tallest sibling in my family and I am guessing Lola will be too.

I miss these girls so much,

Julie

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October 12, 2020

Shooting Our Homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween

(A white men’s button down shirt was pretty much my inside wardrobe through my senior year in high school and when I was in college.) 

Just having a relaxing evening at home chatting on the old green phone and watching VHS tapes from the 80’s.  And making popcorn the old fashioned way, of course.

 

Get it Sparky!  I dropped a piece.  Come on, eat it.

And does he eat it?  No! 

Monk and Sugar would have gobbled that up by now, along with every dog I ever knew.  But not Sparky or Spooky.  Pickiest eaters for dogs that we have ever known.

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Actually, I just wanted to check in with my fans.  All 5 of you.  🙂 

To let you know how things are……..

Remember when I write below about how our dishwasher leaked and water built up underneath the cabinets and then drained underneath our wall onto our living room carpet causing mold and damage?  And remember how I said that none of this is really bad, it’s just life?  Remember?  Well, now it’s BAD!!!

We had the insurance adjuster out today to write up his assessment of the damage and it looks like we will either be getting a brand new kitchen, or at least half of a brand new kitchen.  New breakfast bar, new cabinets, new countertops, and perhaps new tile on the floor.  If the workers damage this tile.  We will most likely have one of those giant PODS in our driveway that will hold boxes and boxes of our possessions, along with a lot of our furniture while we get brand new carpeting in our living room.

So, to those of you that think this is all good news?  You would be right if we weren’t such hoarders with millions of our collections.  Even the insurance adjuster just stood there looking at all of our stuff in amazement shaking his head.  He also took lots of photos and I just know he’s showing them to everyone in his office while they all look at them with shocked amazement on their little judgemental faces.

In a way this is a blessing in disguise.  It’s just a journey that I don’t care to go on right now.  Or ever.  I hate change, I hate to be disrupted.  Do you think I want my entire living room/kitchen/dining room/kitchen nook packed up by a bunch of strangers while men are here for weeks at a time with all of their trucks parked outside our house during a pandemic???  NO!  So, like I said, this is bad.

I told Gordon that I am planning on locking myself in the bedroom with my computer and the dogs AND a new mini fridge that we’ll keep in the bathroom until all the work is over with.  I will only emerge from my lair to answer the door for all the wine and take out we’ll be ordering. 

I really do dread all this,

Julie

P.S.  I suppose all this work could start as early as November and as late as January/February.  I’ll let you know.  🙂

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October 3, 2020

Vivien’s First Holy Communion

1st. Holy Communion

This was a big day for our Vivien.

Our niece Vivien, second from left.

Enniscrone, Ireland

Our nieces Vivien and Lola

Kate Jude couldn’t make it as she is in lockdown in Dublin at Trinity.

I asked my brother how in the world he had such beautiful daughter’s?  🙂

Lola on the right is the Empath.  I know she is.  I write about her in my Empath blogs.  She could also talk to ghosts when she was very young.  After me, there is her.  I don’t know where the line of our Empath future will go.  But it is hereditary.

I hope it lives on,

Julie

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oCTOBER #, @0@0

iN tHE uPSIDE dOWN

For those of you familiar with the term it can apply to both Stranger Things and Alice in Wonderland. 

I think our country has been turned upside down since Election 2016 and I do not see any recovery in sight.  Oh, we may loose Trump but we will not be rid of Trumpism or his supporters for a very long time.  And from what I am starting to hear is that they are speculating that “They” (whoever “They” is), gave it to him.  That doesn’t bode well for us if things don’t go their way regardless of what happens.  But I do have to say that this is the first time I’ve had hope since the Inauguration.

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On the fun side of things, I have finished putting together our:

Hey, Family Guy!  Get a CLUE For Halloween!

Recipe write- up’s still have to be done by Gordon, but other than that the post is done and I am really pleased with it.

It was lots of fun!

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I am now starting on a new Halloween.  

This one will be a CHARMED Halloween.  🙂

And as I told my brother Johnny when I told him we are starting our second Halloween, “There is no such thing as too many Halloween’s.”

I had originally said that I was going to do a Vintage Halloween, and I still might, but CHARMED will be the centerpiece.

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A CHARMED Halloween

Making The Spirit Board

My new project.  The wood was cut for this project in the summer of 2003 in my step-father’s red barn in Rome, Georgia by Gordon, and with the help of my step-father.  They made 2 of them.  It was my request that I get one, and that Veronica gets the other one.  So, 17 years ago I actually started this project, and now I hope to complete it.

Veronica’s CHARMED Scrapbook and Artwork

Veronica drew all the candles here.  The scrapbook is filled with tons of photographs and scrapbooking accessories.  Veronica started it, and then I finished it.  It must be 100 pages front and back from the many years that Charmed was on T.V. It is a huge homage to the show by both of us.

Getting some things out of storage for our CHARMED Halloween.

I’ve always wanted a Victorian Doll House and that paper thing in the photo above and below is the closest thing I’ve come to it.

I think this is going to be a fun project and a great Halloween theme.  I’ll give all this stuff to Veronica once I’ve finished it all.  These are her childhood memories after all.  Also, when we were living in Maryland she started a Charmed website that she would work on in her spare time.  I don’t know what happened to it.  That was when anyone could start a website online before all the destructive hacking that we have now.  People were free to create and share until all the evil took over.

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And Now For All Of Our DRAMA

  1.  My car won’t start because it hasn’t been used that much since the pandemic/lockdown started.  Brodie is on it though and repairing it as I type this.  Gordon has a migraine and is in bed asleep.  He suffers from migraines and when they flare up he needs to sleep them off.

2.  Our refrigerator ice maker isn’t working properly.  We can get it going and it will last another month before it will quit on us.  Then we’ll get it working again and it will last about a month at a time before we have to continuously fix it again, and again, and again.

3.  We noticed that the carpet beside our entertainment center was wet:

Gordon then realized that the water was coming through underneath the wall from our dishwasher.

He did find the leak:

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Spooky photo of the leaking trail of water from the dishwasher.

Look at the water line behind the dishwasher.

Bottom Line:

Can’t use dishwasher until our insurance agent comes to take a look at the damage.  Then we either fix the dishwasher or buy another one, and/or buy new living room carpet.  But, until then……..

It’s paper and plastic EVERYTHING!

So, do I view all this as being bad?  No.  I view all this as being LIFE.  This has not been our Annus Horribillis.  (Latin for horrible year.)  I have no earthly idea if I spelled that correctly but 2020 has been most people’s Annus Horribillis, but not ours.  We’ve gotten through pretty unscathed, so far. However, that never means that we will continue to.  But, we are pretty o.k. for now.  I will take our problems over something more serious any day of the week.

Hope all is well.  We’ll get through.

Julie

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 September 17, 2020

Real Heroes

Our son-in-law is a fireman, a first responder.  He works for the Polk County Fire and Rescue.  We love our Brian and we are so happy to have him in our family.  He is a genuinely good guy, and as our daughter Veronica says, “He’s just like Dad.”

Veronica sent us the following through the mail the other morning.  I was so happy to hear of this that I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.  I’ll let you read and then I will meet you at the bottom……

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That is our Brian standing in the back.  He is with his coworkers.

(I am mad at all of them for not wearing masks though.)

That is also Brain to the right doing the weed eating.

First of all, we always refer to our first responders as heroes.  They are not.  It is their job to rush in wherever they are needed.  They are trained and they are just doing their job.  To me, a hero is someone that is untrained yet rushed in to help with no training whatsoever putting their life on the line to help or save someone, or many someones. 

However,  here is a situation where these firefighters did their job.  They responded to a call, did their job, and it was at that point that they could have left but yet, they didn’t.  They took on the responsibility to make sure the residents were taken care of.  They decided that the residents needed help, so they decided to help them.  You see, this wasn’t part of their job.  They did this out of the goodness of their hearts.  They weren’t getting paid for any of this.  They did this because they care.  And now the residence of this home are in a far better shape than they were before, thanks to these heroes.

So, take a good look at them.  Because they are what real heroes look like.  And we are so proud of each and every one of them.  Especially, our Brian.  🙂

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September 15, 2020

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day

It has been raining here non stop since late July.  Whatever storm system or hurricane comes up through the Gulf always dumps rain on us.  So, whatever outside projects that we have planned takes longer to complete in the summer because you only have a few hours in the day of sunshine before the rain comes.  Gutters did get finished.  Fence extension has been up and completed, but our concrete pour that Gordon was going to do himself has been put off until the weather cooperates. 

In the past our rainy season will start in early June and go through August before it tapers off but this year it got a late start which is probably why we are having so many storms and hurricane’s now.  When the ocean waters are warm then storms form over the water.  And what with Global Warming they are stronger in intensity than they used to be.  We are still having just as many storms as we’ve always had.  The only difference is that now they are stronger and more dangerous.

But sadly, solving these problems requires global leadership, something lacking right now. 

Pretty soon it’s going to be ‘every man for themselves’ and ‘only the strong survive.’  When you cannot convince other’s that we need to ban together to solve these problems then it’s time to quit trying to convince other’s and just start to look out for yourself.

I do believe in helping people, but when people do not want your help and prefer ignorance over knowledge then it’s time to let them go even if it means knowing they are signing their own death warrants.

Life can be quite nice but it is something that you will need to create yourselves.  Learn to enjoy your own company.  Or the company of a few people as opposed to many.  Have hobbies and interests.  If you can then buy a treadmill or some sort of exercise equipment.  Gyms are not safe places to visit during this pandemic.  I know a woman in Canada that will not go to the gym to workout if her hair needs coloring.  I suggested that if she owned her own treadmill then she could use it anytime in the privacy of her own home without anyone knowing her hair needs coloring.

These are just a few suggestions but I think the main thing that anyone can do is to just have a better attitude about their situation.  I’m referring to just being a bit lonely and not going through some trauma or abuse.  Although I do see parallels between Trump and the Republicans, and my parents.  How I survived all that abuse was to create my own happy environment whether it was in my bedroom, or in my head.

But, I promised myself I was not going to have this blog entry be so dark.  After all, my favorite time of year is coming up.

HALLOWEEN!

We will be shooting a new Halloween post for the website this weekend.  I promised myself that I would give you a CLUE, so here it is………………………

HEY, F****Y G*Y!  GET A CLUE!

(Future Title of Post)

It’ll be fun!  Gordon is going to cook something for our new Halloween post that he has never cooked before and he is looking forward to that.  We’re working on our set this week and getting everything ready for it.  I am so sore and tired right now from all the work.  But it’s fun work.  And then after we shoot this Halloween post we’ll get out all the Halloween from the attic and go through that, I want to start setting it all up.  Maybe I’ll see if Veronica and Brian want some of it.  But not before I’ve used it in some Halloween post.  Well, that’s all that I know for now.  Working on completing other posts.  I’ll let you know as I do.  You can find that information on our Current Website Events

TTYL….

Julie

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September 10, 2020

Grandparents Day, My Grandfather, and the USPS

Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 13, 2020.  I wanted to say something about my Grandfather to honor him specifically on that day.

Franklin Ellwood Haskin, 1920? 

He is a boy here in Vincennes, Indiana.

Young Frank, the Student, Private School, Darlington, Rome, Georgia. 

Top Student.

Frank the PC in the United States Navy, WWII

PC= Postal Clerk

My Grandfather was a Postman in the war.

  He said he joined the Navy because he figured the food would taste better there. He loved food.  He loved to eat.  And it showed.  🙂

The photos above are of my Grandfather in WWII.  He has such a nice smile on his face.  When you look at the other men’s photos in WWII they aren’t smiling.  They even look a bit haunted.  You see, my Grandfather never saw the terrible things that other men saw at that time.  He was a postman.  Trusted and beloved.  Hey, everyone was always happy to see the mailmen bringing mail from home.  From their loved ones.  The mailmen were the rock stars of the war.  But what you don’t realize is that the mailmen were trusted to get the mail to the troops.  They had sworn a duty to protect the mail.  The mail was the most important thing in the world to them.  And they would risk their lives to protect it.

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My Grandfather was a good husband, a good father, a good grandfather, a good friend, a good neighbor, etc., etc. because he never saw combat.  He wasn’t damaged in the way that so many others were.  His duty was to the mail.  And because I was raised in that environment I too have a huge respect for the mail.  Even when the mailman would accidentally place a letter or bill to a neighbor that I didn’t like, I would still walk it over to them and deliver it because I was taught the mail is sacred.  And I believe it to be so. 

I did grow up hearing all the stories of the Pony Express men that would risk their lives to deliver the mail.  People used to send money through the mail so the mailmen that handled all that had to be trusted.  After the war my Grandfather became a lieutenant for the post office.  He even carried a gun.  It was his job to protect the mail at all costs.  He took that job seriously.  He then went on to become Postmaster.  I have many happy memories of that beautiful yellow brick building in downtown Rome, Georgia.  Even after he died and I would drive by the building in my Datsun 310 in 1983 I could just see my Grandfather there as I would drive by.  At least in my memory.  My mother also remembered swinging on those bars that were out front of the Post Office.

Frank The Photographer

I get my photographer skills from him! 

He was the one that always had a camera in his hands and took photos everywhere.

  My mother took after him.  And I took after him as well.

But what I wanted to relate to all of you is that the reason that he was such a good person, father, grandfather, etc. was because he never saw the horrors of war.  Had he, then I would not be bragging about the wonderful man that helped to raise me.  You cannot be such a wonderful person and be so damaged at the same time.  His qualities were kind, nice, caring, wonderful, generous, ……  I’m grateful that he never saw combat and had became some damaged person that then inflicted his damage on the rest of us. He only showed us all love and appreciation.

I have not had very many positive male role models in my life and had I not had him to show me what a decent man was like then I don’t know how I would have turned out.  I will forever love and miss him.  He was the greatest man I have ever known in my life.  My husband, being second.

I do have to say that my Grandfather would be horrified by the actions of our USPS in this time.  But because we don’t have people like him here in this time we are at this point in our history.  I also don’t know where this is going.  I miss our greatest generation.  Sadly they are all gone and what is left is less than satisfactory.  There is no honor left in our country.  Perhaps a few are left but not enough to make a difference.  I will continue to honor the things that my Grandfather taught me to honor.  I just wish he were here to help me to make a difference.

I will miss you forever Granddaddy,

Julie

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September 4, 2020

October 2001, Maryland

I promised myself years ago that I would not write about this but when I was looking at our calendar and saw for September 11th. something called “Patriot Day,” that really got to me.  I am going to choose my words very carefully now.  But I am going to speak.  It is in me to speak out and I am just going to be myself here. 

Christmas 2002, Maryland

It was in July of 2001 that we went on vacation for 3 weeks.  We were living on a base in Maryland, between Baltimore and D.C. and 20 minutes from the Pentagon.  When we moved there in 1999 from Hawaii I was really surprised that there were open roads onto the base.  I mean, we came from Hawaii where gates, and gate guards were common at every entrance/exit on every base on that island.  So, therefore I was very surprised that there were back roads that were open to the public to drive onto.  I mean, after all, this was an important base.  Intelligence wise. 

As I said, we went on vacation for 3 weeks and when we came back I was very surprised to see that a gate had sprung up while we were gone.  With guards and everything.  I remember thinking, great!  We have a bit more security.  Finally!  But, why?  And how so fast?  I’d seen gate entrances under construction in Hawaii and they took anywhere between 6 – 8 months.  But this construction went quickly.  Very quickly.  Most of it was up and ready in just the 3 weeks that we were gone.  I thought it was odd but I was happy to have the extra security.  There isn’t a lot of crime on bases.  Mainly because they are patrolled.

So, this was August 2001 when we got back home from our vacation. 

A neighbor had told me that she had tried to leave the base one night in the evening because her daughter had an asthma attack and she needed to take her to the emergency room but that all the exits were closed on base.  Only the front main entrance was open.  Weird.  Why were we being locked in?  Why are they blocking the entrances/exits?  That’s strange.

For some reason I think it was a Tuesday although I could be wrong.  I got up early, as usual to have my shower and be dressed and ready to drive Brodie to the elementary school on the base.  He was in 4th. grade.  Veronica attended the high school that children on the base attended, she was in 9th. grade.  Her school was just a block away so she would walk up our hill to her school.  When I got home from taking Brodie to school I was having my breakfast and my coffee.  I was in my bedroom and having my coffee watching the morning news, as usual, when they were reporting that a plane had crashed into one of the T-Towers.  And as I was watching that live news footage I saw another plane fly into the second T-Tower.  I knew then that it was intentional.  That was no accident.

Our base immediately went into lockdown and did not allow anyone in or out for one week.  Although the important intelligence agency on our base did evacuate every civilian out of there immediately with just a skeleton crew to continue to work, ,my husband was on that skeleton crew.

We weren’t allowed to pick up our children from their schools until the afternoon because they had locked them in the classrooms and were not allowing anyone in or out of those schools.  I looked outside our home and there were men and women carrying assault riffles walking all over the base.  We had a playground down the hill of our backyard and I couldn’t help but see the sadness of military with weapons walking through a playground with swings.  Finally, we were allowed to pick our children up from school and bring them home.  Brodie is very smart and he knew something bad was going on.  I don’t lie to my children so I told him what had happened.  He asked me if we were safe?  I told him that I think that we are but we need to just stay inside for a few days until we find out more.  (When you explain things to your children then they respond positively.  But when you lie to them, then they don’t.)

I think that I cried every single hour of every single day for one week before I stopped.  And exactly 2 months later I noticed that my hair was falling out from all the stress.  I was also grinding my teeth at night.  These are the side affects of all of this stress.

So, while everyone was rallying around our “leader,” I was not!  This happened on his watch!  And why do they keep glossing over why we do not need to investigate this?  Why is Rudy G. telling everyone that the air is safe to breathe in New York when I know damn well it isn’t?  It can’t possibly be!  Why is he lying?

Why is everyone supporting G.W.B.?  He was literally the baby sitter that we hired to watch our children and now that we’ve come home we see that our children are dead and we aren’t blaming him?  WHY?  I mean, I hear all the crap designed to place blame everywhere else, but why has everyone gone dumb and deaf?

And why isn’t there going to be an investigation?  After all, when there is a murder we investigate the cause.  That is what we do, yet we aren’t allowed to investigate this?

What the majority of America didn’t know was all that was happening in D.C. in the years that followed.  That is why chicken shit W. would flee to the ranch to get away from all the protestors of the families that died that the news media was not covering.  They were always outside the “House” protesting.

You see, the families were more informed as to the details of the attack than your average citizen.  They still are.  I am not going to get into everything.  It would be the size of a book if I did.  I just mainly wanted to write about our experience on that day and the time that followed.

I do find it interesting that the USA Patriot Act, which is over 300 pages, was passed within 3 weeks after 9/11.  Usually something of that length and importance takes months to put together yet there it was ready to be voted on and signed into law after only 3 weeks.  A law stripping us of our privacy and freedom’s passed with no problem.

And then I see on the news one of the men involved in the hijackings at an ATM in Laurel, Maryland on 9/10 withdrawing money from our Walmart.  OUR WALMART!  AHA!  That explains it all!  The new gates, being locked into the base 2 weeks prior to the largest attack on our soil ever.  It now all made sense.  They knew!

THEY KNEW!

One of the airplanes allegedly hit the Pentagon yet there was only one piece of the airplane metal that was left and it just happened to have the I.D. number of the plane on it.  And, how lucky that the “airplane” hit the Army side on the Pentagon that was currently under construction with not many people there, and not any of the other sides, minimizing the loss of life.  (At least there.)

Why wasn’t anyone fired?  Huh?  The largest attack on American soil and NO ONE WAS FIRED!  Condoleeza Rice was National Security Advisor at the time and she should have been fired, but she wasn’t.  There was even a PDB that came out in July 2001 entitled Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the US prior to all of this.  When there eventually was an “investigation” into the failings of that day it was a whitewash.  They spread the blame around and that is why no one person ever had to take responsibility.  And, no one person is blamed for what happened.  An event so large in our history that no one will ever be blamed for it?  Well, except for the “hijackers.”

I am very proud to say that when W. had an approval rating of 92% that I was in the exclusive 8% disapproval club.  I also spoke out at the time when it was very unpopular to do so.  While everyone else drank the Koo-Aid I did not!

So, exactly what is Patriot’s Day?  Because you see, I love my country and yet that made me the enemy of most everyone that I knew.  “If you aren’t with us then you are with the terrorists.”  That quote by W. was also used on me many times to describe in their tiny minds why I didn’t support the GOP or the Admin, or the Pres.  I am a Truther.  I am not a crazy conspiracy theorist.  A conspiracy theory is born when the facts on the ground don’t match the official explanation.  When the facts match then there is no conspiracy unless you are a crazy republican that believes Obama was born in Kenya.  And on that note there is plenty of evidence that he was born in Hawaii.  Hawaii had only been a state by 2 years by the time he was born in 1961 but, it was put in the paper at the time and the doctor that delivered him was still alive.  His family were residents of the island, he went to school there.  There is no conspiracy there!!!  None!  It’s like I said about being an Empath/Psychic, the fakes make people disbelieve the reals.

I will say that when we were living in Hawaii and would go home to Rome, Georgia for visits I would always hear from various people, “When are you moving back to America Julie?”  I would then tell them that I live in America.  Hawaii is a state, ya know?  And then they would shake their heads and say, “Yeah, but not really.”  So, perhaps that is the attitude behind the birther movement?  They just don’t consider Hawaii to be a state so therefor he may as well be born in Kenya?  Ignorance, is ignorance, is ignorance…..

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Gordon and Ugh!

I can’t remember the year but the day is my birthday.  Ugh was going to be signing copies of his book on our base and our friend in New Zealand wanted one.  Also my brother told me to just go and have a good look at him and see what I pick up.  I told him that I won’t be able to control my mouth and I don’t feel like getting arrested on my birthday so I steered clear and Gordon went to get the signed book.  And there he is shaking hands and with a big smile on his face, and getting his picture taken with Ugh.  Yeah, that’s my husband.  Gordon would get excited if he saw Satan walking down the street.  I can just hear him now, ‘OMG it’s YOU!  I’ve heard about you my whole life!  Hey Julie, get a picture of me and Satan together.  Oh wow!  It’s an honor to meet you!  Wow!  Just wait to I tell the guys at work!’ 

Well, you get the picture….  🙁

But one thing that Ugh said when he was visiting injured troops in the hospital was “when we shot that plane down.”  He was referring to the downed airline that crashed in PA.  Oh, he corrected himself when he slipped up and of course our GOP friendly news agencies that are all owned by GOP leaning corporations never further reported any of this. 

I always knew we shot that plane down.  The debris field was too scattered with a radius of 8 miles.  Had it crashed on it’s own the debris would have been more contained.  Plus there was lots of evidence through other means to determine it was shot down.  I won’t go into all of that.  I think that I have written more than I intended to. 

But I will close with this.

Exactly what is the definition of a Patriot?  Is a patriot someone who speaks out when they see a wrong?  Is it someone that speaks truth to power?  Someone small who stands up to someone big when we see that someone big doing something wrong?  Or is just being a patriot going along with the crowd.  Believing whatever explanation we are spoon fed even when it makes no sense?  Is being a patriot dumbing myself down so as not to upset the people that are harming us?  You see, I always thought I was a patriot until it was pointed out to me by so many that I wasn’t.  I no longer have anything to do with the people I knew in my past because I refuse to conform to their dysfunctional way of thinking.  I am very proud of the person that I am.  I love my country, for I am a true patriot.

Julie

P.S:  I wanted to add something that I thought a bit strange.  It was about 2 weeks after 9/11 and I decided to walk our dog Kona.  It must have been around 9:30 p.m.  I was walking him up our hill and beside Veronica’s high school when I noticed a white middle aged man with 3 dogs, unchained walking around the high school as if he were inspecting it.  All of a sudden the 3 dogs spotted Kona and myself and immediately started running towards us.  Even though Kona weighted more than I did, I immediately placed myself in front of him as the dogs were charging.  I braced myself waiting to feel some sort of impact when all of a sudden the dogs stopped and sat down in front of me.  The man started running towards us but I didn’t wait to find out what he wanted.  I turned and led Kona away down our street and to our home.

This man was wearing civilian clothing.  Not military at all.  3 dogs unleashed?  The bases all have leash laws.  Walking around the high school?  Perhaps the dogs were sniffing for something?  I find it odd that a military base would hire some civilian to do what they can do.  I don’t know what that was about but I just wanted to mention it as something odd.

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August 24, 2020

Our Side of the House Extended Fence

This is our existing gate from our backyard to our front yard.

The plan is to rip up all these beautiful Heliconia and do a cement pour here to set our generator on.  I told Gordon that we do need to replant these in another part of our yard.

These are the new gutters that Gordon and Brodie installed.  They are working so well in helping with the water problem we have in our backyard.

Gordon Extending Our Fence and Adding a New Gate

Fence and Gate Almost Finished

Always something to be done around here.  We are trying to button up this place and make it more secure.  As I have written below, crime will increase dramatically and I want us to be ready for it. 

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So, What’s Up?

We are fine here.  Knocking out some of our projects.  Working on things inside of our house, and outside.  Trying to put things away and tidy things up.  We have had a terribly wet August!  Usually we have a very wet June/July.  Not this year….  It has taken over our August, these storms.  And now we have 2 hurricane’s coming up through the Gulf toward Texas.  The thing is that we will get bad weather associated with it.  It may not hit us head on, but we will feel it’s fury.

All we can do is to stock up on Propane for the Grill, and Gas for the generator. 

Ttyl……

Julie

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August 18, 2020

The Rat Licker’s

I just wanted to write something quick here.  If you are hearing the term “Rat Licker’s” out there to reference the anti-mask wearer’s making their political statement, I just wanted to explain that term to you.  It was during the Bubonic Plague where it was unheard of to lick a rat in order to get the plague.  Yet, here we have our right-wingers who defiantly refuse to wear a mask to protect themselves and others.  They are therefore known as “Rat Licker’s.  I guess crazy is crazy no matter what century you are born into.

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August 17, 2020

Through No Fault Of Their Own

We’ve all heard that said by our politicians speaking of how the Coronavirus and the handling of it, has caused millions of jobs lost and homelessness, and now things are about to get even worse.

The average person may be scratching their heads and reflecting on how could anyone have predicted this?  Trump supporters seem to be defending him as this virus isn’t his fault and how he shouldn’t be blamed for this.  (Although I think that some of them are coming around to at least agreeing that he could have handled this much better than he has.)

But you see, things could have been handled much better than they have been had smart people been in charge.  Smart people in The White House, Congress, Senate, and every government agency in our country.  And not just them, but the smart people that used to be in our Think Tanks that would look out for us.  We used to have smart people in America.  Smart people were part of Think Tanks where they would get together and come up with ideas to make our lives better and easier.  Inventions that would propel America to lead the world in technology and medicine.  Ideas, cures, inventions…..  SCIENCE! 

Used to these Think Tanks would recruit bright and promising students graduating with honors at prestigious university’s throughout our country.  Recruiting them to work toward making our lives and our country better.  Of course, things have taken a turn for the worst by enlisting some to create dangerous bombs that we may use in wars.  O.k., so not all of it used to be good.  But, at least these Think Tanks weren’t trying to figure out ways to ruin and destroy the lives of people in their own country.  That changed drastically over the past few decades.  The Housing Crises that led to The Great Recession does come to mind.  That would be just ONE example.  Those bright young minds figured out ways to create those predatory mortgages knowing full well that people would lose their homes in exactly 2 years later.  They made those mortgages so complicated that it was so hard to figure out exactly who even owned their homes?  In other words, some little old Chinese man in China may hold the deed to your own property!  When all of this came to light our smartest politicians were so confused by all of this that they had to hire smarter people to come in and explain it all to them so that they would know the full extent of this damage.   These mortgages were given the green light by the Bush Administration to do to the American people.  We, I am very embarrassed to say, got one of those predatory loans.

We came out of the military poor.  We had no savings.  We had just enough in our checking account to cover our bills and expenses.  The only way we could afford to buy a home was to get one that way.  The only reason we didn’t loose our home during The Great Recession is because we paid whatever price our government threw at us.  I literally made Gordon do NOTHING because at that time there was so much corruption.  Legalized corruption.  That you never knew what was good or what was bad, so we did nothing!  And by doing nothing we didn’t loose our home the way so many other people did.

I have this motto that if I don’t know who to trust that I will then trust no one and I will stay away from everyone.  That motto always seems to work too.  🙂

Luckily, I had the tactical advantage and we came out of that winner’s.  We are on a good track now, and have been for awhile.  But, I do know that nothing in this life/pandemic is a guarantee and we can loose everything in one second, so I am never feeling secure.  But we are doing O.k. and have been this entire year.

I wanted to tell you a story of this family that we know.  I will withhold their names but in 1984 they called me up on the telephone when I was living in Rome, Georgia with my grandmother, to tell me that I was going to burn in hell because I was different than they are.  I was marrying Gordon and they were even going to “boycott” our wedding because of me.  I was upset about it because I wanted these people to like me and accept me and I was upset that they didn’t.  They did end up coming to our wedding.  I didn’t see them very much leading up to, and even afterward.  Which was fine by me.

We have seen them sporadically over the past few decades.  They are very involved in their Christian religion and have used it in the past to bully us.  There is also this self-anointed arrogance that comes with them.  And pretty much everyone else like them.  Although we really do love their children.  Their children seemed to take a more open-minded turn in life.

But, this couple who are in their early 60’s have maintained their arrogance.  It was during Veronica and Brian’s wedding, which they came to, that the woman was always trying to ignore me and rarely making eye contact with me.  I would be sitting right beside her and she would always pretend that she never heard me.  When I would repeat myself she would suddenly stop what she was doing, look at me, and act as if she didn’t hear me with a, “I’m sorry.  What?  Did you say something?”  I did play along as if I didn’t notice, but I knew she was pretending.  Anyway, the point I am getting with this couple is that they are having life very hard right now.  He, Mr. Pibb, (Not his real name but if you knew his real name you would laugh that I called him Mr. Pibb.), anyway, Mr. Pibb has lost his Minister of Music job at their church where he has taught music for over 20 years.  He is now a full time composer/conductor/and humorist?  O.K.  We are like what?  He’s a humorist?  When has he ever been funny?  And, how many comedians that you know go around telling you how funny that they are?

Mr. Pibb has had some success in the Christian music industry as a composer and a conductor.  He has written many cantata’s for Easter and Christmas.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.  And we believe that he has traveled around the country and even the world selling his compositions and teaching choir’s on how to perform them.  I would even go so far to generously say that he is quite talented and well known in certain circles.  Although we have never even removed the shrink wrap from the CD they sent us years ago.  He has many CD’s out there of his music.  But, why in the world would I want to listen to the music of the person that told me that I was going to burn in hell and has never apologized for it?  And p.s.:  the reason they never apologized for it is because I’m sure, they still believe it.

The thing about arrogance, feeling self-righteous, and better than those that are different than you is that if you keep up that attitude, you will be brought down eventually.  That is just life no matter what your belief system is.

Mr. Pibb has a PHD in whatever blah, blah, blah, Christian this and that.  And Mrs. Pibb, I believe has a Masters Degree in something.  The point that I am getting at is that an education is supposed to make people smarter.  Yet these “smart” people have been totally ignorant of the going’s on in their own country for probably their entire lives up until now.

We recently visited Mr. Pibb’s website where we discovered that he charges $150.00 to just meet him!  Gordon and I looked at each other and wondered if we were supposed to pay him money to come to Veronica and Brian’s wedding?    Wow!  Who knew he was so important?  Not us!  🙂  And as I told Gordon, “Who would want to pay money to meet him?  It’s not like he’s so friendly and personable.”  At least not the Mr. Pibb that we know.

Charging money to meet him?  But, what that tells me is that he hasn’t changed from 1984.  He still see’s himself as being better than everyone else which is why he charges money for people to meet him, and why he felt so comfortable telling me that I was going to burn in hell.  I could never say that to anyone!  Even if I thought it!  Yet he had the audacity to call me up long distance, and say those things to me.  He is 3 years older than me and felt very comfortable preaching to me how terrible that I was.  I just wish that I had said, “Fuck off” and hung up on him.  🙂

It is very sad that their lives are now being upended right now.  They had built up so much.  The music industry is but one that is being hit the hardest through this pandemic and the incompetent leadership that has followed.  But the thing is, it didn’t have to happen.  None of this had to be this bad.  Much of this could have been prevented.  So,

Through No Fault of Their Own…….  Really?

Is choosing ignorance over knowledge when you are in your 30’s/40’s/50’s/60’s no fault of their own?  Is a lack of keeping up with the democracy of their own country because they simply don’t care no fault of their own?  Not bothering to vote because they don’t care to involve themselves in politics.  Is that no fault of their own?  Is finally deciding to vote in 2008 for a McCain/Palin ticket just because she is an evangelical and a disastrous candidate no fault of their own?  Is turning a blind eye and not caring what bad things happen to other people in their own country because it doesn’t affect them, through no fault of their own?

As educated as so many people just like them are, what good did all that education do for them?  This is why I am not impressed with degrees and diploma’s because I know it really doesn’t mean anything.  Some of the dumbest people I know are highly educated.  And yet these stupid people have the audacity to look down their noses at me?

Now I am coming to the very sad reason that I am upset about their troubles.  It’s because they have a severely special needs child with preexisting conditions that desperately needs good health care throughout her life.  She will die without that.  She cannot contract this virus at ALL!  It just might kill her!  Republican’s have been trying to kick people like her off insurance policies for decades now.  They want to raise the insurance rates on people like her so that families will then go into bankruptcy, loosing their homes so the banks can then take control and resell then and make money.  Republicans are evil.  I tried telling them that years ago.  I tried telling them that the KKK are registered republicans and why be in the same party as them?  I would never want to belong to a club where they were members.  I would never want to vote for a party that wants to destroy my child just because she has special needs.  So when I hear that people are having a hard time now “Through No Fault Of Their Own?”

Are all of them really blameless? 

Julie

(If I know all this, and I am not nearly as educated as they are.  Then shouldn’t they?)

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August 15, 2020

Gordon Working on Expanding our Fence

(You can also see the new gutters that Gordon and Brodie installed a few months ago.)

We are working on expanding our fence to almost to the big pot you see in the photo, top left.  We want to enclose this area to fence in our new A/C and this side door.  We also want to do a cement pour that will cover up that entire area.  We also hope to store our trash and recycling containers here as well.  That will give us more room in our garage.

The Side of our House

We are planning on keeping that gate that you see there where we enter into our backyard.  That will be some extra security as well.  Two locked gates.

Our neighbors are planning on erecting a fence on their property that will attach to ours.  When they do that it will block off that path between our homes that leads to the street in back of us and give both of us more security.  It’s funny but we are the only two families in our neighborhood that seem to see a need in doing these things.  Our neighbors seem to think like we do and I think we are lucky to have them living next door to us.

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Gordon is Inadvertently Stifling My Creativity

(I just need to complain and then I’ll be O.K.)

With the exception of a handful of errands Gordon has been with me here at home since the end of March.  Which means that I no longer have all that time to myself that I used to from when Gordon would drive in to work, work his 8 hours, then drive home.  It was always during that time that I would immerse myself into whatever project that I/We would be working on.  I have this weird thing about my personality.  I love to put in a movie and have it play all day long literally on a loop.  Well, actually, I never let it get to the end of the movie.  I will stop it when it is almost to the end and then rewind it to the beginning and start it all over again.  I don’t care for endings.  I just love the beginning and the middle.  To me the end, is the end. 

But, when we are working on a new holiday blog post and are planning something big, I immerse myself into whatever movie/T.V. show we will be basing it on and I have it play over and over again for days, sometimes weeks.  For example, when I did our Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Halloween I must have watched/listened to the movie dozens of times.  It puts me in the mood and gets me into character.  (Which is why I always thought I would make a great detective because a good one puts themselves into the mind of the criminal in order to catch them.)

However, whenever I want to immerse myself into a new project we will be working on Gordon will always be there to say, “But we just watched that movie.”  To which I will respond, “I know.  And we are going to watch it again, and as many times as I want.”  🙂   To which I then have to tolerate all the heavy sighs.  (Big eye roll.)

(I told Gordon that he should appreciate the fact that I love the same old thing over and over again.  Otherwise I would have left him decades ago.)  🙂

Anyway, I am so stifled that I am calling off a big new blog post that I was planning on creating, cooking, managing, and I’m putting it off until next year.  However, I am going to focus on finishing up all the write-ups that currently need that attention on the website, and a Halloween post that I’ve been working on for a few years.  And we are doing something very fun for Halloween that we are both looking forward to this year.  You will just have to wait and see.  We also want to get out every bit of our Halloween from the attic and go through it.  I want to decorate our dining room in vintage Halloween and just do a few food items to go with it.  Some of our Halloween we haven’t seen in years so I am looking forward to going through it all.  Perhaps giving Veronica and Brian some of it.

We also need to get our house and garage more organized.  Once Brodie moves out we want to turn his room into a computer room/exercise room/library just so that we can spread out a bit.  We will have to paint it and re-carpet it, or even perhaps put flooring down.  As always, there is work to do around here.  We have so many projects that we want to do and complete.  And as always, we will keep you posted.

TTYL….

Julie

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August 14, 2020

The People In My Neighborhood

With the exception of a few errands Gordon and I have not left our neighborhood since March.  We will occasionally drive our cars around the block a time or two just to make sure they are working properly.  The only time we ever go out front is to collect the mail.  Most of our purchases are left on our door step for us to gather up and bring inside our home and then put away.  Our yard guys take care of our front yard and when their payday rolls around I tape an envelope with the check inside to our front door for them to take with them. 

Brodie, who lives with us, is back at work and has been for almost a few months now.  He does come and go but we keep our distance from him.  When he leaves for work in the mornings we open our window in our kitchen nook for a few hours to just air the kitchen area out.  But, we do wear a mask if we go into the kitchen until we feel that it is safe to enter without wearing a mask.  We also wear a mask to go into our laundry room and garage because that is Brodie’s section of our house.  We stay out of his room and bathroom.  Those doors stay closed.  We do share a kitchen with him and if he and his girlfriend Mackenzie are planning on cooking some big meal on the weekends then Gordon and I retire to our bedroom early and watch T.V. or put in a movie until we go to sleep. 

Gordon and I also try and do as much as we can in the kitchen and laundry room before Brodie comes home from work just because we don’t want to cross paths with him.  If we are planning on cooking a nice dinner in the kitchen then Brodie will stay in his room with his door closed and Gordon and I wear masks while we cook.  Sometimes it’s challenging to try and do a taste test.  We have to leave the kitchen to do it.  Brodie for the most part stays in his room.  I feel sad for him but there really isn’t any other option for him.  Gordon and I are trying to stay healthy and virus free and yet he is a threat to that so we have to take these precautions.  Which is why he and his girlfriend are looking into getting a place to live by the end of the year.

  I do worry about them because I want them to find a nice safe place to live what with crime about to rise tremendously.  But as I told Brodie, “Your life is out there whether you find your happiness out there or your misery.  Either way, your life is out there.”

I do think that they will enjoy having their own place together instead of all this coming and going that they do between our place and hers.  Not to mention all the other people they are exposed to with their jobs and family and friends.

I also think it’s kind of ridiculous that Gordon and I should have to wear masks inside our own home.  Not that it’s Brodie’s fault.  I blame our president and governor and the republican party for having us open back up too soon and never really handling this virus responsibly.  Although I don’t think we ever actually went into some full lockdown.  Only about 50% of the state went into lockdown.  And now we are left just trying to figure out ways to elude and survive an invisible enemy.  At least, we are!  Although to look out at our neighborhood residents I think that we are the only ones trying to elude this virus.  To look at all of them you would think things were just fine and dandy.

Yesterday I saw 4 women walking together down the middle of our street, talking and laughing while only being about 2 -3 feet  apart.  NO MASKS!  And then there is the Asian senior couple that walk every single morning together.  They are about 10-12 feet apart when they walk.  Probably because they are married.  And they always look like they are going to collapse at any moment.  Yet, they never do.  They keep right on truckin’.  Then there is the neighborhood bully, ED.  I have written about Ed in some of my past blogs.  He used to give us a lot of trouble because we are the liberals of the neighborhood.  He is a huge racist and has harassed many an African-American resident or visitor to our neighborhood.  He is very well known by the police as many in our neighborhood has filed reports on him.  He’s in his 80’s and he walks his little dog every day about 4-5 times a day all along our block.  I keep waiting for him to drop dead but yet he’s still standing.  Granted, he is deteriorating right before our eyes, but he is still alive.  He’s kind of the Donald Trump of our neighborhood.  The country club even kicked him out for cussing out a child.  Although I’m sure by now they’ve let him back in.

A few days ago while Gordon was out getting the mail, (while we still have a Postal Service), a woman from across the street was inquiring about Gordon’s job and wondering if he still had one?  🙂  Gordon informed her that ‘yes he does, he’s just working from home.’  Funny how so many people are always asking us questions yet we never ask them any?  Probably because we aren’t nosy and we don’t care.  Sometimes when I am outside in the front yard and someone walks by our house I will say hello just to be neighborly.  Sometimes they answer back, sometimes they don’t.

We like our neighbors to the right of us.  They understand the whole socially distance important and wearing masks.  Although his wife is very friendly and when our dogs got out through a hole in our fence they helped us coral them and prevent that escape.  I spotted them going out under the fence and Gordon leapt over the fence to try and catch them.  Sparkly loved it!  He thought Gordon was chasing him to play with him.  I just thought it was so cute and funny that while we are yelling “Sparky!”  She is calling him “Sparkles.”  And sometimes now we will call him Sparkles just because we think it’s funny.  🙂

In addition to everyone in our neighborhood, every delivery man/woman that we have to drop off packages at our front door never seem to be wearing masks either.  Our neighbor’s directly across the street have people coming by their house most every day.  Whether it be their housekeepers, family, friends, neighbors….. no one ever wears a mask.  So why are so many of these college educated suburbanites so reckless and careless with their health and that of every single person they know and come in contact with?  Easy.  It’s because of white privilege, entitlement, and religion.  Ignorance and arrogance also plays a role.

It was during the G.W. Bush years that I was sounding the alarm over how dangerous the direction our country was going in and how if we don’t stop it right now we may not have a country in the future.  Well, I was laughed at, made fun of, mocked, dumped, shunned…I was called unpatriotic, un-American, I was treated almost as badly as The Dixie Chicks when they were blacklisted and shunned.  (I never realized I had so many republican friends, I mean frenemies.)  Well, we see how things have turned out.  There is also plenty of dots connecting the Bush/Cheney regime to our current political climate today.  Yet, Trump still has a 41% approval rating?  WHY?  Who is that crazy 41%?  I’ll tell you, a lot of them are my own neighbors.

I used to tell my children when they got to dating age to not date any republicans because they are the ones that carry diseases.  In red states sex education is usually not taught, abstinence is.  Therefor you have a higher population of STD’s and HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, and unwanted pregnancies.  And now in addition to all of that, republican’s are also now spreading COVID 19 at higher rates.  They will never learn.  They are incapable of it.  It’s not about waiting for them to wake up and help save their country and it’s people.  That worry isn’t in their thinking.  And why?  Easy.  Because nothing is going to happen to them.  They just somehow see themselves as being immune to it.  In the same way they believe in keeping their children ignorant of birth control and sex education, they just don’t think their children will be the ones to catch diseases, or have teenage and unwanted pregnancies.  And if they do get pregnant they are against aborting it because in their minds it might be the next Christ.  Not to mention how arrogant they are to assume that one of them would give birth to a future son of god.

In order to save our country we need to leave these 41% of our people behind and the other 59% of us need to ban together to try and help save us from a certain collapse of our country.  It will take all of us too.  We do outnumber them, they are just louder than the rest of us are.  Also, it will take us stomping them out and keeping them down for the next few decades.  We can’t just save our country now only to stop and then they take it back over in 4 years.

All I know for sure is that bad things are coming.  I don’t know how bad, just bad.

But, these are the people in my neighborhood which is why we stay indoors, on our own property, minding our own business, and keeping to ourselves.  Doing our best to keep ourselves safe.  The only way we can succeed at that is to stay away from them.

Julie

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August 2, 2020

What’s Up?

My new camera, that’s what.

Our JAWS Tribute Photo Shoot, Above

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I’ve been meaning to write for the past week and I’m just now getting around to it.  Oh, I have been working on other blog posts, and we do have a hurricane coming that is not supposed to hit us directly, but we should experience some harsh weather because of it.  I just did look outside and although it is a bright sunny day I see rain falling everywhere.  I like it when everything gets a good soaking, that way we don’t have to do it ourselves.

In a lot of ways things are still the same here, some differences.  Although Gordon is still working from home and 5 days a week he sits here right beside me, both of us on our computers.  Him working/Me blogging.  We are still ordering our food through Instacart and all of our shopping we are doing online.  Except Gordon did do some shopping last week at Home Depot and Lowe’s himself.  We have a project coming up that Gordon will be placing a fence around our A/C unit on the side of our house.  We also want to fence in the side door that exits out that way as well just for security sake.  And, we do need to create a place to put our generator outside for when we need to use it where future hurricane’s are concerned.  We need to be able to wheel it in and out of the garage.  So, we have been buying up fence, posts, caps, concrete, hardware, etc.  Gordon can do it himself as he put up our own backyard fence.  A generator is a hot item and you can’t just place them outside without any sort of protection to hide them.  They will get stolen.

So, why the extra security and preparation?  Because I think we will need it.  I’ve been wanting him to do this now for the past 2 years and finally it is going to get done.  What exactly do you think is going to happen now that we are going to have anywhere from 28-40 million American’s suddenly homeless?  Where do you think these people are going to go?  We will see them everywhere.  And they will be hungry and in need of money.  Most will be begging on the streets.  Do you think they are just going to sit by and watch their children starve and die?  No, they won’t.  Crime is about to go up and probably be at levels we have never seen before in our country.  You know, it was during The Great Depression that home owners would sleep out in their vegetable gardens at night with their shotguns to prevent the theft of their food.

We are supposed to encounter poverty on no level we have ever known here in America, even worse than The Great Depression.  I suggest we start to prepare for it.  No election is going to save any of us.  Think back to 2008 during The Great Recession that ushered in President Obama.  All those people that voted for him because they were scared they would loose their home.  Well, guess what?  He did nothing to stop any of it!  He didn’t save anyone although he promised that he would.  We needed a President that would hit the ground running to help save many of us.  Hope and Change?  NOPE!  When they bailed out the ‘too big to fail’ banks, it would have been cheaper to pay off every mortgage in America than it was to save the banks yet what did they do?  They saved the banks and the crooked corporations.  Do you really think that old Joe Biden is going to save anyone?

The only reason he is going to choose an African-American woman as his VP is because they need every black person to vote and they only get out in droves when one of them is on the ticket.  Oh, hey, don’t get me wrong, I am excited that he is going to choose a black woman, I’m just afraid that he will chose the wrong woman.  John McCain did the same thing with Sarah Palin.  It was great he chose a woman, he just chose the wrong woman.

(Note:  I just wanted to say something about his choice of Sarah Palin.  McCain originally wanted to pick Joe Lieberman because they got along so well.  However, the Evangelical Leadership gave McCain their choice of 5 candidates for him to choose from or else they would walk.  Therefore, he chose Sarah Palin because he was attracted to her.  You could tell by the way he would twist his wedding ring when he was standing beside her at speaking engagements that he wanted to have sex with her.  You did notice that she was never vetted?  So, all that was about McCain’s penis.)

The Democrats need a fighter but yet they never choose a fighter.  They try and silence the fighters in their party that are willing to get out there and fight for us.  And they always succeed in doing so. 

I’m not excited about this election because nothing will change.  Those homeless will continue to be homeless.  Do you think Joe Biden who does as he’s told is going to suddenly enact a law that will sweep all those people up off the streets and placed into all those empty homes?  NO!  He won’t.  Those empty homes will be owned by someone that will require rent money in order to allow them to live there.  Whether they be bank owned or owned by the average person.

It took a decade for the average American to get back on their feet from The Great Recession so exactly how long do you think it will take the average American now?  A lot will never recover.  And even if nothing happens to you, and you and your family are spared any major hardships, it will still affect you.  When you get in your car and drive wherever you need to go you will encounter those homeless.  Children approaching your cars begging for help.  Seeing animals roaming around homeless and hungry.  Will you be so cold hearted that you can then go on your merry way?

I can’t,

Julie

P.S.  As much as I love my website and love sharing links to our various posts and pages, it just might be too insensitive to continue to post things on Twitter where we feature our big feasts of food and fun.  I’m not to that point yet but I am thinking that it will probably come to it.  And besides, just because we are doing fine now doesn’t mean we will be fine for long.  NOT that we are rich, we aren’t!  BUT, America was one of the only countries in the world that didn’t resent their rich because they knew that could be them up there someday.  But because of all the rungs on the ladder that have been removed by our wealthy and their political tools by design so that most of us cannot make it up the ladder to even a few bottom rungs, the wealthy will now be the most hated people in our country.

 

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July 25, 2020

Yet another book I would like to read.

I have been meaning to write about Harry and Meghan and the whole Megzit thing for awhile now, so I thought I might tackle it a little bit this morning.  I’ve already had my first cup of coffee and eaten my Nutri-System Blueberry Muffin for breakfast, and I’ve started my second cup of coffee.  I’ve already breezed through my morning internet rituals and I was looking for something to do while I drink my second cup of coffee, and before I get my shower, so here goes…..

Where does one even begin to venture into the inner workings of an archaic institution, which is the Royal Family of Great Britain, and the dysfunction that it obviously is?  Where not only do they see themselves as being better than your average non-royal person, but they see themselves as being better than those that are already in the royal family?  Where birth determines your importance in the family.  Or who you marry.  They may have loosened up a bit in the last few decades, you know Diana had a lot to do with that.  But, the class system and snobbery is still there.  Diana may have paved the way for an American divorcee mixed race woman to be able to marry into the family, but she was unable to erase the racism and snobbery that still exists not only in the family but also in the country.  (Hey, I’m not throwing any stones as my country is horribly racist.)

I believe that had Diana lived, she would have been around to make sure her boys got along and supported each other in life.  Harry did say that he was always told that he was not as important as William.  Diana would have been there to say ‘Oh, yes you are!  You just have a different role to fulfill.’  I believe that if Diana were still alive that there would not have been a Megzit.  Oh, there would have still been snobbery and back stabbing in the family, but Meghan would have had an ally to help her through it and to help her go forward with some support and praise and applause so that Meghan could have accomplished those goals that she had for her and Harry to fulfill.  But, as it was all Meghan got was the snobbery and sabotage.  Most likely always being reminded of how unimportant that she was and constantly being reminded of her lack of importance in the family firm.  I also think that giving birth to Archie made her not want to remain in a family where he would receive the same kind of treatment that she was getting.  Also, the strong and powerful women of today are not about to put up with any of that shit.  I believe that Meghan did the only thing she could do by leaving that oppressive atmosphere.  And yes, this is all about Meghan.  Harry was pretty much raised rudderless so he follows Meghan as she has the dominant personality and he believes that where she is leading him will be a better place.  Maybe it will be?  Maybe it won’t?  I do see that once Harry does come to a place in his life where he will want to go back home because that is all he knows and he will miss it.  I do believe that had the pandemic not hit the world so hard that things could have turned out better for them.  They had lots of plans, they were given opportunities, but when the Coronavirus hit those plans were put on hold.  I think they should have stayed in Canada but the Canadian people refused to fund their security.  Too bad for you Canada as they were the only thing that made you interesting.

Harry just wanted the same things that his brother had.  A beautiful wife that he was in love with, children, and a role to fulfill where he could make a difference in people’s lives.  He wanted his wife excepted by his family and even supported.  He wanted Kate and Meghan to get along and not only be sisters-in-law but to also be friends.  But his family never fulfilled their roles in his plans thus making his new wife unhappy.  

I know what it’s like to not be welcomed or accepted because Gordon’s family were not particularly nice to me in the beginning and for the decades that have followed.  There were about 3 family members that have always been nice and respectful towards me.  And there are a few more that have been born since then that I like.  But I guess you could say I had my own little Megzit, I call it Julieszit.  And no, it’s not about having a pimple.  🙂 

In the beginning I even had some of Gordon’s family members calling me up on the phone and telling me that I was going to burn in hell.  Yeah.  Nothing says welcome to the family more.  🙂

It hurt at first because you want to be liked and excepted into the family that you will be marrying into.  However, after a while you do change your attitude and no longer see them as being relevant or important and then they no longer mean very much to you.

When Veronica and Brodie grew up and started dating I told Gordon that whomever they choose in life whether we like them or not, we will be good to them.  We will respect them and welcome them into our family with open arms.  And, luckily for us we love our Brian and our Mackenzie!

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I would like to close by saying this.  Although I have not heard a word about this from anyone online, etc., I do believe that when Meghan left the royal family that she disappointed a lot of African-American women and children here.  They finally had one of their own elevated up and in the royal family of Great Britain.  Something they never even imagined in their lives could ever be possible.  I believe that they had dreams that they hoped she could fulfill with Harry and that they could help to bring about change over there, that would spread to over here.  They have stayed quiet in order to be supportive and not to join in the Meghan bashing, but they are disappointed.  Their Princess Meghan is no more.

Julie

p.s.  I also wanted to add that had William and Kate been more supportive and recognized that Meghan does appeal to a certain British populace and how important that truly is.  After all, if they are to be King and Queen and want to serve their “subjects” to the best of their ability, they just threw away an important asset. But, then again, if they only want to cater to white people then they are on the right track.

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July 20, 2020

Mary Trump and What’s Up?

Too Much—-Never Enough

How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man

by Mary L. Trump, PHD.

I realize that my posts have been a bit dark lately.  Well, surprise, surprise, this one will be no different.  🙂

But I, like so many people throughout the world, have been fascinated by all the Mary Trump interviews where she speaks of her family and how she sees parallels between how the family functioned and how our current President is functioning.  How the family was run is similar to how our country is being run right now.  She, being a clinical psychologist, and a Trump relative, not only has a bird’s eye view as a professional, but also an inside view as a family member.  I see so many parallels between how Mary Trump describes her family, and how I see my own family that I was raised in.  Honestly, it would be like me writing a book about my own family growing up.  I haven’t read the book yet but I am going to order it as I believe it would be therapeutic for me.

She does blame her big Trump family for her father’s early death because of how they treated him.  He became an alcoholic because of it and developed a heart condition which did kill him in his early 40’s. 

Because I haven’t read the book I cannot speak of it’s contents.  I can however, speak to what Mary Trump has said in interviews.  There are a few things that stand out for me that remind me of my own family.  She talks about how her grandfather was a sociopath who used people for whatever they could do for him, and if people could no longer do for him then he would pretty much discard them.  I believe that my step-father was a psychopath, he died in 2013.  He never had any empathy for me even though he was my “father” from the age of 7 up until he died when I was 52.

Me, my step-father and my step-brother.  Two of the most horrible people I have ever known in my life.  Here we are camping.  Because it is my step-brother’s birthday the date must be December 31, 1968. 

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My mother, in my estimation, would just follow his orders, which were always anti-Julie.  I believe her to be a narcissist.  And I was the hated child of the narcissist.  She would happily go along with whatever terrible things he said to me, or did to me.  He may be the one to thrust the knife in me, but my mother would happily come along and twist it and enjoy the hell out of doing it.  (Figuratively.  Although the pain was so bad they might as well have literally stabbed me.)

In my over 59 years of existence, and up until my step-father’s death, neither one of them ever showed me any empathy.  Most of the feelings they ever projected towards me were bullying.  I have never really known kindness from my own mother.  I have however, seen her show kindness to many people.  Just not me.  Oh, she has joked around with me in life, it wasn’t all bad, but she was only nice when she was in a good mood which wasn’t very often.  And she could change her attitude on a dime and fly into some horrible rage screaming and yelling at me.  About the best I can say is that sometimes she was ‘not as bullying’ as she usually was.  I never realized how much that my grandmother (my mother’s, mother), protected me until she died and they wasted no time in coming after me.  She hadn’t even been lowered into the ground and my mother was screaming and yelling at me and accusing me of stealing my grandmother’s things in front of a room full of people in the living room.  She even went into the bedroom where Gordon and I were staying and starting rummaging through our luggage looking for my grandmother’s things.  We tried to reason with her but she was a crazed woman.  It was embarrassing and humiliating.  That’s why she did it.  Of course, my brother Frank and his wife came over after everyone had left and it was them who took the radio.  (Gordon and I never got an apology from my mother by the way.  And we never will.  Neither she or my step-father has ever issued an apology to any of us, including my brothers.)  And of course everyone forgave her for her outburst because after all, her mother had just died.  Thing is, that behavior towards me was typical, not because her mother had just died.  I was always presumed guilty of everything and I was constantly having to prove my innocence pretty much every day of my life.

Mary Trump mentions how her uncle Donald, when he brought Melania over for some Thanksgiving dinner with the family while he was still married to Marla Maples, where when he saw Mary he told Melania that Mary had a drug problem years ago and he was kind enough to give her a job.  As Mary said, she never had a drug problem, her uncle just made all that up.  Why?  Because by telling Melania that he gave her a job during her “lowest time in life” makes him look good.  I can very much relate to that.  Being humiliated by my parents in front of people/strangers where they would say terrible things about me that weren’t true.  Making me look horrible, yet making them look good because after all he was my step-father who took me in when my own father didn’t care about me.  Isn’t he such a good man to do that?

I think my mother despised me so much because I was being sexually abused by my step-father and I did tell people about it.  So, therefore they had to spend the rest of their lives discrediting me in order to protect him.  After all, he was the doctor, the bread winner, the psychopath that demanded total loyalty from everyone.  Something I never gave him.

 

I took this photo with my own camera when I was probably 9.  We are living in Dahlonega, Georgia here and that is my step-father with my little brother Johnny.  In the photo he appears to be a doting dad but once we moved to Roanoke, Virginia just about a year later we never really saw him again.  He would leave early in the morning to go to work and come home late at night.  Except he always seemed to find time to stop off in my bedroom on his way out the door while everyone else was asleep.

In our front yard in Dahlonega, Georgia.  1970.  I am the second from the right. 

My step-brother is located on the far left.

My step-brother with my brother Johnny in Dahlonega. 

That would be my step-father’s red Oldsmobile in the background.

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Mary Trump also describes her grandmother as being void of emotions.  That pretty much sums up my own mother.  There was no mothering instincts towards me.  No loyalty.  As I’ve told my brother Johnny, who is 8 years younger than me, she would always make sure that I lost and the other person won.  Whoever the other person was, that didn’t matter.  She always made sure that I lost.  All I ever wanted was to be treated fairly and be equal with everyone else.  Sometimes I would fight and fight and fight for equality in the family only to be granted about half of the rights of everyone else.  Which to me was a win!

I don’t mean this to sound the least bit racist, but I was the “black person” in the family. 

At least, that is how they treated me.

Julie and Johnny 1969

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Mary Trump said something else that I can relate to with my own family.  She said that liars were elevated up in importance.  THAT is my step-brother!  He is one of the worst human beings I have ever known in my life.  One of the biggest liars and manipulators, yet when cornered, he of course lies, and is then protected.  I, on the other hand, will tell the truth about something and be punished for years over it.  I believe the Trump’s and the Lancaster’s have quite a bit in common.  That’s probably why they vote for Trump.  (Not my mother or brothers, just my step-brother and his Texass family.)

NOTE:  I would like to specify that I am not referring to any of them just having made a few mistakes in life and going on and never repeating any of them.  I am referring to a lifestyle based on lying, abuse, sabotage, cruelty, and just causing trouble and unhappiness for others and seemingly getting away with it.  (Although life is catching up to them in Texas.)

Mary Trump also said something that I find quite extraordinary about Donald and his siblings.  She said that they would lie to protect themselves, as a form of survival.  Perhaps that is why my step-brother was such a great liar?  Perhaps he knew the consequences that he would face if he told the truth?  I don’t really know.  But he is a product of his upbringing.  He is a product of that family out in Texas.  He is also a product of his father.  I am very proud to say that I am not!  As much as I was exposed to these horrendous people, I did not turn out to be like them.  I’ve made my mistakes in life, but I learned from them, I grew up, and I became a better person along the way.  They never did.

Years ago my mother sent me a photo album of photos that she had copied from her originals, and placed into a photo album for me and my brother’s as well.  When I saw all the Texass photos I threw them all away but I did keep this one.  And I wrote on it, as you can see above.  “My step-father the Psychopath and Mary Keith.”

I saved this one photo because I wanted my children to see my face here.  To see how unhappy that I was.  To see the abuse that I have endured most of my life from these two.  You can see my body language of my not leaning towards him but being pulled towards him.  You can also see my mother, totally oblivious.  Only caring that she gave birth to his child, Johnny.  That photo above represents my childhood of abuse and I wanted to post it as a record.  Even though I may be the only person that cares, I still want it out there.

I survived being the daughter/step-daughter of John and Mary Lancaster.  The worst two human beings I’ve ever known in my life, and who have done the most damage to me in life.  I survived knowing them!

Julie

P.S.  I was going to write about What’s Up but I’m not in the mood now.  That will have to wait.

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July 10, 2020

The “Karen’s” and the Meltdown of Right Wing America

It was during the week of the Republican National Convention in 2016 that I was on my way to my dermatologist appointment.  I remember that it was a Wednesday morning, probably around 10:30 a.m..  I also know that it was during that week of the republican convention.  If you recall their convention was going badly.  No one in that party should have felt the least bit confident about their November election chances.  I, however, was feeling pretty happy about their convention failures.  Well, as I was driving the few miles down the main road in my town to my appointment, I was very shocked to have experienced at least 3 almost collisions with other cars.  I was in my lane and going the speed limit but they were driving erratic, reckless, speeding in a 45 MPH zone.  I was something of an emotional wreck when I arrived at my appointment because I had encountered so many hostile people on the road.  And the thing is they were all white middle aged women driving mini-vans! 

I couldn’t figure out why there were so many horrible women drivers on the road at what is usually a very slow traffic time of day where I don’t usually encounter the bad drivers?  It wasn’t until I left my dermatologist appointment that I realized why?  OMG!  They are upset that their convention is going so badly and they are afraid they won’t win!  That’s it!!

We live in what is a large republican/independent area.  We do have our crazy republicans, but we also have some more rational independents in our midst.  Us liberals are more in the minority.  Oh, they know which families are liberals, they make it their business to know. 

But, what you are seeing play out with all these crazy republicans right now throughout our country, is their meltdown!

They know they aren’t winning, and they are panicked about it!  And when they get upset their true nature comes out and that is what people are filming with their phones and putting it online for the world to see.  Thank goodness they are finally having to pay a price for their meanness.  This is pretty new.  Used to their employers would just give them some sort of reprimand and that would be the extent of it.  But no!  Not now!  They are finally having to pay a price for their meanness and hatred.  The thing is, all you have to do it film them and let them bring themselves down.

Used to, when I was in the car with my kids, or Gordon, I would see someone and I could tell instantly that they were a republican.  I would say to Veronica or Brodie, ‘Look at that woman with her arm dangling out the car window, leaning back in her seat, as she survey’s the cars around her.  She is a republican.’  I would then hear, ‘How do you know that mom?’  I would then reply, ‘Because I can tell.  Look at how arrogant she is.  Look at her facial expression as she judges the people around her and the cars they are driving.  Her blonde hair.  Her hairstyle.  The car she is driving.  I know she is a republican because they all look alike.  They are sheep.  They drive the same cars.  The wear the same clothes.  They have the same hairstyles.  There is nothing special about them.  They only stand out because they are the same.  I don’t need to see her voter registration card to see how she votes because how she votes is written all over her, and her automobile, and her clothing, and her attitude.  She’s also very religious.  You can tell by her self righteousness.  Only the religious have that smug expression on their faces because they see themselves as superior to all others.

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The “Karen’s”

When I first heard about the “Karen’s” I immediately felt bad for all people named Karen because their name is being used to depict such horrible people out there.  BUT, I then read the profile of a “Karen.”  WOW!  They just described the only Karen I know that is also named Karen, to a T!

Now, I do think there is something to it.

The Karen that I am referring to is a family member that has not particularly been very nice to me for decades.  She was a very sweet girl, but when she grew up she became a “Karen.”  I miss that sweet little girl that she once was.  I am not going to start badmouthing her.  I pretty much ran her off from reading my website anymore.  But I did want to say that there is a reason these women are called “Karen’s.”  Sadly, the name fits.

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Karma

You know, there are very few of us that actually see justice when we are wronged by someone.  Usually the bully gets away with it………………….initially.  BUT, just give it time and let karma step in.

You see, karma will do a much better job than you ever could at exacting revenge on anyone.

To me, my definition of karma is something that one does to themselves. 

For example, a person may be able to shoplift every day for 5 years but eventually, if that person continues to do that thing that they shouldn’t, they will eventually get caught.  Either technology will catch up to them.  Or perhaps all these camera’s that are everywhere will expose them.  But just give it time. 

If they would just stop doing that bad thing that they are doing right now then they may just get away with it.  But they never stop, do they?  They keep going because they keep getting away with it.  Look at Bill Cosby, for example.  Had he just stopped what he doing to women he would have gotten away with it.  But he never stopped because he KEPT getting away with it. 

Everyone’s downfall is always arrogance.  So, if you are wronged by someone do not fret it.  If the law doesn’t get them then life steps in and takes them down.  You have a powerful ally on your side so do not fear.  🙂

Julie

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June 30, 2020

The 4th. of July

Every year we usually do something very nice for our Independence Day.  A nice big spread of BBQ/Brunswick Stew/ Corn on the Cob/ etc.  And this year will be no different.  Only because we do themes.  🙂

I am however, very curious as to see how our average American tends to “celebrate” the 4th.

Will there even be a celebration?  I know that we have not been feeling very patriotic for decades.  Oh, we love our country, just not the politicians that run it and ruin it.  The idea of America is what we celebrate.  We celebrate the patriotism of our past.  When we were proud to be American’s.  Although those days are past, we do live in the past, therefore this July 4th. will be special to us.

Here are a few clues as to the theme of our July 4th.

Do you understand now?  Great! 

Then we are on the same page.  See you on the 4th.!

Star Spangled Kisses!

Julie

p.s.  What’s with the additional coffee pot on the counter underneath the paper towels?  I don’t get that?

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June 28, 2020

My Thoughts on Gone With The Wind

I want to first state that I am pro Black Lives Matter.  I did grow up in the south, Georgia, to be exact.  I was born in 1961.  I can remember the commercials on T.V. where someone by the name of J.B. Stoner was running for some office and would talk about how he would get rid of the N*****’s.  Even though I was just a girl I disliked that man on T.V.  I grew up in a kind household.  At least where my mother’s family was concerned.  My biological father’s family were very racist.  My bloodline does put me in The Daughter’s of the American Revolution, DAR, by my biological father.  I have that bloodline yet I do not honor that heritage.  I have the DNA to be in that exclusive club but I do not join it.

I suppose that my fried chicken above and the cotton would seem a racist statement.  I don’t mean it to.  I adore fried chicken and I love the cotton.  I also can’t live without Watermelon!

I am so happy that most people are starting to realize all that our black American’s go through and are helping to end their suffering.  I’m sure that if I were to take a DNA test that my heritage would be African/Scotch-Irish/ and Greek.  And I would be just as proud to be all of them!  I have black characteristics/Scotch-Irish characteristics, and Greek.  🙂

But, Gone With The Wind is one of my most favorite movies of all time.  Not because it depicts slavery.  But because of Scarlett O’Hara. 

When I first saw Gone With The Wind I hated Scarlett.  I thought she was so mean!  But I came to realize that although she was mean, she made sure that her family and friends survived.  She sacrificed her happiness and married men that she didn’t love so that her family had a roof over themselves, and so that she could control the money and keep Tara alive and well, and her family members.  She was also caring for Ashley and Melanie when they needed help.  Melanie and Beau are only alive because of Scarlett. 

In the old south some families did own slaves.  Some of my family members owned slaves.  I cannot do anything about the past.  That wasn’t my past.  But, I can do something right now.  I can support Black Lives Matter and I do!

Gone With The Wind is just a movie, It is not a documentary on slavery.  I can very easily imagine the horrors of slavery just as I can image the horrors the Jews endured in the concentration camps.  I just happen to love the movie GWTW because it takes place not far from where I was born.  And it depicts an era of grandeur and then hardship, and war.  It depicts change and a new future.  To me Mammie is the smartest person in the entire movie.  I also love that Rhett wants the respect of Mammie more than anyone else. 

I say put all those Confederate statues in a museum where they belong.  That is our history, for good or for bad.  We shouldn’t erase our history.  But it also shouldn’t be flaunted.  I grew up in Rome, GA. where the Rome Re-enactor’s re-enact the Civil War.  My parent’s said decades ago that there will be another Civil War.  It’s as if they keep re-enacting it in the hopes they will eventually win.

I can’t do anything about my country’s past, I can’t also do anything about my families past, but I can do something right now.  I support Black Lives Matter because they do!  I am with you.  But, I also like to occasionally watch Gone With The Wind.  Not because I love slavery, I don’t!  But, I do love Scarlett.  I always will.

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June 26, 2020

Memories and Musings

Our Home on MacDill AFB Before we Purchased our House

Those are our cars.  We had an ocean view.  The raw ocean was only a block away.

When we left Maryland in 2003 and moved to Florida I was very excited to be coming back to Florida.  My mother’s beach condo was just 23 miles away.  I was excited that I would be managing it.  I had been booking it through Ebay while we were living in Maryland for a few years, acting as a travel agent.  But now I would be doing it all down here.  I loved our new home on base!  (Photo above.)  I loved that the base was on a peninsula.  I loved that we had an ocean view with the ocean just being a block away.  I also loved that we didn’t have to worry about doing yard work.  The base hired people to do that for you.  I loved that everywhere we went I was driving on a road right beside the ocean.  Sometimes you could see dolphins jumping out of the water.  Sometimes you could see sharks fins above the water as they swam right up to the shoreline.  Sometimes you could see what looked like the water boiling but it was actually something large eating a bunch of something smalls as in a feeding frenzy going on.  We saw lots of sunrises from our kitchen and balcony area.  And if we were out at the condo then we saw lots of sunsets there.  The waters around the base were loaded with muscles and clams.  Usually it would be me picking up the many seashells to then bring them home and do crafts with them.  I made many shell wreaths, most of which I gave away as gifts.  I very much enjoyed our life there, we all did.  Yet to be around other military families all I seemed to ever hear were the complaints. 

I thought back to when we were living in Hawaii and a family that we were very close to were living on Hickum AFB, and living in officer’s housing with the ocean just across the road, and their child’s school just a block away within walking distance where all the lovely ladies would walk their small children to school each morning while strolling the little ones in their strollers down the sidewalks, they had it made, yet so many complaints.

We also knew another family who lived on our base with us out in Ewa Beach.  Their house was right on the ocean, they swam in the ocean most every day.  They even had their own Tiki Hut on the beach where they could entertain.  They had a garden that was so beautiful.  Yet, all they ever did was to complain.  With July 4th. coming up I remember my last Independence Day in Hawaii, it was in 1999.  Gordon was out to sea as usual so this family that I describe above invited us to spend the day with them.  I brought over a large container of fried rice that I had made myself.  I can’t even remember the rest of the food, only what I had brought.  As night came and we are sitting on their private beach with Diamond Head in the distance, and fireworks on big display in Waikiki, I knew then that it will never be as good as it is right now.  So, I soaked it up.  I was sad that we were moving from Hawaii in just a few short weeks.  So, I took it all in and I can still see it in my mind now.  But, the family that I tell you about in this story did nothing but complain about everything.  If living on a home in Hawaii right on the ocean doesn’t make you happy then nothing ever will.  So…..

(NOTE:  When we were living out in Ewa Beach we were across the street from the ocean but sadly a large Marine Barracks was blocking our view.)

When we moved to Florida and we got our ‘near the waterfront’ home, I enjoyed every bit of it and I look back on our 3 years there and I miss it.  It was a very nice life.  I suppose I’m being a bit nostalgic.  I think a lot of people are now.  Sort of reminiscing about the past and what life was like before this pandemic.  I do wonder if those families that I mention above ever found any sort of happiness?  I seriously doubt it.

Recently this millionaire Steven Bing jumped 27 floors to his death because he was lonely, and I did later read a headline that he was also feeling guilty over his young girlfriends death.  I then went on to read how the son he fathered with Elizabeth Hurley was grieving his death.  The father that for many years denied he was his father, and had nothing to do with him, was grieving for him.  WHAT?  Exactly what loss is there to grieve?  As I see it, you can’t miss what you never had.  You can’t mourn what you never lost.  I hate to tell you this Damien Hurley, but your sperm donor died.  Period!

A millionaire in what is probably a penthouse on the 27th. floor killed himself because he was sad.  To someone like me we scratch our heads over that because we would be having a ball in that penthouse and looking out at what is probably a wonderful view sipping champagne, eating lobster and shrimp, and toasting to the life of luxury. 

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But now, not to stray too far off topic but I look around at the many women in our society that are having those butt implants so that they can have a big butt.  And I remember back to when all these other women had to have all the breast implants so they could have big boobs.  Prior to that I think big lips were the in thing where everyone looked like a fish and yet somehow they thought that was attractive.  When I look at these women all I see is so much mental illness.  If you feel the need to put that much effort into your outsides, then your insides must be pretty messed up.

I wish our society would put more emphasis on someone’s insides as being important.  I wouldn’t take one of those big giant butt’s or humongous boobs for any amount of money in the world.  My butt is not very shapely, but my boobs are holding up pretty well for age 59, so I will just keep what I have because those things just don’t matter to me.  I do want to loose a few pounds for the sake of my health and for my vanity when I wear something nice I would like to look good in it.

My hope when this pandemic is over is that our society will play a huge role in counseling all the mental illness that not only exists now, but that will come to fruition years from now, as in an explosion.  My hope is that there will be a bottom that our society hits where it finally realizes that there is no perfect breast size, or butt size, or dress size. My hope is that more attention will go toward victims of bullying, domestic abuse and violence.  A fairer society is a nicer society.

I learned through my lifetime to appreciate everything that I have and to look on my past as a learning experience, including the traumas.  There are people that see me as someone that just cannot get over things.  That’s not true.  I very happily forgive.  But first I need an apology and an acknowledgement.  Once I get that I can forgive anyone.  But I never seem to get that.  So, I end up doing the only thing that I can do.  I say goodbye and wish them well.  But, I never want to see them again, and I never want to know them again.  If their relationship with me is not worth an apology then I must not mean very much to them. 

I hope that when all is said and done that we are a better people and a better nation when we come out of this pandemic.  Sometimes we have to hit bottom before that happens.  As a country, that’s what I’m afraid of.  I didn’t bring children into this world so they can suffer a life of hardship in the future.

Julie

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June 19, 2020

Celebrating the Last of our Christmas Shooting……

IN JUNE!

Starting tomorrow down goes our Star Wars Christmas in our dining room.  Oh, we took all the rest of our Christmas down throughout our house months ago, but we kept this area up because we wanted to do a bit more with it and what with being in lockdown for months now every month just sort of blurs together.  I am someone that makes efforts to keep up with the date, and the day of each week.  We have also been really knocking out projects left and right.  Gordon is still working from home.  He puts in his 8 hours a day on his computer, M – F, but because he is working from home he can take a 2 hour break for lunch and work on a project outside and then make the time up later on in the evening.

We realize that we are very lucky compared to so many that have not had it as easy as we have.  But we have been where you are.  There was actually a time when Gordon and I were homeless and sleeping on a friends couch and floor.  And there was a time when all we had was $15.00 a month for food.  I realize that is hard to believe to some, but not to those that have been there.  And I am only writing this for them and not some casual reader.

So, if we are to be looked down upon for being fortunate at this time by some people, rest assured, we have paid our dues.  Over, and over again.  Plus, fortune never seems to last forever so we will see how things unfold.  I don’t believe any of our futures are guaranteed.  I was thinking about what kind of Christmas I would like this year and then I realized that there may not be any Christmas.  Our country’s future is very uncertain.  Joe Biden may very well win the election in November but that doesn’t mean he will be President.  Al Gore won in 2000 and we see how that coup turned out.  Hillary won in 2016 and we see how that turned out. 

The polls say that 80% of our country all agree that things are out of control but that really means nothing.  Democrats and Independents may not like all that Trump is doing and sees the country as being out of control, but the same thing can be said about republicans seeing the BLM protests as our country being out of control.  So, polls really tell us nothing right now.  Instead of pollsters and politicians plotting a strategy for an Electoral College win in November, I think they should focus more on what to do if the incumbent doesn’t leave OUR HOUSE when he looses.

Am I hopeful?  NO! 

Because I know the mindset of the right winger.

Right now it looks as if America as a whole wants change.  It looks as if those moderates that have turned a blind eye to our country’s problems forever are now waking up and ready to commit to helping to change things for the better.  That’s all good!  (And it would have been great had they gotten involved before the shit hit the fan, but…..) 

But, what is coming is the response from the deplorables.  And they will respond!  Right now they are just upset that the country they thought they were taking back from the “evil liberals” is slipping out of their fingers.  They see the tides changing rapidly in front of their eyes.  They see black people fighting back in great numbers.  And not just blacks but brown, white, and Asian’s are marching in large numbers alongside our African-American people.  The Supreme Court keeps dealing them blows by ruling in favor of the LGBTQ community where discrimination is concerned, and how they are not going to deport over 700,000 DACA people back to the country their parents fled when they were just children.

The haters are loosing right now and they don’t like it.  They will fight back because they do not respect laws.  They live by their ideology.  They will not respect the election results unless it goes in their favor this November and that will just embolden them to go farther.  Right now they are licking their wounds and planning and plotting for a resurgence.  And they will make a comeback and become even more dangerous than they are right now.

THAT is what I fear! 

There are solutions but no one seems to be implementing them.  So, if I want to leave Christmas decorations up almost 7 months after Christmas, then I will!

Merry Christmas!

Julie

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June 11, 2020

These Things…..

I had it in my head what I was going to write about but then it left me.  So, I thought that I would just start typing and then we’ll see what tumbles out.  I’ve known we would get to this point in our history a few decades ago.  Oh, I didn’t exactly know the details, I just knew the feeling and the destination.  But what has surprised me is the goodwill of so many that have been complicit and stagnant for so very long in the past, are now waking up and are becoming more active.  I promise you, I did not see that coming.

I’ve been made fun of for so long, by so many, because of my keeping up with politics and speaking out against the injustice that I’m not used to people actually understanding why now?  I think that most people saw me as insane during the George W. Bush years because of my political activism.  But, we wouldn’t be where we are now if it weren’t for G. W. Bush.  There would not be a Trump if there weren’t a Palin, if there weren’t a Bush…..

I am into prevention!

As am Empath I have spent my life preventing bad things from happening.  That is what Empaths do.  We want to prevent bad things from happening in the future.  That is how I spend my life.  I will also never receive the credit that I deserve for preventing something bad from happening.  How many times have I prevented a burglary?  We will never know because I prevented it.  I lock doors.  I set alarms.  I have always watched my children like a hawk.  I keep up with my handbag, my luggage, my carry on.  I am not distracted by the things that others are because my focus is on my children or my possessions. 

How many times have I prevented something bad from happening? 

We will never know because I PREVENTED BAD THINGS FROM HAPPENING!

Gordon is the true “hero” of the family because he rides to the rescue when something bad DOES happen.

If anyone has a car wreck, or any kind of accident they know to call Gordon, not me.  Why?  Because Gordon will rise to the occasion and swoop in to save whomever needs saving.  And as for me?  Well, I’m too busy questioning how could this have possibly happened?  Did you not lock your doors?  Why were you distracted on the road?  Did you not have your hands on the steering wheel at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock?  And why not?  Whatever were you thinking?

I am useless in an emergency! 

But, I am the best person in the world to help you prevent something bad from happening.

I think of things that the average person doesn’t think about. 

The point that I am trying to make here is that there are so many of us that do such good work but we will never be recognized for it.  I suppose timing is everything.  And if we aren’t being recognized at the exact moment in time that we need to be, then we are lost in history.

But, we are not lost!  Our work is being recognized at the moment, and by the most important people that need to recognize it.

We are important!  If you are like me then you know perfectly well how important that you are.  We may not get our credit at the time, but we will eventually.  Besides, it is in us to help people whether or not those people appreciate us at the time, or not.

That is the path of an Empath.

Julie

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May 27, 2020

Operation Lockdown Ugly and Happy About It (Sort of.)

Julie Bedroom Selfies

At age 59 there will never be any sexy bedroom selfies, but there will be selfies.

Above is my pre-pandemic look, my current pandemic look, and my post-pandemic look.  This is what I look like when I am at home.  I am not going to waste make-up or styling products if I am only going to be looking at myself all day.  I do however, generously use moisturizer in every crevice whether I leave the house or not.  I also will continue to do my personal grooming and manicure/pedicure whether anyone will ever see my hands or feet ever again.  I will also continue to floss my teeth as if there is no tomorrow.  In other words, I take care of my self, my body, my skin, my hair, my teeth, etc. because I am worth it.  I may not pretty up on the outside but I still take care of myself on the inside as well as the outside.  And I hope everyone else is able to as well.

I have been in self-isolation for the past 2 1/2 months with my family here at home.

  I also plan on not going anywhere anytime soon until about July or August if I can help it.

That may be hard for some people but not for me.  I learned a very long time ago how to entertain myself.  I am not going to go into that again as I have talked about it before, but I do think it a bit irresponsible for others to try and tell people what to do in lockdown/self-isolation.  Martha Stewart may have given good advice when she told people to ‘grow a garden’ while in quarantine, but she also has no clue what most people may be going through.  When faced with an eviction in one month, hearing from Martha that they need to grow a garden is a bit unrealistic.  Martha is a nice person.  I am not dissing her. It really is up to us to discover that which we need, inside of us, to get us through this.  Hey, as long as Gordon has a job and is bringing in a paycheck then we are o.k.  But, the second that ceases, we are screwed!

Nothing in this climate is a guarantee.  We may be fine now but that doesn’t mean we will be fine next week, next month, or next year.

I believe that realistically, that is how most people are right now.  Unless you are a millionaire with lots of money stashed away then your future is just as iffy as anyone’s.

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One thing that I have enjoyed is that there are celebrities that have posted worrisome tweets/photos/ etc. of themselves with real fears and worries.  I believe that makes their followers feel better about their own situations.  Looking at the people that they admire posting photos of their non-flawless skin, cellulite thighs, tummy bulges, gray roots, anxieties, extra pounds….. just means they are just as human as the rest of us.

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I have also noticed something different happening in our country.  Justice!  Over the past few decades there have been so many injustices done.  Police murders of black men and boys on the rise, racial discrimination of black and brown people.  But, over the past few days people are getting fired for their racism.  THAT is very new!  And what is happening in our climate at the moment?  A pandemic.  Could people be finally waking up to the horrible Trump climate in our country and actually be worried about it, AND, trying to correct it?  Are the moderates finally waking up and not liking what they see?  When you do nothing about a situation then you are complicit in it.

I do know that if you keep going you will eventually win.

 I started this website in 2011.  I have had a cyber-stalker to do his best to ruin it, sabotage it, re-write it, destroy it, but guess what?  I persisted!  I never stopped working on it.  I never stopped creating.  I never stopped writing.  I never stopped posting.  I never stopped blogging.  And here we are 9 years later and this website is far larger and better than it ever was before. Oh, I do have quite a few pages to still correct that he has ruined.  And all the damage he has done to us we will never forgive him for but, If you keep going you will eventually win.  Never stop believing in yourself.  I know that sounds a bit like some 80’s Journey song but it’s true.

Although I will not post that video of that “Central Park Karen” woman that everyone is talking about.  That woman was finally exposed for the real person she is and people decided that they didn’t like her and no longer wanted to tolerate her and people like her.  Trying to get an African-American man arrested by lying to police about him simply because he pointed out a leash law to her is evil.  She is evil.  And now she is getting what she deserves.  People eventually expose their true selves and that is what is happening in our current climate.  Thank goodness that there are some decent people out there that are no longer willing to tolerate them.

Julie

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May 23, 2020

I Am So Overwhelmed

This may take me a few days to write as I am so overwhelmed by so much right now, but I thought I would go ahead and start while I have a few moments to myself.  (p.s. I did get it all written in one day.)  🙂

My house is a mess, I need to give myself a pedicure, I’m washing our bedding right now, in just a little bit I will be cleaning our bedroom, I have all the dogs bedding to wash, they also need baths, our laundry hamper is full and I need to get to that but because we use so many mattress covers and sheets and bedspreads, just doing our bedding takes from morning until night.  I like to sleep on a “cloud.”  So, therefore we have lots of feather beds on top of 3 mattresses.  And yes, you have guessed correctly.  I AM The Princess and The Pea.

I am a tall person but even I have to climb up into bed at night.  Heaven help us if we ever fall out, we’d probably break our necks.

I need to clean our bathroom but because the new faucet that Gordon installed in my sink, it needs a clamp as it leaks and water drips down into my cabinet, where incidentally, everything that was underneath my sink in my cabinet is sitting in our bathtub.  I can’t get organized and clean as I need to until my sink faucet is repaired.  We are just awaiting the part to arrive in the mail then Gordon has to repair it.

I need to water our plants in our front entrance to our house so that they don’t die.  Luckily it did rain yesterday so that watered our plants on our back lanai so they get to live another day.  (This is Florida.  If you don’t water every 2-3 days they die.  Trust me!)

I need to put away our Christmas decorations.  Yes, I just said that.  I realize it’s almost June, but after Christmas I just never got around to putting them away.  Apparently I am the only one that is capable of it that lives in this house, so If I don’t do it then no one does.  I am glad that I never got around to it because we created a great post for our website for Christmas that we never would have done had the decorations not been out.

A Star Wars Clue For Christmas

It was a lot of fun to create and everyone had a good time.

But, getting back to my drama……

We have to finish pickling and get that project over with.  We’ve got jars in the dishwasher right now so that we can finish that project either today or tomorrow.  We’re doing some carrots and perhaps a few other root vegetables that escapes me right now.  I had the utterly brilliant idea of having Gordon to carve each little veggie into a flower to pickle.  (If looks could kill I would be a dead woman!)  It is a great idea though.

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Intermission: My Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone RANT

There is a Harry Potter marathon on t.v. right now and the part that I hate the most was just on.  It’s at the end of the movie where Slytherin is about to win the whatever award for best house or something like that.  Then Dumbledore awards Gryffindor all those extra points so that they can win instead.  Here is my beef.  Apparently Slytherin must have been doing something right all year to be ahead only to have the award stolen from them at the very last minute by Dumbledore.  They even had all their banners of Slytherin up and ready for the celebration.  What Dumbledore did was to rob them of that victory.  Perhaps that’s why the Slytherin kids became such bully’s?  Sure, they were a bit spoiled at the start, like most privileged kids are, but being robbed of something that special that was rightly due them can only make them resentful towards the authority at Hogwart’s, and the teacher’s pets as well, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine.

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Now back to my other rant……

I’m still doing laundry.  It’s almost 4:30 p.m. now and my thick extra large comforter is still drying.  Then I’ve just got one more load for the night, until tomorrow when it’s time to wash clothes.  I’ve spent quite a lot of time in our bedroom today cleaning it.  I’ve only gotten half way through.  I’ll try and get the other half tomorrow.  I came across quite a bit of jewelry I hadn’t seen in years that desperately needs cleaning.  Oh, and btw:  It’s very easy to clean jewelry effectively.  Just use Polydent tablets in water and they will clean your jewelry quite quickly and easily.  But only real gold or silver.  It will ruin costume jewelry.  Also, really watch closely when you clean pearls that way.  You don’t want the Polydent to corrode  them.  Just be watchful and only leave them in for a few minutes.

Gordon is in the backyard with the dogs now.  He did clean their water bowl/water fountain today.  And he is working on hanging a project of ours in the next few days.  It is a project that does require some work.  It was my idea to do this project.  I think it will end up looking nice.  I’ll bring that to you soon.

I am very behind on my letter writing to my relatives that don’t email.  God, I wish they would!  It would be so much easier for me.  I don’t write out letters in long hand, I get tired just signing a check.  But, I do type everything out, print out photos, and then send a nice long letter with pictures.  I guess I shouldn’t complain about them not wanting to do email.  I myself refuse to text, which irritates my children.

Gordon and Brodie still have the gutter project to finish.  I myself need to prepare my large above ground planter with the new tomato plants I’ve purchased.  I’ve got a great eggplant in there that is growing nicely.  So proud!  🙂  Gordon and I have been buying herbs and plants online and having them delivered.  I need to get out there and get to those as well.  We are having lots of bell peppers growing, which is so nice as we eat a lot of them.  And we also ordered some asparagus to plant.  It will take a year before we see any results but it will be worth it to have our own asparagus.  We have also been trying to buy okra online but everyone seems to be out of it so we are going to use seeds.  Okra is very easy to grow and we have always been very successful growing it.  Can’t wait to start that project.

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On the barefoot front I managed to start my pedicure.  It’s pink this week.  It has been blue the past few weeks.  I can just hear your sigh’s of relief.  🙂

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Well, I suppose that you get the drift of how much there is to do around here.  And I pretty much just mentioned the tip of the iceberg.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  In the past when I would look around my house and get overwhelmed I would just shut down.  As in just lay on the couch not doing anything at all but watching t.v. or a movie.  But for the past few years when I get overwhelmed I just sit down right here in my computer chair and type away working on blog posts, etc. 

Sometimes I have to make myself get up and do something productive.  In order for me to avoid becoming overwhelmed I’ve learned to take things slow and do things one at a time.  Take one room at a time and do what I need to do in there before I move on to the next room.  That is what I am doing now.  I did half of our bedroom today.  I will do the other half tomorrow.  Then, I will have a victory.  With that victory underneath my belt it will help me to move on to the bathroom and do what all I need to do in there.  Then once that is done I will move on to the dining room and put away all the Christmas.  I guess you get the picture. 

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With this being Memorial Day Weekend we will be grilling out but not doing anything as elaborate as we have in the past.  We are all kinda tuckered out.  Not to mention we all have an extra few pounds on us being in lockdown and enjoying all these feasts we’ve been having.  Mackenzie left a few days ago to spend some time with her family in Tampa until she leaves for Gainsville, Florida to do her internship.  We miss her.  Our ray of sunshine has left the building.  But, we know we will see her again.  The dogs adore her!  If she just takes something to her car they cry for her until she comes back inside.  That is why I asked her if she would talk to the dogs alone before she left and just explain to them where she was going and that she would be back.  Although the dogs may not understand every word she said, they did hear her tone in her voice, they did view her facial expressions and her body language, and they could feel her feelings.  And, guess what?  The dogs have been fine and there was no crying when she left.  That is much better than just walking out the door never looking back at them.  Dogs are so much smarter than people realize.

So, it looks like our Memorial Day grillin’ will consist of “elaborate” grilled veggie sandwiches on Cuban bread. 

Nothing fancy, but everything delicious and healthy!

So, with that I will leave you.  I need to learn to balance all I have going on in order for all of it to work.  I also need to just take one day at a time, one room at a time, one section of a room at a time, in order for me to become more organized and more productive.  I will get there eventually.  🙂  We all will.  If we try.  🙂

Julie

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May 18, 2020

The Baseball Analogy For The Coronavirus

I love baseball!  I have since I was a young girl and playing sports during school recess.  Oh, there were no girl’s or women’s sports while I was growing up but we were allowed to play sports during our school recesses.  Usually soccer and kick ball.  I was the star player and I played barefoot most of the time.  I would kick my shoes off when I would go outside to the playground to play.  The only time the popular kids were nice to me was when I was playing sports.

It wasn’t until Junior High School where Gym Class was a class that we were required to take that I started playing baseball.  I was good at it too.  But, unfortunately whenever my bat would make contact with the baseball, and as that ball sailed high in the sky toward the outfield, that sadly my bat was also soaring high in the air toward the 3rd. baseman.  I threw the bat!

I couldn’t help it.  I would hit the ball with such force that I couldn’t keep hold of the bat and it would fly out of my hand usually headed toward someone that would have to leap out of the way to prevent from being seriously injured.  The coach was always mad at me.  She knew that I was a good player I just couldn’t not throw that bat no matter how hard I tried.  So, I was always benched.

Whenever I would play soccer or kick ball there was this sweet spot on my feet that when the ball came in contact with that spot, (my very long toes), I could have that ball sailing through the air and way out into the outfield.  Well, I found that same sweet spot when I would swing that bat and send that baseball soaring into the outfield while the other team would scramble to try and retrieve the ball.  But sadly, that sweet spot was why I couldn’t control the bat.

I suppose I’m rambling as usual but stay with me for a little bit longer.  🙂

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The Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia 1996

I was in Rome, Georgia that summer visiting with family and friends when my parents, my brother’s, and I decided to go into Atlanta and see if we could get tickets for an event.  You see, the way the ticket purchasing was set up for residents in Georgia was very strange.  It was a lottery.  You could not just buy tickets for whatever event you were interested in, you had to just blindly send in money and they would choose what events and how many tickets they would let you have.  My parents knew this doctor that sent in $2,000.00 and he received back just 2 tickets for boxing.  What a rip off!  So, we decided to just go into Atlanta and see if we could buy tickets on the spot.  So we did.

We drove to Kennesaw, Georgia, a pick up spot outside Atlanta where you could park your car and take a bus into the city.  If you had tickets in your hand for an Olympic event for that day you could ride free, and if you didn’t then you had to pay a small fee.  So, we left our car in Kennesaw and took the bus into Atlanta.  This was after the bombing.  I’ve never seen so many cops in one place in my life!  There was a police officer spaced every 20 feet apart as you would walk all over the area designated for the Olympic Village.  We checked prices at some of the events and the prices were very high.  That is when we started looking around at people buying tickets from scalpers so we inquired.  Turns out the scalpers had the best tickets and the best prices.  I believe it was my step-father and my brother Johnny, who was living in London at the time and over for a visit with us, who bought us our tickets for a baseball game, America verses Cuba.

America was doing very well in baseball so we were excited to come back and see the game a few days later.  Cuba always rules in baseball as that is their only sport.  I also believe that 2 of their players defected at that time.  We did get tickets for an event later on that day.  It was for Track and Field.  We started to get the hang of this scalper thing.  All you had to do was to stand there and hold up 2 fingers, or 4 fingers, or 6 fingers, for the amount of ticket’s you were interested in purchasing, and they would approach you.

After the bombing the news coverage of Atlanta was all about how scared people were, ATLANTA IN FEAR!!!!!  But, everywhere we went everyone was happy and having a good time.  The bus drivers were always telling us to remember to remove our suspicious packages as we exited.  🙂 

I learned to hate the Olympic Committee that summer.  They are big bullies!  Not only did they screw the people of Georgia out of being able to purchase tickets for events, but they also put about 3 small business’s out of business simply because they had the word Olympic in their name.  A family owned dry cleaners that had been in business since 1927 was immediately put out of business by The Olympic Committee.  They actually have the power to just come in and shut you down.  That is just bizarre to me.

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We enjoyed walking about Olympic Village.  Doing some shopping, enjoying the food, buying up those collectible pins.  Oh, I saw Jamie Leigh Curtis duck into a tent with her daughter Annie looking at pins.  We also saw actor/politician Fred Thompson strutting around with his country music star girlfriend and his entourage.  (Not impressed.)

At the end of the day you go to the designated bus stops to take you back to your car.  Atlanta had flown in bus drivers from all over America to work.  We know this because our bus driver got lost and it was us Georgia residents, that had to tell him how to get us back to Kennesaw where we were all parked.  And then as we are getting off the bus we’re having to give him directions to get back into Atlanta. 

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A few days later we went back into Atlanta to watch our baseball game.  USA verses Cuba.  We had pretty good seats.  Where we were sitting was actually underneath a ledge so we weren’t sitting directly in the sun.  And as usual one of us is always armed with high powered binoculars.  In looking at our USA team they were all a bunch of college students recruited from around the country to play because our men’s league’s won’t give up their million dollar salary’s in order to participate.  Our team looked liked such little boys.  I could see their acne on their faces through the binoculars.  They were just a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds compared to those Cuban men, they were just children.

Cuba came out strong until the 3rd. inning.  That’s when our boys started to catch up.  Not only did they tie with Cuba but actually started to get ahead.  By the 6th. inning you could see and hear the excitement from the people in the stadium.  USA!  USA!!  USA!!  Our boys were ahead and it was becoming such an exciting game!  It was the beginning of the 9th. inning and our boys were ahead with a lead of about 4 I think?  Every person in that stadium was on their feet.  America had never won a gold in baseball ever.  Cuba always wins.  Here was our chance to win gold in baseball and we were there to witness it.  Our college boys were gonna do it!  It was exciting!!! 

UNTIL…….

Ya know, I could never figure out why those Cuban men were so calm those last few innings of that game?  I was after all watching them through binoculars.  I could see their faces and their facial expressions.  I could observe their body language.  They weren’t worried about a thing.  I just couldn’t figure it out?  Why weren’t they worried?  They were about to be beaten by a bunch of college aged boys.  They were about to lose their title as always winning the gold.  And they weren’t worried?  Huh.  And that’s when it happened……

Cuba very calmly and quickly started gaining.  With about 1 minute to go and USA is ahead by 1 point Cuba swooped in and erased our lead only to score another run and WIN!!!!

That’s when it all made sense to me.  They let America get ahead.  They LET America get ahead just so they could swoop in and take that victory back for themselves.  They were so good that they weren’t the least bit worried in reclaiming their victory.  They were just toying with all of us.  The USA team, the players, the fans……

Needless to say, the mood of every American that left that stadium was very gloomy.

The baseball analogy is the perfect example of the Coronavirus.  We are in the first inning of a 9 inning game and people are taking victory laps.  This virus is smarter than we are.  More skilled than we are.  And far more evil than we are.  There are no victory laps until there is a victory.  Heaven help all of us until this is over.

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When that summer of ’96 ended my brother Johnny flew back to Heathrow Airport in London.  He wanted to take his old bicycle with him so when we took him to the airport they placed his bike in this huge cardboard container that allowed the wheels to be open at the bottom so that it could be wheeled easily.  Plastered all over that cardboard container was Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.  Johnny told us that when he arrived in London and was wheeling his bicycle around Heathrow that he got lots of looks from passers by.  Some of them were very admiring.  So, Johnny told us he straightened his posture and proudly wheeled that bike out of that airport as if he were an Olympic Cyclist.  🙂

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And for me, even though I wasn’t allowed to play baseball anymore I did go on to be the bat girl for the baseball team when I was in High School in Rockingham, North Carolina.  There was no girls team.  I was bat girl for the boys team.  That way I was able to participate in the sport without actually playing.  I do still love baseball but to me it’s more fun to actually be there instead of just watching on television.  But, I do love the baseball episode on Deep Space 9 where they play against the Vulcans.

Oh, and America did end up winning the Bronze Medal in Baseball in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. 

Not bad for a bunch of kids with pimples all over their faces.  🙂

Julie

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The Jett’s

Just Because.

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May 12, 2020

Catching Up

Me with Spooky and Sparky

I had the best Mother’s Day ever!

Gordon and Julie Outside our Lanai French Doors

Brodie and Mackenzie

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LOCKDOWN COMING TO AN END SOON

At this writing I have been in lockdown since March 10, and Gordon joined me about a week later.  Mackenzie moved in mid-late March, and then Brodie joined us last in lockdown the end of March.  We have been happy, healthy, and have been enjoying each other and our activities.  Movies, projects, cooking, home improvements, etc. have been our life for the past few months.  Gordon has been working from home doing his usual 8 hours a day online, but what has been nice is that because he has been working from home the one hour commute to work, and the one hour commute from work to home, has been eliminated.  That means that I have 2 extra hours per weekday with Gordon that isn’t spent driving to and from work.

We are natural homebodies and have enjoyed our time here at home together.  Oh, Gordon and I do squabble from time to time but for the most part it has been very pleasant for all of us.  Gordon and I go from squabbling to laughing in one minute every time.  🙂  Mackenzie is a ray of sunshine and she shines her light on Brodie which then puts him in a great mood.  I do believe that had she not quarantined with us that he would have had a hard time here in lockdown with us and he would have probably given us a hard time in wanting to see her.  Luckily, we all 4 have had it nice.

Mackenzie will be leaving us in a week but we do have one last major blog post to work on before she leaves.  It’ll be fun!  You will just have to wait and see.  She will spend some time with her family before she moves to Gainesville, Florida for her internship.  We will miss her so much!  I’ve been a bit blue today just thinking about her leaving.  I know the dogs will grieve terribly!  They adore her!

One of the conditions that was imposed upon Mackenzie before she moved in with us was that she had to watch every Star Wars movie, all 9 of them, and Rogue One.  She did.  And she loved them all!  She is now officially one of us.  🙂  Oh, and all the Family Guy Star Wars episodes too.  (Now they seem to watch Family Guy every day in their room.  Something they never did before.  Wondering if we had anything to do with that?)  🙂

Oh, and we also have them hooked on Killing Eve!  I think we are all up to date on all the seasons and episode’s.

But now we are imposing The Lord of the Rings movies on her before she leaves us.  We have all the movies, EXTENDED VERSIONS!  Brodie and Veronica were HUGE LOTR fans!  Between the two of them they have so much fan merchandise collectibles.  Trish in New Zealand also sent us so much LOTR things, and the movies were filmed all over New Zealand.

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Gordon and Brodie have started putting up the new gutters around our house in preparation for rainy season.  They did manage to rake up most of the leaves in the backyard.  Gordon also installed new faucets in our bathroom sinks.  Such an upgrade!  That is a big project as everything underneath those cabinets was placed in the bathtub for me to plow through and then place back underneath the sinks in some kind of order.  Yuck!  🙁

I would say that we have spent our time in lockdown wisely.  We have taken advantage of the fact that we have all been together.  We have pulled our talents together to create some really nice things.  I am proud of all of us.

Gordon and I are so proud of our children and their partners.  They chose the best partner’s they could have chosen.  Gordon and I are so very lucky to be the Matriarch and Patriarch of such great people.  We know that.

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The advice that we are giving Brodie and Mackenzie as they venture out into the world……

Look at the world as if it has 100 people in it.  1-10 are below average people.  90-100 are above average people.  And then you’ve got those 80 people in the middle, they are average.  Average is neither smart nor dumb, they are average and yet these average people control all the decision making in the world.  View them as the average people that they are and never see them as leaders.  Leader’s are in the top 10 percent.

I do believe in helping the 1-10 people as they cannot help that they were born into that category.

If these average people quit wearing a mask, you need to continue to wear a mask.  If these average people bully you and make fun of you for continuing to be careful then remind yourselves that you are being bullied by people that have a lesser intelligence than you and therefore should not be taken seriously.  So do you really care what average people think of you?  I know that I don’t.

I will wear a mask as long as I feel it is necessary for my health and safety, and that of my family and the public at large.  I don’t follow some sheep, or politicians, I will listen to the scientist’s out there and follow my own intellect and instinct’s.  So should you!

 

Mahalo,

Julie

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May 9, 2020

 ASMR

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

A.K.A. The Brain Orgasm

I have been experiencing these since I was a girl.  There is this tingling in my scalp as if someone is massaging it.  The other day  it lasted for 2 days in a row.  I was actually becoming upset with it as it was interfering with my daily routine and  I could not do what I needed to do.

I never understood that it was something that other people experienced.  I just arrogantly assumed that it was just something that I was experiencing alone.  I am happy to know that I am not the only one that experiences these things. 

I  have discovered that I can bring them on myself simply by wishing it.

If there were to be a cold, rainy day I could actually bring it on by putting in a favorite movie on t.v., a DVD/Bluray, and then create a cozy environment for me on the couch with lots of pillows and blankets, and some Ginger Ale and some pretzel snacks.  OMG!  I would be in my own version of heaven that I created myself.

I very happily “suffer” from ASMR!

Julie  (See you in Heaven)!

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May 8, 2020

The Flat Nosed People

I have been trying to write about this for awhile now but I keep erasing it/deleting it.  The flat nosed people/ethnic people are to inherit the earth.  They will be the majority in the future.  The near future.  I myself am a flat-nosed person.  I think that I get it from my biological father’s side of the family.  They were big racists that were slave owner’s.  I believe that I am descended from them in their characteristic’s of most likely procreating with their slaves.

To me the future is ethnic. 

Although The Jett’s are not from the south, they do represent the future of the flat nosed people and I do love their music from the 90’s.  Very popular when we were living in Hawaii.  Therefore, here are The Jett’s.

AND,

 

Angelica Hale, HERO

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April 28, 2020

LOCKDOWN

Doing Just Fine, Are We Supposed to Feel Guilty About That?

I heard from one of my guys in India the other day who works on the administrative issues side, and protection of our website, and he was asking how we are doing since he knows restrictions have been lifted here in Florida where going to the beaches are concerned, and in some cases, going back to work have been put into place.  We have been self-isolating since early/mid March.  Just the 4 of us.  Me, Gordon, Brodie and Mackenzie.  And Spooky and Sparky.  🙂

The people of India have been in a mandatory lockdown for the past 40 days and I could tell by some of his messages that he wasn’t happy about it at all.  I told him that we are doing fine and are actually enjoying our time together here at home.  I also told him that we have created a sanctuary here in our home and property over the past decade so self-isolating in our sanctuary is not some ‘prison sentence.’

I also told him that we are lucky that Gordon has been able to work from home and that Brodie has been furloughed with unemployment and how Mackenzie’s internship has been pushed back to June.

Granted, I don’t know his living situation but he can work from home.  That is something positive right there.  But, there was no cheering him up so I just wished him well and told him that I hope he gets through it.

It is very sad to hear on the news, and to read on the internet, all the people that are struggling, suffering, and even dying because of this Coronavirus.  However, we aren’t being brought down by a virus, it has just exposed everything that is wrong with our country and what is wrong with our country is what is bringing us down. 

From what I understand New Zealand has all but defeated the virus in their country.  Apparently, they must have done something right. 

It’s not hard to see that one political party in our country is trying to defeat the other political party in our country by following the rule of law only to be constantly defeated by the other political party who continues to defy the rule of law to push through their disastrous agenda.  It just seems to me that in order to defeat someone who is constantly cheating and changing the rules of the game that we too should perhaps change our strategy but yet, I don’t see anyone doing that.  It’s as if the marching orders are given by someone so high up in the food chain with absolute power that even the most powerful politicians don’t dare step on their toes.

So, exactly who owns our country now because someone DOES own it and it isn’t the American people.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again,

WE ARE ON OUR OWN!

No one is going to help us.  I don’t see it anyway.  I see many more deaths, more sickness, more suffering, more poverty, more crime, more human abuse, more animal abuse…..

All this social distancing will be designed to create generations of people who just won’t care about each other anymore.  If we see suffering we will stay away because it’s safer for us and our children and our parents, grandparents, etc.  There will be those of us that live in The Capital, while others live in the Districts.  (Hunger Games)  And if you think about it, there are parts of our country that already are segregated like that.  Flint, Michigan and their lead filled water comes to mind.

So, as dark of a picture that I paint above shouldn’t I be upset, sad, worried, afraid?  Sure.  So why aren’t I?

Because there is nothing that I can do about any of it.  I have no power, no control, I cannot change the future I can only see it.

The one thing that I had to stop all of this is my vote and thanks to our politicians and their redistricting, stealing elections, robbing us of our vote, I don’t even have that anymore.  None of us do.  So, I created a sanctuary for when things get bad.  That is what I have right now.  But, how long will we have it?  That I do not know.

None of us ever really know how much time we have left so we can either constantly worry about it, or make the best of it.  I choose to make the best of it.  Gordon and I have paid our dues more times than I can count to society and we plan on enjoying what we have built together and not feel guilty that we are doing o.k. so far.  I am not going to feel guilty for being able to eat good food because we know what it’s like to be hungry and not have enough to eat.  We have been poor in our marriage in the early years where we had a budget of $15.00 a month for food and the only thing that money will buy you is Top Ramen soup.  Imagine eating noodle soup everyday for a few months?  One time we splurged and bought hot dogs and buns but we couldn’t afford the ketchup or the mustard so we walked into a McDonald’s and pocketed their ketchup’s, mustard’s, salt, pepper, and napkins.  We became very creative in our survival thinking.  Poor people are very creative and never underestimate someone simply because they have less money than you do.

So, are we supposed to feel guilty because we are doing fine (so far) during this pandemic?

I am 59, Gordon is 55.  We are senior citizens here in Florida with no control over what may, or may not happen to us and our children.  And because we have no control I am not going to spend my time worrying about it.  At least, not until the time comes when I have to worry about it.  I sincerely hope that all of us will be o.k. but I know we won’t.  I hope there are no more deaths but yet there will be.  I hope no one else looses their jobs, but they will.   And barring something drastic happening to save us all, we are on a downward trajectory.  How far each of us falls will depend on the circumstances that will surround us.  But you can be sure that the 1% will be o.k.  After all, they’ve been robbing our treasury over the past few decades thanks to the politician’s they have placed in office who will continue to serve them as long as we allow it.  Now that is the key isn’t it?  As long as WE allow it.

Oh, speaking of Civil War’s…….

Is this racist?  Our Fried Chicken and my Cotton Together?

Mackenzie has never seen Gone With The Wind so last night we all sat down to watch it together.  We ordered food from 2 different grocery stores to be delivered and proceeded to cook this excellent meal.  Oh, we didn’t cook the chicken ourselves, the grocery store did and it was wonderful!!!!  But, it was my idea to eat something southern while we watched the movie.  Sweet Potatoes, regular and purple, were also on our menu as well as some Glazed Carrots.  Yum, yum, yummy!

Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind

GWTW is a favorite movie of mine and Scarlett O’Hara is probably the greatest film heroine of all time.  I just thought the chicken and the cotton belonged together here.  I suppose it can be construed as racist but I don’t mean it in that way.  My step-grandfather out in Texas, Papa Carlton was a cotton farmer.  He had lots of land.  A few years ago my mother sent me some copies of photos she had taken of us out in Texas and with me as a young girl in his field picking cotton from his crops.  Actually, I wasn’t really ‘picking cotton’ as I was picking it up off the ground and putting it into a paper bag as my souvenir to take back to Georgia.

I would post the photo here except that I threw it away.  I threw all those Texas photos my mother sent me away.  And they were copies of her photos and not originals.  I do wish that I had saved that one photo though.  Of me, Miss Julie, “picking cotton.” 

Georgia Peach

The south is extremely slow to change and as I told Mackenzie, I was referred to as Miss Julie growing up and there are people still alive that would call me that right now if I were to see them.  My mother’s friend Elissha, for one.

We’ll see y’all later now, ya hear?

(Miss)  Julie

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April 9, 2020

Throwback Thursday, Easter 1975?

Always barefoot, even when playing the piano.

Roanoke, Virginia, Me with my little brothers Johnny and Frank.

I took piano lessons for about 5 years but yet I never learned how to read music.  Oh, I know the EGBDF, (Every Good Boy Does Fine), and ACEG, (All Cows Eat Grass), but when I would play a song on the piano after one or two times I would have it memorized and never look at the sheet music again.  Therefore, I never actually learned how to read music.  I could also hear a song and then find it on the piano and play it without knowing the sheet music.  I look back now and realize that I was talented but I wasn’t doing it the way the average person does it so therefore my talent wasn’t recognized and I was criticized and condemned for doing things different from everyone else.  I guess I was just born in a bad time.  Just not my time.  People always seemed to make me feel bad for being me.  

In the past I would have never posted these “unattractive” photos of myself.  But the only reason I saw them as “unattractive” is because there were people that made me feel as if they were.  I was always told by my mother how fat that I was, and she was always there to tell me how weird that I was.  But I no longer see me as such an unattractive person here.  Granted, I am no great beauty, but I was a good person.  A decent human being and a talented one.  It’s just that my talent was not recognized or appreciated and therefore ignored.  Well, I am not going to ignore the person that I was, and AM still!

Happy Easter,

Julie

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April 8/9, 2020

Easter Week

My Honeysuckle Vines

Last year I bought a few different varieties of Honeysuckle because I wanted to make a Honeysuckle Tea Cake but never got around to it.  This year I hope to.  I am just waiting for the blooms to emerge.  Having grown up in the south most every property had Honeysuckle growing, whether it was crawling all over fences, gates, trellis’s, it was everywhere most of the time growing wild.  It was also overlooked as being some weed and not really appreciated.  Same with grape vines that grew everywhere.  My friends and I would always pick the blossoms off the Honeysuckle Vines and place the sweet stem from the bottom of the blossoms in our mouth and suck out to taste the sweet nectar.  I still do whenever I see the vines growing.

With Easter approaching we have been getting our backyard prepped.  Pressure washing, bleaching, doing a little bit of planting but mainly just cleaning up what we already have outside. 

Getting our Lanai Cage ready for Easter

The herb garden is good it was just a bit overgrown and needed some cleaning out, which I did.  I also have some new herbs to plant but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Some of my herbs are looking worse for wear and desperately need planting.

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We are also getting ready for Easter.  Looks like it will just be Gordon and myself along with Brodie and Mackenzie.  We would love to invite Veronica and Brian over but it’s just not a good idea especially this month seeing as how this is supposed to be a really bad time to leave the house due to the Coronavirus.  But we will take food over to them on Easter so they can enjoy it with us in spirit.

Veronica is back at work.  She was furloughed for 2 weeks, meaning that her place of employment closed down for those 2 weeks so she didn’t get a paycheck but she still had a job for when they re-opened.  Seeing as how they are considered ‘manufacturing’ they were allowed to re-open this past Monday so she is back at work.  They don’t serve the public in any way and they work very far apart from one another so it is supposed to be a safe environment.  (Although I don’t know if there is such a thing as a safe environment now.)  Veronica’s boss is not the nicest person, although he does like Veronica as she always seems to make the cut when he lays people off from work.

Her boss can be quite cruel.  Last year he held a meeting with all his employees and presented them all with options for insurance plans for them to choose from.  He had them all fill out the paperwork and sign up for this and that and then when the meeting was over he asked for about 3 of them to remain while he dismissed the rest from the meeting.  That was when he fired them.  Fired them!  He had those 3 employees sit there for about 45 minutes at that meeting and having them fill out forms knowing full well he was going to fire them.  I could not do that to my worst enemy.  Talk about heartless.

Brodie has been furloughed for the month of April.  He is supposed to get unemployment during that time.  His boss is worried about his employees and doesn’t want them getting sick or dying because he would make them work, so he furloughed them.  He has the better boss!  🙂  I think he is enjoying being here with us and Mackenzie.  Once we get Easter over with then there will be some projects for he and Gordon to work on which I will document.

Mackenzie is using her time wisely by getting on my treadmill every day and laying out in the sun soaking up that vitamin D for about 45 minutes daily.  We are lucky that we can be outside because we are home owner’s so I feel very sorry for those stuck in apartments or condo’s at this time.