My Blog List

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Here's a peek into how youngsters would change their parents if they had a magic wand and could say "Presto!...Change!" :
** "I'd make them both my size . I don't like  big people ."
** "I'd them both sweet and rich."
** "I'd change my mother and make her skinny in the right places."
** "I'd changed my dad into a dog and my mom into a cow,"
The teacher was startled and asked "Why?"
** Because I like dogs and cows," was the laconic answer .
The teacher asked ,"What echoed through your home when the first of the month comes around around?"
Question ..."What your dad's main complaint ?"
Answer ... "My mom's always asking for money."
Question ... "What's your mom main complaint ?"
Answer ... "Dad never gives her any ."
One kid's offhand way of summing up a complete family problem :
Seven-year-old admitted : "My mother talks most at our house ."
Question ... "What does your dad do when he can't get a word in edgewise ?"
Answer ... "He gets up and go to bed."
Here's a double measure of assorted reports on how Dad met Mom and Mom got Dad ;
My daddy and mommy met on a cloud over Los Angeles ?
*** Then what happen ?
I was born on another cloud .
*** How did you get down here ?
I came down with a raindrop and they had a double parachute .
My folks met in a  night club.
*** What was your father doing?
He was a bartender .
*** And your mother ?
She was attending a PTA meeting .
My folks were cousins in Massachusetts , but when they came out to California they had to get married . There's some sort of law out here .
*** What kind of law ?
How am I supposed to know ? I was just a baby when they go married .
One little boy remarked that they had a brand new Daddy around the house . The teacher if he knew how his mother met him , he said a real Whizzer :
***"It all happened one morning when the doorbell rang while Mommy was taking her bath. "My sister went to the door ," he finally continued , "and there was a strange man standing there . He said he'd like to see my mother . So sister let him !" and the rest is history."
The fertile minds of the children play with fragments of truth , putting them together in strange , new patterns that must make mincemeat out of the nerves of their parents .
*** What does your mother do ?
"On Monday my mom cleans the whole house from top to bottom ."
*** What do she do the rest of the week ?"
"Oh , she just sits around , smokes cigarettes and plays canasta ."
*** What does your mother do ?"
"She's kind of a housewife .
*** What kind ?
The lazy kind .
*** When does your mother look prettiest ?
When she's going to meet people she doesn't know too good .
*** And when does she look her worst ?
Around the house in her ragged old nightgown .
*** How old is your mother ?
She says she's thrity , but my dad told me she's really thirty-six .
*** Does your mother work for a living ?
No . She's a private secretary .
*** That sounds like some kind of job .
All I know is that she works for a slave driver down at the Fisher Building .
**** What does your mother do ?
My mother used to sing on television .
*** Doesn't she do it anymore ?
Less and less everyday.
*** Why ?
Because everyday she gets more and more pregnant .

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lords of the Arctic- Polar bears of Northern Canada

The Polar Bear is rapidly losing its battle against global warming. As its habitat continues to shrink, their chances of survival dwindle. These photographs were taken along one of the migratory routes that sees the highest concentration of bears anywhere on the planet. The numbers of bears have been dropping steadily each year (almost 25% between 2000 and 2004). Soon they will only be a distant memory.
They are magnificent, captivating, even magical. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada calls itself, “the polar bear capital of the world.” On a wind-blasted, icy tundra hundreds of polar bears come out of their summer-long drowsiness and head to the shores of Hudson Bay waiting for the water to freeze over so they can go out on the ice to hunt seals.

But, sometimes a polar bear will come right into Churchill. Wayward bears who wander into town get “arrested” captured and taken to “bear jail.” After several days of incarceration, they’re taken out, tranquilized and blindfolded, in case they wake up too soon Then they’re air-lifted away to the wilderness.

"What’s happening is we’ve had successive years where the sea ice in the bay has melted much earlier, so bears are coming ashore much earlier in poorer condition and coming into town more often,” said Geoff York, a polar bear expert and head of arctic species conservation for the World Wildlife Fund, which is leading research into the bear’s habits and habitats. It is backed by a $2 million grant from Coca-Cola.

York said earth’s warming climate means it takes longer for the ice on Hudson Bay to form and it is thawing earlier meaning a shorter period when polar bears are out on the ice, feeding. Without enough to eat, they may not last the summer. “Polar bears are definitely threatened, and they’re threatened by habitat that now is shrinking on both ends,” York said. They’re hungry because they haven’t had anything to eat since coming off the ice last July. And once again this year, the ice has been late forming. Their meal window is shrinking on both ends."

Evolved from brown bear ancestors, the polar bear is the top predator in the Arctic marine ecosystem and the world’s largest land carnivore. It is also superbly adapted for survival in the Far North where winter temperatures can plunge to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. The polar bear can be found across five Arctic nations: the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. In fact, there are 19 subpopulations of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic ranging from as far south as Northern Ontario to the high Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland. Most of the polar bear population lives in Canada.

These snow-white bears make their homes on the annual sea ice where they hunt, live, breed, and in some cases create maternal dens. This challenging habitat is shared with indigenous peoples, and animals such as ringed seals, arctic foxes, narwhal, beluga whales and millions of migratory birds.
But the sea ice is much more than a simple platform—it is an entire ecosystem inhabited by plankton and microorganisms. These tiny creatures support a rich food chain that nourishes seals that become prey for polar bears and food for local people. In this way, the Arctic sea ice is the very foundation of the arctic marine ecosystem.

The polar bear feeds mainly on a diet of ringed and bearded ice seals, which are a particularly energy-rich food source. In fact, an average-sized ringed seal can provide up to eight days of energy for the polar bear. However, some bears also occasionally hunt beluga whales and walrus successfully and will happily scavenge on the carcasses of beluga whales, grey whales, walruses, narwhals and bowhead whales.

Often described as fat loving, the polar bear's physiology is specialized to acquire large amounts of fat from marine mammals, which contains the most calories and is easy to digest. As a consequence, the polar bear cannot derive sufficient caloric intake from available food on shore. However, when food is scarce, the polar bear may resort to feeding on land food including muskox, reindeer, small rodents, waterfowl, shellfish, fish, eggs, kelp, berries, and human garbage.

The polar bear is estimated to spend well over 50 percent of its time hunting and tries to obtain most of its annual fat reserves between late April to mid-July, hopefully consuming enough calories to survive the summer and winter seasons when prey is harder to catch. Surprisingly, given their strength and agility, less than 2 percent of their hunts prove to be successful. It is reported that even in good hunting areas, a bear may only catch 1 seal every 4 or 5 days

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My father's secretary of many years smokes a pack of cigarettes every day in her office . The ceilings are low , and the ventilation is poor . The secondhand smoke is detrimental to my father's health , which is also compromised by other medical conditions .
My siblings and I have asked her many times to try and get help for her addiction , and to smoke outside or on the office balcony . Do we have to let her do as she pleases , even though it hurts to see Dad breathing in the fumes ?
Dear Montreal ,
Your father is the one that needs to speak up , and apparently , he's unwilling . Talk to him about it and your concerns for his health. In the meantime,  you could put in an exhaust fan  , smokeless ashtrays and other helpful devices that will minimize the damage .
Dear Maxy,
After my parents' separation my father and I seem to have lost touch . We aren't as close anymore , but I really do value the relationship work , both people need to be involved , and I don't think he would want to invest the time to do the same .
What should I do ?
Missing Dad
Dear Missing Dad,
When separation or divorce strikes a family , everyone is affected . At first , the hurt feelings may make it difficult for parents to stay close with their children , even though it sems hard to believe this could happen .
If you want to remain close to your father , you will have to put forth the effort . Tell him that you miss him . Tell him that you want to stay connected to him , and ask if he wants that , too . Ask him if he would try .
You may need to be the one who will schedule times together . If he is tech-savvy , you may wwant to use Skype or email to stay in touch in addition to calling .
You both need to be committed for this to work , but in the beginning , since you are the one who is insterested , it will be on you to get it going .
Dear Maxy,
I have two daughters , ages 5 and 2 . My in-laws favor the older girl . They buy her more presents , give her more money and pay way more attention to her than her sister . They almost seem obsessed with her . As soon as she walks in the door , they grab her and make her sit nex t to them on the sofa for the entire visit .
If they give my children gifts when they are at someone else's house , they become annoyed if I make the girls say hello to our hosts before they are primitted to play with their new toys . I feel it is only polite .
We recently visited with them three times over a six-week period . We drove three hours to see them twice , and the third time , they came to us . My mother-in-law then became angry because I refused to visit again two weeks later . Both of my daughters get carsick , and they have to take medication in order not to throw up .
My husband does not like to make waves , so he is of little help with this . I am not sure how much to say without ruining our relationship .
Dear Annoyed ,
This is an issue of boundaries . Unless you are firm about them , your in-laws will keep pushing. The trick is to remain polite and sweet while you are saying no . (We would love to visit again but the girls get so sick when they travel that we don't want them them to associte nausea with Grandma and Grandpa . Maybe we can try again next month.") Meanwhile , the Internet and current crop of smart-phones will allow the in-laws to see and speak to the girls often . You might even set up a time for a daily cyber visit .
But please bring the blatant favoritism to their attention before the younger child is old enough to notice . Tell them it is damaging the relationship they have with both girls ( as well as their parents ).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'A Dog's Plea' ---- From Maxy With Much Love

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend , for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me .

Do not break my spirit with a stick , for though I might lick your hands between blows , your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn .

Speak to me often , for your voice is the world's sweetest music , as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footsteps falls upon my waiting ear .

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet , for I am a domesticated animal , no longer accustomed to bitter elements .

I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth .

Keep my pan filled with fresh water , for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst .

Feed me clean food that I maight stay well , to romp and play and do your biddin g , to walk by your side and stand ready , willing and able to protect you with my life , should your life be in danger .

And , my friend , when I am very old , and I no longer enjoy good health , hearing and sight , do not make heroic efforts to keep me going , I am not having any fun.

Please see my trusting life is taken gently . I shall leave this Earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands .

Several years ago , I found this essay about a dog who had lived a long life , had become old and sickly and wanted his master to do him a favor and let him die .
It was written from the dog's viewpoint , and I think of it often , Maxy said it was a very nice idea to share with his friends .
Written by Beth Norman Harris
Thank you Mrs. Harris ... The PICs

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Things parents tell their kids not to say and what lovely things kids have to say.

My mother told me not to tell any of the family secrets, like the time she dyed her hair blonde and it came out purple .
My Momma said to keep her conidition a big secret , and the funny thing is , I don't even know what a 'secret' is . She just keeps getting fatter and fatter every week .
My daddy told me to tell you he worked in a clip joint . Then when you asked me what is a clip joint  I tell you it's a Barber Shop on Wilshire . Now isn't that funny .
My mother told me not to tell about my brother "Jimmy." He paused and gulped bravely . "See, Jimmy is a nasty boy who kicks and spits and hits , and besides he said a long time ago he would sell me for a penny . I'd give him away for nothing !"
A small boy was asked . "What's new around your house ?"
"My mother had more babies in the last week than she's had in six months."
"I ... what?" Gasped the teacher . "How many babies did she have last week?"
What's this , some kind of joke ?" the teacher asked .
"No she works in the delivery room of the hosiptal."
"Aha! Did she tell you to say this to startle me out of my wits?"
No the boy calmly revealed , "but my father did ."
A child's eye view of a politician and as stateman:
"One is running from office and the other is running for office ," said a ten-year old .
"A politician is always critizing and a stateman is always critized ," pontificated an eleven-year-old with surprising wisdom .
"A stateman makes money and the politician spends it," was another calculated guess.
The grave logic of a child's imagination sounds rational , but the full impact circuitious reasoning comes home with a dull thud . Here's a lulu :
"Anything happen around lately around your house ?" a small boy was asked .
"Yes , I hit myself on the back of the head with a hammer ."
"That's to bad ," the man sympathized . "How'd it happen ?"
"I wanted to kill a fly."
"Wait a minute," the man stopped to reconsider the situation . "How could you see him if he was on the back of your head where the bump is ?"
"He wasn't on the back of my head . He was on the table in front of me ."
"But I don't understand " the man said puzzled . Then why did you hit yourself on the back of the head with the hammer ?"
The boy put his hands on his hips in a gesture of helpless frustration at the man's stupidity .
"Silly, I wanted to smash him with my forehead !"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pan-fried Trout with Bacon & Sage

Prep time : 45 minutes ... Cook time : 30 minutes
4 whole trouts (1/2 to 3/4 pounds each ) dressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage , crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white or yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons bacon or ham drippings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil)
1) Pat fish dry and sprinkle inside and out with 2 tablespoons of sage , 1 teaspoon of the pepper .
2) On a piece of wax paper , combine flour , cornmeal , and 2 tablespoons of the salt , and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper . Coat fish , shake off excess , and set aside .
3) Spray insides of a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray . Over moderately high heat ... heat 1 tablespoon each of the bacon drippings and oil 1 minute .
4) Working with 2 fish at a time , saute for 5 minutes . Using 2 pancake turners , tirn fish and saute until fish almost flake at the touch of a folk ... about 5 minutes more .
5) Tranfer to a heated serving platter and keep warm while sauteing the remaining fish the same way .
Makes 4 serving ......Heart healthy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ask Maxy

Our 22-year-old son is in college . He lives at home , and we pay all his expenses , which is fine with us . He was never particularly interested in school until his last year of high school . Now he's doing really well .
The problem is , he gets to go to medical school and needs to pass the MCAT exam . He is studying very hard and barely speaks to us . This is frightening for us . He is our only child , and we are trying very hard to be nice to him , but he dismisses us completely . When he eats dinner with us , he barely answers our questions and gets up as soon as possible . Even when he's watching TV in his room , he locks his door .
It's hard to deal with this . How can we make him understand that success isn't everything ?
Worried Mom
Dear Mom ,
Right now , doing well in school and passing his MCATs are the most important thing in your son's life , he is working hard to achieve his goals . Instead of demanding his attention , try to support his ambition . Keep in mind that you get to see your child more often than many parents whose college-age children are home only during semester breaks (and not always then). And it's harder for him to have the independent , adult life he craves , because he still lives with you .
We know it's difficult that he so uncommunicative , and you can ask him to be civil enough tp respong politely when spoken to . But beyond that , please accept his presence as it is . If it's at all possible for him to live in a dorm room ot get a part-time job to support an apartment , I highly recommend it .

Dear Maxy ,
My local grocery has carryout service . I tell them I don't need help , but they always assist anyway . Granted , I I look like I need help because I always have my 9-monthold baby and 3-year-old toddler with me .
I realize they are only being kind , but it makes me think I have to tip them a dollar or two . Do I ? How much ? How can I make it clear that I don't want their assistance ? (I always take the cart back to the store . The extra walk is great exercise.)
Dear J,
Groceries that offer to have someone take your bags to your car generally do so as a courtesy to the shoppers , and a tip is not required . If you aren't sure what the policy is for your store , ask the manager . And while you're at it , inquire how to do without this service . Perhaps you simply need to be more forceful when saying , "Absolutely not , thank you very much ."

Dear Maxy,
My mother is 84-years-old and lives in another state . My 33-year-old nephew and his three kids live with her , as do my niece , Anna" and her two children . Not one of them has a job .
Several months ago , Mom broke her hip and was in rehab for four months . During that time Anna used Mom's ATM card and took all the money out of her account . She also opened credit cards in Mom's name and ran up huge bills and stole Mom's mail-order pills and sold them on the street .
What's worse is that my sister , the mother of this niece and nephew , insists that I am not permitted to say one negative word to my mother about them .She claims the thievery is between Anna , Mom and God . My mother is scared of all of them . I have called Adult Protective Services , but was told they'd only step in if my mother made a report .
My sister says I need to forgive Anna and let it go . How do I do that ? There has been no accountability , no restitution , no apology . Also , I found out that Mom's good jewelry was pawned for drugs . Any ideas ?
Dear Mad ,
Adult Protective Services may not be able to step in if Mom appears to be mentally healthy and refuses to cooperate . You sister is trying to protect her children . Shame on her for allowing them to financially abuse their grandmother .
Please try the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 ( and ask what assistance is available in Mom's state .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tiny Lizards Found in Madagascar

A juvenile of Brookesia micra standing on the head of a match (c) Jorn Kohler Miniature juveniles can stand on the head of a match

One of the world's tiniest lizards has been discovered by keen-eyed researchers in Madagascar.The miniature chameleon, Brookesia micra, reaches a maximum length of just 29mm. German scientists also found a further three new species in the north of the island. The lizards were limited to very small ranges and scientists are concerned they could be at risk from habitat disturbance.
Mini species
A juvenile of Brookesia micra on a thumb nail (c) Frank Glaw
The geckos Sphaerodactylus ariasae and S. parthenopion are considered to be the smallest lizards in the world with adults just 18mm long
  • Mouse lemurs are the planet's smallest primates
  • The pygmy parrot is so small it fits in a human hand
  • Not to be underestimated, the tiny dart frog is one of the planet's most poisonous animals
The research team, led by Dr Frank Glaw from the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich, have a specialist knowledge of Madagascar's dwarf chameleons having described other species in the past.
They conducted fieldwork at night during the wet season in order to find the easily overlooked animals. "They mostly live in the leaf litter in the day... But at night they climb up and then you can spot them," said Dr Glaw, explaining that the animals moved up into branches to sleep.

The scientists carefully scanned the most likely habitats with torches and headlamps to find roosting sites. They found the smallest species on a remote limestone islet and believe it may represent an extreme case of island dwarfism.  This phenomenon occurs when a species becomes smaller over evolutionary time in order to adapt to a restricted habitat such as an island.

According to Dr Glaw there could have been a "two-island effect" in the case of B. micra. "It is possible that the big island of Madagascar has produced the general group of dwarf chameleons and the very small island has produced the tiny species."

Because the chameleons looked similar in appearance, researchers conducted a genetic analysis to confirm that they were indeed four distinct species. The genetic differences between the species were described as "remarkable" by team member Miguel Vences from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. "This indicates that they separated from each other millions of years ago - even earlier than many other chameleon species," he said.  Each of the new species was restricted to a very small territory, just a single square kilometre for the smallest.

A portrait of an adult specimen of one of the newly discovered mini chameleons, Brookesia desperata (c) Frank Glaw
"In Madagascar many species are restricted to small habitats and that makes it important to conserve them" said Dr Glaw. Scientists believe the small ranges of the species make them especially sensitive to habitat disturbance. B. tristis, named after the French word "triste" meaning sad, was found in an isolated patch of forest close to an expanding city.

The team chose thought-provoking names as an expression of their concern for the future of the island's micro-endemic species.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Little faces looking up or is little faces looking down
Question : What does it mean to have patience?
Answers : * A hundred year jail sentence.
* An old maid waiting to get married.
* Waiting for mother to finish "grace" while the supper gets cold .
* Waiting in the comfort station for the guy ahead of you to finish.
Question: * Who knows what failure means?
When you have your eye on some real cute boy at school and by the time you get all cooked up about him some other girl grabs him .
Question : * What's the funnest thing that ever happen to you ?
* I came back from the bathroom one day at school . Suddenly , I notice that my zipper was undone and I said to myself , "I'm insulting my own inheritance .
Young boy says : I'm learning to catch bees . We'll have all the honey we want for pancakes .
Man asks : That's a perfect way to make a a hobby pay off . How do you catch bees ?
Boy : I wait til they light on the floor , then I run up behind them with a glass jar , and the silly bee thinks the bottom of the jar is the top but it's really the bottom 'cause its upside down , and the top is the bottom , and the bee gets all mixed up . I know just how the bee feels !
A young boy's mother was having her friends in for an afternoon of bridge . Suddenly , piping up through the buzz of conversation , came the strident tones of her five year old :
"Mama , I want to go to the toilet !"
Mother leaned over and reorimanded him : "Don't say toilet ...Whisper !"
The little one slunk off guiltily . But he remembered the admonition .
That night after the family had retired , the youngster tip-toed from his room and pulled at his Dad's out-stretched arm over the covers . Finally , the Father mumbled sleepily : "Whatja want ..."
"I wanta whisper ," urgently replied his son .
"Oh , all right . Then just whisper in Daddy's ear!"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I've been with my botfriend for a decade . We have children together and jointly own cars , a house and a business. I've been pushing the issue of marriage for three years . So far , he won't budge . I've given him deadlines and ultimatums , and still nothing .
I love him dearly , and I'm at the end of my rope . What should I do ?
Dear N.C. ,
Honey , you haven't given him deadlines and ultimatums . You're given him empty threats and let him off the hook . Either accept the situation as it is , or leave . Find out whether your 10-year union is protected legally under common-law marriages statutes . Talk to a lawyer about child support and your business entanglements .
When he knows you are truly serious about leaving , he may offer marriage , but don't count on it . You should act according to what you think is best for you , and not because you are trying to manipulate him .
Dear Maxy,
My daughter is in the second grade and has been bugging me to give her a cellphone . I told her she is too young and doesn't need one . She points out other children who have phones . I think they are in higher grades , but either way , I am not doing that . I think she is far to young to have to have access to who knows what kind of information or people . What do you think is the right age to give a child a phone ?
Holding Out
Dear Holding Out ,
I agree that a second-grader is too young to have a phone . At age 7 or 8 , a child should be under adult supervision . I think children may benefit from having cellphones when they began to travel independently of adults . That tends to begin at about 10 or 11 , when they may go to school without their parents or attend extracurricular activities and than make their way home alone.
Whenever you give your child a phone , make sure to put tight limits on the numbers she / he can call and the amount of texting she / he can do . Then stay on top of it , monitoring all communication .
Dear Maxy ,
I got into a big argument with a friend via barrage of harsh text mwssages , and we haven't spoken since , I couldn't believe how rude my friend was to me and the nerve she had to do it electronically . We used to be real confidantes , and we talked about everything in what I thought were sensitive ways . I am hurt and feel like I don't know how to mend the fence , or even want to. What do you recommend when friends "break up" via text ?
Dear seething ,
You have just experienced something that is sure to become more common over time . Technology can cause all kinds if problems for people when it isn't managed well . Whenever you feel emotionally charged about something . DO NOT write about it in an email or teat or send a voicemail message . The best thing to do when you are heated is to be yourself and calm down . Think about the situation from different angles , and try to find reason within the situation . Then do your best to address the conflict as directly as possible ... preferably face-to-face .
This didn't happen , and now you and your friend have has a serious falling out . When you emotionally grounded , contact your friend and tell her you want to talk about what happened . Explain how hurt you were and how you feel now . Tell her specifically what upset you . If you want to rekindle your friendship tell her that . Take the time to listen to her side .

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gumbo z' Herbes


               Prep time -25 minutes  ..... cooking time  - 2 hours
1/4        cup  olive oil
1           pound beef brisket or chuck steak ... cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6           ounces baked ham , cut in 1/2  inch chunks
1           large yellow onion , finely chopped
6           scallions , including tops , thinly sliced
1           large sweet red pepper , cored , seeded , and diced
3           tablespoons all-purpose flour
1           cup thinly freah orka or 1/2 package  (10 ounces) frozen okra
4           cups rich chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
8           ounces cabbage , cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4           cups thinly sliced mustard greens
3           cups thinly sliced turnip greens
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4        teaspoon black pepper
1           whole bay leaf
1/2        teaspoon each dried , thyme and marjoram , crumbled
4           allspice berries
2           whole cloves
1           teaspoon cayenne 
6           cups trimmed , washed, and coarsely chopped spinach
1          bunch watercress , tough stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped 
1) In an 8-quart dutch Oven over moderate heat , heat the oil about two minutes . Add brisket and ham and cook , stirring grequently , until lightly browm ... about 5 minutes . Transfer to a bowl and set aside .
2) Add onion and scallions and cook , stirring frequently until softened  ... about 5 minutes . Add sweet red pepper  and cook , stirring frequently until crisp-tender  ... about 4 minutes . Stir in flour until well coated . Add orka and cook , stirring constanrly , until well combined . gradually add stock , stirring until well combined .
3) Add cabbage , mustard greens , turnip greens , salt , balck pepper , bay leaf , thyme , marjoram , allspice, cloves , cayenne , and reserved meats . Bring to a boil , reduce the heat to moderately low , cover and simmer , stirring occasionally , until the gumbo is thickening and the beef is tender  ... about 1-1/2 hours .
4) Add spinach and watercress , cover and cook until tender ... about 15 minutes more . Remove and discard bay leaf . 
Makes 4-6 servings.         

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cookie Cups

Cookie Cup Shell for Ice Cream source: recipe and photograph created

1/3 cup almonds, toasted, finely chopped
2 egg whites
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon rum or vanilla extract
1/4 cups butter, melted
1/3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small mixing bowl beat egg whites, sugar, salt and extract together. Add melted butter and flour; mix well, then fold in toasted almonds.

Turn 6 glasses upside down and spray with cooking spray.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, draw 5-inch circles then fill each circle with 2 level tablespoons batter spreading evenly. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 5 minutes or until edges are brown. Working quickly remove cookies with a spatula; invert onto sprayed glasses. Use your fingers to mould into shells. If they become too brittle, return to hot oven for one minute to soften

then resume shaping them into cups. Can be made ahead.
Fill with ice cream, frozen yogurt, fresh fruit or sorbet and serve.

Serves 8 to 10

Heart Potholders

Tools and Materials
  • Cotton batting
  • Pins
  • Cotton fabric (3 stacks of 12-by-12-inch pieces)
  • Bias tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pot holder template
Step 2
Sew bias tape to straight edge of pockets; backstitch ends.

Step 3
Layer the pieces, starting with a fabric heart (face down), batting, another fabric heart (face up), and pockets (face up); pin. Sew outside edge, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Trim edge as close to stitching as possible.

Step 4
Sew bias tape to heart, starting at top center, folding ends under.

Step 5
Sew 5-inch piece of bias tape, ends turned under, into a loop. Stitch to pot holder.

Read more at Heart-Shaped Pot Holders - Martha Stewart Crafts

Felt Baby Shoes

Felt Baby Shoes

There's no better way to cover a baby's precious toes than with a pair of soft, snug hand-sewn booties. They may seem daunting, but these slippers are made easy with ingenious templates.  Add subtle detailing here and there with punched holes, trim, or snap closures.
Shoe How-To
1. Use our templates. Pin templates to wool felt; cut out. To make the heel seam, which shapes the top part of the slipper, fold the upper piece in half, and stitch along the straight edge.
2. Pin the top of shoe to the sole. Sew the pieces together. Turn inside out, hiding the seams. Glue rickrack on the outside or inside rim of the instep, or hole punch a pattern. Sew a button or snap on one strap; make a button slit or sew on the other piece of the snap on the opposite strap. Attach a tiny ribbon bow to the top of each shoe, if desired.

Handmade Dog Collar - Very Strong

STEP 1 – Putting The Cords and D-ring on the Snap
Fold your cords in half and run each of them through the end of the snap that has the single slot. Now run the D-ring through the cords and place close to the snap. you will now run the loose ends of the cord through the loops of cord that are sticking out of bottom of the snap. Pull the cords tight so that the loops are tight.

STEP 2 – Clamping the Snap Down
Clamp the snap down onto a steady surface like a table. This will keep the snap steady and you will be able to put tension on the cords when you are knotting.

STEP 3 – The First Knot
To make the seesaw knot, we will be knotting alternating half-hitch knots. Take the first colour of cords, bring it behind the second set of cords and through the loop that you have just created. Gently tighten up your knot. Don’t tighten too much or your knot work will begin to twist.

STEP 4 – The Second Knot
You will now take the second colour of cords and make a half-hitch in the OPPOSITE direction.

STEP 5 – The Third Knot
Take the first colour of cord and make a knot in the same direction as you did with knot 1. Keep knotting in alternate directions until you make a knotted cord two inches less than your final measurement. Don’t forget to take the snap into account when taking your measurement. I stopped knotting at 16″

STEP 6 – Attaching the Loose Cords To The Snap
Run your loose cords through the double slotted end of the cord and leave a one inch length of cord from the end of your knotting work.

STEP 7 – Finishing The Cord Ends Part 1
Since we are making a dog collar, fastening the ends properly is paramount! The attachment has to be strong, sturdy and can’t come undone. Walking your dog and having the collar break is not cool.
Take two cords of different colours, run then around the front and through the top of the loop that you have created on the back side of the collar. The front of the collar will look like this;
Lay the cords that did not make the knot flat against the backside of the collar. Tighten the knot as much as it will go.

STEP 8 – Finishing The Cord Ends Part Two
This is where your hemostat clamp comes in handy. If you don’t have a hemostat, that’s okay. This knotting work isn’t really tight, so a pair of needle nose pliers will work just fine. Find where the turquoise cord passes under a blue cord. Pass the hemostat underneath the blue cord, grasp the turquoise cord with the hemostats and pull through. Repeat this with the blue cord. Do this “back knotting” one more time . Now stretch the collar out with your hands and trim the cords as close as you can to the collar.

STEP 9 – Melting The Cord Ends
*NOTE* hot plastic isn’t fun and can burn you pretty bad! Use caution when melting the cord ends!!
You will notice in this picture that the turquoise set of cords are melted and the blue cords are cut and ready to be melted. Take your lighter and place the flame as close as you can to the cut cords. You really need them to get nice and melty. When the cord ends turn brown and get bubbly, take the flat side of your scissors and press the hot cord onto the collar. You might have to have another pass with the lighter if the cords haven’t fused properly. When both ends are melted, they’ll look like this;
STEP 10 – Put It On Your Dog
I know that Jersey looks like a hostage victim, but doesn’t she look great? Enjoy your new collar! If it gets dirty or smelly, just toss it into the washing machine.

Telephone Caddy

With the right plans, materials, and equipment, you can build a Telephone Caddy, as shown here.
  • 1/2" x 2' x 2' Oak (or other hardwood) Plywood: One Piece for the Caddy Top Surface and the Drawer Sides
  • 1/4" x 2' x 2' Oak (or other hardwood) Plywood: One Piece for the Caddy and Drawer Bottom Panels
  • 1/2" x 6" x 6' Solid Oak Material: One piece for the Caddy pieces and Drawer Front
  • 1" Wood Screws: Two
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Filler and Glue
  • Satin Finish Polyurethane Poly

Step 1:Cut and Assemble The Caddy Box Pieces - Determine the desired size of the Caddy or use the dimensions here
  • Select the 1/2" x 6" Oak Material; Rip it to 5"; use the dimensions above to cut the three sides
  • Select the three sides; Cut the 45 degree corners, as shown above
  • Select the three sides; Dado a 1/4" x 1/4" deep slot along the bottom edges to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the three sides; Dado a 1/2" x 1/4" deep slot 1/2" from the Top Edges to receive the 1/2" Top Panel
  • Select the 1/2" x 6" Oak Material; Cut a piece @ 4.75" x 9" for the Mail Slot Partition; Dado a 1/2" x 1/4" deep slot 1/2" from the Top Edge to receive the 1/2" Top Panel
  • Select the 1/2" Plywood; Cut a Top Panel @ 9.5" x 7.25"
  • Select the pieces; Dry fit the pieces; 1. Glue the three Sides and the Bottom Panel; 2. Glue the Top Panel and Mail Slot Partition (use a 2" space block when completing the assembly); Use a few brads at the edges to secure the assembly

Step 2:Cut and Assemble the Drawer - Select the Oak Material and Plywood
  • Select the Oak Material; Cut one piece @ 5" x 10" for the Drawer Front Panel
  • Select the 1/2" Plywood; Rip it to 3 3/4"; Crosscut two pieces @ 6 7/8" and two pieces @ 8 7/8"
  • Select the four, Plywood Drawer Sides; Dado a 1/4" x 1/4" deep slot along the bottom edges to receive the 1/4" Bottom Panel
  • Select the 1/4" Plywood; Cut the Bottom Panel @ 9 3/8" x 6 3/8"
  • Select the Drawer Pieces; Dry fit the pieces; Assemble the Drawer with glue and brads, as shown above
  • Select the 5" x 10" Oak Drawer Front Panel; Using two wood screws, attach the Panel to the Plywood Drawer Front

Step 3:Finish the Telephone Caddy - Select the Finishing Materials
  • Use Wood Filler for all holes
  • Complete all sanding
  • Apply a minimum of three coats of poly