Sunday, April 30, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Zamzar

Okay, so the letter Z is hard.  I have no real views on zebras or zithers.  So, I'm going to simply tell you my favorite free, quick easy file conversion online app.  That would be Zamzar.  I've used it many times, always safely, always with quick results sent right to my email.  I have never found a file I wanted to convert I could not upload, nor a file type I wanted to convert it to, that Zamzar could not provide.  So, if you find yourself in need of file conversion, I recommend them.

This is not a paid endorsement nor a solicited review.  Simply it is my perspective.

Do you mind recommending products and programs you use and like to others without compensation?  Do you ever do honest reviews
for compensation?  Have you needed a file converted before? 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Yielding

I was going to write about phYchics today, but changed my mind.  For one thing, I've mentioned my thoughts and feelings on this before.  No need to go there again.  So, I'm going to talk about yielding. 

Everyone has to yield at some point, to someone or something.  We may yield to our spouse's idea about where to go on vacation, we may yield the lead in a conversation to someone, we may yield ourselves to God for His will and His way in our lives.  A parent may yield and let a child do something for the 1st time.  Yes, we all end up yielding somewhere along the line.

Yet, yielding can be scary.  Once you yield, you are not in total control.  So, even though you know you avoided chaos by yielding, you can feel deprived, scared, resentful.  Assuming we made a good choice initially in what we yielded and to whom, to yield can be freeing, can build trust between two persons, can expand your mind, your circumstances, your experience. 

To refuse to yield when the circumstance calls for it, can lead to problems, breakage, discord, unrealized possibilities.  Sometimes we just have to let our pride down a little.  We have to remember that we are not "in this" alone. 

What are your thoughts on yielding?  Do you find it hard sometimes?  Do you recall a time you are thankful you did yield?


Friday, April 28, 2017

#WATWB - Good News

While I was visiting blogs for the #AtoZChallenge, I happened to drop by Michelle's Writer in Transit blog.  There I discovered the We Are The World Blogfest.  This blogfest is all about sharing good news: uplifting stories of compassion, resilience and positivity.  As I have already shared in my post regarding news, I feel there is too much circulating through all types of media that highlights the negatives of the world.  What an opportunity to share some light, joy, peace and understanding this bloghop is!  So, I climbed aboard.

For my first entry into this undertaking, I'm sharing three stories gleaned locally that made me feel good.  I hope it makes you feel better, too, to see people thinking of others.

First up, a local business helps an army vet make SE Texas his home!

 Next, I heard of this group of young ladies who went the extra mile to help girls in neighboring LA.

Last, but not least of these, we see women reaching out to encourage teen girls.

I hope these little stories of big kindness lighten your load today.

What about you, have you hears any good news lately?  Join us next month on the last Friday, May 26th!

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: X-rated

Off and on throughout my life, I've been confronted with X-rated materials.  A boyfriend's family had it on once when I was there.  At a party for work, where people thought it would be fun to see Debbie Does Dallas.  Pornographic magazines in vehicles, etc. 

I honestly don't see the allure of it.  I know there are folks who do enjoy it and many who crave it, but I care nothing for it.  Even aside from my faith and the fact that it feels "wrong", I have no personal interest in it. 

To me, what I have seen and heard of it, it reduces the people involved down to the level of animals.  We have horses, dogs, cats, chickens, hogs.  The animals will mate any time, any where and don't care who watches.  That's because it is all instinct, hormones and scents for them.  Often times, if you are breeding, say two horses, it is best to watch, so that you know for sure the breeding has taken place and to be on hand in case something goes haywire.  I don't want any part of watching two people engage in sex.  To me, It's a private, intimate experience.

That's my thoughts on the subject, what are yours?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Waste

"Waste not, want not." is a phrase I grew up with.  Not necessarily the hearing of it, but always the example of it.  Be it passing on clothing to someone in need or saving leftovers after a meal.  Switching off lights not in use, drawing only the amount of water required to bath in, having a full load of clothes before you wash, not to nickle and dime your money away on unnecessary items.

I could go on and on and on.  I allow myself more luxuries than my parents did.  I usually take quick showers, so when I do bathe, I fill the tub up and make it an event.  I leave a small flouresent  light on over the kitchen sink from dark to bedtime, so we can find our way in easily and a low wattage hall light on at the back of the living room for going to the bedroom.

But it sickens me the waste I see here, there and yonder.  People who throw clothes out as garbage even when they are not stained or torn.  Folks in social settings who help their plates to overflowing and then not finish half of it.  It truly irritates me.  I seldom if every say anything.  Usually it is not my place to.  But, I do find I esteem those individuals a little less after seeing it. 

How wasteful would you say you are?  Does seeing the wastefulness of others upset you?  If you have seen someone acting this way, does it change your view of them?  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#AtoZChallege Bonus: Fried Hotwater Cornbread Recipe

You asked for it, you got it!  Here's my hotwater cornbread recipe.  Keep in mind, I use all purpose flour and cornmeal, not the kind with leavening added. You can use white or yellow meal.  We usually use yellow, but occasionally we crave white.  They do have a slightly different flavor.

You will need:  mixing bowl, small pot, skillet that handles high heat well, your favorite oil for frying, cornmeal, flour, salt and water.

Start by putting two cups of water on to boil.  While your water is heating, mix together:
                 1 cup cornmeal
                1/3 cup flour
                 1 teaspoon salt

When the water is boiling, pour a small amount into your mixture.  Stir.  Pour a little more.  Stir.  Keep adding and stirring until the mixture is good and moist and appearing smooth, but not soupy.  You will not need all the water!

Let mixture set while you put about an inch of oil in your skillet.  Turn on high heat.  When the oil is good and hot (I put one or two drops of water in mine when it first starts getting hot and listen for a quick popping sound.), wet hands with cool water, put about a heaping spoonful (I use the tablespoon from my silverware) into your hand and pat into a 1/2 thick patty.  Slip into grease. Repeat.  Fry for about 7 minutes or until bottom is light golden brown, flip and cook about 3 more minutes.  Take up, drain, and lay on paper towels.  This makes eight patties and I cook in two batches.  Plenty for 3-5 people.  If you want more or less, just keep the ratio 3:1 and adjust salt accordingly.

Cornbread is best when eaten hot, so I always cook it last.  It goes excellently with country style veggies, cooked greens and beans.   Hubby likes leftover with fried eggs.  You can add crackling pieces at the same time as the hot water.  It is also good to stir in chow-chow or add some diced pickled peppers.  Some folks use only cornmeal, no flour.  And I have  SIL who uses the self-rising cornmeal with good result.

Tonight we had fresh pork ham steak cooked down in Pioneer brown gravy, purple hull peas with our fresh smoked bacon, rice, fried okra and fried cornbread.  I usually give us only one fried food a meal, but I splurge every now and then. Say what you want, but our good cholesterol is probably higher than yours, and our bad is just barely over the limit.

That's all for Country Redneck Cooking 101.

Tonight's Cornbread


#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Vegetables

I don't want to give the wrong impression, I am not a vegetarian by a long shot and have no interest in being one.  I enjoy a wide variety of meats cooked a lot of ways.  I'm simply saying that I find that with the right vegetables, in the right combination and a few pieces of fresh fried hotwater cornbread, I can happily make a meal! 

Take for instance, some squash and onion simmered down with salt &
pepper or okra and tomatoes simmered down with a touch of cumin and chili powder.  Have a few peas on the side.  Wonderful!

What about you?  Are you like my hubby and insist there must be a meat with every meal?  Can you be happy with just vegetables?  Have you ever had hotwater cornbread?  What is one of your favorite vegetable dishes?


P. S. - Due to the interest level, my recipe for fried hotwater cornbread will soon follow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Underwear

Okay, underwear is an odd topic.  Butt But, pardon me, while I explore the topic and lay my views on you. 

I am pro underwear.  After working for a uniform rental company for 12 years, I can attest that you can tell who does and doesn't use underwear.  Those who go commando have garments develop what is referred to as crotch rot.  The garments simply wear out in the crotch area. 

Don't get me wrong, I do understand the freedom of being under garmentless.  I loved to skinny dip in our pool.  I sleep naked.  But in every day life, one needs an undergarment to absorb moisture, to keep your clothes out of the cracks and crannies. 

I understand the desire for sexy, silky, alluring underwear.  That can be fun!  In the right place, at the right time, but for plain old every day adventure, nothing beats breathable, bleachable cotton.  And now days you can get it in all shades, prints, textures, styles.  It's a beautiful thing.

And while we are on the subject, who in the world actually enjoys wearing thongs?!  That's like having a continual wedgie!  I've got a pair or two that go with little gowns for romantic evenings, but you could not pay me enough money to wear one all day long.

So, am I a disjointed old fuddie-duddie, or do you share my underwear observations?  Have you gone commando?


Monday, April 24, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Telephone Spam

There is very little more abhorrent than telephone spam!  Email spam is bad enough, but at least it doesn't interrupt your days at unexpected moments.  Most of it ends up quietly in your spam folder.  The few that get through are pretty obvious.  But telephone spam is an intrusion into your home.  It would be like someone just walking in your front door unannounced and starting a conversation with you, or a sales pitch or a swindle. 

I always keep all of our numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.  And for most years, this has worked amazingly well.  But as of late, with the advent of automatic dialers and recorded messages that are interactive, the phone, some days, seems to ring off the wall! 

I go to many websites and report the numbers.  We have got to where we don't even answer a call from outside our area code.  We do not interact with these intruders. 

The most frequent I have blocked with my carrier, but still, the number that can be blocked is so short and the quantity of numbers they can generate are so many! 

Our house phone was on the blink for a couple of days due to recent bad weather.  Wonderful!  Loved it! 

Have you registered your phones?  Do you think telephone spam should be aggressively sought out and stopped? 


Saturday, April 22, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Skillets

There are so many newfangled types of kitchen ware out there.  TV is ripe with a new can't do without skillet, pan, or cooking system each and every week.  Some do well enough, some are just junk. 

For my money, I still prefer my wonderful cast iron skillets for most every skillet need.  They can take the high temps or simmer things on low for long periods.  Fewer fiascoes with sticking, scorching, etc.  And clean up is divine!  Simply empty skillet, put about an inch of water in it, set on high burner, when water comes to boil scour and voila!  Wipe dry, set on burner you just had on, for a minute.  Set off and if it looks like it needs it, rub a drop or two of oil all over the inside. 

I'm the same way about my old club aluminum pots.  They are perfect for cooking rice, boiling fudge, cooking a custard.  I do like my stainless steel for some other tasks, steaming veggies, boiling eggs, etc.  But by and large, I'll reach for my club aluminum 8 out of 10 times.

And you, what is your favorite cookware?  Do you have any cast iron or club aluminum?


Friday, April 21, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Religion vs Relationship

There is always much ado about religion.  And in Christianity alone, there are many, many denominations.  I call myself a Christian, because I believe in Christ and try to follow Christ.  I have a denomination that teaches doctrine most in line with what I believe, what my heart, head and soul hears when I study God's word.  I am a member of and attend one church in that denomination.  It is a place for me to worship my God, my Savior.  A place for God to speak to me through his servant.  A place to fellowship with other like minded Christians. 

But my religion didn't save me, and it has not changed me.  The denomination I agree with and the church I belong to can give me help, instruction, support....many things, but neither did it save, nor effect any true change in me. 

Only the personal, real relationship that I share with my Lord and Savior can and does that.  Nothing and no one can speak to my heart and soul like God my Creator through His Word and His Spirit. 

If you have looked at denominations or attended churches and felt empty or lost or disillusioned, I recommend getting with the Source, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Start with the Book of John in the New Testament.  Once you give yourself to Christ, once you start that relationship, then He can guide you to the place where you can be nourished and where you can serve. 

Are your eyes on Christ or on man?  Do you let hypocrites keep you from God? Are you only going through the motions or do you really know Christ?  Is daily Bible study and prayer part of your life?


Thursday, April 20, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Quiet

When I was a child, I'd often lay in the lush green grass in the shade and stare up at the clouds slipping by.  Playing with flowers and doodle bugs.  Petting my dog. 

As I became a teen, I wanted my music on in my room, even when I studied.  I wanted music playing in my car, every time I hit the road. 

When I became a married adult, we seemed to have music on outside, in our cars, TV or music in the house.  There were children's toys with sounds.  Always a cacophony of sound. 

Somewhere in my thirties, I began to treasure the time at deer camp when nothing was playing, there was just the crackle of the fire and sounds of scurrying animals, the wind in the pines. 

Fast forwarding to these past few years, I find I often ride down the road for long distances or even a whole trip without even turning on the radio.  At home, if I am the only one up, I often read, or fiddle on the computer, work around the house, etc. without ever turning on anything. 

I thank God I live somewhere I can still slip outside and often only hear nature sounds.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my music when I am in the mood for it.  I have TV shows I definitely don't want to miss.  But, I seem to have come full circle in my life, to a point where I can treasure and value quiet just as much.

What about you, do you use a background noise or prefer quiet?  Has your preferences changed at times? 


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Pretenders & Posers

Our simple little country road has been plagued by pretenders of late.  People in trucks who apparently have never learned to drive in real mud, or whose truck is too wimpy to drive in real mud.  People who think it is something to hang one side of their truck over into the ditch after a rain and spin all they can.  Digging deep ruts on each side of the road.  Spraying their trucks with mud so they can drive them down the other roads and feel like a somebody.  Wanting to make people believe they have been on a big mudding adventure out in the woods somewhere.  To feel like a big man. 

They are pretenders, fakes.  Disrespectful law breakers and county property damagers.  See for yourself.

Most folks around these parts have been mudding.  Really mudding.  In a hunting club, down a pipeline or right of way.  Off the road entirely.  Where it matters, where it counts.  It can be a lot of fun.  This however, is overgrown, naughty children out of control.

Have you ever encountered similar problems?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Office Politics

I am at a total loss when it comes to office politics.  I was taught to mean what you say and say what you mean, but say it respectfully if at all possible.   I was taught to do your job and do it well.  To assist others around you, but at the same time stand up for yourself if necessary. 

Fortunately, most of the positions I have held, those I worked for and with seemed to operate in this same way.  But there have been a couple of places I have worked where nothing was ever as it seemed.  Downright cloak and dagger at times; and at others childish, spiteful games and strategies.

I cannot comprehend what this offers a person or why a business would choose to allow this type of stuff to go on.  I can see no benefit to the business or it's operation by this.

But, then again, I am not a "game" player or a schemer or user in other areas of my life either. 

Have you worked for places where this happens?  Has it directly effected you?  Have you practiced these methods yourself, and what was the outcome?


Monday, April 17, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: News

After 9/11, I became an avid news watcher.  World news, national news.  That continued for several years.  Then, suddenly, I just burnt out on it.  About the same time, I began to notice that when I saw local news that was about some tragic, untimely death of a young person, I'd feel it, mourn it for days afterward.  The same thing would happen if I saw where some working man who was a father died in a job related accident or such.   I can't even stand to hear other people talking about such as this that they saw on the news.

It did not take long for me to decide that I just couldn't handle it.  Didn't need these feelings in my life and disrupting my days.  I swore off all news, all together.  Pete has long had to watch the local news away from me.  Only recently, I have begun to sample some world news and such.

It's odd, and I don't entirely understand it.  I can hear about a large scale catastrophe and handle that in stride.  Stop to say a prayer for those affected and move on.  The burning hurt and relentless concern only comes into play with individual losses and untimely deaths.  I suppose that somehow I internalize it as if it happened to one of mine. 

What about you, how much news do you watch?  Do any stories you hear effect you on a deeply personal level? 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Marriage

I unequivocally believe that marriage is an institution ordained and created by God.  It was created when he presented the first woman, Eve, to the first man, Adam to be his friend and helpmate.  God walked, talked  with them. I believe God wants to be a part of every marriage, as he was that first one and that any marriage without God is not marriage at its best.

RED:  God desires to have a relationship with each of us individually.  He wants to be part of our lives and help us choose for a spouse the person He knows will complete us.  Then He wants to let His love, protection and guidance cover us and flow through us to each other.

BLUE:  We in turn owe God our thanks, praise & love.  We should seek his guidance and have time apart with Him through His Word and prayer.

GREEN:  Towards our spouse we should give our love, support, friendship, help and encouragement.

It is never to late to ask God to be a part of your life, or to include Him in your marriage.

How does this line up with your view of marriage?  Is God a part of yours?


Friday, April 14, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Love

Love.  Hard to describe.  Sometimes we have trouble giving it, expressing it.  Sometimes we have trouble receiving it, believing it. 

To me, love is not just a fuzzy warm feeling for someone or desire.  Those things are part of love, feelings that love can produce.  But those feelings can be produced without love involved.  Feelings are fleeting and change a lot like the weather in Texas.  Love is a way of being toward someone.  It is action and attitude.  It is a decision.  It is a commitment. 

I have a long way to go, to learn to love perfectly.  I don't believe any of us truly can.  But here is what it would look like all the time if we could:

When do you feel most loved?  How do you like to express love?  Have you ever truly loved or been loved? 


Thursday, April 13, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Kindness

"You've got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness."  Lyric from a Glen Campbell tune.  I believe kindness is in and of itself no trouble at all, and goes a long way to grease the mechanics of life and relationships. 

I am very seldom purposefully unkind.  I very often try to be kind and courteous.  I cannot see the reason to go around being unkind.  Well, I suppose I can see sometimes a person is so down they cannot reach in and pull any kindness out of themselves.  And that is just the person who needs a little kindness the most! 

It is not easy to be kind to someone who is unkind, yet is truly isn't any harder than being unkind back to them.  A little kindness from you, might help them not be so unkind to the next person.  And if they were to get a little kindness there, well, you see, it could grow and ripple.  Then again, maybe not.  They may have such a negative outlook that they don't even recognize the kindness you afforded them. But would that make your kindness any less?!

We are not responsible for how someone receives our kindness, or our respect, or our love, or us ourselves.  We are responsible for what we present to them, for how we are toward them. 

Is kindness your guide?  Are you offended when someone doesn't respond well to your kindness?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Jokes

Jokes can make us laugh out loud, lighten and brighten our mood, smooth a tense situation, create a feeling of camaraderie.  Jokes can also degrade, brutalize, humiliate, and tear down. 

I prefer clean humor.  No nasty words or vulgarities.  If someone can't make me laugh without those, then they really aren't clever or funny.  I don't mind if a joke alludes to sex or adult content, as long as it is tasteful.  Part of being tasteful is that it has a universal basis that all adult people can relate to.

I despise mean, hateful jokes about ethnicity or any cultural group.  Good natured ribbing about things that are generally accepted by the people at large AND the group itself is fine. 

For instance, we live a redneck lifestyle.  Jeff Foxworthy's humor does not offend us or make us mad.  Much of it we can relate to:  trucks, hunting, dogs, etc. 

Think of the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.  They were hilarious!  Yet, there was no vulgarity.  There couldn't be, as television was still censored then to keep it from pulling our collective conscience down into the gutter.  Think of how Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, and even Bill Cosby could make us laugh until we had to hold our sides without one disgusting word.  Just timing, facial expressions and connecting to a relatable subject.

What about you?  What kind of humor do you enjoy?  Have you ever been hurt by jokes either on a personal level or as a part of a group? 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Interests

Each of us has their own interests.  Yet, each of us can find we share interests with others.  Today I'm going to talk about some things that interest me, and I'm excited to discover how many we may share.

In a work setting, I love numbers and making things balance.  I like to know whatever I am involved in well, so that I can do it correctly; but that also feeds into my other interest:  I like to provide people with accurate information.  I enjoy being helpful. 

Away from work, my interests lay more in simple pleasures than anything.  I like sitting outside at certain times of the day, enjoying the beauty around me.  I love a good fire outside at night.  I like good conversation.  I also enjoy several card games and I adore a good game of Forty-Two (dominoes).  

I like to read.  I find it hard to describe what I like to read, but I know it when I find it.  I also enjoy good movies of many types.  Some of my favorites are classics, especially the ones that are funny or lighthearted.  (Think Rock Hudson & Doris Day).

I've also always enjoyed the water.  I am almost always up for going swimming or simply floating and relaxing in the water. 

A good meal at a good restaurant with someone I like to talk to is also a great pleasure to me.  And, since we don't dine out weekly like many  do these days, it's a real treat.

I'll try most anything that appeals to me one time, but if I don't enjoy it, I'll very likely never do it again. 

That's my little list of the simple pleasures I enjoy.  Are any of these on your list of interests?  Which do you share with me?  Are there any of mine you dislike? 


Monday, April 10, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Help

Help.  Everyone needs it at some time or another.  My mother-in-law used the Caneyhead community dialect for help:  she'd say "hope".  For example, if I was saying I planned to take the baby to the doctor tomorrow, she might say, "I hope you do that."  The first few time she did that, I truly thought she was merely expressing that she "hoped" I'd take the baby on to the doctor.  I didn't understand she was saying she'd "help" me if I needed it or wanted it.  LOL

I have never had any trouble asking for help if I felt I really needed it.  Yet, if I truly feel I can accomplish a task on my own, I don't.  I've seen many people who seem unable to ask for help.  For some it seems to be a matter of pride and they don't want to admit they need it.  For others, it often times is the fact that they know their helpers won't know how to do things the way they want them done and feel it will be more hassle than help.

I also don't mind being asked to help someone.  If I feel I am capable, I will.  My one peeve where this is concerned is when the asker wants to demand a certain time for the task to be done.  Say a neighbor asks if I will mow their yard.  I say yes.  They say, do it tomorrow morning.  Well tomorrow morning may be no good for me.  I might prefer tomorrow afternoon.  I don't mind if they say please mow it sometime before the weekend.  But don't demand a certain time of me unless you are asking for help with something that cannot be changed, like a trip to an appointment.  To me, that is rude.  You're already asking for someone's time.  Let them decide when it will be best unless there is some reasonable reason it must be done a certain time. 

What about you?  Can you ask for help when you need it?  Do you mind extended help on a definite time basis when it isn't necessary?


There is an excellent article explaining the use of hope for help at  The Word Detective.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Generic

It seems most everything today is available in a generic or a store brand as opposed to a manufacturers
brand name.  I myself have tried many generic items in my lifetime.  I almost always use generic medicines.  There are certain store brands of grocery items that are as good or better than the brand name labels.  Also, there are some that are real duds. 

That's not to say you won't see brand names in my home.  Hubby still prefers Charmin over any other toilet tissue.  Only real Prilosec seems to work right on him.  I still use only Helman's or Miracle Whip.  You get the idea.  But there is almost no single thing that I have not tried in a generic at some point.  Yes, occasionally I am totally disappointed and waste a tiny amount of money.  But over all, by finding all the places I can satisfactorily substitute I have saved a bundle!  As for the name brand stuff we stick to:  I try to only purchase it on sale or with a coupon.  I also know at which store in our town I can find the lowest price on it. 

What about you?   Do you ever go slumming in generics and store brands?  What items, if any, do you insist must be the brand name?


Friday, April 7, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Food

Food glorious food!  Food is not just our nutrition source, it is a part of our socialization.  Time spent in the kitchen together or eating together can be some of the best quality time.  Some of the best talks I have ever had with my children were in the kitchen as I was preparing a meal and they were hanging out or sitting at the table doing homework.  Now it seems folks gather together less and less to dine.

I enjoy eating out from time to time.  Having something prepared differently from how I'd prepare it.  Or having something I have never learned to prepare.  We all have times when we need to get a quick bite, whether it is take out or a frozen entree.   Yet, you can't beat cooking from scratch for quality, freshness &

I feel like I'm seeing home cooking and meal preparation become a vanishing art!  I know so many families that seem to eat out at least once a day and others who cook at home only once or twice a week!  It's not that I particularly enjoy cooking, but it's something we need and I do get pleasure from having myself and my family enjoy something I prepared.

Once years ago, co-workers were excited to buy chicken, broths, and packages of dumplings from Swanson's to make chicken & dumplings.  This set them back a good twenty bucks and this was back in the  eighties!  I couldn't believe it.  I can still make a pot of dumplings to feed two families for about $8.00.

The extra cost of all this eating out, and now this new trend of delivered meals ready to prepare!  The thought just sickens me.  I think of all the extra people who could be fed with all of that excess $$.

Do you still value home cooking?  How often do you and yours dine out?  What is your favorite kitchen memory?


Thursday, April 6, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Everyone is Winner Mentality

You see it all around these days, especially in the schools.  The idea, the mantra, of everyone is a winner.  There is some merit to this.  Everyone is special and loved in God's sight.  Everyone has some ability, some potential, some talent.  I also agree that everyone should be complimented and cheered for their successes and encouraged even when they fail. 

That said, after that, I stray completely from this ideology.  It has gone too far!  There are less and less places where a clear rank is applied, a definite winner is selected.  This way of thinking is giving us more and more people without a drive to succeed, and many others who want to be congratulated for the ordinary.

Everyone is not equally capable of doing each and every thing as well as the next person.  They just aren't.  We are uniquely gifted by our creator.  If mankind loses his will to strive, to go beyond, where will our new heroes come from?  How will we conquer the challenges of living in this world? 

What do you think?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Devices

Devices.  Meaning electronic hardware, phones, gadgets, etc. that people can use.  I do not view all this stuff as being either good or bad.  I see these things as simply tools.  A new kind of tool.  Yet, because of the connection to SO MUCH information, places, people, and such that the internet affords one through these devices, there are people becoming addicted, people who pass up REAL interactions and activities for time on their devices.  I believe it started with TV in the 50's.  Then there were the first Atari games.  Then mobile phones and pagers.

I myself enjoy television shows, movies, knowing I can reach someone easier with a cell phone, I like my blogging community, email is a fast and easy way to share things.  Paying bills online beats writing out checks or driving from business to business.   But there are times, seasons, days when I can get too caught up in some of these.  Let something that needs to be done slide for now.  Miss an opportunity to do something fun or go somewhere.   Thankfully, I have never really succumbed totally to any of these fascinations. 

I say all of this to preface that I understand it's usefulness.  I understand even the draw of it.  Yet, in so many ways it aggravates me no end.

People trying to play with their gadgets while walking or driving.  People who can not seem to lay their gadget down and leave it while you are by to visit or they are at your home to visit you!  It irritates me no end to see people give over to small children gadgets and then not set strict time limits.  And just the general waste of time and opportunity the use of all these gadgets create.

These things upset me, bother me, worry me about the future. 

What about you?  How tied to your gadgets are you? 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Cursive Writing

It seems more and more, school districts are deciding not to include cursive writing in the school curriculum.  I think this is a grave error.  Even though less and less communication is done through cursive correspondence, so very, very much has been done.  Think of it!  Think of all the family letters, papers, records, etc. that are in your house in cursive form.  Think of the great historical documents.  Inscriptions in books.  If we raise a generation who cannot read cursive, then they can be duped into believing things of old say things they never said.

Don't get me wrong, I think it should only be taught long enough to show it can be written and read by the student.  I don't see all the penmanship and such of 50+ years ago being necessary.  And I do see a day, long down the road yet, perhaps another fifty or one hundred years, when cursive could be offered as an elective at Jr. High level or something instead of required. 

I don't want to see these children become adults who can't read the family Bible entries.  That can't read the letters grandpa wrote grandma in WWII.  Who can't research old records and documents and find information and wonders.  

What about you?  Does writing and reading cursive seem totally unnecessary to you?  Are you glad you can read cursive?

Monday, April 3, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Bait & Switch?

Last month, both Bug and I needed eye exams and new glasses.  There was a place offering free eye exams and two pair of glasses for $69.00.  I decided that was a best deal for us and we headed down.  We were asked to pay $49.00/each for the eye exam, but were told that the price of it would be deducted off of our eyeglass purchase.  So, I paid and we were examined.  New prescriptions were given and we were directed over to where all the frames were on display.  No one waited on us.  No one told us anything, all associates seemed to be busy with someone.  So we started looking at frames without any help or direction.  We looked at the lower end of the price range.  FINALLY, we both settled on two frames each that we liked.  We were also finally approached to be waited upon.  We sat down and I told them we both wanted single vision glasses and both wanted the glare resistant lenses, which I knew would up the cost each a little.  Then I was presented with a price over $400!!! with our exams deducted.  I said, "You advertise two pair for $69.  I expected to pay more for the anti-glare, but never expected anything like this.  The fellow took out a chart and did some calculations and then adjusted the price down by $100.  That left me still paying $100 more than I expected.  But I took it, and I paid it.  At this point I was so exhausted and hungry I did not care. 

Moral of the story, if you try to take advantage of a deal like this, be sure to wait or make someone explain in detail to you the requirements to get the deal BEFORE you even start browsing. 

Have you ever felt someone pulled a "Bait & Switch" scam on you?  Do you think it is ethical to offer something to draw people in and then try to obscure how to get the advertised deal once they are in?  Have you ever had a job were you were required or encouraged to use such methods?

Barbara In Caneyhead

Saturday, April 1, 2017

#AtoZChallenge: Perspectives - Advice

Advice is best given and received when it has been asked for.  Unwanted advice often times tends to irritate the recipient.  Even if someone is telling you all about a problem they are having, more times than not, they don't actually want any advice from you.  Most times they only want a chance to express it all to someone.  To get it off their chests and out of their heads, and to receive in return only some consolation, some commiseration.  If at one of these times you feel overly obliged to offer advice, try to bite your tongue, to hold it back, hold it in.  There are really only two times to offer advice unsolicited:  one is to keep someone from doing something that would cause immeasurable harm.  The other is if you truly could not live with yourself afterwards for not offering the advice. 

These are my views on the subject as a giver and as a receiver of advice.  What about you?  Do you always give it?  Always welcome it?  Ignore it? 

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