Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

A More Refreshing Cause, Please

Have you heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project?  It began in January of 2010 and according to the rules is "an online grant program which makes available millions of dollars to be granted to projects which are intended to improve communities through an online, democratic voting process...."

Up to 1,000 ideas can be submitted each month by individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations. Thirty-two of those ideas will be approved for funding based upon the number of votes received from registered online users. Of those thirty-two, two will receive $250,000 and ten each will receive grants of $5 thousand, $25 thousand, or $50 thousand.

Pretty cool, right?  Just imagine all the great ideas that are being submitted:
  • Help students with autism communicate.
  • Find a path to the cure for Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC).
  • Help babies with Cystic Fibrosis breathe easier.
  • Help youth who suffer from depression or Bipolar Disorder.
  • Donate gift bags to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients under 40.

These are all awesome ways to help the communities, but do you know who's in the lead right now

The country’s largest anti-hunting group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).


HSUS is on the verge of getting a $250,000 grant from Pepsi.  This is the same organization that only gives 1 dollar of every 200 that is donated to hands-on pet shelters!   

The U.S. Sportmen's Alliance (USSA) and the Animal Agriculture Alliance have both sent letters to Pepsi describing HSUS’ history of standing against outdoor traditions and conservation funding as well as the attacks they have leveled against farming.

It's a shame when people are so misled they would cast votes for an organization whose sole purpose is to end hunting, farming and most animal use instead of voting to help babies who have trouble breathing! 

What can you do?  Take action!

•Register at the Pepsi Refresh Program website, www.refresheverything.com and vote for a more worthy proposal.

•Contact Pepsi through their consumer phone number, 1-800-433-2652 or Click here to send an e-mail by picking “Question or comment about the Pepsi Refresh Project” from the drop down menu. Please ask Pepsi Co. not to support the HSUS. Explain that HSUS is the number one anti-hunting and animal ag organization in the United States.

For more information on the TRUTH about HSUS, visit HumaneWatch.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have shared my love for my favorite magazine ever with Monkey.  I think she's taken a liking to it!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bang Bang

I am swamped at work.  I mean swamped.  To the point of exhaution really.  So I'm sorry for the lack of content, I really am.  I know this isn't the first time I've apologized, but I really do mean it!  Once things settle down at work, I'll be back.  I promise.

Until then, guess what this weekend is?  Shotgun season!  And my father-in-law has already bagged a buck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monkey's new favorite reading spot... on Hank's dog bed!

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Butter

Who doesn't love a little apple butter on a piece of toast or biscuit in the morning?  The problem with apple butter is that it takes a lot of care and quite a while to make it.  But alas, there is an easier method... the crockpot, of course!  And since I still have pumpkin puree coming out my ears, I made pumpkin apple butter this time.

What You'll Need:
  • 8 apples
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
What You Do:

Peel, core and slice the apples. 

And now here comes the easy part, dump all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 14 hours. 

Divide in 2 cup portions, put one in the fridge for immediate use and the rest in the freezer or give to friends.  They'll love you for it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Today is Veteran's Day.  On this day, and every day, there are countless reasons to thank a veteran.  I give you a measly thirteen:

1. Every time you read a newspaper of your choice.

2. Every time you say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

3. Every time you exercise your right to vote.

4. Every time you speak your mind without concern for retribution.

5. Every time you purchase a firearm.

6. Every time you go to the church of your choice.

7. Every time you wake up in your own bed in your own home.

8. Every time you sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

9. Every time you freely travel from city to city, and state to state.

10. Every time you send your children to the school of your choice.

11. Every time you enjoy your liesure time (watching sport, hanging out with your friends in a bar, etc.) rather than being on a battlefield.

12. Every time you attend a protest, rally, or march for a cause.

13. Thank a veteren for your right to live free.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On This Day...

On this day last year John Allen Muhammad, born John Allen Williams, was executed by lethal injection in a Virginia prison for killing at least 10 people in a string of shootings in the US in 2002.  The majority of the shootings took place in the Washington DC/Beltway area, dubbing Muhammad and his teenaged accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo the "DC snipers".

On this day in 2006, Zimbabwe's government launched a programme to issue 99-year leases to black farmers allocated land previously seized mostly from white farmers

On this day in 1999, The US Justice Department stripped a retired Ohio factory worker of his citizenship, charging he served as an armed guard at a Nazi slave labour camp. The Office of Special Investigations has stripped 63 Nazi persecutors of citizenship, blocked 150 people from entering the US, and is investigating over 250 people on similar charges.

On this day in 1989, Todor Zhivkov resigns after 35 years as Communist Party leader of Bulgaria.

On this day in 1977, actress Brittany Murphy was born.

On this day in 1969, Sesame Street made its debut on PBS television in the US.

On this day in 1959, actress Mackenzie Phillips was born.

On this day in 1949, my mother's parents were wed.

Since then, they've brought seven children into this world and said goodbye to two of them long before they should have. 

They've helped nurture and spoil 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

After 62 years together, some would think they'd get tired of being around each other.  Not these two.  After Grandpa's fall last week, one of the first things they talked about in the hospital was how they were going to celebrate their anniversary when he wasn't able to be on his feet like normal.

Grandpa's answer:  Very carefully.
That's love.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Corn Chowder

Oh dear.  Oh my.  This soup is lip-smacking, mouth-watering scrumptious.  With the weather being slightly cooler  down right chilly here recently, I felt like whipping up a nice warm chowder.  And this one, well simply put, it satisfies.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 lb hot sausage
  • EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • A few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 4 cups fresh corn
  • 1 can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
What You Do:

Slice corn kernels off cob.  Or, if you're like me, open the freezer and pull out a bag of corn from the summer when you had way too much sweet corn on your hands and let thaw.

Brown sausage over medium heat and drain off grease.

In a large pot, over medium heat, drizzle a few tablespoons of EVOO.  Throw in diced onion, garlic and potatoes.  Add butter and melt.  Add chilies and corn

Pour in chicken broth and cream.  Add salt, pepper and sausage.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes and serve.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

1. I'm glad the elections are finally over. I get so tired of all the negative ads out there. How's about telling me what YOU stand for and what YOU want to achieve for the government. Not the faults of your competitor.

2. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was the first to use a smear campaign against his opponent? Geeze, if only he knew what he started!

3. My Grandpa had a little spill on Tuesday.  The doctors originally thought he broke his hip, but after surgery last night it turns out he broke his femur.  Still not a good thing, but better than having to have a hip replacement.  It shouldn't be as long of a recovery for him, but still going to be a painful and hard one.  Please keep him in your prayers!

4. I'm really missing my friend Annie right now.  The only thing that makes me happy summer is over is the fact that she'll be coming home for the holidays!

5. Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday.  I am not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep or getting off work as it's getting dark.  If I was President I would make it Daylight Savings Time YEAR ROUND.

6. And while I was at it, I would mandate a 4-day work week as well.

7. I taught my sister how to make pumpkin puree and roasted pumpkin seeds this week.  I don't think she was really paying attention... I think she just wanted me to do the work for her!  I have two more pumpkins to use, so be prepared for more pumpkin recipes on this here blog.

8. On that note, I've seen recipes for beef stew baked in a pumpkin.  Beef stew is not one of my favorite meals, but I like the idea of baking a meal inside a pumpkin.  I've got an idea I'm working on... I'll let you know how it turns out. 

9. I am STILL swamped at work planning events and working at getting two websites launched.  I could use a vacation.

10. It's volleyball night!  This might be the first time this season where we actually have the entire team there.  It seems like every week we have to have a sub for someone.

11. Monkey dressed up for Halloween this year.  Want to take a guess as to what she was?  A monkey of course!  Cutest little monkey I've ever seen, that's for sure.

12. 5 years ago today, I had Lasik surgery.  It was worth every single penny. 

13. I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and am now reading Undone by Karin Slaughter. What are you reading?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

No matter how bad of a day I have, this little ornery girl can bring a smile to my face.

And I love her for that.

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Creme Pies

What You'll Need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 2 dashed cinnamon
What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together brown sugar, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well, followed by vanilla.

In a seperate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.  Slowly mix these into the batter until well combined.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or 1/8-cup measuring cup, scoop batter onto greased baking sheet.  You want each cookie to be about 2 inches in diameter.

Bake for 11 minutes and cool.

While cookies are baking, beat together cream cheese and butter.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. 

After cookies have cooled, frost flat side of one cookie and top with another. 

Refridgerate until ready to serve.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do It For Your Country

Today is November 1st.  The first day of November. 

You know what that means... only 24 days until Thanksgiving and less than two months 'til Christmas. 

But do you know what else it means? 

Tomorrow is November 2nd.  The second day of November.

And that means it's ELECTION DAY!

Get out there people and

I don't even care WHO you vote for... okay, maybe I do care, but everyone has the right to their own opinions... even if yours is wrong.  So just get out there and do it, let your voice be heard!