Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Do We Preserve Oklahoma's Forgotten History?

I grew up in tiny Clarita - a hamlet of a hundred farms and ranches in what was previously Indian Territory.   After World War II, my war veteran dad purchased a big acreage of largely trees and streams from a man who had bought the land from Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians.  Slowly, my father cleared plots of the land and made them suitable for planting cattle feed such as alfalfa.  He and my mother raised their two children and made their living on this land, and it's still in my family today.

There is history on that land.  The border of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations runs right through it.  As a kid I picked up numerous arrowheads and artifacts just lying on the ground, usually near a stream.  It was kind of interesting at the time, but arrowheads were common in the area and I had no sense of the importance of my finds.

On our land a mile from our house, up on a hill among the trees sat a tiny, very old log cabin.   Who lived there, and when?  My parents were preoccupied with other things, such as paying bills and raising children, and had no interest.  Kids have attention spans of gnats, and absolutely no curiosity about history, so my brother and I took little note of the old cabin.  No one else knew about it.   During our Thanksgiving dinner this year, the subject of the old cabin came up, and we decided to pay it a visit.  It's funny how much more important history becomes to adults, after it's too late....Anyway, a bunch of us drove as close as we could to the still-heavily-wooded hill, but my brother, sister-in-law and I were the only ones willing to hike up there and take a look among the trees.  We found the cabin, now a heap of extremely aged, thin and fragile logs and boards.  It had fallen down long ago.  A beast of some sort, probably a fox, had dug a nice hole underneath the heap.  We walked around, all three of us lost in our thoughts.  We wished we had asked some questions back when there may have been someone who could have answered them.  Who built this cabin?  No doubt a Choctaw, but who was he?  Did he raise a family here?  Why did he leave - did he lose his life here?  Are there graves here, long lost?

Further west on my family's land sat a hill (which we thought was a mountain) that we all called Horse Thief Mountain.  Probably the most important aspect of Horse Thief Mountain was its makeup of fossils and petrified strange things.  I picked up bucketfuls of these as a kid, but again, didn't appreciate the astounding importance of these things.  What I did appreciate was the very thing that gave Horse Thief Mountain its name - the dead horse thief at the top of the hill...... 

According to my grandparents, great-uncles and various people around town, our little area of the world was a bit rough and tumble in the late 1800's and the turn of the twentieth century.  The white settlers were moving in and buying up the Choctaws' land allotments, living among the Indians.  There was no local law in this part of Indian Territory,with the Federal Marshalls being preoccupied with the bigger problems in the Territory, which were numerous. Indians and settlers took matters into their own hands, often resulting in horrendous bloodshed and dubious justice. 

As the old folks in Clarita told the story, sometime during the first decade of the twentieth century a man was caught stealing horses from one of the settlers.  A group of local men, lacking any other option, convicted the hapless thief on the spot (which happened to be at the foot of what we would later know as Horse Thief Mountain) and someone produced a rope.  An big Bois d'Arc tree served as the gallows, and the deed was quickly done.  The dead thief was dragged by horse to the top of the hill and buried by the men who had killed him.

Many years later I would stare into the eerie sunken grave as my dad told me the story.   There was no marker, just a sunken hole at the top of the hill, among the fossils.  I went back there at least once a year during my childhood, usually on horseback, sometimes hiking.  It was peaceful and scary at the same time - I stood on the hill looking west at miles and miles of unexplored forest and was keenly aware of the isolation and beauty of this place. 

After I was grown and gone, my father sold a large piece of his property that included Horse Thief Mountain.  Someone had discovered the fossils and now there is earth-moving equipment and people with rock hammers systematically dismantling the hill.  It has been renamed Black Cat Mountain by the history-ignorant rock hounds.  Since I'm not fond of trespassing, I have not returned to the horse thief's grave.  I fear it may be long gone - lost forever to earth movers and rock hounds.

So, how do we preserve Oklahoma's forgotten history, particularly the history of Indian Territory?  The history that was passed from generation to generation is being lost every day....Can we do something to stop the bleeding before it's too late?

I love comments - please let us know what you think....

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday....The silly dog of the week. Just in time for the terrible winter weather - It's....Nanook Schnauzer!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is Salt Lurking In Your Food?

We all know that salt is a killer. It might make your foods taste a little spicier, but the risk is not worth the reward.

Salt is a mineral made up of chloride and sodium. You only need about 500 milligrams of salt per day to meet your needs, but most of us consume about 4,000 milligrams per day. This is a stroke or heart attack waiting to happen.

Only 10% of sodium in our diets comes from the saltshaker. The rest comes from preserved, processed or prepared foods – and many of these foods are ones that you would not suspect.The following is a list of common foods, and the amount of sodium in milligrams that is found in each food….

Fast food Onion Rings – 1 serving……800

Fast food Breakfast Biscuit…1,470

Fast food Roast Beef Sandwich…792

Fresh peach…0

1 slice peach pie…153

1 cup canned peaches…16

Fresh apple…0

1 slice apple pie…444

1 ear of corn (cooked)…3

1 cup creamed corn…572

1 small baked potato…20

1/2 cup cooked carrots…50

3 oz. cooked roast beef…53

1 hot dog (large)…638

3 oz. cooked chicken…50

3 oz. chipped beef…2,953

Chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding TV dinner…1,820

1 cup turkey stuffing…1,000

Cola – 12 oz. can…50

Dill Pickle (large)…1,000

Remember, that anything “cured” or “pickled” will be loaded with sodium, so you should avoid these. Restaurant and canned soups are generally high in sodium, so skip the soup and eat fresh veggies with your sandwich instead.Anything fresh is better than canned, and cold cuts are generally packed with sodium.

These are just a few of the foods that you may eat often that contain sodium. You can check this out on your own by reading the food labels when you shop for groceries. Avoiding fast food and restaurant food is a good choice as well.

Visit your farmers’ markets during the summer and re-learn what true freshness without salt tastes like!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

We are into the frozen months here in Oklahoma.  Here is a nice recipe to try....

Add some antioxidants to your life with this BerryBerry Crisp.  Many of us have pledged to eat better in the coming year, and here is a tasty way to start fulfilling those New Year resolutions.

We can’t get too many antioxidants, which means we can’t eat too many berries! It’s nice that a delicious berry is jam-packed with wonderfully healthy benefits for our body, making it so easy to eat healthy.

You can prepare the crumble for this Super Berry Crisp ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

What follows is an easy recipe for BerryBerry Crisp….

2/3 cup rolled oats

6 tablespoons wheat germ

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons honey, preferably from a honey farm near your home

4 1/2 cups mixed berries – can be fresh or frozen, your choice

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add the rolled oats, pecans, wheat germ, oil, seeds and honey.  You can substitute your favorite nut for the pecans, or mix and match them.   Mix this up well.  This will be the crumble for your BerryBerry Crisp.

(Note: In Oklahoma we grow a lot of pecans, so this is a favorite in our recipes.  Almonds, walnuts, almost any kind of nut would do just as well in this BerryBery Crisp.)
Pour your berries into a large baking dish, then sprinkle your mixture over the top of the berries and press down lightly.

Bake at 25 minutes, or until light brown and bubbling.

Serve it up hot and watch it disappear!

Serves about 6 people.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Have A Great Trip On I-40 Oklahoma City to Arkansas

Are you planning a trip by car that will take you across Oklahoma on I-40?

I-40 is a major west-east highway, beginning in Barstow, California and ending in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is 331 miles across Oklahoma.

The trip from Oklahoma City to Arkansas differs greatly from the western half of Oklahoma I-40. You will notice more rolling hills, more Native Americans, everything is greener with lots and lots of trees and water. You will realize after traveling this stretch that there really ARE two Oklahomas.

Casinos - If you like to stop at casinos, you may never get out of Oklahoma. You will see numerous signs for casinos, more as you go further east from the west, and you can check them all out. There are some particularly well-known ones on I-40 and I will note them in this post.

After you leave Oklahoma City, you will pass through Midwest City, home of Tinker Air Force Base. Midwest City (along with nearby Moore) suffered terrible blows in the Oklahoma tornadoes of 1999 and 2003, but both cities have bounced back.

At the Choctaw exit, there is a delightful German restaurant a few miles off the interstate. Old Germany, on SE 29th Street. Stop at Love’s at the Choctaw exit and ask for directions if you need to.

Shawnee is a large city that comes about 20 minutes or so after Choctaw. Shawnee has plenty of eating places and Casino Alert!!! Shortly before entering Shawnee, you will see on the north side a huge, and I do mean huge, casino, complete with flashing signs and large hotel. This is Fire Lake Grand Casino in all its glory. Believe it or not, it’s not the biggest casino in the state, but it is one of the nicest ones. If you are so inclined, check it out. Try out their free self-serve ice cream and soft drinks while you’re there. You can enjoy Coke Floats all day long!

Back on the road, you will notice signs that let you know that you are in Indian Territory. Much of the land from here to the Arkansas border is Tribal land where the Native Americans settled in the 1800’s, and signs will let you know that you are entering , for example, the Seminole Nation. Of course, this won’t change anything for you, but it is kind of interesting to see the various tribal nations that you pass through. You will notice that the Tribal population picks up significantly as you go east from OKC.

You will now pass through Okemah, the hometown of Woody Guthrie. His childhood home and a museum are there, but I have never visited. Also in Okemah, a few miles south, is a nice and quirky winery, Grape Ranch. Exit where you see the signs that feature their logo - a cow skull made of grapes. They have excellent wine and sometimes there is live music.

Back on I-40, you will go past Henryetta, hometown of Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman. He starred on their football team, the Henryetta Hens. Really.

If you are hungry, there is a terrific eating place on the south side of I-240, first Henryetta exit, called The Hungry Traveler. Country food and great pies.

You’ll cross over a part of Lake Eufaula, which is one whopper of a lake. Notice the street sign on the east side of the lake for Lotawatah Road. It’s an old Indian name, sure it is, of course it is…

Passing by Checotah, you may recall that this is the hometown of American Idol Carrie Underwood. Take the exit and you will go right by the Sonic Drive-In which was her high school hang-out. If you stop, be sure and order the onion rings. Walk into some of the little businesses near downtown and hear true-to-life Carrie stories from the people that know her best.

You will cross a very large bridge over the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls. On May 26, 2002 this bridge was struck by a barge, which caused a catastrophic collapse. Vehicles and one horse trailer plunged helplessly into the dark water below, resulting in the death of 14 people and several horses.

Sallisaw is one of your last towns in Oklahoma before hitting Fort Smith, Arkansas. Casino Alert!! The Cherokee Casino is located in Sallisaw. Not huge, but not terribly small, either. One of your final casino opportunities….

The rest area on the south before you pass into Arkansas is a really nice one. You will know it by the large Native American symbols in front.

I-40 from OKC to the Arkansas border is an interesting drive with numerous reasons to stop and explore. It may not wind in and around historic Route 66 like the stretch from OKC to the Texas border does, but this corridor has a unique personality and flavor that makes it one of my favorite highway drives.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

What a great, wintery Friday this is....

Michelle's cute Sooner fan Schnauzers Shadow and Smokey are rescue dogs.  Shadow and Smokey, like most Schnauzers, are extremely smart dogs - that's why they're Sooner fans.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Do You Relieve A Jellyfish Sting??

Many snowbirds are headed south to Florida or other warm locales to shake off this cold weather and soak up some sun and salt water. But there is danger in the water....

If you have ever spent time on a beach, you may have heard jellyfish warnings. A jellyfish is a harmless looking creature that packs a vicious punch.

A jellyfish has long, soft tentacles that contain a venom that is protein-based and hurts like crazy when a swimmer or barefoot beachcomber comes into contact with it. It is a sting that you will not forget if you experience it.

The following are some tips that will help if you have a collision with a jellyfish.

Watch for jellyfish warnings and heed them...

Bigger beaches will post jellyfish warnings when swarms of them are on the prowl. If you go into the water during a warning period, you are taking a big risk.

Watch for an allergic reaction...

While you are treating the jellyfish sting, be on the lookout for signs that you are allergic. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can result in death if not treated quickly. Anaphylactic shock is a quick and sometimes deadly drop in blood pressure caused by the allergy.

Some signs of Anaphylaxis are:



Tightening up of the throat, resulting in difficulty in breathing


If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately - you need quick medical attention.

Was it a Box Jellyfish?

Hopefully you were stung by a run-of-the-mill jellyfish, although it certainly won't feel like it. However, if you have reason to believe that you were attacked by a Box Jellyfish, call 911 immediately. Box Jellyfish are extremely poisonous and their sting can be deadly within minutes.

Remove the stingers and tentacles...

This part makes my skin crawl, but sometimes you will find that bits of stinger are still in the wound, along with parts of the tentacle on your skin. Gently remove the tentacle by rinsing with very, very hot water, if available. If not, you can use sea (salt) water, but never use fresh cool or warm water on the wound - it will make the sting hurt worse. If the water is fresh, it must be very hot!

Remove the stinger with a credit card and gently scrape it over the wound to remove the stinger. If you have access to shaving cream or a paste of baking soda and water, apply this to the wound before removing the stinger - this will keep any more poison from being released while the stinger is removed.

Relieve the pain....

Now that you have removed the tentacles and stinger and have determined that you are not having an allergic reaction, it's time to try and relieve your pain as much as possible.

You may have heard that human urine will relieve the pain of jellyfish sting, but this has been largely discredited. It does not contain enough acid. If you have access to white vinegar, flush the wound with it for 15-20 minutes, or soak it in the vinegar, if possible. Another option is to hold the wound under extremely hot, fresh water. This has been found to be effective if the water is between 105 and 120 degrees - the hotter, the more effective.

Another option is to use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol instead of vinegar. There are also commercial jellyfish sting remedies that are effective.

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both fairly effective in relieving some of the pain.

Since prevention is the most effective treatment, use safe practices when playing on the beach and in the ocean. Wear shoes when walking along the beach and always watch where you are stepping. Better yet, practice restraint when jellyfish warnings are in effect and go shopping instead!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello and happy Monday - It's the Recipe Blog!

How would you like to make a healthy, beautiful loaf of Italian Sun-Dried Tomato Bread?  Ok, it's not exactly an Okie recipe, but we do have quite a few people of Italian heritage in Oklahoma, does that count?  So here's a recipe representing the Okies with names ending in "i" in McAlester, Krebs, Coalgate and Lehigh...

This bread combines olive oil and tomatoes, two cancer and heart disease-fighting ingredients, and has very little salt, which is an added boost to your heart.

Below are the instructions for making one large loaf of this delicious Italian bread….


* 4 cups whole-wheat bread flour

* 1/4 oz. fast-acting dry yeast

* 1/2 cup toasted nuts - any kind, chopped

* 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil - chopped and drained

* 2 medium eggs

* 1 Tbsp. tomato paste (low salt version)

* 1/4 c. olive oil

* 1 Tbsp. honey

* 1 1/4 cups warm water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Stir together in a large bowl the flour, yeast, toasted nuts and sun-dried tomatoes. When mixed, make a well in the middle and set aside.

Mix the eggs, tomato paste, honey and oil in another bowl. Pour this into the well of the first bowl and mix it all together with your hands. Add the warm water and keep mixing until the dough forms. Leaving the dough in the bowl, knead it for about 8 minutes until it is elastic. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour.

Punch down the dough, then knead it for a few more minutes. Shape it into a large round loaf and put it on a lightly-oiled cookie sheet. Cover and let it rise about 20 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

**You can keep this bread for up to 3 days if you wrap in plastic wrap and keep it in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for up to a month.

**For gluten-free bread you can use a gluten-free flour mix instead of the whole-wheat bread flour.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Can you name 50 things that make you happy?

Some experts believe that people have become superficial with the age of the Internet. They feel more comfortable relating to others online rather than conversing face-to-face. Some people even socialize with each other through avatars on sites such as Second Life and in Facebook games.

It is said that we have lost our introspection – that people in our current society spend little time getting to know themselves and most of their non-working time on the computer or in front of the television.

A great way to gain some self-knowledge is by listing. There are numerous lists out there, and most seem really easy until you actually get into them. You will find that these lists take a lot more thought than you ever imagined.

The following is one of the more popular lists – 50 things that make you happy….I will take the first leap and attempt to come up with my 50. The deeper you go into the list, the more you actually have to think about yourself and what really makes you smile. There aren’t many rules to listing for self-knowledge – for today’s list you can write pretty much anything, except no named people! We all know that Mom, Dad, spouse, friends and your dog Rover make you happy. Please leave them off the list.

Ok, here goes….50 things that make me happy:

1. Rain
2. Audiobooks
3. The Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina
4. Fishing
5. Computers
6. Cats
7. History Detectives (on PBS)
8. The O.U. Sooners football team
9. All baby animals
10. Burning leaves in autumn
11. Movie popcorn
12. The eastern half of Oklahoma
13. Walking on a college campus in the fall
14. Family history research
15. Sewing (if I actually complete something!)
16. Reading
17. Dogs
18. Baking bread
19. The smell of coffee
20. My Ipod Touch
21. Reading the newspaper
22. Watching a snowstorm from inside the house
23. Picking up pecans with my Mom
24. Taking a roadtrip
25. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan
26. Birthday parties
27. A smiling baby
28. Riding a horse
29. Finally finishing a quilt
30. Old, deserted cabins or houses
31. A blazing fireplace on a snowy day
32. Old saddles
33. Spending a couple hours at a casino and breaking even
34. Bricktown in Oklahoma City
35. Finishing a project at work
36. Rabbits
37. The weird sounds a chicken makes
38. Funniest Home Videos on television
39. Hearing a marching band play Oklahoma!
40. April and October
41. That quiet time after sundown before darkness totally sets in
42. Making a writing pen out of a little block of wood
43. Going to lunch with my work colleagues
44. Unexpected cash
45. Cowboys
46. Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, brown gravy and biscuits
47. History of any kind
48. Sleeping under quilts on a really cold night
49. Trees
50. My dad’s old barn

Well, there you have it. I made it to 50, but it was tough. I hit the wall around number 28, but then got my second wind and breezed home. Try it – what do you have to lose? You might learn something about yourself – and you’ll see how easy it is to be happy every day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, welcome to another Friday Dog Blog!

Barbara's beautiful collie Mosey is a lucky rescue dog.... Mosey - There's no better name for an Okie dog!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Know How To React When Someone Receives An Electrical Shock!

Hello everyone - It's Wednesday and time for another health post....

When you encounter someone who has received a severe electrical shock, it is difficult to keep your wits about you. Reading this ahead of time will hopefully give you the information you need to rescue a person in distress.

You may encounter the following if you have a shock victim...
1. Unconsciousness, 2. Burns, 3. Difficulty breathing, 4. Muscle spasms, 5. Heart problems.

Call 911. This is the first and foremost thing to do in all emergencies. If you are in an area where there is no phone service or no emergency service, you are truly on your own. If you do get through to a 911 operator, he/she will help guide you through the steps.

Disconnect the electrical source that caused the shock. This is very important.

Do not be afraid to touch the victim. If the victim is not breathing and you know how to give CPR, do so immediately.

After the victim is breathing, check for burns and treat them. Aloe vera is excellent for burn treatment if you have it. You can buy a tube of aloe vera gel at a discount store or pharmacy, and this is a good thing to keep at home at all times.

Remember that time is extremely important when dealing with someone who has received an electrical shock. Above all, stay calm and cool.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

Yummy Splenda Peanut Butter Cookies!!

Oklahoma is a peanut producing state - During peanut season, when my dad would visit peanut farmer friends, they would pull up several huge peanut plants and throw them in the back of his truck to bring home to his peanut-loving kid.  I would set to work pulling fresh peanuts off the roots of those plants, putting them on a cookie sheet and roasting them in the oven.  Wow, were they good!!  They were never around long enough for my mother to make fresh peanut butter, but Peter Pan peanut butter was always in the cabinet, and she put it to use often making peanut butter cookies....

Do you love peanut butter cookies, but hate the massive amounts of sugar they contain?

White sugar is hazardous to your health - it increases your chances of diabetes and packs on pounds, among other things.

Splenda is a sugar substitute that many people love. It has no calories and does not raise blood sugar. Compared to white sugar, it is a good choice if you need a sweet fix.

Below is a recipe for traditional peanut butter cookies made with Splenda and a touch of honey, but no white sugar...

Yummy Splenda Peanut Butter Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter substitute and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy, about a minute.

Add in the egg substitute, vanilla and honey. Beat on high speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the SPLENDA Granulated Sweetener or generic and beat on medium speed approximately 30 seconds.

In a small mixing bowl,combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Beat on low speed until well-blended, about 1 1/2 minutes. Mixture might be crumbly, and that's ok.

Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, about two inches apart. Flatten each ball with a fork, pressing a crisscross pattern into each cookie.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 24 cookies.

Note:  These are great dunked in cold, fresh milk!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Predict The Weather By Using Nature!

Happy birthday, Mom!

Well, we're getting into the interesting part of winter, and Oklahoma has already experienced a record-setting snowfall and blizzard.  Nice.  Nature has a way of letting us know what kind of weather is making its way toward us if we just understand the signs. Our farmer forefathers knew all of this, of course, but we have lost this passed-down knowledge over the years as our weather forecasting became easier and more sophisticated.

The nature method of weather forecasting was surprisingly accurate, and still is today. This article will tell you how the farmers used nature to predict how the weather….

The first twelve days after Christmas will indicate what each month in the next year will be like. A mild day the day after Christmas means that January will be mild. A stormy day on the fourth day after Christmas means that April will be stormy, etc.

If it hasn’t rained in a long time, and the rain starts before 7:00 A.M., it will be over by 11:00 A.M.

If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain on the next seven Sundays.

If it starts raining on the first day of the full moon, it will keep raining until the moon quarters.

There will be nice weather if you hear a screech owl.

There will be nice weather if smoke rises.

When crickets sing the temperature will get warmer.

If the first snow stays on the ground for three days, another snow will come along to add to it.

A late frost indicates a rough winter is ahead.

It will rain if:

Cows lie down in the pasture.

Earthworms come to the top of the ground.

The ants cover up the hole on their mound.

There is a ring around the moon. The stars in the ring indicate how many days away the rain is.

Birds are flying low.

The sun sets with clouds.

The number of days old the moon is at the first snowfall will tell you how many times it will snow this season.

Lots of rain and two frosts close to each other indicate that cold weather is approaching fast.

With this knowledge, you can now predict the weather as well as your farmer ancestors. Let’s all hope for a nice, peaceful January and February for everyone this year.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

What a great Friday!! Here's a dog to top it off....

We know this guy, it's Stefanie's Flash, at his birthday party. Hats on dogs are always good, and this one would even make the Grinch smile!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Learn To Recognize Symptoms Of Common Illnesses

What a great Wednesday!  How about a health post?

Sometimes our bodies will indicate a serious illness if we know how to read the signs that we are given.Many symptoms of serious illnesses are very common. If you see these symptoms bunched together, this might indicate that your illnesses is something more than just a temporary irritation. The following are seven rather common ailments, and some symptoms that could indicate them....

Concussion: (generally caused by a blow to the head)



Blurred vision or pupils with unequal size.

Head injury with dizziness.Vomiting.


Headache and nausea or vomiting.

Throbbing pain on one side.

Headache and sensitivity to light.

Headache and problems seeing.


Stiff neck.



Nausea and vomiting.

Glaucoma: (This can be diagnosed by a test at your Optometrist's office)

Blurry vision.

Enlarged pupil.

An ache around the eyes.

Watery eyes.



Stuffy nose.


Sinus pain.

Stroke: (Time is extremely important here - Get to a hospital quickly)



Weakness or problems moving one side of the body.

Brain Tumor:


Vision loss.


Nausea or vomiting.

With many illnesses, you will not experience every symptom. If your symptoms indicate that you might have one of these illness, please seek medical attention as soon as possible…

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

How About Some Old-Time Pulled Molasses Taffy????

Back in the 1800’s, all the way through the Depression, pulling taffy candy was a family tradition in homes of all incomes and circumstances. Taffy-pulling was a time-honored routine when the weather turned cold and the holidays rolled around. Kids absolutely loved it, particularly since candy was in short supply in those days.

What follows is an old recipe for Okie Molasses Taffy….


5 teaspoons butter (don’t substitute), softened and divided
¼ cup water
1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup molasses, unsulphured
1 pair scissors, greased

Use 3 teaspoons of butter to grease a 15”x10”x1” pan and set aside.

Combine the water, vinegar, salt and brown sugar in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches the firm-ball stage (your candy thermometer will read 245 degrees). Add the molasses and the rest of the butter. Continue to cook, uncovered, until it reaches the hard-ball stage (your candy thermometer will read 260 degrees), stirring occasionally.

Remove immediately from the heat and pour into your prepared pan. Take a spatula and turn up the edges a little to make it easier to get out when cool. Wait until it’s cool enough to handle, this will be 4 or 5 minutes. Butter your fingers well. Form the taffy into one or more balls. Now start pulling.

Working fast, pull a lump of taffy between the fingertips of one hand and the other until it's about 15 inches long.

Now double it up and pull again. Continue pulling until the candy is porous and hard to pull.

Stretch the candy into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter.

Cut with the greased scissors into 1-inch pieces.

Wrap each piece in waxed paper and twist the ends. Store the taffy in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before you serve your molasses taffy, remove it from the fridge for 30 minutes.

This is always best if your entire family gets in on the act of pulling, cutting and wrapping the taffy!

Many who grew up in Oklahoma remember the pulled taffy days - it's a time-honored tradition in the Sooner state.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Never Separate Your Laundry Again!

Organization is everything when it comes to doing a job, whether it's at the office or at home....

Doing the laundry is a dreary job. Adding to it is the time spent in separating it, piece by piece. People generally wash several loads of laundry at a time - white clothes, dark or bright clothes, light clothes and denim.

This means that each piece must be evaluated and thrown into a separate pile before even starting the laundry, unless...You can set up a system that will separate the laundry before it gets to the laundry room.

If you follow this guide, it will cut at least ten minutes off of every laundry session - and who couldn't use some more time?

Here goes:

Purchase four tall trash bins without lids for each bedroom. They can be the same color, or different colors, your choice. If you have far less clothes in a designation, such as white clothes, you can purchase a small bathroom bin for that category.

Make 4 labels for each set. Use a Sharpie and paper and apply the labels with postal packing tape to ensure that they stay where you put them. The labels should read something like this:





Or, however you separate your laundry.

Tape a label on each bin. Line the bins up in an inconspicuous place in the bedroom, or better, in the closet if you have room.

Instruct each family member to throw their clothes into the correct bin when removed. When laundry day arrives, gathering and separating the clothing is as easy as emptying the bins.

This is a good system to teach your children. They will thank you for it years from now. It also encourages your older children to do their own laundry when their bins are full by making it much easier for them.

Happy Laundry Day!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday, everyone!!  Annie has just finished ringing in the New Year with her owners, Linda and Jim.  Looks like she may have celebrated a little too hard, but her message to you is heartfelt and right on top of her head....