Friday, December 30, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, hope your last Friday of 2011 is going great!  Here is a double dose of dog for your Friday Dog Blog....

Charlie Brown and Mary Ann are fast friends.  Not only do they look alike, they also laze around alike!  Nothing better to do on a cold winter day....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How To Keep Your Pet Safe During The Holidays

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Now we have New Year's in our sights.  While your holidays are in full swing, it might be a good idea to take a look at this article on how to keep your pets safe during this hectic time.

Lights, decorations, good food... every year, as we celebrate the holidays, we fill our homes with seasonal cheer for ourselves and our families. However, what may seem beautiful and harmless to us may pose hidden dangers to our pets. Don't let an emergency spoil the festivities! Below are some common holiday hazards for dogs and cats and ways to prevent them.  This article is courtesy of my dog's vet -  name and address at the bottom of the page.

Holiday Hazard -  How to keep your pet safe

Dangerous Foods
The following can be toxic to pets: chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, garlic, onion, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, bread dough, and sugar-free candy and gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol.

Regular Foods
Despite tradition, bones should never be given to pets. Even beef, ham, and other "regular" foods that are not considered toxic can cause illness in pets. If your pet is a moocher, keep a saucer of his regular treats on the table to offer when he asks. He probably won't know the difference!

New Treats and Toys
Even a pet-safe treat can cause stomach upset if it is new to your pet. Offer only one of these at a time (ideally, separated by a few days). If your pet becomes ill after eating a holiday treat, it will be easier to trace the source and discontinue it. Also, check new toys for sharp edges, pieces that can be chewed off, or other potential hazards.

Plants
Hazardous plants include mistletoe, some evergreens (including some types of pine), and holly bushes and berries. Try to keep these plants away from pets, or at least supervise pets when dangerous plants are nearby.

Decorations
Tinsel, tree ornaments, ribbons, string, and garlands are some items that can be dangerous if eaten by pets. Keep these items away from pets — especially when pets are unattended. Don't forget to cover any electrical cords or keep them out of reach.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide
Monitor pets near fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, candles, and portable heaters. Also, don't forget to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly. Space heaters, furnaces, and idling cars (in a garage) can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in pets and humans.

Christmas Trees
Monitor your pets when they are around your holiday tree. Pets may eat the needles (even from artificial trees) or drink water from the base of the tree, which can be toxic (especially if there are preservatives in it). Keep electrical cords and decorative lights out of reach, too.

In many cases, if your pet has eaten or drunk something toxic, warning signs will include gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs may include tiredness and lack of appetite, especially in cats that have eaten lilies. If your pet shows any of these signs, or if you think he or she has eaten something dangerous but is not showing any signs yet, please call us right away. Treating your pet as soon as possible is essential!

The Doctors and Staff of Eastmoor Animal Clinic

Eastmoor Animal Clinic
400 SE 4th St
Moore, OK  73160

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, hope your Monday is warm and cozy and that your holiday celebrations were wonderful!  Here is a great recipe for you....


This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Gelatin salads were popular in the 1960's and taste just as good today!  Here is one that Lois Elaine used often, she got it from her sister Clarice....

Lois Elaine's Gelatin Salad:

1 pkg lemon jello
1 pkg lime jello
2 c. hot water
1/4 package marshmallows
1 can drained crushed pineapple
1 small pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. nuts
1/2 pt. whipping cream

Put marshmallows in top of double boiler until dissolved (can probably use the microwave here).  Melt jello with 2 c. hot water.  Take a little of jello mixture and pour into marshmallows and mix.  Let stand until half firm. (Cream pineapple and cream cheese together first).  Add crushed pineapple and cheese to the half firm jello.  Fold into jello mixture and also fold in 1/2 pt cream, whipped, and the nuts.  Let stand until firm.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello and hope your holidays are going great!  Here is a Christmas-y pooch for your Friday....

Sofi the talking Schnauzer loves playing Santa.  That darn fuzzy cap in the eyeball can be a real pain, though....

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Break

Hello and happy Wednesday!  Taking a little break from the Wednesday blog post while buying a few more gifts, but the Friday Dog Blog and Monday Recipe Blog will make their usual appearances.  Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Happy Monday, everyone!  It's time for another Lois Elaine recipe!


This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Nothing says winter and holidays like a batch of home-made hard candy!  If you haven't tried this with your kids, now is the time!

Lois Elaine's Hard Candy:

1/2 c. water
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. white corn syrup
1/2 t. food coloring of your choice
1/2 t. oil flavoring of your choice
Powdered sugar 

Stir together. Then cook without stirring until a hard crack stage, 290 degrees.  Remove from heat. Add food coloring. Mix quickly.  Add the oil flavoring and mix quickly.

Pour onto a cookie sheet, ungreased.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Don't put on counter, it will be HOT.  As it hardens, cut with scissors.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, hope you are having a great time getting ready for the holidays!  Time for a dog....

Sofi the talking Schnauzer loves to play in the snow, but needs to grow a little before she takes on the big stuff!  In this case, she fought the snow and the snow won....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas!

Taking a Wednesday break while getting ready for the holidays.  The Friday Dog Blog and Monday Recipe Blog will show up as usual, though!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello...Hope your Monday is nice and warm.  How about a recipe?


This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Here's a blast from the past - Divinity candy!  Lots of moms made this candy every Christmas in the 1960's, including Lois Elaine.  Like most candies, it's not the easiest to make, but the payoff is heavenly!

Lois Elaine's Divinity:

1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. water
2 c. sugar
3 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Place sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until candy test forms a hard ball when dropped in cold water. Candy thermometer should register 240 degrees.

Beat egg whites until stiff.

Pour hot candy mixture into egg whites, beating constantly.  As candy begins to thicken add vanilla and nuts.  Continue to beat with nylon spoon until candy loses its gloss and is thick and stands in peaks.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper.



Friday, December 9, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hope everyone is having a great Friday!  Today, we have Princess Leia back - as everyone knows the Princess is the 10 foot tall poodle from Poteau.  The Princess has just had her hair and nails done for the holiday celebrations, her gifts are bought and now she wants to wish all of her friends a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Some Practical Christmas Gifts For Older People

Here is another terrific article from wikiHow.com.  I ran across this while trying to get some ideas for Christmas gifts and thought I would share it with you.


How to Choose Practical Christmas Gifts That the Elderly Will Appreciate


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Choosing the best gift to give grandma and grandpa is a dilemma that faces all families at the holidays. They have everything, need nothing, have limited space, but love to feel that someone cares enough to take time to find the perfect gift for them. We have some suggestions for practical gifts for the elderly that will not be forgotten after the holidays. Although gift cards are a great gift for some people, quite honestly the older folks don't know how to use them or forget to use them, so we do not recommend gift cards for this generation.

 Steps



  1.  PikStiks are one of the handiest tools ever invented, for both old and young. These reachers and grabbers come in a range of lengths and enable someone to retrieve items from the top shelf of a cupboard or closet, without standing on a chair or to pick up items that are on the floor, without having to get up from the sofa, and can even reach and grab objects that have fallen behind the washing machine. They are easy to use, even for people with arthritis or limited arm and hand movement.
  2.  Sliding cabinet organizers are such a great addition to any kitchen, that we feel compelled to mention them as a holiday gift idea.  We know this may seem like a weird idea, but think about it for a while. These cabinet organizers come in a variety of sizes for a variety of uses and would help all older people with storing and retrieving cooking pots and cleaning supplies, without having to get on their hands and knees to try to find something in the back of the cabinet.  Of course, someone would have to help with the installation of these, but think how easy it would be for them to find and reach everything.
  3.  Gardening items, such as a gardening stool with garden utensils, are always a perfect gift for those seniors who still have access to a yard or patio.  Whether your recipient has a vegetable or flower garden these are perfect gift ideas that will allow them to cultivate their garden with little or no concern for the needed tools and with a comfy place to sit while they work.
  4.  Colorful, theme based, garden stakes are an easy and beautiful addition to any yard or garden. With low maintenance and easy set-up anyone can decorate their outdoor and indoor living areas with these cute and whimsical decorations. No tools or ladders are required to display these, making them senior-citizen friendly. Some nursing homes may allow these to be placed outside a resident's window.
  5.  Shopping cart trolleys were originally designed for people who walk to the corner grocery store or frequent farmer's markets - like city folks and many Europeans. But they are not just for hauling groceries, they are perfect for transporting laundry to the laundry room or outdoors to the clothesline, for hauling groceries from the car to the house, and for moving a pile of stuff from one room to another.
  6.  Sheepskin seat belt covers are usually not something you think of as a gift, but the comfort level of senior citizens is so improved that they will thank you over and over for these covers. Even if they do not drive, one of these on the passenger seat belt will make their travels more comfortable by keeping the belt from digging into their neck. While on sheepskin ideas, a sheepskin wheelchair pad is perfect for someone who is wheelchair bound, but these can also be used on a living room chair for extra comfort and warmth. Be forewarned that if they have small pets, the cats and dogs will probably claim the sheepskin pad as their official napping mat!
  7.  Wall mounted ironing boards are not only a space saver, but a labor saver for the older generation, especially if they have had to downsize their living space. Plus, as we get older and wiser there is less and less items that we feel we have to iron. Putting up and taking down those large clumsy ironing boards, just to iron a collar on a shirt, is not easy.
  8.  Fleece blanket throws are always an appreciated gift, especially when paired with a book or movie. A fleece blanket is lightweight, easy to fold, easy to wash, and will keep them warm and comfy on those long, lonely winter nights.
  9.  Tag Tamers, which are soft attachable covers for clothing tags, are a wonderful gift for senior citizens as they will stop the itchiness and scratching caused by sewn-in garment tags  Yes, you could cut out the tags, but there is always a little left at the seam and that can be more irritating than the whole tag itself.
  10.  A retractable clothes drying line is another idea that many people never think about. Again, these are great for those who have had to downsize their homes or who can't easily get outside to hang up items on the outdoor clothesline. These lines range from 8 to 40 feet of drying surface and the units mount in any small space, such as the laundry area, a mudroom,  even in the bathtub/shower.

Even though these suggestions are for gifts that will surely be appreciated by senior citizens, they could also be considered as practical gift ideas for anyone on your holiday list. Make this holiday gift giving season one that your family and friends will thank you for throughout the year.


Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Choose Practical Christmas Gifts That the Elderly Will Appreciate.  All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, hope you are having a terrific December!  Here is a recipe for your Monday....

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

The Mueller family loved the holiday season, and Lois Elaine used the holidays as an excuse to bake great cookies and desserts.  As the holidays approach again this year, I will post more of Lois Elaine's Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes.

I have made these butter cookies many times, and they are to die for.  If you only make one batch of cookies for the holidays, it should be these!

Lois Elaine's Butter Cookies:

4 c. sifted flour
3/4 lb. butter
1/4 lb. butter substitute
3/4 c. butter
4 egg yolks (save the whites)
3/4 c. almonds, ground

Mix together like pie crust. Add the egg yolks.

Roll real thin and cut with a cookie cutter.  Put a little egg white and ground almonds on each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees on an ungreased baking sheet for about 8 minutes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hope you are having a great Friday!  Here is a nice dog for your enjoyment....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer talks a lot, and the thing she says the most is....
I LOVE THE SOONERS!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here's How To Winterize A Vacant Home

I'm borrowing a nice article from wikiHOW on how to winterize a vacant home.  Just in case you ever need to know.....It's the best article on the subject that I have found.

How to Winterize a Vacant Home


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
                 
Whether you're closing up a summer vacation home or leaving your very own home during winter for an extended period, it's important to close up for the season. So what should you do to ensure that when your family returns months (or even a year) later, you won’t find a nightmare waiting? The following suggestions will help you to plan and execute a winterization down to the last nut and bolt.

 Steps



  1. Look carefully around the exterior and interior of your home and decide what needs to be done. Write it all down to create a checklist. This essential “plan of action” will come in handy when it’s time to open up the place again, because without it, you probably won’t be able to remember all the things that have to be “un-done.” To help you develop your own checklist, the following suggestions, though not applicable in every case, identify potential problem areas that warrant consideration.

 Prepare the outdoor areas

  1. Water, outdoor items, plants, and external fittings all need some attention when winterizing. Here are some things to consider.
  2.   Turn off the water at the main supply point. If you don't know how to do this, find out where the main (inside) shut off valve is. Turn off the supply line to the washing machine hose. These hoses are a bit flimsy and can burst while you're away.  If nobody is using the home during the entire period of winter, make sure that the water supply is turned off completely at the mains.
  3. Drain all water that can be drained. Drain spas, swimming pools and ponds of water.
  4.  Protect the garden and outdoor plants. Cover any plants that are frost intolerant and would benefit from covering.

    • Trim shrubbery so doors and windows are not blocked from view (better security). Arrange to have the lawn mowed and shrubbery trimmed.
    • If possible, cut tree limbs and branches that overhang the house—they offer rodents easy access to the home’s roof and eaves from which they have easier access to a home.

  5. Bring in outdoor furniture, hammocks, seats, delicate garden ornamentation, hose pipes etc. - anything that you consider will not winter well under snow or prolonged cold should be stored indoors.

    • Keep ladders inside or otherwise secured.

  6.  Block up any holes in the eaves or walls. Block anywhere that may provide an entry point to little furry creatures seeking warmth and home for winter; otherwise, you may have a surprise next spring that includes babies.

    • Check that all holes and cracks in exterior walls and foundations and around pipes that penetrate the exterior walls are sealed; otherwise they are entry points for rodents and insects.
    • Rodents and birds can also gain entry via stovepipes and chimneys so these must be secured as well. Shut your fireplace dampers and cap the chimneys. A #10 can (large coffee can) may be used to cap an open stovepipe (the kind that on top takes the shape of a T or an H), but a chimney should be capped with a permanent, stainless steel cap with wire mesh venting. Close flues and dampers.

  7. Lock away all pleasure craft such as boats, ATVs, bicycles, canoes. kayaks, cars etc. in the garage or shed and ensure that the lock is strong.  Block window views into this storage space.
  8. Take all the trash out of your home before you leave, especially any food waste.  Cover compost bins thoroughly.  Move dead plant material away from the sides of the house to prevent moisture build-up (mildew problems) and possible fire fodder for the late spring in case you can't get back any earlier.

    • Leave nothing outdoors that can be blown about by a strong wind or washed away by a lake or river overflowing its banks.


 Fix the heating and plumbing

  1.  Turn off the main water-supply valve or stop the pump. If the furnace should fail on a very cold day, water in a pipe could freeze and burst the pipe. Open all faucets and drain all waterlines—empty or mainly empty pipes cannot burst from freezing water.

    • Pipes can be drained at their low-point drain valves or, if there is insufficient slope to the lines, by opening a pipe junction. If unsure if all water has drained from pipes, use an air compressor to blow out all water pipes.

  2.  Turn down the heat, but don't turn it off. Keep it at about 58ºF/14ºC or so, in order to avoid problems with freezing plaster (which will crack in unsightly ways) and pipes.

    • Unless you're using your summer vacation home for winter sports, you may want to consider not heating it at all if freezing problems are not an issue.

  3.  Drain. If you live in an area where freezing pipes can be a problem, drain toilets, water heater (turn off gas or electric supply first) and if on a well and pump system, the expansion tank. You'll also need to completely eliminate or dilute the water in drain traps by pouring an "RV" type antifreeze solution in them as directed by the instructions.

    • RV antifreeze is commonly used to protect pipes from freezing in RVs and mobile homes; this antifreeze is a type that is safe for use in and around drinking water systems when used as directed. Never pour "regular" automotive antifreeze in the locations listed here.
    • Close the sink and tub drains.
    • If a house is to be vacant for a long time, you may prevent water in a toilet’s trap from evaporating (and thereby permitting sewer gases to enter the home) by raising the toilet’s lid and seat and covering the bowl with saran wrap.
    • Read How to turn off the water supply to a toilet for more information.

  4. Deal with septic systems. Drain the water storage tank and consult a neighbor or local plumber to learn if the septic system should also be drained. Turn off the water heater before you drain it. Drain water from a pump by using its drain plug. For dishwashers, refrigerators (with a water dispenser or an ice maker) and clothes washers, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Remove and empty any "whole house" or "in line" type filter canister.  Remove any water filter inside refrigerator.  If you find the task daunting, get a local plumber to do it for you.
  5. Read How to winterize your evaporative cooler for instructions regarding your evaporative cooler.

 Prepare the kitchen

  1.  Clean out the fridge and don't leave anything in there which is likely to go bad during the time you are away.  If you have things in the freezer, empty it; don't leave anything in it in case the electricity is off for an extended period of time; you won't necessarily be aware and the food will have thawed and refrozen, which is very dangerous.  If you must leave frozen food, here is one method for determining if your freezer has warmed during the winter:  freeze a container of water solid, then place a coin on the surface of the ice; if the coin has sunk into the ice when you return, then the freezer warmed, letting the ice melt and then refreeze.
  2. Remove all food. All foods should be removed so they don’t lure rodents and insects. Dry foods that remain should be locked in tin- or aluminum-lined cupboards or cabinets, and seeds and grains should be stored in metal containers with screw-on lids.
  3. Clean the refrigerator and freezer thoroughly. Prop open their doors, the better to forestall mold and mildew (which like to grow in the dark) and their odors, which may transfer to the refrigerator’s plastic parts.

    • You may have to turn off the icemaker and loosen refrigerator bulbs.
    • To further thwart odors, place an open bag of charcoal on the inside of the open refrigerator.

  4. Guard against insects and rodents. Wash kitchen trash containers and put away soap, sponges, candles and other possible sources of food for vermin. Spray a long-lasting insecticide along baseboards and under the sink. Place insect traps under the sink and on kitchen counters and use chemical rodent deterrents under the sink and in the garage, too.
  5. Remove items that could freeze. In areas subject to freezing, remove all bottled liquids, such as mineral water, soda, beer and paint, because their containers may burst when their contents freeze. Empty water from jars, vases and even decorative indoor mini-fountains.

 General

  1.  Clean everything. If linens, bedding, towels and the like remain, they should be washed or cleaned and then stored in boxes, preferably rodent-proof ones. Strip beds to allow the mattresses to air out. Open empty drawers and closets; use mothballs in the others. Remove all trash.

    • Vacuum carpets and floors to ensure that no crumbs or other sources of food remain for vermin.
    • In humid regions, use desiccants (water-absorbing material) in closets; most hardware stores sell them.

  2. Cover furniture with sheets or cloths. If you are closing up a vacation home, cover the furniture to protect it from dust and light discoloration.
  3.  Remove all fire hazards. Dispose of or move potentially flammable items such as oily rags and stacked papers, before you leave.
  4. Unplug all electronic and electrical appliances such as the TV, VCR, toasters, dryer, washer,  etc. Any charging devices should also be unplugged. This is a good idea if there is an electrical storm so that no surges get to your computers, etc., and blow them out.
  5. Ask a neighbor to be on the lookout for packages which may come to you by UPS, Fedex or any another service. Give the neighbor your phone number and ask them to call you if you get anything. Alternatively, they can keep packages for you in their home until you return.

    • Arrange for indoor plants to be watered if necessary.

  6.  Pay all your bills before you go, or make arrangements to pay remotely by internet, through relatives or some other convenient and reliable means. If it's a vacation home, make sure that the municipality has the correct billing address for you to send rates bills etc. to during the time that you are away; you don't want a nasty summons because you forgot to inform them of your winter absence.
  7.  Make sure that your insurance coverage is adequate for being absent during winter. Due to the increased potential for something to go wrong (for example, burst water pipes, leaking gas heating systems, etc.), insurance companies can be  tough on requirements. Ask about special requirements for vacation homes and for homes vacant due to traveling or snowbirding elsewhere.

 Utilities

  1. Consider turning off the electric power. Some experts suggest turning off electric power completely but this depends solely on local conditions. For example, in a region subject to freezing you may elect to leave the heating system on but at a lower temperature to avoid frost damage to the home’s interior and its contents. If you use an electronic alarm system, then continuous electric power is required (apart from back-up batteries).
  2. Unplug. If you leave the electric power on, unplug electric appliances, including microwave ovens and TVs, to avoid the risk of fire in the event of a faulty switch or a rodent gnawing the wires.
  3. Set your thermostat to a level adequate to keep the inside temperature above freezing and to keep things dry. If the home is located in a warm, damp climate, you should have a humidistat installed and set to maintain a reasonably dry interior.
  4. Don't forget the gas. If there are gas appliances in the home that have been approved by the American Gas Association, they would have automatic shutdowns that will close the gas valves if their pilot lights go out. Such appliances may be left on if properly vented, but if in doubt, check the owner’s manuals. For long absences, some experts recommend shutting off gas hot-water heaters completely.

 Security measures

  1. Lock it up. High quality locks for your doors and windows are a must! Check that all your windows and doors are shut and locked. This includes checking the small attic, bathroom, and basement windows. Close skylights and ventilation shafts.

    • If in a damp, humid climate, periodically lubricate pin tumbler locks with white lithium grease; using anything else will cause the mechanisms to gum up over time.
    • Secure the doors. Strike plates and door hinges should be secured with wood screws at least three inches long.
    • Close window shutters. Aside from enhancing security, shutters will, along with drapes, blinds and curtains, keep carpeting and fabrics from fading.
    • Unplug garage door openers.

  2.  Make it look like someone is home. Buy a couple of light timers and set them up to turn on automatically in the evenings. If it's a summer vacation home, this may be less viable. Instead, have neighbors keep an eye on your home occasionally.
  3. Do not leave valuables in a vacation home that may attract thieves.  At the very least, move them out of the line of sight from windows.

    • Take all small valuables with you.

  4. Stop your mail. Do this online at USPS, Canada Post etc., using their hold mail sites; or, go into your local post office and ask them for a form. A small fee may apply.

    • Stop any other routine deliveries as well.

  5. Check back-up systems. If an electronic alarm system is used, make certain that back-up batteries (if any) are in good condition and able to provide coverage in the event of power interruption; you may want to consider other standby power options as well. If the alarm system is monitored, don’t forget to inform the security company of your date of departure and tell them where you can be reached in an emergency. Give the same information to the local police and fire departments.
  6. Have someone make regular check-ins. If there is a neighbor who’ll remain in the area while you’re gone, try to work out an arrangement by which someone will come over every now and then to look the place over.

    • If you can trust your neighbors completely, you may wish to leave them with a key for emergency entry if something should go wrong. Also leave them with your cellphone number, home phone number, e-mail address or any other alternative ways to reach you while you are living elsewhere or traveling.


 Opening the home on your return

  1.   Use the checklist provided here to open up the home. For starters, open all windows and turn on the furnace fan to air out the home. Readjust the thermostat and humidistat. Close all drain valves and plugs; open the main water valve or turn on the pump. Flush waterlines.
  2.  Uncap stovepipes and open flues and dampers. Check the interior and exterior of your home carefully for signs of rodent and/or insect infestation, mildew and fungi.
  3.  Turn on gas and electric power.
  4.  Go down the checklist to put your home back to the way it was before you left it. And don’t forget to announce your return to everyone you had informed of your departure.


 Video


Learn how to winterize your pond, stream or water garden.

 Tips



  • Keep in mind that any water leaks which develop while you are away could run up your water bill significantly, and could also cause massive damage. This is especially true of a popped washing machine supply hose. Once these things burst, there is nothing to hold back the large stream of water which will start to flow. Turning off the water at the main is the best way to guard against such leaks.
  • If anything is certain about a log home—or about any home, for that matter—it’s the fact that you can’t just walk out the door and leave the place empty for months without having first taken some precautions. So be prepared to spend a few hours getting it ready before you and the family leave; your efforts will maintain the home’s value and ensure its continued enjoyment.
  • A log home company in Maine notes that in the event of an unexpected, heavy snowstorm in the state’s remote areas, hikers, hunters and snowmobilers can often be stranded for days. The company thinks it might be a good idea for a vacation home owner to leave some food and a supply of dry wood to help those people survive until help arrives. Of course, this means leaving the home unlocked unless there is another shelter nearby.


 Warnings



  • Check your insurance policy carefully! There are often clauses to shock, such as a requirement to have someone checking your home regularly if you are more than 72 hours away from your home. This unfriendly little clause could void your insurance coverage if you haven't arranged for someone to check.  Also, check the age of your heating system; if it is over a certain age, you may not be covered by insurance. Give yourself plenty of time to have it replaced, if necessary.


 Related wikiHows





 Sources and Citations






Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Winterize a Vacant Home.  All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  How about a recipe?

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

I'm thinking that you may have a lot of turkey to get rid of after Thanksgiving, and Lois Elaine has a nice little recipe to help you out.  Bisquick is a baking mixture that makes nice, quick drop biscuits, but also can be used in a variety of recipes. Today's recipe uses Bisquick in an Impossible Turkey Pie....

Lois Elaine's Bisquick Impossible Turkey Pie:


2 c. cut-up cooked turkey or chicken
1 jar (4 1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1/2 t. salt
1 c. shredded natural Swiss cheese (4 oz)
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. Bisquick
3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease 10" pie plate. Sprinkle turkey, mushrooms, onion, salt and cheese in pie plate. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into pie plate. Bake until golden brown and knife inserted halfway between center and edges comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

The dogs are taking a few days off for Thanksgiving and want to send their best wishes to everyone!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving!


I hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving! Be safe and be happy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, hope you are having a great and warm November!  How about another recipe?

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

The Mueller family loved the holiday season, and Lois Elaine used the holidays as an excuse to bake great cookies and desserts.  As the holidays approach again this year, I will post more of Lois Elaine's Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes.

Nothing says holiday like the Green Bean Casserole.  A table just wouldn't be complete without it!  And, just in time for Thanksgiving, here it is....

Lois Elaine's Green Bean Casserole:


1 can Cream of Mushroom soup or Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 c. milk
1 t. soy sauce
1 can French Fried Onions
1 - 1lb. cans green beans
Dash of pepper

Stir soup, soy sauce and milk until smooth.  Mix in 1/2 can onions, then mix in the beans and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbling. With 5 minutes to go, throw on the rest of the onions and finish baking.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, hope you are having a great November!  It's time for another dog....

This is Princess Leia again, the 10 foot tall poodle from Poteau.  The Princess has just had her hair done and was anxious to have her picture made with her special Fall bandana....Very sharp, Leia!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blizzard Bites in a Jar

Last week I posted instructions for Dreamsicle Cookies in a Jar.  These recipes in a jar make great, economical holiday gifts and this week I am posting another one from the really interesting website organizedhome.com.  This is one for people who aren't that crazy about cooking - all you have to do is melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and you're good to go!

Blizzard Bites in a Jar:

Ingredients:
1 c. RiceChex cereal
1 c. small pretzel twists
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1/3 c. Craisins-type dried cranberries
1/3 c. coarsely-chopped dried pineapple
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 quart wide-mouth canning jar with lid and ring
1 small food storage bag

Layer the ingredients in the jar in the following manner:  Rice Chex, pretzels, peanuts, dried cranberries and dried pineapple.
Put the white chocolate chips in the storage bag and place on top on the ingredients.
Put the lid and ring on the jar and attach the instruction tag.

Instruction Tag:
Remove the white chocolate chips from jar.  Pour the other ingredients into a large bowl and mix.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir till melted.  If more time is needed, check at 15 second intervals.  Pour the chocolate over the other ingredients and mix very thoroughly.  Spread in a single layer on wax paper and let cool.  Break into smaller pieces and store in air-tight container or food storage bags.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, hope you are having a great Monday!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

The Mueller family loved the holiday season, and Lois Elaine used the holidays as an excuse to bake great cookies and desserts.  As the holidays approach again this year, I will post more of Lois Elaine's Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes.

Today's recipe is Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie.  Nothing says Thanksgiving like a terrific pumpkin pie, and this recipe puts a fancy little spin to the old traditional recipe.  And you don't have to heat up your oven for this one!

Lois Elaine's Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie:


4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. plus 1 T. cold milk
1 T. sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
1 prepared graham cracker crumb crust
1-16 oz. can of pumpkin
2 pkg (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 T. milk and sugar with wire whisk until smooth.  Gently stir in 1 1/2 c. whipped topping.  Spread on bottom crust.

In a second bowl, stir pumpkin, pudding mix and spices into remaining milk. Beat with wire whisk until well-blended. (Mixture will be thick). Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate for 4 hours.  Serve with the remaining whipped topping.

Makes about 8 servings.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello and happy Friday, everyone! Here is a dog for you!

Jim and Mary's dog lives on a farm and believes he is a farmer.  He might be - he rides the truck and tractor and supervises everything that goes on....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreamsicle Cookies in a Jar

With our economy still trying to bounce back, many of us are cutting back a little this holiday season.  One nice gift that just about everyone loves is the Recipe in a Jar.  This is where most of the ingredients for a nice soup or dessert is layered in a quart jar and topped with a pretty lid.  The instructions on how to prepare the recipe is attached.  There are numerous recipes out there, and just about all of them sound really good.  Today I am posting the instructions for Dreamsicle Cookies in a Jar, with thanks to the website organizedhome.com.

 Dreamsicle Cookies in a Jar: 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. Tang powdered orange drink


3/4 c. sugar


1 3/4 c. flour, sifted before measuring

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder



1 quart wide-mouth canning jar with lid and ring

1 1/2 c. vanilla baking chips






















































Stir together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Then layer the ingredients into the jar: Sugar, Tang, flour mixture then the vanilla chips. Tamp the first 3 layers firmly before adding the chips.

Here are the instructions to attach to the jar:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Empty jar into large bowl and add 1/2 c. softened butter, 1 slightly-beaten egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix until well-blended.

Form dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on slightly-greased baking sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are slightly browned.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello and happy November to everyone.

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday.   Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Today's recipe for Bumsteads, as in Dagwood, the cartoon guy.  Dagwood was notorious for building huge sandwiches with a variety of ingredients.  Lois' version of Bumsteads were not quite as tall as his, but more elaborate than a normal bologna sandwich. They sound great! Lois' note says that she got this recipe in 1975 from Mary Lou.

Lois Elaine's Bumsteads:

1 7-oz. can of tuna
2 T. chopped onion
3 chopped hard-boiled eggs
2 T. chopped olives
1/4 pound cubed cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Mix all together and put into 6 or 8 hot dog buns.  Put in baking pan and cover with foil. Bake at 250 degrees  for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello and happy November to you!  This is Friday, so it's time for a dog....

Jim and Mary's pooch is a happy, happy dog.  He lives on a farm and chases rabbits all day - Who wouldn't be happy doing that??

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How About Drying Some Apples?

A friend of mine opened up a package of dried apples at a recent meeting.  I know that apples are great for you, but they are hard to carry around and even more difficult to chomp on during a day-long meeting at work. Linda's apple chips had absolutely no ingredients except for the apple and a little lemon juice.  This is as good as eating an apple and much handier.  It got me thinking about drying some apples myself, and I'm planning on trying it in the next few days.  I have a dehydrator, but I may choose to just use the oven. 

In case you are interested in trying this for yourself, here are instructions for drying apples in an oven....

Tart apples hold their shape better than sweet ones.  I hear that Granny Smiths are excellent for drying.

While you peel, core and slice your apples, you will want to rest the slices in a bowl of water with some lemon juice or Fruit Fresh to keep them from turning brown.  The packaged apple chips that I saw had not been peeled, so I guess you can just leave the peel on if you want.  Slice the apples VERY thin and place them on a cookie sheet.  

Cook them at a low temperature, about 250 degrees, for 45 minutes or until crisp.  Store in a container in a dry place.  Good luck!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

How is your Halloween Monday going?  I have a feeling it's going to be a great week!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.
Today we have a Greek Casserole.  This is a casserole that will feed a family or would do fine as a pot-luck dish.  Not sure what makes it "Greek", but it sounds delicious!

Lois Elaine's Greek Casserole:

1 pound ground chuck
1 c. water
2 T. vegetable (or canola) oil
1/4 t. salt
1 t. sage
1/8 t. pepper
4 c. thickly-sliced potatoes
1 can (3 1/2 oz) French-fried onions
1 pkg dry spaghetti sauce mix
1 3/4 c. water

In frying pan, brown meat with oil and sage.  Cook potatoes in 1 c. boiling water in a covered saucepan for 5 minutes to par-boil.  Drain.  Toss with salt and pepper and a half can of the fried onions.  Prepare sauce mix, using 1 3/4 c. water according to directions on package.  Arrange layers of potatoes, meat and sauce in a 2 quart and buttered casserole dish, ending with sauce.  Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, add remaining onions and bake 5 minutes longer.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, hope your month is going great!  We are coming up on Halloween, and we have a devil for you today.

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer thinks that her costume is the best, and will snag her lots and lots of bones for her Halloween treat bag this year....She might be right!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Nice Ways To Handle Stress, Part 5

Hello, hope your are having a great day!  Here is the fifth and final part of some quick and easy ways to cope with stress.

1.  Throw a paper airplane.
2.  Exercise every day.
3.  Get to work early.
4.  Clean out one closet.
5.  Take a different route to work.
6.  Leave work early (with permission)
7.  Remember you always have options.
8.  Quit trying to fix other people.
9.  Get enough sleep.
10. Praise other people.

And remember to relax - take one day at a time.  You have the rest of your life to live!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, happy Monday!  Time for another recipe....

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

With the holidays coming up, it's never too early to start thinking about what cookies you will bake this holiday season.  Nothing says "welcome" like a platter of home-made cookies, and the Mueller family was blessed with a mother who knew how to bake a cookie!  This week we will feature very easy Egg White Cookies...

Lois Elaine's Egg White Cookies:


2 egg whites, beaten very stiff
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. flour
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. chopped dates

Add the ingredients to the egg whites and mix well.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Drop by small teaspoons on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday, everyone - Here is a dog for your consideration....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer loves being around the water.  It reminds her of a nice, big, juicy fish, which she is thinking of right now....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some Nice Ways To Handle Stress, Part 4

Hello, hope your Wednesday is going great.  Here is the fourth part of a quick and easy set of ideas to lessen your stress.

1.  Strive for excellence, not perfection.
2.  Look at a work of art.
3.  Maintain your weight.
4.  Plant a tree.
5.  Stand up and stretch.
6.  Always have a Plan B.
7.  Learn a new doodle.
8.  Learn to meet your own needs.
9.  Become a better listener.
10. Know your limitations and let others know them too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

What a great Monday!  Time for a Lois Elaine recipe!!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Before the advent of canned cake frostings, people made their own.  Imagine that!  These frostings were as healthy as cake frostings can be, with no preservatives or aluminum cans.  With the comeback of home cooking, home-made cake frostings are being featured once again.  It's about time.  Here is another frosting from Lois Elaine's recipe box....

Lois Elaine's Caramel Frosting:

1/2 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Melt butter in pan and add brown sugar. Boil over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Add milk, bring to a boil again, stirring constantly,  then remove from heat.
Cool and add the powdered sugar.  Stir until mixed thoroughly, then spread on cooled cake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

TGIF!  Here are two dogs to start off your week-end on a great note.

Mary Ann and Charlie Brown are the best of friends. Here they are taking a break and watching their favorite show - Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some Nice Ways To Handle Stress, Part 3

Hello, happy Wednesday everyone!  Here is part 3 of some great and easy ways to lessen the stress in your life.

1.  Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today.
2.  Have goals for yourself.
3.  Say hello to a stranger.
4.  Look up at the stars.
5.  Practice breathing slowly.
6.  Do brand new things.
7.  Stop a bad habit.
8.  Take stock of your achievements.
9.  Do it today.
10. Strive for excellence.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, happy Monday to you all! It's raining in Oklahoma, and we are happy for it - It's been a long, dry summer....

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Today's recipe is Cherry Torte.  Lois noted on her recipe card that it came from her friend, Etta Kistler. Michigan is known for its great cherry trees, and the Mueller family grew up on cherry desserts.  Everyone in Michigan knows that July is cherry season!

Lois Elaine's Cherry Torte:

28 soda crackers
1/4 c. melted oleo (butter or butter substitute)
3 egg white, beaten stiff
1/2 t. cream of tartar
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling

Crumble together the crackers and butter and press into a pan.  Let it sit in the oven for a little bit, then sit aside.
Mix the rest of the ingredients (except for the pie filling) together and spread over the cracker mixture in the pan.  Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
Spread the pie filling over the cooled torte and serve with whipped cream.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, hope you are having a terrific day!  Here is a dog for your viewing pleasure.....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer smirks a lot, smiles quite a bit and once in a while breaks out in a huge, tongue-waving laugh....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some Nice Ways To Handle Stress, Part 2

Hello and hope you are having a terrific Autumn!  Here is the second part of some quick and easy ways to relieve stress in your life....

1.  Break large tasks into bite-sized pieces.
2.  Look at problems as challenges.
3.  Smile more.
4.  Be prepared for rain and snow.
5.  Schedule some play time into every day.
6.  Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
7.  Take a bubble bath.
8.  Believe in you.
9.  Visualize yourself winning.
10. Develop a sense of humor.

More to come....

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....Glad the weather is finally a little cooler and hoping that La Nina moves out fast!

Doing something a little different today - I'm going to take a one-week break from Lois Elaine's recipes of the 1960's, but her recipes will be back next week!

A friend sent this terrific idea for preparing corn on the cob when you need a lot of it, or when you go camping.  It was so good that I wanted to post it now and not wait - so here it is....
 Camping Corn on the Cob:
This is a great recipe for large picnics when you don't have enough room on your stove to have a bunch of pots of water with corn. You can let the corn sit all day and it tastes great.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
  • boiling water
  • 12 ears of corn
  • cooler
Preparation:
Boil water. Dump water into a clean empty cooler. Put raw corn on the cob into the cooler. Cover cooler for at least 30 min. Can be left all day, corn will stay hot in the cooler. Drain out water and eat.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Friday, lovely Friday....The weekend is almost here and I am sooooo happy!  I can't lose my head and forget the Friday Dog Blog, though....Here is a cute one for your viewing pleasure....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer loves to chase birds and ducks, and pull out tailfeathers when possible, much to the dismay of her human companions.  When around water, she is always on the lookout for a lazy duck or a lolling goose....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Nice Ways To Handle Stress, Part 1

Hello and happy Wednesday!  With all of the bad news, disasters, crazy politicians and diving stock markets these days, some of us may be dealing with more stress than usual.  A friend of mine recently sent an article (thanks, Vicki!) that had some practical and easy ways to ease your stress levels.  Here is part 1....

1.  Get up 15 minutes earlier.
2.  Prepare for the morning the night before.
3.  Don't rely on your memory - write things down.
4.  Repair things don't work properly.
5.  Make duplicate keys.
6.  Say "no" more often.
7.  Set priorities in your life.
8.  Avoid negative people.
9.  Make copies of important papers.
10. Ask for help with jobs that you don't like.

Aren't those easy?  Try them out today and see if they work!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, and happy Fall Monday!  How about a recipe?????

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

The Muellers were German, not Italian, but Lois Elaine wasn't stuck in a rut. She tried all kinds of recipes, and a family favorite was her Lasagna.  She actually got this recipe from her sister, Clarice.  Today we are featuring Lois Elaine's (and Clarice's) Lasagna recipe.....

Lois Elaine's Lasagna:
Sauce:
1 1/2 pound ground beef
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
onion flakes
oregano
sweet basil

Filling:
1/2 package lasagna noodles
1 pound (large container) large curd cottage cheese
1 egg
parsley flakes
mozzarella cheese (1 package)
parmesan cheese

Brown the beef and add the other sauce ingredients plus a little water.  Let simmer while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Cook and drain the noodles. In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg and parsley flakes.

Lay it all out in a large cake pan. Start with a layer of 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese,  1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture and a little parmesan cheese.  Do this until the ingredients are gone, but leave enough sauce to end with it.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 or 1 1/2 hours, until everything is nice and bubbly.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello, and what a great Friday we are having!  Here is a pooch for your Friday Dog Blog....

We asked Sofi the Talking Schnauzer to give us her best and cutest pose with a great smile.  Here it is....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do We Applaud Executions Now?

A couple of years ago I published my first post lamenting how rude our country had become.  This was during the infamous Town Hall meetings, where red-faced, screaming people disrupted the meetings and shouted down everyone who disagreed with them.  Unbeknownst to me, this was only the beginning of the decline and fall of our good sense.

The Tea Party arose, thanks in large part to the Town Hall meetings.  This is not a political blog, but sometimes things are intertwined, as is the case with our losing our humanity and politics.  The political arena has given a pulpit and excuse for people to express their "anger", and those angry people are the ones given a voice on the local and national news. 

The Town Hall meetings led to very large Tea Party rallies, where citizens were empowered to tote large signs with shockingly racist pictures and commentary on the President of the United States.  Some also encouraged violence and a takeover of our country.  I believe that most of the Americans who watched this just shook their heads, at least I hope so.

Over the months, things have gotten worse.  Watching the recent Republican debate, it was sad to hear the ovation when a candidate from Texas was asked about the fact that Texas executes more humans than any other state in the union.  That's how low we have finally sunk - applauding the death of others.  At a later debate another question received cheers - this one was whether a candidate would allow a young person to die if he was required to buy insurance but didn't.

One thing cheered me this past week - the video showing a group of people lifting a burning car to rescue a young guy who was thrown off his motorcycle after a wreck.  These people put themselves at risk to save a stranger's life.  Yes, there is still some compassion, courage and bravery left in America.  It's not in the political blogs, it's not at the debates, it's not at the Tea Party rallies.  It's within ordinary citizens who, like most of us, are sick and saddened by seeing the daily parade of hate on the internet and television.  Whether courage and compassion can defeat hate and anger in the battle for our country is yet to be seen.  I know which side I'm on....

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello - I love September.  Still hot, but at least there's a promise of cooler weather to come....It's Monday, so it's time for another Lois Elaine recipe!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

If your garden has survived this sweltering summer, it is probably only producing squash by now.  If you planted zucchini, you more than likely have it running out your ears.  A favorite way to get more healthy squash into a family's diet is to put it into delicious bread, which is actually more like delicious cake.  Lois Elaine was no different in the 1960's, and she used this recipe for Zucchini Bread.....

Lois Elaine's Zucchini Bread:

Makes 3 loaves....

Mix:
3 eggs
1 c. oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. baking powder
3 t. vanilla
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. molasses
1 t. pie spice
4 c. flour
3 c. grated zucchini
1/2 c. walnut meats

Pour into 3 oiled loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  (Wrap and freeze the loaves that you aren't going to eat immediately).

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello - We are finally turning the corner on a long, hot summer and hoping for no more weather records broken for a long time!  Here are two very terrific dogs for your Friday Dog Blog...

Princess Leia, the 10 foot tall poodle from Poteau, is on a mission.  She has decided to challenge every dog she meets to a footrace in an effort to prove that no one is swifter than the Princess.  Here she is in action, racing against another hapless victim.  Like Secretariat, she took charge in the final turn.  The Princess ended up beating the brown pooch by 14 10-foot-tall poodle lengths!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

They Didn't Have That Green Thing Back Then

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMkUdFNeJQQ

Hello - Hope you are having a great Wednesday!  I am providing a You Tube link today, hope it works....

This video drives home the point that we do much more damage to the environment today than our parents and grandparents did.  It's pretty shocking the difference in the way of life between generations!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, we are headed toward autumn, and not a bit too soon.  We are also headed toward another great recipe!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

How about a cookie recipe today?  This recipe card looks a little different than most of Lois Elaine's, and the writing is different as well. Obviously this recipe came from a friend or relative whose identity is forever lost to time....

Lois Elaine's Molasses Cookies:

3 c. shortening (or butter or butter substitute)
4 c. sugar
1 c. molasses syrup
4 eggs
4 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground ginger
4 t. cinnamon
8 c. flour
powdered sugar

Combine ingredients.  It's best chilled overnight.  Roll into balls and roll in powdered sugar.

Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

You can put jelly, nuts or a raisin in the center of each, if desired.

(Note from me:  I haven't tried this recipe, but I have a feeling it makes a LOT of cookies!  You might try cutting it in half unless you are feeding an army.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello and happy autumn Friday to you all.  Here is a feisty dog for your Friday Dog Blog....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer has but one thing to say today....Go Sooners!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ginger Is An Effective Treatment for Ailments

Hello, hope your Wednesday is going good.

Today we will look at the wonder spice - ginger - and its healing qualities.  Ginger is actually an herb, and its chemical structure has proved very effective in treating certain ailments.  It has been used in China and India for over 2,000 years, but we know it more as the principle flavoring in gingerbread, gingersnap cookies and the gingerbread coffee cake that you see on the left.

Ginger is readily available - it comes from fresh or dried ginger root or from distillation of the oil in the root by steam.  You can purchase ginger root in some groceries and health food stores, but you can make it easy on yourself and purchase ginger capsules or ginger oil at your favorite chain drug store.  If you do purchase the root, it can be prepared as a steeped tea, making it easy to consume.  Of course, it is a spice and can be purchased as such and used to flavor foods (also ginger ale), but be aware that when you eat one ginger snap, less than 1% of it is ginger.

The standard dose of ginger is between 75 and 2,000 mg per day, in divided doses, with food.

The best and most study-supported use of ginger is for stomach issues.  It is effective in combating colic, upset stomach, morning sickness, motion sickness, gas, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after surgery, and nausea caused by cancer treatments.  It also reduces dizziness and there is some evidence that it may reduce rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis pain, but it takes months to begin its effectiveness in these areas.  There is also some evidence that ginger may protect against Alzheimer's by protecting brain cells.

Ginger helps stomach conditions by suppressing gastric contractions and stimulating the flow of gastric secretions, bile and saliva, and in this area, it is truly a wonder spice!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blow

How is your Monday going so far?  Here is a recipe to make it even better!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Many of Lois Elaine's dessert recipes feature cherries.  Why?  The Muellers were from Michigan, which happens to produce some of the country's best cherries, so the family ate a lot of them.  This recipe, for Cherry Cheese Bars, calls for canned cherry pie filling, so you can make this recipe any time of the year, in any part of the world!

Lois Elaine's Cherry Cheese Bars:

Crust:
1 c. walnuts, divided
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter-flavored Crisco (or butter, or butter substitute)
 1/2 c. flaked cococut

Filling:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 13x 9" pan.  Chop 1/2 c. of the walnuts for the topping. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts finely.

For crust:
Combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in Crisco until fine crumbs form. Add 1/2 c. nuts and coconut. Mix well. Remove 1/2 c. of mixture and set it aside. Press the remaining crumbs in the bottom of the pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Filling:
Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla until smooth. Spread over hot baked crust and return to oven. Bake 10 minutes longer. Spread cherry filling over cheese layer. Combine nuts and remaining crumbs and sprinkle evenly over cherries. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more.  Cool and cut into 24 bars.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Another Friday rolls around, and another dog rolls around....Here's a scaredy-cat dog for our Dog Blog....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer is usually so brave!  Who would think that a simple dock on an admittedly very large lake in Michigan could make her flatten her ears and tuck her 1 inch tail?   She'll stand toe to toe with a bulldog twice her size, but cowers in fear at a little (well, a lot of) water.  Go figure!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do You Have A Job Interview?

Hello....In this economy, many of us are seeking employment, and it's a tough row to hoe out there.  The competition is fierce, and companies can pick and choose.  So, how do you get them to pick and choose YOU?  I ran across some tips from a government website recently, and they actually look pretty good.  If you are out of work, or afraid that you will be at some point, it would be worth perusing this little article.

Here is the website from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov

In my job, I hire about 10-15 people every year.  Although I agree with most of the tips to follow, I will put some comments in parentheses and you are welcome to ignore them!


Job Interview Tips
An interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications to an employer, so it pays to be well prepared. The following information provides some helpful hints.
Preparation:
  • Learn about the organization.
  • Have a specific job or jobs in mind.
  • Review your qualifications for the job.
  • Be ready to briefly describe your experience, showing how it relates it the job.
  • Be ready to answer broad questions, such as "Why should I hire you?" "Why do you want this job?" "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
  • Practice an interview with a friend or relative.
Personal appearance:
  • Be well groomed.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not chew gum or smoke.
The interview:
  • Be early.
  • Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.
  • Use good manners with everyone you meet.
  • Relax and answer each question concisely.
  • Use proper English—avoid slang.
  • Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
  • Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch.
  • Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company Web site.
  • Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.
  • Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands.
  • Send a short thank you note following the interview.
  • (Use some humor, but not too much.  Smile a lot)
  • (No matter how nervous you are, do not talk too much - answer the questions but don't ramble on)
  • (And if you ARE nervous, let the interviewers know (with a smile).
Information to bring to an interview:
  • Social Security card.
  • Government-issued identification (driver’s license).
  • Resume or application. Although not all employers require a resume, you should be able to furnish the interviewer information about your education, training, and previous employment.
  • References. Employers typically require three references. Get permission before using anyone as a reference. Make sure that they will give you a good reference. Try to avoid using relatives as references. (The best references are work-related, especially former supervisors).
  • Transcripts. Employers may require an official copy of transcripts to verify grades, coursework, dates of attendance, and highest grade completed or degree awarded.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....What a great Monday we are having, and now we get a recipe, too!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Last week we featured Lois Elaine's recipe for peach cobbler, and this week we are posting the pastry portion of another summer favorite, Strawberry Shortcake.  This recipe is for a biscuit-type pastry. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Lois Elaine's Shortcake for Strawberries:

Sift together in a bowl:
3 c. flour
3 1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar

Mix in:
1/2 c. shortening (or butter or butter substitute) until crumbly.

Add 1 beaten egg and 2/3 c. plus 2 T. of milk, stirring with a fork to make a soft dough.  Knead 15 to 20 times on lightly-floured board.  Pat dough into a greased round 9" layer cake pan evenly with fingers and bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.