"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks



A fellow blogger posted her list of things she was thankful, or grateful, for.  She issued a challenge to her readers to do the same.  Though I don’t have the way with words that she does, here’s my list.

Thankful to be married  to my best friend for 46 years. 

Thankful to be a member of a large, loving family.  Brothers, sisters, children, grand children, niece’s and nephews, in-laws and outlaws; all get along with each other, and enjoy each others company.

Thankful for our friends.  Many we’ve known since childhood.  Also those we’ve met only in the past five or six years as we have traveled the Country . Our Casita family.

Thankful for our health, and the ability to do what we want, within reason.

Thankful for the underserved blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

Thankful to have been born in the United States of America.  With all the things we consider wrong with our Country, today, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

And, thankful for our blogging friends.  Some we’ve met face to face, but most are people we only know from their posts or comments. We would love to meet each and everyone somewhere along the way.

Though there are hundreds more things I’m thankful for, if listed individually, I feel most would fall somewhere within one of the above.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May your day be filled with Thanks and Gratitude….jc

Monday, November 25, 2013


The weather system that has been bringing death and destruction to much of the western part of the Country the last few days has finally arrived.  No ice, snow, or flooding; but a cold day of rain, with the high in the 40’s.  Wanda was in Jackson with her mother,  and I was just sitting around mullygrubbing.

I decided it would be a great time to make a pot of gumbo for Thanksgiving.  I went to town and purchased what ingredients we didn’t have.  Chopped up the onions, celery, garlic, and bell pepper.

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For those that don’t know, every good gumbo starts with a roux.  It is a 50/50 blend of oil and flour, slowly cooked until it reaches a dark brown.  It requires constant stirring to prevent it from scorching.  The darker you get it, the better; but as it nears a chocolate brown, the risks of scorching become very high. I chickened out and stopped mine a shade or two short of perfect.  The sad part is that I already had the roux made before I thought to take pictures.

Anyway, after the roux is ready you start adding your vegetables to it.  first the garlic and onions are cooked down.

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After they become transparent, I added the celery, then the bell pepper. Cooking them down till tender also.  This requires constant stirring also to keep from scorching.

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Then the ingredient that makes it gumbo.  The okra is added and cooked down the same.

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Add some tomatoes, and keep stirring.

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While all this was going on, I had a pot of rich stock simmering on another burner.

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I brought the stock to a rolling boil and stirred in my base.

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I also added my shrimp, crab, and smoked sausage.

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As I put this post together, the pot is still simmering away on the stove. 

Have I made you hungry, yet?Smile

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Still waiting on Fall to arrive;

and a housing report.

Our weather continues to be warm for the time of year.  We had some severe weather a couple of weeks ago that brought down a ton of pine tree limbs and trash. The yard looked like it did after hurricane Isaac, last year. It took Wanda and I two days of raking and burning to get the place cleaned up again.

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Though we had our first frost this past week, the  trees haven’t seemed to notice.  A willow next to the neighbors pond.

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And as you can see from the next picture, we could definitely use some rain.

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Fall azaleas are still doing well.

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As well as our hydrangea's.

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On another front, I’ve had a few questions on how the house building was coming along.  I guess it’s doing pretty good.  From the blueprint,

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to this in 90 days or so isn’t too bad.

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Living room and kitchen area.

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Kitchen cabinets which we built from scratch.  Had to take off a couple of doors to install the dishwasher.  I love those quick disconnect, hidden hinges.

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Bedroom 1.

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Bedroom 2.

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Back porch.

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We still have a couple days work left to be done.  The front porch rail needs painting, and the dryer hookups have to be installed.  A couple of specialty outlet covers which are being difficult to locate in our limited shopping area. I’m sure there are a few more things which will crop up.  Always is, but the end is in sight.

I think the new Weyerhaeuser forester is going to be very happy with his new living arrangements.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank a Veteran, Today!


I started my day at the local National Guard Armory.  Each year the local Exchange Club, of which I’m a member, does a pancake breakfast for all our Veterans.  All one has to do is show up, grab a plate of pancakes and sausage, their drink of choice, and have a seat.  It has always been so interesting to listen to the table conversation of those warriors.  Most of the Greatest Generation always had stories.  Nothing dramatic. Seemed they still didn’t like to talk about the bad things.  It was always stories about Joe or Bob, or somebody else they fondly remembered.  How he did some crazy something or another, and got them out of some kind of fix.  The tables would be full of laughter, most times.

Sadly, the numbers are dwindling down each year.  Those members of the Greatest Generation are getting fewer and fewer.  The person they shared a story with last November has gone on to his reward.

There are still millions of Veterans out there that served our Country.  Some fought in battles just a raw and bloody as those of WWII.  Others served and never left the United States.  All deserve a thank you today for what they did, and are still doing.

So, make it a point to thank at least one Veteran today for the sacrifice, however large or small, they gave for their Country.