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Archive for June, 2010

So, I just found out that some family (a set of in-laws), are going to visit us for the fourth of July holiday…..yea!

It just so happens that this father-in-law, (I have two sets….divorced parents on my husband’s side…..ooh twice the fun), is quite the gambler and since he lives in the “sticks”, and doesn’t get to experience the joy of going to either the horse races or dog races……guess what? we get to take him when they visit!

My husband was looking up the schedule for the horse races on their web-site, and during the summer they have much more than just racing. They have all kinds of live bands, etc., in order to attract more people, plus they add cheap beer to seal the deal (50 cent draft).

Well we have a real treat for the Fourth of July this year……as he reads aloud, “Post-race fireworks extravaganza, face painters and balloon artists, and…….what? Performance by Team Ghost Riders featuring 4 monkeys riding dogs and herding sheep”.

Needless to say I’m dying laughing….and confirming by asking (to make sure I heard right)….”What are the monkeys doing?”

To show that I am not making this up, you may check out their web-site:

http://www.teamghostriders.com/

Wow, I can’t wait!

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Yes, it is that time of year for outdoor barbecues!  Why, you ask?  Well, where I live….it is nearing “hell” temperatures, and if you don’t know what that means……it is time to cook outside, so the heat of the oven inside the house doesn’t make it uncomfortable.  The poor air conditioner (or in our case air conditioners), are working at full capacity….just to keep the temperature at a somewhat comfortable 77 degrees.

Now back to the cooking.  As you may or may not know, I have a love/hate relationship regarding cooking….sometimes I love it, most of the time I hate it.  To explain that, I have been cooking for longer than I would like to admit

(because I made the mistake of marrying someone who doesn’t cook at all….not even the barbecue thing, which is usually the mens’ specialty…..ah…but not mine).

So….I am also the expert barbecuer besides being the full-time chef.   And I have to admit, I am an excellent cook (think about all those years of practice and experience).

Side note:  I’m a book lover, so of course have many different cookbooks at my disposal.

When I do feel the mood to cook, I like to try new spices, sauces, and actually prefer to make my own marinades, as I don’t like  a lot of additives in my food, am really big on organic, and I don’t want alot of crap in my body.

Another side note:  I am skeptical of new “sweetners” that the FDA approves, and I avoid them whenever possible (because they put that stuff in all the pre-made easy mixes, cookies, chips and whatever else they can think of).  I am certain that I get headaches from whatever is in “Splenda“.  I’m getting off subject, and will need to do a different post addressing this at another time.

Back to barbecuing!  I have an excellent marinade and sauce that can be used for Pork, Beef, or Chicken.  Because I don’t eat red meat, the meat I chose was pork ribs.

Meat:  3 1/2 pounds pork spareribs

Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (whatever your favorite, like Louisiana or Tabasco)
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar

When making the sauce, mix the liquid ingredients then add the spices.  Cook stirring over low to medium heat for 5 minutes until well blended.  Let it cool, then separate half  in a bowl or jar for later.

Use remaining sauce to coat the ribs and marinate for several hours (for best results, marinate over night in refrigerator).

The ingredients before mixing

Barbecue sauce done cooking

I decided not to use the gas grill, and opted for the charcoal grill, as I wanted to cook over low and indirect heat.

The meat will take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook completely, and should be at a temperature between 225 to 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

The spareribs covered in barbecue sauce.

Because I didn’t marinate over night, I chose to grill the ribs wrapped in foil with some sauce on them.  You may barbecue the ribs bones facing down without the sauce, then when they are almost done, add sauce to help flavor and keep it moist. If you cook the ribs directly (not in foil), you will want to turn them frequently.

Right before the meat is done, warm up the sauce that you saved for dipping the meat in when eating it.

Voila! They are done!

They look  yummy!!!

Ready to eat.....

Bon Appetit!

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forward:

I really hate to get involved in politics, but enough is enough.  It is time to take back our country, as it is being raped over and over by the current administration.  The Constitution is blatantly ignored as Obama and his followers finagle ways to implement his “agenda” by bypassing Congress.

I’m really getting tired of hearing something new every day that he is trying to do to this country.  The latest?  bypassing Congress to let illegals stay in the U.S.  You can read about that here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/24/source-administration-weighing-unilateral-legalization-illegal-immigrants/

If Obama keeps pushing the “people”, I’m afraid there will be yet another “Bastille Day”….only this one won’t be in France….and yes, heads will roll.

Back to what needs to be addressed NOW…….

John Harris, Blagojevich’s former chief of staff, testified in the ex-governor’s corruption trial in Federal District Court this week that Barack Obama knew of Blagojevich’s plan to “sell” the Illinois senate seat that would be left vacant by Obama.

Blagojevich’s lawyers tried to subpoena Obama earlier this year but presiding Judge James B. Zagel refused to allow it. Other White House aides, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have been subpoenaed.

June 14: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives for his trial. AFP/Getty Images

Is Barack Hussein Obama above the law? I don’t think so, but apparently Judge Zagel believes he is.

This calls for action, and just blogging about it won’t change anything.  But, you may contact Mr. Zagel, and express your opinion about this to him.  I have already contacted his office, and here is his contact information:

U.S. District Court

Northern District of Illinois

Judge James B. Zagel

Courtroom: 2503

Chambers: 2588

Chambers phone# 312-435-5713

Fax: 312-544-8521

There is power in numbers!  Speak your voice and be heard!

To read the complete story: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/25/obama-knew-blagojevich-plot-aide-says/?test=latestnews

p.s. he he….J’aime la photo du roi Louis-Obama, c’est très drôle.

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Earlier today, around lunch time, my son and I were both standing next to each other in front of the kitchen counter, silently eating our respective sandwiches, while watching our lone goldfish in his tiny fish bowl.  Between bites of my sandwich, I asked him, “Do you suppose he gets lonely?” “Yeah, he probably does”, he replied.  And we started discussing how no one really pays attention to lonely old “Wally”, yes that is our goldfish’s name.

But then my son said, “Well, actually he probably gets over it pretty fast, I heard somewhere that gold fish have a memory of about three seconds”.  We both laughed, then continued discussing, with such a short memory, could he be depressed or lonely?  Because three seconds later, he would be over it, and on to some other “gold fish thoughts”.  We laughed again.  He then said, “It would be like forgetting where you are, or 480 times a day, the day would seem new, so he wouldn’t get depressed or lonely (1440 minutes per day divided by three= 480).  So after our “deep thoughts” on the life of Wally, we decided he isn’t lonely or depressed.

I suspect that as long as  Wally gets fed, and someone cleans his little bowl out every once in awhile, he  is just happy as a clam in his fishbowl world.

Wally looks pretty happy to me.

So……what do you think?

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Blobfish- world’s most miserable-looking and ugliest animal? | Metro.co.uk.

I found this interesting article about the “blobfish” and the threat of its extinction due to increasing levels of deep-sea fishing in Australia and Tasmania for crab and lobster.

Supposedly these things spend their time “gently floating around waiting for food to pass in front of them”.

In the article, they call it a “sad-looking creature”. Well, duh….just look at that thing!  It even looks like it is drooling!

Blobfish photo from: Caters News

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http://feeds.nin.com/~r/ninRemixHighestRatedOverall/~3/SUcDYCDFd8k/mix

With the blatant disregard to our Constitution by the President and Administration……he is the “Great Destroyer” of our liberties and way of life.

Alexander Hamilton says it best in the following:

Date: August 28, 1794
“If it were to be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic?  The answer would be, an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws – the first growing out of the last……A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government.”
With the government wanting to take over private companies, and the current administration IS overreaching its power, we are nearing towards tyranny.
A leading House Republican, on Thursday, accused the White House of a “$20 billion shakedown” of BP in its agreement to establish a fund for compensating those affected by the Gulf oil leak. 

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) in his opening statement said he was “ashamed of what happened in the White House” on Wednesday. He was referring to the agreement announced by President Barack Obama, in which BP will establish a $20 billion relief fund for Gulf residents.

“It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown,” Rep. Barton said. “The attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interest of the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history, that’s got no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for the future.”

The administration needs to heed the words of Calvin Coolidge, his comments on foundations of the republic:
“I should put an ever stronger emphasis on the desirability of the largest possible independence between government and business.  Each ought to be sovereign in its own sphere.  When government comes unduly under the influence of business, the tendency is to develop an administration which closes the door of opportunity; becomes narrow and selfish in its outlook, and results in an oligarchy.  When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency,  but, having the power to crush all competitors, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly.”

http://www.necn.com/06/17/10/Barton-apologizes-accuses-White-House-of/landing_politics.html?blockID=255463&feedID=4212

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You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. The fool, in “Intuitions” (written Oct. 1932; published in Youthful Writings, 1976) By Albert Camus

According to Webster’s New Universal Unabridged dictionary, “happiness” is defined as, “The enjoyment of pleasure without pain; felicity, blessedness, or satisfaction.” It would seem that happiness would be relatively easy to acquire, as defined above, however so many people are not happy. Happiness is not just one single thing; it cannot be defined in one statement as given by Webster’s. What is “happiness” to one person could be “hell” to another, so I am not going to attempt to define it, but I do believe that people can obtain it. Happiness is subject to many unseen circumstances, it is also determined by individual perceptions of it, and is believed to be obtained through many avenues such as materialism, money, power, and sometimes (but rarely?) self-reflection.

There are many unseen forces, circumstances and social pressures that we must endure; these are some of the obstacles to our happiness. I believe that most people would agree that there are circumstances “beyond our control” that affect our happiness. I am referring to the most essential mark of human identity which distinguishes us from other animals, the possession of free will and the innate perception of good and evil with the ability to choose between them. The choices that other people make are a crucial and conditional factor in determining our happiness.

There are are also social pressures that we have to deal with that can affect our perception of happiness. This must be a major factor, as society ultimately forms our perception of what is acceptable. Television and media are constantly bombarding us with messages of what is supposed to bring us happiness, and everyone falls into that trap. Our society is abhorrently selfish, wanting more and more things, as we are never happy with what we have. According to the Austrian writer and poet, Baronness Marie Von Eber-Eschenbach, “To be content with little is hard, to be content with much is impossible.”  It is much like a double-edged sword.

The problem with wanting more and never being happy with what we have, could be because our country has always been “rich” compared to the rest of the world. The majority of the people in the U.S. (except for the poorest & homeless?) has never really experienced true poverty, hunger, thirst, or wanted for shelter. Perhaps if we Americans had to live through another depression, it would force us to rethink our priorities and would make it easier for people to be happy. More people could find happiness by trying to live by the words of Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, and have few desires.” Of course this is difficult, as our culture and society tells us that more is better and that something is wrong with us if we are not following the pack.

Happiness is determined by individual perceptions of what happiness is. I really believe this to be true. Since we are complex organisms, we possess complex brains, which allows us to think and reason. Maybe the hardest part of obtaining happiness is actually deciding to be happy (this is where the self-reflection comes in). The Roman statesman and and philosopher Seneca, explains it best in the following, “The mind is the master over every kind of fortune: itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.”

Happiness is believed to be obtained through many avenues such as materialism, money and power. These are probably the sources of torment and unhappiness for many people. Sure, they can make living easier, but they are not a necessary ingredient to happiness. In fact, in many cases they are the cause of misery (after winning the lottery, people find out that their lives become much worse than before they had all that money).

It is only logical to realize that excessive material possessions are not going to determine your happiness. This is where we trick ourselves into believing that if we only had that certain thing that we think we need, then we would be totally happy.

Happiness can be achieved through self-reflection and people need to realize that it is the craving of more things that keep them from being happy. I leave this one final quote to think about, one of my favorites from a children’s book, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Happiness is something that each of us as an individual can only find within ourselves.

Happiness hand photo: zeenatsyal.files.wordpress.com

Chinese sign for happiness: chinesecomments.com

Happiness sign: shineanthology.wordpress.com/2008/12/

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