Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Veterans Day Tribute

It's Veterans Day week, which is a shock to me. Where did the year go? I had great plans and somehow failed to follow through to complete or even start a great deal of them! I vaguely recall a New Year's pledge to write at least 3 blogs a week without fail. Uh-oh! That plan failed to materialize. So much has been going on. 

Military members are seldom allowed the privilege of letting other things get in the way. They have a mission to pursue and complete, with an overall purpose of protecting the citizens of the country for which they serve. There's a commitment to die, if necessary, to accomplish that goal. 

There have been many times in my life where one member of the family or another was on military duty during a special holiday or festivity. One year I ate Thanksgiving Dinner at Shakey's Pizza with other soldiers thousands of miles away from home. 

I would feel ashamed to let the day pass without commenting about my respect for everyone who pledged to protect their country. Sometimes all it takes is a visit to a museum or
memorial to understand the hardship and challenge for survival.
Silent Stealth
Tracks for better mobility

If you ever travel through Hawthorne, Nevada, plan to spend some time looking at the equipment and munitions at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. It's free to look and you may encounter a veteran who used the equipment at some time.
Underwater mines

Who hasn't had a family member serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard? Take a few minutes to say "Thank You!" because it hasn't been said enough.

To all veterans, thank you for daring to serve and being a good example of patriotism and bravery.

Are you doing anything special in recognition? For readers and bloggers in other countries, how do you honor past and present veterans?


Monday, October 10, 2016

Getting Ready for Winter

Halloween is on the way. I'd better hurry!
The leaves will be on the ground soon. Get rakes ready!
I know it's time to get ready for winter when the Halloween decorations and crafts get pulled out of storage. 

We've seen overnight temperatures in the low 20s and afternoon highs in the 50s. The afternoon is a great time for working on the yard and home exterior.

The trees are getting their fall colors. As beautiful as it is, the changes don't last long. A few more windstorms like we've had lately will put then on the ground. I like to stuff some in the Halloween leaf bags with howling good holiday scenes. Bats, witches, and jack o'lanterns are favorite displays.

I'm still learning to deal with Windows 10 and the different places and options for my pictures. Anybody have any hints on how to resize my pictures? The old program gave me the option to resize when I accessed edit. Now I'm lost.

The Internet is working after several weeks of problems. Brian from AT&T came out today and tracked the lines for a mile or so. He said it looked like a cable had been nicked down the way when trees were cut back earlier this year. He got our net up and running much better. A crew will be out later this week to fix the lines where the trouble is. 

Happy Columbus Day to one and all. Christopher and his sailors had one heck of an adventure sailing across the waters and discovering so many different islands and continents. 

How do you prepare for the change in seasons?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Thrill to the Adventures of Classic Cars

Do your eyes light up when you spot a car, truck, or motorcycle that you identify with adventurous memories? Perhaps it was a trip to the beach in an old pickup truck or a panel truck shown in businesses owned by relatives you never met. 

Car shows and parades are inexpensive to attend. They’re a ritual for cities, towns, beaches, and parks.  They draw guests young and old because of their appeal. Sparking paint jobs, shiny rims, and once-hot features that went out of style are part of the excitement and appeal.

The attractions fit every pocketbook. Events may be within 50 miles of your home and cost little to nothing to attend. Pack a lunch and some drinks for a picnic. Family and friends can enjoy talking about their favorite set of wheels!

Use the experience as a history lesson. What caused certain manufacturers to succeed and still make cars today? How did WWII affect auto manufacturing around the world? 

The family enjoys the summer months when the Western States celebrate classic vehicles. More are scheduled for the year, but June through September provide the best weather for traveling and sightseeing. 
Here are some of the favorite cars we spotted. 

What special event or activity did you enjoy in the first three quarters of 2016?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Treat Your Dog to a Homemade Biscuit

Have you ever wondered why there are so many online DIY dog biscuit recipes? One important reason is that as we get serious about our own diet and physical fitness plan, we start looking at what we’re giving our four-legged family members. 
photo by eduardo millo WMC

I was surprised to find out our Labrador retriever, Flag, was suffering from over-treating. She stayed active even when she got older, but needed a healthier biscuit. Once I found out how easy it was to make healthy treats, I used a variety of cookie cutters to make enticing dog biscuits. 

Just like snacks for the family, healthy ingredients were important. Instead of preservatives, fats, and sugars, I used better flour, quality steel-cut oats, and carrots. Molasses added iron and other healthful things. Flag wasn’t a fan of frosted items, but there are healthy frostings to make if your dog enjoys a topping on the biscuit. 

Tasty? Check.
Fresh? Check.
Affordable? Check.

photo by Phil Wadsorth WMC

Flag has moved on to greener pastures. I miss her so much, and think it’s about time to get another happy, friendly Lab. If he or she is a rescue dog with a permanent name, I won’t change it. Otherwise, Feisty sounds like a wonderful moniker for the next family member.

Small round snacks are perfect to carry during walk time. The shaped biscuits encourage healthy eating because they contain a lot of the good ingredients found in quality dry food. 

Natural preservatives like rosemary and lime juice permit short-term shelf life. Some recipes allow freezing for up to six months. Cool the treats before storing. Get ready for an excited, contented bark.

Have you created DIY pet treats?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Children Generate Smiles

It was a busy day filled with dashing from place to place in an attempt to complete tasks. A happy boy about 6 or 7 held the door open for me as I walked into a local business. He had a big smile on his face and tightly held a takeout box of leftovers from the restaurant inside the building. I thanked him and asked if he’d enjoyed the meal. His eyes lit up as he described his own breakfast and the meal his dad and grandpa got, as well.

What a wonderful way to start the day! The smile inspired by the happy, delighted child stayed with me all day. That, in turn, caused the people I met to smile back, generating smiles from even more people. A lot of frowns were turned upside down before the day was over. What an encouraging way to move along, enjoy the afternoon, and continue smiling the short drive home. 

Verrazano Bridge taken by Bob Jagendorf, widimedia commons
My grin grew even larger when I found this fantastic picture of the Verrazano Bridge in New York State. I live in a rural part of the desert in Northern Nevada!  It’s good to be away from the hours of traffic in large cities like L.A., San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Brooklyn. The glamour and glitz of inspired architecture, however, continues to inspire me.
What’s brightened your life lately? Could it have been a smile?