Woffee

Ethel continues her rehab time and looks forward to writing again.  Soon we hope she will be hitting the keys of the computer, and we can get more of her fresh (99 years of experience) stories and wisdom.  In the mean time . . .

Some of Ethel’s helpers have had to learn a few things, very important things, like how to make a proper Woffee.  We are all particular about certain things, and Ethel likes her Woffee.  Here is her take on the stuff.

One of these days some smart cookie is going to open a Woffee House and it’ll be a popular place.  I, in fact, will reserve my own personal table, and as I look around, I doubt if I’ll be the only one choosing it as first choice.

And if you aren’t aware of what Woffee is…well, you just don’t know Ethel Bradford very well.  See, Woffee is one of my most favorite drinks.

The whole thing started several years ago when my boss, Jim Cornwell, came upon the fact that I like coffee, yes, but to me it’s a mixed drink.  Half a cuppa coffee and half a cuppa water.  Jim’s the one who named my watered-down brew, Woffee.

So it went.  Day after day Ethel drank her Woffee, and, although my coffee has long been Sanka or one of its decaffeinated counterparts, it still comes to me as half and half.  Woffee.

But, little by little the idea took hold and then, one day I chuckled, for, as I walked through the shop I heard Nedra, one of the neat gals I work with, call out to another gal, “Hey, while you’re going that way, will you  bring me back a cuppa Woffee?”

And everyone knew exactly what Nedra wanted, and with no one even batting an eyebrow, she got her Woffee.

My friends have long known of my Woffee habit and simply think it one more of my oddities.  But now I find Jim’s name for my morning drink is getting around.

It’s like this.  I drop into a certain Coffee Shop quite often in the early a.m., and while there getting my breakfast, I also get my usual half-a-cup-of coffee and half-a-cup-of water.  The most agreeable clerks are more than willing to get the water for me.  Quick to oblige.

Doesn’t take long before they know exactly what I want to go with whatever else I order, and matter of factly bring me a cuppa plain ole Woffee.  Well, the other day I buzzed into the familiar place, wended my way quickly back to the always-filled coffee pot, and. before I could even begin to serve myself, the gal greeted me with “You want a large cuppa Woffee, don’t you?”  And I saw that she was already fixing it for me.

And, yes. I laughed and answered, “A large cup will be fine.”

See how a good thing gets around?  So, if you’re in some fancy restaurant and hear someone order Woffee, don’t be surprised and don’t put the blame…or credit…on me.

I only drink the stuff…Jim Cornwell is the one who named it.  Woffee, wanna join me in a cup?

Routines Can Be A Life Saver

Ethel continues to gain in health and is able to walk about and have some regular food.  There is a road ahead to recovery, but we are hopeful she will be able to live at home again soon.  But as life goes, we never know.  What will be, will be and we shall accept.

Also I am hoping she will be able to take some phone calls and email soon, will keep you posted.  Ethel thanks you for the wonderful thoughts and love.

Here is one of her blogs we have had “on file.”  During this health crisis, Ethel has often been asked how she managed to live to be 99 and take care of herself in her own house.  I think having a routine, a schedule, a way to remember all that needs doing each day is one of the keys, so here is her Routines Can Be A Life Saver.

We all hate schedules, and yet, dang it, everyone, no matter how young or not-so-young. has a routine for their days.

To begin with, a newborn infant immediately has a schedule of food, sleep and bath, and which during all of childhood gently but constantly changes, and before long, schooling arrives, then jobs begin, and before we know it, adult Life itself sets in and we have become so ‘routined’ that we ask, “When will I ever get a little Free Time?”

But, unconsciously we like it, for after the freedom of a day or week’s vacation, we snuggle back into our routine with a comfy ‘home again’ feeling. And so it goes, until e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y Retirement, enters our mind, and when it actually becomes real, after the first month or so of ‘no routine’, we not only miss, but need having something to do with our days.

The smart ones see this coming and begin exploring hobbies that, long ago, had been set aside for lack of time. Or we recall some skill we always wanted to learn, such as wood work, a new language, plumbing, farming, writing. We all have long-buried ‘itches’ and finally know that retirement is when they can blossom. At last we have the time to do what we want, not must do. Nice.

I once took some Buddhist classes and found those old Zen Teachers were wise, wise, wise. Their thoughts are from a thousand or more years ago, but they knew about human nature, and that life was life wherever   or whenever lived. Among much else, those classes told me of the absolute necessity of a daily routine to use, and to revise as changes come. And, we were reassured, changes will come.

It was stressed to keep it simple, for our days can’t be, or should never be, ‘carbon-copies’ . Can’t be, because, the phone rings and right then, our day can change, or unexpected company comes, an illness or accident happens, you get a headache, and so on, But, the need of a pattern for our days, was still stressed, for like it or not, that’s how life is. Always changing, and after the shock of small, large, joyous or heartbreaking ones, we adjust, flow with life and this adjustment happens mainly because we have a firm foundation, our routine to fall back upon.

So, the good Teachers advised a written Routine, and mine fits nicely on one side of a type sheet, kept in my computer where it’s easily up-dated, and so can print out a few when needed. I then keep them in a loose-leaf where I can make notes for coming days, and refer to what went on a week or two ago if wanted.

On one side of the sheet I have a list of what I plan to put into this ‘machine I call Ethel’, to keep it ready and fit to accomplish what I plan to do with it. This list includes all Medications, plus Vitamins and such, And if I can get those Vitamins from Food or a Capsule, matters not, Just Get Them into my Machine. And this means keeping track of my cups of water, too

And inasmuch as each item, when done, is crossed OFF, there’s no more wondering if I did or didn’t take that pill. It’s there on the sheet.

On the To-Do side, I list my Meditation, or prayer time, plus exercise, tidying the house from yesterday’s leftovers, making phone calls or email that’s needed. Appointments made, walking forward AND backwards, shopping trips needed, etc., bathing, proper care of the body, taking care of daily garbage, my meals, massage and so on.

These lists use about half of the sheet but they will vary as time goes on, but include my writing, which is to me is both my work and joy. And I tell myself how much time is spent with that writing and what it is about. I keep track of what and when I eat, and if I might feel unwell, I can look back to see if it was something I ate, or didn’t eat.

I include walking, forward and backward (no fooling, keep that skill, for it helps keep your balance in good condition)  Yes, and the care of toe and fingernails. Be as picky as you choose, and if some of the actions are   on a weekly or daily schedule, still put them down anyway.

Keep your daily sheet where you see it often during the day , and it will not only be a reminder to you to walk, exercise, or meditate, because, if I feel lost, or moody, I turn to my daily routine and see what I might not have done for that day, and right then and there I go and do it, But any way, it’s either writing or meditation I turn to, . but choose your own, and you’ll find your mood will change. Just like that. The technique wouldn’t have lasted through the ages if it didn’t work, and speedily, too. Sure worth a try.

Going Home

Some of Ethel’s readers may know she recently suffered a health set back and has been hospitalized.  We thought we lost her at one point but Ethel is a tough lady and is now resting and in rehab, but she won’t be doing too much writing for a while.  Her mind is alert as ever and she is a study in how to handle life’s bumps in the road. We expect her to be around for a while.  I will post updates here about her, and if you want to leave a note for Ethel please do it below this post, or email to me bill@k7ea.com

Thanks to all and in the mean time . . .  Here is one of Ethel’s recent writings.

Everyone wants to go home. The infant, far too young to know anything about home, is still aware that in a certain room and in a certain crib, he relaxes and sleeps better. The school boy, visibly glad to be home, tosses his books aside, reaches for the milk and cookies and tells his mother of his day.

Or the sick, weary in body and soul, se resolutely maintain that “I am sick, and I may even die, but if such must be, please let it happen in my own home and bed”.

And each of us knew exactly what Jacqueline Kennedy meant, when knowing her days were numbered, asked to be taken home, and John, her young son, did so and, only days later, she died in her own room, surrounded by her books, music, pictures and people she knew and loved. Ah yes, and it’s a sorrow that her son, John, couldn’t have had the same for himself, rather than a plane crash in the cold Atlantic.

Every bride and groom rightfully glory in their own home, but , (remember?)   it’s a long, time before there’s no mix-up when one of them says, “Let’s go home for Sunday dinner.” Whose home? Her childhood home? His parent’s home? Their home?

In fact it’s not until children come along that the difference is clear, and even then, it’s a compromise, for then is when their old childhood homes become known, not as theirs, but as Grandparent’s homes. Yeah, you’ve seen these changes in your life, too.

And a definite feeling of ownership remains long after we’ve moved. We wouldn’t ever want to live there again, but we see where others have cut down a tree we planted, have done some repainting, or even some remodeling, and, as we pass by, can’t help but stare, and become, for the moment, the ‘one’ who once called that place home. And we wonder, that if the new owners change the outside, just what have they done to . . . oh, the kitchen, living room, or if that favorite spot by the fireplace is still there.. Yeah, we chose to no longer live there, but, ln a certain part of our heart, that place will remain forever, ‘home’ .

And though it’s been decades since I lived as a member of the Ohlin family, at the NW corner of 7th East and 4500 South, in the Salt Lake valley and no matter how high the apartment buildings now rise there, to me, as I pass, I see old irrigation ditches, barns, Dad’s cornfields, and the sheds for coal, animals, and even Grandma’s small home. Yeah, it was and remains , Ethel’s basic Human Life home.

We look forward to vacations, but when the trip is over, and our eyes turn homeward, some bit of tension deep within us (tension we weren’t even aware of) relaxes and the closer we get to home, the more at ease we become. And , if driving, once we start on our way, the milestones come thick and fast. First we see the mountains rising out of the flatlands of the Midwest, , then we reach the State Line, and before we know it, there’s the county line, the skyline of the city we know so well. Then every bit of the scenery is known and then . . . . then home. Yeah, and no matter how we joyously planned the vacation, we inwardly rejoice, for finally we want to be home again. Home, home, home at last.

And if you’re like me, for some reason I must then check each room to convince myself that I’m really home and everything is still all in the right places, too.

Yes, ah yes, there’s something within the heart of each of us that craves the security of home. And though at times, each of us wishes for the money and time to travel whenever and wherever we please . . . we know that those who do nothing but skim the world, and have no place they have as a base, . . . are the ones to be pitied, not envied.

The   ailing want to go home and it’s a proven fact that we do recuperate faster at ‘home’. And when death comes   it comes with greater peace and dignity when met in the person’s own home, surrounded by his own possessions, in rooms he has lived, worked, and loved in.

Yes, we go home for holidays. Home to see Mom and Dad. Home to visit friends and home to have the new babies blessed in the old family church, with familiar people in charge.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if our deep yearning for home will only be satisfied when the trials and joys of life are over and Our Father calls us to our Real Home.

Only there, me thinks, will that ever-constant yearning for ‘home’ be satisfied for only when we become One with the Source of All, will we find peace and contentment.   Home, our Real Home. Our Final Home, God’s Home..

Our Inner Flame

No matter what your life is, or where and how you are living it, you can look back and find people whose impact helped form the person and life that is now ‘yours’.

Away back I remember Elizaberh Harding, English Grammar teacher at Granite Jr. High. We groaned when we found we were assigned to her class and I’m sure she did her best to teach us all we could understand or were ready for, but unbeknownst to her (or me) she gave me far more than the language rules.

See, there was one long ago afternoon and I can still see that drab room, smelling of chalk dust, with its four tiers of seats, and the exact place where I sat.

Miss Harding, for some reason, was reciting ‘Columbus’, Juaquin Miller’s poem, “Sail on, Sail on, Sail on and on”, and suddenly she was no longer a boring school teacher, but was ‘alive’ and in those moments, it surprised and comforted me to find there are deep hidden fires within adults as well as within such as I knew were within me.

And her Fires touched me that day, for I still see and recall, her passionate words spoken as she strode back and forth, “Even when all hope is gone . . . Sail on, Sail on, Sail on and on”. And, thanks Miss Harding, those words still live within me, and I wonder if she could even guess that she changed at least one life that day.

Then there was Gram. Of course there was Gram, and though in name, my mother in law, she became infinitely more. She, as we all do, had reasons ro be sad and bitter, but she was neither. and in her way, taught me how to keep a calm dignified attitude under all or any circumstance.

In the days of her final illness, Gram quietly spoke of how difficult it is to be aware of finding yourself slowly lose control of one’s mental, emotional and physical selves. Yes, in so many ways she taught me how to live, and with her death, she showed me how to die.

Of course, we all are changed by our own offspring, I have ruefully found mine were/are Teachers, but we, as parents, are so accustomed to being in control of all changes, that it’s a surprise (shock?) to find, that, as they have matured, they, have acquired wisdom that did not come from us. And, if we can be humble enough, in a most unexpected, turnabout way, we learn from them. TYG, TYG and TYG.

And then, Dr. Arya. a man, who was born in Bengal, India, chose to spend his life teaching, with his headquarters in the U.S.A., and I found his classes. He not only changed how I spent my days, but blessedly also gave form and meaning to my Inner Life And for years, his letters, coming from strange places around the globe, brought joy and light to me and I read them over and over before tucking it into my treasure box.

And then, and I hesitate to mention it, but I spent several hours a week for several years, in the Men’s Medium Security Section at the Point of the Mountain,  es, the State Prison and those men brought many surprises to me.

When first asked ro teach there, I was hesitant, but decided to ‘give it try, that I might be able to do some good.’ And I shiver now, in disgust to recognize that kind of thinking was from Ethel’s great, big overgrown ego. For the truth is, that I found a lot of caring wisdom and understanding within those walls. And it was a rude, but badly needed, awakening of my pride, arrogance and judgmental mind, to find that, yes, I talked to them, but also gave them time to talk to me, and I could listen to their thoughts and actions. And it was good, for while in our give-and-take of ideas, I hoped they learned from me, for I found, to my surprise, I learned from them.

It’s there I truly found that there is no “you . . me . . these . . . those . . . or that kind of people’. But that we’re all just people. God’s people. People trying our best to cope with the different, often difficult and sometimes horrible experiences that come to us.

Like all of us, there have been many more who have changed me, but this small space can’t contain them all. And so, to Miss Harding, Gram, the author, Pearl Buck, my offspring, Dr. Arya , the men at the Point . . . and AW. . . . I deeply and humbly say thank you.

Beware The Telephone Scam

This past week I came within a hair’s breadth of being Scammed and taken for $5,000.00, in CASH. I shiver when I think of it, because, it happens often, all around us, and to ordinary people like me. The kind who hesitate to let others know how stupid we had been  to be fooled. And so, I write about it, and, just maybe, save someone from being ‘ taken’, 

My saga began at 7:30 one morning, and still half asleep, answered the phone and a muffled voice said “Grandma, this is George, (fake name) your grandson”. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, and he repeated it, but in my half stupor and his muffled voice, I couldn’t make sense of what was happening.

But getting more awake by the second, I then heard a clear male voice ask if I were Ethel Bradford, and, when I said Yes, told me that George and two pals had gone to Toledo, to attend a friend’s wedding, and after the party, they had gone downtown, to look around, drank more wine, and then got in an accident. George, as the driver was in jail, with a DUI charge, and had a broken nose which accounted for his muffled speech..

George pled with me to keep it all a secret, but if I could, please, quickly send him the money,  in cash, so he could get out of jail, and come home, AND NO ONE but the two of us would know of it, and there would be no record in Salt Lake of his arrest. and so, not on his ‘record’.  Oh.

Of course I wanted to help him, but had no idea of how to quickly get cash half way across the country, but the ‘Attorney’ who was helping George knew and immediately began telling me the ‘how’ of it all.

I still wasn’t really awake, and was in shock to think of George in trouble, hurt, in jail, and needing money so that his attorney could do this and that, before other attorneys got to his case and did such and such. It made no sense to me, and it was then I knew I was ‘in over my head’ and needed help.

I explained to the two men that I would have to get George’s Uncle in on the plans for I didn’t understand what it was beginning to entail. The attorney didn’t like what I was saying, but they needed the money, fast, and so I called my son, got his OK to help, and  then  gave him the phone number to reach George.

And he did, and he saved the day for me. My son was more awake and more aware of life’s oddities, than I was or still am. He talked to the attorney and got the details of what, who, when and where and then casually mentioned he had best call the police here to get their aid in moving the $5,000 in cash across the country, and, what do you know, George’s Attorney there in Toledo, hung up the phone and the phone number we had been using, was, of course,  suddenly no longer in service.  And that one word, ‘police’  did the trick and brought to an end to the  Scamming.

Another quick phone call told us that George was in the midst of his routine morning ablutions, almost ready for breakfast, had never been and had no plans to be in Toledo. Yeah and his nose wasn’t broken, either.

So, I learned professional Scammers are sharp. And smart. They know who will be the most vulnerable, and at the top of the list are, a female, older widow, with grandchildren, and who just might have a ‘buck of two’ stashed away, The people of this category are also said to be more likely to panic, and so, with no thought, of talking and telling anyone else. No one, that is, until she finds her beloved one had never been in trouble and that she had been Scammed. Royally Scammed.

When the hubbub was over, I called the local police, just to report what had happened, and the fellow was kind, rather bored, and not a bit surprised. Said it happens all the time, and they, the police, seldom know of it until the money is sent, the one with the supposed problem never did have a problem. And not a clue as to who did it, for  Cell phones  leave  no trail, even where the call  had come from.

Yes, I had his phone number, but it is so easy to buy a cheap  phone, use it, and then with an utterly untraceable phone number, toss the cheap device into the garbage, and buy a new one to pull the next scam.

And . . . if it does happen to you, . . of course you’ll panic, that’s human nature when one you love is in trouble, but take a few moments to ask a few questions, and seek help, which is exactly what the Scammer does not want. and be as lucky or blessed as I was when you find your ‘George’ to be safe at home and your money still the bank.

Just remember, with untraceable phones, Scamming happens more often than it once did. Good luck and remember it does happen to ordinary people like me . . . but hopefully not to you.

Yeah, it’s been over a week now and I think I ‘m getting over the scare, the panic and the anger that followed .

So, see ya next week, and be careful and don’t let yourself be scammed.

Money? I Love It

I’ve written this first paragraph half-a-dozen times and it always sounds as if I’m a crass, selfish, greedy woman, when all I want to say is, ” I love money,” and you do too. And so, ignoring all my odd feelings, I repeat, I love money.

The precious stuff has been made of wood, rubber, fur, china, salt, tea, copper, rum, tobacco, teeth, and yes, lest we forget, it’s made of paper, gold and silver, as well.

These ramblings came to my mind a day or so ago when I bought a good sized package of salt and realized that, back in the days of early Rome, that package of salt would have made me a wealthy women, I shuddered in joy.

Salt was priceless as a preservative in those long-gone days but back then, it was so precious that Roman soldiers took their pay in ‘sal’, and the word salary is still the word we use for our hard-earned wages.

Slaves were sold for their weight in salt, and you and I, unwittingly, pay homage to that custom whenever we say, ‘someone is (or isn’t) ‘worth his salt.’

All over the world, primitive people have used teeth of dangerous animals as we use money. Porpoise, tiger, bear, boar and whale teeth have all been used, and the wealthy wore their ‘money’ around their necks. A status symbol, no doubt.

And if you think women have been discriminated against on U.S. money, take a look at Kansas. Long before the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar, which died quickly, but back in 1854, that territory issued a one-dollar bill with a woman’s face upon it. And two years later that same place, made a three-dollar bill with little girl cherubs pictured upon it.

Liquor, in any form, has always been a favorite ‘coin’. English miners in the 19th century took beer as partial pay and a century before that rum was legal tender in South Carolina.

Tea leaves were ‘money’ for centuries in the far East, and were packed into bricks for easy use. And another leaf, Tobacco, to this day, automatically means M-O-N-E-Y in most of our southern states. Big Money.

At one time the actual bales of tobacco leaves changed hands, then warehouse receipts were honored for purchases of all kinds, and today owning tobacco leaves is quicker credit than a Credit Card.

Money colors our lives and our language. Like a phrase that began in the early days of this country, when many a man carried his ‘poke’ of gold dust and paid for his purchases by letting the seller take a pinch or two of that gold. All of which makes us, without thinking say, ” How much can you raise in a pinch?”

Yes, money and its uses have come a long way since man first exchanged his cache of furs for household needs, and when the goldsmith, maker of jewelry and trinkets, was the first ‘banker’.

But instead of the bank paying the interest for the use our money as banks do today, that ‘banker’ had a different slant and actually charged a fee for protecting his customer’s coins. Yeah, we paid the bank.

Oh, money, money, money. Hated, coveted, lied for, cheated for, stolen, crass. But isn’t it a lovely thing to have around the house? Call it what you will, from ‘sal’, to the American Indian’s Wampum, to a man’s ‘poke’, beaver (in the early wild days when furs were traded as money ) greenbacks or just plain money,   In all forms, and under whatever name, we’ll take it, for we love it.

Bi-Centennial Cookbook

From “way back” in 1976 . . .

I’m 40 years late, but “Better Late Than Never” and so today I tell of a small Cook Book that was published by localite. Charles P. Hines, to commemorate the Bicentennial Year of 1976. See? Forty years late, but I just ‘ found’ it myself, and think  it’s worth sharing with you.

Each recipe is special, for each one comes from the home of either a National and State leader of that time.

They begin with President Gerald Ford and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and inasmuch as it was the end of one Presidential term, recipes are also from the then President-elect James Earl Carter and his Vice President-elect Walter F. Mondale.

Following, alphabetically, from Alaska to Wyoming are recipes from the Governors. Some recipes are similar to today’s. but then there are surprises, such as Nevada’s .

See, from childhood on, I’ve heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters and, thought it a ‘funny’, and a lot of nonsense, but I was wrong and here is the authentic recipe straight from the office of then Nevada Governor Mike O’Callaghan . And you’ll have to search for a Sheep Camp, rather than  your Butcher Shop, to find these delicacies. .

MOUNTAIN OYSTERS OR KOSHKOLA

Wash well 5 dozen Mountain Oysters. Fry slowly until cooked, in a large cast iron skillet, in butter.

In a separate iron pan, brown a sliced onion in butter.   Then add sliced Pimentos, sliced green Bell Peppers, sliced Garlic, Minced Parsley and 3 chopped fresh Tomatoes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

Brown 2 Tbsp. flour in butter, add salt, black pepper and allspice to taste. Next add 1 Quart white wine to the sauce. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Pour this sauce over the Hot Mountain Oysters. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE….. Mountain Oysters  (often referred to as Rocky Mountain Oysters) are actually the testicles (removed from the skin sack) of two-month old lambs. The operation is  routinely performed at all Sheep Camps in order to let the lamb mature into the body of an adult sheep, and   yet retain the delicate flavor of the immature animal.  Koshkola is a favorite of the Basque Sheep men in Nevada whose ancestors brought the ages-old technique from the ‘Old Country.’

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The next recipe comes from then Governor Ray Blanton of Tennessee.,and to me, worth trying.

TENNESSEE CAVIAR

Soak in water one cup Black-eyed Peas overnight, and then boil, in water, along with bacon until done. BUT NOT MUSHY. Drain well.

Mix following ingredients and marinate the cooked beans in it for 5  (Five) days before serving. (I would suggest refrigeration, better safe than sorry)

1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 medium onion, slivered
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp pepper sauce
1 tsp savory salt

After five days, drain well and serve on thin squares of cornbread.’

Quite a few of the recipes found in the Bicentennial Book are such as we use today, but I have chosen from those which are ‘different’, perhaps from their ancestery, or peculiar to the food available in their areas. And so here is South Carolina’s then Governor, James B. Edwards, who calls it his favorite Ice Cream. It was, he states, his Grandmother’s Recipe.

GOVERNOR EDWARD’S ICE CREAM

Mix together:
One quart Buttermilk
One Pint whipping cream
Two cups sugar
One Tbsp Vanilla
Mix ingredients and pour into an Ice Cream churn and then freeze.

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And finally , in choosing unique and different recipes, I’ve chosen to share a recipe given by Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representative in Washington DC, but from Oklahoma and he tells us how his family serves the lowly Turnip, and makes of them, a special dish..

SCALLOPED TURNIPS
3 medium size turnips
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Peel the turnips. cut in slices and boil for about 15 minutes in salted water. Make a white sauce with butter, flour, milk, salt and pepper. Pour this over the drained, cooked turnips and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake for about ten minutes and serve very hot. Serves 4.

 

Music OF Your Choice

We all like music, and our one complaint is, we don’t always like the same kind.. But, like it or not, it’s always in our ears, no matter where or when we go.  And some of it we love and some of it drives us nuts. Used to be called Elevator Music, but what I tell of today is called Music Choice. Big difference, our choice. Your choice.

 

And if you have cable TV, you have your choice of music at your fingertips and comes along with your Comcast listing. Now you might already know of this music, but I didn’t until about a year ago, and just in case there are others as uninformed as I was, here is my answer. And wherever Comcast cable is, so is your choice of music.

 

It was an eye opener for me. There   are 47 channels of music, with No commercials, night and day, and right on your own personal TV. Yeah, and that means there are 47 different types of music to choose from and continue to play ONLY the kind that YOU ask for.

 

Sounds too good to be true, and you probably know all about this, but I didn’t, so simply click your TV to any of the below channels, and there you will find music, no commercials, no voices, and exactly and only the genre you asked for.

 

Here they are:

 

TV MUSIC CHOICE CHANNELS

 

950… Light Classical

949… Light Masterpieces

948… Easy Listening

947… Singers & Swing

946… Blues

945… Jazz

944… Smooth Jazz

943… Soundscope

942… Stage & Screen

941… Sounds of the Season

940… Romance

939… Tropicals

938… Mexicana

937… Musica Urbano

936… Pop Latino

935… Contemporary Christian

934… Classic Country

933… Country Hits

932… Today Country

931… Pop Country

930… Golden Oldies

929…   70’s

928…   80’s

927…   90’s

926…   Y2K

925…   Toddler Tunes

924…   Kids Only

923…   TeenBank

922…   Party Favorites

921…   Pop Hits

920…   Love Songs

919…   Soft Rock

918…   Classic Rock

917…   Rock Hits

916…   Adult Alternative

915…   Alternatives

914…   Metal

913…   Rock

912...   Reggae                                                                                                             

911…   Gospel

910…   R & B

909…   R & B Classic

908…   Throw-back Jazz

907…   Hip Hop Classic

906…   RAP

905…   Hip Hop & Rap

904…   Indie

 

OK. I don’t even know what kind of music, you’ll find on some of the categories, such as 904 or 912 , but that’s all right, someone must like it, or they wouldn’t be there.   Most of the Titles speak for themselves. Like Christmas.

 

And on they go, but one that made me laugh is that after a week or so of 941’s Patriotic music in July, they finished the month with CHRISTMAS IN JULY, and we heard again those lovely   winter songs and helped us cool off in the 100 degree heat.

 

Who knows why, and maybe each year they choose some other type, but otherwise if you want any of their numbers, that’s what you’ll get. Nice.

 

Flip around the stations. If you don’t like one, try another. I suppose my favorite of all is 934, easy listening Classic Country. Never tire of it. 949 and 950 are also good ones and you’ll find yourself humming along with some familiar melody and then will be surprised to find you have been loving some bit of Classical music, and not knowing it..

 

Give it a try.   Mine is softly ON almost all 24 hours, and in the evening when rhe News, or some TV program comes on that I want to watch, I can turn the music down lower and on a TV , perhaps in another room, also see the desired program of politics, the news, or whatever.

 

I hope this reaches some who didn’t know such a well of music is there for us.   Was a surprise to me. Anyway . . . Good luck and good listening. Try 934 and hum along with me and Martie Robbins, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, or , , , , , , just name your choice. It will be there..

Visiting With Old Friends

All  Done  Just  By Cleaning  My  House . . . . . .

I recently cleaned my house and it was like visiting an old friend. I dusted, picked up and handled vases, chairs, books and furniture that I have certainly used, or seen every day, but not really touched, handled and ‘known’ for a long time. It was good. Really good.

Now, anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with my weekly words, knows that house cleaning isn’t my long suit. Oh, I know how, for I am the daughter of Nettie Ohlin, my mother,  but I’ve never found joy in the task and turned the chore   over to others as soon as I could. As I recall it was when my second son was about two years old, and I’ve never seriously gone back to it.

 

But a day came recently when I saw I was living in dust and confusion, and also knew my ‘angel-with-wings’ , Crystal, because of holiday/vacation mix-ups, wasn’t due for a time, and so . . . early one morning I disciplined myself and went to work.

 

Yeah, I donned grubbies and began working. It took almost a full day to finish the task, but by golly, I was proud of the job I had done, and also knew that Mom would have been surprised, but also pleased with my work.

 

It really shouldn’t have taken so long, but once into the job, I began enjoying myself and found myself doing a few extras I hadn’t planned on, and I needed cleaning items I don’t usually purchase. Anyway, I took off for a store where I seldom go, and where no one would know me, (Yeah, still in my grubbies), bought what I needed and could almost hear Mom saying, “If you’re going to do it, Ethel, get the correct material and do it right.”   See, , Mom was a good teacher.  It was the student that got poor grades.

 

But once started, I went the full 20 yards, and patted myself on the shoulders and grinned to know that Crystal would wonder, too. Oh, well, I even washed a small set of curtains and felt one with women of all times as I improvised and hung them outside to dry in the sun and breeze, The neighbor’s cat came and rubbed against my legs as I did that age-old chore. and felt a ‘rightness’ with my actions that I loved and had a feeling that all the dryers in the world can not duplicate. I even loitered with my task to prolong that feeling of comfort .

 

As I ran the wand of my vacuum along the baseboard of what had once been my bedroom and when it ‘caught’ on an imperfection in the   board, I grinned and felt as if I had run into an old friend . Yeah, I know how I once cussed Luke Morris, the builder, but now

it was good to stumble upon that old familiar bump and found myself saying, aloud “Hey there ,you ole bump, it’s nice to meet up with you again, and I just dare some fussy carpenter, painter or cleaner to try so smooth you away. I’ve almost even come to loving you.”

 

So It’s still there. And will continue there as long as I live. Then it will be someone else’s ‘bump’ and they can do as they please, for there will be no memories for them and they might even wonder how I tolerated it for so long.

 

With bare feet I re-discovered the slight difference in the level of the floors between some of my rooms and recalled how Brad and I had differed on how to cope with those differences. I won, however, and they are still here.    And I also smiled at Brad over that old Difference and hope, in whichever of God’s Rooms he now dwells. and if he happened to be watching my splurge of industry, that he grinned, too.

 

During that day I dusted pictures that I first saw hanging on Gram’s walls. I put a tablecloth my mother had made upon a small table. Touched some old sad-irons that had sat in Brad’s Ham Shack, and dusted pieces of china that my friend Florence once gave me.

 

I found that cleaning one’s home really is like visiting old friends and I loved it. And when my frenzy finally ended I went to bed tired, sweaty, soiled, hair a mess, with aching arms, but also feeling so domestic it blended into a mood of righteousness. Almost near to virtuosity.

The mood didn’t last beyond that day, and I knew nothing can ever tempt me to ever, ever be without those angel-wings of Crystal. But for that one day, it was wonderful   Sometimes, getting back to basics is good for the Soul, as well as for the house.   Amen.

Our Crazy Language

Words, words, words,   They are the Coin of our everyday exchange of ideas, and yet how carelessly we use them, and often giving not one thought to what we are really saying.

As when we approvingly say someone has The Midas Touch, meaning it as a compliment of some sort, yet the whole point of The Midas Touch fable was that the touch was a curse, not a blessing.

And how come we call it a SHIPment if our packages go by car, truck, plane or rail, and call it CARgo if it goes by a ship?

Why is it a Fashion if we like it and a Fad if we don’t?. And why do other Countries have Spies while we have Intelligence Agents? And just the same, we say a house burns up, when it really burns down? And say Literally, when we often mean Figuratively? We have a Waitress, a Laundress, and Hostess, to clear up any sexual confusion, but never Doctoress, Lawyeress, or ‘Teacheress?

I know it’s getting boring, but we call one who is absent, as an absentee, An escaper is an escapee, or stander a standee. and yet, paradox of all paradox, and give it a thought, for we switch the entire idea and an employer is never, ever an employee.

We thoughtlessly insult our original choice when we call a last-minute replacement, as a pinch-hitter, because a pinch-hitter is really someone with more talent, and who is taking the place of one less qualified.

Why do we call any snarl-up a big bottleneck when properly it is a lilttle bottleneck or there’d be no snarlup to begin with. Why do some people go to bed for sleep, while others turn in. And why do we hop a plane, take a bus, and jump into a cab.

When we refer to Churchill’s famous and wonderful words of defiance to Hitler, why do we speak of the blood, sweat, and tears and never once use his fourth word, the one of TOIL, without which the other three would have been useless?. Why do we close up a house, but close down a store or office. And why do we add that unnecessary word of ‘UP’ to such words as hurry UP, jump UP, or wake UP. You tell me.

And on and on, why do we over-use the unlovely word of ‘got’. We say he’s got the measles, when what we mean is he had/has the measles.   And in the same vein we say so and so was appointed to President, instead if simply ‘appointed President..

Why in every day speech is the ‘aftermath’ always unpleasant, when, the results, the aftermath can oft time be simply wonderful. and we so foolishly say “Cheap at half the price when we mean the absolute opposite.

Why do we so often begin our remarks with ‘frankly’, or ‘to tell the truth’, which it only makes it seem as if we don’t speak frankly very often, or that it’s unusual when we do tell the truth.

And going the same way, why do we begin or end over half of every sentence we speak with “You know”. Dang it, if we already know, it’s foolish to tell it again, and if we don’t know, all we have to do is just tell what we want them to know. And let it go at that.

Words, word, words, We become so familiar with them that we don’t even hear what we’re saying. And just going over only a few of the few inane words and phrases we use so carelessly, we know why people studying English as a new language, say it is the most frustrating language in the world. And they don’t exclude the Chinese language either. English it said, is the hardest of all to learn.

We have rules and more rules, and then always add the maddening phrase of “except”. . .  Yeah, be glad you were born speaking it. It’s too hard to learn later on.