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Friday, January 30, 2009

Willow Street Willie 2009

Wllow Street Willie usually just forecasts the weather, but this year he decided to consult with the top financial analysts to make an economic forecast for 2009. He's not out of the hole yet, but he forecasts a cool but warming financial climate this year. He sees greener pastures in our future and expects us to put this shadowy slump behind us. He's done burrowing deeper and deeper into debt and hibernation and plans on coming out on top.

For those of you who don't know Willow Street Willie, he is a groundhog, He has been around since 1963, but it is unclear as to his true age. He is a bit shy, an Aquarius and prefers to hang out in his den. He doesn't have much to say anymore, but he has never been wrong about a single prediction.  And for those of you who don't know about Groundhog Day, here is a link to explain it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day.


In case you missed last years prediction, here it is.
Willow Street Willie 2008

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ice Ice Baby!

This is our second icy storm this season, I don't want to talk about the last one, but I had to share these photos. The sunshine glistening across the icy crust is almost mesmerizing. It almost makes you want to kick your shoes off and slide across it like a highly waxed and buffed floor, I said almost!, but that is not recommended. This ice is only about a half inch thick on top of about 2-3 inches of snow.



I won't lie, it's kinda fun at first to try to walk on the ice and try not to break through when you are a child, or to watch kids or animals walk or slide across it when you get a little older. Take the time to look past the headaches, and backaches of snow to see the world around you shimmer and appreciate that crunch when you walk.
(all photos were taken with my cell phone)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sunny Days Again

Todays snow reminded me of an old poem of mine.
I wrote this "poem" when I was a youngster and decided to share it here tonight due to the snow and current conditions with the country, the economy and my love.  I think I wrote this when I was 12 or 13 years old.

SUNNY DAYS AGAIN

{or what ever might happen}

BY

Bruce Flanagan


As the fiery sun sets upon the cold white blanketed world,

it seems to give us a sign that it will return tomorrow even brighter than today;

forgetting all that has gone on and forgiving the bitter cold trespasser of the night

that has passed through, leaving the world in yet another cover of this lazy neve of snow.


It warms the world with its bright seemingly tepid rays

to make the icy surroundings a bit more bearable.

And in many a case, a bit more beautiful.


The sun, although often taken for granted,
gives somewhat of a feeling of security

and serenity.


Although at night we can not see the sun, we know that it is out there,

helping someone else get through the day, as it has helped us

and that it will reciprocate this for a long time to come

in the best and worst of times.


It helps us through the day in many ways.

Obviously it may warm our bodies with its fervent rays

making the day more enjoyable.

But at times, this warm feeling is not only with our bodies, but within our hearts.


Even if the sun doesn't shine today,

it gives us hope for the days to come.

And the world seems a little warmer

even in the dead of winter.

For those of you who are curious about the photo I chose for this post. It was the only photo I took of this snow storm so far. I took it on my way to work this morning. That is where I work, and for me it represents the cold hard truth that as bad as it is I am lucky to still have a job, for now. There are far too many people that are looking for work. I hope this storm ends soon, and I don't meen the snow that started falling again tonight.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

America 2.0 soon to be released

I'm not someone to talk about politics or even share my opinions about our leaders or the economy etc...
but we all have to prepare for the new Truly United States of America.

This country is about to change, and I think it will do so in a very positive manner. You can feel it in the air. Change is coming! Real change for a change. This is unlike any inauguration in my lifetime, and I look forward to what is coming.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama
As Americans we can change the world but only if we are willing to change ourselves.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The world as we view it - by Victor Kahn

The world as we view it is much like a dance,
you can take what is coming and live it by chance...
Or seek answers to questions and live it by choice,
just follow your heart and answer its voice.

Chance brings that karmic phenomenon,
manifested reactions from what you have done.
Look for a place that's hidden within,
search for the message, that's where to begin.

Talk to yourself, have conversation inside,
it's a matter of choice, create from the mind.
Picture yourself in a world all your own,
then bring it to life from the seed to the sown.

Search & discover the source of white light,
don't settle for anything, reach for the heights.
Your goals are the answer to what you achieve,
and it's almost like magic when you start to believe.

Truth & intuition ...bring gifts to rejoice,
go it by chance or live it by choice!

Written by Victor Kahn 
Borrowed without permission from 

I was so moved by what I read that I had to share it with all of you.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ranch Parmesan Pretzels

Have you ever gotten tired of the normal "snacks" available in the store? They all seem to be the same after awhile so I decided to experiment and come up with something that I liked. I normally don't share recipes. OK I normally don't have any recipes to share, but I'm told that I got this one right. I have been making Ranch Parmesan pretzels as a snack and I decided to share it with you. It's so easy to make and since technically it is basically just wheat and milk products and spices it is healthy!  Right?



All you need is the following.
A large pot, big enough for all of the pretzels
Either 2 cookie sheets covered in aluminum foil or large disposable aluminum pans
   Disposable foil pans about 12" x 18" x2" deep is easier and less messy.

Ingredients
1lb of miniature pretzels, but experiment with other pretzels too.
1/4 pound of butter
1 pack of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 ounce of grated Parmesan cheese

Season to taste with
3/4 of a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning
7/16 of a bit of Adobo seasoning
And no more then 1/32 of a smidgen of black pepper


Just kidding about the specific seasoning instructions. I know you will enjoy the Ranch Parmesan pretzels without any other seasonings added beyond the ranch dressing mix, but have fun with it, make it your own recipe by adding what you think sounds good.

 
Simple directions
preheat oven to 350 degrees while you prepare the ingredients on the stove top.
Melt the butter slowly at low heat on the stove top in the large pot.
Be careful not to scorch the butter.
Lower the temp of the burner as low as possible after butter is melted
After butter is completely melted add the packet of ranch dressing mix and stir thouroughly
Add the Parmesan cheese slowly and stir frequently so the cheese doesn't start to brown in clumps while cooking.
add the other seasoning to taste, or choose your own
After everything is mixed together and the mix is still hot add the pretzels
Stir the pretzels into the mix and stir the mix over the pretzels, be sure that all of the pretzels are covered as equally as possible, then stir it again.
Spread the coated pretzels evenly onto foil covered cookie sheets or pans and bake for 10 minutes
Carefully remove from oven and rotate the pretzels and mix. Try to bring the pretzels on the bottom to the top and vice verse
Return to oven for another 5 minutes
Remove from oven carefully and allow to cool
I like to "stir" the pretzels while on the cookie sheet when they are still warm to ensure that they cool evenly and are well mixed.

Please note, that it is important not to serve broken pretzels to others!
All broken pretzels must be consumed immediately! so as not to put others at risk for wanting more by getting less then a complete pretzel. That's the rule! I didn't make it up! OK, I did and I broke a bunch of pretzels tonight!

Enjoy