Saturday, May 31, 2008

Upcoming Events

Three wonderful bloggers are hosting upcoming events at their blogs and I want to keep this information corralled in one spot hence my town crier post.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room is hosting "Drive-Bys: Around the World" where we can link our posts to her site and visit other blogs' drive-by posts. Have you seen any of Melissa's drive-bys? I'm sure that you have and they're all such fun. Now get the camera ready and head out to a neighborhood near you or perhaps you already have a drive-by in the can that you'd like to link to. I know that I am heading for a neighborhood on a ridge above a lake where the trees meet in the center of the road and the homes are beautiful. Just gotta wait for some good weather.

Next, Judy @ My Front Porch is hosting "Let's Take a Trip" for the week of June 2—6. I don't have any vacation pics to share, but I'm certain that some of you do! Pat???? ;> Judy has always been so generous with her vacation pics and you can't go wrong to see the beauty of the West Coast of Canada and the USA. In fact, now that I am reading "The Shack," I recognize some of the places mentioned in the book as a direct result of reading Judy's blog.

Last, and certainly not least, is the event Miss Sandy is hosting at Quill Cottage called "I Remember Laura." It will continue for the month of June and sounds like a wonderful, amazing blogathon. I think history buffs are going to love this one! It does require some creativity and effort so check it out for the particulars.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tagged or Sandi Strikes Again

Tags courtesy of Robin @ Bittersweet Punkin...thank you, Robin, they are beautiful!

Sandi @ Holding Patterns tagged me again. Thank you, Sandi! I've been desperate for a subject lately.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about you in your blog post.
4. Tag six people in your post.
5. Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Six Random Things About Me

1. The job coach was very helpful on a number of levels:
a) She thinks that I'm depressed. *gasp*
b) She doesn't think that I'm the "kind of person" who'll enjoy working for anyone else. *double gasp*
c) She has made three possible suggestions to include starting a day care in my home. *triple gasp*

2. Last night, a friend and I went out to supper at Outback Steakhouse where we shared a blooming onion appetizer and fried mushrooms. I didn't eat the mushrooms, but I ate too much of the blooming onion. Those things are too good. I also had a small steak, a baked potato, and a salad. No room for dessert!

3. Then we went shopping at Borders where I purchased two books with my Mother's Day gift certificate from my son and daughter-in-law.

4. I also purchased three chocolate mint Lindt balls to make up for no dessert. ;>

5. It was a leisurely 40 mile drive home with the setting sun full in our faces much of the time.

6. We had a half cup serving of Edy's cherry chip ice cream while watching the LOST finale. I love LOST and I enjoyed this season's ending very much. The ice cream wasn't bad either.

I am tagging no one, but please participate if you have time for such a MEME. It's always fun to learn more about you beautiful bloggers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Easy Yummy Croutons

Easy Yummy Croutons


*2 12 ounce packages of your favorite oyster crackers
*1 cup Canola oil
*1 tsp lemon pepper
*1 tsp garlic powder
*1 ½ tsp dill weed
*1 package of either dry ranch dressing or Italian seasoning


Heat oven to 250°

Place oyster crackers in a large bowl and stir in Canola oil until well coated; pour into a large roasting pan. Mix all seasonings until well combined then sprinkle over the top of the oil-coated oyster crackers. Bake at 250° for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool, place in air-tight container to enjoy with soups or by the handfuls.

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Gosh! I am getting lazy resorting to two recipes in one week.

Today, I am visiting a certified, professional job coach. Hope that she has some excellent advice for me because I surely need it.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This arrived in a forward yesterday and perfectly expresses what's on so many of our minds — the rising cost of fuel. While filling the gas tank of my car a day or so ago, I saw numbers never before associated with the process...the gauge finally stopped at $40.69. Thank goodness! The poor guy beside me was filling his SUV and he was literally yelling "STOP" as his meter rose ever higher. I'm not sure if he has a sense of humor or whether he really just wanted it to all be over. One of these days, if things continue in this vein, there'll be a cartoon with people keeled over at the pump. I swear, I felt lightheaded there for a minute myself and it wasn't the fumes.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rhubarb Squares

Rhubarb Squares

1-1/2 cups AP flour (ETA: AP=all purpose)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

In a small bowl, combine the flour, butter, and walnuts. Press into an ungreased 13 in. x 9in. x 2in. baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min, or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, and rhubarb until blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Cool; pour over crust. Chill.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream until thickened. Add confectioners sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Fold in marshmallows. Spread over rhubarb layer.

In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Spread over cream layer; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or until set. Remove from refrigerator 30 min. before cutting.

yield-16 servings

Hope that everyone had a great weekend! This dessert was served at our bbq and it was so delicious, light (a relative term), and refreshing that I wanted to share. My son made it...boy, did I ever train that boy right! My daughter-in-law says that the recipe comes from her Taste of Home magazine and that, although it looks complicated, it's very easy.

ETA: I am woefully behind on blog visiting and I'm missing you terribly. Hope to be in touch before day's end. It's off to the nursery for flowers, mulch, and dirt. Yippee!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

An Interview with My Father on His Korean War Service

Memorial Day is for remembering the military dead or wounded. In the United States, we commemorate the day by visiting the graves of not only our servicemen and women, but of family members and friends. It is also a time of welcoming summer and of having a barbeque or picnic. Although it can be a very solemn day, it is often interwoven with fun activity. Such will be the case in my own family.

In 2003, when I found myself teaching a senior high school American History class, I did an interview with my father on his Korean War Service. This was to set an example for my students whom had received an assignment (from me) to find a veteran and interview him or her. What a profound experience it turned out to be for all of us. If you ever have such an opportunity, grab it!

My father wishes to forget these events. In fact, when I asked him for permission to share the interview here, he said that it was better to forget. I assured him that it is better to remember. It's always better to remember. We, he and I, have purposely skated past the more troubling parts of the story, but I hope that you might find this little interview with one of the three million who served in that war of value or interest.

Interview with My Dad on His Korean War Service

What dates did you serve?
September 15, 1950 to November 6, 1951

How old were you then?
20 to 21

What branch of the service were you with?
The United States Marines. I had been serving with the Second Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when the call came to go to Korea. There was not enough man power in the Division so we were sent to Camp Pendleton in California to get reserves and build up the man power. We weren't all ready to go. Some of the guys were not even finished with boot camp yet. I saw some guys break down while trying to pack their seabags because they hadn't been trained to do even that. I was switched to the First Marine Division. We were part of the Inchon landing.

You were part of the Inchon landing?
Yes, I landed on an island off Korea called Wamedo and we went running and zigzagging across a causeway into Inchon. There was plenty of gunfire. The Seventh Time Division, they had an hour glass as their insignia, was with us. (Army)

What was your spiritual condition then? Did you ever pray?

Not very time to pray. I didn't know nothing about religion or the Lord then. I went to church three times. There was a chaplain with us all the time. I knew about four Christian guys. I knew that they were Christians because they witnessed to me all the time. They were all killed and I wondered why the Christians would be killed. Now I think I know the answer. They went because they were ready to go home; a lot of the rest of us weren't.

What kind of equipment was issued?

We were issued summer gear the first year and we went through the winter with only summer gear except for winter socks, mittens, and caps with earmuffs. We had a lot of frostbite casualties. We had summer sleeping bags that did not break away. That's why 37 men had their throats slit in Kojo while still in their bags sleeping in the trenches. The bags did not release them. They were cold and bundled up tight; they were sitting ducks. By the way, Truman issued an order that no one who had served in the first winter in Korea would serve a second one so that is why I was out in November.

What was the climate and terrain of the country like?

The 38th parallel is equivalent to the middle of Maine, the same sort of climate and terrain. A few times in the mountains it got to be -40 and -50 degrees at night. If we got a sore throat or something the medic would just give us a shot of penicillin. I became allergic to penicillin in Korea.

Where did you sleep? Were you actually fighting from trenches?

Yes, part of the time, sometimes fighting on our feet. Some men saw hand to hand combat, but I did not. Yeah, I saw combat, but it didn't go like you think. The fighting was not constant. It would come in spurts. You'd never know when. A major attack could mean a pounding of 36 hours.

What kind of food did you eat?

Sea rations and every two weeks you got a chance for a hot meal and a "hot" shower.

Did you ever run out of food or ammunition?

No, but I was hungry and without food for a day or so when we marched out of the Chosin Reservoir to Ham Hong to board a ship to Pusan. They did not have enough food on the ship to feed us so we were really hungry when we got off the ship in Pusan. We were very happy to see the Red Cross there with hot coffee and doughnuts, but they were not free; they were for sale. None of us had any money. It was very disappointing. Then we walked a little further and there was the Salvation Army with hot coffee and doughnuts for free. [To this day, my father will not donate to the Red Cross; although, he will always support the Salvation Army. The reason for the Red Cross' decision to sell coffee and doughnuts has been widely documented.]

How did you and your family feel about being in a war with North Korea? Did you see it as a just cause? (Dad grins) Well, I didn't have much to say about it. I think the country accepted it because North Korea was Communist and China supported them.

What was your opinion of General MacArthur?

Didn't like him. Most Marines didn't like him. He was a show-off. He was dressed up in a leather jacket with clean khakis, sunglasses, and a corn-cob pipe. He never looked like he did anything and I don't think he was a very good commander. General Matt Ridegway was a far better leader. [Ridegeway replaced MacArthur.] When we landed in Inchon, I could have reached out and touched him [MacArthur]. He bounced us Marines around a lot. Truman was right to fire him because he usurped Truman's authority by purposely going beyond the 38th parallel three times when he had been ordered not to. This is what we used to say about MacArthur:

With the help of God
And a few Marines
MacArthur will retake the Philippines

Hey, (my dad says brightening) this is a funny story! Bob Hope beat the Marines into Wan San! No, I didn't get to see the show because I was sent off to secure Kojo. [My father found Mr. Hope's beating the Marines to Wan San highly amusing.]

What kind of fighters were the North Koreans?

We said that that they were 'killers [killas] by day; guerrillas by night.'

What did you do with your dead and wounded?

The Marine Corps had a policy that you never leave your dead for two reasons: 1. The morale of the men stays up if the dead are gathered and 2. The enemy never knows how many have been killed. The Chinese never left their dead either. (Marines don't believe in retreat — we just advanced to the rear.) We saw lots of blood, but no dead. The wounded were usually helicoptered out just like in the tv show MASH. I liked that show because it was pretty realistic and they had all the correct equipment.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Well, yes, it doesn't appear that we accomplished anything, but at least we held on to what we had against tremendous odds...China had become involved. We even heard that Russian pilots had bombed...after all, we were only 38 or so miles from the nearest Russian city. Maybe they were worried for their own country. What would we do if that was going on just 38 miles from us?

My father went on to serve his country for a total of nine years. He was in Okinawa when I was two and three. Thank you, Dad, for your service to your country. I honor you for it.

Hope that you will find someone to thank, too. Maybe he or she lives at your house, in your town, is your neighbor. God bless them all!

No Greater Love

Source (Link is broken, but I am allowing this to photo to stand.)

"No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends." John 15:13 NIV