January 03, 2014 - Msg 96044: Evening porch, just checking on everyone.

we took a day trip to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge today. My friend of 40+ years, her husband and her daughter drove from Florida on Wednesday so we met them there. It was very cold in the mountains but we had a nice visit, did some shopping, rode an ferris wheel with all glass gondolas. made for a beautiful view of the snow on top of ole Smokey Mountain. They will head back home tomorrow afternoon, drive part way and finish the trip home on Sunday. a good day was had by all. Even though my kids are 19 and 23 they seem to enjoy hanging out with us and don't complain about doing things with us (most of the time anyway).

We had an early dinner at the Apple Barn Restaurant. good food and lots of it. they start you out with a basket of fresh apple fritters, apple butter and a glass of orange julip. Their menu is varied with home cooked veggies and entrees. a cup of home made veggie or chicken noodle soup with every meal as well. Yum! I recommend it highly if you ever visit Pigeon Forge.

well off to the ole ironing board!
prayers and blessings to all.
Big Maude

January 03, 2014 - Msg 96045: I took time to sweep because on my way to the ironing board I tripped over the broom!
Big Maude

January 03, 2014 - Msg 96046:
You swept even after your trip! Great job.
Sounds like you had fun.
RO--cable guys are cable guys are cable guys! ha
Glad to hear the rental finances are good shape.
TOM- no snow here buddy! teehee
Hope all is well with everyone.

January 03, 2014 - Msg 96047: Good evening, all. Just got home from bunco, had a lot of fun. Eloise was the hostess this time, and made her famous chicken tetrazzini - very good! Lots of laughter and teasing each other. As I've said before, I've known all of those women for at least twenty years, and most of them for 40 years. We've seen each other through good times and bad, through births and more recently, through deaths, and we just keep on going. Think "Steel Magnolias."

So, Boo, when the call comes, what will you do? Trot your little self over there and risk exposure to MRSA, or tell her to row her own boat? I'm not being mean, it's a serious question, and I'm not sure how I'd answer it myself. Sometimes the questions are tough, and the answers are even tougher. Shame on her, for putting everyone at risk like she has. Hmmm. I'm wondering if the couple in Killeen might have told her to take her MRSA and leave?

Well, I'm headed for my deep chair, my blanket, my warm puppy, and a stack of newspapers that I haven't read. Blessings, everyone! --Romeena

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96048: Yes, Bernie is accounted for. ;)

No, Ro, my brother in law talked to the pastor in Killeen today and he told him she could come back there. She isn't well enough to drive, though, apparently. As far as answering, Bruce told me not to answer my phone if his mother calls. My brother in law (Richard) had a talk with MIL today and told her not to call me for anything, but to call him. If there is an emergency she is to call 911. So, looks like I am off the hook (no pun intended). ;) I am sticking to my guns, you can be sure.


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96049: Will check in from work....COLD here in Ga....SPOT

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96050: Maude.. Apple Barn restaurant? That was one of my favorite places when we went to Pigeon Forge. We also liked the "Old Mill" restaurant too. Good eatin' Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is on my bucket list of things to do this year. We had a good time & worth doing again, I liked the artisan loop & we saw the "Smith Family Show". Maybe Dollywood or the Dixie Stampede this time. (Smokey Mtn. Knife Works too) Now you went and got me all excited, but we have to get over this cold winter first!...burr only highs in the single digits next week.

Boo, When you talk about making chicken make me think of "Ruby Thewes" in the movie Cold Mountain.


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96051: Ruby Thewes....One feisty lady! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmpuAz59EbQ

SPOT...Come to think of it Cold Mountain is in Georgia right?

G-F again...

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96052: Cold Mountain is in North Carolina, G-F.

Oh, good morning! Too dang cold! I think my a- men-a-nees are frozen!

possum under a rock

P.S. "Hogette" gets her staples out on Thursday-LOL

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96053: Hi All.
Ok who may Snow Miser mad? that he trust
have thing so cold?
At 700 it was at -0 that cold and some of next week well be like that !


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96054: Good morning, porch! Y'all are scaring me with those temperature reports. It's 51 here in Texas this morning, supposed to get to 65 today, but then be cold tomorrow, in the low 30s. That's plenty cold enough for me.

Boo, I'm glad to hear you've got some plans in place to keep SIL from running over you. Just stick to 'em!

G-F, girl, Ruby Thewes, is downright scary! I reckon some of those pioneer mountain girls were exactly that way, but she's still scary. Boo, if Bernie gets out of line, just show him that video and tell him you're going to call Ruby. That'll straighten him out!

Possum, give little Hogette an extra hug from all her porch aunties today, and tell her not to worry, that it won't hurt to take the staples out. I've take thousands of staples out of people, and had quite a few removed myself, and it doesn't hurt. In fact, I took some of my own out myself. The doctor said it was not necessary for me to come in to have his nurse do what I have done so many times, and just to let him know if the incision didn't look right. I always heal up as if by magic, so no problem!

Well, guess I'd better go feed my little friend. We slept late this morning, until she got bored and decided it was time for us to get up. I haven't made it to the kitchen yet, and I know she's hungry, so guess I'd better fix that. She's got kibble in her kibble bowl, of course, but she's wanting her Beneful. She loves that stuff! Actually, it looks and smells good enough for anybody to eat! If it tastes as good as it smells, no wonder she likes it.

Blessings, friends! --Romeena

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96055: What happened to my "that" up there? Should have been "that girl, Ruby Thewes," - weird. --Romeena

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96056: And it should be "I've takeN thousands." When will I learn to proofread? --Romeena

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96057:
Romeena, allow me to scare you even further. Although today is expected to reach a high of 32, on Monday, the high is expected to be just -10F. And that is near Chicago, not Canada!

from Poor Horatio

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96058: Boo, See... Romeena thinks the same thing about Bernie's misbehavin' yep sacred straight, Ruby Thewes edition... Speaking of chicken...I'm having left-over homemade chicken noodle soup from yesterday.. it tastes better today, (as most soups do)..

Asa, I'm sure you are busier than a 1 armed paperhanger these days...Man is it ever cold, and suppose to be a lot colder next week, so I feel for ya Brother. It is not a good time to be a HVAC man no matter what it pays! (When I was working I got paid "Weekly"..."Very Weakly")..haha
HVAC guys don't get hazard pay either... But they seem to have many "Friends" during these cold spells, it's amazing when you are "The Man" and their heat go's out, you become family. Do I speak the truth Asa? (Just be glad you are not a well digger)...ha!

Romeena, Glad you cleared up the slip on your post about Ruby ;)


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96059: Man, I loved that clip of Ruby, G-F! That rooster even looked like Bernie. haha

Stay warm, PH!! Its a nice warm day here today. Wish I could send you some.


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96060: It's great here too, Boo. It's 64 right now, and will probably rise a few more degrees. However, this won't last too long. January and February are typically our coldest months. Also, I've got a LOT of bulbs to plant, and they should already be in the ground, but I'm glad they're not. This warm spell could easily cause them to sprout, only to get themselves frozen back in a couple of weeks. I guess I'll delay planting until I'm sure it's going to stay cold for a few weeks. I've got too much invested in those bulbs, especially some of the tulips, to risk having them ruined.

G-F, I'm sure I'm displaying my ignorance here, but exactly what does HVAC stand for? I'm pretty sure that heat and air conditioning are part of it, but what is the V? I understand what you guys do, what your responsibilities are, at least pretty well. You maintain the climate-control systems for large physical plants, like office buildings, warehouses, industrial sites, and such. Huge responsibility, because if it's not done right a lot of people are going to be uncomfortable and very unhappy. I still don't know what the V stands for.

Well, I just heard the mail fall through the slot, and Toye Starr is trying to open it, just convinced it must be for her. Maybe some of it is labeled "Occupant". If there are any magazines in it, she'll yank the staples out of them in a heartbeat, with her sharp little teeth. She loves staples, and can pull them out of a magazine without leaving so much as a toothmark. I never know it until I pick the magazine up and it falls apart in my hand. Then I look around, and sure enough, there are the staples on the floor, near where she pulled them out. I don't know why she does it, but it's like an obsession. Strangely, The Plum did the same thing! I wonder what causes that? --Romeena

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96061: Romeena...(Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning) the Ventilating part is a important part, it represents the movement of all types air, both heating, cooling, and intake & exhaust. Did I explain it correctly Asa? In our world the "V" part also stands for VICTORY, when we can solve the problem and get the customer back up and running. Mainly I was just called "The Maintenance Man" or to be more "Politically correct..."DOMRR" Dr. Of Maintenance Repair & Rehabilitation...Sorta the same reason we call the "Trash Man" a Sanitary Engineer...lol

Which also just reminded me of a time when my Mom was in the nursing home and the night orderly was bringing around the evening snack of "cookies" and my Grand daughter referred to him as the "Cookie Doctor" it really made his day to have been given that "title" and from that day on, that is what we called him :)


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96062: Asa Breeny(DOMRR)

Doctor of Maintenance Repair & Rehabilitation
(It has a nice ring to it)

January 04, 2014 - Msg 96063: yes it does. :)

I remember hearing that HVAC word a lot when we were building the house but didn't know exactly what it meant.

Just went out and gave some old corn chips to Bernie and his harem. They love those things! Bernie is behaving...didn't even have to show him the video.


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96064: I KNEW IT!..I KNEW IT!..Renee Zellwager is from Katy Texas, I knew she had some Texas girl in her!


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96065: Yep...you're right, G-F. :)


January 04, 2014 - Msg 96066: At she doesn't eat them, Ro.(The staples). Ouch!

-Sterling Holobyte

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96067:
HI ALL. I decided that I have 2 more cents worth of jabberin' about the rise in cancer and its many cousins. I mentioned about all the eradiated foods being part of the problem, but failed to mention that good foods are part of the solution. Our bodies grow cancer cells every day, and our immune system attacks and kills them every day, but if our immune system is depleted, then that is all it takes for the bad cells to grab hold. I've read where just one mushroom a day can help, or onions, or, yes, oregano. By eating foods that are immune system builders, we help guard our bodies against the invaders.
Some drugs, like statins, can also give a hit to the immune system, even when supposedly helping
with cholesterol. And of course, things like smoking, etc, will also smack the immune system.
OK, I guess that's about 2 cents worth. Make 2014 an immune-building year...we're gonna need it! :)

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96068: Thanks for the info, G-F. Makes perfect sense. Also, I learned some time ago that it's not a "fan" that moves the air in my furnace/air conditioning system. It's more properly referred to as the "air handler", at least here in Texas, or so I was told. I like to learn proper terms and use them. I guess it's "nurse habits."

No, Sterling, she doesn't seem to eat the staples. I can always account for them when I discover they're missing. If she's over the carpet when she does it, I have to get my big old magnet out and pass it over the area, but I find them. Now the Plum - she would chew on them, and eventually spit them out, all crumpled and bent. Once, however, she got one stuck between her teeth, and came to me with much chewing and smacking, and pawing at her face. A quick look revealed the staple, I got my little clamp out of my uniform pocket, and was able to extract it pretty easily. All good nurses carry a clamp and a small pair of scissors. They come in very handy, believe me.

MDC, you're so right about boosting the immune system. Thirty-five years ago, when I was fighting my battle with cancer, my doctor told me that he believed when a cure was found, it would come from the field of immunology. More and more, it looks like he was right. Maybe one reason (besides prayer) that I was able to defeat it - I eat anything! Very non-specialized appetite. I love mushrooms, onions, berries, all the things that are supposed to boost the immune system. Oh, and I do NOT take statins. No way. In fact, I take very few medications. My insulin, of course. Without that, I'd die in a few weeks. I take two heart-rhythm meds, because when I didn't (when I had the flu and couldn't keep anything down) my heart totally lost rhythm, flopped around like a dying fish, my blood pressure bottomed out and I was so dizzy I couldn't stand up. I had finally quit throwing up, so I made it to the bathroom and got those two pills, took them and held onto furniture to get back to bed. Within about fifteen minutes, I could literally feel my heart shifting back into a normal rhythm, the dizziness passed, and when I checked my blood pressure again it was normal. So, even though I'm not a pill-taker by nature, I do take those two. I'm cautious, but not stupid.

Well, I'm off to bed. Preachin' comes early in the morning, and I didn't wash my hair today, so have to do that in the morning. Fortunately, it doesn't require any fussing. Wash, a little mousse, comb into place and let it air-dry. It isn't really curly, but it has enough natural wave that it behaves nicely most of the time, without any special care. A little perk bestowed upon me after I lost most of it in the cancer fight. When it came back in, it was wavy. I appreciate that! Blessings, friends. --Romeena

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96069: Morning Gang...its a COLD day in ga and getting colder...hey Romeena,MDC,Boo,SH,Ph..and all...breakfast?...im here at wk fxing to try to get crews lined up for the possible snow and ice....hungry !...prayers...SPOT

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96070:
MDC, to add what you have posted about cancer, I am a follower of Dr. Joel Fuhrman M.D. He is a board-certified family physician who specializes in nutritional research in his quest to prevent and even reverse disease through nutritional and natural methods. I first learned of him during a public broadcasting television pledge drive and purchased his "Eat To Live" and "Super Immunity" books, as well as his DVDs.
The links I posted below are what he has discovered about reducing the risks of cancer. Some of his facts will shock you.

from Poor Horatio

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96071:
Romeena, I like to add something shocking I learned regarding medications. In his "Eat To Live" book, Dr. Fuhrman states that future doctors learn in their introductory pharmacology course in medical school that all medications are toxic to varying degrees, whether side effects are experienced or not. That is why they need to be prescribed and monitored by a physician.

from Poor Horatio

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96072: Good morning, porch! It's 31 here right now, compared to our high 50s of yesterday morning. Brrr!

PH, I would have to agree with that statement, in general. Since I have no research activity in my background, I can't agree 100%, but neither do I disagree. At least generally speaking, it's a true statement. We all know that's how "chemo" works to eliminate a malignancy in the body. Basically, and this is a very generalized statement, they interrupt the cycle of cell replication, and many of them are not too specific as to what kinds of cells they affect. Cancer cells tend to multiply at a much faster rate than normal cells. Therefore, they are affected more by a drug that stops cells from multiplying. Human hair cells also multiply very rapidly, which explains why so many of the chemo agents cause hair to fall out. When the cells stop multiplying, there is a break in the hair within the follicle. Being unrooted, it falls out. When the drug "wears off", the hair begins to grow again. Mucosal tissue is affected, too, because it replaces itself rapidly. That's why people get sores in their mouth, get "sore" intestines, bladder irritation - anywhere you have rapidly growing cells, you'll notice the effects. My eyes used to drive me nuts, they felt like a cold wind was blowing in them all the time. The sclera of the eye, and the conjunctiva of the eyelids would be very irritated, but as soon as the cycle of drugs was completed, within a couple of days I'd feel better, until another round started. I do not complain, however. My cancer was pretty far along, ten positive lymph nodes, but here I am, 35 years later.

Antibiotics operate on much the same basis, though they're generally more target-specific, aimed at bacteria. They interfere with the bug's ability to reproduce. Unfortunately, they're not particular about which bug, so they kill our little farm of beneficial microbes that inhabit our bodies as well. Those good bugs keep things like yeast under control, and when they're gone - well, just about any woman on the porch can tell you about what happens then. So - eat yogurt or drink buttermilk, to replace those good bugs and you're all set! Our bodies, and the way they behave and react, are wildly complicated, and at the same time remarkably simple and direct. We are, as the psalmist said in Psalm 139:14, "fearfully and wonderfully made."

Blessings, porch! I'm off to preachin', dangly earrings and all. --Romeena

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96073: I just hope the staples in Hogette's head don't freeze before she gets them taken out! Supposed to get down to 15 degrees tomorrow night-that is WAY cold for SC!!
Y'all stay warm & good Sabbath to all.

possum under a rock

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96074: Hey All.
POSS will here tomorrow Tueday morn it going to be -10.and the high is going to be 8.


January 05, 2014 - Msg 96075: Yes TOM it's gonna be a COLD one for the next week, suppose to start dropping late this afternoon and continue down to the numbers you are talking about. I think I need to go and find me some Dogs...Yep it's gonna be a 3 dog night for the next few nights... (I might have to rent them for the entire week!)...Poor Asa, he's so busy he can't even visit the porch...


January 05, 2014 - Msg 96076: Uh, Mr. Al Gore, sir - would you mind sending me some of that global warming stuff? If you're not too busy working on the internet, that is. --Romeena

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96077: Good one Romeena!...lol

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96078: Well, it is pretty chilly here in south texas and you all know I love it. It is the kind of windy cold that cuts right through you. Of course it is warm compared to a big part of the country.

Had a nice, relaxing sunday...went to preachin', had lunch, took a nap..yep, that was the plan, and for the love of Mike, I did it!

Erin is back in school tomorrow and sean and bruce are back to work. Guess I will catch up the laundry and go pay mom a little visit.

Goodnight Mayberry (stay warm porch peeps).


January 05, 2014 - Msg 96079:
RO--he'll send you some literature so you can burn it in the fireplace to keep warm! haha
Pappabear called me today, and all schools etc will be shut throughout most of IL. He also thanks everyone for the cards and letters. He said that
even mail carriers may be "grounded."
TOM-keep warm!
POSSUM--hope that possum coat helps. Get that CB fireplace going.
I wont even tell you about our sunny 70 today. OOPS!, I guess I just did. :)
God bless,

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96080: MDC...Send me a box of that 70 degrees!....G-F p.s.(TOM needs some too)

January 05, 2014 - Msg 96081: Well, my outside Christmas lights are all down and put away. David and Brittney and the boys came, and hit it like a swarm of locusts, and it was done in about half an hour. I don't know what I'd do without them, and don't care to find out. While they worked, I "worked" making a spaghetti dinner for them. Opened two cans of spaghetti sauce, dumped a bag of frozen meatballs in, added a can of diced tomatoes, and let the whole thing simmer for a couple of hours. Put some bagged greens in a bowl, diced a couple of tomatoes, heated up some frozen Sister Schubert hot rolls, and we had a really good meal. Total prep time for me - about fifteen minutes. Can't beat a deal like that.

As for the Christmas tree, it's going to stay up for another week or two. It's a three-day deal to put it up, I didn't get it done until about a week before Christmas, and I'm in no hurry to take it down. It's pretty, I enjoy it, and there's no one to care. Toye Starr likes looking at it, too. She gets in my lap and turns where she can see the tree, and just gazes at it, looking here and there, like she's looking at individual ornaments. She's such a funny little creature.

It is colder than Blitzen here right now. The temp is about 30, with a wind chill in the low 20s. The forecast is for a low of 18, with a wind chill of 5. Now that's just ridiculous.

Well, I'm going to get into my jammies, get in my chair with some tea, and Toye Starr in my lap, and read the paper. Eventually, I'll make it to bed, and will sleep until I'm ready to get up. I'm thinking I just like this retirement thing pretty good! --Romeena

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96082: Good morning front porch people: It's 5:00 a.m. in Chicago. -13 degrees. -48 with the wind. Mr. Sawyer

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96083: Wow, that's cold Mr. Sawyer! Its about 30 degrees here right now at 6:30am. That is downright freezing for a south Texan. I like it, though. I already have a nice fire going in my fireplace.

You might as well enjoy your tree as long as you like, Ro. I had to get mine out of here because it was dead and a fire hazard. We got ours later than usual but it was still dead and dropping tons of needles a week before Christmas. I am investing in an artificial one next year. I've had enough!

Better finish the coffee and do a little bible reading. Sean gave me his I pod when he got a new phone and I downloaded a bible app or two on it. It is so easy to read that way. I'm loving it.

Well, ya'll stay warm and "be somebody".


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96084: I have a prayer request this morning. I have a friend who's son was at a convenience store with a friend last night and was attacked by 2 guys who held a gun on him, robbed him and beat him pretty bad with the gun. His name is Dalton and he is in the hospital with some bad facial fractures and lacerations and might require surgery. Please pray for Dalton and his family today. He is only 19 and this is a struggling family with other difficult issues to deal with. Mom and Dad are both disabled and have very little, financially. This is just crazy to have this happen in a small town like we live in but I guess it happens everywhere these days.


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96085: Good morning all.
Back to work for a full week I reckon. Been a nice break from work. Watched the Grandkids Thursday and Friday so Matt and Stacey could enjoy their 10 year reunion. Them kids are a delight, but I know why you better have em young.

Well now, I see I was awarded a title from G-F. What an honor. Actually the temps here have not been so terrible. We are at 15 degrees above this am. Pretty much normal for us this time of year. We did get a small storm come in Saturday night. Just a dusting of snow but it broke the inversion. That was nice to see blue and sunny skies. So sorry for the folks in the mid-west and East. Looks nasty to me.

Have been enjoying the posts by P.H., Ro, and MDC concerning diet and disease. Great info and especially at the start of a new year when some of us are resolving to eat better and what not. The thought of eating more veggies and fruits and eating meat sparingly has been around for a lot of years and has proven to be valid wisdom I believe. It's good to see science back it up.

Boo, prayers indeed for Dalton and his family. The world just gets crazier all the time it seems. So Boo, you was afeared your tree was gonna meet the same fate as the Griswold tree? POOF! LOL I had one a number of years ago like that. It was so dried up and I was worried sick about it. So Christmas night we took it down and hauled it off. Not much left on it by the time I drug it out the door. Since then we have had a fake one. Just makes more sense for us at our age now. I do miss the smell of a real tree, but we usually get some clippings and make a wreath to hang on the door, as much of the smell as anything.

Well I best get moving. Tons of stuff to do after a couple of weeks of loafing around. Prayers for all.


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96086: Morning Asa, thanks for those prayers for Dalton.

I just went outside to let the chickens out of the coop and give a treat to the donkey, and I have to say that it feels like Colorado out there! I don't know what the wind chill is but it cuts right through you. Very groovy! :)


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96087: Good morning, porch. My goodness! Those temps around the country are astonishing. It's 19 here right now, with a wind chill of 8, but I'm not sure how they measure that, because there's very little wind. I guess there's a formula they use, or something. I just received a picture from my SIL in Michigan, of a snow-covered evergreen tree in their yard, and a solid blanket of snow around it. Sure is pretty, but their wind chill is -17, so I'll settle for no snow. If I stepped out into cold like that, I think my blood would just stop in its tracks, and my fingers would snap off!

My oldest grandson just moved from south Texas to Chicago. I think I'll call him this evening, when he gets home from work, and see how he's faring in that deep freeze. We warm-blooded Texans usually don't adapt too well to the cold. Also, most people from up there, once they get a taste of warmer weather, don't want to go back, it seems. I know when Dale and I married, I wanted to be the dutiful wife, so when he got home from Korea and we were ready to start our journey together for real, I told him I'd be willing to move to Michigan if that was what he wanted. He looked at me like I had just grown horns, and said, "Are you kidding? I've shoveled my last snowflake! We're staying down here!" And he meant it! He loved Texas, and even (eventually) lost his Midwest accent. All but the way he said "on." He still said "ahn", instead of the Texas-style "awn." The rest of his speech was Texan. He even learned how to get two or three syllables out of a one-syllable word, when the situation warranted it.

All Texans can do that, and it comes in handy. It can be used for emphasis if needed. "Quit" can be "Qui-yet" when you really want someone to cease and desist. "I will way-er yer britches ay-yot" will definitely convince a child that they've pushed you too far. And it comes in handy these days, when the OnStar operator on my car phone asks me to confirm a number, I say "yes" and she says "slower, please." Now just how slowly can you say "yes"? Well, honey, I can string it out all day. How many syllables would you like? Hahaha! --Romeena

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96088: I'm back. My back yard is full of squirrels, doves, bluejays and assorted other birds, and the poor things looked so cold and hungry! So I just took a banquet out there. Some old corn chex, half a bag of peanuts in the shell (for the jays), some crumbled old bread that had dried out, some blackberries that were looking "iffy", and a suet cake. The critters all scattered when I opened the back door, but they'll be back shortly, and won't they be happy! Makes me happy to watch them. In fact, there's a couple of bluejays right now.

Well, the notary is coming today to sign the papers on the re-fi on my rent house (gonna save me $200 a month) so I'd better get dressed. I went through Quicken Loans for both of these refinances, and I can highly recommend them. They really worked hard to make this happen, and were so nice and friendly the whole time. Their website is very user-friendly, they keep you up to date on progress, almost moment-by-moment, and I would use them again in a heartbeat. To top it off, they sent me a package with all the final papers in it, which will be opened when the notary arrives here at my house this afternoon, and all will be done in the comfort of my own home. Pretty good company, if you ask me.

Blessings, friends! --Romeena

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96089: Good work on re-fi Romeena...hey Boo,asa...well a little trouble here at work from weather...let me get to work....will someone bring me lunch..(something warm).SPOT

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96090: Hi All.
Romeena I will send your all this snow and cold from here.


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96091:
Boo, so sorry to learn about Dalton. Although he is lucky to be alive, the wounds and financial hardship will hurt for some time. Please inform them of the following web site. I hope it helps.
Also, we stopped using real trees at Christmas a long time ago and have never regretted it. I beleive that if you want a real tree, plant one outside and decorate it.

As Mr Sawyer has already posted, us folks near Chicago are experiencing negative double digit temperatures and wind chills. So all you folks with positive temperatures should consider yourselves to be lucky.

Romeena, now that you are officially retired, don't forget to apply for your Social Security. You are mature enough to receive the maximum benefits.

Asa, I am glad to learn that you enjoyed the health information I posted earlier. When I adopted Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations, some of the food items were very foreign to me and some tasted awful. But I discovered that when you mix them in with other items that he recommends that you do like the taste of, that helps.
Also, since you mentioned that you miss the smell of a real tree at Christmas time, why not purchase something like http://tinyurl.com/ou5yzfn?

from Poor Horatio

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96092:
Asa, sorry about that bad link that I posted in Msg 96091. Although the URL address is technically correct, when combined with the question mark that I typed to end that sentence, that makes it invalid. So the correct working link is http://tinyurl.com/ou5yzfn

from Poor Horatio

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96093: Happy Monday porch! well is pretty COLD here today as well. about 18 degrees and windy which makes it feel about -1. not supposed to get any warmer over the next couple days either. I came back to work today after being off lst week. Had a lot of catching up to do but rather would have stayed in my nice warm bed.

lets have a big kettle of beef stew, corn bread for lunch.

Prayers and blessings to all
Big Maude

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96094: Hey y'all! Boo, Dalton has my prayers & please keep us posted on him. And if I may ask,how's Jubi these days? She must be nearly grown by now!

Ro, the way we say "on" around here is like this- it rhymes with " Lone", like in the Lone Ranger. Ever heard that one?!

Well, it's not too cold here-yet. Supposed to get down to 15 tonight! Tomorrow will be even colder they say.

Oh, I'm not at Cracker Barrel anymore,MDC.Quit back in July and not currently working. My income of late is from some rental property I own. It is NICE not working,especially at CB.Let me tell y'all something- though CB projects a friendly, homey image,things are much different behind the scenes. I quit because of bullying-not only me,but I witnessed others being bullied by a female manager in training. Though she was leaving soon,I'd had enough,so I left first. And yes, I reported her through the proper channels. They didn't care. I could go on & on about that place,but I won't. I served my time and so very glad to be away from Cracker Barrel! You are overworked & unappreciated there.

Ok, crawling down off the soapbox!

Y'all stay warm & be safe if you're out & about in the frigid weather.
Thanks for lunch, Maude! That'll warm us up!

possum under a rock

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96095: ....As with a lot of places of employment these days Possum, I could feel the tension from time to time when I went there.. "Just keep those salt & pepper shakers full" (cardinal sin there if they show any space at the top of the shaker). They just don't keep my sweet tea topped off like they use to. But I do like the food. Since my Buddy and I both retired, we don't have our Thursday night "Lodge Meetings" there anymore. Anyhow it's waaay to cold for front porch rockin' anyhow!

History Channel had a show about where some of our "sayings" came from, and the roots of their origin, interesting...a lot came from the South and a lot were from the military in nature, lot went way back and were just revamped. My Dad would say a lot of them, I guess that is where he learned them from.

Cold,Cold, here and did I say windy too? I had to chase my trash can it ended up in a ditch 4 houses down the road. It's so cold here a dog was chasing a cat only in his dreams...In Washington DC it is so cold the politician's had their hand in their OWN pockets..(Jay Leno)


January 06, 2014 - Msg 96096: Well, the notary has come and gone. Very nice lady, we had a good chat, and I sent her home with one of the beautiful Korean pears my renter gave me. Those things are gooooood! I'm so glad to have that re-fi done, lower payment, and get away from NationStar, the mortgage company that Bank of America had sold my account to a few months ago. I did not have a good relationship with them and would have done the re-fi, even if it hadn't saved me any money. I'm now with Quicken Loans, and believe me, they're wonderful to work with.

PH, thanks for the advice about SS, but believe me, I've been there a long time. At 74, I've been drawing SS for quite a few years. I would have a hard time surviving without it. I'm just sorry my beloved husband didn't get to enjoy what he paid into for so long, and for many of those years, he paid both sides of it, being self-employed. Somehow, that just doesn't seem quite fair. All that money just went into a black hole and disappeared.

Got some errands to run, guess I'd better get them done. Blessings, everyone. --Romeena

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96097:
Romeena, if it is not too personal, regarding your refinanced mortgage, what interest rate did you receive and is that a fixed or variable rate? I am considering refinancing myself.

from Poor Horatio

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96098: PH, I don't mind answering your question. The first re-fi, on my personal home, closed back in July and carries a fixed interest rate of 4.125%. Interest rose a bit before I could get this last one done, on a rental house. The rate on it is 5.25%, and is also a fixed rate. I wish I could have gotten the lower rate, but it's still a lot better than the 7.2% I had.

Are you talking about a Canadian property, or one in the U.S.? If you don't already have an institution in mind, and if the location isn't a problem, I can highly recommend Quicken. If you want more details, just email me. I'll be glad to refer you to the man I was working with. He's sort of the "intake guy", gets the ball rolling, then sends you to the closers. I really liked him, and everyone in the lineup worked very hard to make this happen for me. My situation isn't ideal, from a mortgage company's point of view. My age, retired, widow, had a high debt/income ratio, etc. Still, they got it done.

I'm hungry! Guess I'll go stir up something good, some kind of comfort food. Maybe some mac and cheese! Yeah, that sounds good! Later, taters. --Romeena

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96099: Hello Romeena: After being on the porch and observing for a few months I don't picture you as a Kraft box mac and cheese person. I would think you spend some time on a good recipe. Am I right? Mr. Sawyer

January 06, 2014 - Msg 96100: Possum, Jubi is healthy and beautiful. I believe she is a junior in high school now. :)

Hope everybody is staying warm. My sister and I just dropped off some coats and blankets at the homeless shelter in the city and those poor folks didn't have electricity in the shelter tonight. I guess the city just couldn't keep up with the demand. At least they will be indoors instead of outside on the street.

Finally had my supper..beef-veggie soup with homemade bread. Yep, good.

Got a nice fire going in the fireplace so I might just curl up on the couch with my Kindle.


January 07, 2014 - Msg 96101: Mr. Sawyer, you're quite right, and I consider your assumption to be a compliment. Actually, I do have a couple of boxes of Kraft mac and cheese, but I keep it on hand for grandchildren who are accustomed to it, and one little extended family member who will eat very little else. One of those phases, you know. For myself, yes, I make it from scratch. I don't have or follow a recipe, I just make it up as I go, and it's usually pretty good. Sometimes I change it up completely by adding a can of tomatoes, sometimes I don't. I like it either way, it just depends on my mood. I do like canned tomatoes, especially the Hunt's diced kind. At this time of year, when all you can get are hothouse tomatoes, which typically don't have much flavor, I rely on the canned ones. At least they have a reliable, good tomato flavor. For fresh ones, I buy the kind that are still on the vine, usually three or four tomatoes in a cluster. They're pretty good, but nothing is as good as a homegrown tomato in the summertime. As for the mac and cheese, I make a simple white sauce, melt some cheddar cheese in it and pour it over the cooked macaroni, along with some pats of butter which melt in. Put it in a buttered glass casserole and bake it at 350 until it barely starts to brown around the edges a little bit and gets a little bubbly in the middle. Then I add more grated cheese over the top, and maybe some cracker crumbs and bake it until the cheese is melted and the crumbs are toasty. That's it. Beats boxed stuff every time.

Well, I'm off to bed. Toye Starr is heaving tiny sighs, so I know it's time. She hates it when I stop off here at the computer on the way to bed. Sweet little old thing. Blessings, friends! --Romeena

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96102:
Hey Folks

I don't go online too much during the holidays or weekends, the girls enjoy the computer so I just let them have at it. So, Happy New Year!

Romeena- I am gonna give that Mac an cheese recipe a try tomorrow, today it's split pea soup here.

It is -22 degrees here this morning with a wind chill temp of -45, they say. The high temp today is suppose to be -3, minus 3. Oh yeah, with lake effect snow of 1 to 3 feet.

G-F you sounded just like Jay.

Possum-Sorry to hear you had to deal with bullying. It's also said to hear that about CB.

Boo--That is one of my favorite meals.


January 07, 2014 - Msg 96103: Auh2o, You have me beat this morning, it's a blazing -8 right now but that wind chill of -32 is brutal! One more day then they are talking 40's by Friday...weird.. Yep the temps are even lower then Obama's approval ratings..bada bing Jay! and as Larry the Cable Guy would say: "I sound just like Jay Leno only different" ( but I do have the mostly white hair to swing it!..haha

Hey Romeena, that Mac & Cheese, do you put that secret ingredient in it? "Oregano"..haha That episode was on TVland yesterday, it's one of the funnier of the color episodes. (except Helen has one of her famous "snitty" attacks on Andy)

Boo, Your veg. beef soup inspired me, I have a bag of soup vegetable's w/okra and left over beef from a roast I made,= SOUP, it does a body good! I will add a grilled cheese to that and it will be a good meal on a FRIGID day...

Oh by the way...if Floyd is watching, my condolences on the Auburn loss last night, but it was a really good game! (Floyd is a Auburn Alum)


January 07, 2014 - Msg 96104: Hello G-F: I seen the same TAGS episode you are talking about. Helen almost was even "snitty" to Goober when he called to ask if Opie could come over and eat when the scouting trip ended early. What is her problem? The same episode is on again on TV Land at 8:00 a.m. Central time. Mr. Sawyer

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96105: Ro, pardon my culinary in-eptness, but what exactly is in a "white sauce?" That mac and cheese sounds good, btw.

They are calling the cold snap a "polar vortex" now?! Where do they come up with these things?! I just say that in Wisconsin we just call it "winter". :)

-Sterling Holobyte

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96106: My goodness. How can you folks stand those cold temperatures? My grandson, who just moved to Chicago a few months ago, is surely getting a taste of life in the frozen North. He assures me it's "not too bad", but that's just his typical sunny, optimistic nature talking. He said his apartment is "just one train stop" away from his girlfriend's apartment, but there's a four-block walk to the station at each end. Walk eight blocks in that mess? Oh, I don't think so!

It's 25 here right now, with a wind chill of 18. Looking out at the fish pond, I'm guessing the bird/leaf guard net is ruined. It's completely ice-encrusted, and the weight has probably shredded the mesh. Guess what? I'm not going out there to find out until it all thaws out. There's nothing I can do right now anyway. The fish will be huddled in the deepest part of the pond, and would not eat if I tried to feed them, so I'll just wait for it to warm up. How those poor things survive, I'll never know, but they do.

There's an enormous crow pecking around the leftover feed out back! I occasionally hear them, but it's rare for one to come in the yard. He's three times the size of a male grackle, who is also cleaning up the last of the corn chex. The blue jays and doves are back, so it won't be long until my last offering will be gone. I need to get to the store and buy some seed! The squirrels are all over the place too - they just seem to ignore the cold.

Tom, it was very kind of you to call and check on me. I'm fine. We aren't having any power outages here yet, though there has been talk of some rolling blackouts. So far, it hasn't been a problem. If it happens, I do have several options. I can go stay with my son, if he has power, or with Eloise if she does. I can go to a LaQuinta, because my son has zillions of points for free rooms with them. He uses them when he travels, and also puts his contract people in them when they're working for him. Since he pays their bill, he gets the points. I'd have to sneak Toye Starr in, though, so if it's just a short time, I'd just stay put, that fireplace worked pretty well for me last time. I'll be okay, but you were so kind to be concerned.

As for Helen and her snit-fits - when I was newly-married, very young and dramatic, I tried that on Dale. Once. He was not impressed, gave me a disgusted look and just said, "Oh, grow up!" I did. He treated me with respect, and he expected no less in return. Smart man.

Well, guess I'd better go feed little Starr. We just got up! I love being able to stay up as late as I like, and sleep as late as I need to. Retirement has its perks! --Romeena

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96107: Help.
It's to cold this morning -7.
G-F keep lake snow and cold right .


January 07, 2014 - Msg 96108: Sterling, a simple white sauce is made with butter, flour and milk, and a pinch of salt. Let's assume you're making a cup of sauce, but you can increase the amounts as needed to make more sauce. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a saucepan - slowly, don't let it brown. Add a heaping tablespoon of flour and stir it into the butter until well blended. Still low heat. Slowly add about a cup of milk, in small amounts, stirring it smooth each time. Once it's well blended, let it cook slowly until it starts to bubble and thickens. Now add the grated cheese to your taste, depending on how cheesy you want the sauce to be. That cheese sauce can go over veggies like cauliflower or broccoli, or it can go in macaroni. Also it's not bad over sliced potatoes - just bake the whole thing. A simple white sauce is very versatile, and once you master the technique of making it without lumps, you can adapt it to many things. The secret is in low heat and lots of stirring, add the milk in small batches and stir smooth each time. It's the same technique that makes good pan gravy, only there you let the flour brown, and you're using pan drippings instead of butter. I'm sure you've heard the term "make a roux"? Well, that's what you're doing. It's really very easy. Bon appetit! --Romeena

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96109: Oh, my "secret ingredient" for mac and cheese isn't oregano. It's nutmeg! Yep, a pinch of nutmeg in that cheese sauce is surprisingly good. --Romeena

January 07, 2014 - Msg 96110: Me again. I just spoke with Tom on the phone. He's doing okay. Says he's staying close to his heater! I would think so. I'm staying in, as well. Just realized I'm all out of critter food, so I just went on Amazon and ordered what I need. I do the "Prime" thing, so shipping is free, and their prices are as good as anybody else's, and cheaper than some. It will be here by Thursday, and possibly by tomorrow. Beats getting out in the cold and burning gasoline to go buy the stuff. Until that arrives, I'll keep cleaning out the pantry and getting rid of old crackers and such. --Romeena