Tuesday, June 21, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: You are Still Being Lied To ~Russ Kick, editor

You Are STILL Being Lied To: The NEW Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths is a collection of essays by various authors that supposedly 'reveal the truth' about various things ranging from the news media and large corporations deciding the 'truths' to be given to the people to the lies of AA.

I will just hit a few points from some of the essays and give some of the quotes that stand out..

One essay, entitled "The Truth about Corporations" states that one of the big reasons for the American Revolution was colonial opposition to corporate power.  Some of the statistics given about corporations include: 1) You are 50 times more likely to be robbed by a corporation than by a person, 2) You are six times more likely to be killed by a corporation than by a person, and 3) Under the early American system, corporate charters tended to be granted sparingly, in keeping with the widespread belief that the potential for corporations to accumulate power rendered them inherently dangerous to democracy.  One more quote given in this essay is attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

A second essay, "What's Missing from the Picture?" by Jim Marrs follows various crimes throughout history in which the crucial evidence had gone missing.  These  include missing pages from Booth's Diary (Lincoln Assassination), missing minutes from a tape (Nixon's Watergate scandal), missing code book, brain, and casket (from the John Kennedy Assassination), missing gun and evidence of shots in door panels (from the Robert Kennedy Assassination), high resolution photos from space which Astronaut Gordon Cooper said were "unbelievable close ups of license plates", etc.

"The Unkindest Cut" by Tristan Taormino compares the way we view male circumcision compared to female circumcision. We 'vehemently oppose this when it's done to women and see it as a way of mutilating their bodies, controlling their sexuality, and limiting their sexual pleasure." Yet in America 60% of the male population are circumcised as compared to about 20% world wide.

Another of these eye opening essays is entitled "Cheap, Crappy Food = A Fat Population: How Corporations and the US Government Create the Obesity Epidemic" by Steven Greenstreet, Bryan Young, and Elias Pate.  They say "When it comes to powerful lobbyists and moneyed corporations influencing the government to implement policies that endanger the health and safety of its citizens, the issues surrounding obesity are no exception."  When we think the food pyramid and daily food recommendations changes because of new research, think again. The authors say that these are the target of some of the fiercest lobby efforts in the government, and they give the reasons for this to be so. My favorite quote from this essay is "In a bizarre world where one salad can cost as much as five burgers, and water costs more than soda, all biological and economic incentives seem to line up against the healthy options."  I have actually found this essay online. Click here to read it.

I could go on and on about the various topics brought out in this book. But it would be better if you just read it for yourself.  Since they are short essays, you can read in increments rather than needing a large time frame.  This book has moved from my 'books to read' list to my 'books to own' list.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I saw this great blog post here on Purl Bee. and thought that was something I could do for Mark for Father's Day.

It looked easy enough. So I went to Wal Mart to find some fabric. This is NOT what I had in mind, But I found this faux leather (washable! hehe) and thought it would be perfect!

I read over the blog and read the hints on the Stars and Sunshine blog.

One of the hints was to make it a bit more narrow.
So I trimmed 1/2 inch off the taped together pattern.

When I went to trim the extra 'ear' off the cut pieces, I found that mine was not quite a 45 degree, so I trimmed it to make it a 45* angle with my quilting ruler.
 After I sewed on the interfacing, I folded in half and trimmed up the edge so it would be even. No idea why I cannot seem to cut a straight line with scissors.. I guess that's why God had someone invent the rotary cutter and rulers!

I added 3 1/2 inches to the pattern, so had to do that on the interfacing piece, too.

 Look how much was off when I sewed the tie pieces together. UGH... I think maybe the one piece in the middle was curved or something before I trimmed the pattern piece down.

Anyway, took my trusty ruler and wend from the edge of the middle piece to the edge of the end piece and trimmed the length of the tie on both sides to make it even.

I discovered there needs to be a lot of ironing and this is NOT a good fabric for ironing. It melts.. BUT, I was able to put my iron on a low setting and use a pressing cloth and it did ok.
Another thing I would do different with this material is that I would NOT iron on this interfacing!!  I've decided the material was thick enough without it.  When I needed to iron 1/4 inch on the edges, it was too thick, so I had to trim it off. What a mess. And then it would not say flat because it was too thick.
 Made a Wal Mart run and found this permanent fabric tape!!  Wish it had been 1/4" size. I will have to look around to see if it comes that small.

 But anyway, I put it 1/4 inch away from the edge, and folded the edge over the edge of the fabric tape, That worked well.....
UNTIL I had to fold it over and sew it together. It says NOT to sew through this, but I did anyway. I had a tough time getting the need through and it was a stick mess, but as you can see in the first picture, it all turned out well.

I will definitely make some more ties for the men in my life!! I just probably will NOT use the faux leather.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Tuna Quesadilla's

 Again, I was in need of a quick dinner.  Where does all the time go??
I heated up some tortilla shells. Opened up 2 cans of tuna (using 1 can to fill 3 tortilla shells).

I grabbed a bag of shredded cheese from the fridge. I happened to have some Colby blend. I think any shredded cheese would work.

I finished heating these on the grill until the cheese was melted.  I thought they were good and my son actually thanked me for the dinner. :-)  always a good sign!

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Strawberries and Twinkies

I was in need of a quick and easy dessert.  I needed to make dessert with what I had on hand, but was in a hurry.

I found 3 Twinkies and had almost a whole box of strawberries.  I sliced the sliced the strawberries in a bowl and put a scoop of sugar over the top and let set in the fridge for a while. I hid theTwinkies until I was ready for them.  Before serving, I sliced the Twinkies in a pie pan and poured the strawberries over the top. And, viola, dessert in a hurry!

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Kool-aid filled graham crackers

My kids LOVE these graham cracker treats.  I first discovered them at a bake sale when I was a kid and I asked how they were made. It was so easy, I've been making them for special treats ever since.

Just take a powdered Kool-aid pack and put in a bowl with some powdered sugar.  Drizzle some milk in as you stir and this makes the frosting.  It is just trial and error as to how much you use on sugar and just a bit of milk. (maybe 2 cups sugar)..

Spread on graham cracker halves, top with another graham cracker half and let it set a few minutes before serving so that it is not so runny.  This makes a super easy, sweet and tangy dessert -- and of course, graham crackers are healthy! :-)

FRUGAL GRANNY: Antique Quilt Top Finds

I picked up 3 antique quilt tops from a garage sale this morning and only paid $5 each!  These were all hand pieced by the woman's mother-in-law and her mother.  I cannot believe she would part with them and at such a low price, but who am I to argue with the woman??

This first one is the smallest. It is a throw size quilt (roughly 60x42) and is Mark's favorite. I will quilt this up and keep for myself.

 It is very colorful and most of the fabric is the old feed sacks. I took a close up of some of my favorite designs.
 Look at this fun rooster!

I have found no stains or holes (as of yet)in this top.
It is absolutely gorgeous!
 I believe this cat is from the same fabric as the rooster, but I really liked the animals. Just a fun quilt to look at.

 This second quilt is a bit larger, approximately 76x84.I think it looks nice. Mark doesn't like the large empty spaces, but I said that was for the hand quilters to put pretty designs.  I am not a hand quilter, but am thinking of doing some redwork type embroidery in the large blocks.

It appears to be made from shirts.. All the blocks have stripes or plaids, except this one block, which is made from prints.  The square blocks definitely look like a 30s print to me.  There is a stain on the one triangle here.
 Here is the other stain on this quilt. Both look kind of like 'rust' stains.  This stain is on the green solid.  This doesn't quite feel like a feed sack, but also doesn't feel like the shirt material; maybe it is  flour sacks?

The last quilt is a 16 patch set off with blue blocks.
It is about a 78x66 size.

I haven't found any stains on this one yet.

And I plan, again, on doing some kind of redwork embroidery in the large empty blocks.   Maybe I'll do a design in gold to match the 16 patch blocks.

Here is a close up of the back. It seems such a shame to machine quilt these wonderful hand quilted pieces, but I am not a hand quilter.

These last two I will finish up and donate to charity. This year my quilt group (the Calico Cabin Quilter's Sew-ciety) are giving to an orphanage.

But then again, I will probably make at least one quilt for the Joplin survivors. I might send these to Joplin and make fun quilts for the orphanage.  When I get these done, I will update the post. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Easy Manicotti for a Crowd

 I Decided to make manicotti for the missionaries today for dinner. (and I hope that someone it taking the time to make a nice dinner for my missionary son in Washington, too!).

I  bought 3 boxes of manicotti shells (which have 14 pasta shells each in them).  The first box I cooked all at once. I decided it was better to cook 1/2 a box at a time. Then I just picked up from the boiling water, drained a few seconds and put on a tray with waxed paper.

For the filling, I mixed 2 boxes of ricotta cheese, and 1 box of cottage cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 6 cups of a colby blend shredded cheese. I added 3/4 tsp pepper and just shook in some Italian seasoning (I would think 2 or 3 teaspoons). I mixed it all together then divided it into 6 parts (one part for each 1/2 box of manicotti shells.

I had found this big spritzer cookie maker at a garage sale and bought it since my kids are fans of the spritzer cookies (found HERE on my blog). It has a larger capacity and has a tube ending that was perfect.  Using a pastry bag and large tip would also have worked, but I wanted to try my 'new' sprtiz maker.  By dividing the filling per row, it made it easier to judge how much filling to put in each shell.

Once the shells were filled, I poured some bottled sauce (just use your favorite sauce here: I like a thick and chunky spaghetti sauce, it could be homemade, but I like bottled for easier assembly).  The box stated that you could also NOT cook the noodles, but I didn't want to experiment on the missionaries and possibly end up with crunchy pasta!  Let me know if you've ever made this without pre-cooking the pasta.

After placing all the noodles in a Pan (one box per baking pan), cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes. Take the foil off and sprinkle on a handfull of mozzarella cheese and put back in the over for another 15 minutes without the foil.

Here is one of my finished pans. I cooked up 2 of the pans, and put the 3d pan in the freezer for another day.

I served with easy garlic bread (on my blog HERE) and a leaf salad for a couple easy sides.  For dessert, we had root beer floats (another easy thing to serve).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: Nightseer by Laurell K. Hamilton

What another fun Laurell K. Hamilton book! This, I believe, was actually her first novel.
It is a wonderful fantasy fiction about Kelios, an 'herb witch' who is trying to avoid the amorous affection of Lothor, a dark hearler/prince and who wants to avenge the death of her mother.
Kelios is at a 'keep' where many go to hone their magical abilities, and a traitor caused it to fall.
This movie has witches, demons, sorcerers, and dragons. It has love and loss, murder and betrayal, and loyalty.
And, a bonus, it does NOT have explicit love scenes. :)  (It could be because Kelios wants to avoid Lothor as much as he wants to marry her.)
But, good, clean, fun.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Chocolate Heart Pizza

I made another missionary pizza for my guy. This one is more like a peanut cluster candy rather than a rice krispy treat (cookie)..
This one is more of a candy than a cookie.  The recipe came from the "Taste of Home 2010 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes" book that my mother gave Natalie for her birthday.
Take: 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips and melt in the microwave (3 minutes on medium or 50% power).  The chips still look like chips, but are shiny when they are ready. Stir until smooth and mix in 3/4 cup mini marshmallows, 3/4 cup crushed potato chips, and 3/4 cup chopped peanuts.  Pour out onto waxed paper (with an 11 inch heart drawn on it -- you can see part of my line at the lower left of the heart in the photo.  Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons coconut, 1/4 cup milk chocolate m&ms and 7 maraschino cherries (halved) -- I left these off the one I sent to Nathan because I wasn't sure if they'd hold up in the shipping, but had them on the one I sent to the fundraiser dessert auction and the one I made for the family. :)
Then in a small container, melt 2 tablespoons white chips and 1/2 tsp shortening (took about 2 minutes on 50% medium power).. I stirred and drizzled over the top of the 'pizza'.

I bought a plain pizza box from Mudduck's pizza to mail this in. (it was wrapped all in cellophane)..  I sent a pizza cutter with the first one we made, so hopefully he still has that!  Mudducks now has printed boxes rather than the plain. :(  But it will be fine -- I'll just put a label on top of whatever box I get. I'm sure it will mail just fine even printed.

I know this is a duplicate of what I already posted on my blog for him, but thought I'd post it here, too. I need to copy the rice krispy pizza blog post to his blog -- I want to have it all published after his mission for a keep sake, so need to post there, too. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: Stolen, by Kelley Armstrong

This is the 2nd of Kelly Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series.  Again, we have Elena the werewolf from "Bitten" along with her pack members Clay and Jeremy.  In this book, Elena and the others are invited to a counsel of other supernatural beings who believe they are all being targeted for kidnapping.  Among these other beings, Elena meets witches, sorcerers, half demons, etc., but the real 'monsters' are the humans that have kidnapped the supernaturals.  Elena struggles with her captivity, escape, and return to the compound to help the others escape, too.  Lots of adventure in this book.
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