Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"It's OK to say Merry Christmas!"

Our choir director gave out buttons that say "It's OK to Say Merry Christmas" on them. I wear mine everywhere. About 2 weeks ago, I was shopping in the United Supermarket in Pampa. While I was checking out, the checker said to me, "You are an answer to my prayers." It seems she had been struggling with how to greet people during the Christmas season. She told me that if she knew the people she generally said, "Merry Christmas." But she wasn't sure what to wish everyone else. She'd even prayed about it. God used my button to answer her prayers, because it IS OK to say Merry Christmas! Isn't God Awesome?!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bah, Humbug-Never Again!

Okay, so I'm not so good at this "blogging" thing. It's been a while since I've blogged, so, just a quick thought. This is the first year EVER that we haven't done ANY Christmas decorating. About the only Christmassy thing here are the wrapped presents stacked on the piano bench. It's really very sad! But we decided since no one will be here for Christmas this year, until the week after Christmas around New Year's eve, we'd forgo any decorating. Also it is getting very hard for either one of us to crawl around in the attic and get the Christmas decorations down. But we both decided it just hasn't seemed like Christmas and we will NEVER NOT decorate again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen? Tips for a Lifetime



1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

2. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle- perfect shaped pancakes every time.

3. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

4. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

5. Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan-the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.

6. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

7. To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove-top-skillet will be much easier to clean now.

8. Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces-no more stains.

9. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead-no white mess on the outside of the cake.

10. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato-it absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up".

11. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator-it will keep for weeks.

12. Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield beautiful, glossy finish.

13. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.

14. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corns natural sweetness.

15. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh-if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

16. Cure for (some) headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

17. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

18. If you have problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

19. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

20. To get rid of itch from mosquito bite: try applying soap on the area for instant relief.

21. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march--see for yourself.

22. Use air-freshener to clean mirrors: It does a good job and better still, leave a lovely smell to the shine.

23. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.


OK, so I went a little overboard. How about Thursday Twenty-Three? No? Well, maybe you can try some of these. I haven't tried them all, but they sound interesting, anyway.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

After thoughts.......




If you read my first post, you know that I ruined my camera when we went to Hawaii. It turns out it was the camera that got ruined, not just the battery. So I found me a new Canon Power Shot SD 1100 IS Digital ELPH and ordered it online. It came in yesterday. Yea! The menus and settings, etc. are like the Digital ELPH I had, only this one is much better 8 Mega Pixels, 3x Optical Zoom, Optical Image Stabilizer, 2.5" LCD, PureColor II. It fits in my purse, AND it's pink! I think I'm really going to like it. I took pictures of it with my really old hp Photosmart 612. That's a little strange, but so am I! (I included the picture of me holding it so you can see how small it is.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Great Weekend


What a great time we had last Saturday at the BP 2nd annual Fall Festival in Amarillo. We learned it was the 2nd annual, however, this was the 1st time this part of the company was invited--something to do with Canadian,Perryton, and Dumas areas becoming part of NAG. I think that stands for North American Gathering part of BP, or something like that. Anywho, I'm glad they included us this year. It was a blast! The festivities took place at the Tascosa Country Club in Amarillo. The food was so good--I especially liked the pumpkin cheesecake. I even had a couple of cocktails. Jerry talked me into trying their margaritas and then later in the evening a fruity drink that had coconut rum, orange juice and cranberry juice--don't know what it was called, but it was quite good-I liked it better than the margaritas. After the meal they had "casino night". They had several Black Jack tables, a Craps table, a War table, and a Lucky Chuck table set up. They gave everyone a coupon worth $10,000 in chips--not real money, though, darn it. :) I played Lucky Chuck most of the night. You didn't have to think to play it; you just put your chips on a couple numbers and if the (3) dice rolled landed on your numbers, you won ever how much you put down. It was fun and easy and several of us played at one time. Jerry played Black Jack and did pretty good. We finally lost all of our chips, but it was fun doing it. We did a lot of laughing and visiting and meeting new people and just generally had a great time. Not a lot of people from Canadian went but the few that did seemed to really enjoy themselves as much as we did. There was also a dance band playing all evening-big band, jazz music, etc. They were pretty good and we enjoyed watching those who danced. The "party" was to be over at 12:00, but we left at about 11:00 after we lost all of our chips. We then got to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn for the night thanks to BP. It was so nice. We got up Sunday and had a nice breakfast at the motel, ran by Wal-Mart, then went and picked up Daisy from Gran and Granddad's--they were nice enough to let her spend the night with them. We went and had a nice lunch with them at Home Plate Diner. Got back to Canadian Sunday afternoon in plenty of time to watch Dallas Cowboy football! A really great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alone this week

Jerry left Monday at noon to go to a training school for BP in Dumas. He'll be back tomorrow evening. Since he is, many times even without knowing it, my "food police," I do much better when he's here than when he's gone. I guess I think, "If no one sees you eat it, it doesn't count!" Got to get that out of my head! I'll be glad when he gets home anyway....


My boss, Nick, let us go home early today. He just came in at 3:00 and said, "Why don't y'all go home early today?" So we didn't argue, even though I had to leave some work, it can wait until Friday....


Alco had a big 20% off coupon sale Monday from 5:00pm-8:00pm. I went down and got some Christmas shopping done. I already had a very few things bought, so I am making a little progress--still got quite a bit to do, though, but at least I'm starting sort of early....


Think I'll go eat my Activia Light....I've done really well today, so far, and this evening won't be a problem since we have church and choir practice...


Th-th-th-th-that's All Folks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Someone must be losing a lot!


That's right, someone must be losing a lot of weight, because I'm finding it! My theory is that the world has to have a certain amount of weight to stay in orbit, etc., so when someone loses, someone must gain. So whoever is losing, stop it! I'm the one that the universe has chosen to gain that weight, and I don't like it! Really, since we've gotten back from Hawaii, I can't seem to put the brakes on my eating. I put on a few pounds before we went to Hawaii and I DID gain a few pounds while IN Hawaii so that adds up to more than I had planned on and I can't get any of them to budge, not that I've been really trying all that hard. I'll do just fine for a few days, then we go to Amarillo and eat out, or have a dinner at church or some other function and I just don't have any "won't" power. I know what I need to do. After all, I did lose the weight and learned what works for me to slowly take it off, but the weight came back faster than I lost it. So I'd really like to see it come off at least as fast as I gained it, right. Doesn't work that way, though, not for me anyway. I went from a size 8-10 with a lot of 8's to a size 10-12, some 10's and even some 12's-YIKES! Now I know that doesn't sound bad to some of you, but on my small to medium frame, it is a big deal to me. AND I got rid of all my bigger clothes, so I don't have much I can wear right now. Those of you who are praying people, please pray for me that I will look to HIM for my strength in fighting this demon of gluttony and lack of self-discipline. I know some of you fight these same demons, so I'll pray for you, too. Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest. Have a great On Plan day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Women's Luncheon

We had our monthly Women's Ministry Luncheon at church today. There were 8 in attendance. We had chicken salad and rolls from The Bucket, an okra salad-thanks to Maggie Autrey, a fruit salad thanks-to Vonda Robbins, mini strawberry muffins that I made. Vonda also brought Key Lime frozen yogurt and butter pecan light ice cream. And if that wasn't enough, Dixie Cook came in with a tray of donuts left over from a birthday party for Alice Furgerson.

I brought a devotional titled "In Jesus Name" that talked about why we say "In Jesus Name" at the end of our prayers. It's because we are agreeing with and invoking the authority given to Jesus by God and the power given to us by Jesus. It was a reminder of the power and authority we as Christians have "In Jesus Name." Then we just had a time of fellowship and story-telling. Those in attendance were Vonda Robbins, Violet Guthrie, Maggie Autrey, Nell Leonard, Charlotte Livingston, Dixie Cook, me-Jo Ann Franklin, and Judy Walker.

There were 3 men working on the church building just outside the fellowship hall, and we had just enough left over for them to come in and have lunch after we had finished, so we invited them in and they accepted. Yea! No leftovers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Alo-o-o-ha!!!

Germaine's Luau


Polynesian Revue Dinner Show









Sunset Dinner Cruise
Alo-o-oha! That greeting was expressed a LOT while we were in Hawaii recently. We absolutely loved it over there. As a lot of you already know, we went to Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, which was October 19, 2008. The trip was October 18 - October 26. The following is a repeat for a lot of you from an email I sent out. For those of you not on my email list read on, (and for those who are, I've added a few bits and pieces):

Yes! It was everything we hoped it would be! The scenery, the people, the activities, the food (Jerry even tried sushi-NOT ME-not knowingly anyway-they told me the Lomi-Lomi Salmon was raw salmon after I'd already eaten some-didn't like it! I did try poi-yuck), everything was wonderful, even the yucky stuff! We truly had the time of our lives! When we got to the airport in Honolulu, we were met and greeted with leis, then taken to our hotel in Waikiki. We stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West just a couple blocks from the beach. All the pick-up places for the activities and meals were in walking distance of the hotel. We did a LOT of walking and a LOT of eating.

The next day we went on a Catamaran off Wiakiki Beach, and weren't prepared for the "soaking" we got. The wind was up and when we got past Diamond Head the waves were very big! We were sitting in the front of the boat and the waves came up over us, it was a very rough ride! A lot like an amusement park ride, we were wishing it was over before we turned around. Then we didn't hit the waves so hard! The last part of the ride was pretty calm and a lot of fun. We laughed about it later and were glad we did it. The only bad thing is we had my digital camera with us and it got soaked also and quit working completely. We think it is just the rechargeable battery that got ruined, but don't know for sure until we get a new battery. SOOOO, I had to buy those one time use cameras and will have to get them developed before I can post more pictures.

That evening was the Germaine's Luau. The picture of us at the Luau--the scenery is NOT fake. That's the way it all looked over there, beautiful! The show at the luau was great, too, all the hula dancers and native dancers and fire twirling, singing, etc--so much packed into one evening, and the food, most of it was yummy especially the pork from the pig that was cooked in a pit—got to watch them take it out, fascinating!

We also took a full island tour and saw some exquisitely beautiful parts of the island, beyond words, really. We stopped at a place called Hilo Hattie’s. There was a Maui Divers Jewelry there where I got to open an oyster and get a pearl, a nice-sized light pink one. Of course they wanted to set it for me in a beautiful gold plumeria pendant-pretty expensive, too. I really wanted it, but we didn’t have time, since we only had 15 minutes at this stop. It made me kind of sad. I pouted a little.

The tour to Pearl Harbor was fascinating, too, very reverent at the Arizona Memorial. We really were moved by the way all those service men and women are remembered.

The Polynesian Revue Dinner Show was amazing, we really enjoyed the show--more native dancers and hula dancers--a kind of history of the islands through song and dance and customs. Fantastic! And the buffet dinner was very good, too! Of course I had to try most everything.

We had an excursion to Hanauma Bay, the water there is so clear! We did some snorkeling. I loved it! Jerry, not so much. He let me do the snorkeling, but didn’t let me go very far out; he was worried I’d go too far and he wouldn’t be able to get to me if I needed him to “rescue” me. He’s not too great in deep water, just not real confident, so I stayed in the shallower water. I did see a couple of fish, I hope the pictures of them came out OK. I bought those underwater one time use cameras for that. It was still a lot of fun for me. It is a beautiful bay!

That evening the meal was at the Pikake Terrace Dinner Buffet at the Sheraton Princess Kiulani. What a buffet!! We HAD to try a little of everything. This is where Jerry tried sushi among everything else, some of which we had no idea what it was! And the dessert tables--that's where I tried everything! (Moan) Plus music and hula dancers. It was just absolutely beyond words. We've never seen or tasted anything like it!

On our “free” day, we played golf at the Pearl Country Club. I played 10 holes, then pooped out and just rode the rest of the 18 holes that Jerry finished. I didn’t do as bad as I thought I might, I even had some pretty good shots. Jerry played good, as usual! He only had a couple of bad shots. The scenery was great, too. There was a beautiful view of Pearl Harbor on one hole. I took pictures, hope they turned out.

The next day we rested and watched a movie at the hotel room, “Iron Man,” a pretty good movie—we enjoyed it. Then in the afternoon we went down to Waikiki Beach. We rented an umbrella and a couple of lounge chairs. Jerry waded in the water a bit then lounged on the beach while I played in the water with an inner-tube. It was a lot of fun. Of course I used lots of sun screen all the time we were in Hawaii-I am a red-head after all.

That evening we went on a Sunset Dinner Cruise – Excellent Dinner, Entertainment-Hula Dancers, of course, and a lot of the music includes a ukulele in Hawaii, but they were all quite good at it-and Spectacular Sunset Scenery. As they said, “the perfect ending for a perfect week in paradise.”

The last day we had an all day pass to ride the trolleys. Jerry asked me what I wanted for Christmas, knowing what I wanted was the pendant we had seen at Maui Divers Jewelry in Hilo Hattie's. But I thought it was too late. He said we could go back there and get it for me for Christmas! He’s such a sweetie! We got on the trolley that went there, and when we got there we asked for the woman that had helped us before. She was so delighted that we came back for the pendant that she wanted to give me a gift. She gave me another oyster to open and when we opened it, there were 2 pearls, twins, inside and to everyone’s surprise, they were the exact color of the first pearl that she had set in the gold plumeria pendant—that’s just unheard of—it was a sign. Well, Jerry, being the great guy that he is, let me get them set in little gold plumeria earrings to match the pendant to complete the set. Am I married to a wonderful man or what? I am truly blessed, and not just because he bought me REAL jewelry, either. After we finished at Maui Divers Jewelry, we went to a mall in Honolulu and ate a late lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s and did a little more shopping at Sears…I needed a few items—a purse, the strap broke on the one I was carrying, and some unmentionables.

After that it was time to go back, change clothes and catch our ride to the airport at 7:45. Both the flights over and back were uneventful—long, but uneventful. The flight over the ocean was really kind of interestingly eerie. All you could see was water, no land anywhere. This far-northern-panhandle-of-Texas girl had never seen anything like it. Our luggage also made it over there and back just fine. We got back to Amarillo, TX at around 6:45 Sunday evening, picked up our dog from Mother & Daddy’s, ate a bite, and got back to Canadian (about 100 miles from Amarillo) about 10:00 pm. Monday back at work wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, I wasn’t too sluggish. But I did get to sleep in the following morning.

Thanks to all of you for “listening” to some of “Jerry and Jo Ann’s Excellent Adventure" to Hawaii!