Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sharing the Love: Sloppy Judies

These are in the Magnolia Lane cookbook on Page 134 (My aunt Tricia's recipe).  I've made them half a dozen times or more...I absolutely LOVE these sloppy joes.  They make a lot, so they're perfect for entertaining.  My nephew Dylan requested them for his birthday party, and until this recipe, Cole wouldn't touch sloppy joes.  Proof is in the beef, friends.

Sloppy Judies

3 lbs ground beef
2 cans tomato soup
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 - 3 T chili powder

Brown ground beef, onion, and celer.  Drain juices.  Add other ingredients and simmer or cook in crockpot (the longer, the better: let those flavors marry!).


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(Someone other than) Ted and Me on a Tuesday...

It has come to my attention that this not was NOT written by Ted Nugent I should have checked my sources, first, and I apologize for that.  Regardless, the opinions of (someone other than Ted Nugent) are prevalent, and my comments don't change, regardless of the author.  Thanks, Chuck, for your great detective work.  You are my favorite Nuge lover.

This is a note evidently written by Ted Nugent, a famous musician.  He's an outspoken activist, and I applaud him for his passion, if not his viewpoints.  I am finding, more and more, that my conservative friends agree with his positions on issues, and I found myself startled this morning when I read this note. 

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you might remember the backlash I recieved for supporting President Obama during his campaign.  If I remember right, the quote was, "I don't know how you call yourself a Christian and vote for someone who supports abortion."  And it was a long, nasty, emotional conversation...double dog dare you to go find it if you're interested.  I plan to never read it again, myself.

More and more, as time goes on, and I follow the stories of the day, and the issues we struggle with as communities and as a nation, I realize that the viewpoint of the "Christian Right" and my own viewpoint as the "Christian Left," so to speak, is really far apart.  And it's quite painful for me. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and try to live a life He would be proud of.  And time after time I ignore comments from similar-faithed, but differently-minded people...because there seems to be no way to reconcile it.  I've highlighted and commented on a few of the statements from Ted below.  Some of them are apolitical or not specifically Christian, so I've ignored them.  My comments are in bold.

Disclaimer:  If this doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't apply to you.  Please don't let my humble opinion offend you!


I'm a Bad American.

This pretty much sums it up for me. I like big trucks, big boats, big houses, and naturally, pretty women.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid-level governmental functionary with a bad comb-over who wants to give it away to crack addicts squirting out babies.

I believe the money I make should be shared with those less fortunate.  I believe I shouldn't discriminate my grace based on others' less fortunate situations, just like God doesn't discriminate his love for me based on my lack of worth.  (Thank God!)

I don't care about appearing compassionate.

I believe that compassion is Jesus' primary instruction.  Do unto others...

I think playing with toy guns doesn't make you a killer. I believe ignoring your kids and giving them Prozac might.

I think I'm doing better than the homeless.

I think I'm no better than the homeless.

I don't think being a minority makes you noble or victimized.

I think being a minority makes you victimized if you are treated unfairly in the workplace, or by the government, or by the people of this country.

I have the right not to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird or make me mad.

I must always be tolerant.

This is my life to live, and not necessarily up to others expectations.

This is my life to live.  However, my legacy will be something I leave behind, and I hope that I make a least for a moment in time.  The only expectation I care about is my Father in Heaven.

I know what sex is and there are not varying degrees of it.

I don't celebrate Kwanzaa. But if you want to that's fine; I just don't feel like everyone else should have to.

I believe that if you are selling me a Dairy Queen shake, a pack of cigarettes, or hotel room you do it in English. As of matter of fact, if you are an American citizen you should speak English. My Uncles and Forefathers shouldn't have had to die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come disrespect ours, and make us bend to your will. Get over it.

I believe that it is easier for a country to run on a single language, but I certainly don't hold it against someone if they don't know English.  Maybe we should come up with a solution to this problem instead of feeling so angry about it.

I think cops have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you're running from them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word 'freeze' or 'stop' in English, see the previous line.

I don't use the excuse "it's for the children" as a shield for unpopular opinions or actions.

We make decisions every day based on the country we will leave to the next generation(s).  Perhaps you have to be a parent to fully understand this, but I want to leave a healthy, safe world for my boy.  I feel very strongly about this.

I know how to count votes and I feel much safer letting a machine with no political affiliation do a recount when needed.

I know what the definition of lying is, and it isn't based on the word "is"-ever.

I don't understand this...?

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you qualify for any special loan programs, gov't sponsored bank loans, etc., so you can open a hotel, 7-Eleven, trinket shop, or any thing else, while the indigenous peoples can't get past a high school education because they can't afford it.

Small businesses keep this country running.  If you're capable of adding to this economy, more power to you!  (See my comments on tolerance).

I didn't take the initiative in inventing the Internet.

I thought the Taco Bell dog was funny.

I want them to bring back safe and sane fireworks.

I believe no one ever died because of something Ozzy Osbourne, Ice-T or Marilyn Manson sang, but that doesn't mean I want to listen to that crap from someone else's car when I'm stopped at a red light. But I respect your right to.

I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment than working at Blockbuster or Jack In The Box.

Equals, all.

I don't want to eat or drink anything with the words light, lite or fat-free on the package.

The one statement I completely agree with.  :)

Our soldiers did not go to some foreign country and risk their lives in vain and defend our Constitution so that decades later you can tell me it's a living document ever changing and is open to interpretation. The guys who wrote it were light years ahead of anyone today, and they meant what they said -- now leave the document alone, or there's going to be trouble.

Interesting. I've been making the point lately that the "right to bear arms," doesn't mean the same thing today as it did when the Constitution was written.  In those days, we had no standing army.  There were militias, and men could be called at any time to go fight.  So our founding fathers wrote in that they had the right to bear arms in their homes.  That amendment still stands, of course, but we've certainly changed the meaning.  All documents are living and breathing.  If this weren't, we'd still have slavery and women wouldn't have the right to vote. 

I don't hate the rich.

Of course you don't, Ted, you're one of them.

I help the poor.

The other statement I agree with.  Now just throw "crack-addicts spitting out babies," into it, and you're on to something.

I know wrestling is fake.

I've never owned, or was a slave, and a large percentage of our forefathers weren't wealthy enough to own one either. Please stop blaming me because some prior white people were idiots -- and remember, tons of white, Indian, Chinese, and other races have been enslaved too -- it was wrong for every one of them.

I believe a self-righteous liberal Democrat with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude.

There's a vast difference between 'self-righteous' and 'righteous.'  I actually just remembered a blog post I'd been planning on this for a long time.

I want to know exactly which church is it where the "Reverend" Jessie Jackson preaches; and, what exactly is his job function.

For what purpose?  He's a strong advocate for many people, and that should be good enough.

I own a gun, you can own a gun, and any red blooded American should be allowed to own a gun, but if you use it in a crime, then you will serve the time.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it makes you mad, then invent the next operating system that's better and put your name on the building. Ask your buddy that invented the Internet to help you.

I don't believe in hate crime legislation. Even suggesting it makes me mad. You're telling me that someone who is a minority, gay, disabled, another nationality, or otherwise different from the mainstream of this country has more value as a human being that I do as a white male. If someone kills anyone, I'd say that it's a hate crime.

Let's say a man walks in and shoots his wife because he finds her in bed with another man.  He should pay for that crime under the law, certainly.  Perhaps its a crime of passion and he gets ten or twenty years, because the crime was isolated, and he's not likely to shoot another person.  However, if a man shoots a gay person, simply because he or she is gay, he should go away for the rest of his life, because his crime is focused on a group of people and that entire group will always be at risk.  He's much more likely to kill again, based on the type of crime.  This is why we have different degrees of murder, and why it's extremely important to have hate crime legislation.

We don't need more laws! Let's enforce the ones we already have.

How about both?  Is that an option?

I think turkey bacon, turkey beef, turkey fake anything sucks.

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child-it takes a parent with the guts to stand up to the kid and spank his butt and say "NO!" when it's necessary to do so.

I'll admit that the only movie that ever made me cry was Ole Yeller.

I didn't realize Dr. Seuss was a genius until I had a kid.

I will not be frowned upon or be looked down upon or be made to keep silent because I have these beliefs and opinions. I thought this country allowed me that right. I will not conform or compromise just to keep from hurting somebody's feelings. I'm neither angry nor disenfranchised, no matter how desperately the mainstream media would like the world to believe otherwise.

Neither will I, Ted.  Neither will I.  Carry on.

Yes, I guess by some people's definition, I may be a bad American. But that's tough.


We're not either good or bad.  We're all both.  But we need to work together to get through some of these issues.  And it's going to be a lot easier if we're tolerant and loving, regardless of our religious affiliation.  It's going to be a lot easier if we're looking out for each other and our fellow man, and yes, our children.  I will continue to work through my own personal struggles.  It's been a confusing couple years for me spiritually, but I have no doubt that God will lead me where I'm meant to go.  And I have no doubt that as I achieve clarity, I will also use it to my best purpose.  In the meantime, I'm sure, I'll keep talking about it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I don't have a girl. And I have boys who never really liked to snuggle. But I've been blessed to have this precious girl in my life, who adores me, and whom I adore. When Malia comes over ever other week or so, on her mom's day off, she comes willingly into my arms. Most times, she lays her head on my shoulder. She's a very busy two-year-old, and she loves to color and play (she's an incredible independent girl), but when she needs a hug, she gives the best hugs. She'll simply lay her head on my shoulder for as long as I'll allow (which is a long time). I've never had that with either one of my busy boys, so I'm grateful for her sweetness.

But she has two big brothers, and can hold her own. Every time. She's a tough one...she cries less than my boys put together!

Maybe that's why I love her so much: she's the perfect combination of affection and strength. The future President of the United States! Go, Lia!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Photo 9
Someone drowned the chipmunks.

Photo 10
I decided they really just wanted to go for a swim.
(Three cheers for Momma!)

Friday, January 14, 2011


Photo 8We all have days like this.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Photo 7
The captain brought me tulips. It's Spring on my dining room table!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tucson Tragedy

I have to talk about this.  If you don't appreciate my political opinions, and you think this might put a bad taste in your mouth, close this window and move on to something else.  This is too important to ignore. 

Last weekend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford (a Democrat from Arizona) was hosting a public town-hall event at a grocery store in Tucson.  A young man named Jared Lee Loughner shot her point blank in the back of her head with a semi-automatic weapon.  In the process, he also killed six people and injured 13 others.  One of the victims was nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green.  She was born on September 11, 2001 and was part of the Faces of Hope:  Babies Born on 9/11 project.

We MUST talk about this senseless act of violence.  It was clearly politically motivated. We don't know if Loughner was motivated by any particular politician or commentator, and we might never know.  But it doesn't change the fact that the rhetoric in this county is out of control.  That it wouldn't hurt a single one of us to dial back a bit and make sure we always communicate in a respectful manner.

With power, comes responsiblity. 

I listen to the radio talk show host Ed Schultz regularly.  He is very progressive, and very loud.  And sometimes he's kind of arrogant, but I think he's spot-on with the issues of the day.  Yesterday, when I tuned in to hear him, his message was basically this (paraphrased, of course):  He said that everyone with a microphone has a responsibility, himself included.  He said that he spent a big part of the weekend in self-reflection.  He acknowledged that he's a partisan commentator, and has crossed the line in the past, and said that it was a good opportunity for him to consider how he relays his message. 

Brilliant.  Thank you, Ed.  It's exactly what I wanted to hear from you.  In light of such tragedy, some humility.

I'm not playing the Blame Game.  It's not that I'm not interested.  It's not that I don't care. It's just that there is no evidence.  But every politician and commentator, in this world of communication and transparency, should take this opportunity to check themselves.  It would be great to hear more apologies.  In the future, I will expect more.  If there is a chance that rhetoric could lead to actual violence, then it would be a good idea to withhold the angry, hateful speech, lest someone consider it a call to action and more people get hurt.

Christina Taylor Green's entry in Faces of Hope, reads: "I hope you know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles."

May her legacy change the world.


Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Monday, January 10, 2011


Photo 3
Moon Sand and Moon Dough are messier than Play-Doh.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Project 300 & Something (P300S)

I can't commit to 365 photos.  But I'll try to share a daily photo that makes me smile. 

Photo 1
My kids were using my kitchen as a war zone, which is actually quite appropriate.

Photo 2
Self-imposed Star-Wars Lego Jammies Wedgie