Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gracen's Visit

Gracen spent the night with Nana and Poppy.

She patiently waits for Nana to start breakfast.
When I told her we were having pancakes and
sausage she said, "Ossage! I need it!"
Nana always needs a helping hand.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Termite Damage Repair

A few months ago we discovered termites in our house.  We immediately had our home treated and today, taking advantage of the warm days, I started repairing the damage.

I cut the drywall away in the area of the damage, tore out the damaged
wood and replaced it with new.
The damage was to a non-load bearing wall so I was able to make
a new header with a length of 3/4" plywood sandwiched between
two 2X4's. Tomorrow I'll repair the drywall and it should be
as good as new.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

O Wad Some Power the Giftie Gie Us

I subscribe to The Week magazine and each issue publishes the opinions about America by news reporters from various foreign news media. Sometimes it’s good to step back and look at ourselves through the eyes of others. Here is a synopsis of this weeks opinions.

Rupert Cornwell in The Independent (U.K.) says, “Americans can rarely have held their politicians in greater contempt--and rightly so.” Because of the feeble attempt of the two parties to keep the country from going over the so-called fiscal cliff by simply pushing the problem down the road, they will be bickering again soon when the country meets the debt ceiling. He also states that when our Founding Fathers set in place the checks and balances of separate branches of government they “could never have imagined so colossal a collective abdication of responsibility by the people’s elected representatives.”

Daniel Haufler in the Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany) says “Ever since they lost communism as an ideological punching bag, the Republicans have launched themselves against an imaginary enemy in Washington.” Lowering taxes is not enough for them, they want to starve the government of sufficient revenue which will end social safety nets and push the country toward default and bring the rest of the world down with them.

Olaf Gersemann in Die Welt (Germany) thinks that even though our political system fosters a deep polarization among voters and lately seems incapable of compromise it is a system that made America the richest nation in the world, and no political battles or economic crises will change that soon.

Leo McKinstry in opines that America is no different than the EU. On both sides of the Atlantic the politicians use short term fixes to postpone a “larger reckoning.” Instead of governing most politicians work to maintain power.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I'm Reading Now

Rascals in Paradise written by James Michener and A. Grove Day is a compilation of true stories about adventurers in the South Pacific that would make the pirates Black Beard and Henry Morgan look like sissies. Most of the characters profiled in this book were largely unknown, after all whoever heard of Coxinga the Chinese pirate who wielded such maritime power in the Oriental Pacific in the early 1600’s disrupting the business of the Dutch traders and other nations. The Caribbean pirates were noted in our school history books, especially the famous privateer Sir Francis Drake, but the Pacific adventurers were mostly unmentioned.   Many people have dreamed of life in the South Pacific as a carefree paradise where food was plentiful, social rules were nonexistent, and women were beautiful and willing. These are great true stories of men who sailed to the Pacific in search of fame, power, and riches only to have their adventures turned into perilous enterprises.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wood Pecker

I was in the store shopping for bird seed and came across a block of suet that claimed to be especially for woodpeckers.  I was skeptical. How could a certain combination of suet, seeds, and nuts attract an individual species of birds? I bought it, took it home, and placed it with the bird feeders and was surprised (why was I suprised when the lable tipped me off?) to see that it had attracted three varieties of woodpeckers within a couple of days, along with all the other birds.

This is the Red-Bellied Woodpecker 
The suet is in the wire cage.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coconut Creme

Whenever a friend or family member is sick or down for some reason Dorothy makes them a pie. Over the years her pies and soups have proven to be more therapeutic than penicillin. So, while our friend Glen was to spend time recuperating a pie was in order, and lucky for me she usually makes an extra one for home.

I've been successful during the holidays in avoiding the stuffed feeling one gets from overeating, until Dorothy made these pies. She hit the trifecta with this one.  Mile high meringue lighter that cotton candy, velvety smooth coconut creme filling, and the flakiest of flaky crusts. I hate to admit it but I had two slices

If the kids or grand kids are reading this and plan to come over for pie, you'd better come soon.  I'm having pie for breakfast.