December 31, 2010

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh, also known as Pooh or Pooh Bear, is a very famous bear known around the world.  He was created by A.A. Milne who named the bear in his writings after a stuffed toy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin.

Winnie the Pooh has wisdom not just meant for children.  How insightful he is!  I know you will enjoy (as I have) these simple, everydayish and yet wise quotes from the Pooh Bear!

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.

Before beginning a hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.

When you are a bear of very little brain, and think of things, you find sometimes that a thing which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.

My spelling is wobbly. It's good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.

When looking at your two paws, as soon as you have decided which of them is the right one, then you can be sure the other one is the left.

Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever.

Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave.

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.  I’ll always be with you.

If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.

Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the forest that was left out by mistake.

"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit. "No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."

If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.

The hardest part is what to leave behind, ... It's time to let go!

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"

They're funny things, accidents. You never have them till you're having them.

You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

December 29, 2010

Conversation Starter

I saw this photo on another blog,    Obviously it caught my attention.  I'd say that both the photographer and the guy being photographed have a great sense of humor and are able to come up with creative ways to share their humor with others!

Wouldn't this photo be a great conversation starter?

You could hang it on the wall in a room in which you want people to talk to each other and have a rock-tumbling noise playing in the background.  Or you could carry the photo in your purse and then whip it out at just the right moment when conversation is lagging.  You could take it to parties and pass it around, asking other party goers if they've seen this person or if they can identify the rock.  You could send an urgent email to your family and friends telling them that you are organizing a bus trip to go help this brave, tired guy hold up the rock and plea for them to sign up.

Another site,, suggests (apart from the rock) other ways to get people talking:

  • What is your favorite sports team?

  • If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

  • What do you like most about your job?

  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

  • What kind of music do you listen to?

  • What is something you have never done but would like to do?

  • What type of cell phone do you have?

  • What is your dream job?

  • If you had three wishes, what would they be?

  • December 27, 2010

    Quilts, That Nostalgic Homemade Look

    Every school year,  I like to read the book, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt to my second graders.  The first question they always ask is, "What's a quilt?"   After I show them pictures of the quilt in the story, I notice that a light bulb lights up in a few heads!  Yes, some of them have a quilt on their bed at home, they just never called it a quilt!  And every now and then, a few second graders may have a mom or grandma who makes quilts.

    Sweet Clara was a young slave girl who was taken from her mother and sent to another plantation to pick cotton in the fields.  Clara was very frail and did not enjoy working in the fields.  Another slave, Aunt Rachel, taught Clara how to sew, hoping that Clara can work in the master's Big House instead of in the fields.  Clara quickly takes to sewing, and eventually sews for the mistress of the plantation.

    Since the sewing room was next to the kitchen, Clara was able to meet many people who knew the countryside.  She learned of the Underground Railroad.  Clara secretly made a quilt using scraps of fabric from the Big House.  It included the surrounding land with a map to show the way to freedom.  When the quilt was finished. Clara ran away and headed north to freedom.  Of course, she knew the map on the quilt by heart, so left the quilt behind so others could use it's map to escape to freedom, too.

    Happily, it is not necessary for any of us to create a quilt/map to escape to freedom. Some people make quilts just because they want to--they love playing with colors, shapes, and patterns.  Maybe you are one of them!  Or maybe you are like me--I don't want to make quilts, but I can genuinely ooh and aah over quilts that other people have made.

    December 23, 2010

    Santa's Subordinate Clauses, Ho Ho Ho

     It's only one day before Santa's big trip.   Choose your favorite joke or add your own!  (photo by  Carla F. Costagno,

    What are Santa's elves?  subordinate clauses.

    What do you call Santa when he has no money? Saint Nickel-less.

    Why were Santa's elves depressed?  Because they had low elf-esteem.

    What is green, covered with tinsel and goes "ribbt, ribbet?" a mistle-toad.

    What does Santa have for breakfast?  mistle-toast.

    What nationality is Santa Claus?  North Polish.

    What did Santa get this year because he goes down so many chimneys?  a flue shot.

    What do you call someone who doesn't believe in Father Christmas? a rebel without a clause.

    What is Santa when he falls down a chimney?  Santa Klutz.

    What does Santa Claus say when he walks backwards?  Oh, Oh, Oh.

    What did Santa say to Mrs. Claus when he looked out the window?  "Looks like rain, dear."

    What do you call a cat on the beach on Christmas morning?  Sandy Claws.

    Where does Santa stay when he goes on vacation?  at a ho-ho-tel.

    Which is your favorite?  Please comment.  Or, do you have a Santa joke to share?

    December 18, 2010

    Cater To Your Sweet Tooth!

    (photo by Thomas Perkins,

    I myself have a salt tooth.  I crave salty, crunchy foods--not necessarily a bad thing, but hide the potato chips, please!

    But you may have a sweet tooth--also not necessarily a bad thing.   I find that it's very gratifying to bake for people with a sweet tooth.  They appreciate it so much and eat lots of the sweets.  Makes me feel like the world's best baker when everyone knows I'm not!   

    When Christmas comes, I think of making home-made candy.  Don't worry about my salt tooth; I still take very good care of it.

    Why do I ever go to all that trouble when I can just buy candy at the store?  It's fun, for one thing!  And  I like the festive feeling and satisfaction I get from it.    It's kind of  like the feeling when I'm done mowing the lawn, and it looks so-o-o nice!  Or the feeling I get when I've just cleaned my house.  But I've noticed the satisfaction of  homemade candy lasts longer than the satisfaction of mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.  The grass grows so quickly, and the house easily gets messy again. And then you have to do it all over again.   But the candy can be enjoyed for a long time!

    Here are two easy and fun candy recipes.  Both are from Pennsylvania Dutch Peoples Cookbook, Culinary Arts Press.  Both these recipes could be a "together project"  for Family Fun Night.

    Recipe for Butterscotch Candy
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup water
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then cook to hard crack stage (a small amount of the mixture separates into threads which are hard but not brittle when dropped in cold water; or thermometer registers 290 degrees F).

    Pour into a buttered pan and when almost set, mark into squares. When cool, cut into squares. Makes about 1 pound.

    Recipe for Molasses-Candy (This is a pull-taffy)
    2 cups light molasses
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/3 cup water
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    pinch of baking soda

    Cook all ingredients together in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, to the hard ball stage (mixture forms a hard ball when a small amount is dropped into cold water; or thermometer registers 260 degrees F).

    Pour into a shallow buttered pan and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub butter on hands and pull the mixture (small portions at a time) until light golden in color and it has a satin-like finish. Pull into long strips 3/4 inch in diameter and cut with scissors into 1-inch pieces.
    When cooled, wrap each piece in waxed paper. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds.

    December 16, 2010

    Don't Expect Any Leftovers!

    This is me,  Phoebe,  The Wondrous Story Cat!  I'm sharing one of my comfort-food holiday recipes that uses two of my favorite foods.  They would be Peppawridge Farm's purrfectly seasoned stuffing and Catbell's Mouse broth.  Don't worry, I haven't purrposely  omitted any ingredients, so your catserole will taste just as good as when I make it myself!

    To the young kittens  experiencing Christmas for the first time--you will surely want to mew and purr for this recipe every Christmas!

    Flavorful Mousy Catserole

    4 cups Peppawridge Farm Catnip Seasoned Stuffing
    8 mice
    1 can Catbell's Mouse broth
    1/4 cup cream
    1 tablespoon chopped catnip

    • Mix stuffing, 1 cup boiling water, and 1 tbsp butter.
    • Spoon stuffing across center of 3-qt shallow baking dish.  Place mice over top of stuffing.  Sprinkle mice with purrprika.
    • Mix broth, cream, and catnip.  Pour over mice.
    • Bake covered at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
    • Bake uncovered 15 minutes or until mice are crispy.
    Yields four servings; guaranteed no leftovers!

    December 10, 2010

    A Stained Recipe Card

    You know, don't you, what a stained recipe card means?  It means that particular recipe has been made over and over again.

    The recipe card for my Apricot Bread is stained.  It has stains from butter, sugar, orange juice, water, etc.  I have made this recipe over and over again.  I think I could make this bread without even looking at the card.

    Apricot Bread is Christmasy.  It makes a thoughtful, delicious gift when you want just the right thing to let someone know that you appreciate them.   Try it!

    Apricot Bread
    1 cup dried apricots, cut into small pieces
    2 cups warm water
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1 egg
    3/4 cup orange juice
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)

    Directions:  Soak apricots in warm water approx 30 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter, and egg.  Stir in orange juice.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until combined.  Drain apricots well; add to batter with nuts.

    Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack. Enjoy!

    November 30, 2010

    How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

    I know you have heard of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!  It is a children's story--no, change that to--It is for ages 3 and up.  That way it will include us, too, for we all enjoy this book.  
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was written by Dr. Seuss in rhymed verse and published as a book by Random House in 1957.  In a nutshell, the book criticizes the commercialization of Christmas.

    The Grinch has a heart that is "two sizes too small".  He lives with his dog Max on a high mountain north of Whoville.  As the Grinch sits on the mountain, he can hear the people down below happily participating in Christmas merriment.  

    The Grinch decides to go down and steal all the Christmas presents, holiday ham and decorations.  Surely that would keep Christmas from coming, right?  But no, Christmas comes anyway, leading the Grinch to realize that Christmas is more than just ham, decorations, and presents.
    "And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice cold in the snow,
    Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
    It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
    It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
    And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
    "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
    "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

    The Grinch's heart grows three sizes larger, and he returns all the presents and trimmings that he had stolen.  Of course, all the people in Whoville welcome him warmly into the community, in the Spirit of Christmas!

    November 26, 2010

    Christmas Crafts, Treat Your Feathered Friends

    One of many easy Christmas crafts that can involve your entire family is making a treat for your feathered friends!

    Make cranberry garlands. Choose what other foods you want to include in addition to the cranberries.  Peanuts in the shell are good.  Other excellent choices are grapes, raisins, popcorn, or orange slices. (photo by Holly Kuchera,

    You will need a needle and fishing line.  If you don't have fishing line on hand, you can also use heavy thread.

    Tie a knot at the end of the thread to keep any food from falling off.  Decide on a pattern.  Maybe you want eight cranberries, four peanuts, then a foot of popcorn.  Or any other pattern.

    Carefully string cranberries and other chosen foods, repeating the pattern until you have pieces that are 3 or 4 feet in length.  Tie another knot at the end.

    Drape on outside trees or shrubs.

    Hint:  Stale popcorn strings better than fresh! So pop the corn a few days in advance of the garland-making day.  You may  need to hide it so nobody eats it before the birds!

    November 23, 2010

    What's Inside a Genie's Turkey?

     (photo by Don Purcell,

    I don't want to miss my last chance until next year to tell Thanksgiving turkey jokes!

    What's inside a Genie's turkey?  three wishbones

    What's a baby turkey called?  a peeping tom

    What's big and green and goes "Gobble, Gobble?"  Turkey-saurus Rex

    What did the turkey say before it was roasted? " Boy! I'm stuffed."

    What did the little turkey say to the big turkey?  "Peck on someone your own size."

    Why did the police arrest the turkey?  It was suspected of fowl play.

    Why did the turkey bolt down his food?  Because he was a gobbler.

    Why did they let the turkey join the band?  Because he brought the drumsticks.

    What was little Timmy thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?  That he wasn't a turkey.

    Why did the turkeys go to the movies?  They wanted to see Gregory Peck.

    Why would you want to cross a turkey with an octopus?  So the kids don't have to fight over who gets the drumsticks.

    Why did the farmer wash the turkey's mouth out with soup?  Because he used fowl language.

    Can you add a turkey joke?  Please comment!     (Santa jokes coming soon!)

    November 21, 2010

    The Unfortunate Turkey

     (Cartoon by Tony Sarrecchia)

    Think of what the unfortunate turkey has to endure.

    First, it has the reputation of being the original "bird brain," as though brain size and intellect go together.  They don't, regardless of the misconception that they do.

    Then there's the common myth that says turkeys are so dim, they'll look skyward during a rainstorm and drown!  That's not true, either.

    And what do we call people when we want to insult them or imply they are stupid?  That right, we call them turkeys!  We don't say, "You robin"  or "You ostrich."  We'd never say,  "You peacock" or "You sparrow." But we say,  "You turkey."  Fortunately, the accusation of being a turkey is often said fondly rather than maliciously.

    Children are singing turkey songs this time of year. Sometimes the turkeys are fortunate, but more often they're not.

    Five Fat Turkeys
    Five fat turkeys are we.
    We spent all night in a tree.
    When the cook came around,
    We were nowhere to be found
    And that's why we're here, you see!

    The Turkey Song
    I'm a little turkey
    Short and fat.
    Thanksgiving Day is coming,
    Now what do you think of that?
    I had better run as fast as I can,
    Or your mommy will roast me in a pan!

    If  Turkeys Thought
    If turkeys thought, they'd run away.
    A week before Thanksgiving Day.
    But turkeys can't anticipate,
    And so there's turkey on my plate!

    Did You Ever See a Turkey
     Did you ever see a turkey,
    A turkey, a turkey.
    Did you ever see a turkey
    Run this way and that?
    He runs, and he runs.
    But he won't get away.
    He is going to be my dinner on Thanksgiving Day!  

    November 18, 2010

    The Tabby In the Nativity

    The Tabby in the Nativity  
    Phoebe, the Wondrous Story Cat is often lamenting that she has never seen a nativity scene that included a cat.  And I understand her perplexity. Baby  Jesus was born in a stable.  There are mice in a stable.  I can't even imagine a stable without a cat . . . or two . . . or more.  Yet, I have never seen a manger scene with a cat.  Have you?   Oh, there are cows, sheep, lambs, donkeys, and camels.  But never a cat or a kitten.

    But one of Phoebe's Facebook fans told her about a tabby that was part of the nativity.  You've noticed the "M" on the forehead of a tabby cat, haven't you?  Some people say a tabby with a "M" brings good luck.  But I prefer the legend of The Tabby In the Nativity.  Here it is!

    According to, there is a wonderful legend about the origin of the "M" tells about Mary and the tabby cat in the manger. It seems that the baby Jesus was cold and fussing, and Mary asked the manger animals to move in closer to warm him. The manger was simply too small to accomplish that, but a little tabby cat came in and nestled next to the baby, and cosseted Him with purring and warmth. Mary was so grateful, she bestowed her own initial, "M" on the cat's forehead. 

    November 15, 2010

    The Breakfast Blahs

    Ever get the breakfast blahs? Tired of eggs, oatmeal, french toast, cold cereal . . . . . ?   Take a look at the pumpkin pancakes below.  You may have found a new breakfast favorite that's nowhere near the blahs!

    I found this recipe on another blog, The Fruit of Her HandsCheck out the blog if you'd like, and then come back here!

    Pumpkin Pancakes

    1 1/4 cups All-Purpose flour
    2-3 T. Sugar
    2 tsp. Baking powder
    1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
    1/2 tsp. Salt
    1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
    A pinch of Ground Cloves
    1 cup Milk
    6 T. Pumpkin Puree
    2 T. Melted Butter
    1 Egg
    ~Delightful Additions~
    Rich Pure Maple Syrup
    Toasted or Candied Pecans
    For a spiced breakfast treat, whisk all-purpose flour; sugar; baking powder;
    cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves.
    In a separate bowl, stir together milk, pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients.
    Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
    Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes per side; serve with butter and rich maple syrup.
    Enjoy! ~ Makes 8 to 10.

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    November 12, 2010

    Preparing a Thanksgiving Turkey, By Second Graders

    (photo by Niderlander, 

    I asked my second grade class to write about how they would prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Maybe the rest of us have been doing it wrong all these years!
    You buy a turkey at the store.  It should be dead.  If not, hit it over the head. Then take out the yucky stuff.  Use some of it in the gravy. If the turkey is real big, cook it for a whole hour.  If it is not so big, just a few minutes will be enough.  It will smell good.  Then Dad and Uncle Mike fight over who cuts it. 

    Take a 150 pound turkey and pour gravy over it.  Put in a 10 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Serve with pie and ice cream.  Then call everyone to eat.  Oh, and keep the biggest piece of pie for yourself.
    Tell Grandpa to take off all the feathers.  Then clean it in soapy water.  Put dressing inside the big hole.  Cook for 15 minutes or until done.  Set the table.  Grandma will give you a leg!

    Home cooking, for sure!  

    October 12, 2010

    Pick a Potato, Any Potato!

     (photo by Airn,

    White . . . yellow . . . blue . . . purple . . . red . . . long . . . round.

    Bake . . . broil . . . fry . . . boil . . . mash.

    Just how do you pick a potato?

    A potato's starch content determines how it should be used.  Generally, the rule is:  More starch means less moisture, meaning the potato will have a fluffier texture when cooked.

    Russets are often called baking or Idaho potatoes.  They are high starch and have coarse dark skin and white flesh.  Russets are best for baking, mashing, or making french fries.

    Round Whites are often called Eastern potatoes.  They are low starch with smooth, light tan skin.  They are great as scalloped or roasted side dishes, or as potato salad.

    Yukon Gold potatoes have a golden inside and a butter flavor. They are medium starch and are good baked, mashed, or roasted.

    New potatoes can be any kind; they are simply picked before maturity. Their skin may not adhere during cooking.

    Round reds have rosy red skin with white, low starch flesh. These potatoes are usually round, and good in salads or boiled.

    Blues and Purples are low starch with a slightly nutty flavor.  These are unusual, so you may have difficulty finding them.

    October 9, 2010

    Crisp, Golden French Fries!

    Whether you pronounce it  po-tay-to or po-tah-to, potatoes are one of the most popular foods ever.  The average American eats about 126 pounds of potatoes each year.  Thank goodness they're good for us!

    Potato trivia!
    • In the past, some ministers in Scotland had banned eating the potato because it is not mentioned in the Bible!
    • Instant mashed potatoes (dehydrated) were commercially introduced in 1955.
    •  Mr. Potato Head was born in 1952.  He was also the first toy to be advertised on TV.

    • The four potato head kids were Potato Puff, Lumpy, Dimples, and Spud.
      • Up until the late 18th century, the French believed potatoes caused leprosy.  They thought the outside texture resembled leprous hands and feet and, therefore, must carry the disease.
      • The potato is the fourth most important crop in the world.  It ranks after wheat, rice, and corn.
      • Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XV, was known to wear potato blossoms in her hair as decoration. By doing so, she helped make potatoes popular.
      • French Fries were introduced to America when Thomas Jefferson served them at a White House dinner.
      • Ore-Ida began making tator tots in 1954.
      • The largest potato grown was 18 pounds, four ounces, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.  It was grown in England in 1795.
      • February is the month designated as Potato Lover's Month.
      • Wendy's  introduced the baked potato to its menu in November of 1983.
      Now, want a foolproof way to make French Fries?  Follow these directions, and you won't be disappointed!

      1.  Scrub potato skin, or peel.  Cut into strips, any size you want.
      2.  Fry in 325 degree oil for two minutes; remove.  This part can be done up to one hour ahead.
      3.  Fry again at 375 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle salt over them--I like using sea salt.

      You will have crisp, golden french fries!

      October 6, 2010

      The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever!

       (photo by Gengberg,

      Over twenty years ago, a friend gave me this recipe for pumpkin bread.  I still remember her exact words:  "You can't mess it up.  It always gets right."  Now that's my kind of recipe!  Thanks, Rosene!

      Every fall when I see pumpkins for sale, I know it's time for the best pumpkin bread  ever.  This recipe is moist, just the way I like it.  It's easy, too. And Rosene was right--I have never messed it up; it has always gotten right!  I have some in the oven right now, and it's smelling like I just can't wait to have a piece!

      The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever

      1 teaspoon nutmeg
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      3 cups sugar (I use only 2 cups and it is sweet enough for me.)
      1 cup oil
      4 eggs
      1-1/2 teaspoon salt

      Beat together all the above.  Then add one cup cooked pumpkin, 2/3 cups water, 2 teaspoons baking soda, and 3 cups flour.

      Grease and flour 3 coffee cans (1 lb cans).  Fill until the three cans are equally full.

      Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour.  Cool and remove from cans.

      Then indulge! It's delicious toasted for breakfast, or as a dessert.  The tops of this bread get like the tops of muffins--crusty and oh, so-o-o good.  You can double this recipe and freeze it.

      You can play around with this recipe--it will still get right!   Some things I have done over the years:
      • Added walnuts and/or raisins
      • Used a 9 x 12 pan instead of the coffee cans.  
      • One time I didn't have enough granulated sugar, so I used some brown sugar.
      • I have added a lot more cooked pumpkin than 1 cup.  If  I have more pumpkin than the recipe says and I don't want to throw it out and have no other use for it, I just add all of it!
      • A few times I've been short an egg or two.
      • I've added more of a variety of spices 
      • And I can't forget this one! A few years ago I turned on the oven to preheat and proceeded to mix the pumpkin bread.  When I went to put the batter in the oven, it wasn't hot. My oven had died. But I had all this batter on hand!  So I put the batter in a frying pan with a lid and cooked it on the stove top. The edges burned, but the rest was still edible, pumpkin bread.  I don't want to repeat this "method", but it worked in a pinch!
      I just took my pumpkin bread out of the oven and put on the coffee.  How soon can you get here?  I'll save one of the "muffin tops" for you!

      October 4, 2010

      Bloopers in Church Bulletins

      (Photo by Janahorova,
      What's the first thing you do when you sit down in church?  That's right, you scan the bulletin.  So since you're not reading carefully, you may miss these noted bloopers in church bulletins!
      • Rev. Nelson spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.
      • In a church bulletin during the minister's illness:  GOD IS GOOD; Dr. Mitchell is better.
      • Applications are now being accepted for two-year-old nursery workers.
      • The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."
      • Barbara remains in the hospital.  She is having trouble sleeping and is requesting tapes of Pastor Bomberger's sermons.
      • During the absence of Pastor Jones, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when P.G. Smith filled our pulpit.
      • The ushers will come forward and take our ties and offerings.
      • Don't let worry kill you off--let the church help.
      • Jessica and Matt request your presents at their wedding.
      • Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M.   Please use the back door.
      • The 2009 Spring Council Retreat will be hell on August 3 and 4.
      • The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
      •  Please remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. 
      • Weight Watchers will meet at 7:00 P.M.  Please use the large double door at the side entrance. 
      • Potluck Supper this Thursday evening at 6:00.  Prayer and medication to follow.

      September 26, 2010

      Betcha Can't Eat Just One

      Whoopie Pies--these two words make me think of back home and our  Pennsylvania Dutch country kitchen with the old-fashioned wood stove. So I have something in common with the famous whoopie pies--we both originated in Pennsylvania. I can feel my five senses beginning to work overtime.

      Sight: Whoopie pies actually aren't pies at all. They're a sandwich cake, 2 round little (or make them as big as you want) chocolate cakes with rich, creamy filling (and lots of it) in the middle.

      Hearing: I hear myself asking Mom, "May I make whoopie pies?" And her answer, "Yes."

      Smell: Just like a Food Network Star says, "It smells so good in here. We need smellavision."

      Touch: Most of the time I'd eat my whoopie pies just like a sandwich, getting tasty bites of the soft mixture of moist chocolate cake and cream filling. Other times I'd try eating them like an oreo cookie. First, one soft chocolate cake, then lick off the filling, followed by the other round little cake.

      Taste: Perfect combo--the deep chocolate flavor with the vanilla-white filling. I always doubled the ingredients when mixing the filling so I could be extra generous scooping on the creamy stuff!

      With all the varieties of whoopie pies today--pumpkin cakes with cream cheese filling, or chocolate cakes with raspberry--or peppermint--or peanut butter--or espresso filling--I still like the originals the best.

      And why are they called whoopie pies? Appparently,  Pennsylvania Dutch Amish wives would bake these desserts and pack them in their husbands' lunchboxes. When the farmers would open their lunches and see the sweet temptations, they would shout, "Whoopie!"

      September 13, 2010

      Organize Your Messy Car!

      Not that you have a messy car.  This is meant for all those other messy people!

      We spend a lot of time in our cars.  And once it's messy, it becomes all too easy to just keep on adding to the mess.

      Here are a few easy-to-do steps to maintain an organized and tidy car.  So if next week, your boss asks you to drop him/her off somewhere, you don't have to panic and figure out how you can quickly clean the car before the boss gets in it!

      Begin by sorting what's already in the car.  No doubt you will find trash that can just be thrown away. Get rid of it and experience the wonderful feeling that you're well on your way to an organized and neat car.  I usually find french fries on the floor of my car that somehow escaped my mouth--however does that happen?  The last time I cleaned my car, I even found the owner's manual. And maybe you will, too!

      Decide which things need to stay in your car.  That would be things you frequently use, things you sometimes use, things you need for a particular trip, and things you may need in the event of an emergency.  Everything else can be permanently taken out of your car and stored somewhere else. (garage, attic, etc)

      What are the things you don't have when you need them?  Tissues? Cell phone?  Pen?  Paper?  Loose change for tolls?  Those things you want to keep near you in some way.  Other things can be put in the back seat or even in the trunk.  Remember that some items can be put away from your reach at the end of a season, such as ice scrapers.

      Find containers you can use to organize and store.  Revel in the fact that you will no longer be hearing stuff rolling around every time you turn a corner or slam on the brakes!

      And that's how easy it is.  Now you just have to keep the car clean and organized.  Once you start having things out of place again--or throwing trash on the floor--you will quickly have a messy car again.

      September 9, 2010

      How Many Ways Can You Define "Charger?"

      Take a few minutes and think of all the definitions you know for the word charger.  This is what I came up with:

      charger:  someone who buys something and puts it on their credit card.

      charger something used to give a battery renewed strength.

      charger:   a person or animal that aggressively goes after another person or animal.

      charger:  a large dish or platter used as a coaster for other dishes.  Also called a chop plate, service plate, or underplate.

      (Can you add another one?)

      I like the fourth definition.  Let's talk about a decorative charger plate!  It gets its "decorative" label because it never touches any food directly.  Instead, it acts as an elegant and decorative coaster for dishes or bowls containing food.  Since it doesn't have to hold food, it can be made of materials that regular dishes cannot be made of such as wood, mother of pearl, and even leather.

      A charger plate is a unique way to add color or texture to a table setting.  It is also an easy and inexpensive way to do seasonal decorating.

      And yes, there is even etiquette for using charger plates!  This can vary depending on the host or hostess.  Generally, the plate should be set when guests arrive.  Some hosts remove it before the food is served.  Others place the first courses on the charger but then remove it before serving the entree.  However, other people like the appearance of the plate combined with the dinner dishes and leave it on the table for the main meal.  Almost all hostesses remove the charger plate before serving dessert.

      September 6, 2010

      Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes

      The cooler weather the last several days has given me "fall fever" which is not a good thing since the hot weather is said to be returning soon!  One of my favorite things about fall is Snitz and Knepp (Schnitz un Knepp).  Of course, I can eat this comfort meal any time of the year, but I associate it with fall, probably because of the apples in it.

      Let me tell you about  Snitz and Knepp!  It  is a Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe consisting of dried apples (the snitz/Schnitz) and flour dumplings (the knepp), so it translates "Apples and Dumplings." 

      To make Snitz and Knepp, you start by cooking two pounds of ham covered in water for about two hours. Add 2 cups of dried apples (that’s the snitz/schnitz) that have been soaked in water overnight. Also add the water they were soaked in. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Make sure there’s still enough water to cover.

      Then you  make the dumplings (the knepp). Mix 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons baking powder, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup milk to make dumplings. Drop by spoonfuls into the boiling ham, apples, and liquid. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 additional minutes. (This is when my mother would shoo me out of the kitchen because, as a little girl, I always wanted to lift the lid and peek, which is a "knepp no-no"!)

      Serve and enjoy, being sure to include some ham, snitz, and knepp in each bite!

      When I make Snitz and Knepp, I use smoked sausage instead of ham, simply because my mother made it with sausage and that is how I like it.  I usually don't have dried apples on hand, so I just use fresh tart apples, peeled and sliced.

      I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and my heritage is Pennsylvania Dutch.  The Pennsylvania Dutch today are descendants from German-speaking immigrants. The "Dutch" does not mean we are Dutch people from the Netherlands. Rather, the German word for German is "Deutsch." So we are really Pennsylvania Germans or Deutsch.  You can see how the "Deutsch" ended up being "Dutch".  So Pennsylvania Germans are called Pennsylvania Dutch!

      August 30, 2010

      Do You Know What Aebleskivers Are?

       (Photo by Stana,

      So what are aebleskivers anyway?  (Pronounced "EE-bull-skiv-ers", even just saying the word is fun! )

      A holiday in Denmark often begins with a breakfast of these little pastries. They are a pancake, but fluffier.  They are a cupcake, only lighter.  They can be the main course, the appetizer, a snack, or the dessert!  You can fill them with absolutely anything that makes your mouth water, whether sweet or savory.  I'm thinking fresh fruit, pie fillings, chocolate, applesauce, ham and cheese, bacon, sausage, pastry cream, raisins, coconut, peanut butter, honey, Nutella, or pudding.  Soft and fluffy in the center, but crisp and browned on the outside.  Are you drooling yet?

      Want to have fun while experiencing fine Scandinavian cooking? Here's what you need.

      First, you need a pan made with heavy cast iron or cast aluminum with half-round wells about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.   What you do is, fill each well with batter, about 2/3 full.  Spoon the filling on top and then add more batter.  Or, depending on what you have chosen to put inside the aebleskivers, you can cook them without the filling and inject pastry cream, etc, with a pastry bag or decorating set.  You can also cook them without any filling but dip them in sugar, honey, jam, or whatever you want.

      You need a batter.  Either use a mix especially for aebleskivers, or find a recipe for them, or use a pancake batter.  If you choose to use pancake batter, you need to make it lighter. Omit the egg in the mix directions.  Instead, whip three egg whites and fold them into the batter.

      The hardest part is probably deciding what to put inside the aebleskivers!  Something savory?  Something sweet?  For breakfast?  For dinner?  For snack?

      But don't worry--you can try them all!  Have bacon aebleskivers for breakfast, ham and cheese ones for lunch, and chocolate aebleskivers for dinner's dessert.

      The next day try fruit aebleskivers for breakfast and pudding ones for snack.  Your kids will watch for the aebleskiver pan on the counter.  You may even be able to bribe them to clean their rooms with the promise of  aebleskivers! 

      August 24, 2010

      BowWOW, Dog Trivia Worth Barking About!

      Can you pass a dog trivia quiz?

      1.  What dog breed gets its name because it strikes out with its front paws when fighting?

      2.  Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through what?

      3.  What is the name of the dog from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"?

      4.  Dalmatians, with all those cute black spots, are born what color?

      5.  Dogs are mentioned at least how many times in the Bible?

      6.  What is the name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box?

      7.  What was the name of the dog in TV show "The Partridge Family"?

      8.  What kind of dog did the TV Series detective Columbo have?

      Answers:  (1) boxer,  (2) pads of their feet,  (3) Max,  (4) white,  (5) 14 times,  (6) Bingo,  (7) Simone,  (8) a Basset Hound

      August 12, 2010

      Just When You Think You've Won the Rat Race . . .

      Returning home from visiting a friend in Northern Virginia, we got in a big-time traffic mess.  What a trapped feeling when you're at a standstill with traffic all around you.  There's no turning around and no turning off.  You can't even go straight ahead.  But what an opportunity to read bumper stickers!  After all, it always seems as though both lanes on either side of you are moving when your lane isn't.  So there are always new bumper stickers to read!

      Three that I remember are:
      • Just when you think you've won the rat race, along come faster rats.
      • I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.
      • As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.
      Since then I have taken note of other "memorable" bumper stickers.
      • I've run out of sick days so I'm calling in dead.
      • I'm out of bed, what more do you want?
      • I hate coffee--it keeps me awake at work!
      • Keep on working.  Millions of people on welfare depend on you.
      • Old upholsterers never die. They always recover.
      • i souport bublik edekashun
      • I may be fat, but you're ugly, and I can diet.
      • Change is inevitable--except for vending machines.
      • Money isn't everything--but it sure keeps the kids in touch!
      • Due to recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.
      So what's on your car . . . or your neighbor's car?  How about the parking lot at work?  Please comment!


      August 6, 2010

      It's About Thyme

      So what can you do with the herb thyme?  It is very versatile when preparing food.  It enhances eats, fish, sausage, eggs, and cheese and soups.  It blends well with the flavors of garlic, basil, and lemon.  So use it with the fresh garden vegetables you're getting this summer.  Thyme can even enhance some fruit desserts like applesauce, rhubarb and berry cobblers.  Thyme is simple to grow, too, because it actually does best in relatively poor soil. 
      There are over 200 varieties of thyme.  My favorite is lemon thyme, which I currently have planted in my back yard.  It has grown like a bush.  When I mow my yard, I purposely mow a corner of it so the fragrance is released and I can smell that amazing lemon thyme scent!

      Since ancient times, thyme has been associated with courage and has been used as a natural antidepressant.

      In the Middle Ages, ladies embroidered images of thyme on scarves for their knights to wear in battle, believing it would give them courage.  The Romans put thyme in their bathwater to give themselves courage and strength before battle. They also used thyme to treat depression.

      So how did thyme get this reputation?  The scent of thyme is invigorating and pleasant. It  is considered a circulatory system stimulant and is said to raise low blood pressure, which is often a cause of lethargy and depression.
         People once believed that fairies made their homes in thyme patches, so families often planted a patch specifically to encourage fairies to feel at home in their garden!
          When the Greeks said that someone "smelled of thyme" it meant that the person was elegant, refined, and stylish.  Quite a compliment!

          The next time you're feeling depressed or need that extra courage and energy to face the day, try smelling a bit of thyme. Or drink some thyme tea. Let us know how it works!   I'm not sure you'll want to embroider an image of thyme on your clothes like the Middle Ages ladies, but it's something to think about!

          Fresh Tomato Soup (with thyme)
          (Not as easy as opening a soup can, but certainly better tasting!)

          1/2 cup chopped onion
          1/4 cup butter or margarine
          1/4 cup flour
          2 cups water
          6 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
          1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
          1-1/2 teaspoons salt
          1 teaspoon sugar
          1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
          1 bay leaf
          1/4 teaspoon pepper
          Thin lemon slices (optional)

          In a large saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour to form a smooth paste.  Gradually add water, stirring until thickened.

          Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, sugar, thyme, bay leaf and pepper; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until tomatoes are tender (approx 30 minutes).  Remove bay leaf.  Garnish with lemon.

          This recipe makes 4  servings (1-1/4 cups each serving).

          July 30, 2010

          Vital, Viable and Vivid Vegetables

          (photo by

          Fun Facts About Vital, Viable, and Vivid Vegetables!
          • I learned just this morning that the fear of vegetables is called Lacharophobia. Which may or may not lead right into the next fact!
          • Only about one third of Americans eat the daily vegetable requirement.
          • Potatoes and lettuce are the two most popular vegetables in the U.S.
          • Almost all lettuce is packed right in the field.
          • Darker green vegetables contain more vitamin C than lighter green ones.
          • The longer that vegetables sit around waiting to be eaten, the more nutrients they lose. Then when they come in contact with water or heat, they lose even more nutrients at an even faster rate.  So if this concerns you, then eat raw vegetables to get more nutrients.  
          • Chopping vegetables into larger pieces rather than smaller ones helps them keep their nutrients because there is less of a surface to come in contact with the air or water.
          • And since many of the nutrients go into the cooking water, don't throw that water away.  Use it for soup.
          • Australians typically put pickled beets and/or a fried egg on burgers (in addition to the regular ketchup, mustard, etc)
          • Tomatoes are a fruit and were once considered a kind of apple by France and Italy.
          • Asparagus is related to onions, leeks, and garlic.  California grows about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the US.
          • The average person in the United States eats four and one half pounds of  broccoli a year.
          • The plant pigment that gives carrots and other vegetables their orange color is Beta-Carotene.  Our bodies convert Beta-Carotene into Vitamin A which helps our bodies fight infection and keeps our skin and hair healthy.
          There you go--vital, viable, and vivid fun facts about vegetables.  Help yourself get your veggie fix today by choosing one of these facts and telling someone else!

          July 25, 2010

          I Still Love the Original Meaning of "Bookmark"

          I just did a Google search on "bookmarks."  And suddenly before me, on the search results,  were pages and pages of  links in which  people were asking questions or giving information about "bookmarking" on their computers or the internet. You know, as in "Remember to bookmark our site", etc. 

          Not exactly the kind of "bookmarks" I was searching for.  I think my age is showing!  I was referring to the kind of bookmarks I received when I was a kid in Sunday School or VBS.   I received them for perfect attendance or for memorizing the day's Bible verse.

          I remember when I was in third grade, I received a bookmark from the irate school librarian after she discovered I had "dog eared" one of  her library books.  Up until then, I had not known there was anything wrong with that.  But I promise you that I have never turned down the corner of a page in any book since then!

          When I lived in Indonesia, a native Indonesian sold me some bookmarks he had made from the bark of trees.  Then there are the bookmarks I have all over my house that I have acquired one way or another.

          Of course, I can never find one of those bookmarks when I need one.  So then I resort to using an old envelope,  a store receipt, or even a tissue from the Puff box!  Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, excepting it's kind of  like resorting to chewing shoe leather when I could really have tender steak!

          Anyway, back to my Google search for "bookmarks".  Looking carefully,  I did find a few sites that talked about the history of bookmarks--yes, the kind I was searching for!  And they actually do have a history!

          I learned, for instance, that people realized early on that they needed something to mark the place in books. Books long ago were scarce and very valuable.  Their spines could be injured if they were put face down.  And already back then, it was a "no-no" to crease  the corners.  (In third grade, I probably thought the librarian had lived "back then!")

          One of the first references of the use of bookmarks goes back to 1584.  Christopher Barker gave Queen Elizabeth I a fringed silk bookmarker. Then in the 1700's, books were made with narrow silk ribbons bound into the spine of the books that the reader would tuck in the page to be marked.  My family's very old family Bible has such a silk marker.

          And throughout the years, bookmarks have been made of paper, leather, ribbon, silk, linen, satin, plastic, cooper, gold, pewter, brass, glass beads, wood, ivory, bone, papyrus, cardboard, bark, and animal skins.  Maybe you can think of more to add to this list.

          I still love the original meaning of "bookmark."  I love books, and I love to read! And they are nice little rewards to give to children who, hopefully, also are learning to love books and love reading.

          July 23, 2010

          What a Bargain Grandchildren Are!

          (photo by Willeecole,

          This blog post is for my sister Ruthie and my good friend Kathryn who have both just become grandma again. And, of course,  for their husbands, too, who add "pa" to "grand."
          • What a bargain grandchildren are!  I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure.  --Gene Perret
          • I've learned that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you're hooked for life. -- Andy Rooney
          •  Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.  ~Author Unknown
          • Grandmothers are just antique little girls.  ~Author Unknown
          • Grandfathers are just antique little boys.  ~Author Unknown
          • Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.  ~Welsh Proverb
          • To become a grandparent is to enjoy one of the few pleasures in life for which the consequences have already been paid.  ~Robert Brault
          • Being pretty on the inside means you don't hit your brother and you eat all your peas - that's what my grandma taught me.  ~Lord Chesterfield
          • Two things I dislike about my granddaughter - when she won't take her afternoon nap, and when she won't let me take mine.  ~Gene Perret
          • No cowboy was ever faster on the draw than a grandparent pulling a baby picture out of a wallet.  ~Author Unknown
          • A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.  ~Erma Bombeck
          • My grandchild has taught me what true love means.  It means watching Scooby-Doo cartoons while the basketball game is on another channel.  ~Gene Perret

          July 20, 2010

          Save the Family

           (both photos from

           I found this information on  a blog named   Save the Family.   Since I can't say it any better myself, I copied the information below.   However, all credit definitely goes to Save the Family.

          I don't even mind if you leave my blog to check out this other blog!  It is  packed full of "right-on" information for couples, singles, and children.  Don't pass  it by!

          Family Bonding:  Work, school, extracurricular activities; these daily activities that make our lives so busy create difficulties for parents to foster a bond with their children. While your children are out of school for the summer you can easily strengthen family relationships by spending time with one another, listening to each other, and respecting each other’s opinions. Below are ten easy things a parent can do to form stronger bonds with their children.

          1. Try and eat dinner together with no distractions, such as television or phones. Eating a family meal together not only promotes better eating habits, but also gives family members time to discuss their day and any good or challenging things happening in their life.
          2. A great way of having fun while bonding with your family is to create a “Family Night” where the entire family participates in an activity. This can be as easy as a board game night, an evening out at a fun family restaurant, or to go see a movie.
          3. Helping a child with their homework not only allows you to spend time together, but enables you to see what they are learning and how they are doing academically. Your support and praise will go a long way in boosting their confidence in school.
          4. When planning a family vacation you can ask your children where they want to go and what they want to see or do. By incorporating them in the planning process you make them feel like an integral part of the family.
          5. Many children have extracurricular activities like sports or dance. By involving yourself in these activities and praising them on their participation you are helping build their confidence as well as strengthening your bond.

          6. Many parents know that reading to your child daily increases their literacy, but it also allows for a time when both parent and child are completely focused on one another and can communicate freely about the book or other subjects.

          7. Teaching your children the importance of volunteerism and giving back by volunteering for a local charity or organization can show them the importance of what they have and make them a more socially conscience person.

          8. Getting involved in your children’s hobbies, whether it is collecting baseball cards or horseback riding, shows your support of their chosen activity and allows them to feel they can express themselves in any way.

          9. By encouraging your children to be active and exercising together you foster healthier habits for both you and your child while you both communicate about the activities you are doing.

          10. Childhood, especially the adolescent years, is incredibly hard on the self esteem of many children. By telling a child you love them and giving compliments or positive feedback frequently you can foster their confidence and perception of themselves. By listening and being supportive of their ideas, even if you don’t agree, makes them feel as if they can come to you with their problems and discuss their true feelings.

          There is nothing better than having a place you can call home, where you feel loved, appreciated and safe. As a parent, having a strong bond with your children creates a feeling of unity and safety. It is important to do all you can to create these family bonds to ensure a happier and healthier family. Following any of the above activities this summer can help assist you and your family in creating a strong life long bond and help foster better parenting skills for you.

          Again, this information comes from Save the Family.  

          July 17, 2010

          EGGciting Facts and EGGcellent Books

          (Photo by

          • National egg month is celebrated the month of May.
          • A hard-cooked egg will peel more easily if it is a week or  two old before it is cooked.
          • Peeling eggs will be easier if you add 2 tablespoons white vinegar to every quart of water you use to cook them.
          • The egg yolk and white separate best when cold.  Egg whites will beat to a better volume if they're allowed to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating.
          • The egg shell has as many as 17,000 tiny pores over its surface.  Through them, the egg can absorb flavors and odors.  So storing them in their cartons helps keep them fresh.
          • Egg yolk is the major source of the egg's vitamins and minerals.
          • Artificial color additives are not allowed in chicken feed.  However, natural yellow-orange substances such as marigold petals may be added to light colored feeds to enhance the yolk color.
          • Eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4 weeks beyond the pack date.
          • You probably know that the older eggs are, the more they will spread out when cracked open in a pan.  Do you also know that you can add several drops of vinegar to the water when poaching eggs?  The acid of the vinegar will help the proteins of the eggs to coagulate.  So the egg whites will not spread as much.
          • Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.
          • A large egg contains only 75 calories and 5 grams of  fat.
          • A hen takes 24-26 hours to produce an egg.  Thirty minutes later, she starts all over again!

          July 12, 2010

          Pass the Vinegar, Please

          This information will interest you if you have any aspirations of being a vinegar connoisseur!  Or, even if you don't!

          Roslyn, South Dakota is the home of the International Vinegar Museum and the International Vinegar Festival.  Ever heard of them before?  The "international" is because they are the only vinegar museum and festival in the world.

          The Museum displays vinegar from all over the world and also shows products made from vinegar, including paper.  You can learn interesting facts about vinegar. For example, people have been making vinegar for thousands of years using whatever fermentable food product happened to be on hand.  This includes rice in the Orient, grapes in Greece, wheat in England (for the "malt vinegar" they put on fish and chips), and corn or apples in the US.

          You can take a tour that includes vinegar taste testing.  You can even purchase unique products such as vinegar room deodorizer.

          The International Vinegar Festival includes: the crowning of the Royal Quart (no, I didn't make a spelling error here!), arts and crafts, a parade, live entertainment, and a cooking show using vinegar.

          I can't say I would plan a vacation to Roslyn, South Dakota.  But if I ever just happened to be there anyway, I most certainly would want to visit this museum and festival. It could be a conversation starter at the lunch table, too!