Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: November 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Winning Streak, Maybe Not

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When I beginning using Daily Prompts it was for just for ideas. Sometimes I really do not care for Wordy ideals so I skipped or day . Do I really want to spill the beans ons family members and others? I leave the social injustice blogs to others.  Sometimes it is really tough. I had a hard time understand why a mother will leave her children by themself for six weeks to go on vacation. I never had a goal to write daily for a certain period of time but used for ideas. Everyone has their reasons for writing but mine are more for practice and improving my writing skills.

Sometimes Wordy or NaBloPoMo helps getting the juices flowing but I have found this happening less and less. Sometimes I find the prompts annoying, boring and discouraging.  I am more yearning to my simpler pre daily blog life of gardens and other projects. Most likely I will still check on daily to see what others have written. Some writers seem to spin a huge web of ideas when writing the prompts.

Today I am trying to get over a 24 hour stomach flu that has lasted longer. I suppose that goes with age and the inability to bounce back as easily.  Little man, the one who gave it to everyone, bounced back after one day. Today my diet has been dry toast and Gatorade and I am looking forward to being more active.

Good luck for everyone and their goals on writing. 

 

Thanksgiving 2014

dessert Table sides Thanksgiving table turkey cutting

Turkey – Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup
I have no problem figuring out what to do with my left over turkey. My favorite is thisTTurkey-Vegetable Soup I always make after thanksgiving. This year I will be canning to later. 
Soup Base
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion; chopped
1 medium carrot; chopped
1 medium celery; chopped
1 turkey carcass; chopped into large pieces
4 parsley sprigs
1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Soup
2 tablespoon unsalted butter or oil
1 large onion; chopped
2 medium carrots; chopped
2 medium celery; chopped
2 garlic clove; chopped
4 cups bite size pieces of turkey (1 pound)

To make the soup base, in a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add
the onion, carrot and celery, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until
softened, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey carcass. Pour in enough cold
water (about 3 quarts ) to cover carcass by at least 1 inch, Bring to boil
and skim off any foam.

Add the parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low.
Simmer, uncovered, adding more water as needed to keep the carcass covered,
until the broth is well flavored, at least 2 and up to 4 hours.

Place a colander over a large bowl or pot. Pour the soup base through the
colander and discard the solids. Let the base stand for 5 minutes, then
skim any fat from the surface. ( this can be frozen up to 3 months.)

To make soup , in a large pot put oil or melt butter over medium heat. Add
the onion , carrots, celery and garlic, cover and cook , stirring
occasionally until the onions are golden, about 6 minutes, Add the soup
base and parsley and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1
hour. During last 10 minutes add turkey. Season with salt and pepper.

Variations:

Amish: Add 2 boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes, and add
during last 20 minutes. during last 10 minutes add 8 ounces of dried wide
egg noodles, and cook until tender. Season with 1/4 teaspoon crumbled
saffron threads or more for taste.

Rice: Add 1 cup rice during the last 30 minutes and cook until tender.

Peas: Add during last 20 minutes

The Feast Of Feast Every Year

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When I cook every day it is usually rather basic food. I used to make  more complicated meals during the week but time restrains and budget have gotten in the way. Still Thanksgiving is a very important meal. I go for a very large meal that I begin planning and canning  weeks before.  I tend to make less food than I did year prior so I do not have too many left overs.  I did purchase two so I can can some turkey later. Today will be the pies although I already have a pumpkin and cheesecake in the fridge.  If you would like to see my menu you can go to the below links.

2014 Thanksgiving Feast and Canning

Sagamore Hill Style Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Planning

Thanksgiving-2008

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Shaken and Stirred.”

When Life Gives You Too Many Choices

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I don’t know how you feel but I feel that sometimes we live in a word of too many choices. Just going into a store with toothpaste and shampoo can really be overwhelming. Some people make those decisions by the lowest prices. This can work in many  cases with products because sometimes you are really just paying for the brand name. This post show a good example: MAKEUP DILEMMAS: HIGH-END VS. LOW-END PRODUCTS

However, sometimes quality is a factor in products. I have tried to explain to others that sometimes if you see a brandname product in a lower end store and try to compare it to a more moderate or high-end store it is not the same product. It can be drastically different in quality.  In many cases manufacturers will produce products according to the price structures. Sometimes it really does not matter even if you are not getting the same quality but other times it can. Clothing is one example I like to use. I might find a certain brand at one store cheaper and it seems to be the same products but it you were able to compare side by side you will find the material used would be thiner than the more expensive store and the product will have more length and be a tad bit larger. This is why some of the overstock stores when out of business when people caught one to the tatic.

We all have harder decisions in life such as where to work, quitting jobs, buying a house and moving. These can be very difficult decisions. There are some ways to help you make those decisions. If you were asked by someone else what advice would you give. This can give you insight to good decisions. Most decisions you can help others with are without the emotional thinking that comes with most decisions.

Sometimes when we have decisions we have too much information that we are trying to use to decide. Let go of some and reduce the inputs to help you make your decision.

Another problem we can run into is the assumptions that might come when deciding on the choices. Let go of any assumptions and go based on facts as much as you can. Sometime getting input from others can help you assort through those assumptions.

Many people use a spreadsheet to work out decisions. This can work great for a home or vacations or any decisions. http://www.idea-sandbox.com/resources/Decision_Making_Tool.xls

Tidbits of History

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Sometimes being in a tour groups can make you feel in a rush when all you want to do is savior the moment in the environment you are in. An advantage to listening to a guide is you can learn tidbits of history you may not be under wise exposed to. Sometimes just being in the right place with someone who is a local can give you a interesting information and a bounty of history plus tips of where to go. I like to find locals in the areas I am and discover the less known places. This might mean just a simple drive by  a historical house that is not open to the public but plays an very important part of history for the area or is very historical architecture. There are number of such places in this area. They were houses of people who were at one time very important to the community or built with intersting styles. Many times they not only had successful businesses but made a mark in the city or town by their actions.

Go! Go! Go!

clouds on road

 

 

An exciting stress reliever are short day trips to someplace you have never been. It does not matter where you live there must be someplace you have never been. It could be a small park, monument or museum.  When I have the time to take a quick day trips I like to go exploring.  There still are many places I have not discovered even within a 1/2 hour drive and some places I want to explore that I are within a few hours drive.  I have not been able to do many trips in quite some time but I sometimes like to just drive without planning It can make for some interesting discoveries waiting for you.  Sometimes when to go to explore you will discover something you never knew about.

Stop on trail

 

This happened to me the last time I went for a visit to Council Grove, KS. I never knew about the monument and Indian housing ruins. It’s also why I like hiking. I am always thinking to myself, “What is on the other side of the curve?”  Do you ever take some spontaneous trips?

Budget and Paying With Cash

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There are a number of system available to budget your money. The system I am using is more like the Dave Ramsey envelope budget system using a simple method that has been used for centuries to budget. In the future I plan to make a divided cash wallet  but it is easy to do with envelopes by separating the money into the categories.

 

Budget Paycheck: $0.00
Charity 10% $0.00
Savings 10% $0.00
Housing 25% $0.00
Utilities 5% $0.00
Food 15% $0.00
Transportation 10% $0.00
Clothing 4% $0.00
Med/Health 5% $0.00
Personal 5% $0.00
Recreation 6% $0.00
Debts 5% $0.00
Total: $0.00

 

You can make a budget using Dave Ramsey’s Budget tool  but I made a simple Budget spreadsheet to use every month using the suggest percentages for the budget.  After calculating the amount I have for each category I will then put the amounts into each envelope.  This is an excel spreadsheet that can be changed any way you would like. You can add the amount you need to budget at the top and the rest of the form should fill in with amounts. If you want or need to you can change the % to any category.

If you want to keep track of the cash each month I made a simple list Lisa’s Cash Track that can be printed out. This link goes to a word document in Dropbox so you can change the document to work best for you.

 

Lisa's Cash Track

 

I hope if you are struggling you can work out a budget. It is very difficult at times but can be done.

 

 

The Whole Enchilada

Idar-Oberstein

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Around 15 years ago life was very different. Mr. Gadget was still in the Air Force so that meant moving every 2-4 years with the exception of Florida. We ended up being stationed in the Fort Walton area not far from Pensacola for 6. This lifestyle allowed us to live in very different places from the tropical island of Hawaii to the Rheinland-Pfalz  area of Germany.

I am really not sure which place I enjoyed the most. I like Fort Ord with the very marine flair. restaurants with very fresh fish, beautiful bike paths, hiking area very close, the wonderful Monterey Aquarium and nice beaches to walk along. There really was only one swimming beach near Lover’s Point.monterey-california-hotel-sm

 

In German we were able to experience many different types of cultures. France, Holland, Luxembourg and other places were within a few hours drive. Even if you were just stayed in the area Idar-Oberstein was a short drive with its jewelry stores, Argentine BBQ, shopping and resturants.

 

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Oahu was not the greatest living place for housing since you were right next to a very large and busy airport but you were a quick drive to many beautiful places and wonderful beaches.

I was not able to do my outdoor hobbies as much back then but it was still a beautiful life.

Clavis Aurea

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The golden key in theology  means  discovering hidden or mysterious meanings in texts. Some parts of the bible are mysterious and hard to explain. Part of the reason is because they were written during ancient times and with languages that are still alive but have changed from the ancient versions.

One topic is incest. There are numerous examples of incest in the Bible. Some happened before the bible  (Leviticus 18:6-18) commanded against it, Therefore, it was not incest before that time.  If we started with Adam and Eve, there had to have been the behavior among siblings and cousins. There were, after all only a few individuals, all closely related. This was when the human genetic code was relatively free of defects and mankind of evil. Now in most cultures incest is a strongly discouraged behavior for good reasons.

What is not clearly shown in the bible is the reason why this behavior seemed to happen without punishment. The most well know and used incest story is the story of  Lot.  Lot was a “righteous man” but  he was a man and, therefore, could fall short of acceptable behavior. However, the story does not put fault on Lot for his daughters actions. Most scholars believe it was a story to criticize the Moabites and Ammonites, cultures with very inappropriate behaviors that came from the “children of Lot” Genesis 19:37-38 . The story does not have an eye-witness account but is based on an old story; so there is no clear-cut reason why God wanted the story in the Bible. The story did not intend to condone this behaviour. There was a reason. I just wished I had clavis aurea or the golden key to explain to the world. 

I usually try to avoid religious and political topic in my blog but with this prompt: You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?  the subject popped in my head. I am writing this because I find it  offensive for some religions and others who attempt to blemish the reputation of the Bible by using this story. They especially like to take this story out on content, as if Christians 
and the Bible permits this behavior. 
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