Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat in Wintery Europe

Although our Fall vacation did not turn out as planned, we enjoyed our four day loop through Germany.

I am sure there are many folks where we live in the US who would have loved what we did the last four days.

The snowy Black Forest was something that you only dream about in the warm southern states. And the beautiful cathedral in Strasbourg, France was more beautiful than a decorated wedding cake.

The bakery fresh hard and soft bread rolls and delicious cheeses and ham for breakfasts are difficult to find where we live in America.

Fields freshly ploughed and waiting for cold weather and then an early spring decorated our views as we drove along the lazy country roads. And the cows were still grazing in the grass fields enjoying the last rays of sun and warmth before a gray, cold winter in the barn stalls.

And today before making the last scarey drive back on the German and Dutch autobahns, we visited the Birkenstock outlet store and the Villeroy and Boch outlet store to buy a few souvenirs. 

The weather in Europe may have tricked us and no snow tires changed our vacation plans, but we came home with the treats.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Cuckoo Clocks in the Black Forest

While driving through powdered sugar coated monster Christmas trees in the Black Forest of Germany today, we actually thought we would see a shop that sells cuckoo clocks. Maybe those types of souvenirs are really extinct.  (We tried to find shops that sold cameos two years ago in Italy. They do not exist anymore either.)

Our morning drive in the sun was enjoyable, but then the temperature warmed up and the skies became gray around 3:00 pm. Then the rain drizzle started, and the fun was over. We did take a quick walk through the center of Strasbourg and saw the beautiful stone carved cathedral. And the underground parking garage was even an experience for me.

Tonight we are staying in Hotel Saarblick in Mettlach, Germany. This was my idea, since I remembered that we had visited a Villeroy and Boch outlet store here many, many years ago. Now there is an even larger store, plus other outlets. I even saw a Birkenstock shoe outlet that I plan to hit tomorrow after breakfast. So we have plans for tomorrow morning, but then we are heading back to The Netherlands.

There are plenty of touristy things we haven't done there in over 20 years!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Changed Directions

Rules, regulations, and SNOW for Halloween! Instead of heading to Croatia, we are driving across Germany. Our nephew warned us that we probably needed winter/snow tires on our rental car after November 1 in Austria. Rental company did not!!!!! So no risk taking this trip, and we are changing plans.

Today we drove in and out of snowy, winter landscapes that are not common at this time of year. The roads were reasonably clean, but the highway department around Stuttgart was busy cutting down many snow-laden fallen trees.

We especially drove to Stuttgart to visit the Mercedes Museum, and of course Monday is "rest" day for most museums in Europe. We should have known that!!! (and No, Son, we are not going back tomorrow.)

Now to sleep in Hotel Krone in Wildberg tonight and travel across to Strasbourg tomorrow. Just winging it from now on!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

At the Red Horse Inn

Since the winter time began here this morning, we decided to make our evening stop around 5:00 pm (German time) just outside of Nurnberg.

Tonight we are sleeping and eating in Heroldsberg at the Rotes Ross Hotel (alias Red Horse Inn). This establishment was granted hotel/inn permission way back in 1600.  In 1856 it became a member of the Hotel-Gasthof im Familienbesitz. Now the Sorgel family owns and manages the hotel/restaurant.

We have the feeling that there aren't too many people sleeping here this Sunday night. We have the largest room on our floor with a king size bed with real down duvets, a luxurious bath/toilet, desk, couch, chair, coffee table, luggage shelf, clothes closet, television (with CNN), and internet access. What else do you need?

After my hub takes his beauty nap (driving on the German autobahn is not the most pleasant thing in the world), we will try out the restaurant. I just read that a specialty is "Wild." My Dutch father-in-law always loved this time of year so that he could eat venison, pheasant, etc. Bet my youngest brother would like that, too. I'll just have to see what else is on the menu before I go "Wild." 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Time to Vacation

For the last six months we have sweated and worked hard inside and outside of our homes, so now is finally the time to go on vacation.

Bet you think that is strange to hear in late October, but tomorrow we are off to Croatia. Now you know we must be crazy, right? Who goes to Croatia on vacation? Lots of people, but most go during the summer. We had some things to do here first, so that means our vacation is a little later than what you would expect. Or maybe it is a little earlier than what you would expect. I guess it is how you look at it.

The temps in Croatia should be pleasant, but we have to drive through the cold weather first to get there. There was snow in Munich last night! Tonight here the temperature is already freezing. So our suitcase is full of warm clothes and plenty of socks.

No more bare feet and short pants!

That was last Monday ;)))

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dogs Welcome and Free WiFi at McDonalds in Zwolle

Of course, I mean Zwolle, The Netherlands where the McDonalds has a dog eating and drinking station (inside the restaurant!) and the WiFi is FREE!

This afternoon we were out Kringloopwinkel (secondhand goods) shopping when we decided to eat lunch at a new McDonalds in an shopping area outside of Zwolle, The Netherlands. Although the restaurant was brand new, it was very small. Any woman over an American size 18 would have trouble turning around ( or sitting down!) in the restroom toilet stall.

Other than that, it was huge in extras. We ate a really good fresh Tasty hamburger that reminded me of a Burger King Whopper, but it was better with strips of bacon.

Then I checked to see if  WiFi was really free and accessible. It was! 

Then I noticed the dog feeding station near the entrance to the restaurant. What a surprise at an American restaurant (but in a very pet friendly country).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Carpet Cleaning

Since most of  the furniture is out of the apartment and on its way to a new home, we decided to try to clean this old carpet floor before we rip it out. Early this morn my hub went out to get the machine and cleaning fluid, and I attacked the spider webs. Luckily we have saved most of the cleaning supplies in the pantry/ storage room. Until we sell this thing, we still need to keep it presentable  for potential buyers and livable for our visits.

I found a really long cleaning rod with a very dirty cloth attached to the head. After I took off the cloth, I added a clean towel and attached it with rubber bands. Then I attacked the web collections on the 13 foot ceilings. I can still see a few that I missed, but the majority are gone or attached to the cleaning cloth.

Then I vacuumed the whole apartment and tried to stay ahead of the hub who was busy with cleaning solution and vacuum wand. We were busy from 11-3, and now know for sure that we are going to replace this azure blue carpet with a hardwood floor sometime in the future.

Now to return this apparatus to the Dutch version of Home Depot and to get on with our vacation.

Cleaning houses, bah! Not fun on any continent!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Carpet

Lovely autumn carpet from fallen leaves. Every single moment the carpet changes color and texture.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What a Circus!

We still have 12 hours before the movers come, and my hub is already running up and down the halls.

He tried to reserve a place for the container truck to park tomorrow early, and no one is cooperating. He put out three brand new moving boxes containing bricks to mark the extra parking place for the moving company. First a box just disappeared! Then he went back later to check and caught a man emptying out the second packing box and loading it into his car. My hub shouted for the man to drop it and was told they thought it was trash. A new packing box costs 5 Euros, and stopping to collect one is a good deal. That is unless my hub sees you stealing his box!

Hub finally just gave up and placed the last two boxes into our rental car. Before he goes to bed tonight late he will set out the boxes one more time. Then we will see if the packing guys can park near our apartment.

Whirlwind Auction

Today is a day of rest in the eye of the storm of events around here. Last night we spun everything out of control with a last minute visit to an auction.

Here is the story:

We had been following a local auction in search of paintings or such that we still want to own. Well, last night we participated in an auction for the very first time for both of us. We were there to bid on a clock. Our item was number 340 of 400 items, and as usual we were the first to arrive and our bidding number was 1.

The auction began at 7:00 pm, and things began rolling. There were really not enough bidders in the room, so most items went unsold. The auctioneer could not even give some things away, it was so bad. But he kept up his enthusiasm and his speed. I bid on some pottery and never knew whether I actually bought it. Luckily it wasn't too expensive. Then the Persian carpets came up for bidding. As we are going to leave behind here a big red one, I bid on a big blue one. Again I wasn't sure if I was the winner of the bidding, since the auctioneer raced through the whole deal. That was almost too much for my hub. At that point the whole auction hall heated up for him. I think he panicked. His whole demeanor changed. Maybe he was afraid I was going to put him on the auction block (No Chance!), but everything was going too fast for him. And for me, too. Can you imagine sitting through and bidding in a foreign language?

Finally hub got his color back in his face, and we got closer to the clock we had come for. #329 was a similar clock, and we said we would see how that went and then bid on #340. The first clock came in way cheaper than we had expected and went unsold. So we waited for "our" clock. And we got it for a reasonably cheap price! Mission accomplished!

Now the next part. Paying for whatever we actually bought!!!! We stood in the short line to the paymaster's office and giggled that we were so stupid that we didn't even know what we were going to take home. Then the big moment came. I had bought the big, heavy rug, and Hub had his clock. We paid and stuffed the treasures in our rented car and drove towards the apartment.

While lugging the too awkward and too heavy items up to the apartment we had to laugh again. Why are we doing such crazy things as this in our retirement age? Because we still can. Short and simple. TeeHee.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shorts Weather in Nederland

Who would have dreamed that we would be using the air conditioner and that I would be looking for shorts on October 22 ? And yes, we are still in The Netherlands!

Since we have no clothes dryer, I quickly did the wash this afternoon, and it is dry after only four hours on the drying rack! Even the heavy bath towels!

Temperatures are warmer here than in Italy or Croatia. But by the end of the week, we will have freezing temps. So we had better enjoy the warmth and sun while we can.

Now back to the warm, sunny balcony for perhaps the last rays of an Indian Summer.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Screaming Chinese Takeaway

At least once while we are in The Netherlands, we pick up Chinese takeaway food from our favorite Chinese takeaway. This evening we decided to walk there instead of going to the trouble of taking the rental car out of the garage and the gated apartment building. 

Within 15 minutes we entered the small Chinese takeaway and ordered our dinner of Babi Pangang (sweet and sour pork), flavored noodles, and kroepoek (shrimp chips). The Chinese lady who runs the business is very friendly, but very loud. It sounds a bit like she shouts at all of the customers. 

Tonight was like any other time we have been there. She shouted a greeting, took our order, and shouted the amount of money that we owed her. In less than 10 minutes she returned with our order and shouted for us to come pick it up. 

One customer sitting near us waiting for his order could not contain his laughter. We were not the only ones to be enjoying the screaming Chinese lady! And when we got back to the apartment, the food was outstanding, too. We had so much food, that I don't have to cook tomorrow night either. What better vacation than that?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bacon (Spek) Drippings

A jar of bacon drippings as a housewarming gift. That is what my dear neighbor gave to her daughter and new son-in-law when they had an Open House party for their families.

The first reaction is "Whaaat?". When the idea sinks in, then it really seems like a thoughtful and useful gift. In some modern households it might take months to accumulate a Ball jar full of that yummy fat. Collecting bacon fat in a jar has saved many a sink drain! If more fat had been saved here in this apartment, then we would not have had to buy Dutch draino today. It takes more than hot water and dishwashing soap to loosen up that fatty mess in the drain!

But tonight for dinner we ate bacon fat and the drippings. I fried up bacon (spek) pieces in a new wok on a new induction cooking element. (If you haven't cooked on an induction stovetop, you haven't cooked. Water boils in 90 seconds, and cleanup is a breeze.) While the spek was getting crisp and golden brown, I opened two jars of capucijners ( brown Dutch peas) and heated them up until they were good and hot. Then I served the capucijners on a plate with the spek and vet (fat) drizzled on top. Quick and super delicious! I ate my peas with a dab of potato salad, and was that ever good? Just Simple Cooking!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Keep Your House Clean for Six Months

The answer is to stay out of it! The house, I mean.

Six months ago we left the apartment in The Netherlands in super neat and clean order. Today when we returned, we had very little to do to make it livable.

Somehow while we were gone the small fridge/freezer had defrosted and now needed demolding. But it did not smell bad. In fact the small bowl of coffee grounds that I had left on the fridge shelf was moldy, but it still smelled like coffee. So before we threw in our groceries, I scrubbed the whole interior of the fridge and got out the mold and turned on the electricity. I think that I know the problem. After we left in April, someone cut off the electricity to the little icebox and probably closed the door. Then someone else came along and saw the mold and left the door open. That will teach us to next time leave notes on all appliances that can experience damage from well-doers.

We also experienced water staining in the toilet bowls. I can't wait to try out soda and vinegar solutions like I read about on Pinterest. If that does not work, I have other methods.

But in general, the apartment looks great. A week from today it will look reasonably empty. More on that another time. Maybe even with photos.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Charm of a Neighborhood

Living in the country is not the same as living in a neighborhood. Wow! That is a stupid thing to write! Of course, they are not the same!

Although we have wonderful neighbors in the country, they live far enough away that I could do my early morning plant watering in my pj's without anyone seeing me.

We live so far away that my hub can be outside and yell for my help, and neither I nor our nearest neighbors hear him.

We live so far away from the neighbors' kids that they don't show up for treats on Halloween.

We live so far away from the newspaper route that the paperman wants a quarter extra for each newspaper he delivers.

We live so far away from anywhere that the postman doesn't deliver our mail. We have to drive into the nearest village to get our mail at the post office.

This is the second time that we have lived at the end of a dead end road. Our nearest neighbor in The Netherlands asked us regularly if we didn't hate the quietness and solitude. No one asks that here in the States, but we like the peacefulness and sounds of the songbirds.

But I miss the charm of a real neighborhood! Tonight when I walked Flip through our son's suburban neighborhood, I realized that I miss the bark of the neighbor's dog. I miss the neighbor kid bringing over some warm yeast rolls fresh out of  his mother's oven. I miss saying good morning to the neighbor leaving for work as I fetch my newspaper from the front yard. I miss discussing the weather with the retiree weeding her flowerbed. I miss sitting down for a cup of coffee or tea to gossip about the people who are planning to buy the tacky house down the street. I miss the shaded streets and the acorns that smack you on the head as I walk down the street with our Flip.

I miss the charm of a real neighborhood.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


One of my college English professors once said that I was the only English major she knew who could not write creatively. While I was in her creative writing class, I proved her right. I was really crummy! I could never think of anything to write about. I had a really boring life, I guess. I did not have much imagination, I suppose. And I usually only read because I had to prepare for class.

Well, things changed near the end of my college years. I started seeing the world from another angle. It was the beginning of the 70's. Need I say more?

I got the traveling bug. I traveled near and far and finally saw the world I lived in. Of course my family went on vacations when I was in high school, but it wasn't until I traveled on my own that I really experienced different places and cultures. All of those places and people I had read about in books now became real. All of the sounds and smells and tastes were no longer imagery, but were real.

The first morning that I went to the cafeteria for breakfast at the University of Quebec in Jonquiere and the entire menu was in French, I realized what I was up against for the next six weeks. An hour later I noticed that during our entrance exam that a peer testing next to me never answered a single question on her cassette recorder exam. She took the test again that afternoon, since the examiner said her cassette player must have been broken. Sharon knew even less French than I did and did not understand enough to answer. Whether we learned to speak French those six weeks is still a big question. I still say that I learned more French by teaching it the next few years, but did I learn to speak French? Je ne sais pas. C'est dommage pour moi!

But I could write a book about how to manage getting a root canal in Canada in 1971 before the invention of email and cellphones.  I drove my mom and dad crazy back then!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Eleven Parties for President

Who says there isn't a choice in this Presidential Race?

Eleven political parties! It is almost like trying to find a good box of cereal on the cereal aisle at the supermarket. Be sure to read the ingredients on the side of the box. (Allergy watchers, there may be nuts used in the production of some products.)

Seriously, here is the list of choices from the bottom of the ballot up, Socialism and Liberation Party (Lindsay/Osorio); Republican Party (Romney/Ryan); We The People Party (Tittle/Turner); Prohibition Party (Fellure/Davis); Libertarian Party (Johnson/Gray); Socialist Workers Party (Harris/Kennedy); Justice Party (Anderson/Rodriguez); Green Party (Stein/Honkala); Socialist Equality Party (White/Scherrer); Constitution Party (Goode/Clymer);and Democratic Party (Obama/Biden).

My absentee ballot said  TURN BALLOT OVER. VOTE BOTH SIDES OF BALLOT. If you do not  read through these proposed amendments before going to vote, you will be in the voting booth a long while.


At the bottom of the 2nd page of my absentee ballot in small letters it says see page 3. Glad I saw that and looked for page 3!

Whew! Got through that one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Winter Ready Agaves

Every year in October I wonder when we can stop cutting the grass and weedeating. My mom reminded us a few years ago that October can have 90 degree F temps up through Halloween (Oct. 31). So since we still have warm temps, we still have to mow. :(

This noon we put all of the potted agaves ( big and small) in sheltered areas. As they need light and ventilation, but not much water, under the house eaves should be perfect. That is until we get really hard frost and freezing in late December and January. Then we will bring out the blankets to protect them. And you thought we only spoiled our beagle!

The potted plants on the front porch will still need daily watering during our sunny, warm October. But some of those plants will also move to the back porch around Thanksgiving and then struggle to keep alive until Spring. Such is the life of all of our "babies."

In the meantime, we are still sweatin' while working in the yard and garden.;~[

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Curly Kale Stamppot Recipe

Curly Kale Stamppot (favorite Dutch recipe)

2 or 3 pounds of curly kale
3 pounds of potatoes
Milk and Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 Kielbasa (Polish) sausage
Bacon and bacon drippings

Strip, wash, and cut up the kale very finely. (I recently purchased
cut, washed, and one pound bags of kale at Walmart. It was perfect for
this recipe. Even the small pieces of stem cooked up deliciously.)
Peel, wash, and cut the potatoes into large cubes. Place the chopped
kale on top of the raw potatoes and the sausage on top of the kale.

Boil the potatoes, kale, and sausage in boiling water with a pinch of
salt until the potatoes are done for mashing. By that time, the kale
will have steamed, and the sausage will be good and hot, too. While
waiting for the kale and potatoes to cook, fry up chopped bacon to use
later to top off your dish.

When potatoes are ready to mash, lift out sausage and drain off all
water (you do not want soup). You can retain the drained water in a
measuring cup to use later if the Stamppot is too dry for your taste.
Then just stamp the steamed kale and boiled potatoes with a potato
masher. If this is your first time for green mashed potatoes don't
worry, just add salt and pepper to taste. I sometimes add salted
butter and a little milk.

Slice the worst (Polish kielbasa) into bite sizes. Serve the Stamppot
with slices of sausage and drizzled with pieces of fried bacon and
lots of warm drippings.
Enjoy this winter dish. It sticks to your ribs!

We also make Stamppot with sauerkraut. Yummy! In the summer we eat
Stamppot made with raw greens like endive and even spinach. The warm
potatoes cook the raw greens just the right amount. Thickly sliced
(salty) bacon works the best for the drippings. I like Wright's from
Walmart the best, but I have tried salt pork and fatback. If you skip
the bacon pieces (spekjes), be prepared to add more salt to the
Stamppot. My Dutch sister-in-law loves this dish with salted butter
instead of bacon.

Dutch saying: Never eat curly kale (boerenkool/farmer's cabbage)
before the frost has got at it.

To Bite the Hand that Feeds You

While not getting too political here, I must share what I witnessed yesterday.

At our monthly seniors meeting and luncheon at the local Baptist church, the discussion cautiously got into political territory. I waited for the accusations. "It is the government's fault," I heard. Then almost in the same breath, the accuser asked, "Now what is the phone number of the Council on the Aging that will come out and pick you up to take you to an appointment?"

Bet he had his Medicare and Social Security cards in his breast pocket, too.

Enough said.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Get Set! Let's Grow!

After clearing out the Bermuda grass, I finally got my Fall garden planted in the raised beds this afternoon. I had postponed planting, since I want good lettuce and spinach for Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

Now the nights cool off, so with warm days the growing time will slow down and maybe the little plants will not need so much water.

I started off by planting five elephant garlic cloves. They came from a garlic bulb from the grocery store, but with luck they should work (or rather grow). Then I divided up a regular grocery store garlic bulb and planted eleven cloves. In the same veggie bed I kept to the alliums and planted onion sets. Lots of them! This summer we ate onions that had started from castoffs in our compost heap, so these purchased sets should do just fine.

Next I planted nine Brussels sprouts plants at the end of the basil and eggplant bed. I haven't had much luck with sprouts, but the plants always go wild in our delicious composted bed. The bugs got to the plants last fall, and we never ate our own sprouts. A kind friend at our senior citizen group sent us a nice bag of B. sprouts, when she heard we could not grow them. Wish me luck this time around.

After the sprouts, I sowed the tiny spinach, radish , lettuces, and arugula seeds in neat rows. And finally I filled in the small spaces by broadcasting most of the rest of my greens seeds. As the dusty soil needed a good drink, I made sure to water everything in the beds. After doing that everyday this coming week, I should have lots of little salads growing in my garden.

By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, we should be able to "shop" in our own backyard.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trials at Peenemunde

If you have been following my blog, you may remember back on March 23, 2012 that my hub and I visited a secluded kind of military weapon production plant in Germany not far from the Poland border. I wasn't able to learn much about the place, since there were no brochures or books in English. Guess they were not expecting English speakers to that remote location. A true example of "hidden Europe."

According to Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries of the Hidden Europe Magazine,

"Seventy years ago today, on 3 October 1942, a much more fearful weapon was trialled at Peenemünde. It was the V-2, the world's first ballistic missile. That early autumn morning on the shores of the Baltic marked humanity's first step towards the frontiers of space. On that Saturday, the science of rocketry took a big step forward as the pioneering V-2 sped skyward. The rocket quickly went into production - not at Peenemünde but on the southern fringes of the Harz Mountains in central Germany - and by 1944 the German authorities were firing the rocket at enemy targets in London and elsewhere.
Strange things happen in the forgotten territories where land and sea meet. Not least at Peenemünde. Many of the original team who worked on the V-2 at Peenemünde were quietly shipped to the United States after the end of the Second World War. Under Operation Paperclip, key personnel in the Nazi ballistic missile programme were secretly relocated. Some, like Wernher von Braun, went on to illustrious careers in the NASA space programme. The world quietly overlooked their previous engagement in promoting the interests of Nazi Germany.
Peenemünde remains an odd sort of place, lonely and mournful. It has a tragic beauty that masks an intriguing history - truly a part of hidden Europe.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(editors, hidden europe magazine)"

(editors, hidden europe magazine)Tria

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Polenta from the Oven

Our adult son has been vacationing with us this week. It is good to know that he still sees our home as a place to hang out and just relax.

He has always loved books and reading, and this week he read. Lots! He even downloaded his first book on the Kindle app and read it on his iPhone. Glad he still has good eyes for that. I tried it two summers ago when he gave me his gently used iPhone, and I strained these old peepers. But I must say that the font size is similar to what I see now as I type this blog post on my iPad. So I must be careful.

Yesterday evening our son's close friend A came here for the weekend. A could not wait to help my hub with bush hogging our front triangle this afternoon. From what I can see, he did a good job. I think he was disappointed that he couldn't dig any holes with the front shovel. Boys never get too old to dig in the dirt, ha ha.

As I am not much of a cook, I tried to find something to cook that I could not mess up. Now how simple could this be? Tonight we had Jillee's nephew's Championship Chili ( and Sara Moulton's oven polenta ( . My guys liked the chili and chips, and A and I liked the polenta topped with chili and cheese. And the weather was pleasant enough to enjoy our evening meal on the back porch table.

All is well here this evening.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lost in Translation?

Please note that I have a new translation button on my blog. Just look over to the right =>>>>>>> of  each post. Feel free to read this blog in any language that you prefer. My odd joke may lose something in the translation, but what the heck?


Why is it that I feel like maybe it is time to use the following radio communication language when I send or receive email messages? 

Lately it has become apparent that either I am sending mixed messages or my receivers aren't receiving my messages. Just in the last month I have noticed that some of my messages have gotten lost, or could it be that the receivers just did not want to take the time or courtesy to answer my requests? Or maybe they are waiting for a confirmation from me that I received their message? Or that I am finished with bothering them? I don't know anymore! Maybe I even have to end my messaging like I do with my hub and son ( Love you and bye bye)

Just in case we need to begin using the radio communication language, I "borrowed" it directly from Wikipedia. Thought you might get a kick out of reading it before you use it incorrectly.

  • Affirm — Yes
  • Negative — No
  • Reading you Five / Loud and clear — I understand what you say; 5×5.
  • Over — I have finished talking and I am listening for your reply. Short for "Over to you." (not used in aviation)
  • Come in — You may begin speaking now
  • Out — I have finished talking to you and do not expect a reply. (not used in aviation)
  • Wait Out — I do not have the answer or information to hand, I will attempt to source the answer or information requested shortly but until then I have finished talking and do not expect a reply. (not used in aviation)
  • Roger — (also roger that) I understand what you said; ok; all right [In aviation it is different: Roger = I received the message (even without understanding the contents at that moment); Acknowledge = I understand the contents of the received message; Wilco = I will comply with the contents of the received message.]
  • Ten four — I understand; ok; all right
  • Copy — I heard what you just said; ok; all right.
  • Wilco — Wilcomply (after receiving new directions).
  • Go ahead or Send your traffic — Send your transmission.
  • Say again repeat; Please repeat your last message (Repeat is only used in US military radio terminology to request additional artillery fire)
  • Break — Signals a pause during a long transmission to open the channel for other transmissions, especially for allowing any potential emergency traffic to get through. (Not used in British Army)
  • Roger So Far — Confirm you have received and understood the contents of my transmission so far. This is used during Long Message Procedure (Messages lasting over 20 seconds prefixed by the Pro-Word 'Long Message' and the initiating C/S must give a gap of five seconds after the receiving station has replied with 'Roger'. This five seconds is to allow other Stations onto the net if they have important messages.
  • Break-Break — Signals to all listeners on the frequency, the message to follow is priority. Almost always reserved for emergency traffic or in NATO forces, an urgent 9 line or Frag-O.
  • Standby or Wait out — Pause for the next transmission. This does not usually entail staying off the air until the operator returns as they have used the word 'Out' which indicates the transmission has ended. The net is now free for other traffic to flow but users should be aware that the previous C/S may re-initiate a Call as per their 'Wait out'
  • Callsign-Actual — Sometimes an individual (generally a superior) may have a person monitor the network for them. Saying "actual" after their callsign asserts you wish to speak to the specific person the callsign is attached to.
  • Sécurité — Maritime safety call. Repeated three times. Has priority over routine calls.
  • Pan-pan — Maritime/aviation urgency call. Repeated three times. Has priority over safety calls.
  • Mayday — Maritime/aviation distress call. Repeated three times and at beginning of every following transmission relating to the current distress situation. Has priority over urgency and safety calls.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sweet! Sweet! Peachy Finish for Just Plain Cooking!

We are down to the last two recipes for Memaw's Just Plain Cooking. These last recipes are for peach cobbler.  I love cobbler! Easy peasy! (And I usually have a can of peaches on the pantry shelf!)

Quick Peach Cobbler (Memaw's)

4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 No. 2 can peaches
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk

Place margarine in baking dish and melt in oven.
Heat peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup sugar and milk together in mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Remove baking dish from oven when margarine has melted.
Add flour mixture, then peach mixture.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Crust will rise to the top and brown.

Fresh Peach Cobbler (Memaw's)

4 cups peaches (peeled and sliced)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
Dash of cinnamon
1 double pie crust mix

Put peaches, sugar, butter, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and keep it on simmer until you have the crust prepared.

Pie Crust (Memaw's)

1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons cold water

Cut shortening into flour until mixture is like coarse cornmeal.
Work in flour and water.
Roll out on floured board until about 1/8 inch thick.
Line deep dish pie pan with crust.
Pour in peaches.
Top with crust.
Dot with butter and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake in 375 degrees F oven until golden brown.
Serve warm plain, with Cool Whip, or topped with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank You, English Teachers!

It is thanks to great English teachers that we can enjoy such great blogs on the Internet!

I know that I am supposed to give credit to parents and family for teaching us to speak English, but that is an entirely different "ball of wax." If bloggers wrote like their family spoke, only the locals might understand the vernacular. And really, how many locals even bother to read your blog?

So hats off to the men and women who taught you to spell, punctuate, indent, capitalize, use strong imagery, use voice, organize, use great word choice, use sentence fluency, and  present/publish in a readable way.

Spell check on your computer will never replace good English teachers. Its only their four you're convenients! (It's only there for your convenience!) 

No Lemon Sauce on the Bread Pudding, Please!

For years I thought that delicious bread pudding had to have lemon sauce. But I know now that caramel sauce or Nutella chocolate sauce tastes even better to me. Leave the lemon to lemon icebox pie! My hub will be happy to read that, since he likes bread pudding, too.

Bread Pudding (Memaw's)

6 slices white or brown bread
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup butter

Break bread into pieces in a large bowl.
Pour milk over bread to soften.
Add eggs, sugar, raisins, and vanilla and blend well.
Melt the butter in a two quart baking dish.
Pour half of melted butter into pudding mix. Mix well.
Pour pudding mix into baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until pudding has risen and is golden brown all over.
Serve warm with lemon sauce!!!!

Lemon Sauce (Memaw's)
(This is a delicious sauce, by the way. I just prefer something else on my bread pudding.)

Juice of one lemon
Grated rind of one lemon
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
Dash of salt
3 tablespoons flour

In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt, and water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until it begins to thicken.
Gradually stir in beaten egg yolk.
Add butter. Continue stirring.
Remove from heat.
Add lemon juice and rind.
Serve over pudding.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our Family Favorite Desserts

I think that we had Cherry Pie so often that I really, really do not like it very much anymore. But someone in our family must have liked it. I do not remember who that was. I always ate a piece (and still do), but it is not my favorite. But I could eat a bucket of Banana Pudding. It must have homemade vanilla pudding and Nabisco vanilla wafers with a dollop of real whipped cream on top. I know, I have Memaw's sweet tooth. I am so glad she loved to make sure we had dessert every single night for supper! Thanks, Mom!

Cherry Pie (Memaw's)

1 can unsweetened pie cherries
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 unbaked double pie crust

Combine cherries, sugar, flour, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until juice thickens a bit.
Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Top with remaining crust and bake at 375 degrees F until crust is golden brown and juice in pie is bubbly (about one hour).

Banana Pudding (Memaw's)

3 ripe bananas
1 small box of vanilla wafers
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt

In a saucepan combine sugar, flour, and salt.
Stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
Spoon a small amount of pudding mixture into beaten egg and blend well. Gradually blend egg mixture into pudding mixture. Stirring constantly, continue cooking for one minute.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla and let cool about 10 minutes.
Add a little milk, if pudding is too thick.

Line the bottom of a serving bowl with vanilla wafers.
Slice one banana over wafers.
Pour 1/3 of pudding over banana and wafers.
Continue to layer wafers, bananas, and pudding until all ingredients are used.
Put wafers around the sides of the pudding and sprinkle wafer crumbs over pudding.
Cool and serve with whipped topping or just plain.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Memaw's Pecan Pie Recipe

My men love pecan pie! Although the recipe for pecan pie is on the side of the Karo syrup bottle, I use Memaw's recipe. And I try to use real Karo syrup, too.

Many, many years ago I sent my Dutch hub to a tiny New York City grocery store to buy Karo syrup.  He was there on a business trip (and I was jealous), and he actually had a longer list of "American" food to buy for me.  But I remember that he said that he gave the clerk in the store my list and let her look for the items. A Dutchman would never find a bottle of Karo syrup! (I could write a book about what he can not find, ha ha!)

Pecan Pie (Memaw's)

1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans (broken)
1 unbaked pie crust

Combine sugar and flour in mixing bowl.
Add syrup, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Blend well.
Stir in pecans and pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes.

Charley's Sweet Potato Pie (Memaw's)

1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar, or less if desired
1/3 cup milk or half-half
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Combine all ingredients except pie shell. Blend well with electric mixer.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated oven 400 degrees F about 30 minutes or until golden and puffy.
Serve alone or with whipped cream.

Melva's Sweet Potato Pie (Memaw's)

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Mix all ingredients, beating well.
Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 degrees F until golden and puffy.
Serve with whipped cream.