Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day May 31, 2010

We tuned our radio to WRR-FM radio in Dallas this morning because they always play wonderfully patriotic music on days like this. We were not disappointed; everything from America The Beautiful to Sousa Marches.

I spent most of the day writing. My second book is tentatively titled "Cherokee Wanderings" and is loosely woven around the lives of my great great grandparents, Aaron Crittenden and Linny Catcher. This book is directed at middle school age children since there is apparently a dearth of books for this age group. I'm only into 45 pages at this point. They are traveling in a covered wagon, destination Indian Territory around Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma. They are newly married and Linny is 4 months pregnant. Linny is Aaron's second wife, his first one, namely Martha, having died of pneumonia while Aaron was fighting in the Indian Home Guard for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Linny is only 19, quite willful and high spirited. Aaron is 25 and maturely set in his thinking. They started out on this trek traveling straight south from Sturgeon, Missouri. Linny was not thrilled to leave Sturgeon and they have some interesting adventures along the way. Stay tuned.

Just received an email from Alicia in the PCWNC informing me that another lady in the organization, Gayla, took her new puppy outside last night around 9 o'clock for his last outing before bedtime. As she stepped off the patio onto the grass, she stepped on a copperhead snake. When it bit her, she twisted her ankle as she fell, injuring her shoulder as well. She went to the ER in Azle, Texas where they began anti-venom medication and apparently they are keeping her there until tomorrow just to be sure she is okay. Keep her in your prayers. There have been several warnings on TV about an over abundance of snakes this year due to all the rain. Beware!

This all I have to say for now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Good Morning Friends,

Every morning at the breakfast table, Doug and I have what we call an "intelligence briefing" in which we discuss news items we've gleaned off the Internet from various sources along with our Weatherford Democrat newspaper and the Star Telegram from Ft. Worth, Texas.

For some reason, an article in the Star Telegram caused both of us to break out into laughter. The headline is "BP is up to here in hair but says it doesn't need it". This alone started us chuckling along with my comment, "This could be the hairiest story of the year."

The article is written by AP's Lisa Orkin Emmanuel. She states that boxes are piling up with hundreds of thousands of pounds of hair, pet fur and fleece in 19 warehouses throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.

Evidently there was a mis-communication between BP and the U. S. Coast Guard with a nonprofit organization called Matter of Trust based in San Francisco.

Chris Watts, co-owner of a pet-care facility in Dallas has collected about 500 pounds of animal hair. UPS has donated free shipping for up to 1,600 pounds.

People can still feel good about trying to do something to let the people in the affected areas know they are not alone. Were it not such a serious situation, it would be a hysterically funny comedy sketch. After all, Americans' strength comes from being able to laugh in the face of tragedy and destruction.

On another note, I happened to catch This Week on TV with Jake Tapper. The round table was discussing the Arlen Specter/Joe Sestak fiasco. The consensus of opinion seemed to be that this was just politics as usual and saw no wrong in it although one table member did point out that this damages the Obama brand. No one ever approached something that went through my mind during this discussion. What if Obama, feeling pressured to show some support for Specter because he defected, found a way to make a show of support while, in actuality, knowing that Specter could not be elected in the Fall? I believe this came out exactly the way Obama desired.

We went to an old fashioned carnival in downtown Weatherford this afternoon. This carnival is out of Lufkin, Texas and they must have at least 25 different rides as well as dart throwing, ball throwing, yellow duckies in a tub of water, etc. There were no ring or coin toss games though. If it weren't for my back problems, I would have ridden the bumper cars. I love those things. Doug and I rode the Ferris Wheel and I won a soccer ball and a blow up fish picking duckies out of the water. Doug took many photos, but we didn't stay very long due to the 95 degree heat again today.

On the way home, we stopped at Wanda's Cafe for some fine down home food. I had chicken and dressing, corn and green beans and salad. Doug had a catcher's mitt size chicken fried steak with potatoes and gravy. This all went down well with our huge glasses of ice tea. Wanda's burned down a few months back and they have rebuilt a really nice restaurant.

Afterwards, we drove to Walmart and bought Daisy (our golden retriever mix) a new kiddie pool since the one she's had for two years has deteriorated. We brought it home, filled it with water and she immediately got into it and laid down. This dog knows how to stay cool.

This is all I have to say for now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Life in the Kerr Household

May 29, 2010
Yesterday 18 women came to our home to take part in “Game Daze”, one of the social functions of the Parker County Women’s and Newcomers’ Club (PCWNC). Once a month (except August) we meet at a member's home, bringing food and games for all to enjoy. I played Drunk Rummy and 42 (dominos). My food preparation consisted of tortilla soup made in a large crock pot, a delicious cake (well, everyone said it was) made from a recipe on the vanilla pudding box, coffee and punch made from a recipe in our PCWNC recipe book, appropriately called PCWNC Punch. A great time was enjoyed by all. My darling husband, Doug, shot numerous photos of the event as always. One of the ladies who hadn't heard about my book, bought one.

Recipes follow and you will notice, all are simple:

Angel Lush cake

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 3.4 oz. pkg. JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP
1 pkg. 10” round angel food cake, cut into 3 layers
10 fresh strawberries

Mix pineapple and dry pudding mix. Gently stir in COOL WHIP. Stack layers on plate, spreading pudding mixture between layers and on top of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour. Slice strawberries in half and decorate top of cake with them.

Crock-Pot Tortilla Soup
Serves 8

1-1/2 lbs. cooked shredded chicken breasts
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz. can Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
2 4-oz. cans Hatch Diced Green Chiles
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups water
1 15-oz. can chicken broth
2 tsp. each: cumin, chili powder (depending on how hot you like it-I only do 1 tsp. chili powder) salt, black pepper (or to taste)
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
Garnish with chopped cilantro, Mexican four cheese and avocado
Serve with package tortilla strips or chips

Combine all ingredients (except for garnishes) in crock pot. Cover and cook on High 4 hours.

Serves 40

2 3-oz. boxes orange gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 12-oz. cans frozen orange juice, thawed
1 46-oz can unsweetened pineapple juice
1 6-oz. can frozen lemonade PLUS required water
1 qt. ginger ale, chilled

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool. Add juices as listed; mix well. Chill thoroughly. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Place two or three ice cubes in small glasses and fill with punch.

I don’t like to serve my guests food on paper plates so all of my Fiestaware was in use necessitating two loads in the dish washer when all was said and done. Needless to say, after getting my kitchen back to normal, I spent the rest of the day and evening on the couch either napping or watching TV.

May 29, 2010

Today is the beginning of the Memorial Day observance. We are going to my daughter, Lynne’s, home in Azle, Texas for a family cookout and games.

We played the Ladder Game. For those of you who haven’t seen this: It is an upright unit usually made from PVC pipe with three rows of dowels between the outside frame. There are two units along with two sets of three short ropes, with either golf balls or hard rubber balls attached to the ends of each rope—one set of three colored red and the other colored blue. The object is to toss these ropes with balls so they will wind around one of the dowels. The units are placed a specific distance from each other and teams of two are formed. Each dowel has a value, the top one being 3 points, the middle one being 2 points and the bottom one is 1 point. The object is to reach 21 points before the other team does to win and it must be exactly 21 points at the end. There is an area on the units for keeping score. This is a game in which just about anyone in the family can participate. My team lost consistently, but it was fun.

Because it is so hot here today, in fact 95 degrees, son Russ, Lynne and daughter-in-law Kelley decided to cook indoors. We had delicious turkey tacos with all the trimmings including Mexican Rice and refried beans. I brought left over Angel Lush cake for dessert as well as some of the PCWNC Punch.

Came home to an email from my Publicist Mary Stoddard concerning reviews being dropped from my publishing site. There is evidently a bug in the program and have sent an email requesting restoration of the reviews. By the way, the title of my book is "The Cherokee Advantage", One woman's twentieth century tale of tears.
It is a memoir written from my perspective from the age of four. If you would like to learn more about it, please go to my web site: Crittenden is my maiden name as well as my pen name. It is a well known name in The Cherokee Nation (headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma), of which I am a card carrying member.

This is all I have to say for now.