Left-overs Anyone?

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Finally . . . some cold weather! Just as it should be for Thanksgiving . . . but not TOO COLD. Cold enough to be able to use the garage for storage of some dishes that wouldn’t fit in our refrig. Yes, it was a FULL refrig — even after our wonderful meal yesterday afternoon.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to ALL — hopefully everyone was able to enjoy the day with loved ones. Both our sons and family were with us, and for that we are so thankful!

THE MEAL — yummy, as always. Had a big turkey in our oven this year — 23 lbs.– even though at one time we considered having just a turkey breast. After trying out 3 different roasting pans, we finally got one that was wide enough to catch the drippings as it roasted.

DESSERTS — were aplenty! Think we had more of these than side dishes with the turkey. But . . . each of us has a favorite pie or cake, so we try to please all. And then, Kelby decided that we needed some of his special choc. chip cookies. Problem, however — no oven space. The turkey had another couple hours to go and then it was “finish up” time for the dressing, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese (NO, not the Kraft box kind — the REAL kind from scratch!), and green bean casserole.

Problem solved — spotted the little toaster/oven on the counter. Of course, we had to find a “little” cookie sheet to fit it. We did. So . . . the cookie making began — in the middle of everything else. Do you know what happens when you have cookie dough sitting in a big bowl around young folks? So, as it turned out, we didn’t need that much oven to bake cookies after all!

After our wonderful meal together — and it’s really all about being together, more than the food . . . right? . . . the guys headed outside for some target shooting. ONLY in TEXAS!

That left the clean-up to us girls, but kitchen-time is special time together, too . . . right? You know it . . . .

Even though the experts say . . . don’t leave food outside the refrig. long or else you’ll die . . . we left out the left-overs. Some dishes did go to the garage to stay cold — why not . . . Keegan walked in from the garage asking if we knew there were some bowls of food out there. Guess we have to train our “boys” a little better.

Traditionally we watched the BIG GAME on this day — UT vs. Texas A&M. However, some years back someone offered more $$$ to the athletic directors if they’d schedule the game on the day after! And they fell for it!

So, what to do after eating a big meal, going outside for target shooting, and cleaning up a dirty kitchen?

PICTIONARY . . . of course! Did I hear some moans? Well, this was a very fun way to finish off our day — actually, it was just a side-track before we all headed back into the kitchen to refill our plates with . . . left-overs!

And it’s left-overs again today . . . as we watch THE GAME that we should have been able to watch yesterday! So, even though not all of the family can be together again today (some had to go to work!) . . . the rest of us will gather around the tv with full tummies again and watch the Horns whoop up on those Aggies! Hook ‘Em!

Did anyone see where we put that pulley bone?

Repair Observation

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Recently, we needed plumbing repair at one of our rental properties. I want to share this event with you, and as you read this, keep asking yourself “do I really want a national health care system run by a government agency?” I believe the analogy here is obvious:

Since the plumbing problem was on our property, we called a privately owned plumbing business. One repairman arrived — drove himself. After listening to our description of the problem, he starting looking for the cause. He had to dig away the dirt around a drain hole at the side of the house, and then he began going back and forth from the inside to the outside putting water thru the line. At one point, he inserted several different plumbing tools — a snake, a line with a camera, and another tool that had a cutter attached to the end. He found the stoppage and cleaned out all that he could, enough to fix our problem for that time. At some point during his work outside, he suggested we call the City folks because the problem was at the sidewalk/street — City property. Since there was no drain cap/hole at that area, he also suggested we request one so that future calls could determine exactly where the stoppage was happening and could be fixed (by the City).

As soon as he suggested we call the City, I made the call (why not, I was going to be there waiting for him to finish). Surprisingly, the City folks responded within two hours — and how they responded! First, a truck arrived with two men — a driver and a passenger that I’ll call the Cell Phone guy. They parked in front of the house next door and just sat there — so, I walked over to make sure they knew the problem was at OUR house. The driver pretty much ignored me, and the Cell Phone guy was taking another service call, all the while exclaiming something like . . . “man, another one, what’s going on today!”

After a time, they both got out of their truck. However, for some reason, they didn’t head over toward our house . . . just stood around their vehicle. Finally, they had all of their “gear” (clip board, cell phone, gimmie hats, and sunshades) and headed our way. Our private enterprise plumber guy was still on the job; he was finished, but he was putting away all of his tools. We invited him to explain what he had found to the City guys and why we had called them, which he did.

Meanwhile, another City truck arrived. This one had a big trailer with some type of equipment mounted on it, and there were also two guys in it — a driver and a passenger.

The four City guys put their heads together, and it was decided that our situation was not an emergency and half of them could leave. The original two continued on with their investigation of the problem — walked over to the dirt area (that was now all put back nicely) and nodded that this was the place to start. They stepped off how far it was from the house to the sidewalk and began to write down something on their clipboard. Eventually, the clipboard was put down and their COLOR camera came out to go down the pipeline to check out the situation — or rather the location of the problem.

We were informed that our problem appeared to be about 20 feet from our house (not on City property), and it was not their concern. However, since our private plumber guy was still on the job with us, he entered into the discussion on our behalf. The “short” of the story is: the City guys left saying they would give their information to an engineer back at the office. If the engineer determined that there was a problem on City property, they would be back in a few weeks to work on it. (That’s a total of five City guys who were involved in this service call. Notice, I said “involved in,” not “worked on” this service call.)

That was over four weeks ago, and guess what? We have not heard a word from the City! Besides that, each time we pay for City services in the form of taxes, I wonder how much lower they could be if the management were more like that of a privately owned business.

If you are still “on the fence” about the national health care issue — check out the efficiency of your local post office; that’s another story! Take a number, please . . . .

Halloween Fun

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Is it just me . . . or what? When we were kids, halloween was a time to throw on an old sheet with holes for eyes, or a paper-type mask held on to your head with a rubber band, or maybe put on some “hobo” clothes with hair in pig tails. Halloween night these days is quite different!

Each year we help with the Trick or Treat night at our grandkid’s house, I am amazed at the costumes these kids (and adults) are wearing. Some are really nice home-made outfits — complete from head to toe. Others are store-bought, but they are also very complete. Of course, there is also hair coloring, makeup, and wigs. Some props that are carried (along with their candy bag) include swords, wands, microphones, chains. Many of these trick or treaters could win a halloween costume contest — very entertaining! Of course, OUR grandchildren’s outfits were the VERY best — Brielle was Medusa (complete with home-made gown and a wig with lots of snakes within — yes, our beautiful Brielle chose this character); McKenna was a rock star (another home-made outfit with lots of glitz; head microphone, of course, that one lady thought was a telephone headset, and purple hair); and Keegan changed his mind at the last minute — he went as Death Rider (complete with black and white makeup all over his face — not recognizable as our handsome grandson!).

Our family had a Pumpkin Carving party the Saturday before Halloween — each of us carved one using commercial patterns that you tape onto the pumpkin and then carve. We finished with some really impressive looking pumpkins — cell phones with cameras were popping pictures very often, we noticed! Here is a sampling —
Copy of Pumpkin Carving Party Oct 2007 066 McKenna's Mamo's Pumpkin Carving Party Oct 2007 072

Anyway, we enjoyed our night with the gobblins — especially the candy part!