Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Funnies

Christmas in July (even if the final day of the month) . . .

And for those counting down, there's less than 150 days left until Christmas 2015.
And the Hallmark store in the local mall is (more than) ready. If you must really know how many more days until the celebration or want to get your shopping started (or done), here's where you can get an exact countdown.
Enjoy your weekend, Everyone

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Well Shut My Mouth!!!!

As the Hero of New Jersey, The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, tells us, I was "born in the USA". Now I've always believed that USA meant United States of AMERICA. That meant that since I was born in the USA, I was an AMERICAN. BUT it seems I was wrong all this time. Now, I have never been one to claim political correctness in my thoughts or words. Today I've learned that calling myself an AMERICAN, is problematic according to the “Bias-Free Language Guide” used by the University of New HampshireThe guide recommends against the term because it 
“assumes the U.S. is the only country inside the continents of North and South America".

As Steve Martin, and now "The Donald" would say, EXCUSE ME!!!!! As far as know, in North America, the residents of the USA are the only ones to identify, label, and call themselves "AMERICANS". And may I say we do it PROUDLY. Im sure our Canadian readers will verify this. 

AND as far as I know no citizens of any of the countries Central America call themselves "AMERICANS". Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorians and such yes. But not AMERICANS. The same also goes folks that live in South American countries. Brazilians, Chileans, Columbians and so on. But not AMERICANS. All of these folks seem to be happy to be identified with the country they live in.

This leads me to question the intelligence and reality level of the "Tax Funded" educators who seem to be so 'geographically challenged' (I hope that is the politically correct term for over educated buffoons who have nothing better to do then waste our tax dollars on this rubbish) at UNH.

BUT WAIT!!!!!! THERE IS MORE!!!!!! Because using the term AMERICAN is not all that they find problematic. Oh No.... there is so much more.

Other “problematic” words on the taxpayer-funded school’s lengthy list include “mothering,” “fathering,” “healthy,” “homosexual,” “rich,” “poor” and “senior citizen,” notes Campus Reform
To get re-educated about these problematic words, click on the link above for Campus Reform.

And even more go to

Grenville, A Proud AMERICAN🇺🇸

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blooming VA

In the past few months, we've had some colorful blooms at The Frog & PenguINN, our VA eastern shore home.
These yard blooms are watched over the the ever-present Welcome frogs.  Don't let their 
dour expressions put you off as they are really quite friendly (and very quiet too).

After moving to VA from our native NJ, we had a very large vegetable garden in our backyard. There were 5 beds (each 12 feet wide x 50 feet long). Several years later, we went to a much smaller space as seen in this photo. We have NO veggie garden now and go to seasonal farmer's markets weekly to stock up on local produce.

The nearly all perennials in the backyard now require far less maintenance than the former veggie gardens.

Do you have any veggies or flowers in your gardens ?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Funnies

Recently, a fellow blogger asked where we come up with images shown in the Friday Funnies posts.The answer is simple: we just look around and are constantly surprised and very amused by what we always seem to find. 

For example, we found this caution warning at an area mall this week.

Where was that bag? It behind this cart.

Just keep looking for the funny (sometimes) ridiculous side — it's all around (guaranteed). This one was spotted by Grenville, who always looks for the fun side of life.

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Birthday Time !

Thanks to Everyone for all the Happy Birthday wishes for our granddaughter. 
Here's the Birthday Girl posing in her new dress and, of course, wearing her royal headwear.

A gift sent from her aunt was the first one opened before the party started. 

She was a very excited birthday girl when the candles were being lit. and then afterwards sampling one of the cupcake decorations.

Of course, gift opening is always the best part of a birthday party (don't you remember?)  
This was a dual celebration as Grandpa celebrated his special day last week.

We all had a great time celebrating and are looking forward to #5 next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Now She's 4

This is granddaughter's Special Day — we're celebrating later today.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Funnies

Just wondering . . .

Why would someone change their baby — and into what?

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Birthday Treat(s)

Yes, Grenville/Pat celebrated his birthday celebrated with ice cream (twice) yesterday.
Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. 
(Comments are off)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

HB Grenville

Yes, it's that special day . . .
Birthday wishes to my love, partner and (most importantly) best friend — Patrick (aka Grenville). 

Yes, ice cream is definitely on the dessert menu today.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Romance.... is where you find it

Yes folks, as that renowned singing group, The Troggs, once told us, "Love is all around us...."  But these days it seems like it's harder and harder to find. On our Canada trip we happened to stumble upon some. One of our unscheduled stops was to Tiffany Falls. These falls are located just outside of the Town of Ancaster. (No i didn't leave out the L). They are part of the Ontario Escarpment, a tectonic uplift, that gave us the spectacular Niagara Falls.

Tiffany Falls, Ancaster, Canada
We have no idea who these folks are nor what they were doing. I assume this was part of a wedding album as they also had two professional photographers in tow. Since it was happening right before my eyes i decided get some great shots.

The look in his eyes really said it all. BUT watching her struggle in that long gown to get out on that log they are standing on was the true act of LOVE. Oh yes, neither of them fell in.

I leave you with a wonderful thought from singer Jackie Deshannon.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love 
No, not just for some but for everyone
Hope you all have a wonderful Day.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Funnies

Taking ecology to the next step . . . green buildings

And also some unusual ones . . . that are not actually near each other.

Where did we see all of these buildings?
In Mississauga, Ontario on a recent trip to visit friends.

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pasta Primavera Redux

Summer is a great time for meals using fresh ingredients. While we don't have
fresh veggies and seasonings
our own veggie garden, we shop for fresh produce, whether at a grocery store or in season at farm markets. 
I can't recall when we shopped the frozen food isle in a grocery store (just don't go there). Of course, the frozen area with ice cream is entirely different; it's a basic food group — right? (please don't let us know if not).

Not only is this recipe easy and delicious (my favorite meal terms) — it's great for quick meals. Unlike other pasta primavera recipes I've tried, this one uses roasted vegetables, so less cooking is involved. 

The only downside is that you need to heat the oven to a very high temp to roast the veggies. Remember, to turn on the vent fan and use caution when opening the oven to stir them after the first 10 minutes. 

You can make your own variations. For example, roasted eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli will also pair well with the pasta as will various colors of peppers. While farfalle (bowtie) pasta was used here, other types will work too. In short, you can be as creative as you want, based on your own taste preferences (and what's available in your fridge or pantry). Substituting fresh herbs would be a plus, but alas none in our fridge.

Credit for this meal idea goes to Giada De Laurentiis who has recipes by category on her website. She's one of my favorite celebrity chefs, besides Nick Stellino. Their recipes nearly always include fresh ingredients and easily prepared meals. 

Enough of my digressing — here's the recipe post. (Note: don't worry if you have more veggies, they will reduce when roasting. I would recommend adding more.)

Pasta Primavera

Suggested vegetables, all cut into thin strips
Servings: 2 people for 2 nights

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper (yellow or orange good too)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 TBSP herbes de Provence or dried Italian herbs 
  • 2 C farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved (add last)
  • 1/2 C grated cheese, 4-cheese or Parmesan-Romano
  • 1-2 carrots (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut up vegetables. Place on large baking sheet, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs.
  3. Bake until carrots (if using) are tender and vegetables begin to brown. 
  4. Cook for 20 minutes; stir after the first 10 minutes.
    veggies will reduce when roasted
  5. Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  6. Toss pasta with vegetable mixture adding enough liquid to moisten. Season pasta with salt, pepper and cheese.
Serve and enjoy

Monday, July 6, 2015

Celebrating in Grand Style

We hope that everyone had a happy and safe July 4th celebration. Ours was spent with family and friends in RI for a day of sharing good times and (very) good food.

The grandchildren are growing fast. It's been awhile since we last showed photos (Easter time) so here's some updates. Grandson completed second grade and is attending summer "Y" camp.
Within 2 weeks, granddaughter will be celebrating her 4th birthday. And, we will be back there to note that milestone event.

It was a busy weekend, but there's always time for naps as granddaughterand grandpa dozed on couches.

What better way to end a holiday weekend than with a trip to the ice cream shop!

Also, we attended a baseball game and fireworks in Nashua, NH on Friday night.
We hope your weekend included family, friends, good food, and (lots of) fun. times.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Let Freedom Ring

Today is July 4th. The birthday of our country, and in 1776, the birth of a brave new
experiment in governance. A country of the people, governed by the people and for the people. No nation up to that time had ever attempted this type of government. For the past 239 years the United States has been the gold standard of democracy. 

Or has it??

Our constitution lays the groundwork for our government, while the amendments do the fine tuning. The first amendment is just one sentence long, but it covers so much ground. 
Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
The first phrase, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", allows us the freedom to believe what ever way we want. The government can not tell us what to believe, or how to believe. In fact we even have the freedom to not believe if we choose. 

Throughout our history, individuals, groups, and organizations have tried force our government to violate the first amendment by forcing their particular religious beliefs on others through laws. Laws that were based on certain personal religious views. Your beliefs are yours, and you have the freedom to follow them as long as they don't hurt another. 

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can not intact laws restricting same sex marriages. Laws that are based on certain individuals religious beliefs. I will not take a side on this issue here. As someone who believes in our Constitution, I feel that the Court has upheld the first amendment by restricting laws that are based on certain religious beliefs being forced on others. 

Of course others feel differently about this, and I have no problem with that. It is part of what freedom is all about. As is often quoted, "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 28 September 1868 – 13 April 1956), The Friends of Voltaire)

Since the decision came out I have been following the quotes made by some of our Presidential hopefuls.
"If I become President, I just want to remind people, please don't complain if I were to put a Nativity scene out during Christmas and say, 'If it's my house, I get to do with it what I wish, despite what other people around the country may feel about it,' " Mike Huckabee said on ABC's "This Week."
I like Mike. Some of his thoughts are quite good. BUT we should remind him that IF he ever gets to the White House as President, his residence is only temporary. Why not decorate the White House, symbol of our great nation, for all of the religious holidays that our citizens celebrate?
Other 2016 GOP candidates, including former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, also slammed the Supreme Court decision. If elected, he vowed to use the presidential "bully pulpit" to talk about the importance of marriage "for the survival of our country" — instead of combating global warming.
Does this mean Rick has found the cause of global warming? This seems like a real apples and oranges comparison. Comments like this are truly scary to me. 
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed the GOP should back off the idea of pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The proposal would never make its way through Congress, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press.” "It's a process that's not going to bear fruit," he said, arguing it should no longer be included in the GOP's platform.
Now, Lindsey seems to be making some sense here. It is time the Government stop trying to rule and run other folks lives. With so many other dangerous, possible disastrous situations both here in our country and around the world, it truly is time to move on.
Responding to the high court’s gay-marriage decision, the most mainstream among GOP presidential candidates – former Florida governor Jeb Bush – said, “Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage.” (Mr. Bush is Roman Catholic.) But he also said: “I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side.”
Don't get me wrong here. I am not a Jeb fan (nor am I a fan of anyone else), but he may be onto something here. It is time we get back to loving and respecting each other. Quakers have long believed that we are to respect the beliefs of others. I also seem to remember the Almighty making these part of the primary, golden rules. 

Freedom. It is sometimes a double edged sword. But it is what makes our country great. 

Here's hoping everyone has a happy and safe 
Independence Day Weekend.

Grenville, letting FREEDOM ring!!!

LATE ADDENDUM- This just in:::::::
The Attorney General of the nation of Texass has announced that he will not force any County Clerk to a issue marriage license to same sex couples if the clerk feels it is against their religious beliefs. As usual, being a Constitutionalist, I have to agree. 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
No one should be forced to do something that violates their religious beliefs. Of course this means that the clerk is not able to perform the duties of their office for which they were elected and get compensated for. 

A definite conundrum !!!! Now, if you were working at Mc Barfies, and said that it was against your religious beliefs to serve Big Yucks, what do you think would happen?????? You were hired and are getting paid to serve Big Yucks. As the manager who does not want to interfere with someones religious beliefs, what would you do????? 

Instead of violating someones Constitutional rights, I would replace that person with someone who had no problem serving the Big Yucks.
AH yes, the double edge sword again.

Happy Independence Day!!!!

Celebrate Today

 "You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."   Erma Bombeck
(Comments are off — Enjoy your get-togethers & celebrations this weekend.)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Funnies

Good advice — an apple a day . . .

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone!
Happy Birthday USA