Thursday, June 25, 2009

Corn Day!

My wife Linda was raised in the country and grew up eating veggies out of their family garden. Nowdays she likes to stock our freezer every summer with all sorts of peas, beans, and corn. Tuesday was corn day! We drove to our favorite produce stand about 45 miles south of Shreveport that morning and purchased 300 ears of sweet corn. That's 6 bushels worth. Then I spent the day shucking and silking the corn on the back porch under a ceiling fan stirring up the 100 degree heat. Inside the house in the kitchen Linda blanched the ears, then cut off the corn kernels from the cob, and bagged the corn in pint freezer bags. We got 72 pint bags worth of cutoff corn; plus 25 of the best ears we froze on the cob. The ears were all filled out nicely, with almost no worm damage. It was really good corn! It was a hot, tiring day, but now we will have corn for the rest of the year. Next Linda will put up pinto beans, zipper cream peas, purple hull peas, brown butter beans, and green butter beans. We eat fresh, frozen veggies year around. Ummm, good eating!

Wednesday both Linda and I were feeling the results of our hard work. The arthritis in my hands and wrists had them swollen and stiff, and my left knee was complaining also. Linda's back was sore from standing at the sink all day. It sure is bad getting old! However, today we both are nearly recovered...and we still have all that corn in the freezer to show for our temporary aches and pains.
It was definitely worth it! We ate some of the new corn at lunch today. It sure had a fresh, delicious, corny taste!

I feel sorry for all those people who only eat canned or frozen, packaged veggies all year instead of putting up fresh summer veggies in their freezers. They are missing out on a lot of great tastes. None of our four adult children & their spouses fool with putting up their own veggies. Too much trouble & hard work for them to want to do it. Yet they all brag on how great Linda's veggies always taste when they eat her cooking. I guess there are a lot of folks who don't know what a corn day is or what its rewards are.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Shootout Inside the Crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

I just returned home from a visit to Uncle Travis and lunch out in Ruston at Captain D's seafood to find where there was a shooting inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in which one security guard was killed before the gunman was shot himself by other officers. Law enforcement officials said James W. von Brunn, a virulently anti-Semitic white supremacist, was under investigation in the shooting. Von Brunn has a racist, anti-Semitic website and wrote a book titled "Kill the Best Gentiles," alleging a Jewish "conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool." von Brunn's website has long been listed as a hate site. von Brunn was 88-years-old. (Source: AP Internet article By NAFEESA SYEED and DAVID ESPO - Associated Press Writers) Isn't it amazing that humans are never too young or too old to hate others so passionately.

I wrote a poem that seems appropriate here:

Why Is It So Easy To Hate?

Throughout history, humans
have found it rather easy
to hate other humans.
Hatred excuses killing,
conquering, torturing, enslaving,
and making war against other humans.
It’s amazing how the mind
can justify grounds for hatred
deep enough to allow any atrocity.

One human may hate another human
simply and instantly because:

He is of a different race,
with the wrong skin color,
hair texture, or eye shape,
speaks another language, or
has strange cultural habits –
any of which makes him
inferior and unworthy of respect.

He has the wrong religion.
Untold millions have died during
crusades or jihads to convert or
render dead the nonbelievers.
How can zealots be so religious,
yet so misguided?
"I kill you in the name of God!"

He lives in a different nation.
Chinese versus Japanese versus Korean,
Irish versus English,
Indian versus Pakistani,
– I rest my case.

He doesn’t think or act
exactly the same way,
even a fellow American:
Republican versus Democrat,
conservative versus liberal,
Protestant versus Catholic,
heterosexual versus homosexual,
pro-life versus pro-choice,
Ohio State fan versus Michigan fan,
the rich co-worker with the Mercedes,
the neighbor who plays loud music…
No reason seemingly is too petty
to engender hatred in some people.

How tragic that humans as a species
do not love as readily as they hate.

© Copyright 2007 Harry Gilleland

Monday, June 8, 2009

Does this generation of kids know wishbones?

I bought a rotisserie-cooked, whole, small chicken from the deli at my neighborhood Kroger's the other day. Linda and I ate on it for lunch that day; then I cut it apart for meat for making sandwiches later. In cutting it apart, I ended up with a wishbone. I got to thinking, and I cannot recall the last time I saw a wishbone. What with chicken nuggets, plus KFC - Popeyes - Church's - and other fast food chicken places for pieces (breasts, wings, legs, etc) and Chick-Fil-A and others for chicken sandwiches, Linda and I never buy a whole chicken anymore. Even if Linda does the cooking, these days she buys packaged breasts (her favorite) and wings and drumsticks (my two favorites) from Kroger's. We never see a wishbone. Haven't for years. When I was a small boy back in the 1950s, my mother would always buy a whole chicken because it was cheaper than buying the packaged pieces. Whenever she fried chicken several times a month, my sister and I always pulled the wishbone and whichever got the longer part got their wish supposedly. Now I wonder if young children or even young adults know about pulling apart the wishbone and getting your wish. Or is this another old tradition lost to progress and modern convenience. What do you think? I may have to write a poem about this.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Spider in Our Mailbox" by Linda Asato

In today’s post we are going to learn more about Linda Asato’s first book for children, "Spider In Our Mailbox”, which has now been published by 4RV Publishing and illustrated brilliantly by Ryan Shaw. The book was inspired by an actual spider in her mailbox, believe it or not!

Spider in Our Mailbox
by Linda Asato
illustrated by Ryan Shaw
published by 4RV Publishing
released May, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0-9818685-5-4
Paperback: 36 pages

Children love stories about family, animals, and other creatures, especially when they can learn things at the same time. Linda Asato tells the tale of a little girl who checks the mail every day – allowing children to learn the days of the week, and sees a spider in the mailbox (number one). The second day, she sees two crows (number two). Each day the types and number of creatures changes, but the spider remains. Each day, the girl runs to tell her busy mother what she saw.

Lessons to learn are counting to seven and the days of the week, learned in a fun way.

Ryan Shaw brings Asato’s delightful story to life with his bright illustrations.

Here is a review Linda’s book has received:

Awesome, entertaining, and educational book for kids! May 19, 2009
By Earnest Entrepreneur

One of the best kids books I've seen! Fun, entertaining, educational, and the illustrations are fabulous - bright and cheery. Our 6 year old son couldn't put it down, and seemed to enjoy it as much as one of his childrens videos - it made him laugh, ask questions, and count all of the critters in the story. Clever story line. Bravo to the author! I foresee many more great books coming from Linda Asato. Add this one to your kid’s library!

Please check out Linda’s book. I feel certain you must know a child that it would be ideal for as a gift!