Monday, January 9, 2017

A book review

I don’t generally write book reviews or even comment on what I have been reading.   My children say I read too much and I would say reading preferences are all over the place.  I enjoy everything from Christian mysteries to Clive Cussler to biographies written by David McCullough.  Well, I stumbled upon a very interesting read and thought I would share.  In part, because I think it would make a great read for high schoolers.  My understanding is that teachers are looking for reading material that crosses multiple academic disciplines and this book does it.  This book brings together math, science and history in a unique way. 

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

After I finished this book, I realized I am product of these women and many others.  My chosen profession when I am not chasing three children around is in what today we call a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field.  My field even 30 to 40 years ago was predominately male.  Today, new graduates are predominately female.  Though I occasionally laugh at some surveys I am asked to fill out for eager young researchers about women in my field, after reading this book I realize how far we have come in just a short time.

The goal of this book was to tell the untold story of the women mathematicians, specifically black women mathematicians in the race to space.  What I enjoyed most about this book is that they looked at multiple women and told their stories.  Each within the back drop of what was going on in the world at time.  Also focusing on their unique contributions to space and aeronautics but also to their communities.  In addition, it showed how each one paved the way for the next and affected change.  It also showed how slow progress could be but how persistence produced change.

I had read about predominately black colleges in the past but had also thought of them as producing only school teachers and practical education.  This book opened my eyes to how advanced these colleges were and realized that in two generations how much in society has changed.  I also realized that dreams of one generation can encourage and grow the dreams of the next generation.

I have no idea if the movie that is coming out will be as good as the book but the book is well worth read.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mock Ham Loaf

This is my version of A Basic and More Recipe...the original used hot dogs and crackers.  This version was a huge hit with my family.

1 pound ground beef
1 package turkey polish kielbasa (about 13 ounces or any other kielbasa)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Mix beef, kielbasa, bread crumbs, egg and milk together.  Form into a loaf and place in a pan.  Make syrup by heating sugar, water, vinegar and mustard until it boils.  Pour half the syrup on ham loaf. Reserve the rest.   Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.  Baste occasionally.  Serve with the reserved syrup.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ruthanna's Meatloaf Cassarole

Ruthanna Roberts made a version of this for a fellowship meal.  I loved it and thought it would make a good teen dish/large crowd dish.

This is my version.  But the bottom line is that you make a flat meatloaf and top with cheese and mashed potatoes.  You could also add veggies (mushrooms, mixed veggies)

Make a meatloaf.  This is my favorite recipe.  It is from The Basics and More cookbook.

 Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together.

1.5 to 2 pounds of hamburger
1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup onion or 2 to 3 Tablespoons minced onions
1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning

Flatten into a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake 30-45 minutes

Remove from oven.  Drain extra grease.  Meanwhile make mashed potatoes (about 5 to 7 servings of instant)

6 slices of american cheese
4 ounces velveeta cheese cut into small pieces
Mashed potatoes
(If you are adding veggies place them on top of meatloaf after the american cheese and before the potatoes)

Place the 6 slices of american cheese.  Top with  mashed potatoes.  Then add velveeta cheese to the top.  Push the cheese down into the potatoes.  Bake another 15 to 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In the cupboard soup

The other night I was trying to avoid a trip to the Dollar General (the walmart of the cove) this is the resulting creation.  It was considered a hit.

2 cups of turkey ham
2 cans of creamed soup
1 can of mixed veggies, drained
2 cups of cooked rice
8 ounces of velveeta cheese
about 4 cups of water

Throw everything in the crockpot on low for 2 to 4 hours.  It is pretty thick.  if you want it thinner add water or milk.

You can make this more fresh by using fresh veggies, Make your own creamed sauce.  Use wild rice.  Use a creamy cheese.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


This is the remembrance video from the funeral for anyone that is interested.  When you enlarge it, it throws the portions off.  If you would like a copy please email me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chicken and dumplings

Yes, I am a delinquent when it comes to posting but I want to remember I am sharing.

I couldn't find the exact post I saw yesterday on facebook but this one was close.

But didn't get things together fast enough to crockpot it.

So here is my stove top version that was a hit.

2 large chicken breasts...boiled in about 6 cups of water save water.

2 cans of cream of chicken

1tsp bullion powder or chicken base or 1 cube

about 3 cups of leftover mixed veggies

2 tubes of small refridge biscuits or 1 grands - cut into small pieces.

A touch of montreal steal seasoning to taste

Remove cooked chicken breasts and shred.  Return to pot along with all ingredients except biscuits.  Bring to a boil and add biscuits.  Cook covered until the biscuits are done about 15 minutes.

This was a hit with my family.  If you are not into processed  If you would like to go less processed...make your own gravy and biscuits and use different veggies.  Either way enjoy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Gym

I have been avoiding this post and wanting to do this post at the same time.  Here is why.  I have terrible discipline and fear being a hypocrite.  Yes, I am aware we all are at some point, but the subject of weight and health are complicated. I know that many people struggle to be healthy and are presently thinking that skinny people have no idea.  Yes, I am aware that I have no idea.  However, I wish to write this to be honest and to encourage the trainer I have been working with at the gym.

What most people don't realize is that my weight has been inching up slowly over the past 10 years.  Yes, some of it came on when I was doing infertility treatments but a great deal had to do with my lack of exercise and to a lesser extent my food habits.  Because of 3 kids and being 30 minutes plus from a gym that would have child care, I ignored the exercise part of being healthy.  At home, there was always one more thing that needed done more than exercise.  As I slowly gained weight, I knew that I was beginning to have trouble keeping up with my kids.  Things I had done without thinking with Aaron and Andrew, I wasn't doing with Angela.  In February, a gym opened about 10 minutes from my house and didn't mind if my daughter was there.  So I put my toe into the exercise world  and started doing classes.  You see I need the discipline of having to show up somewhere.  In May, I started to personal train.  I had talked to someone I trusted about what to look for in trainer and Kaila seemed to match.  So I gave it a try.

I suspect that you are waiting for me tell you about my amazing weight loss.  No, I have not lost a single pound. But I asked Kaila for a different goal.  On a side note she does help people lose weight and seems pretty good at it.  My goal was to be healthy because in my job when I am not chasing 3 kids around I tell people to be healthy and exercise.  I also needed the pressure of telling someone I will show up on X day and actually doing it.  In May as I began my journey to be healthy there were a lot of things I could not do and I often felt like I was going to fall on my head.  She always offered alternative ways to do the task but also encouraged me through it.  This is not to says I don't regularly come home sore and discovering muscles I haven't used since...lets just say high school was a LONG time ago.

The thing I have enjoyed most is that the exercises are varied each time.  Yes, they are the same basic moves but she has me do them in different positions and on different machines.  I remember fearing free weights.  That is something guys with way too much testosterone use to pretend to be tough.  She has used those weights to improve my balance and strength muscles in ways I could never imagine.  It seems like every week I do a exercise I tried at the beginning of the summer and I get to say I couldn't do that before.  I am measuring success not by the weight I have lost but by the strength  and skills I have gained.  I can now squat with weight on my shoulders, I can balance on a buso ball without feeling like I am falling on my head.  I can lift my legs over and under things that I thought were impossible when I started.  I have seen muscles return to my legs, arms and yes my bottom.  My clothes are fitting better even though I haven't lost a pound and I haven't gained any either.  I am keeping up with my kids in ways I haven't been able to for a while.

With the kids headed to school, exercising should get easier but I have learned many things this summer.  One, I still need the pressure of someone telling me what to do.  Two, I can get up at an unearthly hour to go exercise.  Three, I can look my patients in the face and tell them I get it and I am attempting to practice what I preach.

Finally, I am typing this to hold myself accountable.  It is easy for me to say I am too busy.  So now it is in print, I am reminded to practice what I preach.  I hope, also, that this might encourage someone to define success a little different or hang in there if you are not seeing instant results.  You are getting healthy and that is success.