Friday, October 31, 2008

The Devil’s In The Details - Part VI

The Washington Post has a chilling article in today’s edition entitled: “ A Last Push To Deregulate - White House to Ease Many Rules ” - “many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment.”

A flurry of activity at the end of a presidential administration is not unusual. But some of what the Clinton administration attempted to do at the end of their term, had not gone into full effect by the time George W. Bush was inaugurated. So the new Bush administration was able to stop or undo many of those Clinton initiatives. With that in mind, the Bush-Cheney administration is taking steps to ensure that all the changes they want to make will be completed long before inauguration day. Worse still, many of these changes can typically “be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis.”

With a nod to my previous post: Oy vey is mir!

Thanks to Papamoka (and Michael Boh) for the heads up.

psssst...Do Something!

A Yiddisha Take

The National Jewish Democratic Council, NJDC, has released a quick and clever video which draws a sharp line between Barack Obama and John McCain. Most of the Yiddish words spoken in the video are in common usage. But if you need a little clarification, I’ve listed the translations below, as provided by the NJDC.

Meshugener = crazy person
Meshugeneh! = It’s crazy!
Shmendrick = fool
Yutz = clueless person
Kishkes = guts
Tsores = trouble
Farblondzshet = bewildered.
Schlepping = dragging
Bupkis = nothing
Nudnick = pest
Dreck = dirt
Shonde = a shame, disgraceful
Oy gevault! = Oh for heaven’s sake!
Shtick = comic performance

Mensch = a decent person; a person of integrity and honor!

The NJDC has also released a more serious video, in which the grandchildren of Justice Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, speak about Barack Obama in relation to their grandfather’s legacy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Best Defense...

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
President Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Having lived through the distressing and discouraging national elections of 2000 and 2004, I am relieved that the Obama-Biden campaign and many other fine organizations are working hard to ensure that every registered voter will be able to vote in this vital 2008 election. Unlike 2000 and 2004, efforts are already well underway to head off problems at the polls, rather than trying to fix the problems on the fly on election day or, worse still, after the polls have closed.

Here’s a list of organizations and coalitions where you can get accurate information about voting, report problems with voting or get involved in helping to make the 2008 election the exciting, positive, empowering experience it can and should be!

: : Perhaps the biggest clearinghouse/coalition is Election Protection. This is the one with the special phone number: 1 (866) OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). The website has a wealth of information. And if you experience any problems with registration or voting, you should call the phone number to report the situation.

: : Common Cause and their special project: Protect The Vote

: : People For The American Way Voting Rights Information

: : from the League of Women Voters

: : Project Vote Smart Voter Information by state

: : The American Civil Liberties Union’s Voter Empowerment Program, including access to downloadable Voting Rights information cards for many states.

: : Also The American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, which was established in 1965, has lots of useful information.

Turn HOPE into reality. VOTE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Did You See It?

Barack Obama’s half hour program this evening was terrific. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see it, you can watch it here. The United States has been blessed with great presidents during other challenging or perilous times. Let’s keep working hard to bring another great administration to the White House.

“Everybody here’s got a story. Somewhere you’ve got parents who said you know what, maybe I won’t go to college, but I know if I work hard, my child will go to college.

Everybody here’s got a story of somebody who came from another country. They said maybe my grandchild or my great-grandchild they’ll have opportunity, they’ll have freedom.

Everybody here’s got a story about a grandparent or great-grandparent who worked in a coal mine, who worked in a tough factory, maybe got injured somewhere. But they said you know what, I may not have a home, but if I work hard enough, someday my child, my grandchild, they’ll have a home they can call their own.

That’s the story of America...

...I am reminded every single day that I am not a perfect man. I will not be a perfect president. But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you when we disagree. And most importantly, I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your own Democracy again.”
- Barack Obama

as heard in “American Stories, American Solutions”

Facts vs. Spin

The news is abuzz this morning with a statement from the McCain-Palin campaign claiming that the mainstream media is working on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket. The McCain-Palin campaign has accused the Los Angeles Times of “intentionally suppressing” a videotape from 2003, of a farewell dinner for Rashid Khalidi, which Barack Obama attended.

Because the facts seem to be getting lost in the fabricated, eleventh hour brouhaha, here’s a link to the L.A. Times’ response to the McCain-Palin campaign’s accusation.

And here is the L.A. Times’ original report on the evening, published April 10, 2008.

UPDATE: Seth Colter Walls reports on The Huffington Post, that while John McCain was chairman of the International Republican Institute, the group funded “several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars”.

Shall we move on now?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Like A Freakin’ Rug

My oh my! Have they no shame? Apparently not.

Last month I mentioned my frustration with the McCain-Palin ticket, their campaign staff, their spin-masters, their mouthpieces and the entire Big Republican Machine. My anger and frustration has not eased. In fact, it seems to increase in direct proportion to their level of desperation and concomitant mudslinging.

Case in point: all the talk about Barack Obama as a tax and spend liberal, anti-small business, a Socialist/Communist/Marxist/fill-in-the-blankist and now, direct from John McCain’s lips: “Redistributionist in Chief”. Every time I heard one of these ridiculous attacks I used to just mutter “Lying Sacks of @#%$”. Now, I launch into a chorus of “Lying Sacks of @#%$” - sung to the tune of “There’s a Tavern In the Town”, perhaps better known as “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” - to which I’ve added the verse: “Liar, liar pants on fire”. It’s very liberating. Feel free to join in.

So, since most of these attacks are on Barack Obama and his tax plan, here’s a link to the Obama-Biden Tax Calculator. You can quickly key in your facts and see the truth, not the spin from the BRM, et al.


You know I am a proud and happy voter, but this election is extraordinary, exceptional and profoundly special. It’s said a picture is worth 1000 words. George has posted one of the coolest photographs of this presidential campaign and it speaks volumes! (Be sure to click on the image to see the larger version.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home, Again

Things around here have continued to feel a bit chaotic. My attention to my own blog and all the fascinating blogs I love to follow has been spotty at best. It reminds me of the period at the beginning of 2008 when we had far too many spinning plates in play. At that point, the plates were connected almost exclusively to our elderly relatives (our “ERs”). Now, while our family members are still in the mix, it feels as if someone is offstage, flinging new plates, Frisbee-style, to our waiting, wobbling poles! “Lookout! Here comes a sagging barn beam!”

But we’ll keep breathing, keep taking it all one day; one plate at a time. Meanwhile, here are a few more photos from our trip to Maine:

Winter Harbor from Schoodic Peninsula

Geddy’s Restaurant (and moose) on Main Street, Bar Harbor

Patterns in the sand, Seal Harbor

Autumn color along the Jordan Pond Carriage Road

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We came back home yesterday after our getaway to Acadia and Bar Harbor. The good news is that in tonight’s heavy rain with gusty winds, our new roof is keeping us snug and dry. More good news is that Roger managed to raise the barn floor nearly all the way back up in Chuck’s workshop. But the bad news is that the main support beam which runs under the entire barn is in trouble. It’s in sufficient trouble that we’re grateful the workshop floor gave way - a sort of canary in the coal mine. To be on the safe side, we have to keep the car out of the barn until the rest of the repairs can be made. We’re hoping that we can get everything set to rights by the end of this week.

So if we had a spare 1.495 million dollars just laying around, maybe we’d buy the “last lot on Shore Path” in Bar Harbor, Maine. Of course then we’d still need to check under the sofa cushions for loose change so as to build a house on that last lot. But think of the view. I know I’m thinking of that view right now...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Revocation Of Our Independence?

Purple Ronnie has a wonderful post up which is devastatingly funny - - - and just plain devastating!
Thanks Veronica!

You Meet Such Interesting Folks While Traveling

White Tail Deer

Herring Gull

Common Mergansers

Acadia National Park is awesome. I must have mentioned that it is very accessible. You can drive around in a vehicle and experience the park without feeling as if you are missing out on everything. Or, if you are able, you can climb cliffs, scramble on rocks, hike challenging trails or traverse the Carriage Roads by foot, bike, horseback or cross country skis “if the weather be good”!

Monday, we walked about seven miles on one of the Carriage Roads. Looking at the topo maps, Chuck thinks the rise in elevation was about 300 feet. The bag I made worked great. Both Chuck and I carried it at different times and it was very comfortable and functional. The next day we drove over to the Schoodic Peninsula. Because we were a little achy from the day before, we figured we’d take it easy. But those amazing pink granite rocks on the point called out to us. So off we went climbing and jumping like a couple of kids - human or goat! By the time today dawned, we felt less like kids and more like old goats! As a result we promised ourselves a more low key day.

That’s how we came to be driving sedately on the Park Loop Road this morning. Just past the entrance gate, I spotted a couple of White Tail Deer grazing off to the side of the road. By the time we drove very slowly up nearer to them, they had slipped further into the woods. I stopped the car and Chuck snapped the photo above.

Farther along Park Loop I pulled over to the left hand side of the road to visit with a very accommodating Herring Gull. I swear, last year one of his buddies was in the exact same spot and was just as much of a professional model. Over a span of about four minutes I snapped 22 photos!

Oh, and while we were over at Schoodic yesterday, we spotted this flock of Common Mergansers gliding through the water alongside the Schoodic Loop Road. Between the great wildlife and the friendly Obama-Biden supporters who stop to chat with us because they see our buttons or bumper stickers, we’re meeting all sorts of interesting folks on this trip!

It’s Beautiful - Really!

Looking out from Cadillac Mountain toward the Cranberry Islands

Attempting to upload photos with an intermittent internet connection has me gnashing my teeth! I finally got this one to load by copying the image and shrinking the file size in Photoshop.

I'm whipped. So I’m off to bed and on to more adventures here at Acadia tomorrow. But to get a feel for what we’ve been up to, you can read my posts from our trip up here last October - and see actual photos too! Yesterday we hiked up a Carriage Trail so you can get an idea about that here. And today we went over to Schoodic so you can read about that here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yes! She Really Said That!

You can listen and watch Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R - Minnesota) on Chris Matthew’s show Hardball by clicking here. 

Then, if she reminds you of a bleak moment in American history, say something in the 1950s and a guy named Joe, send $5.00 to her opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg. (Yes, that’s his real name.)

I have to tell you, clicking the “Donate” button on El’s page felt almost as good as when I recently made a little contribution in Governor Palin’s honor.

Do You Remember 2000 & 2004?

Please forgive the brevity and the shouting:

If you are a registered voter here in the United States,
Next, pop an antacid and then:

psssst...Do Something!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Temporary Maniacs

Well, Maine-iacs would be kinder and more accurate. We’re up in Bar Harbor and Acadia in Maine for a few days. We’re staying in a different motel than we usually do and unfortunately our internet access is a bit spotty. But it’s sunny and there seems to be plenty of bright fall foliage left on the trees, as opposed to carpeting the ground. I’ll snap pictures and do my best to upload them tonight.

We had a bit of an adventure over the weekend. Our barn was restored (read: brought back from the brink of disaster) about ten years ago. It has three bays and a loft. The center bay is where we garage our Subaru. The right hand bay used to hold our other car until we became a one car family. The left hand bay is where Chuck has his workshop. Chuck stepped through the doorway from the center bay into the workshop and the floor gave way beneath him! He’s fine. But the floor dropped a good six inches. We crawled around under the barn with flashlights to get a clearer sense of what the heck had happened. It’s ugly but repairable. At least that’s what Roger, one of the guys (read: miracle workers) who restored the barn a decade ago, said when we called him. He’ll stop by this week to see what’s needed and we’ll all get to work on it when we return.

And no, we refuse to rename our home “ The Money Pit”!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Don’t Shred The Constitution!

I value The Constitution of the United States of America. Truth be told, I love it. But I’m worried about its health and well being.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is helping people let the candidates know that they are “Constitution Voters”. As the ACLU explains it: “By pledging to be a Constitution Voter, you can make sure that the next president will be committed to restoring the Constitution and the fundamental freedoms it protects. When we step into the voting booth this November, our leaders need to know that the Constitution will be the first thing on our minds.”

Click on the link to sign the pledge and send the message that you’re a Constitution Voter!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Life In Pictures

Page 32 of the

Kent of @issue posted about a remarkable digital scrapbook of Barack Obama’s life. Some creative individual has created 57 pages chronicling Barack’s family and his political career. It is a warm, unique tribute to a fascinating man, with a uniquely American story. Neither Kent nor I know who the devoted and prolific digi-scrapper is - but we’d love to coax her/him out to accept the applause!

Just click on the link to begin turning the pages of Barack Obama’s Scrapbook...

Making It Up As I Go Along

I’ve been working on a sewing project. Usually I can imagine the project very clearly from start to finish, even if I’m winging it along the way. This time I’m making a small messenger style bag out of recycled/repurposed fabric from clothing. I know what I want it to look like at the end, but I am having to slog through every single intervening step. So far it’s all working out, but my brain cells are working overtime. Either that or I’m sleep deprived and fuzzy headed - or both!

UPDATE: It’s finished! It’s funky and quirky but I like it. So does Chuck. That’s good because it all started with an idea to have something bigger than a belt pack and smaller than a back pack for either of us to use on short hikes. Especially when we go off on the Carriage Trails in Acadia National Park up in Maine.

I made the outside body from an old pair of Chuck’s canvas weight walking shorts. I lined the bag with corduroy from the legs of a pair of Chuck’s retired slacks. The flap is the back pockets of a torn pair of Chuck’s dungarees. To give it a little more body, I added a layer of quilt batting behind the lining fabric. For now, we’re clipping the “store bought” shoulder strap through the shorts’ belt loops. That strap normally is attached to our laptop bag. We love that in addition to the main pouch, it has eight other pockets to stash things in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time Travel

At lunch today, Chuck and I met up with some former colleagues, most of whom we haven’t seen in 17 years. We all used to be together in an office where everyone worked hard, but knew how to celebrate together as well. It really was one of those amazing and rare environments where we all felt like family. Sure, there were some odd ducks (Umm, we might have been a couple of those!), but it was a wonderful bunch of people. The place where we worked shut down after a long struggle to remain viable and we scattered to other jobs and lives. But all this time, a small group has been meeting for lunch, twice a year. About a month ago, Chuck bumped into one of the gals at a meeting and she extended an invitation. This afternoon we joined the group and the years fell away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Go Joe!

Here’s a video of Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden with his wife Jill and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Scranton, Pennsylvania this past Sunday. The whole speech is worth watching. But if you’ve only got a minute and you want to experience a truly rousing moment as only Joe Biden can deliver it, move the slider on the video to 30:30 or (for the truly impatient!) 32:30. You’ll be glad you did!


Well That Didn’t Last Long

The other day, I thanked Senator John McCain for beginning to dial back the accusatory, inflammatory rhetoric against Barack Obama. Since then, things have gone right back to where they were before Senator McCain had his apparent moment of conscience. Sadly, it was just that - only a moment. I won’t bother to detail the laundry list of rotten, miserable, truth-twisting, ugly, illogical, nonsensical, racist and flat out lies which have continued to roll out from the McCain-Palin ticket, their campaign and the Big Republican Machine. Read any major newspaper; listen to any newscast - yes even that channel - and you will see and hear their mendacious ways for yourself. I don’t have the stomach for it.

I will say that as the weeks go by, Barack Obama continues to demonstrate his intelligence, his tenacity, his grace, his good humor and his ability to remain cool under fire. Joe Biden remains good natured, knowledgeable, thoughtful and indefatigable in urging the citizenry to “Get up!”. What a miraculous contrast the Obama-Biden team is to Bush-Cheney-Rove-McCain-Palin et al.

There are just 21 days left until the election.

There are just 98 days left until the inauguration.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ta Da!

Our Obama-Biden lawn sign finally arrived! We surmise the delay was due to the fact we live in a “blue” state. But this afternoon we planted it proudly at the end of our driveway, alongside the road!

Yes, I did play around with the image in Photoshop. You can click on the photo to get a better look.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We wish Andrew and Peter
nothing but happiness
together, forever!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dear Senator McCain,

Thank you.
I once thought you were a pretty good guy.
But over the last several months of the presidential campaign, your actions and the actions of your staff have deeply offended me.
Sometimes I have felt enraged. Always I have felt dismayed.
Tonight, I watched you begin to rein in your supporters at a town hall meeting in Minnesota.
Tonight, I listened carefully as you spoke more respectfully of Senator Obama.
Tonight, I caught a glimpse of your humanity.
Thank you.

Now you need to take control of your Vice Presidential running mate, your family, your campaign staff and the Big Republican Machine.

Remember Senator:

“The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.”
- Adlai E. Stevenson (1900 - 1965)

Who Says New Englanders Are Stodgy?

Today, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled same sex couples have the right to marry!

It’s nice to post some plain old good news!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let’s See...

Now, where was I? Thank you! That’s right. Mayonnaise!

My Mom doesn’t read Pink Granite. It’s not that she’s dissing me, it’s that she doesn’t have access to a computer and has little interest in changing that status. So I was on the phone with my Mom and I told her (with only a modest degree of trepidation) that I had posted THE recipe for our family’s Chicken Salad. Lightning did not strike. But she did want me to review the recipe with her - not the entire post mind you, just the recipe! Actually, just the recipe for the Chicken Salad; once again the soup was irrelevant! So I’m reading the recipe to her and I get to the third ingredient “Cain’s Mayonnaise” and she says: “No!” To which I say: “Hunh?”

Turns out, that while for my entire adult-living-out-from-under-my-parents’-roof-life I have always used Cain’s mayonnaise, my Mom uses Hellman’s! A whole lot of: “No! Really?” ensued and much backing and forthing and surprise on both ends of the phone line. I have to admit I had this one terrible moment when my heart was in my throat and I thought: “I ruined THE Chicken Salad recipe - I am my own bolt of lightning!” But as we continued to discuss the ingredients we found common ground in our mutual horror at the thought of Miracle Whip or any “light/lite” mayo-ish products tainting THE recipe. And Mom did approve the remainder of the ingredients and my instructions. (Although she found the chocolate chip cookie dough analogy somewhat disconcerting!)

But what impressed the heck out of me was that by the time we had parsed the entire recipe and process she said: “I’ll have to try the Cain’s mayonnaise sometime.” My Mom’s 84 years old - 85 next month. It’s her recipe and it was her mother’s before that. Yet, after a detailed discussion of mayonnaise and why I prefer Cain’s to Hellman’s, she wants to try it! Go Mom!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Hurdle

I had planned to post about almost any topic other than politics today. I survived the second of three presidential debates last evening. I was very happy with how well Barack Obama did and slack jawed that John McCain still seemed so angry and dismissive. When he snapped out “That one!” referring to Barack Obama I could hardly believe my ears - and eyes. It was either evidence of McCain’s frustration and fury or his condescension bordering on racism.

Anyway, today I feel a bit crispy about politics. I also appreciate that while there is interest in this presidential race all around the world, not everyone who reads Pink Granite is a political junkie! So my plan was to write about autumn in New England or our cats or a recent important discussion I had with my Mom about mayonnaise! Then I read this article from the New York Times: States’ Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal. Crap, crap and more crap!!!

Here’s the bottom line. Thanks to states attempting to comply with a 2002 federal law (the “Help America Vote Act”), many eligible voters are being purged from the voter rolls! While this is a federal law and therefore a national concern, the New York Times article specifically cites problems in: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and South Dakota.

What to do? First, here are a couple of links to help you know your voting rights:
People For The American Way Voting Rights Information from the League of Women Voters
Project Vote Smart Voter Information by state

What else should you do?
: : If you still need to register to vote - Tick Tock! Follow the links in this recent post.
: : In my opinion, if you have already registered to vote in your community, contact your local election officials to make sure you are still on the rolls. I would strongly recommend this if you have not voted in a recent election.

Tomorrow: Mayonnaise!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Devil’s In The Details - Part V

Todd Palin, husband of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin belonged to the Alaska Independence Party for seven years. The AIP is a secessionist organization founded by Joe Vogler. The same Joe Vogler who the AIP proudly touts on their website as saying: "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."

I’ve known about the Palin’s association with AIP since the news broke back in September. But in light of the relentless barrage of lies being spewed by Governor Palin about Barack Obama this week, I urge you to read the brief article by David Talbot in Salon. He does an excellent job of summarizing the Palin’s association with AIP, including Governor Palin’s recorded address to the group this year and puts it all in a very bright, very relevant light.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Devil’s In The Details - Part IV

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator John Sydney McCain III, age 72, will pay for his administration's healthcare plan with “major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid” .

Currently, 3.4 million seniors age 65 and older live below the poverty line. (The poverty line is defined for one individual as $10,400.) Millions more are barely making ends meet just above the poverty line.

That won’t be a problem for John McCain. Not including his wife Cindy’s very substantial income of her own, in 2007 John McCain received the following income:

Senate Salary..........$161,708
Book Royalty...........$176,508
Social Security...........$23,157
U.S. Navy Pension.......$58,358


“Them that's got are them that gets...”
- Ray Charles (listen here)

McCain Economics 101

“Those who cannot remember the past,
are condemned to repeat it.”

- George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

The Savings and Loan nightmare of the late 1980s is very relevant today. It provides us with historical perspective about the disastrous results the lack of oversight in the financial markets led to. It also shows where deregulation intersected with fraud. At the center of that intersection was Senator John Sydney McCain III, a member of the Keating Five.

Keating Economics - John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis” is a short documentary which spells out the S & L Crisis in great detail. Watch and learn; compare and contrast - you won’t like what you see.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thank Heavens For Chicken Salad

...and Chicken Soup!

Regular readers know of my family’s love affair, bordering on obsession, with our Chicken Salad. (I first mentioned it here and you can see a photo here.) My mother’s mother, Gagee, first made the simple salad and it was an immediate hit. It was better than any other chicken salad that any other Grandma/Nana/Bubbe had ever or would ever make. Sorry. I’m sure your family recipe is delicious. But we can brook no arguments here on the subject of the sacred Chicken Salad as first prepared by my Gagee. ‘K?

I have to say that the chicken soup in which the chicken was simmered before being transformed into Chicken Salad, was truly secondary, approaching irrelevant; a mere vehicle necessary to achieve greatness; a simple by-product. But no more. You see I married a nice Jewish boy to whom chicken soup was sacred and had it’s own complicated family provenance and traditions. To maintain a happy marriage, I needed to learn to make chicken soup like Mama used to make!

It took me quite a while. There was even a tearful night when Chuck informed me the vegetable were far too small. (I blame PMS and really don’t want to discuss it any further.) But I finally achieved a Chicken Soup that Chuck loves and Chicken Salad which honors, but can never rival, my mother's and grandmother’s.

At the risk of being struck by lightning, I’m about to reveal these sacred family recipes. There are no amounts (You knew that was coming didn’t you?) but here are the essentials:

Lee’s Chicken Soup (With an Eye to Making Chicken Salad)

Split Chicken breasts, skin on, with bones
Olive Oil
Onions diced fine
Garlic crushed
Celery diced - not too fine, not too chunky
Carrots diced - not too fine, not too chunky
Parsnip diced - not too fine, not too chunky
Chicken Broth - the best canned or box pack you can find
Vegetable Broth - the best canned or box pack you can find
(I’d say about three Chicken to one Vegetable. Using the canned/boxed stock makes for a really deep, rich soup.)
Bell’s Seasoning

Saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil. Add a small amount of sherry and let it cook down slightly. Add the broths and the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the chicken breasts. Place on a back burner over a low flame to maintain a truly gentle simmer.

Much later (How’s that for precise?) remove the chicken breasts to a large bowl. Check the soup for any stray bones that have fallen away from the chicken and remove them. Taste the soup and add salt, pepper and a dash of Bell’s Seasoning to taste.

Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and discard. Remove the big pieces of meat from the bones and set aside. Then very carefully remove all the tiny edible bits of chicken from the bones. Add those bits back into the soup.

Lee’s Chicken Salad by way of Dorothy/Mom and Marion/Gagee

Chicken Breast - White Meat Only
Celery diced very, very fine
Cain’s Mayonnaise
Onion Powder

This is not a chunky, trendy, bistro/cafe chicken salad with curry powder, raisins and walnuts. This is comfort food, plain and simple, but of the highest order.

Using the prime pieces of white breast meat, slice it with the grain into big pieces. Then turn the meat sideways and slice very finely across the grain. In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the celery.

Slowly add the Cain’s Mayonnaise. (Cain’s is a New England classic. Second choice would be Hellman’s, a national brand. Never, ever consider using Miracle Whip or “light/lite” mayo of any kind, ever, ever, please!) One of the things we always liked about Gagee’s Chicken Salad was that it was “dry”. What we meant was that it wasn’t “soupy” or “gloppy”. You need to add an obscene amount of Cain’s mayonnaise to bind it all together. But it should always remain very “tight”. Rather like chocolate chip cookie dough is very tight and scoopable.

Add the onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.

We always serve it on little “finger rolls” (see photo link above), but this stuff is great naked and unadorned!

That’s it. Really. The first time I had the courage to ask my mother for “The Recipe” I was shocked. Just six ingredients and you’re on your way to Nirvana.

Note to Carrie, Kayla, Kate and Lorrie:
This really is THE Recipe. Go forth and make your family and friends very happy!

The Devil’s In The Details - Part III

Senator John McCain is not just the wrong person to be President of the United States of America; John McCain is the wrong sort of person to hold the highest office in the land.

Rolling Stone Magazine has published a cover story by Tim Dickinson entitled: “Make-Believe Maverick - A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty”. This compelling, in depth article yanks at the curtain so that the all powerful wizard is revealed to be a deeply flawed, ordinary human, blinded by his own ambition.

The Rolling Stone article is lengthy and worth reading. But if you only have time for the highlights and are a visual learner, you can view the companion video: “Five Myths About John McCain”. (Just follow the link and click on the screen to “play video”.)

With the presidential election just 30 days away, it’s important to cut through what I recently described as the shenanigans, distortions, manipulations, outright lies, and general sleaziness of the McCain-Palin campaign and the entire Big Republican Machine.

The Devil’s In The Details - Part II

Jeff over at Wormtown Taxi has written a very interesting piece about Governor Sarah Palin’s fight to get her “Troopergate” investigation halted. As of last Friday the bipartisan approved investigation had once again been green-lighted. But McCain-Palin and the Big Republican Machine are fighting it tooth and nail. Read Jeff’s interesting post and prepare to be amazed.

Why Yes, I Am A Broken Record!

But this really is just about the last call. Based on conversations in recent weeks with our extended family members, we think everyone is already registered to vote. But in case there are any stragglers or they know anyone who still needs to register, here are some links. I’ve included the six states where most of our loved ones currently reside.

The deadline for voter registration in:
(Please check the website links for more information.)

Georgia is tomorrow, October 6, 2008.

Arizona is tomorrow, October 6, 2008.

Massachusetts is October 15, 2008.

California is October 20, 2008.

Washington has ended - by mail. But you should be able to register in person at your county elections department until 15 days before the the election. Please check the website for more information.

Rhode Island was October 4, 2008. But you can register to vote on election day, but then only vote for president and vice president. Please check the website for more information.

You live in another state, but need information? Here you go:
RockTheVote’s voter registration
Vote For Change voter registration

Turn HOPE into reality. VOTE!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Devil’s In The Details

Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd released their 2006 and 2007 tax returns. Turns out the “Hockey Mom” and “Joe Six-Pack” are doing really well. Thanks to some significant deductions they enjoyed a very low tax rate ranging from 10% to 15%. Here’s one summary and analysis.

G. Gordon Liddy is a supporter of Senator John McCain. And Senator John McCain speaks very highly of G. Gordon Liddy. Yes, that G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate infamy; the convicted felon who served just one quarter of his twenty year sentence for burglary and wiretapping. Just this past November 2007, John McCain said of G. Gordon Liddy: “I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family. It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.” Here’s a detailed summary of their relationship.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just Under The Wire

Last April, I mentioned we were working on a project. We were lowering the crown on our unpaved driveway. The heat, humidity and bugs of summer halted progress and kept me from the project for months. I had anticipated the hiatus might last until after the first hard frost. But yesterday and today I dug and moved and raked and leveled the remaining part of the driveway. Heavens to Murgatroyd I am achey but very pleased with the results! The “reward” at the end of each day’s efforts was when Chuck came out and directed me as I drove our Subaru Outback back and forth; up and down over the area I had worked on. We thought of it as a giant lawn roller! I’m hoping that we have enough rain and warm weather remaining in the season to let the work settle the rest of the way. The sections we did in the spring have held up well, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for more of the same.

Now I’m off to take some Arnica Montana and acetaminophen...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Debate vs. Infomercial

Governor Sarah Palin chose not to answer many of the questions posed to her in tonight’s debate. Nor did she respond very often to Senator Joe Biden. Governor Palin stated outright that: “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator [Ifill] or you [Biden] wanna hear, but I’m gonna talk straight to the American people and let ‘em know my track record.” Therefore, shouldn’t the McCain-Palin campaign pay for the time Governor Palin spent not participating in the debate while she read and recited the Republican campaign’s talking points?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Squished - Again

Yup. Mammogram time. I went (again). I did it. I’m glad I did. It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t dreadful. I had my first mammogram at 40; then once every two years after that. Having turned 50, this is now an annual event for me.

Funny, none of my 50th birthday cards mentioned that little tidbit of information!

The Rubber Meets The Road

The United States National Election on November 4, 2008 is now just 34 days away!

As a recovering “Queen of Lists”, I want to suggest the following To-Do List:

- Make sure you are registered to vote.
- Make sure everyone you know and love is registered to vote.
- Make a contribution to the presidential campaign:
= money
= feet on the ground
= phone calls
= a lawn sign
= a bumper sticker
- Make a contribution to your senatorial and congressional campaigns:
= money
= feet on the ground
= phone calls
= a lawn sign
= a bumper sticker
- If your state allows early voting; VOTE!

Here are some important links:
RockTheVote’s voter registration
Vote For Change voter registration’s voter registration Drive
Barack Obama & Joe Biden
The Democratic Party
Democracy Bonds

psssst...Do Something!