Tuesday, May 31, 2005
An Old Don and a New Favorite
Don Pepino is a sauce I’ve been using for years. I add a little olive oil to the saucepan and sauté minced or sliced garlic, then the sauce, and then let it simmer slowly (covered) adding some fresh chopped basil leaves near the end. At times I’ll add red wine or mushrooms, or a can of crushed tomatoes. It’s a good base that you can “jazz-up” to your liking. I like its fresh taste. It’s not over spiced like some of those sauces you buy in a jar. They also make a good pizza sauce which is probably what a lot of pizzerias use as the warehouse stores sell huge cans of it. You can get a small one in the grocery store. It's what I use for my homemade pizza. (For tips on making homemade pizza see 4/15/05 post.)
The little garlic slicer/shredder was purchased in Walmart for $3 and change. It works great! You could also use it for radishes, baby zucchini, and such.
Monday, May 30, 2005
A-Pass-Along (A Small Gesture of Thanks)
Last Saturday, we were beginning to make plans for this upcoming 3 day weekend. I mentioned to my family how my parents used to call this holiday 'Decoration Day'. I shared with them that when I was a kid growing up in Northern New York, near Canada, my mom and dad would gather us all up, throw bags of dirt in the trunk of the car, including a trowel, a small utility bucket, and a flat of geraniums and off we'd go to the various cemeteries to visit our dead relatives. We had to decorate their graves for Decoration Day.
As I sat out on my errands on Saturday afternoon, I smiled to myself as I saw a local Veteran selling paper poppies at a major intersection in my town. I knew summer was on its way. As I gave this very hearty, yet elderly gentleman a few dollars for a poppy, I noticed his face was quite flushed under his Veteran's hat. I commented that I wish I had a bottle of water for him besides the money. He responded how he could sure use one. I smiled and drove away as the light turned green.
One of the joys of my town is a drive up Welsh Farms; you don't get out of the car to purchase your items. You inform the clerk what you'd like, they tell you the amount, you give them the cash (they even make change!) and you get your items. I pulled in and got two bottles of water, one for him and one for me (I'm trying to drink more water and be a little healthier!) I turned my car around, drove back through the very congested intersection to give this man a bottle of water. To my surprise, he wasn't there! I turned around on my street and as I was driving back to the intersection, I saw him in the Friendly's restaurant parking lot talking to another Vet. I pulled into the lot, got out and ran over and gave him his bottle water. He thanked me and called me his angel. I told him he was most welcomed and I thanked him for what he did to help our Vets and for keeping our country safe. As I drove out of the lot, he was back at the intersection, collecting money for his fellow Veterans. As I drove by him, he waved and blew me kisses. They were the sweetest kisses I got that afternoon!
I have found God to be disguised in a variety of ways in my life. I just have to be open to the fact that he is everywhere and shows himself in the smallest of ways. Last Saturday, he was a Vet.
-by Diane Waugh Oliver Copyright © 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
A-Pass-Along (The Real Meaning of Memorial Day)
The Real Meaning of Memorial Day - Editorial
Source: Bay Weekly Online Vol. 10, No. 21 May 23-29, 2002
Decoration Day was the name our grandparents called May 30, and the friendliness of carrying garden peonies and roses to our relatives down the road took the terror out of cemeteries. The weather was usually grand, the flowers sweet, and the children got to know their elders not only by the stories told coming and going but also by direct graveside address. We furthered the acquaintance by tiptoeing among the mounds, careful not to offend the dead by tromping on their bones, as we made up the rest of stories suggested by name, date and inscription.
But that was long ago. Decoration Day has since become Memorial Day, and was then moved from May 30 to the more convenient last Monday in May. Now it stands as little more than the symbolic gateway to summer.
The year behind us makes a good case for reviving the old custom of honoring our dead heroes.
Originally, of course, Decoration Day was devoted to the young men who died in Americas many wars. The dates on their tombstones were poignantly short, and even if we didn't know them and were too young to know those wars ourselves, we shed tears for the brevity of those young men's live.
Friday, May 27, 2005
A David Moment - Oz
I guess he was really "taken" by Dorothy because just as I started to push his wheelchair to leave, he grabbed the wheels and headed back over to Dorothy, took her hand and kissed the back of it! She was so taken by surprise she said, "Oh, what a gentleman!"
David just beamed!
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb
Thursday, May 26, 2005
A-Pass-Along (Advanced Medical Directives)
I hope you will find an opportunity to say more about
Advanced Medical Directives. You mention "DNR/Living Will". These are two separate documents. Hospitals, at least in NJ & PA where I have worked, are required to ask whether a patient has signed a "Do Not Resuscitate" order.
A "Living Will" allows an individual to state what kind of
treatments s/he does and does not want in the event that
s/he becomes unable to communicate.
It is important to hand- carry a Living Will every time
one enters a hospital for treatment. This document does have
limitations, however; it cannot cover all combinations of
symptoms, and doctors would rather err on the side of
prolonging life, even when doing so requires using
By far the most important document we all need is a Durable
Power of Attorney for Health Care (or, Proxy Directive, or Medical Power of Attorney). This document appoints someone, in fact, a sequence of someones as health care representative to make decisions about medical care in the event that we cannot speak for ourselves. It includes the information in the Living Will and only becomes effective when we cannot speak for ourselves. Writing a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care appoints someone with whom the doctors can dialogue and goes a long way to reducing friction among family members.
We naturally shrink from writing a DNR, whether for ourselves or for a loved-one. It can seem like giving up: giving up expectations that medical intervention will be effective, and giving up hope for continuing the life that God has given. In fact, resuscitation is a brutal process; ask a nurse who has been part of one, and there are circumstances in which it is not appropriate.
I prefer to use the acronym, "AND" for Allow Natural Death,
which can be a grace-filled gift to the seriously ill patient.
Which brings me to hospice care. Hospice care is palliative care, that is, it is focused on alleviation of symptoms rather than on using aggressive treatment to seek cure. It is too bad that some patients, and some doctors, reject hospice care because they see it a admission of failure or, defeat.
But that is a topic for another day.
My goal here is to urge everyone to write a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Forms are available free from State Medical Societies, and from hospice organizations.
Sally Edwards, hospice chaplain
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Spring into Action!
If you’re in the need for new spring form pans I thought these
sturdy, well made 8, 9, and 10 inch ones made by Wilton and
sold for the set of 3 for $8.88 at Wal-Mart were a good buy.
I’ve included a recipe so you can take them for a test run!
1 cup of Graham Cracker Crumbs
½ cup ground fine pecans
6 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar*
1 ½ pounds softened cream cheese
1 cup of brown sugar*
2 Tablespoons of flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or Maple Extract)
½ cup chopped pecans
Bake: 350’ for 50 minutes in the 9 inch spring form pan
* I use Domino Brownulated Brown Sugar.
For a Walnut Cheesecake substitute walnuts and
Use: ½ tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. Wagner’s Black Walnut extract
For Almond Cheesecake I'd use sliced almonds for the cheesecake part
and 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
My younger son just went stag to the prom with a bunch of friends that all had dates. He had a date that cancelled out on him, fortunately, she called before tickets were purchased, but he decided to go anyway. Good for him and he had a good time with his friends.
I was processing some pre-prom photos at one of those automatic machines in the pharmacy and there was a girl waiting to use the machine. It turned out she was waiting to process her prom pictures. She mentioned she had just broken up with her boyfriend that she had gone with to the prom and then added that she wished she had gone alone.
So, so much for having a date for the prom.
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb
Monday, May 23, 2005
Emergency Medical Information Sheet
Do this on your computer and it will be easy to update. Post the date on it, and the envelope, and check it over every six months. Be sure to include the following:
Name, address, phone number of the person (place of work and numbers)
Persons to contact in case of emergency and their relationship to the person
Date of Birth - Height, Weight, Medical History - Any Current Medical Conditions
Current Medications - Name, strength, dosage
Primary Care Doctor and any specialty Doctors with their name, addresses, phone numbers and Fax numbers
Photocopies of Medical Insurance Cards - front and back, and Driver's license
Any advanced medical directives - DNR/Living Will
Notary letter of other persons other than yourself that can make medical decisions in your absence say for instance for your children
Preferred hospital if there is more than one in your area
If there is a pet that would need to be cared for any information that is needed about the pet, including the Vet, and who would care for it
Friday, May 20, 2005
CBS News - Sunday Morning
Thursday, May 19, 2005
A-Pass-Along ( Angels in Action)
To learn more about this program go to:
For famlies there is the Angel Soft® Million Family Service Pledge™ Sweepstakes. What you do is pledge to volunteer one hour of your time each month for a year for the good of your community. When you fill out the form you'll be automatically entered for your chance to WIN $5,000 from the maker of Angel Soft toilet paper. You can spend it, share it, or donate it. The winner will also have $5,000 contributed to a nonprofit charity or service organization of their choice by the makers of Angel Soft.
To enter go to:
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
A Lesson in Giving
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Monday, May 16, 2005
Her style – a little folk, a little blues, and a little jazz. Sadly she is no longer with us but there are her recordings. To learn more about her you can read a bio at: http://www.oaksite.co.uk/bioblue.html
To hear her music go to: www.amazon.com
Some of my favorites from various CD’s:
Songbird – Songbird, Fields of Gold, Over the Rainbow
Live at Blues Alley – People Get Ready, What a Wonderful World
Time After Time – Time After Time, At Last, I Wandered By a Brookside
American Tune – The Water is Wide, True Colors, You Take My Breath Away
Something else you might find of interest is at this website: http://www.evacassidy.org/eva/intervie.shtml
It gives accounts of how some of the songs on her CD's came to be recorded.
Friday, May 13, 2005
A-Pass-Along (Extra Hands for ALS)
This could be a good service program for young people from a church, scout, or youth organization.
As it says at the site: “Students who volunteer to assist families battling ALS become adults better capable of addressing challenges in their own lives and communities.” Also “By helping ALS families with household chores, students provide a valuable service in their communities, and they learn about courage and determination from people facing one of life's most daunting challenges.”
Extra Hands For ALS
10420 Old Olive Street Road, Suite 105
St. Louis, MO 63141
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Super Nanny 911
Many years ago when my youngest, Brian, was 3 or 4 years old I picked him up from nursery school and we went to the local Pizza Hut for lunch. We had placed our order with the waitress and as we were waiting for our food, two boys that were maybe a year or so older than him were running around the salad bar, out of sight of their moms. As if that wasn’t enough, one of them took the large serving spoon and took a mouthful of something and put the spoon back! Brian’s eyes said it all. He looked at them like they were crazy. I said to him, “What would happen if you acted like that?”
He said, “We’d leave.” (I thought to myself, you bet you’re a$$ we’d leave.) I said, “Yup, that’s what we’d do.” I then went over to the manager to tell him what had transpired. He removed the tray of food and spoke to the moms. I would have been mortified. It didn’t seem to really bother them. Shame on them. They lost their teachable moment, but then I don’t think they’d known one if they saw it.
Another time, maybe one or both of the boys were with me, anyway we were at the small local food market. We had only gone down a couple of aisles and I only had a few items when one of them started to act up. (They weren’t ones to have temper tantrums.) I don’t remember what it was about but they weren’t calming down. I steered my basket to the checkout by the door, told the checkout girl, I’m sorry but I have to leave, and we were out of there. I think my silence all the way home said it all. You only have to do that once. Yeah, I didn’t get the shopping done, and I scrounged something together for dinner, but you can bet it never happened again.
When Brian was in nursery school he’d often have play dates with classmates. I always emphasized when he went to someone’s house that it was important that he be well behaved and thank the mom for having him over. When I would pick him up, invariably, the mom would tell me it was so nice to have Brian over and that he was welcomed to come back anytime. An incident that really drove the point home was when Brain had a classmate come over to our house. As the kid was jumping up and down on the sofa, I calmly, yet firmly said to him, “In this house we don’t jump on sofas.” He “got” it.
The point to all this is, is….kids will live up to (or down to) your expectations of them. Be firm. Stick to your guns. If you do this in the beginning, it will be much easier in the end.
(...and no, my boys weren't perfect when they were little, but for the most part they were well-behaved because they knew what was expected of them in any given situation. Also, just because David is Special Needs that is not an excuse for him to misbehave.)
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
A Pass-Along (Happiness Bank Account)
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably, coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.
"I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
"Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room just wait."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied.
"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away … just for this time in my life."
Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.
Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
It’s All Greek to Me!
Monday, May 09, 2005
David and Donny - 4 (Third Concert)
Today you’re in for another David and Donny story. So if this isn’t your cup of tea bail out now. For the rest, buckle-up, it’s going to be a long ride.
To begin with the day before the concert I get in the mail this sample card from Guideposts Magazine. On the outside is a cartoon drawing and it says “Joseph and his goat of many colors” inside it says, “Life's never gray when you're around!” David just has to give this card to Donny. Too perfect or what? He signs it, “Davie”. It took him awhile because handwriting is very hard for him.
The next day I have in mind this thing I just have to get for Donny, so it’s off to the mall for the two of us. I spot the item in the first store I go into but I think I’ll just try another store just in case I see something I like better. Then I run into our friend Eric, who just happens to have an embroidery business there in the mall, and I tell him what I’m up to and would he be able to embroider on the item I have in mind? He says he’ll give it a shot, as he had never done it on this item before. Success! It worked.
On to the concert. We were in the front row of regular seats, on the aisle, David first seat of course, me, and then my brother. There were two rows of chairs in front of us but David had a perfect view of the stage. Right off in the beginning Donny looked right at David, smiled, David waved to him and he waved back. When he started to sing Any Dream Will Do from “Joseph” David was literally on the edge of his seat and remained so from that point on. David thinks he sang that song just for him especially since he was wearing his “Joseph” shirt from that very theater where he’s seen the production for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, David is pointing to his gift bag for Donny and wanting to give it to him. With urging from the audience, he sings another, Close Every Door. Right after this I think David has his opportunity and I tell him to go up to the stage but he isn’t fast enough and by the time he reaches the stage Donny's turned and moved farther away. A security guard goes up to him and I rush over. I don’t know if it was the whole audience but I know that from everyone in our area I heard this collective sigh. Then everyone asks me what did he say to you. He said that he thought that sometime during the show Donny was going to let people come up and to wait until then.
There was an intermission and Donny’s assistant, Tina, was up on the stage and people were giving her things for Donny. So Johnny and I took David up to the stage and David handed her the bag. I showed her what was inside and she said that he’d remember that! She said that this was his 5th concert in a row and that he was very tired that’s why he wasn’t opening the show up to that. I could understand, besides this was a, let’s just say, very exuberant audience, to say the least! Donny’s fans really love him and he is most gracious at letting them take photos, shake hands and such.
Some point later in the concert David is able to get to the stage and he reaches up to Donny. Donny goes to shake his hand and David kisses the back of his hand! Donny smiles and pats him on the head. I swear I heard a collective sigh. I see everyone in the area where we our seated is beaming. I gave them the “thumbs-up”. I took a picture but I only got it of Donny as he was leaning into David. It all just happened so quickly. There were some other fans there that were taking pictures by me and we exchanged info so there could be a chance I get it.
Near the end of the show, the same security guard from before motioned to my brother to bring David right up to the stage, where he remained until the end.
After the concert, Donny’s musical director, Paul Peterson, who plays a lot of instruments, was right by us. I asked David if he wanted his picture with him as he was taking pictures with others. David went over to him and gave him one of his very hard David hugs and gave him a big kiss on the neck! Oh…David! He was so pleased with himself, I saw he was teary-eyed and this kind gentleman gave him one of his guitar picks. Which I know David will cherish.
On the way out I wanted to buy him a shirt but he wanted a button but they didn’t have any. He picked out a picture and he also got a souvenir booklet.
The first thing he did when he got home was play his new Donny CD. Sweet dreams David. He slept very late.
(Oh, by the way, the item in the bag….a pair of Purple Socks with “DONNY” stitched on each one and a “Princess Chain” * with story, for his wife.)
Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret that only parents and those that work with those that have Special Needs know.
The “lows” can be very low, but the "highs", you soar!
Thank you Donny for making David soar!
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb
* For "Princess Chains" see the last page of the Bookstore
Pictured above - Donny as he is going to shake David's hand
Pictured below - David standing by the stage
Labels: David and Donny
Labels: David and Donny
Saturday, May 07, 2005
A-Pass-Along - for Mother's Day
ODE TO MUM
Note: You must have Microsoft PowerPoint or at least the PowerPoint Viewer to play it. If you do not have PowerPoint, you can download the PowerPoint Viewer here.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Do You Have Control Issues in Your Home?
The TV remote control that is! I bet you can never find it. For this one of ours I put sticky backed Velcro on it and stuck it to the side of the TV. Now as long as it gets returned to its spot, we'll be able to find it!
Oh,one other thing - Stay Tuned - There's another David and Donny story coming your way soon!
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Wrap- Around Apron
This Simplicity pattern #5201 is very simple to make. All it is, is the front, 2 of the exact same pieces that make the back, which just have shoulder and side seams to sew, and the 2 pockets. That's all there is to it! I've made at least a half dozen of these as gifts. If you want to trim it you'll need 3 packages of Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape.The pattern has a longer version too. The green one is a fun retro print with salt & pepper shakers and a boomerang design. The blue one is a garden print.
The pattern is $13.95 but some stores like, Rag Shops, discount patterns.
You could even make this in time for Mother's Day!
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Could You "Pass-Along" the Geranium Farm?
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
There’s More to School than the 3 R's
Granted these classes were not taught anything like they were back in my day, you know, the olden days, but I think they are necessary to make a well rounded person. I’ve used the knowledge gained in those classes so much, alot from the Home Ec classes, from making kid’s costumes to many curtains, drapes, and all kinds of things over the years.
When the school my husband teaches in needed to expand and the voters kept vetoing a new school budget to add onto the school, the first rooms to be gutted and turned into additional classrooms were the shop and home economics rooms. What a shame. Now finally, push has come to shove and the school is being expanded. Have these classes been added back? Not as of yet.
If your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, whomever, didn’t have any classes of this type or even if they did, and if you can cook, build, or can pass on any of the needle arts, then give them the gift of your knowledge. Share a cookie recipe and bake it with them, build a bird house, knit or crochet a scarf together, teach them what was taught to you. Can’t do these things? Then learn together. Many craft stores give free lessons.
This also goes for music and art as well, as these are the first to go in many cases when there are budget cuts. Many schools have "Art on a Cart" where the teacher has to travel because there is no art room and the same thing happens to the music programs.
So … in the end, my thanks to all the "arts" teachers, for all those lessons that not only served to make you a well rounded person, but for having given me a better foundation to creatively enjoy my free time over the years, enriching my life in many ways.
Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb