Saturday, June 28, 2008

Zero Speed Tolerance

You had better obey the speed
limits when driving through
Ohio. With the advent of our new speed cameras, it appears that the state is serious about slowing traffic down and stopping deaths from auto accidents. It does give new meaning to the idea of coming to a "dead stop"! lol

I'm sorry if you didn't realize that this is a joke. Ohio has many wonderful Highway Patrol officers, most of them have never used their gun for any purpose. I know, my son-in-law has been in the Patrol for over twenty-five years and one grandson is waiting for a new class to begin, so he can join. Forgive me for being flip.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Daze

I was snooping around over at Big Mama's place
on the net and discovered she was wilting under the hot Texas sun. Since she is looking for easy summer food, I thought I'd
stick up a quickie meal to keep her from turning into a puddle of sweat. She really has too many people counting on her for entertainment to allow any such catastrophe to happen. This was a variation on an old recipe that I got from a friend on the INTERNET.

Brown 2 or 3 pounds of Stew Meat in oil ... I use Crisco Canola Oil . (You can use an English cut roast beef, but it is easier to let the butcher do the work)
Stick the browned meat in a crock pot
Sprinkle with McCormick's Stew Mix (or any other company's stew comes in a packet like Taco Mix) and stir around to coat meat
Add enough boiling water to just cover meat
Cook on low for six hours or so, while you are at the pool
Thicken with a little Wondra Flour in cold water when you feel up to the effort
Cook some noodles or even a couple packages of Ramen Noodles without the sauce packets and serve the beef over the noodles...they only take about 5 minutes

I just cooked four English cut roast beefs for my kids' birthday dinner on Wednesday night and served it with mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas and green bean casserole with cheese sauce. When I cook a roast, I stir the Stew Mix into a little cold water to dissolve it and then add the boiling water. The twelve pounds of roasts took four hours in the oven on 300° and they ate all twelve pounds. I didn't mind using the oven, but I live in Ohio, not Texas.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Boy in Trees

A new T.V. show began a couple of years ago called "Men in Trees". I watched it and discovered that they literally meant the men were in the trees. You know, lumberjack types were overhead trimming the branches from the fir trees.

Sunday is Father's Day and I want to tell you about my Dad and the unusual life he led. The first thing that popped into my head was the tree thing, so.....

Dad was born December 3rd, 1897 in Jonesboro, Arkansas somewhere in the middle of eleven children. Being a very bright little boy, he finished elementary school at twelve and then quit. Quit? He left home and joined his father in the logging camps of Arkansas to help support the family. He was "A Boy in Trees" for four years, until the thirst for knowledge overcame him and he left for the big city. He stuck out his thumb and hitch hiked to Toledo, Ohio where he had cousins, who would allow him to live with them.

This is a picture of the youngest nine children (the two oldest girls were already married and gone). Notice the children are nicely dressed, but barefooted and dusty. Dad was the second boy from the top on the right side with suspenders. It must have been taken about nineteen ten, before he hitch hiked to Ohio.
Between sixteen and nineteen, he attended high school, played football and supported himself in assorted jobs. That was just the first step toward an education. After high school, he began college at the local university and worked for a small newspaper as a reporter, doing a little bit of everything. Also, he worked at the original Jeep production plant. After getting a degree in education and he started law courses by mail from the University of Chicago and night classes at The University of Toledo. He met my mom and they married somewhere in the middle of law school. The five children arrived starting in 1928, ending in 1936. Great timing--have a whole brood of children during the "Great Depression"! I suppose they had it much better than most people, because as a public employee --- he was paid in script. He had started teaching high school classes in English, Economics, Sociology, Auto Mechanics and World History the day the doors opened to a brand new school and he was coaching football at another high school for free. Because of the children, his law degree was delayed to the point that he could not afford to open an office and give up the safety of the teaching job. I know he had become a flaming liberal during his college years and yearned for a world where there was no poverty or inequality. He loved to teach about the problems of the world ... we were served history and English with every meal. It was a mistake to ask a question ... that led to a half hour of explaining the hows and whys of the subject. He was active in the union fight at the Autolite Company in Toledo during the depression. This fight made national news for it's bitter physical battles between union loyalists (imported thugs) and the company hierarchy (more hired thugs). About a year after I was born, his picture was all over the local papers and he was temporarily suspended from teaching for reported un-American activities. The problem was that he was now legally an attorney and was busily forming The Federation of Teachers locally. That was the first teacher's union to hit the scene. The fact that he was a card carrying Socialist didn't help a bit. I get the picture of a bunch of young men sitting about and dreaming of how they could make a Utopian society where all would have equal status. I wonder how they could have desired to elevate people who did little to help themselves to the level of those who had worked so hard to educate and sustain themselves? He was reinstated to his teaching job after a few months, but still believed that somehow life should be made easier for the downtrodden. Dad had his office at home and after dinner at night, there was a steady procession of people needing basic legal advice or just wanting to sit at the feet of the master of dreams. People came and went, but if they didn't ask how much for a legal service---- they never got a bill.I watched as he built our home with his own two hands, because he couldn't find anyone who would rent to a family with five kids after WWII. He cut down trees and put through two roads nearby for a share in selling the property. Funny, that sounds amazingly like capitalism at it's best --- diametrically opposed to his share and share alike philosophy. When he died at seventy-eight, this little Ozark boy held a Degree in Education and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He was a wonderful and caring man, who built a great life and a terrific family. His name was Clyde and he was "A Boy in Trees". For many years, students from the high school would stop and visit long after he retired. Students either loved or hated his teaching methods, but he did make them think.
It didn't matter to me that he was controversial, because he accomplished so much and I loved him so much.