Sunday, March 09, 2008

GAH! Blogger is NOT Cooperating!

Well, I was TRYING to post some pictures to share this morning, but Blogger just isn't cooperating. *sigh* Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to share them.

Some of the pictures I'd taken yesterday didn't turn out at all anyway, but I can still tell you of their subject.

DH and DD went to another Ice Dog's game last night, and at about 10:15 the dogs told me it was time for another potty break, so I took them out back, sent them to their kennel, then looked up at the sky as I usually do when I'm outside. Not a heck of a lot else in the back yard to look at, this time of year, so a couple of moments checking out the night sky is a nice break for me.

Well, shock of shocks, the Aurora Borealis was out & VIBRANT! A brilliant green ribbon whisping, shimmering, shuddering across the night sky. It you've ever watched Rhythmic Gymnastics, the way the ribbons flutter on the batons when the girls are doing their dance routines..... The movement of the Aurora is similar to that, it seems, on a good night. It curls around itself, it snakes & shimmies..... Just incredible.

So, once I got the dogs back inside, I headed out the FRONT door to see what else was visible from the front of the house. At the same time, ironically, my neighbour across the street D, was coming out with her camera, and 2 houses down, K. was out on her front step taking in the spectacle as well. K. had never seen the Aurora before. D. and I were in agreement that it's been years since we've seen it so vibrant & active, esp. given the warmth of the night. (We were all 3 out after 10 with only light jackets or sweatshirts on.) D. said that she'd stepped out onto HER back deck for some fresh air after her movie ended (she was having a child & hubby free evening as well) and saw that the Aurora had some incredible pinks in it. But, by the time she ran in, grabbed her camera, and ran back out the front door, the pink had gone. I didn't see the pink at all, as the eastern sky is largely unviewable from my back yard, and that's where the pink had been very briefly. *sigh* Oh well.

I'm sorry I couldn't get any pictures of the awesome-ness of last night's night sky to share with y'all. I took about 15, hoping just ONE would show up somewhat, but in loading them onto my computer this morning, not a single one showed anything but blackness. I told DH, when he got home, that I want a new digital camera. Not today or tomorrow, but soon. My digital is 10 years old and was given to me by mom shortly after DD was born. It's definitely time to replace it. *grin*

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One thought that crossed my mind, as I stood there watching the Aurora, was how some ancestral mythologies have refered to the Aurora as the "Spirit Lights" or similar names. Indicating their beliefs that the spirits travel on these lights and other similar thoughts. The thought that struck me last night, as I watched the vividness of these dancing lights, is that this was a very appropriate night for them to be so brilliant.

Janis died at approx. 4:30 Hawaii time, yesterday. My Mom had flown over to Kaui earlier in the day, and she & Janis' Mom were with Janis when she passed. Mom & Janis' mom had spent the day talking to Janis, keeping her company, and playing her soothing classical & hawaiian music to ease her passing. Mom said she was pretty well completely incoherant. Evidently the morphine drip she was on for her pain was so strong as to keep her pretty unconscious, and Mom or Janis' Mom would push the drip button every 15 minutes to keep Janis from pain. Considering the circumstances, though, it sounds like they attempted to make Janis' passing as peaceful & caring as they possibly could.

Janis' daughter, Sarah, unfortunately was not feeling emotionally able to be there with her mom in Janis' final couple of hours. Understandably, she wsa having such a hard time watching her mom die, that she didn't feel like she could stay in the room, so she left the room & asked them to inform her when Janis was gone. I can understand her feelings, but I hope the decision to NOT be there doesn't haunt her later.

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Well, my recipes for dinner last night turned out well. I had DH look through my recipe box and try to find something new that looked appealing. This is what he pulled out:

Favorite Pork Chops

2 cups soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
6 bone-in pork loin chops, 1-1/2 inch thick (mine were only 1 inch)
(I also added about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes to the marinade.)

Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
1-1/2 tsp ground mustard (I used a stone-ground mustard.)

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring soy sauce, water, brown sugar and molasses to a boil. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal bag & refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours. (I wound up abandoning this approach as the pork-chop bones poked holes in the bag. So I simply poured it all into a 13x9x2" baking dish & covered with foil, periodically flipping the chops over in the marinade.)

Drain & discard marinade. Place pork chops in a greased 13x9x2" baking dish. (I greased my broiler pan, instead, and placed them on that, as I don't particularly care to cook meat in all it's fat & juices all the time. Thus, I was unable to cover as in the next step.) Cover and bake at 350 deg. F. for 30 minutes. Combine the sauce ingredients; pour over chops. (I ladled a good 1/4 over each chop then spread it over, after the initial 30 minutes in the oven.) Bake, uncovered, another 30 minutes longer, or until meat juices run clear. (My meat, being thinner cuts, only took about 15 minutes longer.) Yield: 6 servings.

We all 4 (Dh, DD, Dad and I) LOVED this recipe!!! A DEFINITE keeper!

Vinegar Noodles (for 2 servings, for 10 servings multiply by 5, as I did)

1 cup uncooked spiral (rotini) noodles
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion (a sweet onion would be good here)
6 Tbsp sugar (please, don't use more than 4 Tbsp per cup of noodles!!!! Too sweet otherwise!)
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar, though the recipe didn't call for a specific kind.)
3/4 Tbsp prepared mustard (I used Dijon style.)
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes (dill would be good, as an alternative)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic salt (though, seeing how much regular salt goes in, I simply used garlic powder and am glad I did!)

Cook Noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in bowl; add cucumber and onion. Combine remaining ingredients in a jar with tight-fitting lid; shake well. Pour over noodle mixture and toss to coat. Cover & refridgerate at least 1 hour. Yield: 2 servings.

After making this once, I would definitely HALVE the dressing mixture. As it is written, there is far too much liquid for the amount of noodles. And, as I said, I would not use more than 4 Tbsp of sugar per cup of noodles, in comparisson to their recommended 6 Tbsp. Even that was almost TOO sweet. (And I have a definite sweet tooth, so that's saying something!) But, otherwise a GREAT recipe as well, that goes well with things like the barbequed pork-chops I made.

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I was going to post some pics of my Shrank, which we did get moved into the computer room last night. It's huge! I guess it's never struck me how danged big this piece of furniture is, when it was out in Dad's garage. But, put it here in our small house and it's enormous!!! DH doesn't want me putting anything in it quite yet, though, as the shelves inside need to have the old contact paper scraped off before we go filling it with anything. DD's "out" hockey bag fits nicely on top, but her goalie bag certainly will not. It's going to be interesting having 2 tall pieces of furniture in this room now. That gives us a lot more shelving room, and floor space that we've never had in here before. Jenny is glad to have her kennel moved back into "her bedroom". *grin*

Maybe tomorrow I'll get to share the couple of pics I'd taken.

Although, if you could keep my dad in your prayers. He and DH were offloading the top half of the Shrank from Dh's truck, and Dad went to jump out of the back of the truck, his feet hit the ground and slid out from under him, and Dad went down hard on his back. Dad said he's feeling ok this morning, a bit tender but certainly able to move about & not too bad. And he said he's going to make an appt. to see his Chiropractor tomorrow or Tuesday for an adjustment, but nonetheless..... Dad's not a YOUNG guy (will turn 60 next year), and he's already got extensive back problems. So, prayers that this doesn't permanently worsen his existing problems...... Thanks!

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And, last but not least, some info I got via email from a friend this morning. Snopes AND the FBI verify this, so it's a valid warning:

JURY DUTY SCAM
This has been verified by the FBI (their link is also included below) Please pass this on to everyone in your email address book. It is spreading fast so be prepared should you get this call. Most of us take those summonses for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty, that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.The caller claims to be a jury coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity w as just stolen.The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma , Illinois , and Colorado . This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system. The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.Check it out here:

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm

And here: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp

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I think that pretty well covers it for today. Thanks again for the prayers & positive thoughts for Janis & her family & friends. Thanks again for the positive reinforcement regarding my denial of that job.

Have a Blessed Day!

2 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Oh I wish you had gotten a pic of the Aurora. Your description was wonderful though.

I'm sorry for you loss. I'm glad that she went as peacefully as she was able to.

I hope your Dad is ok.

peppylady said...

Yesterday when I was trying to do photo hunt I had a terrible time posting picture and being out west It always seems late that my post is last to be up compare to the rest of the world.

I'm sorry to hear about Janis a least your mom and Janis mom was there.
My prayers are being offered for the family and friend.

I real like to watch the Northern Lights I keep hear they are going to be pretty specular.