Thursday, September 11, 2014

Proud to be an American

This picture was making the rounds on Facebook last Friday. I've seen it before, but each time I do I get a big lump in my throat and my heart feels very sad. I feel a deep hurt over what's going on in this county right now. We have lost direction, we've forgotten how to overcome.

I still have it in me to be a proud American, I'm not beat completely down yet.

In the 60's there were demonstrations, marches that spoke to the unrest in this country. I'm not saying we need riots or violence, but have Americans just given up?

We need change for the better,

...not just change for the sake of change.

When I looked around today, it seems I'm not alone.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Failure is Not an Option!

I had some amazing teachers as a child who inspired me. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Hayes immediately comes to mind. Oh, how I loved that woman! She was kind and patient, guiding and directing the 30 impressionable lives for the 9 months she had us. We learned how to add and subtract, all about the World in Social Studies and how to write in Cursive. But we learned so much more from Mrs. Hayes. We learned trust and responsibility and that honesty was the best policy. I'll never forget Mrs. Hayes or that feeling when she would have me collect the milk money each morning. It was good to be so young and trusted to do an important task.

The famous people below overcame that feeling of failure and reached for the stars. They struggled with disappointment and criticism, but somewhere along the way in spite of discouragement... they excelled.
Abraham Lincoln, former US President first went into politics at the age of 23 when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly and failed. He then opened a general store which failed after only a few months.


Harry S. Truman, former US President was rejected by the US Military & Naval Academies due to his poor eyesight. At one point he was a clerk in a newspaper mailroom, and also an usher in a movie theater.

Michael Jordan, the most famous name in basketball was actually cut from his high school basketball team.

John Wayne - Before his successful acting career he was rejected from the United States Naval Academy.

Steven Spielberg - This household name dropped out of high school and applied to attend film school three times but was unsuccessful due to his C grade average.

Beethoven - His music teacher once told him that he was a hopeless composer.

Babe Ruth - This baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.

Henry Ford - The Ford Motor Co was Henry Ford’s third business, the first two didn’t work out.

Winston Churchill - This former British Prime Minister did poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his early years.

Walt Disney - He was fired by the editor of a newspaper for lacking in ideas.

Soichiro Honda - The founder of Honda was turned down for an engineering job by Toyota after World War Two.

Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita - These two were the founders of Sony, but one of their first products was an electric rice cooker. They only sold 100 or so of these cookers because they tended to burn rice rather than cook it.

Charles Darwin - His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.

Albert Einstein - He learned to speak at a late age and performed poorly in school.

Thomas Edison - As a boy he was told by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything.

John Grisham - This best selling novelist’s first novel was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses.

Isaac Newton - He failed at running the family farm and did poorly in school.
Henry Ford said,
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cincinnati "Skyline Chili"


It wasn't the 1st thing on our list, but it was definately near the top! Cincinnati's famous Skyline Chili, we didn't know what to expect... rumor was it has cinnamon AND chocolate in the recipe. For former Texans, born and raised in the south that might be sacrilege! We went to the old downtown location, 7th and Vine, natives say it's where you get the true "experience."  

It was a Friday and nearly every seat was taken, we found a table near the back in good view of the show. Just behind the counter was line of seasoned employees who ladled out  1 Ways to 5 Ways in portions that shouldn't have fit on the 6" oval plates, but did!




Our waitress Tabby was a walking, talking tour guide... the city may just have her "planted" to make sure tourists get the real flavor of Cincinnati!

It was a little hard, there were so many ways to enjoy the chili, but I decided on TWO coneys, I thought they were small!  

They start you off with a bowl of oyster crackers and if I had payed attention to the locals (that's a really good tip when you are someplace that you just aren't sure what to order) I'd have noticed that many started with the small bowl of chili and then got ONE coney! 

Jerry ordered the 5 Way... chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans. I was too busy diving into my coneys to get any before pictures, sorry! I came home with a recipe for Cincinnati style chili, but after Googling a little, I found one that was leaked by an employee. Sunday afternoon I decided to try it out. The technique of simmering the hamburger in water for 30 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients is key to the texture that is distinctive to this chili. The spices are right on, this is  a very good knock off recipe that will satisfy our NEED for Cincinnati's most famous addiction!
1 quart cold water
2 lbs ground beef (I used lean ground beef)
2 cups crushed tomato
2 yellow onions, diced 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cooked spaghetti to serve chili over, optional
The Cincinnati "Skyline" Chili Ordering Code

1-way: just the chili

2-way: chili served over spaghetti

3-way: chili, spaghetti, and grated Cheddar cheese

4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions

5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans

All "ways" are served with oyster crackers.
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