Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Never Know Where You will meet Good Friends

Yesterday I posted about it being Ken's birthday. I gave him his gift early so he could use it over the weekend. The kids bought his gift at the Canfield Fair so he got that early. So it seemed that on his actual birthday there was no real celebration going on. I felt kind of bad when I left for work, knowing he was off (he is off every Monday) and just doing stuff around the camper that needed done. The weekend was full for the whole family so we didn't get together to celebrate like we usually do for everyone's birthday in the family. Ken was fine with it, not wanting a celebration.

When I got back to camp after work, Ken had a fire going and the grill was getting hot. He made us hoagies and while he was cooking, our neighbors at camp came in. We invited them over for hoagies. They told me they would be over and had planned to come over anyway. I was surprised and said, "You were?" Their reply was, "Yes, for Ken's birthday."

They walked over carrying a cake for Ken's birthday much to our surprise. We sat by the fire after eating, talked and laughed and another friend came to celebrate and have cake with us too. Our friends didn't spend the night at camp but had made a special effort to come just to celebrate Ken's birthday. Now those are Good Friends.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Happy Birthday  Ken!
Today you start the sixth decade of your life.  How did it get here so fast? It seems like we have been pedaling hard all these years just to stay even but time doesn’t care. It just keeps going anyway.

So today, take a few moments to reflect. Think of all the people who have come and gone in your life, family or friends, or just acquaintances. Many of them contributed something to your life, sometimes without realizing it.

Count the blessings you’ve had in this life and look forward to many more, believing they will happen.

Don’t dwell on what is ahead of you, but take this moment right now and fly with it, enjoy it, savor it and get the most out of it that you can.

Since you are getting older and most likely more forgetful, I have listed a few things you might want to remember or think about:

Your Early years:

Grandma Mills nicknamed you “Menace” after Dennis the Menace. Did you earn that nickname rightfully and live up to it?

The Geritol years – for your mom I mean.  She said she would get so exhausted when you were little and try to take a nap on the couch. You’d lift her eyelids and ask her if she needed Geritol or ask her, “Do you have the gray sickness?”

Going night fishing with your dad to Fowler, Ohio and sleeping on a blanket?

Grade school:  You had a PTA Mom who knew all the teachers AND the principal. You couldn’t get away with anything. Mom didn’t hesitate to walk to the school to see what you had been up to. And by the way, who really threw that boy’s shoe into the light fixture of the classroom?

Do you remember seeing your mom standing in the kitchen screaming at you with one leg in the wastebasket as she tried to escape the dead rat you held precariously in front of her?

Junior High:

Poor Tom Gordon – you used to tell the teacher to “Make an example out of him” when he was accused (rightfully or wrongly) of doing something wrong.

Do you really know why that one teacher left the room crying after your class gave her a hard time and never returned to teach again?

High School:  How many times did your car “really” break down that you had to leave Mr. McCoy’s class? And how, if that car didn’t work, were you able to show up at my high school to pick me up?

Did your mom appreciate the frog you left in your lunch box?

How much money did you make from Lynn Russell when you caught him “Using one of my phrases” and made him pay you to use it?

Youth Group:  I can still see you now. I was sitting in the choir behind the preacher and you were opening and closing your hymnal like a frog singing.

You met this skinny, shy blonde who thought you were the funniest and nicest thing on earth. You helped build her confidence, exposed her to lots of new foods including a corn dog at the Canfield Fair. I’ll bet now you wish that skinny blonde didn’t like so many foods because she is no longer skinny, although with help she is still blonde!

Twenties:  Working in the steel mill, stopping for a beer with your dad at the Royal Gardens.

Best friends with Barb and Ed, spending most weekends doing something with them, from playing board games, bowling, camping or going out to eat. Remember Joe’s Riveria and the polka tunes?

Fishing at Mosquito with Bob and Ed. Ed fell in and you gave him your jacket to wear which was down to his knees.

The time you three were fishing at Pymatuning and fell asleep, the boat drifted into PA territory and you were caught with fishing poles but no PA fishing license? They left you to take the blame, went for a beer, and you had to come up with the money for a fine.

Having children. Karin at age 22 and Kenny at age 25. Young parents learning as we went. Two toe-heads who gave us so much satisfaction in life, so much laughter and joy, and now so much pride.

Treasurer of church:  Did you ever imagine holding such a position?

30’s:  Jobs changing over and over, trying to make a living for your family. And then you landed in an art museum after having worked in a steel mill. Who would have guessed?

40’s:  Becoming a grandparent. One of the greatest feelings in the world, yet coupled with lots of fear at first. Miracles are shown to us over and over during this time.

50’s:  Photography and becoming very good at it. Something that you had wanted for so long and finally fulfilling a dream.

Camping again.

Planning for retirement and how you want to spend it. “Homeless and Trailer Trash.”

Now you are 60 and we are buying you toys again for your birthday. Maybe retirement or the golden years is actually fun times, reverting back to our carefree days of childhood, not caring what others think of what we are doing, saying or wearing, enjoying the moment, laughing at ourselves and able to see so much good in the world. Realizing now how fast time goes and not wasting a minute of it.

I love you Babe. Happy Birthday!



Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Who's Your Daddy? Sandwich"

Ken and I tried a new recipe today over the fire. Ken found it online at this site:  http://www.bbqpitboys.com/ The recipe was for an onion chili sauce to be used on hot dogs, sausage or any kind of meat.
He nicknamed it the “Who’s Your Daddy?” Sandwich.
Ken got the Weber ready and cooked smoked sausage, getting that good smoky flavor added to the meat.
I started off by thinly slicing six sweet onions. Ken put some oil in the bottom of our cast iron skillet and got it hot over the fire, then added the onions. We cooked these down and got them somewhat browned and soft.
Next we added a thinly sliced sweet red pepper and two jalopena peppers also thinly sliced. (The recipe called for four jalopena peppers but we knew that some of our guests did not like hot stuff so Ken decided to cut it down to two).

After these were cooked together for a while, we added about one pound of ground pork.

 Once this was browned we added approximately one pound of chopped smoked sausage that had been cooking on the grill while we cooked our onions and peppers.

Cooking over the fire like this required lots of stirring to prevent burning.

Next came four jars of Chile Sauce.
About two tablespoons of honey.
Some pepper to taste.
And Tobasco Sauce to flavor.

We simmered this for a while over the fire until it blended together and got thicker.

At the grocery store, we were going to buy sausage rolls but then our eyes caught sight of this scrumptious bread.
We decided to make our own rolls from the bread by cutting it into the lengths as needed for the size of smoked sausage each person chose for their sandwich. We sliced it lengthwise and made it into a bun.

Next we put the smoked sausage from the grill in the bun, then ladled the sauce over the sausage.

YUMMY!! This was quite a sandwich, especially with the huge bread being used as a roll.

The flavors blended together well. The sandwich was messy but pretty good. We decided that it would have been better on a regular sausage roll because it was too much bread.
I also think the four jalopenas that the recipe called for would have added a needed kick to the sauce.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where in the World is Jan?

I'm still here, still kicking, just not writing. I don't know why, no reason that I can figure out. I love to write, but lately just have not taken the time to set up my computer, sit down and concentrate on writing. Not even my blog! That is terrible.

I would guess that this happens to most bloggers at some time and probably most writers too. But if I want to reach my goal of being published, I better start putting some words together.

Writing: letters forming words...words forming sentences...sentences forming paragraphs...paragraphs forming stories....or articles...or novels...or poems....or even just blogs.

Why am I being so lax?