Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Final Thought

I thought I would post once more before I head Up North as we people in Michigan put it.

In honor of of high school and college graduations everywhere, I thought I would post a speech given by Bill Gates at a high school graduation. It is the eleven things that they, the students, were not taught in high school. He talks about how the feel good, politically correct teachings of today have created classrooms of kids with no concept of reality and how the real world really works. Life is not a series of "That's Ok, I know you did your best" and "Good job!" for subpar work. Life doesn't work like that and this only sets them up for failure in the real world.

Life is not fair - get used to it.

The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world
will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel
good about yourself.

You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out
of high school. You won't be a vice president with
car phone, until you earn both.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a
boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your
grandparents had a different word for burger flipping
they called it Opportunity.

If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't
whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as
they are now. They got that way from paying your bills,
cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about
how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest
from the parasites of your parent's generation, try
delousing the closet in your own room.

Your school may have done away with winners and losers,
but life has not. In some schools they have abolished
failing grades and they'll give you as many times as
you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the
slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get
summers off and very few employers are interested in
helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Television is NOT real life. In real life people
actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for

Happy Graduation and welcome to the real world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Son of Detroit

How long do you think you'll stay in the music business?
I haven't got a clue. I never said I wanted to be around for a long time. I always said I wanted to be here for a good time.

Well, not so much younger brother, you can quit your whining about everyone beating you to blog post ideas. Kid Rock has been on my list for awhile of things to talk about. You were beginning to sound a lot like the Pens. "They're cheating, the officials aren't making the right calls, they're overacting". You both need to get over it.

I want to say up front that I love Kid Rock. I don't like all of his music but I think he is extremely funny and honest.

"Why does anything ever happen? Some things happen and some don't." -
-- Kid rock

The following song is my favorite. It is "Picture" sung with Sheryl Crow. This is the unedited version. NOT the wimpy version that is sometimes heard on the radio.

During an appearance on CNN shortly before the war in Iraq, Kid Rock was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his views on gay marriage. He whole-heartedly approved. As he explained to his startled host: "That just leaves more chicks for me and you, Wolf!"

Kid Rock is probably one of the biggest supporters of Detroit. He is a huge sport's fan and is often seen at the games. We were traveling to Michigan one day and were listening to my ipod. Just as we pulled up to the toll booth to pay the toll one song ended (a quiet one) and then this song came blasting out of the speakers as he handed her the money. D just shook his head. Still makes me smile to think about it.

A reporter was interviewing Kid Rock and asked him if it bothered him that women dated him because of his fame. He said, "No, I'm not dating them because they're ugly".

Even Dr. Phil loves Kid Rock.

"I like to decorate," Kid Rock once told Blender magazine. ""I love to read Better Homes and Gardens."

Check out, "Cold and Empty", "Only God Knows Why" and "Do It For You" for more good music by Kid Rock.

He appeared on Letterman a couple weeks ago and here is a clip of that interview.

I know my not that much younger brother posted this song, "All Summer Long" but you need to check this out. Look at what he does at about 39 seconds in the song. A true Michigander!

Kid Rock -- interviewed in the stands on CBC: "What do I like about the Red Wings? Same thing I tell the girls -- everything! ... Rock on, Canada!"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008


These pictures were taken at Pearl Harbor when we were in Hawaii last winter. If you like history this is a place you want to see. We spent a whole day exploring this area of the island.







The Time of My Life

This spring D decided to buy some Pirates tickets. If you bought an eight game series they would give you two extra games. A co-worker in his office liked the deal too so we bought the eight game series and split the tickets with his coworker. Our first game was last night. Bummer because the Wings were opening the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Pittsburgh the same night. We went anyway hoping we would get updates at the game. Luckily we sat next to a guy who was listening to the game on the radio so he kept us up on what was happening in the Motor City.

As you can see it was a beautiful night in downtown Pittsburgh.


Here is the Clemente Bridge which they close for all home baseball and football games. Sometimes we park across the river and walk over to the stadiums.


It was a beautiful night at the old ball park. Our seats are on the third base side and we are just under the upper deck. That could come in handy on rainy days. The Pirates were playing the Cubs last night which made for an interesting crowd mix. When the Cubs went ahead in one of the earlier innings, I thought I was at Wrigley Field. I think there were as many Cubs fans as Pirates fans at last night's game.

We were sitting across from the scoreboard which showed all the scores from other games being played. I kept saying to D. Tigers have 5 runs. Now it's 7. Hey, now it's 13 ..... 15 ...... 19! Wow! I said to D that looks like a football score. He said, "It couldn't be, the Lions can't score that many points". Truer words were never spoken. What was I thinking?

Of course, we had dinner at the park. Do you know what this is? That is a famous Pittsburgh traditon. Do you see the meat, cheese, salad and fries sandwiched between two thick slices of white bread? Any guesses?


If you guessed a Primanti Brother's sandwich you would be right. It doesn't sound that good I know, but they really taste pretty good. I wouldn't want to eat them everyday but for once in a while at the park they aren't bad.


We were waiting between innings and a song started to play over the speakers while a montage of Pirates players were being shown on the scoreboard. This is what I heard:

"And I'll taste every moment
And live it out loud
I know this is the time"

D, I know this song. What is it?

"This is the time to be
More than a name
Or a face in the crowd"

I KNOW that voice. Who IS that?

"I know this is the time
This is the time of my life
The time of my life"

I know who that is! That's David Cook from American Idol singing the song from the finale!! 'American Idol has invaded baseball. That is just too funny. I know my not that much brother would appreciate that. You can't escape. Idol is everywhere.

We left the game in the 8th inning so we could get home and catch a little of the hockey game. Got home just in time to see the last two goals. Not only that the Pirates tied up the game and went to extra innings, 14 to be exact, to beat the Cubbies. All in all it was a good night to be a sport's fan.

On to Michigan tomorrow. I get to see Sarah play ball Tuesday night, Katie Thursday night, and John on Saturday. This is my stadium tour for the summer. Should be fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amen, Amen

To quote Paula, "amen, amen". This is what my face looked like when David Cook was announced the winner of American Idol 7 last night.


Could it have happened to a nicer guy? Despite Simon's prediction the night before, the voters saw fit to declare David Cook the winner. To be honest I was a David A. supporter at the beginning of the season. But as the season went on my interest in David A started to wane and I slowly became a David Cook fan. David A is very good but he seemed lost out of his comfort zone of ballads. David C on the other hand seemed to handle all the genres thrown at him with ease. He seemed to get better and better each week. He took chances and sang songs that meant something to him, not songs to garner votes. His final song Tuesday night had been chosen with his brother in mind, not what he thought the judges wanted to hear. I think both Davids will have a career in music to look forward to in the coming years. I am just glad it was David C that won it last night.

In case you missed it, here is MTV's 60 second wrap up of the results show.

Now on to the show itself. I thought it was very entertaining. Well, except for the comedy skits. Does anyone find those funny? The biggest surprise of all was the band who performed with David Cook. Hold on to your hats you non-idol fans. It was ZZ Top. Here is David Cook and ZZ Top performing "Sharp Dressed Man".

And because I can't see it enough, here is the final nine minutes of the show. Simon's apology, the winner being announced, and David Cook singing "Time of My Life". Could David A been any more gracious in losing and David C any more gracious in winning? I, for one, can't wait to hear the music he will be recording this coming year.

"Amen, Amen." The gospel according to Paula. May it ever be so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This Is American Idol!

I can't believe that it is almost over. Where has season seven gone? Before we get on to tonight's business, let's review what has transpired so far this season.

“Season seven will be remembered for that kid with the stage father who may or may not (as of this writing) have cost his son the title. It is the season when everyone thought an Irish girl with a failed CD just might be pimped to death by the show but in the end was never given a break. It was the season of guitars, pianos and yes, a ukelele. A season of forgotten lyrics. A season with iTunes. A season of an ill-advised mosh pit and useless Q&A sessions. And yet another season in which Paula Abdul upstaged the contestants for all the wrong reasons. In the end, it may be a season in which “American Idol” turned the corner and ultimately became the search for and selling of a rock star.”

Thank you I couldn't have said it better myself which is why I didn't.

They're starting the show with the theme song from Rocky? How strange. I hope this isn't going to be a reoccuring theme throughout the show. Ryan announces that David Cook is the real deal from Kansas City. And here is the humble pride of Utah, David Archuleta.

This issssss stupid, this issssss American Idol!

Ryan reminds us that the eyes of Amreica are trained on a single stage. Three songs each, three phone lines each, and four hours to call in. It looks like they are staying with the Rocky theme. Who produces these shows? Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber (yeah!) are coaching this week. David A. won the coin toss and has chosen to go second. Ryan asks the judges what the Davids need to do tonight to win. Randy says they need to leave everything on the floor. Paula says everyone is loving you and may the best man win. Paaaaaula, you didn't answer the question, yes I know, this is so hard. Simon says they need to have the desire to win and they need to hate their opponent. I don't think that is going to happen.

Clive Davis is chosing the songs for Round One.

David C., "I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For" by U2.
I like it, good song choice, Clive. Did you see those shoes David was wearing? Talk about pointy. Randy said it was a great way to start 2007 (?) and it was hot, baby! Paula said "he may have not found what he is looking for but we have found what we are looking for and it's David Cook. Amen, Amen". Sing it, Sister!!!! Amen, Amen. Simon said he looked tense and emotional at the beginning of the show but in spite of that it was phenomonal! Sing it, Brother!!

David A., "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John
I have to say Clive made another perfect song choice. Sir Lloyd Webber reminds David again not to close his eyes. Wow, I have to admit that was great. Oh jeez, the shot of David's dad in his stupid hat just ruined the moment for me. He just reminded me why I am rooting against his son. Randy says it is his best performance of the whole season. Crazy! Paula has chills and says the sun will never go down on him. Where does she ever come up with these analagies? "You bring out the sunshine in everyone". Blech. Simon said he thought last week he was ok but tonight was his best so far. Round One to Archuleta! David looks like he is hyperventilating. Calm down, David, America is doing the voting not Simon.

Round Two. The Davids get to chose one of the top ten songs for the Idol song writing contest. I like this idea. Maybe we will get something halfway decent for a change.

David C., "Dream Big"
I am shocked, this isn't a horrible, schlocky song. I am fascinated by his shoes again, they are pointy! I actually liked it. Randy said he was singing his face off. Paula says he has a song in his heart and a guitar in his hand. Simon thought it was ok but it didn't feel like a winning moment for him. He gives it a 6 1/2 out of 10. I thought it was better than that.

David A., "In This Moment"
I haven't even heard the song and I already don't like it. It sounds like a song he would chose. This is a syrupy mess just like I predicted. I don't like it as well as David C's. Open your eyes! He sang it well but I didn't like it at all just in case I left any doubt in your mind. Randy didn't like the song but said he could sing the phonebook. Where have I heard that before? Paula thought it was a heartfelt performance. Simon thought he chose the better song (is he crazy?) and Round Two goes to Archuleta.

Cool commercial! Couldn't find the song that was played tonight so this song will have to do by Coldplay.

Randy and Paula say it is too close to call.

Round Three, Davids' Choice

David C. "The World I Know" by Collective Soul
David says he has never performed this song before. I already give him props for not redoing a song from earlier in the season. Way to take a chance, David. I like it, but then again why wouldn't I? Paula is on her feet and David has tears in his eyes. Randy says that is the cool thing about him, he is showing his sensitive side. Very nice. Paula says, "he is standing in his truth". I am beyond knowing what to say, except, "Sing it. Sister!". Amen, Amen! Simon says he is one of the nicest, most sincere contestant they have ever had. But, and you knew that was coming, it was the wrong song choice. He should have redone one of his earlier songs. David's response, "Why do something I have already done". I'm with him. Take a chance.

David A., "Imagine" by John Lennon
I have to say it is an uninspired song choice. I think it is just lazy and am wondering if the callers will punish him for it. Of course, he has had trouble this season remembering lyrics so this does cut down on the number of songs he has to learn this week. He is amazing. Randy says he is the best singer in Season 7. I bet he could sing the phone book, Randy. He left Paula speechless (thank you, David, for that) and he was stunning tonight. Simon says despite all the critisms of the show it is about finding a star and they have just witnessed a knockout.

Well, what did you think? Who won tonight's show. Who do you think will win? Who deserves to win? I have to say I prefer David C. I can see his music in my ipod. Not so much David A. I have to give points to David C. for taking chances tonight. I don't think he cares as much as David A. if he wins tomorrow night or not. I know he doesn't care as much as David A's dad. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will win. Let's just be thankful that we won't have to listen to Reuban celebrate us home anymore.

Gelwicks, out!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Should've Brought An Umbrella

For you non-country music people out there, the CMA awards were on last night. You may not like country music but they sure do know how to produce an award show. It was entertaining and most impportantly finished TWO minutes early. That completely caught the network by surprise and they were scrambling to fill two unscheduled minutes of time. But the real reason I am even mentioning this is because it had one of the most interesting performances I have seen in a long time. It is Taylor Swift singing "Should've Said No". Watch to the end and my title will make sense. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Week In Review

I can't believe it is Sunday already. Where does the time go? D flew to California last week and left for Atlanta very early this morning (Sunday). He flies back home tomorrow and leaves for Chicago Tuesday. Not sure when he is coming back from there.

I caught the weather report Friday, the weatherman said that since the first of the month we have had ONE day of sunshine. As of tonight, we still have had only one day of sunshine this month. Our backyard is a swamp. Needless to say, I am getting a little tired of the rain.

We decided to finish our upstairs bathroom. We are known for not finishing projects until we move on to the next house. For once we are going to finish all the projects early so we get to enjoy them. Here is a picture of what our bathroom looks like as of now. The contracter has found all of the plumbing in the walls, ran a switch for the new fan, and has the cement board down for the tile. All of our walls and ceilings are filled with solid styrofoam which he said was not easy to drill through for the new fan. Better him than us is all I can say about that. He comes back Tuesday to install the travertine.


I was out wandering through the little woods behind our house and found this blooming.

violet, 5.08

Notice the raindrops. I wasn't kidding about the rain, dear readers.

And look what else I found when I was out back. To tell the truth that is the real reason I am out there. The flowers are pretty but it is golf balls that I am really looking for. Now I know I have some golfers out there, so if you need golf balls let me know. I have quite a few that I am more than willing to give away. I need to know by next week before I leave for St. Joe. Otherwise you will have to wait for my next visit and who knows when that will be.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Is For The Ones Who Stood Their Ground

Song Sequels revisited just once more, I promise. This really isn't a song sequel but it's all I have. I happened to be walking one day when both of these songs came up on my playlist. That's when I realized there was a connection between the two songs. The first song is "Living On a Prayer" which is about Tommy and Gina who never backed down (remember that little phrase). Without looking or listening do you know what other song by Bon Jovi has a connection to this song?

Now listen to this:

Did you catch the connection between the two songs?

"This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down."

That's all I have for you. I am sequeled out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Feeling Inadequate

After reading other family member's posts on what they do job wise, I am feeling somewhat inadequate. Why you ask? Because I don't have a job. Or at least a job that is recognized or considered worthwhile by most of the world. My job pays nothing and every day I repeat what I did the day before. Doesn't that sound exciting?

My first real job was a summer job I had to help pay for college. I worked for a company in Clare that made wire harnesses for cars. My clearest memory of that job is the day I fainted. They were nice and let me go home for the rest of the day but I was back at it the next day. Lesson learned: eat breakfast. It was boring and I am so glad that my future jobs didn't involve working on an assembly line.

The next summer I worked for Dow in their testing lab. That would be animal testing. Mostly rats and mice. Ugh. I was hired to fill in for those that were gone on vacations. The first day I was shown what needed to be done for the day, cleaning and feeding the animals was the major job. I finished in two hours and went to my supervisor to tell him I was done. I will never forget the look on his face. That job was supposed to take eight hours and I had just finished it in two hours. This is a union shop, people. I eventually learned to stretch my chores to take up the whole morning. I had to move really slow to do it and it drove me crazy but I knew the "rules". The afternoons were spent doing odd jobs that they didn't have time to get done. I didn't like that job either. Sometimes rats would be loose in the rooms which I didn't like. I was always thankful that my supervisor, who I really liked, didn't require me to handle them. I was also thankful that the Beagles that were arriving that summer were delayed and I never had to have anything to do with them.

Then marriage, baby and my job was at home. I did spend a few years as a teacher's aide which I really enjoyed. If you can get past crying kinders and kids throwing up on your shoes it really was an enjoyable job. But budgets required people had to go and I volunteered. I have been home ever since.

I guess my job now is to make Dave's job easier. I have moved around the country and have painted more houses than I care to remember. I do all the cleaning, shopping, cooking, washing of clothes, ironing,..... I think you get the idea. I was whining to Sarah how everyone had exciting jobs and this is what I do every day. She said she would love it if someone were at home doing all those things so she could concentrate on just her job. Even though society as a whole doensn't value what I do, I love my place in life. I have things that I need to get done during the day, but my time is essentially my own. I think that's a pretty good deal.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This Is ....... American Idol!

Jason is gone and I can't say I am that sorry, but as someone else said he brought an exciting randomness to the show which will be missed. The final three, though good, are predictable which takes some of the excitement out of the show. Jason had trouble learning two songs so I really wonder how he would have done having to learn three.

Well, people, we are down to the final three. A high school student, an actress, and a bartender as Ryan reminds us in the opening segment. Who will do well tonight and who will be asking their friends and family to dial their phones in a frantic attempt to save themselves from being voted off?

This is American Idol! Ryan tells us this is it and it is the closest race the show has ever seen. Tonight's songs will be chosen by the judges, the contestant, and a producer. It's the producer's choices that could be the most interesting. Do they know the singers well enough to choose a song that will highlight their strengths?

David Archuleta

1. Paula's choice, "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel
Paula says she chose this song to showcase his beautiful vocals. David says he is excited and it is a really pretty song. Uh oh, he's closing his eyes. Didn't Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber tell him not to do that? Old habits are hard to break I guess. Randy thought it was a dope song (I think he is confusing him with Jason) and that he is in it to win it. Paula thought it was a pure and stunning performance. Simon thought it was very good but it had no surprises and was a bit predictable. I have to agree with Simon. Everything he sings sounds the same.

2. David's choice, "With You" by Chris Brown
David says it wasn't an easy song to learn. I'm not liking it. He looks so awkward up on that stage. This song doesn't suit him at all. I know I keep saying I am tired of the message ballad he always seems to do but I see now why he sings that type of song. He can't do anything else. I don't think the judges are going to like this either. Randy applauds him for trying something new and young but he isn't sure it was the right song. Paula says he needs to shorten the phrases but he did a great job. Simon says he looks like he is a chihuahua trying to be a tiger, it really isn't him. I agree. He appeals to young girls and old women and I am neither one, I didn't like it.

3. Producer's choice, "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg
He's not moving around the stage so that's good. I think he is over singing this song. This should be a simple, sweet song and he has turned it into an intense ballad. I don't like this performance either. Randy thinks he is in the zone and hot. Paula said it was a lovely performance. Simon said he sang it well but it was a horrible, gooey song but it should be good enough to get him in the finals.

Syesha Mercado

1. Randy's choice, "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys
Randy said he chose it because he had a feeling that Syesha loves Alicia as much as he does. It's not my kind of music but I suppose she sang it well. Randy thinks she did an amazing job and she is peaking at the right time. Paula is very proud of her (I wondered when she would say that tonight) and she looks stunning. She is right about that. Simon thought she sang it very well but he wished she had changed it up more. And he also think she looks gorgeous.

2. Syesha's choice, "Fever" by Peggy Lee
She is going to use a chair because it is a fun song. Cute dress. I can see her performing on a stage. I thought it was very good. Randy thinks it was an interesting song choice and a great performance. Paula is surprised with her song choice and that the song doesn't show her as an artist. Simon says she may end up regretting that decision and that it was a lame cabaret performance.

3. Producer's choice, Hit Me Up" from the movie "Happy Feet"
I thought it was just OK. Randy agrees with me. Paula thought she did very well but it might not be good enough for the finals. Simon thinks it's better tham the second song. It was fun and young but it wasn't a defining moment to end the show.

David Cook

1. Simon's choice, "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack
Simon says it is one of the greatest songs of all time and that it is a very, very, very, difficult song to sing. He hopes he does something different with the song. I love it but did he change it up enough to suit Simon. Randy says he can sing anything but he didn't like the song choice. Simon and Randy start bickering over who chose the best song. Paula says it is about you (David) not the judges. Am I hallucinating? Has Jason invaded my soul? Paula makes sense!! I feel faint. Simon finally declares it is the best performance to date and that round one goes to Cook and Cowell.

2. David's choice, "Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot.
David says this song wraps up his whole experience. An appropriate song for the appropriate moment. I don't know the original but I like it. One thing I do know is the songs are too short. I would rather they went to two songs so they could sing the song longer. Are you listening, AI? Randy thought it was a good song choice but a little pitchy. Paula wanted more, there was a beginning and then it was at the end. I think that's what I said. Simon thought all three had an OK middle round.

3. Producer's choice, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
Paula is on her feet. I guess we know how she feels about it. I like it too. Randy loved the song choice but thought it was OK and a bit predictable. Paula says she will see him in the finals. Simon thinks it is one of the great songs of all time and that David Cook wins the night.

Ryan reminds us that they need our support like never before. It is obvious that the judges think the Davids won the night. I'm not so sure. A lot depends on where Jason's votes go. If I am going to go strictly by the performances, I would say that David A. may be packing his bags tomorrow night. Poor guy, his dad isn't going to be happy with him. So there you have it. Who do you think won the night and who do you think will be going home tomorrow night?

My performer of the night is David Cook. The real question is which song? I'm going to go crazy tonight and post my favorite TWO performances of the night. I like "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" best but I have a feeling that the younger generation will enjoy the Aerosmith song more. Take it away, David!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cinnamon Bread

I tried a new bread recipe last week and i have to say it was excellent. It was a bread recipe I found on King Arthur's web site. One of the things that makes this bread a little different is it a combination yeast bread and quick bread. It starts with the usual ingredients found in bread.

cinnamon bread, 5.08

It only needs to raise for an hour before the rest of the ingredients are added. Then it is ready to bake.

cinnamon bread, 5.08

And after it is baked it looks like this. Look at all those bits of cinnamon. Yum!

cinnamon bread, 5.08

Because it was almost dinner time and D wasn't home I decided to make French Toast with my freshly baked bread. All I can say is it was excellent. I had it toasted the next day and I wasn't disappointed. Five spatulas out of five. Doesn't get any better than that, people.

cinnamon bread, 5.08

I think the secret to this bread is the cinnamon chips. I bought them from King Arthur's website. They are called Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites. They are good.

cinnamon bread, 5.08

Here is the recipe if you are interested. If you want more detailed instructions visit King Arthur's Bakers' Banter,

Easy Cinnamon Bread
printable version | email to a friend
This bread is a cross between a typical baking powder-leavened quick bread, and a yeast bread. The result: a cinnamon coffeecake-tasting loaf that's wonderful served plain, and is incredible toasted.

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour OR Mellow Pastry Blend
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
cinnamon-sugar, for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating till smooth. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, covered, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Spoon the batter into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it tests done; a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: Don't slice the bread while it's hot! It'll slice much better when it's completely cool. Yield: 1 loaf.

©2008 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekend Review

What a busy weekend. It started Thursday night when our friend Amy flew in from St. Louis to join her husband Dave (he had flown in earlier in the week). We picked her up at the airport and then went to dinner in Pittsburgh. We ate at a restaurant perched on a hill overlooking the city. It was kind of overcast so the views weren't the best but dinner was excellent. We spent the next couple of days shopping, watching hockey (the Penguins and Red Wings both won), got the mini Mini out (we bought that car from Dave and Amy), and in general just hanging out. I even showed Amy how to make an apple pie. She said she was going to go home and try it all by herself. I am anxious to hear how she does!

Of course, we ate. It was dinner at our house Friday night and dinner at Grays on Saturday night. Rob's dinner was excellent and I have to say the ribs we cooked weren't too bad. We liked this version with Emeril's rub and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. We will definately be doing that one again.


Amy and I also introduced Janet to the world of Youtube. I still don't think she gets the attraction it holds for Amy and I.


Do you know what this is a picture of?


You would be right if you said it is THE future winner of the Key Lime Pie bakeoff. Congratulations to you for being so astute.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there that are reading my blog. I believe there is only one person who reads my blog who fits that description, so Happy Mother's Day to you, sister. And thank you to my blue-eyed girl who made this day possible for me. Don't tell Jo but you are my number one girl.


I will leave you with a short, funny video clip I found while wondering around the internet this afternoon. Haven't we all wanted to do that very same thing at one time or another?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I was out weeding yesterday and I ran into a snake. I quickly moved to another spot to work in and have decided to stop sticking my hands behind rocks and under leaf piles from now on. I looked it up on the internet and found out it was a ribbon snake. Quite harmless and nothing to be afraid of, or so they say.

Anyway, I thought you might like to see what is blooming in my gardens right now. I have even coordinated my blog music. Aren't I the clever one?

garden, may 08

garden, may 08

Even dandilions deserve their day in the sun.

garden, may 08

garden, may 08

Opps, how did she get in here?

jojo, may 08

garden, may 08

garden, may 08

garden, may 08

Darn, there she is again. Will she ever go away?

jojo, may 08

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Like Bob Seger said, rock and roll never forgets and neither do I. Look what I found last week on the internet.

American Idol 7 finalist Jason Castro didn’t get voted out on Wednesday, but he’s ready to go home.
On Monday, well before the performance show, he told Entertainment Weekly, “What happens happens. I’ll sing and if people like it, they like it. And if they don’t, they don’t. I’m kind of ready to go home.”
He’s so ready to go home that he basically blew off practicing. The magazine reports that “his brother and a friend had visited over the weekend and that his Saturday meeting with Diamond had gone ‘really bad’ because he didn’t yet know his songs.”
(Entertainment Weekly)

Well, I'm kind of ready for you to go home too. Can we all now just agree that it is time for him to go?

Speaking of rock and roll, tonight's theme is the music from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So many choices. No excuses tonight that it isn't their kind of music. There should be something for everyone to choose from tonight. David Cook should be in his element. David A. will sing a song with a "message". Syehsa should go toward show-tune like songs and Jason, who knows what he will do? Maybe some hippy, dippy sixties music? And so....

This is American Idol! Ryan tells us that three of the four have been number one vote getters. Who Ryan? The Davids for sure. My other guess? Maybe Jason earlier in the competition. I wish they would identify the people they show in the audience. Who was that guy? Ryan introduces our guiding stars: Randy, Paula and Simon. Hey, is that Jason yawning? What is it with him? Ryan informs us that the judges will give their critiques after every performance this week. You can relax, Paula, it won't be so "hard" this week. And now Ryan shouts, "Long live rock!". Amen, brother, amen.

1. David Cook - "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran
I don't know this song but then again I don't know a lot of Duran Duran songs. David looks so comfortbable on the stage. Maybe too comfortable. Don't get complacent, David. Paula's on her feet! It is an OK performance for me. Randy just said the same thing. Paula said it left her with a big appetite. Huh? Simon thought it was good enough to get him through to the next week.

2. Syesha Mercado - "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner
Wow, she looks good tonight. This could be a tough song choice. Where's the tough choreography she was talking about? It's too screechy for me. She is no Tina Turner. Randy thought she was in the zone and that it was very nice. Paula says she looks like a star (I agree), ramble...ramble...ramble and it was magic. Simon says it was a slightly bad shrieky version of Tina Turner. That's what I said!

3. Jason Castro - "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley
He said there were actually a few songs on the list this week that he knew. Remember that, kids, those words will come back to haunt him. All of those songs to choose from and this is what he came up with? It is a strange performance but for once he looks like he is putting some effort into it. Randy said it sounded karaoke and was nothing special. Paula said he performed to the audience but it was nothing special. If Paula can't think of something good to say you are in trouble, Dreds. Simon said it was atrocious, Sorry! He doesn't know what he was thinking. Now Ryan and Paula are trying to build his confidence back up. Good luck with that. Confidence has to be earned and he didn't earn it with that performance.

4. David Archuleta - "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King
He can sing I will give him that. The audience loves it. Randy says he is the one guy trying to win the whole thing, that was hot! Paula says he delivered. Simon says he could have whistled and it would have sounded better than the last song.

I will have to give round one to David A. Come on, David Cook, I know you can do it. On to round two.

1. David C. - "Baba O'Reily" by The Who
He tells Ryan that the judges were right about the first song. He is two words into his second song and I already know that I like it. In fact, I love it! Randy agrees. Just be you, you were great. Paula wants more and is humbled to watch his soul. I don't make this stuff up, people. Simon, "Welcome back, David Cook".

Hey, Rascall Flatts is in the house. Yea!

2. Syesha - "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
I like this better than her first song. Randy doesn't agree, he thought it fell flat. Paula is standing and applauding, she calls her a superstar. Simon says he has to be fair and agrees with.......Paula! Let's hope the voters are fair too.

3. Jason - "Mister Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan
He can't be any worse than he was singing his first song of the night. I don't believe it! He forgot the words. I thought he said he knew the songs this week. Should have practiced more is all I can say. Randy says he isn't in the zone tonight. Paula says it is what it is. Wiser words were never spoken, Paula. Simon tells Jason to pack his suitcase. From his mouth to God's ear is all I can say.

4. David A. - "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley
It is very well done but it does nothing for me. Randy thought it was another great performance. He had the hot vocals of the night. Paula felt his heart. @@ Simon said he didn't beat the competition, he crushed the competition. I wouldn't go that far.

The night belonged to the two Davids. I lean toward David Cook because I find his voice and the kind of music he sings more appealing. But I have to admit David A was very good tonight. Good, but kind of boring. It comes down to Syesha or Jason on the bottom. If things are fair, Jason will be going home tomorrow. But strange things can happen between the performance and the results show. Who knows whose fan base will show up to dial those phones?

I was just rereading my post and had to laugh. My title is "Rock and Roll Never Forgets". Hahaha, but Jason does!!! How funny is that! Sometimes I crack myself up.

And now on to my favorite performance of the night. Rock on, David C!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Song Sequels Continued

Well, since my last post about song sequels I have only come up with one other example. If you have been paying attention the song playing on my blog right now is the sequel to a very popular song. The original song, "Jessie", won an award from BMI for one of the most played songs of 1974. There are quite a few songs of Joshua Kadison that I like but this is probably my favorite.

He later released another album with the song "Georgia Rain" which is the sequel to Jessie. His second album didn't do as well as the first one which probably explains why I couldn't find a Youtube clip of that song.

Don't forget tomorrow is American Idol, people. Rock and Roll night. Could be interesting.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just An Ordinary Weekend

This was the first weekend I had been home in a month and it was really nice. We didn't do much but then again maybe that was the point. Dave had to go to Pittsburgh today and finish up his booth for the AISTech 2008. Would you believe it is the largest annual steel technology conference and exposition in the world? Who knew? Anyway, he will be busy with that this week. His brother is traveling through Pittsburgh on Tuesday and they plan on going to the Pirates game Tuesday night. Then our friends from St. Louis will be here for the weekend. We have a busy week coming up.

Here's the update on my robin family:


As you can see it is empty. I don't think she picked a very good spot to build her nest this year. Every time I checked there was one less egg. So sad. I was looking forward to watching the babies again this year. Last year a robin built a nest on our electrical box right outside of my laundry room window. Now she knew what she was doing. All of her babies lived long enough to fly away.


We have been trying to convince Jo that D's lap is as good as mine. She will sit in his lap, with coaxing, if my lap isn't available. But this is what she does the entire time she is sitting there. I have two eyes watching every move I make. I keep telling her he is the one who buys the chow but so far she isn't impressed. Her eyes were on me but D's eyes were on the Penguins game. They won and move on in the playoffs. Don't worry we are still Wings fans.


Now if D is outside she will gladly go out in the yard with him. In fact, her favorite place to be is outside. You will never hear any complaints from her about that. She will stay outside as long as she can. She is even happy to sit in the garage while D is working in there. I guess she figures she is one door closer to freedom.


I will be posting my song sequel tomorrow. I know you can hardly wait for that post!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Grip It and Rip It!

Yes, today was a day of baking. My not that much younger brother may be king of his grill but I am queen of my oven. I don't enjoy day to day cooking all that much but I do love baking. Every month dad gets a box of cookies in the mail. I have been doing that for a few years now and I don't think I have repeated a recipe yet. Along the way I have found some good recipes and some not so good ones but it is always fun to try something new every month.

Today's experiment was bread, Gruyere Cheese Bread to be exact. I found this recipe on the King Arthur website not too long ago and have been waiting for the right time to try it. Today was the day. It has been cloudy and rainy all day so it was the perfect day to stay in and bake some bread.

Because this bread requires a starter I began yesterday.


And today I finished and baked it.



This bread is best eaten warm out of the oven. In fact, just grip it and rip it. I thought it was good. I think I will give it four spatulas out of five. My starter and dough never looked like the pictures. I'm not sure why. I am wondering if my flour is old. I think the next time I am going to get King Arthur's bread flour and see if that doesn't make a difference.

If interested the recipe can be found here (with pictures!).

Next up, cinnamon bread. Yum!

About Me

My photo
I'm strange, but I've got a great sister!

Newton's Cradle