Canning and Preserving For Long Term Storage

September 2, 2010

whole-tomatoesBoy, the canning season is upon us… for those who like to preserve goods for the winter and long term storage.  I’ve been waiting for the tomatoes to appear in abundance so I can get my tomato canning completed.  The weather here in Utah has been so cool that everything is ripening two weeks late.  The peaches are just beginning to appear also.

If you’re into canning and preserving… check out my new site  Canning and Preserving.  I’ve dedicated the site to my grandma Ella and my momma, Evelyn, who were the best canners in the world.   They were both from Georgia… so I’ve added a little southern flare here and there to make it interesting.  Also.. if your are into using herbs…. my sister Sheila’s site is the place to go for Easy Herb Gardening. Lots of good ideas there.

Well, off to see if there are any ripe peaches available for making peach slush or cobbler.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Canning and preserving food for long term storage is part of my family’s traditions.  I notice that it’s not as popular as it once was.  Do you can and preserve food?  How to you prepare for long term storage?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Democracy Or Republic

August 18, 2010

Amid all the political fervor in the last year, I’ve become very interested in the founding of our nation.  I’ve seen HBO’s John Adams at least six times.  To bad I wasn’t this interested in history when I was in school.  My American history teacher would have been please.

[Head of the Statue of Liberty on display in a park in Paris...

None the less… this zeal has put so many things into perspective for me.  I’ve come to more fully appreciate our Constitution and living in the United States Of America.

I have made several trips to China and was so grateful to return to this nation.  When we landed in San Francisco, I had to resist kneeling in the terminal and kissing the ground.

Growing up… I recited the Pledge of Allegiance everyday during my grade school years.  Never quite understanding what a Republic was.  I was always told that we were a Democracy and I meshed the two words together in my mind.

A number of years ago, I came to learn that they are not one in the same.  We are not a Democracy but a Republic and they are very different.

I could explain what a learned… but I ran across a Video that explains the difference better than I ever could.

Take a minute and do yourself a favor and watch this outstanding video to get a better understanding of the types of governments that reside on this planet.  We are so blessed to have a Republic as our forum of government.

Once you’ve watch it…. forward the link to this blog post to a friend.

Til Later,

Kathy

P.S.  I’ve sent this video to my kids and grands.   We must preserve our Republic as was set up by our founding fathers.  Why? It just plain works!

Oh Say Can You See… – 4th Of July

July 4, 2010

“Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light…..”  Miss Hyatt, my second grade teacher, had the greatest impact in teaching me about patriotism.

She was a patriot from the word go.  She loved the flag, George Washington, The Constitution and all the patriotic songs.  So… we learned all the songs… from the Star Spangle Banner, My Country Tis Of Thee, to American The Beautiful and… everything in between.

I will be forever grateful to Miss Hyatt and her tenacity.  She created in me the desire to know more about the early history of this country.  I have always loved the historical stories of those early pioneers of liberty.

founding-fathers

After watching the HBO presentation of John Adams this past year, my interest in learning more about our Founding Fathers has been renewed.  (If you haven’t seen it yet… put it on your viewing list.  It’s a must.)

I admire John Dickenson, who courageously stood for his conviction, being unmoved, even though it was not popular with the Continental Congress.

I’m impressed with Dr. Benjamin Rush for his diligence and kindness.  He and one other doctor were the only ones who stayed in Philadelphia to to administer help those who were ill with yellow fever.  He did so, knowing that there where those who sot to take his life because he had signed the Declaration of Independence.

I revere Thomas Jefferson, who at the age of 32, penned the Declaration of Independence with such perfection that it stands today as one of the greatest documents ever written.

I could go on and on.  On this day… I’m truly grateful for those who risk they homes, property, and lives to bring us today’s freedom.

I found this video that expresses what I feel today.  It’s short and touching.

Til Later,

Kathy

P.S.  Today at church, a young Marine, just returning from Iraq, bore his witness to the work of freedom in that far off land.  It was heart lifting.

Where Is Miss Manners?

June 17, 2010

Where is Miss Manners when you need her?

Remember when dinning manners were taught in school as well as home? Remember when your mom use to say… “Where are your manners!” when you talked with your mouth full? Remember when it was frowned upon to lick your fingers at the dinner table?

miss-manners

Well, this week I’ve seen it all… in a local buffet restaurant. From licking a plate, to licking fingers to licking a whole hand. I thought by the time I got out of there… I would be nuts. (It wasn’t just one person… it was several adults and children.)

Do you remember the Miss Manners column in the local news paper? Everything from table manners to dating etiquette was written about. We need that column today! Bring Miss Manners back!

I remember being taught table manners in Jr. High school. Everything from how to put your napkin in your lap to which piece of flatware you used first. In fact…table manners was one of my favorite lessons.

My folks expected good dining manners at home so the Jr. High lessons were just a bit of frosting on the cake. At home, we didn’t slouch or put our elbows on the table. The proper way to cut our food with a knife was taught in our home. In other words my folks taught and expected proper table etiquette.

As I look around and see a decline in general respect… it has certainly spilled over to the dinning room… at least at the restaurant this week.

However… in perspective…more folks were on top of their dinner manners that day than were not. Most adults and children were respectful and showed excellent table etiquette. Thanks goodness.

It was a reminder to me to be aware of my own table etiquette and general respect for myself and others. Teaching table manners begins at home and example is the best teacher. I don’t want my grands witnessing poor manners and table etiquette from me.

Just a little rant for today.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths

P.S. Are you Miss or Mr. Manners in your home? I bet you are!

Happy Birthday Mr. President — George Washington Of Course

February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday George Washington…  You are 282 years old today… Congratulations!

270px-gilbert_stuart_williamstown_portrait_of_george_washingtonIn the past several years, I have become very interested in American history and the lives of our Founding Fathers.  (Now why couldn’t I have been this passionate about American history when I was in school?)   Anyway… I am amazed at the dedication and brilliance of George Washington.

He was born in 1732 and was educated at home by his father.  (One of the first models of home schooling ?)

At the age of 20 years old he was a major in the Virginia Militia.  He became one of the largest tobacco plantation owners in Virginia owning over 6,600 acres of land and owning over 100 slaves… which he eventually freed.

After Massachusetts was attacked by the British in 1775, Washington appeared at the second Continental Congress dress in Military attire. He accepted a commission to lead a Continental  Army against the British in order to protect the citizens of Massachusetts.

He was one of the members of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence.

After the Declaration of Independence was signed, he continued as the the General of Revolution until it ended in 1783.  He was 51 years old when the war ended.

He was elected President of the United States by 100% of the Electoral votes but declined his salary of $25,000 per year.   He served eight years and could have stayed in his position for a lifetime.  He set the precedent of leaving office after two terms.

He feared that if a President served longer than two terms, he would gain too much power and become a monarch.

During his farewell address he warn about getting involved in foreign wars.  He also
warned against failing moral values and said religion that aspired values would be our only saving grace.

I found this Interesting information from his papers.

Head Quarters, New York, August 3rd 1776. 
Parole Uxbridge. Countersign Virginia
That the Troops may have an opportunity of attending public worship, as well as take some rest after the great fatigue they have gone through; The General in future excuses them from fatigue duty on Sundays (except at the Ship Yards, or special occasions) until further orders.   The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, and wicked practice, of profane cursing and swearing (a Vice heretofore little known in an American Army) is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they, and the men will reflect, that we can have little hopes of the blessing of Heaven on our Arms, if we insult it by our impiety, and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.

Boy, have things changed.  Do you think Washington is turning over in his grave?

Washington was an amazing man and was one of the most prolific writers if his time.  Many of the enactments of  government were initiated because if his pen.

He was a man of impeccable integrity.

Happy Birthday Mr. President.

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  My other favorite founding fathers are John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  Abraham Lincoln is another President that I admire.

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Stand By Me World

January 14, 2010

“Stand by me world!,” is the plea we’re hearing from the people of Haiti…. and the people of the world are responding.  Planes from the United States as well as China, France and Spain have responded to the call quickly and goods are at the airport, as we speak.  Many church organizations are also sending relief.  Now the challenge is, how to get the goods out to the people.

Earlier today, my friend Andy, posted two videos on his blog concerning a project called “Playing For Change.”  In light of what’s happening in Haiti, I wanted to share one of the videos with you.

As the people of Haiti are pleading, “Stand By Me World,” each of us individually will decide how to answer that cry.  Personally,  I have my plan in mind and will execute it promptly.

Til Later,

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Go to Andy’s site and read about, “Playing For Change.” It’s certainly is a worthwhile project.

P.P.S.  If you’re looking for a way to contribute to the relief efforts, the Red Cross is pleading for donations.  Many church organizations are also accepting donations for the cause.

The Word “Challenge” Is A Verb As Well As A Noun

January 6, 2010

The word “Challenge” is a verb as well as a noun.

The noun definition is: A call to take part in a contest,  competition or project, esp. a duel. “He accepted the challenge.”

The verb definition is:
Invite (someone) to do something that one thinks will be difficult or impossible, dare:  “She challenged everyone to write a blog post every day.”

blog

This past month I have participated in a Blog Challenge initiated by internet marketer,  Connie Regan Green. She challenged everyone who wanted to participate in the project… to blog everyday for a month. (Verb)

More than 112 people accepted the “challenge” (Noun)….However, according to Connie, only 14 to 18 will make it to the finish line. (Verb)

I’m happy to announce that I crossed the 31 day finish line today.

I have experienced several emotions during the challenge of the last 31 days.  They have ranged from excitement, to exasperation, to board-um, back to excitement and finally relief.  Do I regret accepting the challenge?  Absolutely not… and these are the reasons why.

1.  It has forced me to post to my blog daily.  Now I am motivated to take the same effort and  put it toward consistent articles and blog posts.

2.  It confirms to me that that I have the tenacity to stick to a project and complete a goal or cycle.

3.  There’s been wonderful feeling of comradeship with those who have participated.   The following terrific folks have been so supportive.  They’ve either commented on my blog, twittered my posts or both.   Sheila AtwoodClaus JensenGeoff HoffAndy DolphSuzie CheelKelly Maria Clark –  Crystal –  Mike Shippey and of course Connie Green.

I will be tweeting and commenting on their blogs well into the future.  You should check them out too!

The journey has been rewarding!

And,  a special thanks  to Connie Regan Green… for the Challenge… it was difficult at times (because of Christmas)  … but not impossible.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Hey… don’t invite me to participate in another challenge anytime soon…I’m going to be pretty busy spreading myself between several blogs and writing articles…. everyday.

Take Life Seriously

January 1, 2010

Take Life Seriously is my motto.   Seriousness comes from my roots.  I came from a serious family.  Not that we didn’t have our moments of frivolity, but it was on rare occasions… out in the mountains… or in a park.

laughing-girlPerhaps, it was because we lived in such close surroundings.  For my parents, raising 5 girls in an approximately 1000, square feet home didn’t leave much room for “racing around or “tom foolery,” as my grandma Ella use to say.  None the less, my folks were the “serious type.”  We knew our places and what was what.

In seventh grade, I was invited to stay for dinner with a friend’s family.  Oh my gosh… they told jokes the table.  Suzette’s brother was caught off guard and sputtered food all over himself, laughing at a joke.  I, wide eyed,  looked around to see the reaction and everyone was doubled up with laughter.  The mess was quickly cleaned up and we went on with the meal…. cheerfully.   They didn’t take life too  seriously!  That experience gave me a lot to think about.

Seriousness is a hard habit for me to break but that’s my goal for 2010.  While others may be trying to stay in control… manage themselves better, be more organized… I’m going to be looking at life a little less seriously…. laugh more… tell a few jokes, (if I can remember any) and start my day looking at life more carefree and less from a serious standpoint.

Perhaps, many of your have seen this video of a less than serious wedding.  I wish I could I have been so brave!  I’ve got to hand it to these two… they’ve got guts!

Till Later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.   My friend Claus Jensen, shares jokes on his blog, once a week.  Taking a page from his book… here’s a joke.

Sunday school teacher:  Phil, who was the first woman?
Phil:  I don’t know.
Sunday school teacher:  I’ll give you a hint.  It had something to do with an apple.
Phil:  Oh, I know.  Granny Smith!

Hmmmmmm!

New Years Traditions

December 31, 2009

New Years Traditions die hard.  Can you imagine New York City breaking the news to the world that they have decided not to have the New Years count down and lower the Times Square Ball at the stroke of midnight?

times_square_ballLong ago, I clung to the traditional vision of a romantic New Years Eve….  having a sweetheart give me a New Years kiss…. toasting the New Year with sparkling cider and singing the traditional song,  “Auld Lang Syne” with the rest of the common horde.

(By the way… “Auld Lang Syne” translates as “old long since” or “times gone by.”  Bandleader Guy Lombardo played the song, for the first time, at a New Year’s Eve party in New York City in 1929.)

Well, my traditional romantic dream of having a sweetheart give me a kiss and singing the “Auld Lang Syne” and drinking sparkling cider at a fancy New Years event never happened.

In the early years, my husband bid me farewell every New Years Eve to sing with a dance band, who played “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of midnight and watched everyone else kiss their sweethearts… and toast with “whatever.”

In later years, we usually stayed home with the kids and banged pans on the front porch at the stroke of midnight.  For some reason… I still felt a little cheated.  I still longed for the “romance” of a fancy New Years event.

Then the grands came along…. my dreams came true.  At the stroke of midnight, I am kissed by numerous sweethearts.  And, with our paper cups filled with sparkling cider, we toast each other, sing loudly “Old Ensign” and bang our pots and pans.

Yes… New Year’s traditions die hard.  I can’t imagine not banging pots and pans at the stroke of midnight with the ones I love most…. my family.   You can’t get any more romantic than that!  (I think I grew up.)  This New Years Eve tradition is one I plan to keep around for a long time…. do or die.

Happy New Year To You All!

Til Later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  We don’t give up celebrating the New Year easily.  We’re getting together on New Years Day… another New Years Tradition.   My delicious, scrumptious, mouth watering homemade spaghetti is on the menu.  You’re all welcome to drop by.

The Day After Christmas

December 27, 2009

“What?  This is the day after Christmas?”  I live by our local Mall and drive by it every time I leave my house.  On Saturday,  I had reason to drag my tired self up from the computer, dress, and drive by the mall.  It was as busy as it was the night before Christmas.

“No way will I be caught dead at the Mall today!” I confidently said to myself.   “Oh yeah,” said the Universe.  “We’ll see.”

When I arrived back home, after my short errand, my grand daughter, McKenzie, said, “Will you take Katlyn and me over to the mall?  It’s too cold to walk and we want to see what’s on sale.”

“What?”  I’m not going over there!”  Sad faces, droopy lips….. So I dragged my tired self over to the Mall, drove around and around in the parking lot for 15 minutes waiting for a parking spot… and went into the Mall to see a “darling coat that was sure to be on sale.”

What is my point to all this?   Every time I say, “No Way,” life seems to present the opportunity to challenge my out cry.  I’ve got to either learn to be stronger in my resolve or keep my mouth shut.  The later seems to be the wisest choice for me.

I’m still tired.  I’ve hit the wall.

Till later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Have you ever said you dislike a particular name and have it crop up in your family line some place.  I did that as a child and ended up with it attached to me permanently.

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