Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just A Dog...

Me and Duke 1960

"Just a dog".. 
I read that on a Status message from a friend on facebook yesterday.
 (scroll to the bottom of the page to read that message) 
Wow did it get me thinking.

How many times have I heard family and friends say... oh Karen, It's "just a dog".. Like the writer of the post said.. "they just don't understand".. It's more. A lot more.. 

That "dog" taught me about responsibility, loyalty, and love. 

That "dog" taught me about Joy and being happy about everything.

That "dog" taught me to care about the feelings of others. 

That "dog" would lay by my bed when I was sick and comfort me when I had a broken leg, or a broken heart.  

That "dog" would follow me to the ends of the earth.. just cause "that dog" wants to be with me. 

That "dog" would wake me up and get me going when depression and grief wanted to swallow me whole. 

That "dog" warns me of danger and will protect me with it's life. 

That "dog" thinks I'm the most wonderful thing in the world. 

That "dog" is my friend, psychologist, hunting buddy, snake killer, defender, and pillow. 

That "dog" is more then I can even explain. 

Butch 1950's

My life has be fuller because of "Just a dog".. 
“From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog”, or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog”. They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog”. Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog”. Many hours have passed & my only company was “just a dog”, but I didn't once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog” & in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort & reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “just a dog”, then you will probably understand phases like “just a friend”, “just a sunrise”, or “just a promise”. “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, & pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion & patience that makes me a better person. Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks & look longingly to the future. So for me & folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes & dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, & the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me & diverts my thoughts away from myself & the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity & keeps me from being “just a human.” So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog”, just smile, because they “just don’t understand”
~Jae and Shannon Rodgers~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Living In The Moment...

If I could pass on a few important things to those I know and love this would be one of the top 10. 
LIVE IN THE MOMENT... Really live in it. Take mental pictures of it. Relish it. Touch it, feel it in your heart, smell it, and taste it.. Live in it. Don't worry about what must be done next. Live in the moment. 

I made a terrible mistake. How you say?  In living focused solely on what I had planned would come in the future. I hurried through my teenage years wishing to be older. Then I wished and propelled myself into being married with children. My husband and I had a dream of moving to our special place in Ky. and building our home and lives there. (when he retired) only 15 short years away. 

I spent my time planning and making plans for those far off days. I didn't pay very close attention to the ones I was living. The children had activities. It seemed like we bulled through them. Always hurrying to the next practice, the next game, the next thing on the list of things to do. 

I never made literal lists. Maybe I should have. I had a plan, and it was for what was to come in the future. A move, building, growing, all plans for 15-20 years in the future. Not really enjoying each day. Now don't get me wrong. I did enjoy days. I enjoyed the activity, but there was always an underlying hope that we could hurry through this stuff so we can get on to the good stuff. I thought the good stuff was coming. I was wrong. That mundane boring daily stuff, that kid stuff.. That was the good stuff. 

Oh my goodness how I miss it. I miss the homework. I miss the calls, I miss the rush of homecoming, football games, dances, practice, and games. I miss the talks about girlfriends and boyfriends and favorite actors and movies. I miss the 2 weeks of vacation between Christmas and New years when we would drag out the board games and play monopoly for hours. The movie nights with pizza and popcorn and Freddy on Elm st. or Chuckie, or Patrick Swayze and Dancing. 

I miss the smell of apple cider at the orchard and pumpkin innards on carving night. The Rushing around looking for something to make the costume out of. The glue and glitter that had to be gotten to make a special gift for Christmas. Singing together in the car. The long car trips to KY. and the fun we had fishing. 

Husband retired 15 yrs ago. Hear me. For 30 yrs. I have hustled and bustled through life so I could get on with my plan. I have had a wonderful life. I have loved it and wouldn't change any of it, But I so regret not living more in the moment. Unforeseen things happen and that 30 years of plans most likely will not take place. All that focus, all that time, not really wasted, but oh I wish I would have lived more in those moments in those days.  

I do that more these days. A lot more. When I turned 50 I had a great awakening. I realized that I needed to stop and enjoy what was happening at that moment and not worry about what would come next. I'm not saying not to have a plan. I'm not saying you shouldn't think about the future. What I am saying is don't let your today get away without stopping and savoring it. I stop and smell flowers now. Yes, it might make me 2 minutes late, but the flower was worth it. I leave the dishes in the sink and visit with the company that came for coffee. I look for something in each day to remember and savor. Some days are full, some days, Not so much. I go to bed at night now and recall what wonderful things happened. I'm not letting any of it pass without my notice. 

I read this on a favorite blog today. It really spoke to my heart. I hope it speaks to yours too. 

"The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is that I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.
There is one picture of my kids sitting in the grass on a quilt on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed.  I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." 
~Anna Quin

Live in your moments. There are plenty of days ahead when you will need to remember those moments. They will be so much more important then your list of to do's. 
The Trick is to 
Enjoy Life
Don't wish away
your Days
For Better Ones

~Marjorie Pay Hinkley~

Friday, September 23, 2011

Share A Blog: An Open Letter To Facebook

  Today I'm sharing a Blog post. It's an open letter to Facebook and Mark Z. I totally agree with Leanne. I use facebook for a quick and easy way to stay connected to my friends and family. I had a "MySpace" acct. it was so full of clutter and nonsense that the pages wouldn't load. When I found facebook and the lovely white page I was in Heaven. I could find friends and family members it was awesome. It gave me quicker access then email. I loved it.

 The writer of this blog share, Leanne,  is 35.. the average age of a fb user is 38. I'm 53. I have friends some older some younger who have thrown in the towel and given up on fb. I have others who are seriously considering it.

 Personally I don't care what games you were playing 20 minutes ago. I don't care that you liked Aunt Suzy's post about her dental appt. I don't need to know if my cousin in Texas likes Oscar Mayer bologna. I'm ok with that. I am not ok with giving me no option to turn off the scrolling feed on the right of the Home  page. I have over 1100 friends. I am not going to go through each one and unsubscribe from a myriad of updates. I've tried. It's to time consuming. FB should not be a job, but an enjoyment.

I will keep an eye out for post where those more fb savvy then I , come up with a way to fix all the stuff I don't want to see without spending hours going through each friend. I have already spent 3 days making lists for my friends, and placing each one. I have spent hours going through and tightening up my acct. and app security to try and eliminate as much of my chatter as I can from filling up others feed walls.

I do hope that someone at FB realizes that not all of us have 10 hours a day to sift through updates and comments to find what we really want to know.

You can find Leanne's Blog post:  here
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It states exactly how I'm feeling so eloquently. Thank you Leanne.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Learned Something From An Ugly Pie...

It happened again tonight. Another Ugly Pie. Thank goodness it tasted good. A little on the Tart side, but good. It could have used some ice cream, but good. 

It all started just before I was going to make supper. Husband popped into the kitchen asking where my apple peeler was. I got it for him. Then he asked for a big bowl. As I was just about to ask how big, he grabbed my dishpan and said it would work just fine. He left the kitchen in a flurry. I didn't really pay much attention to him. I had been in the middle of trying to find some paperwork I had misplaced. 

After about 15 minutes he returned to my kitchen with a face full of GRIN.. He shoved the dishpan, that was now heaped full of apple slices, in my hands and said "Pie".. eyes gleaming. He headed off to the garage to get the mower. I had been given a task. I was stunned. 

Pie! Egad I don't have pie crusts. I don't know where my "OK" pie recipe is. How much crust do you make for a dishpan full of apple slices. How in the world am I suppose to make pie now. It wasn't on my list of things to do today. My list was done. I just had supper to make. No sir Pie was not on my list. 

I thumbed through 5 or 6 of my recipe boxes trying to remember where the pie crust recipe was. The one with boiling water and melting Crisco and flour. I finally found it. I attempted to make it. It was horrendous. Pie.. good grief how am I suppose to make a pie right this minute. The dog gone crust won't work up or roll out. Pie.. hmph.. 

After several attempts I finally got the bottom crust to roll out. I wrestled it into the pan. A deep dish baker I got from Pampered chef a few years ago. while I was working on the crust I cooked the apples down with some sugar twin (husband is diabetic) and cinnamon. I got the apples in the crust. whew.. they all fit. I then attempted to place the top crust. 

Not happening. It broke into about 20 pieces.. I tried patching it. I had already re-rolled it several times. I waded the whole mess up and tossed it. I decided I'd just make up some topping and sprinkle the yumminess all over the top and bake it that way. 

I found the two recipes for topping I had scratched on slips of paper. One I had tried was horrible. It just made a giant lump that tasted of flour on the top of the pie. I knew I held that recipe in my hands, but which one was it. goodness.. I chose. I'm not even suppose to be making pie I grumbled under my breath. I can't make a pie with no crust. Whose gonna eat this thing. grumble grumble grumble.. 

I mixed up the topping that looked like the one I would want. I was wrong.. as soon as I had it all glopped on the top and had baked it for a few minutes. I realized it was the horrible horrible horrible flour blob topping. I grabbed the pie out of the oven and attempted to remove the offensive topping. I got most of it. 

Now what.. I can't have apple pie with no crust or yummy topping.  Did I tell you I wasn't even suppose to be making pie. I quickly threw the horrible topping recipe out so I wouldn't make it by accident again. I grabbed the other recipe and whipped it up.. it sprinkled on like it was suppose to .. (big fist pump here) I tossed the pie back into the oven and made the coffee. Oh yes, we had company coming. I had spent 2 hours making a pie to put in the oven and bake for another hour. wow. NOT.. I was suppose to have made us supper too. I did not. No time now. The company was coming. 

The pie baked up well. It wasn't the prettiest pie I had ever made, but it would do. 
We all had a piece of it warm out of the oven. Husband, our company, and I. It was good. I hadn't even planned on making a pie. Hmmmm 

That got me to thinking. Life throws stuff at me I wasn't planning. I grumble to God about it. I look for a way to try and hurry it along and get through it; or I go to some of my old ways of dealing with things. Ways I thought I tossed away long ago. I continue to grumble to God about why now. It's not what I was planning. I don't want to have to deal with this now. It was not on my list for today !!!  

Sometimes it feels like God just shoved the dishpan in my hands and yells Pie.. 
Then all of a sudden it doesn't look so bad. Unexpected things or people show up. Then that Pie God wanted me to be ready with, whatever that Pie ends up being. Well it seems to work out just right. I see I needed that Pie. I just didn't realize it. 

Today my pie was ugly. I wasn't planning on dealing with all the problems associated with it. I wasn't prepared to make it. There were several times it was so ugly that parts of it had to be thrown away, But in the end we all had that pie. It was just what we needed. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Still Getting The Hang Of A Few Things...

I was kind of at a loss for something to write about. I was rescued by a Blog I read. They listed things they are still trying to get the hang of. I have a list like that too. My list is so long that we could never fit them all in a reasonable amount of space. I'll just hit a few that pop into my head now. We may talk about a few more another time. 

I'm Still Trying To Get The Hang Of: 

1. Makeup: I just can't seem to get it. I do like the new mineral makeup. as long as I don't try to shadow or highlight anything I seem to be OK. I guess living in a house of only men made these kinds of things difficult to master. 

2. Nails:  same reason as above. I have tried getting manicures. The polish does some weird thing to my nails. they look really cute for about a week. Then they get all brittle and break off, or peel off. It's really weird. I don't know a thing about cuticles and leave mine unkempt to the utter horror of friends. I think keeping them clean is about as good as I'll get. 

3. Looking all sharp and spiffy: This just doesn't happen to me. You know the kind. You know they just wake up all perfectly in place. Me, I always have hair shooting out in some strange direction. Food dribbles on my clothes. Dog hair stuck to something. Gum on my shoe. etc. I try I really do.. I'm still trying. 

4. Daily Cleaning: I'll admit it now. I'd rather go to the oral surgeon then clean. I just don't like it. I love clean. I just don't want to do it. I certainly don't want to do it daily. I do try to pick things up and dust around. Usually it amounts to moving a pile from one area to another. I do have a good excuse for my lax cleaning these past many months. Knee surgeries. I am slowly getting back into a kind of routine. Maybe by next summer I will finally get the hang of Daily cleaning duties. 

5. Computer-ing: I finally figure out how to do something, and WHAM ! they change the whole thing. I had a pretty good fix on posting stuff to my blog. today I log on and wham, they changed to a new format. Most of it is the same. I haven't touched anything yet. I'm afraid to right now. Not till I get this posted anyway. About the time I get it figured out and can fly through it. They'll change it again. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rules For Dads With Daughters...

  I read the best blog post today. "50 Rules for Daddy's and Daughters"..  It was great. You can read it here.
Make sure you grab a Kleenex. Don't forget to share it with Daddy's you know..

A few of the things the writer mentions brought wonderful memories of my dad aka. "Papa" back to me. I thought I might mention a few of them.

Some of my best memories was dancing with my papa. I stood on his feet and we twirled and swirled around the living room. It was grand. I loved dancing with him. It was the only opportunity we had to dance together. I'm so glad he did. 

Be ready to dress funny... 
My papa would wear funny hats. The ones in the photo I made out of paper grocery bags with my crayons. My mom cut them out. We all had party hats to wear. His did him proud. Papa was never afraid to have fun and tease. His laughter always made the house feel happier. 

Get out and play in the Snow together.. 
My papa loved the snow. He took us out and played with us. It was a pain in the neck to bundle us up in those crazy snow pants and coats, boots, scarfs, hats and mittens. We always had to go pee just as soon as the whole get up was on. He would make us leave everything but the boots and snow pants on. LOL 
 We played together.  Don't miss an opportunity to play. 

Take your daughter Hunting and Fishing... 
If you hunt and or fish. Take your daughter with you. I loved going fishing with my dad. He was good about teaching me how to bait my own hook and how to get my own fish off. If I cried he would do it for me, but he would remind me I could do it. My first deer hunting trip was with my papa. We never saw a deer. I think it could have been because I love to talk. LOL  But he took me. 
He showed me how to shoot and taught me gun safety. 

Your Daughter will never be so big that you can't hold her hand... 

I loved it when my papa held my hand. That big old hand was a comfort to me.
 I knew that hand meant safety. When papa became ill and was in his last months of life, 
We held hands every day. 

Be ready to be silly at every opportunity... 

I can't say this enough. My papa was willing to be silly with me. 
We had fun. Life has enough serious moments in it. Papa loved to be silly. 
I have a great photo of him with candles up his nose and in his ears and fingers. 
It was his birthday. Papa was the Supervisor of the Lab at our local hospital. 
He had a serious job and a serious position. I was so glad my papa could still be silly. 

Know that pink foam curlers may be involved....
A friend of ours David has a daughter. One day we went over to their house for supper. David was sporting some pink foam rollers in his hair and was getting some clear nail polish on his toes. Now David is NOT the pink roller, nail polish type, but his daughter wanted to play beauty parlor. He loved her enough to play with her and played his part no matter what it was. 

Story time is a big deal. 
My papa loved to read to me.One of my favorites was Uncle Wiggly. 
I have that book and look through it from time to time. 
I can still hear his voice change as he read each character's part. 

Papa told stories too. Stories from when he was a boy, and stories about his 
brothers and sisters and things that happened. Papa would also make up stories. 
He would start and Keith and I would add in a bit here and there when it was our turn. 

Keep your Lap available... 
The last time I sat on my Papa's lap I was 27 yrs. old. Papa passed the following year. 
It was a special thing I did. When I was hurt or sick or frustrated with life I 
knew my papa's lap was available. I would flop down and put my head on his shoulder. 
He would always hold me and tell me everything was going to be alright. 
He'd pat my back and just let me sit.
 Sometimes I told him about what was making me sad. Sometimes I would just sit. 
Today I'm 53 yrs. old and would give anything to sit on his lap one more time. 

Have a special name for her. 
My papa called my his little gumdrop.. There was nothing little about me, 
but my papa didn't care about that. I was his gumdrop, his sweetheart. 
Our calling him Papa was special too. 

My papa played guitar. I have photos of him with his guitar and with a collage band he played with. 
One of the things we did together was sing. Papa would get out his guitar and we would sing. 
I couldn't for the life of me tell you what we sang. We sang old songs, and Church songs. 
But the one song that I remember as clearly as anything is "Our Song".. 
Papa would always sing me "Our Song"..   
"You Are My Sunshine"..  
That guitar never came out that he didn't sing that song to me. 
He would sing it first, then we would sing it together. 
When papa was spending his last days here. I held his hand, 
and in my head I sang our song over and over to him. 
I wish now that I would have been brave enough to sing it out loud. 
I should have. I am hoping he heard my heart singing it to him. 

Lastly:  You Don't Have To Be Perfect... 

You don't have to be perfect.. your daughter already thinks you are. 
You are the slayer of dragons, 
You are her hero. 
You can wrestle bears, 
and tame alligators. 
You can heal any hurt. 
You can fix anything mechanical. 
She hangs on your every word. 
well, not so much when she is a teenager, but she will get over that too. 

The most important things my papa taught me were: 
His love was unconditional. 
I could always come home. 
It is better to give then to receive. 
I could be anything, do anything, there were no limits on me. 
Family is the most important thing. 
Love God above all. 

My Papa wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for me. 
I'm hoping that every little girl has a Daddy just like him. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

To Remember Is To Honor...

To Remember Is To Honor. 

"There She Stands"

Written by: Michael W. Smith, and Wes King…
(you can watch this fabulous video Here... )

When the night
Seems to say
All is lost
Gone away
But I know
I’m not alone
By the light
She stands

There she waves
Faithful friend
Shimmering stars
Westward wind
Show the way
Carry me
To the place
She stands

Just when you think it might be over
Just when you think the fight is gone
Someone will risk his life to raise her
There she stands

There she flies
Clear blue sky
Reminds us with red
Of those that died
Washed in white
By the brave
In their strength
She stands

When evil calls itself a martyr
When all your hopes come crashing down
Someone will pull her from the rubble
There she stands

We’ve seen her flying torn and tattered
We’ve seen her stand the test of time
And through it all the fools have fallen
There she stands

By the dawns
Early light
And through the fight
She stands

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11th.. We Remember..

   It is difficult to believe that it has been 10 years since that day. I can still remember it, I can still feel all the emotion, the fear, the terror, and the overwhelming grief of it. I remember crying every day for weeks. I remember not sleeping but watching TV for hours, holding my breath, and praying. A lot of praying. I remember it was the first time in my 43 years of life that I felt fear. True dark evasive fear.

 I, like millions watched the events that morning unfold on "Good Morning America".. I was so thankful for Charlie Gibson. He was calm and had a soothing voice just like my papa. It helped. I think it was the only thing that kept me from hysteria. After the 2nd plane hit I woke up Ken screaming. It took him a while to understand what I was trying but failing to say. I led him to the TV. and we watched.

We had a Ladies Missionary meeting that morning. I went. In the truck on the way to the meeting I heard about the Pentagon. I was stunned into numbness. We had our meeting. We prayed, though I think we mostly went through the motions. I don't think any of us had fully grasped what was taking place. Maybe somewhat but not fully. I felt like we all just operated like robots doing what we always did. I guess I was comforted by the fact that none of those ladies seemed to be panicked. That kept me calm for a time. Until I got home.

Over the next few weeks I was able to "help", by making blankets for the children who lost parents at the Trade Center. Our project Linus group (they make quilts for children suffering illness and trauma) was asked to donate 100 blankets. They were combined with other Linus group donations from around our state, and mailed to the Chapter in New York. I prayed over the blankets I made. I prayed that they might give some small comfort to a precious child.

Later I volunteered to cross stitch 4 blocks for a memorial flag that honored all who had been killed by terrorist attacks. I made two blocks for two Sailors who had died on the USS Cole. and two for people who had died in the towers. That Flag was sewn together and is now on display in Oklahoma City at a Museum. It is 63 feet long and 25 ft. wide. You can see the flag here. there is a wonderful story about the vision one woman had to create it. I took photos of my squares before sending them off. I'm glad I did. I look at that flag now and feel like I did something good for those families who suffered so much.

I should also say that I saw in those first few days True American Spirit. That day there was no black or white, no ethnicity, no politics, no religion,  that day we were all Americans. I saw the best we could be. I saw flags flying from everywhere. I saw hundreds of volunteers. I saw hundreds of hugs and heroes that day. That was the thing I'd like to remember most. I'm hoping as the years go on those GOOD things will stand out. I hope those things will be what I recall. I hope those feelings of Pride, and Patriotism will be the things that come flooding into my heart and my mind.

The last thing I wanted to mention was President George Bush's speech given that night. I read through it again tonight. It gave me some comfort then. I try not to talk to much about politics, but I truly believe that President Bush was the right man for that hour. You can read that speech here.

As we come to this 10th Anniversary I pray that we will remember how we cared for each other in those days. I pray we will also be willing to step out and step up if called upon to do so. I pray that we continue to see the fight against terrorism in any form, as our fight.

God Bless America....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dip...

 The 88 Dip to be exact. A wonderful old Ice Cream / burger joint in Marion Ky. I have a lot of fond memories of the Dip. I can taste those burgers now, and the shakes, oh my goodness the shakes. But I digress.  

The Dip. We still go every time we get down to our place in Ky. We don't live in town, but it's a nice little drive there. We find ourselves in Marion often. I like the shops there and it's the County seat so we pay taxes there and such. 

My first memory of "The Dip" was back in 1980 when Ken's great uncle Dewey Norvall took us into town for supper. We had already eaten at the Burger Queen. Tonight we were gonna go to "The Dip". Cool. I walked up to the counter after Uncle Dewey and husband ordered. I perused the menu. The young man behind the counter all young and snappy looking. I almost think I remember he had on a white apron.  

I asked for the Chicken basket as did Uncle and husband. I then asked the most horrific question that has ever been uttered in the state of Ky. " What kind of pop do you have?" 
Now that may seem seem weird that I would make such a statement, but it's true. That question has haunted me on several occasions. I came to realize the problem was not me, but the two cultures. One that says soft drinks are referred to as pop, and one that says soft drinks are referred to as cokes (no matter what it is) or soda. 

Well that poor young man looked me square in the eye and said "pardon me ma'am". I repeated by question.. "What kind of pop do you have".. He in turn again pronounced "pardon me ma'am". 
I,  thinking he might be a bit hard of hearing proclaimed in a much louder voice. " What kind of pop do you have"..  He in turn began turning the shade of ketchup, and whimpered " pardon me ma'am.".   

Well I'd had it.. with every exasperated bone in my body.. I asked.. " what kind of pop do you have, you know.. coke, Pepsi, 7-up,  you know pop?"   To this he gained a huge grin and proudly said ".. oh, you mean sodie "..  then he proceeded to give me the run down on the soft drinks available to me. It was quite a laugh for all of us. I will tell you that I have run into the same problem recently too. Walmart to be exact. The poor girl thought I was asking for pipe.. when I was asking where the pop was. LOL  

To continue on. The Chicken was out of this world. The hamburgers can be ordered in two different sizes. The normal size is HUGE.. I had my first pork chop sandwich here. I also pick up Ken real strawberry shakes here.. no fancy machine thingy.. a real milk shake machine that they put ice cream and real strawberries in.  It's fabulous. 

We always make the trip into Marion to the "The 88 Dip". We enjoy the Happy faces and prompt service. They still wrap their food in pieces of waxed paper held with a toothpick. I love it. 

below I am including a bit of their history. I found it when clicking on their ad in the local paper. 
If you ever find yourself in Marion Ky. you will want to stop at "The 88 Dip".  it's well worth the extra wait. 

Our History
The 88 Dip Restaurant opened in the spring of 1952, having been founded by Raymond and Florence Jones and Eugene and Thelma Cruce. Raymond and Gene owned the garage on the adjoining lot where they opened an Oldsmobile dealership. Thus the name 88 Dip, derived from the 88 Oldsmobile and the dipping of ice cream. Raymond and Gene made frequent trips to Chicago for the purpose of buying vehicles for resale, and having seen the drive-in restaurants in that area, thought Crittenden County residents might be receptive to such a business.

The original business was small and only ice cream items and a limited sandwich menu was offered. In the late 50s, the building was enlarged to include a dining area and restrooms. Along with that came an expanded menu including sandwiches, chicken and pizza as well as "curb service."

In August of 1970, Raymond and Florence purchased the Cruce interest in the 88 Dip and it has been in the Jones family since that time. It is currently owned and operated by Melissa Jones Tabor and her husband, James A. "Jat" Tabor, and Bill Jones, continuing the history of family ownership through three generations.

In the early days of the 88 Dip, it was the only restaurant of its type in town and was the turn-around place for the young people cruising through town. Later, after John Holloman built the Dairy Merry on the south side of town, the routine was to circle the Dip on the north end of town and the Dairy Merry on the south end, over and over and over again.

After 55 years and three generations of serving the people of Marion and Crittenden County, we strive to continue the tradition of friendly service and good food started by Raymond and Florence Jones many years ago.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Great Recipe For Salsa...

This is a photo of the salsa I made last week. 

I was just finished writing the entry about canning and realized I had told you I would share my salsa recipe with you. It's easy to make, the chopping takes the longest. You may want to go chop all the veggies first. 
The photo of my first batch this year didn't turn out well. The lighting wasn't right and I didn't realize it. It will look brighter then this. Cooking it will darken it, but not a lot. You may want to cut the amounts down and just make it up and store in the fridge. You may have a fresh salsa recipe that is quicker. I'd probably save this one for canning. I use it in meatloaf, and mix in some with black or pinto beans and mix it up with rice. It's great. As a side note I canned some of the Salsa in the 1/2 pt. jars aka: jelly jars, for my Special Soldiers. They are also great for quick gifts. 


*Use only FRESH ingredients. (makes about 8 pints) 

20-22 medium Tomatoes, washed, peeled, and quartered. (enough to make 18 cups) 
1/2 cup finely chopped red chilies
6- Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
3-banana peppers seeded and finely chopped
1- green pepper seeded and fine chopped
4-1/2  cups Onion finely diced
1-cup celery finely diced
1/2- clove garlic ( I use about 2 tsp. of the minced in the jar)
1- 12oz can of tomato paste
1-1/2 cups of white vinegar
2-Tablespoons Season Salt
3- Tablespoons regular Salt
1- Tablespoon ground black pepper
1- Tablespoon sugar (optional) 

** I have also used other peppers like poblano peppers. They are mild and have a great flavor. If you remove the seeds you remove a lot of the heat. We don't like hot, so I may add another green pepper or yellow peppers and take away a couple of the jalapenos. You may want to add a couple of the hotter peppers. it's all up to you. I usually have more tomatoes so I make sure I keep careful track of the # of cups. then adjust the recipe accordingly. 

Mix all the ingredients in a large pot.
 Heat to boiling, then simmer for about 3 hours. 
You will want to make sure you stir it ever so often. 
If you have a lot of excess juice, you may want to remove it after cooking for 2 hours. 
(I use a turkey baster to remove any extra juice) 
* I have found if I chop the stuff kind of chunky there is not as much juice

To Can
Fill Jars with hot salsa and seal. 
process in a water bath about 20-30 minutes for pints. 
about an hour for quarts. 

My Kitchen Is Full Of Canning Jars Again...

 It's that time of year again.. My kitchen is full of canning stuff again. This past week there were canning jars stacked everywhere for washing. The big pots are up from the basement, and I'm sorting through the screw bands and looking for that new box of lids I bought last spring on clearance. The water bath canner was hauled out and fired up. My largest colander and biggest bowls are found. The jar lifter, funnels, and tongs are at the ready. The Canning Season Has Begun.. 

I love it. I don't love the way my kitchen will look for the next couple of weeks, but I do love the canning part. I love the baskets and grocery bags full of produce that appear on the table every day. I love the red of the tomatoes, the Yellow and white of our Sugar and Cream sweet corn. The green of the beans. All of the colors pop when they have been canned. They all look brighter and happier somehow.

I love the smells that waft through the house with each batch of salsa, speg. sauce, green tomato mincemeat, and pickled beets. I love when my kitchen is full of canning jars.

Today I will wash up and get ready to make the next batch of salsa. I think with the next picking of green beans I'll be canning some of those too. I still have jars of canned tomatoes and tomato juice left from last year. I may even make up one batch of speg. sauce if I get really ambitious.

Our garden is much smaller these days. Now we plant tomatoes, peppers, green beans, some squash, and maybe corn. It's more difficult for husband to run the tiller and work the hoe. It takes me a little longer to carry the pots up, But I can't imagine not canning some of it. The idea that later this winter I will open a jar of beans or salsa is wonderful. It will bring back the memories of the summer. The bright colors and familiar smells will elicit those great memories of just a few months before. Then sometime in January the first seed catalog will arrive and husband and I will start talking about what we want to put out in the garden this summer. I think this next year I'm going to ask for beets. I'm also going to ask for a few extra tomato plants. I will have finished up the green tomato ketchup/relish and the green tomato mincemeat. I can smell that mincemeat cooking already. It's wonderful.

Enjoy your day. I'm going to go wash up a few more jars. I think I will can some green beans.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ketch-up Saturday...

Good Morning !  I've got dishes in the water, so I'll have to be quick. Another post or two will come later today.. 

1.  I adopted 2 new Soldiers. That means I write letters and pack their boxes 

2. I took on teaching our girls at Church again. Grades 1-6. I love it, I can't wait to start. 

3. No knee pain this week unless I bend them a little to much. 

4. NEVER and I mean NEVER shut your bare foot in the front door. My toe is still bruised and swollen. Wearing shoes is very, very painful. 

5. The green beans are coming in full tilt. Husband has been picking and snapping them for me. 

6. The green beans have been coming in full tilt. Husband is tired of snapping them for me. (he did it 3 whole times)  chuckle. Anyway He picked 2 bags full yesterday. He quickly dispersed all of them to the neighbors. Guess he won't have to snap them. 

7. Bills have been paid, errands run. Well most of them. Next week I have to run to the Vet and get heart worm meds. 

8. I went to a friend's house and showed her how to can tomatoes. She is canning like crazy now. 

9. My first canning of the season was done. I made Salsa. 10 Pints and 2 -1/2 pt jars are done. It's very yummy. 

Hope your week has been going great too..