Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We sponsor two major fund raisers a year... 1) A golf tournament in the Spring and 2) A New Year's Eve Gala.
We usually raise around $14,000 from the Golf Tournament and around $20-25,000 for New Year's Eve.
Well tomorrow night is the night! We are all set with food, monte carlo entertainment, fabulous auction items, and a great band- "DownStroke- which are Velcro Pygmies prodigies). But as you can guess, our ticket sales are down. It seems that people are qualming over the $100 per person price for the Benefactor package (brings you in at 7:00p - includes everything including Beef Tenderloin dinner, 2 drink tickets, Mexican Buffet at 10:00, and BBQ buffet at midnight. A great band and lots of fun. And of course, most of it is Tax Deductible). We also have the Patron package which brings you in at 10:00p for the Band Party and Mexican and BBQ buffets all for only $30 person or $50 a couple. Luckily we have started having a bunch of last minute callers... and hopefully they will keep coming!
So how will we fare? Will we clear $25,000? Will we break even? How we do on this event could determine how many programs and to what extent, we will be able to offer in 2009. If you are so inclined - I would appreciate you saying an extra pray for us. Prayers that the evening for the non-profit is profitable and for the safety of attendees.
I will let you know how we do with our fundraising efforts in this down economy!
The US has slipped from 4th place to 15th since 2001. How do you feel about government money being used to bring us back up speed? And do you think that it should just be for unserviced areas or also to upgrade existing networks?
Internet Providers Move to Shape Broadband Push
By AMOL SHARMA
President-elect Barack Obama's call to improve the nation's broadband infrastructure has cable and phone company lobbyists maneuvering to get a leg up.
Lawmakers in Congress want a plan that will create jobs over the next two to three years while also tackling the longer-term goal of improving the availability and quality of high-speed Web access in the U.S. The U.S. has slipped to 15th from fourth place since 2001 in broadband penetration, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Advocates say broadband deployment is critical to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.
Among the issues are what speed Congress should define as broadband and whether government money should be funneled only to areas that have no broadband access, or if it should also subsidize upgrades to existing networks. (more....)
Monday, December 29, 2008
What do you think about this?
Internet Access Turns School Buses Into Rolling Classrooms
As part of his economic-stimulus plan, President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to wire more schools to provide high-speed Internet access.
Ethan Clement, a student in rural Arkansas, has some advice: Don't forget to wire the buses.
A program providing wireless Internet access on buses enables high-school senior Ethan Clement to do classwork online during long rides to and from school in rural Arkansas, and offers her advanced classes and far-flung mentors.
Ethan, a 17-year-old high-school senior, has been taking math and science classes online during her 90-minute ride to school as part of a pilot project to turn old-fashioned school buses into cutting-edge classrooms.
The project, known as the Aspirnaut Initiative, gives some high-performing students laptops or video iPods and sets them up with online courses and educational videos during their long bus rides to and from school -- a round trip that often starts before dawn and ends after dark. (more....)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Q. What is your best New Years memory?
A. I remember the year that our family spent New Year’s in Gatlinburg. We listen and danced to ‘Boogie Woggle Bugle Boy of Company D’ and Jim really enjoyed the ICED TEA and my Dad never knew.
Q. What is your best Valentine memory?
A. Valentine’s 1992. LOL… welcome Molly November 12, 1992.
Q. What is your best Easter memory?
A. Best Easter would be 1958 or 1959 when we lived in Texas and my Grandparents flew out to spend the week with us.
Q. What is your best memory of the Fourth of July?
A. This would probably be 1959 when we were living in Texas and we visited some friends of my father. They were the very first people I knew that had a ‘real’ in-ground swimming pool in their back yard. It was also the day that my baby rabbit, that we had gotten from the edge of the veggie garden, died.
Q. What is your best Halloween Memory?
A. This would probably be around 1976 when I went to my first girl/boy party at the Holland’s. I even tried to bob-for-apples.
Q. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving memory?
A. My favorite Thanksgiving memory would be when we would go to my ‘cousins’ Chris and Mabel’s house. The children were allowed to sit at the grown up table with all the fine china. We would have punch tea, Leola rolls, real butter and tomato aspic. I really remember the real crystal stemware with the water condensation.
Q. What was your favorite Christmas memory?
A. That is a hard one to pinpoint. I remember when I was about 4 and getting a doll as big as I was. I remember the first Christmas after my Mother died and I helped my Dad put out Santa for my little brother. I remember the first Christmas that I didn’t stay at my parents home and cried that ‘Santa wouldn’t be able to find me!’. I remember helping my Nanny D. bring Christmas decorations out of the cellar and their deep rich earthy smell. I remember Christmas Dinner at my Uncle Andy’s where I was amazed there was actually food because no one cooked in that house. I remember my oldest waking me at 4:00am- saying “Oh Momma he really came!!” and I remember the Christmas where Steve gave me my fur coat because I had heard all over town “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU HUSBAND HAS YOU FOR CHRISTMAS.”
What are YOUR favorite memories?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Jim's comments were "Ugggh... I can taste the cheese!" I said "No you can Not!". Jim "Well I taste something!".... "Well duhhhh, it's fudge!".... "Oh... ok... it's not bad! With this cold I couldn't be sure what I was tasting!" "Brothers!"
Tonight was great! We had the family gathering and amazingly enough everyone got along! The kids had a great time running and squealing while the adult filled their stomachs with lots of really good food. We managed to get through eating before we were instructed to help put away the tables and chairs and get everything cleaned up.
Then our immediate family went upstairs to open our gifts! Let me tell you that my brother is the best gift buyer ever! A FEW OF THE THINGS he got me were accessories for my new Blackberry Storm. I now will be one of those idiotic looking folks walking around talking to myself, since I am now the proud owner of Blue Tooth!
I'll post a picture tomorrow of the necklace that my hubby got me!!!! :-)
What are you thankful for this year? How are you blessed?
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
- I have to make cornbread dressing and gravy to take on Christmas Eve. (you can see that I just finished baking a very large pan of cornbread to use in the dressing. I would have used my seasoned iron skillet and made corn pons but the skillet is at the cabin... am I am in town)
- We are being treated to Breakfast on Christmas morning.
- For Christmas Day lunch, I have been instructed to bring Mashed Potatoes and Corn & Pea Casserole. (What Holiday meal is complete with out 10-lbs of potatoes mashed up with tons of butter and milk? And by looking at the ingredients you can tell that Jim probably wouldn't touch the Corn and Pea Casserole lol...)
- For dinner/supper Christmas night most of you know that Jim and I cook Rib-eyes on the grill. I have to go to the meat market to pick up the steaks. (I'll have to do my yearly research on exactly how long to grill steaks so they are med-rare, medium, and well done.
- For the night after Christmas gathering I am supposed to bring a very large salad to go with Lasagna. (I'm trying to decide if I should do a traditional tossed salad and take along a bottle or Ranch. Or if I should make a really good salad with several kinds of lettuce, toasted pecans, feta or blue cheese, green and red onions, maybe dried cranberry, all tossed with some type of balsamic dressing?)
Will you be one of us that just HAS to get out and buy at least one 'something' on Christmas Eve... JUST BECAUSE IT'S TRADITION?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Actually I still have a bunch to do but I got the 'BIGGY' done tonight! The SAND TARTS are made! And I also made a batch of Bourbon Balls, and a pan of Fudge (yes it is the Velveeta kind just so I'll have some JUST in case Jim wants to taste).
Growing up I always knew it was almost Christmas when my Mother made a big batch of SandTarts! They have always been my favorites and now they are my hubbies favorite also. My Mother and Dad together always made an Orange Slice Cake but you can bet your bottom dollar I will not be attempting one of those! :-)
Do you have a 'Special Something' you make or do that makes you feel like it's finally Christmas?
Sue- Just so you can add to your Alabama recipe folder:
|PECAN SAND TARTS|
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add flour gradually and mix well. Add nuts and vanilla; mix well. Shape into balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 25 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown. When done, roll in additional confectioners' sugar while hot. (Makes 4 dozen.) Enjoy!
|HOLIDAY BOURBON BALLS|
3 c. (12 oz.) vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1 c. pecans, finely chopped
1/4 c. light corn syrup
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. bourbon
1/2 c. granulated sugar (I used confection sugar w/just a little cocoa mixed in)
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients except for the 1/2 cup of sugar. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar. Store in a tightly covered container for at least 3 days before serving to allow flavors to mellow. Keeps up to 2 weeks in a tightly covered container. Yields 3 1/2 dozen balls.
We'll have to see how it does with people and with the video......
This is wild!! Try it! It takes 5 seconds.
How smart is Your Right Foot ?
Just try this. It is from an orthopaedic surgeon.......
This will boggle your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart yourfoot, but, you can't.
It's pre-programmed in your brain!
1. While sitting where you are at your desk in front
of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and
make clockwise circles.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the
air with your right Hand. Your foot will change direction.
I told you so!!! And there's nothing you can do about it!!!!
You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day
is done you are going to try it again?
If you've not already done so.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I will have to get it activated next week but they wanted me to have some time to play with it. (And yes they want the box back to wrap it so I will have a package to unwrap on Christmas)
I know that I WILL get the hang of it but right now it feels funny. I can't find things on it and I'm having trouble getting the right touch on clicking the icons! But with some practice I'm sure I'll master it and I love it!!!!!
I am one of those people that live by their computers. I use OUTLOOK for nearly everything. My contacts- names addresses emails etc. are all on there. I run my life with my calendar on OUTLOOK..... one time my computer crashed and I had no idea where I was supposed to be or do for several weeks! Now with a Blackberry--- I will have all that with me all the time!!! (that is if I can get it to sync with my work email through firewalls...etc! )
Thank you FAMILY (all of you) for getting me something I will really like and use! :-)
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've made several different kinds of fudge in my time. I've made the kind you boil till you reach soft ball stage. I've made the kind where you mix and mix and mix and mix. I've made the kind where you do all this stuff and then fold in the marshmallow fluff. And some have been very good. Some turned out runny. Some where stiff. Some were grainy.
But the Velveeta Cheese Chocolate Fudge was by far the easiest I have EVER made. From start to finish, I think it took me about 15 minutes (and that was with stopping for 2 phone calls in the middle). It was perfectly creamy and just the right consistency. I changed the recipe just a little by using toasting walnuts instead of pecans. (Did you know that you can toast nuts in the microwave?)
So tonight at Bunco I didn't say anything about the recipe until after everyone had had several pieces (yep I cut them small). And when a couple of people complimented the fudge - then I explained the recipe. They were amazed.... No Process Cheese Flavor!!!!
I think that every one of you should try the recipe. And it does need to be filed as Great Recipes from Alabama BUT NOT beside Koolickles!!!!
But when do you think I remembered this? Yep... about 5 minutes ago! And I'm supposed to take a dessert. There is not time to bake a cake, pie, or even a yummy pudding of some kind. I could cheat and stop by the grocery store and buy a ready made cheesecake and add my own topping but that wouldn't be quiet right. So I decided to make fudge..........
Well at least a 'version' of fudge. I'm going to make Paula Deen's Cheese Fudge. They say it is super easy, extremely creamy, surprising good and made with VELVETA CHEESE. A few comments on the recipe did mention that it has a 'strange after taste'...... hmmmmmmmm
So would you try CHEESE FUDGE?
Chocolate Cheese Fudge
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, pecans, walnuts
2 (16-ounce) boxes confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Spray lightly the bottom of a 9 by 2-inch square pan with a nonstick spray.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the cheese and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and nuts.
In a large bowl sift together the sugar and cocoa. Pour the cheese mixture into the sugar and cocoa mixture and stir until completely mixed. The candy will be very stiff.
Using your hands, remove candy from bowl and press evenly and firmly into pan. Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, pat the top of the candy with a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Place pan in refrigerator until candy is firm.
To serve candy, cut into squares.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thanks to all of you that sent up a few extra words for me! I know they are what got me through today!
So..... I sold the Restaurant today!!!!!!
Yes, this is a good thing. No, I didn't get a lot of money. But it is now in the hands of someone that actually knows restaurant work and I think has the real desire to keep it local tradition.
So It's a great day to be alive...!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
So what do you do if they predict snow? I'm one of the first in line to grocery store for snow supplies. No, I'm not going for milk and bread...... I'm headed for ingredients for a couple of recipes. I nearly always cook a big pot of chili when it snows and then something else new and fun.
IF (notice I said IF with capital letters) they say that the rain is turning to snow and the roads are becoming slippery... it will off to the Piggly Wiggly for Chili makings and Cinnamon Rolls.
I've been waiting on just the right time to make Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. They look divine and the recipe sounds like something even I can make!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Last night I woke up to horrible wind, rain, thunder and lighting. I wondered what was Really going on but our power was off. I listened for a few minutes and fell right back asleep.
Apparently a tornado hit an area called Pikeville just north of here! One of the girls that works at the restaurant called this morning about 6:00 and said their house had been hit around 1:00am. She said that it was after 3:00 before the police could get there because of down power lines and trees. Luckily they are all ok but still no power, no windows, and very little roof.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The hotel works with local colleges and provides a wonderful Christmas service.... They have Elf Tuck In. The college students dress-up like Santa's Elves and come by appointment to read to the kids, bring hot chocolate, tuck the kids in bed and take a message back to Santa about how good they've been and what they would like for Christmas.
I think my youngest (now 16) was 5 or 6 when we took her. She was memorized by the elves and also a little timid around them. But all in all, I think she loved it and talks about it to this day. (or wait.. I may have been the one so amazed and I KNOW I still talk about it!!)
Well, two of the GRANS are what I think about the right age and I've made reservations for this weekend. Yipeee!!!! (who do you think is the most excited??) We (probably just the two oldest GRANS and I are going--- hubby and 16 year old are not interested) will get to participate in the Elf workshop, have a picture with Santa, swim in the in-door pool, and have the elves tuck the children in bed! On Sunday we may go to the IMAX and see POLAR Express in 3-D!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
After several contentious, unpredictable legislative sessions, state Sen. Wendell Mitchell has a plan that he believes will lead to a smoother, more predictable Senate when lawmakers return to Montgomery in February.
Eight top Democratic senators will serve on a panel that will talk to lobbyists, interest groups, and public officials before the session to gauge which bills are their top priorities and which ones they have concerns about.
"Among the (Democratic) caucus, I sense a zeal to have a productive session," Mitchell said.
Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, who is chairman of the committee that decides which bills come to the floor for debate, has agreed to put some of those priorities at the front of the line when senators start debating legislation."I think it's real important in this particular economic situation," Barron said. "We need to focus on those things that will help us budget-wise as well as help ...
By Hans Nichols
Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- President-elect Barack Obama said he’ll make the “single largest new investment” in roads, bridges and public buildings since the Eisenhower Administration to lift the sagging economy and create jobs.
Obama, in his weekly radio speech today, said his plan to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs will also include making public buildings more energy efficient, repairing schools and modernizing health care with electronic medical records.
“We won’t just throw money at the problem,” he said. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve -- by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.” (Read the rest of the story)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Ok... I have finally gotten a little Christmas spirit. The Tree is finally up and decorated. And some cookies baked. But that's as far as I've gotten. (I left my camera at the cabin and these photos were taking with my crummy phone camera)
It continues to amaze me at how 'Traditions" continue to change. No one wants to participate in the decorating any more. We use to make it a family affair. Going to the woods to cut the tree, miles of hiking and precise selection. Then hauling it out, taking it home, getting it in the stand, and decorating. In the back ground you would hear Christmas music and smell Chili cooking. Everyone would be laughing and actually having a good time.
Then came the time where we bought the tree, fussed about setting it up, but still had the family time with music and chili. Now our oldest is grown with a family of her own, youngest is driving and off doing her own thing, foster son grown, in the military and living in Ky, and hubby at the cabin watching the ballgame.
So---- I started my own tradition tonight. I got out the fake pre-lit tree. Set it up and decorated. I was amazed as I hung each of the nearly 100 ornaments how each one of them brought back some kind of memory. The Red Bird on top, the ornaments with photos, the one we got on our honeymoon in Cancun, ones our children made in preschool and elementary school, ones we've bought for the grandchildren, ones my Mother always had on her tree, and my silly ropes of pearls. I actually enjoyed decorating the tree by myself. No one fussed about where I put what, or how long it was taking. Now they will all come in and say ..... Wow... that looks good! And everyone will be happy that it is all done.
Maybe I'll get more spirit tomorrow after we attend the Magnificent Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at All Saints' Chapel on the campus of Univeristy of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. And have dinner at Al Capone's Hideout! (I hope that none of the waiters drop any Bananas Foster!)
What should I order?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Since this was a 12:00 noon meeting, we had to have food ready. (Feed them and they will come!) I had been given a recipe for CHILI that we decided to try but I didn't think it would be CHILI. The way that I've always made it is pretty much the way my Dad made it for years ---- with Lots of Garlic and Lots of Chili Powder.
This recipe did not have ANY garlic OR chili powder. But when it was made it was very probably the very best Chili I have ever had!
Canned Whole Tomatoes
Canned Stewed Tomatoes
And that is it! I'm sure the way it is put together contributed to the taste and texture. If you are interested in more detailed instructions let me know and I'll send it your way.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
WHO'S NEXT? Auburn search is under way
Posted by Charles Goldberg, Birmingham News December 03, 2008 10:36 PM
Who's going to replace Tommy Tuberville as Auburn's head coach?
We've got some names, but, first, we're going to tease and/or scoop Birmingham News columnist Kevin Scarbinsky from his Thursday column:
``Say this about the ending to the Auburn chapter of Tommy Tuberville's coaching career:
The divorce was more amicable than the marriage.
``After 10 years of a relationship that too often looked better in front of the neighbors than it did behind closed doors, both sides are better off going their separate ways.
``Tuberville can take a year off to reboot.''
The rest of the column is in Thursday's newspaper. Oh, yeah... The names:
But first, this is how my main story in Thursday's Birmingham News begins:
Tommy Tuberville's last day as Auburn University head football coach was one of reflection and tears.
Tuberville, who resigned Wednesday after a 10-year run that included the best season in school history, said he became emotional when he told his players of his decision during a short team meeting.
``I'm doing fine, but then you suddenly realize you're not a coach anymore,'' he said. ``I had a tough time with the players. I almost didn't get through it.''
The search for his replacement has begun. Someone familiar with the process said he expected a replacement to be named ``pretty quickly.''
The rest of that story is in Thursday's newspaper, too.
The names? OK. But first, at least four players who committed to Tuberville's staff have de-committed, according to recruiting websites. That's predictable after a coaching change. Many times those guys come back into the fold.
OK. The NAMES. Kevin Scarbinsky dug up this:
A coach becomes a realistic candidate for a head coaching job in one of two ways. Either he expresses an interest in a school or a school expresses interest in him.
Based on interviews with coaches, athletic officials and other college football insiders, The Birmingham News has identified five potential candidates who may be on Auburn's radar or might like to be as the school searches for a successor to Tommy Tuberville.
They are, in alphabetical order:
1. Derek Dooley
Head coach and athletics director
May also be a candidate at Mississippi State.
Father, Vince, is a former Auburn player who might like to see his alma mater consider his son for the job the elder Dooley almost took in 1980 before Pat Dye was hired.
2. Jimbo Fisher
Offensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting
$2.5 million buyout if he leaves FSU now before succeeding Bobby Bowden as planned.
Turned down the West Virginia head coaching job last year.
Former Auburn assistant under Terry Bowden.
3. Mike Leach
In his ninth year at Tech, has two years left on his contract.
Reportedly talking to Washington officials about that job.
Source said Auburn made unofficial contact with Leach's camp and Leach, a former Kentucky assistant, is interested in returning to the SEC.
4. Will Muschamp
Defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting
Spent 2006 and 2007 in Auburn as Tuberville's defensive coordinator.
Recently named Mack Brown's future successor with an increase in salary from $425,000 to $900,000 starting in January.
Source said unlikely to return to Auburn with Jay Jacobs as AD.
5. Bobby Petrino
Former Auburn offensive coordinator.
Auburn tried to hire him in 2003 to replace Tuberville as head coach.
Sources said Auburn made unofficial contact with Petrino's camp but his Arkansas contract would be hard to break.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tomorrow I will be facilitating a workshop on CUSTOMER SERVICE for managers and front line employees of a group that has two Golf Courses, Cabins, Summer Swimming Pool, Campground, Marina, Bait and Tackle Shop, Restaurant, and a Civic Center.
What does Customer Service mean to you? Is it important? Why? What tips would you offer? Do you have any Really GOOD Customer Service stories? Any REALLY BAD experiences? At least any that I could share?
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.
According to Turban et al. (2002), “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”