Monday, November 28, 2011

Please Check Back For Amazing Vacation Photos

The Sun is shining the grass is green the orange and palm trees sway....
Heading out to where the sun is shining, the grass is still green, the trees still have leaves, flowers are blooming,  and the temps are in the 80s for three weeks of rest and relaxation. Spending time with friends and family too! 
Vacation November 28th-December 18th

I am very busy with so much to do and see with so many lovely family members and friends, but will keep trying to post the photos as often as I can.

First Florida Upload 

Second Florida Upload-Royanna's Pool 

Third Florida Upload, Park, Beach with Aunt Essie, Christmas lights, Gecko in Christmas Tree

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just In Time For Christmas, written by my friend David Zippel

One of my favorite Christmas songs was written by an old friend David Zippel.  To learn more about David go  to my blog at Blue Mountain Road and read about this amazing lyricist: http://bluemountainroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/david-zippel-local-legend-and-my-friend.html

Why not have a man of the Hebrew Faith write a beautiful and poignant song about Christmas? Dave joins the ranks of Irving Berlin/ White Christmas, and Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin/Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  Here is a list of many other Jewish Lyricists who wrote wonderful Christmas songs: http://www.interfaithfamily.com/arts_and_entertainment/popular_culture/The_Jews_Who_Wrote_Christmas_Songs_2010.shtml

 Just In Time For Christmas
Lyrics David Zippel, Music David Friedman

They had decked the malls and trimmed the town with plastic trees
Till the world was just a giant retail maze
Tis the season when you turn your thoughts to people you can't please
When you measure passing time in shopping days
And the holidays were something to get through
But the thing I hadn't counted on was you

Just in time for Christmas you came along
Just in time for Christmas when everything felt wrong
And I was sure my faith had all run out
Just in time for Christmas you showed me what Christmas is about

What I needed most could not be bought at any price
I was far to disillusioned then to see
I was going through the motions made a list and checked it twice and forgot to write down anything for me
But my long unspoken wishes had been heard
And an unexpected miracle occurred.

Just in time for Christmas one silent night
Just in time for Christmas you filled my life with light
And there was joy where there had once been doubt
Just in time for Christmas you showed me what Christmas is about

And all at once the bells began to ring
and hark the herald I heard angels sing
Whom am I to resist their call
You brought me the greatest gift of all

and now my spirits sing
just in time my heart is caroling
From deep within my soul I want to shout
Just in time for Christmas
Just in time for Christmas
Just in time for Christmas you showed me what Christmas is about

This video is of poor quality but the voice of the late Nancy LaMott is the BEST!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Walp's PA Dutch Bacon Dressing

Yields 1 quart
8 slices bacon,
fried crisp

4 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 heaping tbsp flour

Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon when cooled. set bacon and bacon fat aside. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly, add beaten eggs, beat. Combine sour cream, heavy cream, and vinegar, and heat in double boiler, add egg mixture, bacon fat, and
crumbled bacon. Cook and stir until thick and smooth. Server warm over chopped ice berg lettuce, endive, dandelion, or other greens.

My mother who is of PA Dutch heritage, cut the strips of bacon into small pieces before frying, fried, added apple cider vinegar and sugar, made flour water mixture as for gravy, added it to the bacon/vinegar mixture in the pan, stirred until thick. Which was most likely what the real PA Dutch would do. Walps recipe seems more French than PA Dutch.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Re-Post A Happy Childhood Memory, The Ingersoll Rand Christmas Party

If you lived in the Phillipsburg, New Jersey area from 1950-1990 or so, you most likely had a relative or friend who worked for Ingersoll Rand. In our family my brother Buddy, my sister Ruth Ann, and I had worked for I.R.

I think it would be fair to say that it would be hard to find a kid who had not attended the Ingersoll Rand Christmas Party that was held every year. I can remember attending my first party when it was held at the former Hillcrest Club which had been in Delaware Park before it burned down on March 9, 1966. After the demise of the Hillcrest Club, the party was held in the Gym of Phillipsburg High School.

The Saturday on which it was held, the entire gym was transformed into a Christmas Wonderland. The bleachers were packed full with excited children who were filled with the spirit of the wonder of the season.

First there was always a show that was made up of performing dogs, who could dance and jump through hoops of fire. Then there was a magician, and when my girls were little that magician/ventriloquist was the extremely entertaining Linda Holliday who was actually Linda Cotugna a Phillipsburg alumni.

After the entertainment all of the children join in on a sing along of Christmas carols and songs, which usually ended with Jingle Bells or Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, with a request to sing it louder and louder...then Santa arrived.

While all the children filed out of the gym, Santa, or one of his elves handed each child a Christmas decorated shopping bag filled with a toy, and orange, apple, animal crackers, and hard candy.

It is so heart warming to write about this event, as it has brought back all those wonderful inner feelings of being in that moment. It was an experience that I have shared with my siblings, friends, and even my children, and their friends.

Ingersoll Rand is no longer the force it had been in Phillipsburg, I am not sure, but I think it is totally gone. There hasn't been a Christmas party for many years. It is a sad day that this tradition in Phillipsburg no longer exists for our grandchildren, as it is such a wonderful memory.

In Alpha we also loved to attend the John Dolak American Legion Christmas Party. They also gave the best gifts, and their bag of goodies included chocolate candy. That too is now just a memory.

If you had attended this party, please leave a comment below with your memory.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Side Dish- Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Caramelized Garlic

Serves 4-6

2 pounds Brussel Sprouts (halved from the top through the stem) 
4 Thinly sliced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup  Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Caramelized Garlic, Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in saute pan, add thinly sliced cloves of garlic until golden brown sprinkle lightly with sugar, remove from pan.
    1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim bottom of brussels sprouts, and slice each in half top to bottom. Heat 1/4 cup oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan
    • 2. Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom,put in garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. and transfer to oven. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 1/2 hour

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mother, She Is So In My Heart, She Could Never Be Gone...

Honoring my mother Ruth Marie Dunwell on what would have been her 90 th Birthday

November 20, 1921-March 30, 1992

I am the one in her arms in this photo from 1957. My mother was always there for me. She was the most loving mother even though she never really knew her own mother.
She mothered everyone, even her own peers. She was one of those people who touched the hearts of all she met. She taught us to love unconditionally, to forgive completely, and to love God with all our heart and soul.
Once when I managed Boardwalk Fries I had been up to my waist in work and almost that high in flooding water coming in through the back door, not to mention that I had overflowed the front sink too!
My assistant called off that day and the kids that worked the night before left a mess and did not do any of the prep work needed for an on time opening in the morning.
Just as I was ready for a nervous breakdown the door bell rang at the back door. I was so upset, as I had thought it was the bakery delivery man with the rolls; yet more work for me to do.
I answered the door and there she stood,my guardian angel, my mother. I did not call her that morning, and yet she knew I needed her. She told me that she had a feeling that I needed her.
I will never stop needing her. But she is here for me in my sisters, my daughters, my cousins, and my friends, as she left her imprint on all who knew her.
She is so in my heart, she could never be gone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In Memory Of Gertrude "Nanny" Nicholas

The most classy, delightful, kind and unconditional loving woman who has blessed our lives.  
 Gertrude Nicholas, age 100, formerly of Finesville, NJ, Riegelsville and Easton, died Tuesday, November 15, in Old Orchard Health Care Center, Bethlehem Twp., PA. Born: September 27, 1911 in Nutley, NJ; a daughter of the late Michael and Ellen Connely Kiggins. Personal: She was last employed as a site manager for the Easton Senior Center. Prior to that, she worked in sales for the Orrs and Pomeroy Department Stores in Easton. She was also a hosiery model for Orrs. She was a fabulous decorator and wonderful hostess. Memberships: She had been a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Riegelsville and St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Easton where she was a member of the Catholic Daughters. Survivors: three daughters, Judy Shadder and her husband, Ed, of Williams Twp., PA; Janet Lindmeier and her husband, Philip, of Southampton, PA and Jill Nicholas of Bethlehem; a son, Jay, and his wife, Vicki, of Bath, PA; eleven grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Virginia Moser, Florida. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jacob, who died in 1967; and seven brothers and sisters. Services: Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Riegelsville, PA. Interment will be in the Riegelsville Union Cemetery. Friends may call Monday at the Robert W. Snyder Funeral Home, Riegelsville from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Memorials: contributions may be made to St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Riegelsville, PA 18077.
Abigayle, Jacob, Maggie,  & Jamiann, with her  Nanny Nicholas at 100 Birthday Sept.24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb. med. mushrooms
1 sm. onion, chopped (about 1/2 c.)
1 sm. green, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 c.)
3 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. of olive oil

Cut stems from mushrooms; finely chop enough stems to measure 1/3 cup. Cook and stir chopped mushroom stems, onion and green pepper in 3 tablespoons butter until tender, about 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs, salt, thyme, turmeric and pepper. 2 tablespoon olive oil in shallow baking dish. Fill mushroom caps with stuffing mixture; place mushrooms, filled sides up, in baking dish.   Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Set oven control to broil and (or) 550 degrees. Broil mushrooms with tops 3 to 4 inches from heat 2 minutes. Serve hot. 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Re-Post We Made It Through The Rain

On Veteran's Day, Wednesday November 11, 1999, my daughter Jamiann and I ventured into New York City on a whim. We truly exercised our faith that day, traveling approximately eighty miles in the pouring down, cold, November rain in hopes of obtaining stand by tickets for the audience of The Rosie O'Donnell show.

The show would air on Friday November 13, 1999, the guests were Matthew Fox, Barry Manilow, and Rosie's longtime friend Jeannie Davis.

My daughter Jamiann who was nineteen at the time, was a die hard Barry Manilow fan since the age of nine when my sister Irene had won tickets on a radio show to be chauffeur/limo driven, complete with long stem roses to the Stabler Arena to see Barry in concert. Irene chose to take Jamiann along with her that night, which led to a fourteen year fantastic journey into the world of the Maniloonies. When Jamiann learned that Barry would be a guest on a taping of the show on Veteran's Day, and that I was going to be off of work that day, a plan was put into action.

Upon arriving we parked a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center where the show was taped. We both were in dire need of a restroom, and despite its disgusting condition we had to use the one in the parking garage. In our moment of excitement, coupled with a painfully full bladder, we both forgot our umbrellas in the car. We knew we needed to be in line before 8:00 AM in order to obtain stand by tickets. We did not realize just what odds were against us.

After what seemed like hours of trying to find shelter from the rain under an above ledge just outside of the entrance where the line formed, a young lady dressed in Rosie show garb, came out with a top hat in hand. Inside the hat were numbers to be picked by each group of potential audience members. I allowed Jamiann to reach into the top hat and pick. She picked a low number, I believe it was the number three if my memory serves me right. While we stood there rumors were spreading that they call out higher numbers first, and we started to become discouraged. We were then allowed to file into the building. We took our wet coats off, and used the restroom to try and make ourselves presentable.

It really seemed like hours passed again, and I was silently praying for Jamiann's sake, that we would be chosen. But, I must admit, I too wanted to get the chance to see Rosie in person. I realize since then that Rosie has alienated many, but I still like her. She has done a lot for many who needed help. She has always been down to earth, and forth coming. Perhaps her candid way of expressing her thoughts has earned her a reputation of being a bit too liberal, but much of what she has said is the truth. I do agree with her position on peace, adoption, unconditional love, and gun control. She is also a very funny comedian, and excellent actor.

Finally, the young lady from the Rosie show appeared again and called out our number, and we were escorted to an elevator. Suddenly a commotion erupted by a nearby entrance to the lobby, and there approaching us was the legendary comedian Nipsey Russell and his entourage. We stood in line there and also went through a metal detector. Once we entered the elevator, I began to get butterflies in my stomach. Once we reached the floor of the Rosie studio, we walked down a long hall way with photos of Saturday Night Live Shows on the walls. The excitement of the moment kept building inside me, and when we walked through the studio doors I actually had tears welling up in my eyes. I was not just happy for myself, but thrilled for my daughter that her dream was coming true, and my adventurous nature was instrumental in making it happen.

We were seated in separate rows, and didn't mind, as we just felt so fortunate to get in. We in fact were just filling in empty seats. As Jamiann was positioned in front of me, she was led to a seat near the front on the left side, just behind John McDaniel and his band. I was seated directly behind a roving camera on the ceiling, and practically every time they either cut away or came back from a commercial there I was smiling and waving. On the following Friday when it aired we taped the show. My big moment of television history, being a silly, excited fan in the audience of the Rosie O'Donnell show.

I really did want to see the expression on Jaminann's face when Barry Manilow appeared on the stage. He first came to Rosie's desk to be interviewed. Barry was promoting his Frank Sinatra tribute album, Manilow Sings Sinatra. It was evident that he had a nasty head cold. He asked Rosie to help him sing and they sang Strangers In The Night.

And in the typical Rosie O' Donnell show fashion she shot Koosh Balls into the audience, gave us a snack, and a goodie bag full of nice things, including Old Navy mittens and an ear warming head band, a toddler toy Billy Blaze, a Koosh Ball, a Rosie T shirt, and a Christmas ornament.

She also had a cooking segment where she joined her life long friend Jeannie "Weanie" Davis making a squash recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner, which ended in a food fight.

In between commercials they inserted a pre-taped interview with Matthew Fox who at the time starred in the television show, Party Of Five. Today Matthew is well known as playing Jack on Lost.

We later received tickets by mail a year later to be in the audience of the show with Al Pacino as the guest. After we filed into the audience seats we discovered that Mr. Pacino did not want to be taped in front of a live audience, and instead two shows would be taped to be aired during the holidays. To our amazement and utter joy the guests were Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, James Garner, and even Florence Henderson popped in sweeping the floor as it was "Sweeps Week".

We took along Rosie O'Donnell dolls that she autographed for us. I also had the pleasure of occupying her audience one more time with a group of Barry Manilow fans in the fall of 2001.

Here is a link to the day we saw Julie Andrews:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqR2YufBzoM

Rosie Ornament is always on our tree!

Jami and I

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Re-Post Today


This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Wildflowers at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Grandson enjoying his day.

Getting soaked and loving it!

A messy face, eating chocolate at Grammy's.

Getting to ride in the caboose.

Meeting your favorite celebrity.

Finding your soul mate.

Creating Holiday Memories

Fulfilling a dream, and inspiring others

Today (Randy Sparks)

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine

A million tomorrows shall all pass away
Ere I forget all the joy that is mine today

I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover
You'll know who I am by the song that I sing
I'll feast at your table, I'll sleep in your clover

Who cares what the morrow shall bring?

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine

I can't be contented with yesterday's glory
I can't live on promises winter to spring (winter to spring)
Today is my moment and now is my story

I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I'll taste your strawberries, I'll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
Ere I forget all the joy that is mi-uh-ine today