Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweet Tea at the Birthday Bash

"I'm holding you to your offer."

This certainly made me sit up and focus. I looked over at "T."


"Well, Beej," T continued, "You told me a couple of months ago that you would arrange a lunch for my birthday. The day is coming up and I'm holding you to your offer."

"Ohh! Okay!"

Let me tell you about 'T.' Now, I call her 'Sweet Tea,' because that's what she is...sweet. I could have as easily nicknamed her bubbly, smart, charming, but Sweet Tea fits the best.

T is short for 'Taneisha.' (T I know you plan on coming in here and I know I slaughtered the spelling of your given name. Please forgive.)

T could easily be called 'Beautiful T.' She has the heighth, weight and facial structure of a top model:

Keep in mind; this photo was taken at noon. T, her SO Aaysha, and our mutual friend Kristen, had gone out the night before and partied hardy until 4am. This is T with a well earned (and deserved!) hangover. She is still drop dead gorgeous. even at her worst.

Let us look at that photo; T is a trend setter. For instance, see her tie? T does not go for the traditional cloth tie; Her tie is metal and hangs from a chain. very cool. Now, move up and look at her new cap. I asked her about this because I thought she had inadvertantly left the scan bar tag on the brim. No, it was intentional. its a new trend. And it's cool. T's cool. Very.

Here is the gang:

We were at the restaurant for almost two and a half hours. Good conversation was abundant. Some of the topics covered:
boyfriends babies husbands strippers alcohol clothes bars work books Lady Gaga Rolling Stone magazine houses dancing music bodies kids sleep sports food peppers roadkill oxtails phones pregnancy on and on, often two or three conversations going simultaneously.
Happy birthday Sweet Tea! I love having you as my friend.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. (or how Glenn Beck continues to make an ass out of himself.)

What MLK said:

What Glenn Beck said:

1. "This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture....I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist." –on President Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show, July 28, 2009 (Source)

2. "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, 'Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,' and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, 'Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death.' And you know, well, I'm not sure." –responding to the question "What would people do for $50 million?", "The Glenn Beck Program," May 17, 2005 (Source)

3. "When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, 'Oh shut up' I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining." –"The Glenn Beck Program," Sept. 9, 2005 (Source)

4. "The only [Katrina victims] we're seeing on television are the scumbags." –"The Glenn Beck Program," Sept. 9, 2005 (Source)

5. "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today." –on why people who lost their homes in forest fires in California had it coming, "The Glenn Beck Program," Oct. 22, 2007 (Source)

6. "I have been nervous about this interview with you because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies. ... And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way." –interviewing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim U.S. congressman, Glen Beck's show on CNN's Headline News, Nov. 14, 2006 (Source)

7. "Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization...And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did. That's what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing]." –"The Glenn Beck Program," May 1, 2007 (Source)

8. "So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. ... Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. ... The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening." –"The Glenn Beck Program," March 9, 2009 (Source)

9. "You have the artwork of Mussolini there, here in New York at Rockefeller Plaza." –analyzing the artwork decorating Rockefeller Plaza, which he said contained a hammer and sickle, Glenn Beck show on FOX News Channel, Sept. 2, 2009 (Source)

10. "O-L-I-G-A-R-H-Y." –misspelling "oligarchy" on his chalk board while claiming he had deciphered a secret code that he said was proof President Obama was trying to create an "Oligarhy," Aug. 27, 2009, Glenn Beck show on FOX News Channel (Source)

What I say:

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's outstanding "I have a dream" speech. And today, that moron Glenn Beck is holding a rally at the same spot where MLK spoke his words.

Hey, Glennie boy..guess ain't no Martin. But unlike you, I believe you have the right to say what you choose to say. It's just too bad you don't know enough to keep your self serving mouth shut.

I know today is your special day in the sun, Glenn Beck, but I wish you could take a few minutes to come in here and discuss your beliefs with me. Or better yet, we could set up a day and time for you to come to my house for dinner, tho I can promise you, when my big mouth confronts your big mouth, you won't have much of an appetite left. I want to know what satisfaction you get out of your scare tactics that, as far as I can tell, lie unfounded.

Your rally will be remembered as just another self serving and dividing farce. However, this day will be far better remembered, for all of eternity, as the day that Martin Luther King Jr told us all what can be seen when people have the daring to look from the top of the mountain.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

He's Back~

Guess who has a new CD coming out in November.

A Blast From the Past:

He developed a little pizazz over time, didn't he?

And here, for a little bit of fun, is a demo he made in 1968:

He is the gift that keeps on giving. Sir Elton John.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Estrogen Adventures

Those of you who have been following me for a while are well aware that I do not generally shy away from topics that are not politically correct. This will be one of those. Guys, again, you might choose to skip this post. Unless you are interested in knowing more about the female body.

Some of you are too young to have experienced what I'm about to write about. Some of you are not. Regardless, those of you young 'uns might want a little heads up on what you might go through a few years down the road.

I am going to tell you about estrogen supplements.

There comes a time in the female life (you men are spoiled brats, I just want to tell you that...) when hormones change. In fact, they take a nose dive. There are many different symptoms. You will know when this has begun to occur.

Last week my gynecologist recommended the time had come for me to consider estrogen supplements. I considered it for maybe three seconds.

"Bring it on, Doctor!!" My heart was doing a big, soul stomping happy dance.

I wanted the oral stuff, the stuff that makes you feel like you're 21 again, the stuff that makes your skin glow and..and...and...well, a whole bunch of different wonderful 'things' begin to come 'alive' again.

"You still have a uterus." she said, shaking her head no.

She sat down in front of me and drew a chart about the negative effects of oral estrogen on women who still have a uterus; Strokes. Blood clots. Cancer. Heart attacks. On and on.

"What's a woman who is cursed with a uterus to do?" I lamented.

"No problem." she smiled. "We'll use a vaginal cream."

Okay, no problem; as far as my complexion goes, I'll do what my friend Lynn in Tallahassee does and just put a little dab on my face. Watch out crows feet, here we come!! har!

"Okay, Beej. This is potent stuff and is expensive. Sometimes insurance doesn't cover it. It can run over $100 for a tube. Having said that, it comes with an applicator. Throw it away. I only want you to use a pea sized amount, three times a week."

Off I go with my prescription and to the pharmacy. I hand the pharmacist the prescription for my 'wonder cream.' He takes it to his computer.

"Beej, this is expensive stuff."

"How expensive?"


Whoa, I think. $120 for a little tube. And here i've been making it for free all those years! I've been producing a gold mine with no way to excavate it!

"I'll take it."

And off I go to my house. I take it out of the box.

Liquid gold:

I pull out the applicator.

"Dr. told me to throw it away." I remember. I study it and decide, nah, I'm holding on to that..Just for, you know, an emergency..or something. I slip it back into the box.

I read all the warnings on the little instruction sheet and call my sister.

"Hey sis. Have you ever used estrogen cream?"

"Oh I can't use that but I use something similar."

I don't ask what. I'm afraid she'll tell me lard or something like that.

Why can't you use the regular stuff?" I do ask.

"Because I had a terrible, HORRIBLE allergic reaction."

"Oh damn! that musta hurt." I think to myself.

"What about Jeanne?" (Jeanne is our other sister.)

"Well she did use it but she stopped."


"Because her dog got hold of the tube and ate it."

"Her dog ate her estrogen?"

"Yup, that's what happened."

Oh dam! Big damn! Big doggone damn!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tortière or, How I Met Joan.

Years ago, long before I had children, I lived in a townhouse in New Hampshire. It was part of a huge complex, inhabited mostly by other young adults. At that time, I guess I was still trying to be just like Olivia Walton and so for the better part of a year, I baked all my bread.

Next door to me lived a bachelor. He leaned (strongly) toward being totally obnoxious, but he had no family around so in a moment of feeling sorry for him, I did the neighborly thing and took him a loaf of freshly made bread.

As I went up his steps, I noticed a new tenant watching me as she unloaded her car of assorted household sundries. She caught my eye because she was rather unique. She was petite and cute with short black hair but the thing that caught my eye was that she wore stiletto heels with straight legged jeans, something one might see nowadays but back then it was, well, unique.

I like unique people and I made a mental note to go over and introduce myself after she was a little more settled in her new condo.

She beat me to it; it was maybe a week or two later when there was a knock on my door. There stood my new neighbor, holding a covered dish of somethingorother and, yes, she had on her stiletto heels.

I invited her inside and put on a pot of coffee.

"I saw you taking bread to your neighbor and I knew right away that this was the kind of neighborhood I wanted to be part of." She was chatty and bubbly and in no time, we became best friends.

Now let me tell you what was on that covered plate; it was a meat pie in a wonderful crust covered with a drizzle of maple syrup. And it was honest-to-pete-to-die-for.

Turns out my new friend, Joan, was of French Canadian descent and had made me my first 'Tortière.'

Tortière, also known as French Canadian meat pie, is traditionally served during the holidays, so come the following Thanksgiving Joan, remembering how much I loved it, surprised me with another tortière. I generally have company over for Thanksgiving dinner so of course I had the roasting turkey with all the dressings but you know what? I got into that meat pie and had not the first bite of turkey. In fact I ate three quarters of that pie all by myself! Wonderful....wonderful!

Tonight I made Tortière:



1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 lb. combined ground pork and beef
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. each poultry seasoning, cloves, and cinnamon (according to taste)
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 c. ground celery
1 sm. onion, ground or minced fine

Combine all ingredients well and simmer, covered for 1/2 hour.

Stir and break up meat several times. Drain off liquid.

Let stand for fat to rise to top. Discard fat and return rest of liquid to meat mixture. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Place in pastry lined pie tin.

Cover with top crust and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned. Meat mixture may be made the day before and refrigerated until ready to use. Makes 1 (9 inch) pie.

Of course, I can never just make anything according to the recipe. I change it just a little to suit our taste. This is no exception. I use a tsp of salt, all ground beef, and 1/2 to 1 tsp of the spices. I put a little less than a 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and then I drizzled about a tablesppon of warm maple syrup over the top after its served on the plate.



Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Collector With the Dirty Nails

'Do you have any books on Peter Paul Rubens?"

I looked up to see a handsome older man. He wore a white seersucker suit (AKA, the 'Southern Suit') with a white shirt, topped with a silver blue tie that matched his eyes. His white hair was well styled.

"Sir, I'm sure I have something on Rubens. Lets go to the computer and I'll look in my inventory."

I punched in the artist's name and pushed the keyword search button.

"Are you a Rubens fan?" he asked.

"Well, I'm more a van Gogh fan." I answered.

"I bought a Rubens painting at an estate auction and want to see if I was ripped off." he told me.

I stared at him not knowing if I heard right.

"You bought a Rubens? May I ask how much you paid for that?"

I knew it was a nervy question but I really wanted to know!

He just threw back his head and laughed.

"Um, you're not going to answer, are you?" I smiled at him. He ignored me.

"Which one did you buy?"

"The Little Daughter."

Okay, let's stop right here so I can tell you that the first thing I did when I got home that evening was to go to google and search that painting. Now, I do not know much about Rubens. I know he was one of the great Masters of art. I know that he painted in the 1600's. And I know he painted in Baroque style. That's it. I did not know he painted lots and lots of portraits of little girls. I was not able to ascertain for sure which this gentleman had purchased, tho I am leaning toward this one:

I came to the conclusion that it might be this painting because that is, indeed, Rubens' daughter, painted when she was six years old.

Now this is the thing; the gentleman told me the artist's signature was on a certificate fastened to the back of the portrait. In fact, he said it was ripped. I know for a fact that the royal family of England owns a Rubens. I have a feeling Rubens signed it in the front lower paint! I also think if you are purchasing an authentic painting by one of the world's Masters, you would have it verified by an expert. and if it is offered to you for no less than a fortune, YOU ARE PROBABLY BEING HAD!

Okay, I found this man some books and you know what he asked??

"Can you copy the pages for me so I don't have to buy the books?"

You are telling me you just bought a Rubens painting and you can't afford a $29 book??

"No sir, we don't provide that service." I tell him.

He pointed to an image of a biography of the artist. We did not have it in stock and he asked me to order it. Which I did. But not before I noticed that this gentleman, this fine, fine gentleman with the white suit and the silver blue tie and the perfectly styled hair, this gentleman who has just told me he has purchased a Rubens, had the nastiest, filthiest, ragged fingernails I have ever seen on an adult. Disgusting, black, dirt crusted nails.

Somehow, I do not think he purchased a real Rubens. But who am I to judge?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flear of Flying; (Or how I could have died laughing.)

They say, "laughter is the best medicine." But we also hear the term, "I died laughing."

Both seem to be based in truth. Years ago I read a story about a man in England who got a bad case of the giggles while watching a tv show. Giggles gave way to guffaws and after about 25 minutes of uncontrollable laughter, his head slumped onto his chest and he died of a heart attack. If I remember correctly, his wife tried to sue the tv show but I don't remember how far she got with that.

Its a rare thing to get a case of uncontrollable giggles from watching the television and whenever I think of that poor man in England who died laughing, I think of the funniest tv show i had ever seen.

Recently, I went on to see if I could find that show, and whoopity-doo, I found it! Its from The Odd Couple and its called, "The Flying Felix."

Youtube has it in three parts, but it was the third that drove me into hysterical laughing.

A short synopsis; Oscar tries to help Felix get over his tremendous fear of flying. He invites Felix to accompany him on a business flight. They board the plane but before takeoff, Felix goes into an absolute panic. He runs off the plane, Oscar follows him and the show continues from there....
Here it is:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Abbey Lincoln

Rest in peace, beautiful lady.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Christina's World

I first discovered the painting 'Christina's World' by Andrew Wyeth when I was about 13 or 14 years old. It immediately resonated with me. I later found out I had interpreted it quite incorrectly but that's okay because art is open to personal interpretation. Any way we relate to a work of art is acceptable, as long as we CAN relate to it.

I was passionately drawn to this painting from the onset because I saw it as a reflection of myself. I was not like my peers. I was not a silly, giggly adolescent. I was a kid who combed the psychology shelves at the library, checking out college level psychology books, struggling to understand what I was not capable of understanding. (Later in life, as a college student, I did take psychology courses and must defend my intellectual abilities by saying that at that point of maturity, I was perfectly capable of understanding what I was reading. Honest!)

As a youth, I always felt I was on the outside looking in. I was too young to realize that we all feel that way. And we are all, indeed, on the outside looking in. We are born alone and we die alone, and all in between, a gift. But I didn't know that back then.

I saw Christina as a young girl, gazing longingly at a home where she could not belong, tho she desperately wanted to belong. To me, that farm house symbolized the world. My circle of friends. My community. My school. My life outside of my life.

Christina was me and I was Christina.

Of course, that's not what this painting was about. It was really about quite a remarkable woman by the name of Christina Olson. She was middle aged at the time Wyeth painted her, tho we cannot see her face in this painting. However, Wyeth did gift us with a far lesser known painting of Christina, which does show us her face in profile.

As a little 'aside' note, this painting, above, was not used for public awareness of anything affecting Christina; it had to do with Andrew Wyeth, who suffered for many many years with a long time undiagnosed case of tuberculosis.

But we can tell from the painting, that Christina was not a beautiful youth, in fact not a youth at all.

From what I can glean, Christina suffered from some advanced case of a degenerative muscular disease and did not have the use of her legs. She had been a long time friend of Wyeth's wife. With her brother, she owned the farm known as 'Olson's Farm,' in Cushing, Maine.

The Olson house depicted in Christina’s World was built in the 1700’s by the Hathorn family. Captain Samuel Hathorn renovated the house in 1871 and added bedrooms to the third floor. Christina’s mother, Kate Hathorn, met and married John Olson in 1892, who then took over the maintenance of the family farm. In 1929, Christina and her brother Alvaro inherited the property and Christina lived there until two months before she died in 1968. The Olson home is now owned by the Farnsworth Museum and is open for public viewing.

Andrew Wyeth was captivated by the house. He saw it as a unique and honest portrayal of life in rural Maine. He loved it enough that the Olson's 'gave' him his own bedroom, which he turned into his art studio where he painted for over 30 years.

But back to Christina, herself, and this particular painting. Apparently Christina did not lie in fields and dream of being a part of the bigger scene; she did all the chores needed to keep a working farm running. She dragged herself from place to place, using her arms to pull her torso. When Wyeth captured her in Christina's World, she was not resting on her laurels or day dreaming; she was pulling herself back to the farmhouse after visiting her mother's grave.

If I had known all of this as a young girl, would I have been as drawn to the painting as I was under my misconception of the story behind it? You betcha. Even more so.

If that's possible.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Life of Books

An author has finally finished his manuscript, found an agent and has sold his novel to a publishing company. The book is run through the press and published. Often, the book is publicized.

Then what? What exactly is the process to get the book from the writer's computer and to you, the reader.

Every Friday, or early, early Saturday morning, depending on how the truck is running and how many books they need to deliver, we get a load of books. There are generally any where between 5,000 and 8,000 books. they are loaded off the truck and taken by palettes into our stockroom. they come in hard plastic totes that are piled almost to the ceiling.

The books are taken out of the totes and sorted by subject on to carts.

You know those little tags on the back of the book, on the top left corner? These little tags give us a lot of info, including the ISBN number (each book is given a number called the ISBN which is like DNA, It identifies each book individually and universally.) The person who sorts the books can tell on which shelf each book is supposed to go.

Release dates, nationwide, generally fall on Tuesday. There are strict release dates and release dates that are fairly open as to when those books can be set out. The books that have strict release dates can only be released on specific dates. Violation of that will result in a hefty fine. (The last Harry Potter book release carried a cool 1 million bucks fine for an early release. The totes containing those books were sealed and could not be unsealed until midnight of the release date.)

A hard cover book will go on the New Arrivals table, set on a table at the front of the store.

If the book is a great seller it ends up on our Bestseller section.

And, as in the case of the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy, if the books are a literary sensation, they get the honor of having their own table directly in front of the door.

Eventually, interest in even the best of books begins to wane and at that point the book goes into what is called 'in section' shelves.

They stay there quite a while and then, after they seem to have lost their selling ability, they are often put on sale.

Eventually they are toted back up, dollied on to the truck and sent back to the warehouse. Once there, they are circulated among various stores and set up on carts that begin at $3, then $2 and then $1.

the books are given a decent amount of time to be sold before they are sent back to the warehouse.

But, alas, eventually, they end up like this:

I hate to think of any book being destroyed. It reminds me of Hitler's treatment of various books.

I love working with books. I love the entire process of maintaining a book store, of being in the know about certain authors and books. I love the behind-the-scenes doings of a bookstore.

I had hoped to accomplish three things in my life; to be a mother, to work with children and to work in a bookstore.

I accomplished all three.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Comment Moderation

I've been debating writing about this and decided what the's my blog and, well, I'll write whatever I feel I should, so here goes..

I have been moderating comments left here for several months now. I hate having to do this. I began this blog because I love to write. I wanted to write stuff that left folks smiling, or at least feeling a tad better than they did prior to stopping by.

Things in my personal life occurred that caused my decision to begin to moderate comments. We all have a personal life above and beyond our blogs, above and beyond the (mostly) wonderful world of the web in general. So my comment moderation here began as a way to keep control of what people in my personal life might choose to do.

However, and without going into any deeper explanation of that, a different problem surfaced; an individual I do not know other than for this blog, began to leave what I deem as extremely inappropriate comments. I've debated as to how much to say, and decided to clean up the language and explain.

One comment had to do with my sex life and, to put it as delicately as I can and still relate the contents of the post, what I would need to wipe off my face after having sex. This has no place on my blog. It was put in the crassest of terminology and I made the decision to delete the comment before it even made its way here.

Another comment from this same person had to do with my religious beliefs and (again) was a sexual comment pertaining to the quality of Christ's sex life.

I think you get my drift.

Make no mistake; I HATE moderating comments. I am one of THOSE people, a (gasp!) liberal. I live in the deep South. Politically I am a little blue dot in a big red world. I voted for Obama. I was threatened and insulted during the last Presidential election and learned to keep my political views to myself just to avoid being harassed.

My point is, with these liberal views of mine, I do not believe in censoring anybody except in the most necessary of circumstances. I believe with all of my heart that folks have the right to not only believe what they choose to believe but also that they have the right to voice their opinion without fear of any sort of hostile verbal retaliation. However, I expect the same treatment back.

A person who visits my blog fairly regularly has taken offense that I denied his posts ..the ones I told you about above.. and, hurling some insults my way, told me he was sick and tired of my comment moderation and my only posting what I approve (hey, this is MY blog!) and would not be back.

That's fine. I really don't care. It's his choice. But what I do care about is that belief of mine that people have the right to express themselves. I take that very seriously. And yet I believe it is my duty to not allow offensive, inappropriate comments on my blog. Express your opinions in a respectful manner, that's all I ask.

Was I wrong to deny posting of, for example, the two comments I told you about a bit earlier? I don't think so.

I want to know how y'all feel about comment moderation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Muse - Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)

I happened upon this by chance and wanted to share its ethereal beauty with you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He, Who Is Without Sin.

This is Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani :

And she has occupied much of my thoughts over the last week or so. She is an Iranian woman who is sentenced to death for adultery. That is barbaric enough but apparently it ISN'T enough..because she was sentenced, according to Islamic Law, to death by stoning.

I've been reading a lot about this because I just cannot comprehend it. How can people of God..or Allah..say that this is ok?

The more I read, the more I researched, the more appalled I became. Islamic law reads that if the person escapes during the stoning, they can be allowed to run for freedom and the punishment is over. So this is what they do; they put the person in a cloth sack with their hands bound behind their backs. Then they bury them in a hole up to their necks so only their covered heads appear. then, MEN OF GOD stand there and hurl stones (which must be no smaller than the palm of the hand) at the unfortunate 'criminal's' head until the person is dead, their head a pulpy mess of beaten flesh and blood.

I found a video of this online. It was posted to show the brutality of this practice
and came with a strong disclaimer. I forced myself to watch it because I wanted to witness the pure barbaric behavior. I am not posting the link here because it was too horrid.

The rest of the world has come down hard on Iran over this case. And a few days ago, Iran buckled and suspended the death by stoning sentence, tho not the death sentence itself. Keep in mind,that although it was suspended, it hasn't been retracted. In fact, Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani's lawyer is not asking for anything less than the death penalty; he and his client are asking the courts to change the means of death to hanging.

Okay, after reading about this, I found out some very interesting things. Now, Ashtiani has always denied the adultery charge. Lets keep that in mind..And I found out her husband has been dead since 2004. Apparently he was murdered by some man and now that the Iranian courts have been forced to defend this stoning business, they are saying that Ashtiani actually killed her husband but that the judge didn't reprot that, because it was so brutal.

Give me a break.

How can anything this woman do be any more brutal than bashing in a head with a bunch of rocks?

This is an old, old thing, this stoning...even in the time of Jesus, this was a common practice..Remember Mary Magdalene? She was a prostitute who was about to be stoned when Jesus stepped in and said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Surprisingly, the only country that has made a concrete offer for the life of this woman is Brazil, who offered refuge to Ashtiani. Iran will take this as an offense toward their Allah and I'm sure the repercussions will be forthcoming.


After a bit more reading, what do I come upon?? A report about her husband's death..yes, he was murdered. Yes, his wife was accused..but lo and behold...she was found to be innocent..for shame, the judge was not being completely honest when he stated he was keeping Ashtiani's involvement in the murder under wraps so as to protect the public. shame on you.
Your Honor.

Swiss Chicken Supreme

Yesterday I made another recipe from the Taste Of Home Comfort Foods Cookbook. I made Swiss Chicken Supreme. This was a really simple dish to make, smelled heavenly and was very tasty. I served it with side dishes of asparagus with French dressing, a prepared stuffing and fresh watermelon chunks.


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 slices (3/4 ounce each) reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup crushed reduced-fat butter-flavored crackers (about 8 crackers)
1 teaspoon butter, melted

Place the chicken in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Top each with a slice of cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and milk; pour over chicken. Toss the cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Yield: 4 servings.

I thought this was pretty good but so far my favorite remains the taco pie I made a couple of weeks ago. John's favorite remains the seafood chowder, the first recipe I made from the book.

If I make this again, I'm going to change a few things. I'm going to cut a pocket in each breast and fill it with rolled swiss cheese and ham, sort of like a cordon bleu. Then i'm cutting the milk back to 1/3 cup and adding a whole lot more of the crushed cracker topping.
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