December 21, 2017

“Labas rytas” ! Has anyone ever heard this “Good Morning” in Lithuanian before?

Merry Christmas Y’all!! You still have three more days to get those last minute doodads. But me, I just winding up the items I need for my Christmas dinner. I think if it was just me, I would probably do a Turkey for every holiday meal. I have never done heroin but it cannot be as blissful as the evening after a big turkey dinner trying to stay awake to finish watching the game. But it is not just me, and some of the natives have requested something other than Turkey for Christmas dinner. I have chosen a standing rib roast. Its been awhile since we had one of those. We are fortunate enough to have access to aged prime standing rib roasts. They are not free but they are alway wonderful. So I guess we will just have to miss the turkey and suffer through roasted prime cow with all the trimmings. Yum!

Its not hard to fall in love. I would guess that is why they say we “fall” in love versus “accomplish” or “achieve”. Falling has never seem particularly difficult to me. Gravity and I are old pals. But falling in love is something that you really never quite get up and dust yourself off from. At least for me, it has stuck hard and even when the stuff around it was broken for one reason or other, it still persists. No one has ever made me angrier, sadder or more completely joyful than the those I have fallen in love with. Thank goodness, there have only been a few and that there have been a few. To be honest, I fall in love with my dogs too. And yes they made me angry, sad and completely joyful too. I wish sometimes that life and loving would be easier but then again, maybe not. Now that I have some miles on me, I kind of appreciate the bumpy memories as much as the smooth ones for different reasons. The Ying and Yang of things seems to make more sense to me now that have ridden this Yoyo awhile. I am grateful to those that I have loved in my life and even more for those that have loved me.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I got some feedback this week on my martini reciepe and musical selections of late. I am glad you are are enjoying the weekly musical mix and I promise you will like even more if you build the martini’s as instructed. Anyway, thanks. It is nice to hear people smiling.
• I hope in ramping up for the big international holiday on the 25th, you have not overlooked National French Fried Shrimp Day on the 21st of December. This is the day we celebrate the fact that Americans consume more fried shrimp than any other seafood cooked any way. Stand up and cheer for your prawns folks, today is their day!

Website Update:
• 2nd week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This week I added a whole new branch to our Jacaranda Tree called “Safety”. Most of the information provided has been put out there before in a couple of different ways but I thought I would create a platform to keep personal and family safety in focus as best that I can. Being safe is a state of being that is never guaranteed. It can change at any time. Being safe is also a prerequisite to almost every happy moment we enjoy. So I added this place for us to collect and share information and tools And maybe help us do a better job of being aware of safety issues and taking action to mitigate the risks to our families and mitigate the impact of predictable, yet perhaps uncontrollable, natural or man-made events. I hope it helps.

Writing and Painting Update:
• I started another new painting in class. So far I am not impressed at all. I have been in this funky artistic slump for the past several weeks 🙁
• I have been really messing up my writing schedule with all the end of year stuff going on. I intend to refocus and commit to a higher degree after Christmas.

• I hate being helpless. I mean I really really hate it! Skin me alive, dip me in good scotch and beat me with an ugly stick, any or all of which would be preferable to being helpless. I hate not being able to provide help or much comfort, let alone fix the root cause to problems. And it is even worse for me if I really care for the person having the problem. I know in my head, that sometimes people just need to go through what they need to go through to get better but it doesn’t make watching them do it any easier for me. I just want to make it better but sometimes I am just “hep-less- dammit!”
• As long as I had the Vodka out for the Martinis … Do you like Bloody Marys ? Not everyone does while others consider it a mainstay cocktail (because its “OK” to drink with breakfast, I think). I got a few positive comments back on the Martini recipe that I published last week. So I thought I would follow up with an early Christmas present for all of those who enjoy the occasional tomato based cocktail. I do not do these often but when I do, I do them well (iff’n I do say so myself). Like with the Martinis, there is a certain amount of religious vigor needed to pull it off correctly.

Gather the stuff you will need: Cocktail Shaker, Ice, Vodka that you like, V8, Cholula Hot Sauce, Woustershire Sauce, Celery Stalk (with or without leaves, your choice) and Celery Salt
Prepare the glasses – Some like to wet the tip of the glass with lime juice and dip it into garlic salt for this cocktail. I have done it, liked it but mostly don’t do it usually because its kind of pretentious. You can fill a Tall Glass half way with ice and set it aside while you mix the rest.
Put 2 jiggers of Vodka, 1/2 tsp of Celery Salt, Dash of Cholula Hot Sauce and a Dash of Woustershire Sauce (dash to your tastes – no one measures this stuff – you do know what you like right?) into the Cocktail Shaker and then add the V8 juice.
Stir or shake in the shaker well.
Put Celery Stalk into the tall glass and pour the now brownish-red or redish-brown nectar of the Gods into your ice cold glass.
Take a large spicy sip and bite the celery. Then start talking like you know what your talking about – it’s kind of expected when you drink these things. You can wave the celery around for effect, if you like.

Music Update:

Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet Band — Little Drummer Boy — This has always been my favorite Christmas song …I would sing it in church choirs and on my own. I remember as a young boy (11-12) singing it in an alley all by myself .. loving the echo..
• Johnny Mathis — The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On a Open Fire) This is another one of my favorites sung by one of the prettiest voices of my lifetime.
• Jimmy Buffett — I’ll Be Home For Christmas — Jimmy sings this old standard really well. He doesn’t even choke on the part about snow.
• James Taylor —Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — JT does this old Christmas standard proud
• Gene Autry — Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer — There have been many great artists that have sung this children’s Christmas classic but no one does it quite as good as this rodeo cowboy, singer, movie star, songwriter, entrepreneur, baseball team owner, a WWII transport pilot and a 33rd Degree Mason.
• Mitch Miller — Winter Wonderland — Another blast from the very distant past. If you are old enough to remember the Mitch Miller choral group, you are past your sell by date. But I hope their harmonies make you smile no matter how old you are as they give us another great Christmastime standard.
• Burl Ives — Have a Holly Jolly Christmas — Burl was a sort of renaissance man – singer, song writer, actor …. His distinctive voice always reminded me of how I think Santa Claus would sound and he looked like him too!
• Bing Crosby — White Christmas (1947 Single Version) — I will leave you with this beautiful Christmas song first released in 1942 as part of the sound track for the movie, “Holiday Inn”. It has been done many, many times by many, many different artists. But you know, I think old Bing really knocked it out of the park when he did it. Merry Christmas, Y’all.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

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