Being Thankful & the Best Ever Pie Crust Recipe
UPDATE: You just never know what's going to trip somebody's trigger! I put up this pie crust recipe on a whim after baking Stan's favorite cherry pie for him on Wednesday. The response has been absolutely crazy. People from all over the globe have written nice notes and phoned saying they now finally have a versatile pie crust that's just too easy, foolproof and flaky. Seriously, messages have come in from men and women alike, people that are good cooks yet never ventured into the land of pie crusts, too intimidated, and theirs turned out perfectly their first try. Color me amazed. The only thing I've updated is to add the measurements in metric as we still have 3 kids Downunder whose spouses need "help" with conversations. Enjoy! —Holly
Some people hold good recipes tighter than bark on hickory, but we've always known it's more fun to share. It was my mother-in-law's recipe from 30 years ago. This truly is the best pie crust ever. Stan says he eats my pies for the crust, which is beyond easy, flaky, versatile and foolproof. No messing around with having to cut in butter. That is an unnecessary pain. It works well for anything that needs a crust, single, double, pre-baked, meat or sweet-filled, fruit or custard, whatever. HINT: I use an adjustable rolling pin for an even crust. Don't think the one we have, which is all wood, is even made any more. Even the "guides" are wood and held in place by large "O" rings. Doesn't matter. This comparable rolling pin is what it's like and worth every penny!
- Perfect Pie Crust - It's Simple-Stupid and yummy - the best kind!
2-1/4 C. (288 grams) flour
2/3 C. (156 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 C. (78 ml) milk
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
Mix together all ingredients, but don't over-mix.
- Roll between sheets of waxed paper to about 1/8” (3 mm) thick.
- Makes one 9” (23 cm) double pie crust.
- Works equally well in any recipe that calls for either a pre-baked shell (in that case, prick bottom shell and use pie weights) or bake with any filling of your choice.
- For pre-baked shell, set oven at 450ºF (230ºC) and bake 8-10 minutes. For baking pies with filling, use a tin foil shield for the crimped pie edge during the first 25 minutes.
- For double crust pies, lightly paint with a pastry brush the top crust with milk followed by a light sprinkle of sugar. Makes a golden brown sparkling top crust.
- For savory recipes, omit the sugar on top crust.
This Thanksgiving, like all Thanksgivings, we're grateful for each other, family, friends, to be born American and for our Lord who is merciful and forgives all transgressions just for the asking.
Blessings from our home to yours,
Stan, Holly, Bella and Jayzbo,
Bloody Ugly Friday the 13th for France and the World
I both have French blood in our heritage. Regardless, we would have stood with our French brothers and sisters. What happened yesterday to a country that embraced Muslims who wanted to come to their beautiful country, struck as a murderous group slaughtering French people – and ours. We stand with our French brothers and sisters against this behemoth monster ISIS – that continues to propagate across the globe and in their misery, wish to extinguish the rest.
Photo: San Francisco City Hall is lit up with blue, white and red, the colors of the French flag,
following the Paris terror attacks (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
At least one of the bombers was a Syrian "refugee". As we have warned, nations need to reconsider the wisdom of taking in these people. Yes their situation is dire and tragic, but look what it did to France, to their people and ours. People are suffering at the hands of devil-infused nuts that choose to blow themselves up instead of striving to make life better for them, their children and their religion. Instead, they are alienating everyone. Instead they choose to be a culture of death. For France! For Liberty! We stand with you. Our thoughts, our prayers, our allegiances are with you. We grieve with you.
Pets – Lifeline of the Homeless
November 1, 2015
Image: OK, that Photoshopped pic is a little bit of fun, but what's happening with the homeless is anything but. The latest "State of Homeless in America 2015" report says nearly 600,000 people either slept outside, in an emergency shelter or transitional housing last year. 5-10% have cats or dogs. Though Jesus warned the poor will always be with you, this is a shockingly high number for the richest country.
We see homeless people in the town of Pueblo all the time. A decade ago, Stan and I were involved in helping several of them. Visited their campsites down at the river. NOT a savory place to go. Homeless knifing other homeless is common, let alone a woman going down there by herself. More than a bit scary. Still here, still breathing. Met a lovely other (non-homeless) now-girlfriend through Mike, the homeless guy and his dog, Painter. Unbeknownst to each other, we met when we both tried to help them and didn't realize we lived only a few miles apart. Both of us and our husbands got taken in by Mike.
In 2004 Stan and I set up a foundation for Mike and Painter. Had a nice tidy bankroll for them for which we took nothing to administer. Then his cousin in Wyoming got wind of it and wanted control of the funds. It turned into a rowdy hot mess. We ended up refunding everyone's donations. Apologized to them. 99% of the donors said to give it to another charity. Gave it to Good Sam's. The rest we sent back by check. Not one was angry. They understood and were soooo nice. The cousin was really angry; wanted Mike's $$. Mike Moullet ended up in jail in Billings, Montana on drug charges, yet again, drug down into the abyss again by his junkie girlfriend. Don't know today if he's even alive. It's been 2 years.
After that, Stan and I went to the bottoms of Fountain Creek river, behind Walmart, where the homeless set up camps in Pueblo the city. Stan saw this other guy we'd seen down there sitting in front of Hobby Lobby and offered to take him to lunch. Noooooo, he didn't want food, just the money. So thinking he wanted it for drugs or booze. Also had a dog. About a year later, he was stabbed to death. Don't know what happened to his 4-legged.
Mike ended up losing his beloved black Lab, Painter when he was re-incarcerated. That ripped another wound for him.
Some of the encampments at the river are bare plastic overhangings of a tarp set up on sticks, secured by rope. The hut that Mike built was remarkable. The homeless like peanut butter. It's sweet, gives them energy and needs no refrigeration. We talked to Mike numerous times afterwards from jail in Montana, his collect calls to us. Plucked our heartstrings. Mike was talented in the construction field before dope got him and his little hut showed it. It was neatly done and in square. Nothing like most of the other "humpies". His was all packed out with his meager supplies, a busted mirror for grooming hung in a tree, and mostly dog food for Painter that mice got. After Mike was re-jailed, other homeless men raided it. It beat the heck out of their plastic shelters.
As explained on websites, some homeless people use dogs as a "snare" to involve us and some of these folks make more $$ daily panhandling than Stan and I do working 10 hours a day. These are the exception.
For others, a dog is their only companionship, their reason to live despite very humbling circumstances especially those that have no encampment and are continually on the move. Most shelters don't allow pets. Rather than abandon their 4-legged family or forego their booze and drugs, they opt to endure bitter cold. That is the story of David and Hope, and countless others. He refuses to leave Hope behind. Colorado Springs just built a homeless shelter that allows pets, but these facilities have limited beds and only recently became a growing trend. Most shelters require their patrons to leave drugs, booze and 4-leggeds at the door.
Often the homeless are seen giving part of whatever food they scrounge up to the dog, like sharing a hamburger, but do they know that onions are toxic to dogs and cats? Dr. Joel Wallach shared the other night on Coast To Coast AM that eating dog food is often more nutritious than people food because it's infused with a whole array of vitamins. While some homeless pets may eat well, comparatively speaking and often at the expense of their owner, there is no way to pay for shots or spaying and neutering. When people have tried to help by offering to take their pet to a vet, they're fearful the animal might not be returned and refuse. With the growing movement in larger cities to engage in "sweeps" that remove homeless, their pets are often rounded up, dumped at shelters and end up euthanized.
If you want to help, a good test is to offer a homeless person a hot meal and if they ask for $$ instead, you know it's not going in the right vein. No pun intended. Pay for a haircut; it's a luxury they've likely not enjoyed for a while. Carry a card that lists local shelters and food kitchens so you can hand them out to the homeless. Cash is often an enabler, not a help. If you want to give $$, check with GuideStar. It's like the BBB for non-profit organizations.
Today when I go to Walmart I see this same woman and another guy on the same corners. They are same folks from last year. Ditto for the Hwy. 50 overpass. It's the same people beneath it. They are lazy. If you've got time to panhandle get off your buns and work. Volunteer. Do something.
For others there a true and serious need. Many are our vets that fought to protect the homefront or those that belong to other nations. When they come home, sometimes their spouse has left, they've lost their homes, had to declare bankruptcy and finding work is nearly impossible. Obama circumvents Congress and gives amnesty to 11-12 million illegal immigrants and takes in tens of thousands of refugees, but lets 50,000 homeless American veterans rot. Please take two minutes and watch this video.
About 25% of the homeless are mentally ill and in desperate need of medical assistance. Some folks have temporarily fallen on hard times. These people aren't slackers; they've just hit a rough patch. Others have a bad go with health and lose their ability to work.
In addition to buying them a hot meal, non-perishable food items are appreciated especially bottled water as dehydration is a huge problem. A thermal blanket that costs a couple of bucks would be priceless. New socks and underwear, gently used gloves, scarves, mittens, coats, boots and winter hats are vital. Toothbrushes with covers, "hotel-size", single-use or travel-size toiletries are the right size to carry because the others are too heavy and often end up in the trash. Hotel size toiletries can be purchased in bulk for a few pennies each at hotel supply companies like HD Supply, Weiners, National Hospitality or Hotel Supplies Depot. Walgreens, Amazon and Walmart have good selections of travel size amenities. Mini-medical supplies like ChapStick, Neosporin, Band-Aids, hand sanitizers, kleenex, aspirin are necessary luxuries. Food and water, warm clothing they need first.
These things are better giving panhandlers and the homeless $20 that'll be snorted or imbibed by nightfall. Most people would rather hand off cash because they don't have to engage. We don't want to see their faces, look into their eyes because there but for the grace of God go I.
NASA Says 99% Probability of 5.0 – or Stronger – Earthquake Hitting LA
October 21, 2015
JPL geophysicist Dr. Andrea Donnellan, along with seven other scientists, used radar and GPS to measure Southern California’s chances for a sizable earthquake and made a sobering discovery about another big one. NASA scientists' new study reveals that there is a 99.9% probability of a 5.0 – or larger – quake striking Los Angeles within the next 30 months.
Their study cites the March 28, 2014 La Habra quake in the San Gabriel Valley. La Habra's 5.1 shallow event was a "surprise" for the amount of damage it caused to homes and businesses in the Valley.
Because this quake was only 3-1/2 miles below the surface, over a dozen gas mains broke throughout Los Angeles County, rockslides covered roads, overturned a car and cracked pavement. USGS recorded more than a dozen aftershocks with magnitudes as high as 3.6.
While Dr. Donnellan says last year's quake relieved some stress the strain remains with enough power to unleash an even larger temblor on the same epicenter. A great than 6.0 magnitude earthquake has a 35% chance of striking within this same 3-year time frame.
Image: This image shows the region of interest and the table gives the probably of various sized events occurring within different time frames.
Donnellan and her team expect this next quake to rupture within 60 miles of the La Habra shaker.
Generally 5.5 – 6.0 quakes cause light damage to buildings and infrastructure, but 6.1 – 6.9 temblors can lots of destruction in very populated areas. One has only to look at the Bay Area's 1989 Loma Prieta 6.8 quake. It caused considerable damage and killed 63 people. Just five years later the 6.7 Northridge quake caused another 57 deaths.
Donnellan cautions residents to be prepared saying the it's something that should be done all the time. One has to wonder if they're not soft-peddling the likelihood of the larger event taking place.
Colorful Colorado Teases Senses
October 13, 2015
Yesterday Stan and I took a much-needed "date day" on a lovely trip into the mountains. We never have a destination plan, just point the car and go, and where we end up that's where we are.
Drove south on I-25 and hung a right at Walsenburg. It's a town dying with methane coming out of water faucets. Light a match and the water catches fire.
Punched it on Hwy 160 going west. Weather perfect, drive easy, traffic good, and trees spectacular. Can't tell you how many times Stan got out to take pics. The light breeze and clear skies made tree color pop and glisten. Dance! Especially from about mile marker 283 west to marker 275 – trees amazing. Shortly after, maybe around Forbes Park, the aspens abruptly stopped.
Drove to Crestone and poked around for awhile, but it's pointless to travel that far unless you want to see The Crestones. Those mountains look really different from the ones here in Pueblo West or in Boulder where the Rockies are rounded or up in Loveland where they are perfection. Dramatic! Crestone itself isn't a destination point. It's a New Age mecca with a population of about 130 people and pretty dilapidated unless you have mega-bucks and live on the fringe. Numerous signs dot the way saying you're "on The Cosmic Highway," "ETs Rule" and there's a stop off to snag a top position on the ET/UFO watch tower. What can one say… Kinda like 3 tacos short of a fiesta. Na-nah-nah-nah. Na-nah-nah-nah.
18 spiritual centers are featured at Crestone including:
- Dharma Ocean Foundation
- Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang
- Mangala Shri Bhuti
- Pundarika Foundation
- Vajra Vidya Retreat Center
- White Jewel Mountain
- Yeshe Khorlo
- Crestone Mountain Zen Center
- Chamma Ling
- Haidakhandi Universal Ashram
- Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
- Spiritual Life Institute
- The Singing Stone
- Shumei International Institute
- Dragon Mountain Temple
- Way of Nature
- Little Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church
- Crestone Baptist Church
Below are a couple of pics from the Tashi Gomang shrine. If you don't know how to practice, they give a quick tutorial on a handy adjacent billboard. Not sure about the multi-colored banners surrounding "Tashi". Kind of reminiscent of those calling attention to used car lots.
OK, push that aside. I enjoyed a lenthy conversation this afternoon with Scott Stevens who lives in Crestone. Scott says there's really double the above number of religious orders there. He's a world-renown meteorologist and among the first to sound the bell about government monkeying with our weather – weather modification, chemtrails, geoengineering. He and we arrive at the same conclusion about End Times – we just sail on different boats. Regardless of the journey, we need to be ready. There are some reasonably grisly times around the corner and the best solution is to be prepared spiritually and physically.
Didn't get home till around 8:30 last night. Dogs were exhausted having to be actual 'outside' canines instead of house slackards. When they came inside, they went to bed in the livingroom and barely budged for the next 2 hours. Didn't even have enough energy to give The Parents "what for" for leaving them alone all day.
Electrical Engineer’s Discovery Will Change the Climate Debate
October 8, 2015
A mathematical discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr. David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.
A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.
He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.
He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.
It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says.
“Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the IPCC says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20% of the global warming in the last few decades”.
Dr Evans says his discovery “ought to change the world”.
“But the political obstacles are massive,” he said.
His discovery explains why none of the climate models used by the IPCC reflect the evidence of recorded temperatures. The models have failed to predict the pause in global warming which has been going on for 18 years and counting.
“The model architecture was wrong,” he says. “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.” H/T Lynette MORE
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