Thursday, October 18, 2012

Retirement is a Contact Sport!

I met Larry Genender in my classroom when I was teaching Photoshop Elements to seniors in a community college in Dallas, Texas. Being a surgeon, I expected him to be smart. But I quickly learned that there was so much more there...a robust love of learning, enthusiastic engagement with the life going on around him, and a great sense of humor.

This lovely image was taken at the Santa Clara ranch in far south Texas and is the result of treating "retirement as a contact sport" which so many of my fine students have done!

Larry and I have kept in touch since I retired, and I asked him if he would give us some ideas about retiring successfully. Here is how he practices "Seizing the Day":

"I view retirement as a positive thing – a stage in life where you can change gears, reflect on what you have accomplished, and then embark on the next stage of your career. Retirement is not for everyone – we all know of a few individuals who have stayed in their jobs or professions well into their later years, some with very productive and satisfying outcomes (but many others who should have quit years earlier). But there are far too many of us who regard retirement as the end of our 'productive' years and who do nothing truly enriching, just putting in time until the inevitable end. I think this is a pity – too much good living going to waste. I want to tell the story of how I have managed my retirement.

I was educated and trained as a physician; my specialty was general surgery. I am fortunate in that I have been happily married for 49.5 years, have raised 3 successful sons who have given us 7 fine grandchildren. My practice was successful professionally and financially. By the age of 60 I had accomplished almost everything I wanted to do surgically, and decided then that I wanted to retire at 65 while my skills were still strong – to quit at the top of my game, so to speak. I realize that not everyone has the luxury of being able to do this, but most people who have a steady vocation together with pension, savings etc. can do this. This is the first lesson I wish to convey – plan your retirement well in advance.

I took a young surgeon into the practice, and then another. This gave me a smooth transition into retirement – these younger surgeons took all my night and weekend calls and I helped then prepare for the time they would take over the practice. I retired at 65, 12 ½ years ago. My former practice is doing very well to this day, I’m proud to say.

Five years before I retired I began to work with wood as a hobby. Very soon I developed a passion for woodturning, where you create pieces of wood art on a lathe. This is not a naturally acquired skill set: not something you can learn from a book. I spent a lot of time and effort traveling to instructional courses around the country until I had learned enough and practiced enough to become what is known as a 'self-directed artist', which means that I no longer needed a teacher to produce quality work. By retirement time I had reached this level.


I still learn something every time I turn on the lathe – the learning part is what keeps it fun. I have sold a few pieces, but I don’t like the selling part. I did it just to prove that I was making pieces that people would pay green money for, i.e., to validate the quality of my work. In this way, I am under no pressure to produce pieces for a show or a gallery (galleries are fun to visit, but from the artist’s perspective they are a real pain. Ever seen an 'artist’s statement'? I think they are written with a shovel!!). I keep most of my pieces, and give some to my family and friends (they have to be really good friends!). And this is the second lesson about retirement – you don’t retire FROM something, you retire TO something.
There is one more thing to tell. I have played golf, rather poorly, since I was 35. I enjoy it despite the fact that I break 90 only rarely. I also have a bad back and neck – something acquired from years standing and bending at the operating table. About a year ago, the pain of swinging and walking about the course made me realize that my golfing days were over. Coincident with this came the realization that I no longer could spend many hours at a time at the lathe.

So… I needed a new interest, and I found it in digital photography. I joined a camera club and am taking classes in photo imaging. I now have an interest that I can handle physically, and I am still learning and making nice things.

My interest in photography lead me to the Heard Camera Club here in Dallas. Our group took a trip to Santa Clara ranch in far south Texas where I took the image of the redbird at the beginning of this post.

The picture you see below was taken at Caddo Lake.

Caddo Lake is the largest natural fresh water lake in the South. It covers 26,800 acres in Texas and Louisiana and includes the 13th Ramsar Wetland Site, which is considered a wetland of international importance. Caddo Lake contains a mature flooded bald cypress forest that supports a diversity of wildlife--some endangered or vulnerable--and contains indigenous fish that contribute to global biological diversity. The lake also provides a critical support to birds that migrate through the Central Flyway. Caddo Lake is a lake with a lot of history and a unique and mysterious beauty. Needless to say, this lake is a prime destination for nature photographers.

This is the third lesson about retirement -- Age is eventually going to catch up with you – don’t fight it, ADAPT to it.

That’s my story. Not everyone will have the desire or the wherewithal to retire like I did, but the takeaway lesson is this:

You work too long and too hard to reach retirement time to waste that time doing nothing meaningful. Plan for retirement and enjoy it. Carpe Diem!" ~Larry Genender

We are the grey Tsunami folks. Let's make waves!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Capture the Moment Monday

Dave Berry will be sharing his insightful Photo Tips with you every Monday for Capture the Moment Mondays.

1st Photo Safari with my Son!!!!!

My son Brian called me right before Christmas and expressed an interest in getting into Photography. I have been behind the lens for over 40 years but I have chosen not to convince my children to share in my hobby unless they wanted to be involved. When he called and wanted my recommendation on buying his first camera I was thrilled to say the least! After giving him my recommendations, his brand new Nikon D90 with two lens arrived on Christmas Eve. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to give him a crash course in Photography over the Christmas Holiday. A couple of weekends later he called and wanted to go shooting.

Even though it was in the low 30's that weekend I suggested going to the Ft. Worth Zoo....
I must say we had a Blast !!!!!!.

When we got home my wife said to me, "Do you realize that was the first time you have ever taken your son to the Zoo?" I thought about it awhile and she was right. I had been so busy in my career when my kids where young I had never taken them to the zoo.

What I haven't shared with you is my son Brian just turned 31 years old last December. It was one of the best days I've spent with my Son and to think it took photography to bring us together for our 1st Father/Son trip to the zoo. I guess you can say it's never to late!

Hear are some of our pictures from our 1st Photo Safari. Hope you enjoy! Until next week Thanks for dropping by. Meanwhile go out and...


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Time is so precious!

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

Enjoy your time with them,
they are so precious
and they grow up so fast!

Mimi and I cherish the time we have with our three wonderful grandchildren. They are very special little people. They mean a lot to us and we value the time we spend with them.
As we grow older we have come to realize time is our most precious commodity.

Your priorities determine how you spend your time, and time is precious.
The following statements shared by John Maxwell may help put time in perspective:

To know the value of one year...ask the student who failed the final exam.

To know the value of one week...ask the editor of a weekly newsmagazine.

To know thevalue of one day...ask the wage earner who has six children.
To know the value of one hour...ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To know the value of one minute...ask the person who missed the plane.

To know the value of one second...ask the person who survived the accident.
To know the value of one millisecond...ask the Olympic silver medalist.

Your time is priceless. As Ralph Waldo Emerson advised, "Guard well your spare moments.They are like uncut diamonds. discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."

Friday, May 25, 2012

May all of your weeds be wildflowers!

The word serendipity is defined as the faculity or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Does that sound like a wildflower or what?

Frank Fandrick has been a contributor to our blog since we started in 2009. I was delighted to hear from him after a trip he had made to Austin, Texas where he had taken some pictures of one of my favorite things--wildflowers! I emailed him immediately and asked if we could use them on our blog, and he graciously agreed.

What a pleasure these images are. I did some browsing on the Internet and found quotations, music lyrics and an essay that fit right in these pictures such as:

"Love is like wildflowers; It's often found in the most unlikely places.”

Or remember this song:
Hey, I’m a wildflower, growin’ in the sunshine
Soakin’ up the way of life I was raised in
Runnin’ barefoot bloomin’ in the summer shower
Ponytail dancin’, I can’t help it. I’m a wildflower.

The next image is a repeat of the first one with the addition of some Photoshop filters--looks dreamy!

Here is part of an essay called Wild Flowers, written by Richard Jeffries:
Before I had any conscious thought it was a delight to me to find wild flowers, just to see them. It was a pleasure to gather them and to take them home; a pleasure to show them to others--to keep them as long as they would live, to decorate the room with them, to arrange them carelessly with grasses, green sprays, tree-bloom--large branches of chestnut snapped off, and set by a picture perhaps. Without conscious thought of seasons and the advancing hours to light on the white wild violet, the meadow orchis, the blue veronica, the blue meadow cranesbill; feeling the warmth and delight of the increasing sun-rays, but not recognizing whence or why it was joy...the various hues of the petals pleased without any knowledge of colour-contrasts, no note even of colour except that it was bright, and the mind was made happy without consideration of those ideals and hopes afterwards associated with the azure sky above the fir-tree. A fresh footpath, a fresh flower, a fresh delight. The reeds, the grasses, the rushes--unknown and new things at every step--something always to find; no barren spot anywhere, or sameness. Every day the grass painted anew, and its green seen for the first time; not the old green, but a novel hue and spectacle, like the first view of the sea.

Add the images to a collage with some descriptive text and it is another kind of gem!

A special thank you to Frank for bringing us this breath of spring!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


This is such a fun thing to get involved with! I have learned a lot about special places to go on the Internet through Pinterest.

Here is how they describe themselves:

"Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.

Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

You can repin things to your "boards" so you will have them within easy reach. I have had more fun with this than anything I've tried on the Internet for some time. Here is the link to our blog's Pinerest boards, and then a link to a another Pinerest enthusiast that I really like:

This lady is a retired librarian and has some wonderful ideas:

Here is the Pinterest home page:
This is a great place to be creative and take advantage of other people's treasures.
"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves." ~Carl Jung

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Painter's Palette

Seniors are doing many exciting things and we enjoy featuring their impresssive accomplishments on our blog. We have several painters who have kindly allowed us to feature work here.


I first saw one of these fascinating paintings on a computer screen at the community college where I used to teach classes to seniors and boomers. As I walked by Betty’s computer, I asked her where she had found the image I saw there and she told me she had painted it!

Betty Levy was born in Argentina and exhibited a very creative nature at an early age. She told me, "I like to paint for the joy of it." The image you see below was painted when she was in Greece. She went to a pottery workshop taught by the man you see in the image below.

As a young person living in the Miami Beach area of Florida she had two notable accomplishments -- wining first place in the Canada Art Show 1984 and winning first place in the same year at a show at the Surfside Recreation Department. While in Miami she was an understudy to a remarkable painter -- Juan Manuel Segovia.

Betty Levy's paintings include an eclectic mixture of subjects--perhaps a photograph she has taken while traveling, or a photo from a fellow student that catches her fancy or someone she actually knows. I've often watched this process transpire in the classroom...she will see an image she connects with and the words that come out of her mouth are, "I'd love to paint that!"

Our first painting comes from the picture you see below that was taken while she was traveling...

The peasant...the woman...the warrior.

and Guitar...

And the Grandfather and Grandson... 

An enduring subject, powerfully portrayed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fabulous Faces

More of Betty Levy's marvelous paintings featured in today's offering for the The Painters Palette!

I first saw one of these fascinating paintings on a computer screen at the junior college where taught classes to seniors and boomers. As I walked by Betty’s computer, I asked her where she had found the image I saw there and she told me she had painted it!

I told her that I would love to share one of her images on our Computersavvyseniors blog, and she generously offered the paintings you see below. Betty has traveled extensively and she takes pictures wherever she goes. These pictures inspire her painting. The paintings you see below came from pictures she took in Prague.

Tour guide for Prague trip:

A base player on one of Prague's streets:

A Prague fisherman:

Before I retired, as I would walk around my classroom, I would often see what my 50 to 90 year old students were working on independently. And after nearly 10 years, four semesters a year, five to twelve classes a semester, I continued to be surprised and delighted by the talent that would spring off of their computer screens.

It makes me want to shout...don't stop because of your age...believe in how good you are, trust in your talent, educate yourselves, be excellent. It is all within your grasp. You just have to let it live!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Collage Favorites

On Tuesdays we feature the talented work of some of our students and friends. You may see a display of creative Photoshop work, their beautiful photographs or an interesting story about an individual’s meaningful contribution to his or her community, country or the world. If you have memories, old or new, you would like to share, send them to me at
One of the things that continues to be a happy surprise for me is the spirit of creativity that seniors exhibit in my classroom. Betty Malone has been in many classes at the college where I teach, and her work speaks for itself.

She has numerous and varied interests which you will see portrayed in the images below...

whether traveling (a simple subject, enhanced with special effects)...

restoring and collaging old pictures...

creating images of new beginnings...

or working with pictures of beloved grandchildren, both traveling and...

just being themselves...
she does such a great job of preserving and enhancing all of those special memories.

Thanks so much Betty for sharing these images with us.

Niebuhr said, "It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life!"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Star Spotlight

Our students are doing a lot of exciting things and we're looking forward to featuring their impressive accomplishments every Saturday in our Star Spotlight.

Today, we are proud to shine our “Star Spotlight” on Norma Howard Lane who is  an avid traveler and photographer.

Norma Lane is approaching her 80th birthday and would be the first to tell you, “I've been into computers and photography longer than the Internet itself.”

Norma connected with Dave Berry (one of our photography contributors) at a meeting,  and told him, “By all means feel free to share the photos from my website on your Blog. I am proud of the photos I’ve been able to take over the years. I started hiking in the Canadian Rockies after undergoing knee and hip replacement surgery and as a result have become a much happier and healthier person.”

Norma highly recommends the Canadian Rockies as a vacation destination “especially if you are a photographer.”

Norma has taken beautiful photos at Banff National Park, Yoho National Park, Jasper National Park and Glacier National Park to name just a few. Dave said, “Norma is an excellent photographer. Her landscape photos are fabulous. She sure caught my attention. I now have the Canadian Rockies on my vacation wish list.”

Thank you Norma for sharing and God bless.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mind/Body Connection

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.

The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

For the next few weeks I would like for us to take a look at the Mind/Body Connection. No, we won’t be studying any hocus-pocus, but rather some sound scientific research. Being aware of the Mind/Body Connection is very important, especially as we age.

The belief that our thoughts and actions can influence our health–the Mind/Body Connection–is not a new concept. Over the years, in certain circles, this notion was an accepted fact. Research in the latter half of the 20th century, however, has shown that this long-held belief is actually true.

But what does this belief really mean? It’s probably safe to say that wishing for a gold Rolls Royce won’t suddenly make one appear in your driveway. But there is significant evidence to suggest that coordinating the interaction between our minds and bodies can result in amazing things. Lifelong learning plays a major role in this because it helps balance both your mind and body. And when things are in balance, you feel better and have the ability and desire to create a rich and satisfying life.

Technically, the study of the Mind/Body Connection goes by several intimidating labels certain to demolish anyone playing Scrabble with you. Among these names are such polysyllabic nightmares as psychoneuroimmunology, psychophysiology, neuropsychology, and psychoneuroimmunology. We’ll opt for a much shorter abbreviation of the last one: PNI.

In the 1960’s, one of the early pioneers in the study of modern day PNI was psychiatrist George Solomon. He observed that depression seemed to make rheumatoid arthritis worse. He then began investigating the impact of emotions on immune function in general. His research was responsible for the development of the new field of PNI.

Then in the late 1960s and early 1970s, cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson began studying the effects of meditation on blood pressure. He developed the term “the relaxation response,” which today is recognized far and wide. Finally in the mid 1970s, psychologist Dr. Robert Adler’s studies demonstrated that cognitive and emotional cues could affect immune response. Thanks to his research PNI was finally recognized as a legitimate medical specialty.

Since these early discoveries researchers everywhere have been studying PNI. Over the ensuing years, PNI has demonstrated its value in three different research areas – physiological research, epidemiological research and clinical research.

More on this very interesting subject next week…

John C. Lilly, American physician, psychoanalyst, philosopher and writer said, “In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.” Well, if that’s the case, then we all have the ability to create meaningful later lives for ourselves – lives that are enriched and far more exciting than we ever thought possible. Lifelong learning is one important tool that can help us create that life.

Till Next Time…

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Angels Explained By Children

Bill Witcher will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

My sister-in-law Libby sent me this post. Angels are a mystery to all of us, but as usual children have a practical take on this subject like most things.

Smile while reading!!

I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold.
Gregory, age 5

Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it.
-Olive, age 9

It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
-Matthew, age 9

Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
-Mitchell, age 7

My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.
-Henry, age 8

Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!
-Jack, age 6

Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.Daniel, age 9

When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath again, somewhere there's a tornado.-Reagan, age 10

Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.-Sara, age 6

Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.-Jared, age 8

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.-Antonio, age 9

My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.

-Ashley, age 9

Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.-Vicki, age 8

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Irish Blessings to You in 2012

My husband and I have many Irish relatives and I have always been fascinated by that culture. That is especially the case with Ireland's poetry and blessings. Here are just a few:

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

An Irish Prayer
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Bless This House
Bless this house, o Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out.
Bless the roof and chimney tall,
Let thy peace lie over all.
Bless the doors that they may prove
Ever open to joy and love.
Bless the windows shining bright,
Letting in God's heavenly light.
Bless the hearth a-blazing there,
With smoke ascending like a prayer.
Bless the people here within...
Keep them pure and free from sin.
Bless us all, that one day, we
May be fit, O lord, to dwell with Thee.

May neighbours respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Inspiring Words

Bill Witcher, co-founder of Computer School for Seniors will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.

“The Thoughts in Your Mind Will Always be More Important Than the Things in Your Life"

In a golf tournament a while back, one of the seasoned Pros only needed to get down in two from 12 feet away to qualify for the Fed EX Cup Championship. For a professional golfer, that’s no big deal. Twelve feet, 2 putts. No problem. Four putts later, his ball was in the cup and he was out of the finals of the championship. His terrible putting cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When asked what happened, he admitted that the 12 feet on the green was not the problem. The six inches between his ears is where the problem occurred. He lost his concentration and allowed negative thinking to ruin a great opportunity.

John Maxwell says in his book, Today Matters, that your attititude can give you a winner’s perspective or it can make you a loser. It’s our choice. Our actions will follow our thoughts.

On June 28, 1939, Joe Louis defended his heavyweight boxing title against Tony “Tow-Ton” Galento in Yankee Stadium. Galento wasn’t a particularly talented fighter, but he could take a punch and he was a big hitter. In the second round, Louis knocked Galento down and seemed to be controlling the fight. But in the third round, Galento knocked the champ down.

Louis immediately jumped back to his feet and went after his opponent. When Louis went to his corner, his trainer chastised him: “You know you’re supposed to take the full count when you go down. Why didn’t you stay down for nine?”

“What!” answered Louis, “and give him a chance to rest?” Louis pummeled Gelento so badly in the fourth round that the referee stopped the fight.

In today’s competitive culture , everybody is looking for an edge. Top athletes and top businesspeople alike know that—all things being equal—attitude wins. But this is also true: All things not being equal, attitude sometimes still wins. Possessing a great attitude is like having a secret weapon.

Your Attitude—Not Your Achievements—
Gives You Happiness

Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth-century poet and critic, stated, “He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.” He understood that contentment was generated internally, based on attitude.

The thoughts in your mind will always be more important than the things in your life. Fame and fortune are fleeting. The satisfaction that comes from achievement is momentary. The author of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes observed, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase.”

You cannot buy or win happiness. You must choose it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday's Munchies

Many of us are wonderful cooks and generous about sharing our recipes. Mondays are for "make it happen" people. What could be a better way to encourage each other and create than to share what is going on in our kitchens.

A Real Treat!

Here is another gem from the kitchen of Patti Berry. A little something to bake that will stick to your ribs!


This is a delicious cake that isn’t too sweet, but it is very pretty with the ribbons of raspberry jello and real raspberries throughout! YUM! You can make it in a sheet cake so it is easy to cut into 24 servings or make it in a bundt pan for a pretty presentation! If you are looking for a lighter cake, use the powdered sugar dusting…but I say GO FOR IT and enjoy the cream cheese frosting (good on almost everything in my opinion!!)

1 package yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1+1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 T bsp flour
1 pkg raspberry jello
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat on low speed for one minute and then on medium for another minute. Add the cream cheese and beat on medium for two minutes. Put the raspberries in another bowl and toss with the flour until coated. Drop the raspberries and the jello mix onto the cake batter and gently fold them into the batter, do not mix completely, it should appear marbled in the bowl. Pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan or a 13x9 cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until it tests done. If using bundt pan, cool in pan 10 minutes and then turn out onto serving platter, dust with powdered sugar. If using 13x9 sheet pan, frost with cream cheese frosting or dust with powdered sugar for a lighter cake.

Frost with a cream cheese frosting, or you can simply dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla3 3/4 - 4 cups powdered sugar

Mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and then the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until it reaches the desired consistency…perhaps a little more or less than called for here.

Our special thanks to Patti Berry for this delicious munchie idea!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Internet Magic

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters. From time to time, she will
be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information,
maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

So one evening you’re watching the classic movie channel and enjoying one of your favorite old black and white movies. “Who is that actor?” you say to your wife (or husband). “Oh, I know who that is, but I can't think of his/her name!” Sound familiar? So we play a guessing game. We rack our brains and throw out a few names. My husband is apt to say, “Oh, yeah! That’s ‘what’s his name’.”

So you wait for the credits to roll. Then one of two things happens. One, since there were no commercials, you have to head for the restroom as soon as you see “The End” come up on the screen. (Ever notice that the new movies don’t say “The End” anymore?) Or, two, the credits run alright, but they are so teeny tiny that you can’t read them – even if you get up and put your nose right up to the screen. Well, darn. How will you ever know who that actor was?

GOOGLE! Just go to your computer and Google the name of the movie. Say, “State Fair” made in 1945. Try it and identify the picture below.


Or, “Slattery’s Hurricane” made in 1949. Same thing. Google it.


My sister and I flew to Cancun, Mexico for a 5-day vacation on the Yucatan Peninsula. It was wonderful. One day on the way to a snorkeling adventure, the van driver stopped suddenly on a back road. There along the road in the underbrush were several raccoons, along with another animal that looked like a raccoon, but had a long tail like a monkey. The van driver told us what it was, but with his accent, we couldn’t quite get the name. Then my sister remembered that she often googles answers to crossword puzzles when she gets “stuck.”

When we got back to our hotel, we went to the business center where free Internet service is offered and googled “Mexican raccoon-like animal.” Google took us to this web site: Click on the link and see the results for yourself.


Now mind you, my sister only googles answers after she has exhausted all other options – her brain and her precious crossword dictionary. But when things “niggle” at you for just so long, you have to know! That’s when you Google.

I wonder what ever happened to Encyclopedias. I suppose they are on the Internet now. Let’s google it and see what happens!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dirt Muffins for Monday's Munchies

Many of us are wonderful cooks and generous about sharing our recipes. Mondays are for "make it happen" people. What could be a better way to encourage each other and create than to share what is going on in our kitchens.

Delicious Treats

Last year a group of students in one of my classes at a local community college in Dallas started the delicious tradition of bringing treats for our break. On the last day of class we were talking about how we would miss these excellent treats and someone came up with the idea of sharing them on the blog which is where "Monday's Munchies" got its start.

This week we are bringing back that great idea. Today we will feature "Dirt Muffins" contributed to us by Patti Berry. Patti is a marvelous cook. She has worked for years in the capacity of a volunteer by taking her wonderful baked goods to a hospital near where she lives. She has a real talent for baking along with a big heart!

DIRT MUFFINS (Makes 12):

1+3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
16 filled chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
(I always use Doublestuff Oreos)

Topping:3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sugar
5 cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies,
finely crushed (remember the Double stuff Oreos!)
2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine
2 squares or cubes of vanilla bark
1 Tbsp shortening

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In separate small bowl, beat egg and milk and applesauce, stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in COARSELY chopped cookies. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.

For topping, combine flour, sugar and finely crushed cookies. Cut in the butter until crumbly, sprinkle about 1 Tbsp over each muffin. BAKE at 400°for 15-18 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. In a microwave, melt vanilla chips and shortening until smooth (30 seconds at a time at full power, and stir). Drizzle over cooled muffins. Makes 12 muffins.

A special thanks to Patti Berry for helping us kick off the 2012 Monday Munchies on our blog!!