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Moonstruck

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Ever since I was a child of eleven (1957), twelve, or thirteen years old I have loved to watch the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Which ever year it was it was the first time I saw an eclipse. I don’t remember my exact age, but I do remember the eclipse. I can still see it in my mind’s eye.

I was enchanted.

I remember standing in my backyard with my dad watching the eclipse looking through a shoe box pinhole camera and/or two layers of silver emulsion fully exposed and developed black and white film.

It was so exciting to see the shadow of the earth on the sun. From that moment on I was hooked on the sky.

So it should come as no surprise that on Saturday, April 4, 2015 I was outside in the early morning darkness and the freezing cold weather taking pictures of the partial lunar eclipse.

This particular eclipse is the shortest of all Blood Moon lunar eclipses this century!!! However, Blood Moon is used only for a full eclipse, which could be seen in the west. Here in the Mid-west we only got a partial eclipse.

Nevertheless, I set my clock for 5:45 a.m. After several cups of hot tea I was outside by 6 a.m.

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The eclipse was set to begin at 6:15 a.m. It was right on time! You can just barely see a small piece of the eclipse on the left in the picture below.

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Then the moon ran south west across the sky. I much prefer when the moon sets in the north west sky as the view is mostly trees and moon as you can see from this December, 2011 Picture Essay Moondance.

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But this moon tracked toward the north and the shopping center and electric grid that powers my condo. Not a pretty background. But that is Mother nature for you!

About 6:30 a.m.

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Long view below

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A few minutes later. The moon is now starting to show some golden red.

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Approximately 6:35 a.m.

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Long view 6:35 a.m.

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Close up

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6:45 a.m.

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Close up of picture above.

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6:50 a.m.

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6:53 a.m.

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I was not able to get any more pictures after this one as the sun was fast rising.  The sky became lighter each minute and the moon began to fade. The moon was also partially blocked by the electric grid. So no further decent shots could be taken.

Nevertheless the lunar eclipse was phenomenal. And again I was enchanted, even if my fingers were ice cubes.

“Some times I think of the sun and the moon as lovers who rarely meet, always chase, and almost always miss one another. But once in a while, they do catch up, and they kiss and the world stares in awe of their eclipse.”

Author unknown
Quote found on SearchQuotes and credited to sandymtz

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Featured Recipe           Crusty Lemony Garlic Pork Loin Chops

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You will like this quick and easy week night dish. The thin chops is what makes it quick. It does not take long for them to cook.

The lemon just makes this recipe sparkle.

This is what you will need for 3 people

6 boneless center cut pork chops

½ cup bread crumbs

Nice handful of fresh curly parsley

2 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder [Or more to taste.]

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons butter

1 large lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Salt and pepper the chops.

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Wash, dry, and finely dice the parsley. Generally I use flat leaf parsley, but for some reason I like how the curly looks in this dish.

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Mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and chopped parsley in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

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Put the eggs in a bowl large enough to hold the chops. Lightly scramble.

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Then put the flour in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

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Now place the plates in the following order: flour first, then the egg, and last the bread crumbs.

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Lightly coat each chop first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs. Gently shake off any excess and place on a plate.

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Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium to medium high heat, depending on how your stove cooks. Add chops and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden on the outside and cooked on the inside.

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NOTE: If you do not have a skillet large enough to fit all six chops keep the done chops in the oven on the ‘Stay Warm” feature while you cook the remaining chops.

When all of the chops have finished cooking place them on a platter. Melt the butter over very low heat in the skillet you fried the chops, scraping up all the crispy bits on the bottom of the skillet.

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Place the chops on a serving platter and pour the butter over the pork.

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Those of you who thought I had forgotten the lemon raise your hand.  rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-smiley-emoticon

Now cut that lemon in half and squeeze all the juice over the chops.

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Serve with potatoes and a salad.

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Bon Appétite

Cost

6 boneless pork chops         $4.59

½ cup bread crumbs           $0.76

Nice handful parsley            $0.11

2 eggs                               $0.54

1/3 cup flour                      $0.18

1 tbspn garlic powder          $0.14

2 -4 tablespoons olive oil      $0.68

5 tablespoons butter            $0.50

1 large lemon                     $0.69

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $8.19

Cost per person = $2.73

Quote of the Day

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.

Clement Stone

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Living To One-Hundred

 

The headlines blare at us: “How To Live Longer.”

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However, in newspapers, magazines, and at the doctor’s office the list of to do’s  to achieve longevity are many and mostly negative :

don’t smoke, drink more water, restrict calories, eat less fat, consumer more antioxidants, eat dark chocolate, drink red wine, eat more vegetables and fruit, exercise more, get 8 hours of sleep, floss, watch less TV, lower cholesterol, lose weight, yada yada yada………

However, some recent research seems to throw all of this advice out the window!

According to researchers at Albert Einstein College of medicine in New York longevity is genetic.

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Those who are lucky enough to qualify for a telegram from the Queen have simply been dealt a good genetic hand at birth, the study indicates.

Academics studied almost 500 people between 95 and 109 and compared them with over 3,000 others born during the same period.

They found those who lived extremely long lives ate just as badly, drank and smoked just as much, took just as little exercise and were just as likely to be overweight as their long-gone friends. [Emphasis mine.]

Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent, The Telegraph newspaper

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1 terms 2I find this all very interesting since I believe most things in life are genetic. Therefore, I believe how long we live is mostly genetic too.

What does this all mean?
This is my take.

No matter what genes I have I live in moderation. I eat what I want. But I eat less of it. Portion size is more important than what you eat.

I exercise in moderation too. I do less ‘formal’ exercise and more life exercise – cleaning house, walking, and gardening.

I am also more of a positive person and and mostly very happy. There is also research that shows people who are happy and positive live longer too. But that topic is for another day.

What do you think?
Do you even want to live to 100?

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Featured Recipe    Spring Mix Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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I wanted something new and different to Welcome in Spring this year. So instead of the usual spinach with strawberries and poppy seed dressing I decided to use Spring Mix Greens. In addition to strawberries I added in some avocado and almonds.

This is a great salad to serve with lamb, ham, or beef.

Now we are talking spring.

If only the weather would cooperate now.

This is what you will need for 2 large salads or 4 small salads:

For the Dressing

1 small onion or ¼ of a large onion

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup vinegar

1 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

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Here is what you do:

Grate the onion into a bowl using a microplane fine grater.

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Add sugar, dry mustard, salt and vinegar to the onion. Using a whisk blend well.

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Add the salad oil a little bit at a time and blend well after each addition.

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Almost done.

Almost done.

Smooth.

Smooth.

Pour into jar or container. Gently shake. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

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NOTE: I did not forget them. I add the poppy seeds just before pouring onto the salad.

Shake well again before pouring over your salad.

For the Salad:

About 6 ounces spring mix greens

1 avocado

10-15 strawberries

1 small red onion or ½ of a large red onion

Slivered almonds to taste

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Wash the strawberries and slice. Peel and cut the avocado into semi-large cubes. Cut the onion into small slices.

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Place the greens in a large serving bowl.

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Toss in the strawberries, avocados, and onions.

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Give the salad a quick gentle toss with your finger tips and then top with some almonds.

Add the poppy seeds to the dressing and gently shake. Then top with the poppy seed dressing.

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Ahhh the looks and tastes of spring!
Bon Appétite
Cost

For the Dressing

1 small onion                         $0.15

¾ cup sugar                          $0.36

½ tsp dry mustard                 $0.08

1 teaspoons salt                     $0.01

1/3 cup vinegar                      $0.15

1 cup salad oil                       $3.20

1 tsp poppy seeds                  $0.93

Sub Total                              $4.88

For the Salad:

About 6 oz spring greens        $2.79

1 avocado                              $3.29

10-15 strawberries                  $2.05

1 small red onion                    $0.36

Slivered almonds to taste        $0.16

Sub Total                               $8.65

Total cost =                     $13.53

Cost Two Salads = $6.77 each

Cost Four Salads = $3.38 each

Quote of the Day

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!

Mark Twain

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13 Lucky Life Lessons

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  1. Never ever lick a steak knife.
  1. The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it, except for American Sniper.
  1. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
  1. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.
  1. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”                            shutterstock_9722380-conve
  1. How is it that the typical liberal preaches tolerance, yet is so easily offended by anything I say???????.
  1. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. (That goes for political views, too.)
  1. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”
  1. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
  1. You should not confuse your career with your life.
  1. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter or janitor, is not a nice person.
  1. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
  1. Your friends love you anyway.

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Featured Recipe           Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

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This is an old, old, old, old recipe. The first time I can remember eating it was in the sixties at a party. I loved it so the hostess – whose name I cannot remember anymore – gave me the recipe.

It used to be all the rave.

Almost every party I went to in those days these divine shrimp were served. This was the “in” recipe for a long time at least in my circle of friends. I gave the recipe to at least a dozen people over the years. Now I share recipes on Twitter and Facebook.

It is quick and easy and ever SO delicious.

This is what you will need for 16 shrimp:

16 already cooked shrimp

1 clove garlic minced or pressed

½ cup chili sauce

8 slices of bacon

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Here is what you do:

Press the garlic.

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Add the shrimp and using your fingers gently toss the garlic and the shrimp together.

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Pour the chili sauce over the mixture and gently mix till all shrimp are well coated.

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Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, gently stirring once or twice.

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When you are ready to serve the shrimp fry the bacon………

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………..until it is just limp.

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Cool slightly for a minute or two or three and then cut the bacon slices in half.

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Then wrap each shrimp in a bacon strip. Secure with a wooden toothpick.

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Place the bacon wrapped shrimp on a baking sheet.

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Broil or bake at 550 degrees 2 to 3 inches from the heat source until the bacon is crisp, about 3-5 minutes.

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Hot from the oven. These tasty little eats are best served hot.

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Place the shrimp on a platter with extra chili sauce for dipping.

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Dripping with chili sauce.

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Betcha’ can’t eat just one!!!
Bon Appétite
Cost

16 cooked shrimp                 $10.06

1 clove garlic pressed           $0.04

½ cup chili sauce + extra      $1.56

8 slices of bacon                  $1.60

Total cost = $13.26
Cost per shrimp = $0.82
Quote of the Day
Luck is believing you’re lucky.
Tennessee Williams

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