Back To School Week


As a former teacher I beleieve that school and education are vitally important to a democratic and strong republic. But I also reconize the limitations. Even those of us with education degrees can’t always tell who will be succesful and who will not. There are just too many varaibles.

It is always important to keep that in mind. So with that in mind, lets play…….


 Can You Name These Failures?

1. Teachers said he was unteachable, addled, dumb, lazy, talked too much, couldn’t sit still, lacked focus, and day dreamed too much.

2.  She was an unemployed single mother on welfare. Twelve publishers rejected  her manuscript, a story that, “just fell into place,” on a train ride.

3. He made it to age 62 and had begun collecting a retirement check without success. Nevertheless, he still spent two years traveling all over America looking for someone to buy his product.  He made 1010business calls before someone did.

4.  He had a speech impediment, did poorly in school and failed 6th grade. He also failed the entrance exam to a military academy, not just once, but twice. He was defeated in his first campaign to elected office.

5.  As a young man he went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman, a lawyer, and in politics.

6.  He was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate school and ranked 15th out of 22 students in chemistry. 

7. He did not speak until age four and did not read until age seven. In primary grade school many of his teachers thought he was mentally challenged or retarded. One teacher went so far as to say he “would never amount to anything; was mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.”

8. He was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He went bankrupt several times in his lifetime.

9. He struck out at home plate 1,330 times.

10. He went 0 for 5 his first time at bat with the Milwaukee Braves.

11. Twenty-seven publishers rejected his first book.

12. After his first screen test, the memo from the testing director at MGM Studios read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”

13. His first company went bankrupt. He went broke five times.

Colossal failures all!!  

Or were they?

I report. You decide.

Number 1 is Thomas Edison

He tried 2000 times to create the world’s first successful light bulb before finally doing so. When asked about it, he replied, “I never failed once……….It just happened to be a 2,000-step process.”

Today Edison is considered to be one of the greatest inventors of all time.


2. J.K. Rowling

Author of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter books. Need I say more?

3. Col. Sanders

After retiring he spent two years traveling all over America looking for someone to buy his recipe for fried chicken. He succeeded on his 1010th try. Kentucky Fried Chicken survives its creator.

4. Winston Churchill

He became Prime Minister of Great Britain during WW II. He went on to lead Great Britain in her darkest hour and along with FDR and the allies helped defeat Hitler. He is now considered one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

5. Abraham Lincoln


He did manage to get elected 16th President of the United States. He is considered by many, if not most, historians, as the greatest American President.


6. Louis Pasteur

He went on to be one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. ….. he discovered that microorganisms cause fermentation and disease; originated the process of pasteurization; and developed vaccines against anthrax and rabies. Text from Bio True Story.

7. Albert Einstein

Despite late developing verbal skills he did go on to learn a little bit of math. See. You just never know.  It is not true that Einstein flunked math. He just wanted to do math HIS way and so he had disagreements with some of his teacers.

His most famous discovery is the theory of relativity, E=MC2.

First introduced in a 3-page paper in 1905, the theory was so revolutionary it couldn’t be proven until more advanced technology was available years later. Text from Bio True Story.

8. Walt Disney

In addition to being a producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, he was an innoavator in animation and in theme park design. Who can forget Mickey Mouse, Donnald Duck, The Sorcer’s Apprentice, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White?

9. Babe Ruth

Though he is well known for years as having the record for most home runs in baseball (714), he also held the record for most strike outs for many years too. (1330)

10. Hank Aaron

The man who beat Babe Ruth’s record, with 755 home runs, Aaaron still holds that record. I refuse to count anyone who claims that title today because of the taint of steroids. Ruth and Aaron did it the old fashioned way. They earned it! They are the only two who deserve the title in my book!!


11. Dr. Seuss

After that first book, To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street was finally published, Dr. Seuss went on to write, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham, Grinch, and Lorax, to name but  a very few. And he enriched our lives with all of them.


12. Fred Astaire

Some people claim this story is just folklore. According to Wikipedia, “Astaire later insisted that the report had actually read: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances. In any case, the test was clearly disappointing, and David O. Selznick, who had signed Astaire to RKO and commissioned the test, stated in a memo, “I am uncertain about the man, but I feel, in spite of his enormous ears and bad chin line, that his charm is so tremendous that it comes through even on this wretched test.”

13. Henry Ford

His first company, The Detroit Automobile Company (1893) did go belly up because as he said later he spent more time on the mechanics of a car and not enough on marketing. Ten years later he started the Ford Motor Company, created the assembly line, paid his workers a decent wage so that they could buy his cars, thereby helping to create the largest and most prosperous middle class in history.

You remember that middle class, don’t you? You know the one that many of us used to belong to.

IN CLOSING: Don’t give up on your child if they do get not A’s in every subject  in school or do not get glowing recommendations from teachers. Encourage. Support. Demand their best, what ever that is. But also give your children time to grow and find where they fit in. Some times it takes a little bit longer than you think.

I often wonder what would have happened to Albert Einstein today in our hyper-high-stakes-testing atmosphere we have in schools today.
Think about it!!!
Featured Recipe       Macaroni & Cheese with Easy Fish

It will take me longer to give directions for this recipe than to actually make it. It is extremely easy and not complicated at all. I love Macaroni and Cheese with fish. They just seem to go together. I think they are a perfect pairing for cool, crisp fall days.

Like with bread I might as well not eat pasta of any sort. I should just glue it onto my waist and hips and call it a day.

This is why I actually only made enough Mac and Cheese today for one – me. If I fixed any more than this I would finish it ALL tonight, even if it meant getting up at 2 a.m. to finish it off.  So I must make as little as possible! Lead me not into temptation.

I will give the ingredient list for three people and figure the cost for three people as well.

This recipe for Mac and Cheese is a very basic one. You can easily double it.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

6 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

2 cups cheddar cheese

9 drops Worcestershire Sauce

Paprika, optional

Here is what you do:

I complete this task before I start anything else:

Cook the macaroni in salted water for only 6 minutes. I use the microwave as a timer. Do not over cook the macaroni. It will cook more in the oven so you really want to cook it al dente. That is why 6 minutes.

During this six minutes take ½ teaspoon of the butter and lightly butter a casserole.

Drain and rinse the macaroni under cold water to stop the cooking. I have the water running before I even pour the macaroni into the colander. Make sure it is cold.

When the macaroni is drained and cold melt the butter in a saucepan.

Stir in the flour…….

…..and mix with a whisk until smooth.

Add the milk all at once…………

 …………..and stir continuously with a wire whisk until the sauce is smooth and is beginning to thicken.

You can tell when the sauce is beginning to thicken as it will start to cling to the whisk. It will look something like this.

Now add the cheese and the Worcestershire Sauce ……………

…………………and blend till smooth.

To the already buttered casserole add the macaroni and the cheese sauce and mix well.

If you are using the paprika sprinkle some on the casserole now.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for ½ hour.

 While the macaroni bakes start on the fish.

Easiest Fish Ever

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most delicious. This is certainly true for this fish recipe.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

 ¾ to 1 lb pound of fresh or frozen fish fillet such as sole, flounder, tilapia in one piece or 3 smaller fillets

1-2 tablespoons butter or cooking oil

A little salt and pepper

A little flour

Lots and lots of fresh lemon juice

You probably noticed I listed lemons in the ingredients, but there are none in the picture. I am so forgetful. And it is not old age. I was like this a a child too.

Here is what you do:

Pat the fish dry.

If the fillet is one large fillet then cut the fish into three pieces.

Sprinkle a little flour, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish and pat to coat.

Melt the butter or oil over medium to medium high heat.

Add the fish and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side………  

…………….or until golden on both sides.

By now the Mac and Cheese should be done.

Plate the fish and squeeze plenty of fresh lemon juice over it. Serve with a side of the Mac and Cheese. I also served with some steamed broccoli with garlic butter.

Each bite is so delicious!!!!!


Bon appétit


Macaroni and Cheese

6 oz. elbow macaroni                        $0.66

1 teaspoon salt                                      —

1½ teaspoons butter                         $0.22

2 tablespoons flour                            $0.07

1 cup milk                                        $1.20

2 cups cheddar cheese                      $3.39

9 drops Worcestershire                     $0.15

Paprika, optional                               $0.18

Total Cost = $5.87
Cost per person for 3 people = $1.96

Easy Fish

¾ to 1 lb pounds fish                         $5.99

1-2 tablespoons butter                       $0.30

A little salt and pepper                       $0.10  

A little flour                                      $0.14

Total cost = $6.53
Cost per person for 3 people = $2.18 
Total cost for both recipes = $12.40 
Cost per person for 3 people = $4.13

Quote of the Day

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.

Babe Ruth


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