Blogging With Julie

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Blogging With Julie

Julie blogging snap shot_small

I’m so happy you are here with me and I hope you will stay awhile.

I believe that the world is a small place and that we are all connected.  What affects one part of the world eventually spreads to the other side.  I think that we all need to look out for each other.   I do think that there are wonderful people out there and I wish I knew you.  I am happy to say that I do know a few of you.

I am more interested in quality than quantity.  Life is short and let’s just enjoy it until our time here is over. I don’t live  for the afterlife I live for this one.  My life has flown by and I am over a half century old.  So until it’s time to go I’ll be blogging my way forward.  

Thank you for joining me.

Blogging With Julie

Julie Lancaster-Whann

My dream is that we women put aside our own insecurities and support each other.  Quit competing with one another.  I want women to go as far as they can possibly go.  I may not go very far but I sure hope that you do!

IALITTLETCUP_small

For Current Blogging With Julie Continues…..

CLICK HERE

(For past blog posts see the Julie Blogs at the top of the homepage bar, or chick on the links below.)

Julie Blog

Julie Blogs Page 2

Julie Blogs Page 3

Julie Blogs Page 4

Julie Blog Page 5

Julie Blogs Page 6 Archives

Julie Blogs Page 7 Archives

———————————————————————

Blog Posts Start Right Here

————————————————————————–

April 30, 2016
Julie Lancaster Whann 5
What It’s Like to be Cyber-Stalked
I have been the victim of a cyber-stalker for the past TWO DECADES.

I started a blog page earlier this week in an attempt to expose the stalking that I go through and have for the last 2 decades.  At LEAST two decades.   Although we think it goes back to the very beginning of his working for a major software company. 

  His name is Paul.

Gordon and I want to expose him as the sick criminal that he is so that he can go to jail and will never be able to do harm to me or anyone else for that matter.  As I said, his name is Paul and he was my husband’s best friend growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Paul uses the tools and techniques that he learned on the job as a computer tech working for a certain corporation, to stalk me online.  He reads my email, he disables my accounts online, he sabotages my website so that it doesn’t always work correctly, he locks me out of it whenever he feels like it, and he even takes it down when the mood strikes him. 
He is a very sophisticated hacker.  He is 53. 
Paul is a sociopath. 
He targets me because there is just something sick inside of him that attracts him to me.  Paul has no life.  He has never been married, no spouse, no children, and therefor no responsibilities other than himself.  He makes a lot of money doing what he does and therefor has unlimited funds to spend on buying the latest technology that he then uses to stalk me.  He has cost Gordon and myself tens of thousands of dollars over the past two decades.  As I said, Paul is a sociopath.  Sociopaths have no feelings for anyone.  Paul will never feel regret or remorse for anything that he ever does to me, or anyone else for that matter.  Sociopaths can also be quite charming and if being charming gets him what he wants, then he will use it.  Sociopaths can pass any polygraph test with ease, which is why polygraphs are inadmissible in a court of law.  We cut ties with Paul almost a decade ago for what he was doing to me.  So far this week, ever since I started writing about him, he has brought down my website for almost an entire day, locked me out of viewing it and working on it two days in a row, rerouted it so that people can’t find it on the net, etc. etc. etc. 

Paul has no life, no friends, and I don’t think his family has very much to do with him.  A few years ago Gordon called up Paul’s mother to tell her what Paul was doing to us in the hope that she would talk to him and try and convince him to leave me alone, and all she said was, “Just get a new computer.”  Wow.  What grand advice.  Just get a new computer.  She wasn’t the least bit upset by what Gordon was telling her.  It didn’t bother her one bit that her son was stalking his former best friends wife online.  She wasn’t the least bit alarmed by any of this.  How pathetic!.  I guess I see where Paul gets it from.  And just to be clear, it doesn’t matter what kind of computer we have.  He can get into any of our accounts from his own computer/s. 

If my website goes down and you can’t access it, it’s him.  If a page you click on is blank and the content missing, it’s him.  If links are broken and videos disabled and photos distorted, it’s him.  One thing he loves to do is roll back my counters on our videos so that we can’t rise up in the ranks and get any money for our video’s.  We have discovered that the video’s that we create on our computer and then put on Youtube he doesn’t seem to be able to mess with those counters, but the video’s that Gordon has made in our Youtube account, he rolls those counters back all the time.  We may have a video that gets 200 clicks in the first few weeks, only to have Paul roll the clicks back to 24.  Then the video will do well and we will rise in numbers, then it’s back to 24.  This is what we live with all the time.  I was informed by the security company that monitors/protects my website that Paul had went to a lot of trouble to create a duplicate WordPress login.  They referred to it as the ‘I love you’ login as that was the name of it.

Funny thing is, Gordon and I don’t know which one of us he’s in love with.

Paul is a Hater

Paul started to become very dark in the early 2000’s.  He would send me all sorts of anti -this and anti- that material.  Paul is a hater.  He hates gays, liberals, democrats, feminists, Government, Muslims, etc. etc. etc.  He started calling me a “Evil Librul Baby Killer.”  Although I don’t recall ever killing any babies.  But then again, his “ilk” views birth control as murder.  Yes, Paul is a religious extremist and I am not.  I don’t hate people like he does so therefor he gets mad at me for not hating.  He would send me all this propaganda trying to convert me over to his way of thinking, and when that failed, he started coming after me.  His kind generally does.  They believe in ‘Freedom of Speech’ when it’s for them, not anyone else.  Paul lives for what he perceives to be his reward in heaven when he dies.

  He sees himself as ‘God’s warrior’ fighting against the evil in this world…………………………..ME, apparently!  Yes, aren’t I terrible? 

Blogging about gardening, craft ideas, recipes, holiday……Oooooooo….

DAMN THAT JULIE LANCASTER-WHAAAAAAANN !!!  

(Clench fist and wave in air toward sky while screaming.)

Like I’ve said before, Crazy people think with Crazy brains. 

Paul does have his triggers.  He reads my email and when he sees something that he doesn’t like that is when he strikes.  For example, many years ago when the Rev. Jerry Falwell was still alive he said publicly that all gays should be killed.  I was so appalled by that I wrote an email of support to the LGBT Headquarters, I believe I sent it to their Washington, D.C. office but I’m not sure.  They were kind enough to write me back expressing their gratitude for my email and I was told that they even read it aloud at their morning meeting.  The very next day I woke up to turn on our computer and it was disabled.  PAUL had done it overnight.  You see, Paul had given us that computer as a gift to Gordon, right after 9/11 expressing his gratitude for his service to our country.  Gordon is a retired Navy Chief but was still active duty at that time.  We had to get the computer fixed, paid a good $250.00 or thereabouts, and when we got it back every single photo was deleted forever, all my email gone, every project that I had photographed to store online for a future book, just GONE!  Paul deleted years worth of photos before he crashed the computer.  Of course at the time I wasn’t connecting the dots.  I knew he was in my email and even some accounts, but I didn’t realize that he had access to the entire computer!  You see, when he gave us that computer he had an additional one built for himself that mirrored the one he had built for us.  They were both built to his specifications.  He never had to hack into the computer he gave us, he walked right in the backdoor with a KEY!  Nothing was ever private on that computer.  He could look at every photo, read every document, walk into every account that we had online. 

And there was nothing that we could do about it.  He had access to everything!

Because he always would monitor my email, he would read something that he didn’t like about every 2 months, then disable the computer and we would then have to go out and have it fixed again, usually spending around $250.00 to get it back up and working.  Slowly but surely all the grand features of the computer no longer worked.  He was able to permanently damage things that could never be repaired again by anyone. 
The thing is he wanted us to continue getting it fixed so that he could then swoop in and ruin it again, and again, and again. 
We believe that Paul feels God-Like when he does it.  He has the power to delete whatever he wants to, and power to control our online lives.  You see, he can’t control me off-line, so he tries to control me online. 
Paul is a very sick person that will never leave me alone.  He will never just one day wake up and decide to do something significant with his life.  He lives for heaven.  He believes that everything he does to me, and probably others like me, will just get him further and further to being Jesus’s favorite.  Or Yeshua, as he calls him.  He most likely has targeted other websites of people that he despises.  LGBT groups, Democratic groups, Muslim groups, Government agency’s. 

Isn’t that right, Spir..??

I am Passive/Aggressive by nature. 

I’ve been passive for 2 decades, now Paul gets to meet the Aggressive!

I may lose years worth of work on my website if Paul decides to go that far, he may end up costing us tens of thousands more money than he already has, but I know that no matter what happens, I need to do this!

Julie

p.s.  Does BD BH mean anything to you Paul?

————————————

April 25, 2016

Julies garden cake_small

Our Weekend Garden Desserts

potting bench cakes

Who knows?  Someday we might ACUTALLY use our potting bench as a potting bench?

But until that time, food looks GREAT on it!

delicious cakes from the garden

We spent last weekend doing some sweets cooking.

Of course, I pretty much use the same old food ingredients, I just make them look differently.

Julie outdoor bench _small

Sugar Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix

Blue dye added to the vanilla frosting mix.

close up of the garden cake_small cakes herbs flowers_small

Now accent with some lovely flowers and you have something spectacular!

mudpie cupcakes with bugs_small

My Mudpie Cup Cakes With Bugs

close up of mudcakes_small see the legs_small

I created these.

They just remind me of getting outside and planting herbs, plants, and flowers into the soil, finding Earth worms and all sorts of squirmy things.

SPRING IS HERE

I simply used the same sugar free Devil’s Food cake mix from above, sugar free chocolate frosting mix, some smashed up Oreo cookies, some lovely green lemon balm herbs, and I added a very special ingredient, BUGS!

mudpie cupcakes with bugs 2_small

Chocolate Covered Bugs!

You can even see their legs through the chocolate.  Kewl, huh?

Hey, don’t knock it!  Bugs may be all there is to eat in the future.  AND there will be no chocolate to coat them in.  The Cocoa trees will be non-existent.

Enjoy it while you can!

Pretty blue garden cake_small toppings for garden cake_small

Veronica’s Garden Cake

I took my daughter over this one to her house.

(I didn’t tell her I set it outside with the bugs, otherwise she wouldn’t eat it.)

Blue hard rock sugar topped the cake with some jelly belly’s.)

You don’t need expensive things, just make something cheap LOOK expensive!

 

——————————————–

April 17, 2016

Back From the Condo

cant a person take a nap_small

I’m exhausted!

Can’t a person take a nap?

I was out at the condo for a week, the weather is getting nicer, I got a lot of work done, between computer hacks, that is. 

I wanted to share with you some of my “condo” food.  I tend to pretty much eat the same things, I just rearrange them differently.

perfect dinner_small

This is my favorite dinner.  And yes I know, it’s my roasted garlic again on whole wheat, whole grain bread with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, and lots of herbs from my garden.

herbs from home_small

Flat leaf and Curly Parsley, Along with some Oregano and Chives

My Basil Died on Me This Year!

(I always bring my herbs with me.)

herbs on tv dinner_small

Even when I just cook a pasta t.v. dinner, I still load on the herbs and serve with my leftover bread from above.

FYI:  Parsley aids in digestion so eat up!

—————————————————————————

Got it from Publix_small

I usually always run into Publix on my way to grab one of these cheese, tomato and onion tarts.  Also some of their little Parmesan toasts that I can add some Bruschetta to, along with my herbs. 

But now comes my favorite!!

my favorite pizza_small my leftover marinated artichoke hearts_small

My favorite pizza, Amy’s Roasted Vegetable, No Cheese, Pizza.

I can remember when I first tried it.  I asked Gordon to buy me some veggie pizza to take out to the condo years ago, and he came home with this.  I read the label and I was upset. 

NO CHEESE!!  NO TOMATO SAUCE!!  WHAT IS THIS????

But then I tried it and it is my FAVORITE!

I do usually add a few things to it to jazz it up though.  My marinated artichoke hearts that I snack on with crackers, and some of my herbs.  Not to mention I pretty much sprinkle garlic salt on most everything anyway.

perfect pizza_small

So Delicious!

adding my home grown herbs to my dinner_small

And yes, I do choke everything with my herbs. 

———————————————————–

But now it’s time to head home.

crispy snow peas and green tea to go_small

My lunch in the car going home was a bag of crispy snow peas and a green tea soda from the Asian store.  I have an hour and a half drive home.

—————————————————————————-

Now That I am Home

 I want to tell you something about what I go through all the time, and have for the past two decades.

I HAVE A STALKER/HACKER

Yes, I am finally going to talk about him.  I was reluctant to do so, I just wanted to wait until the time was right. That time is coming. I feel like it’s time I started talking because that is what you do when you are being stalked and harassed.  I’ll write more about that soon but here are a few of the details.  He has been my hacker/stalker for the past 2 decades.  He reads my email, hacks into my website, into my accounts on my computer.  He even gave us a computer in 2001 that he had specifically designed and had made himself, and he did it just to spy on us.  He was able to look at every photo, read every document, and even disable the computer anytime that he wanted to, and he would do it about every 2 months. 

My husband has known him since childhood but we parted ways with him nearly a decade ago because of what he does to me.  His name is Paul.  He works for a major software company and has since the early 80’s.   Our security that protects our website was unable to find him in our website for years but now they finally have.  They say that he is a very sophisticated hacker and they can tell that he spends a lot of time trying to disable our website, or get back into it.  In other words, they say his attacks on me are very “personal”.  They also say his strikes are very surgical in nature.

I once wrote a friend of mine about how much I hated guns and went into an explanation of my biological father once strapping on his holster and guns and then pretending to be Clint Eastwood from some spaghetti western, then coming into the room and aiming the guns at me when I was a baby, sitting on my mother’s lap.  After he pulled the trigger a few times my mother said he had a look of horror on his face.  That is when he realized that he never checked to see if they were loaded or not.  My mother divorced him shortly after that. 

Long story short.  Less than 2 weeks after I wrote my friend that letter, I received in the mail 15 DVD’s on guns.  Mainly, spaghetti westerns.   Sent to me anonymously. I knew it was him.

My hope is to someday see him in jail where he can’t harm me of anyone else for that matter.  According to my website security company, his password that he used to create and access my accounts is, I LOVE YOU.

Terrifying, isn’t it? 

That’s not love, that obsession.  Love is healthy, not hazardous. 

There is nothing to protect women like me from stalker’s online.  I’m hoping the laws will come eventually.  Until then I will speak out until someone listens to me.

Julie

p.s.  Most of the time when my website gets hacked, it’s him.  I’m sure my writing this will prompt some punishment towards me from him.  He always retaliates.  But FINALLY I’ve got people that are listening to me and are realizing how dangerous that he is.  The reason he targets me is because I am a woman that speaks out, and men like him hate that!  So to all women, and men out there that are being harassed, I stand with you.  So please stand with me.

None of us should have to go through this.

If my blog becomes disabled, like my last one did, it’s him!

————————————-

April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Grammaw

Nellie Mae and Me_small

Nellie Mae and Me, 1962

April 12, is my grandmother’s birthday. She is deceased now as of 2000. Today she would have been 103. Hey, it’s been known to happen!

Nell

She died from a second heart attack while she was in the hospital in Rome, Georgia. Right before she died the nurse said she was sitting on the side of her bed, dangling her bare feet, and talking with the nurse. My grandmother was a social butterfly. She just couldn’t lie there and be still. She had to get up and talk to find out what was going on. The doctor said that her heart exploded and that it was a very nice way to go. I remember thinking at the time that the doctor can’t be serious? Having your heart explode is a nice way to go? But as the years progressed I realized exactly what he meant. She died quickly and in an instant, it was over. No lingering illness, no deterioration, she went out as sharp as a tack. Her mind was intact. My mother thinks that the reason my grandmother stayed so sharp is because she played cards all the time. Whether playing bridge or canasta with her friends, or if she had no one to play with then she played solitaire by herself. She always seemed to have a deck of cards in her hand.  (The brain is a muscle and if you don’t use it, you lose it.)

Emma Eliza

Emma Keith

Her mother, my Great-Grandmother Keith, died at age 96 from breast cancer. Grandmother Keith lived alone and was able to take care of herself up until the day she died. Same with my grandmother, same with Honnie, same with my Great-Aunt Margie. None of us in my family ever grew up seeing any of our loved ones health deteriorate. We never witnessed any pain and suffering of our loved ones. So I am realizing that having a heart explode really is a nice way to go. But I don’t want to spend this time talking about her death, I wanted to tell you a few things about her life and my close relationship that I had with her.

Grandma Nell and me at Bent Tree_small

Nellie Mae and Me

Bent Tree, Georgia

She owned a lot here and we would go every summer to spend the day and picnic and swim.

V and B Bent Tree_small

Young Brodie and Veronica

Nellie Mae Keith Haskin was the closest person to me in the entire world up until the day she died when I was less than one month shy of my 40th. birthday. She even bought my birthday gift for me that arrived right after she died. The last gift that I received and it was a vintage Hawaiian quilt. Just what I needed to wrap around me and make me feel comforted, and that’s exactly what I did when it arrived in the mail.

Young Nellie Mae

My grandmother was a character. She was very funny, but she didn’t know it. She was just being herself. She was one of 4 children born to Emma and Lucius Keith in Gaylesville, Alabama. Nellie Mae, Opal Lucille, Raymond Joseph, and Brodie Rondo. Baby Brodie died of diphtheria when he was 11 months old. My grandmother also had diphtheria when she was 2 but she survived. They thought she would die, but she didn’t. They say she survived out of sheer stubbornness. I believe them. I visited Gaylesville, Alabama several years ago and if you blinked you missed the town as you drove through it. I think there were just 2 stop lights.

Emma’s Children

Baby Nellie Mae_small Baby Opal Lucille_small Baby Brodie Rondo_small

From left to right:  My grandmother Nellie Mae, her sister Opal Lucille, and their brother that died at 11 months, Brodie Rondo.

I don’t have a baby picture of their brother Joseph Raymond.  I named my own son after baby Brodie above.

My grandmother is the only one that is smiling in their baby photos.  She was always very friendly and a social butterfly.

That is me and my grandmother to the right of the photo.  She gave me a cruise for my graduation from high school.  I am 18 in the photo.  We are aboard the Norwegian ship, The Song of Norway.  Wonderful cruise!  Dominican Republic, San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands!  Had a blast with the most important person in my life, my grandmother.

My grandmother made herself out to be such a lady that you couldn’t imagine her having to do anything the least bit laborious. But I’ve been told that in her youth that she could strangle a chicken, pluck it, cut it up, and then cook it for dinner. That woman did love to eat! If I were to compare myself to her and I had to do those things back in her day, I probably would have been the first vegetarian in the south.

I found out in my 30’s that my grandmother could drive a stick shift car. I was surprised to learn that. I started out at 17 with a stick shift and those are the only cars I owned up until I was about 46, then I owned my first automatic car. That was a hard adjustment for me. But in her day all they had to drive were sticks.

I don’t know when the Keith’s migrated over from Alabama to Georgia but it was when my grandmother was still in school. She met and married my grandfather, Franklin Ellwood Haskin, and they had only one child, my mother, Mary Keith. There is of course, a long history of information but I am not writing a novel right now. I just wanted to honor my grandmother on her birthday.

So I present to you a few stories about her because this is the woman that I love and remember the most.

Grandma Nellie Mae_small

What you do at 16, they hold Against you at age 60

I am here to attest to you that the south is very slow to change. I know this from personal experience. I have heard all the stories of various men and women throughout the south that my grandmother either knew personally, or had heard about. She had passed those stories down to me, not that I particularly cared, but she did. And so did everyone that she knew.

One day back in the early 80’s, before Gordon and I had gotten married, we were having lunch with my grandmother at some restaurant that I cannot even remember the name of. My grandmother and I were sitting at a table. My grandmother always would sit in the chair that faced the entire restaurant, especially the door. She never wanted to miss anything. She had to see who was coming, and who was going. So as we were sitting there I saw her look up as she noticed someone enter the restaurant. She then said to me, “Look out. Here comes the boyfriend stealer. You better keep your eye on Gordon.” She had motioned with her head to the front door. I turned around and I saw a woman that must have been in her 60’s. I then exclaimed, “THAT OLD WOMAN? I’m hardly worried, Grammaw.”

She then replied. “Ohh, look at her. She’s already got her eye on Gordon.” She motioned to Gordon who was piling food on his plate at the buffet. I told my grandmother that, “I’m pretty sure she’s just eyeing the salad bar, Grammaw.” But my grandmother insisted that I should be worried. When Gordon came over to our table I told him the story and pointed out my competition. Which he replied by bursting out laughing. Turns out the woman had stolen a couple of boyfriends in high school and therefor must pay the price of always being the eternal “boyfriend stealer.”

I myself am the “Christmas Present Peeker.”

Julie and Johnny Christmas 1970_small

Me with my little brother, Johnny.

So I know what it’s like for what you do at age 8, to be held against you at age 55. Yes, I did the unpardonable sin of peeking at my Christmas gifts when I was 8 when we were living in Dahlonega, Georgia. I tried to carefully remove the scotch tape on the Christmas wrappings that held my gifts. I thought I was successful, until my mother noticed the mess that I did. I then got a good scolding and a few threats of Santa Clause never visiting me again because he was so disappointed in my actions. Funny but I did notice that Santa Clause had the same handwriting as my mother. I also noticed that Santa also owned the same Christmas wrapping paper as we did. So I figured out it was all a fake when I was 7.

When I married Gordon and we were living in Florida in 1985, it was our first Christmas together, my mother called us at 8:00 a.m., waking us up, to ask how I liked my Christmas gift? I told her that we were still asleep and hadn’t opened any presents yet. To which my mother replied, “Yeah, but we know you peeked.”

I’m pretty sure that I will be accused of peeking at my Christmas gifts up until the day I die. Because I am, and will always be, the “Christmas Present Peeker”.

I love my grandmother and I miss her so much. Most everything I do is because of her. I found out in my 30’s that she was 4 years older than my grandfather. Funny, but I am 4 years older than Gordon. She made my happy, she made me laugh, she made me feel good about myself when there were so many people trying to make me feel bad about myself.

—————————————————————

When my grandmother gave me advice on marriage she said,

“Sometimes you just need to be miserable, and be happy about it.”

————————————————————————

With gems like that I see why ‘Advice Columnist’ was never in her future. Although in looking back, I do see the brilliance in that statement. She was on to something. Perhaps that is the key to staying married for so long. So many get divorced at the 10 year mark after all.

The woman owned 50 pairs of beige shoes.  When you looked into the floor of her closet all you saw was a sea of beige.  Whenever we left the house she was usually wearing two different beige shoes on her feet.  To which we would burst out laughing when we noticed it later on in the day.

Whenever we were out doing some shopping together or running some errands she would always ask me, “Do you want me to buy you a ‘Happy Lunch’ from McDonald’s? I would then tell her that I was 23 and that I can buy my own “Happy Lunch” if I want to.

I will also never forget the time that she fixed me up with the ‘bug spray guy’. She arranged a date for me with her bug exterminator without telling me. I was so upset about it and I got mad at her for doing it, so we left the house for 24 hours so that he couldn’t find us. Nellie Mae and I were on the lam. Turns out he looked for us for days. When we got back I forced her to cancel his services.

Then there was that time that she accidentally drugged me with her prescription cold medication that knocked me out for an entire day.  But we won’t go into that now.

Julie and Veronica at Grandmas grave_small

Me and Veronica

Placing flowers on their grave.

Frank and Nell Haskin

Frank and Nell Grave_small

Happy Birthday Grammaw,

Julie

p.s.  It’s the characters that we miss the most, even when they drug us.

———————————

April 8, 2016

Argentinian Shrimp for Dinner

Argentinian shrimp_small

Martini Glasses Filled with Shrimp

Gordon Rimmed the Gasses with Old Bay Seasoning

shrimp option 2_small

Reminds me of something out of a Tim Burton movie.

Japanese Wasabi Paste added to the Cocktail Sauce

This is my kind of dinner!

Gordon is egging me on_small

Gordon Egging me On

 A heads up on what is to come.

No More Yellow Walls!!

option 4_small

The last of the yellow, soon to be.

Have a Super Duper Weekend!

Julie

———————————–

April 3, 2016

Can I Stack Dishes, or What??

can I stack dishes or what_small

Never underestimate my ability to balance lots of dishware and pots on top of each other.

I once employed a baby sitter years ago to watch my children, I also told her that I would pay her extra if she washed my dishes for me, as there were a lot of them.  When I came home I was disappointed to see that she hadn’t washed them all, so I asked her, “Why”?  She said there was no more room in the drying rack.  I quickly educated her on the fact that there is ALWAYS ROOM IN THE DRYING RACK!  You just keep going up!

The ignorance of youth……

Julie

———————————-

April 2, 2016

Why Smart People are Better Off with Fewer Friends

Click above to read.

I totally agree!

Julie

————————————-

April 1, 2016

April Fool’s Day

Although I have no trick up my sleeve this April Fool’s Day, I did want to post an old photo from my past.  While posting the photos below of my little brother Johnny’s birthday, from when we were living in Dahlonega, Georgia, I did come across this one.

Flashback Friday

Dahlonega, Georgia Edition

Julies birthday party sleepover in Dahlonega_small

It’s a photo from my birthday party sleepover.  I was in the 4th. grade so I think that I am 10 here.

WOW!  45 years ago!!

I miss these girls.  They were the best girls I ever knew.  My step-father was the only doctor in town.  We moved the following summer to Roanoke, Virginia so that he could go to surgeon school for the next 4 years.  I never saw any of them again.

So let’s see if I can remember their names.

L to R

Front row:  Julie Marlowe, Edith Head, Cindy Bickley

Back row:  Tammy, Alesha Gaddis, Anne Catherine Folger, Me in the very back center with the pony tails, towering over everyone else, Monica Moore the little girl in the very front of me, and the blonde girl to the right is Shannon.  Sadly, I cannot remember the other girl’s names.  The one beside me in the green her name may have been Toni.  I do remember having the most fun with all of them.  Most of them were in Camp Fire Girl’s with me, and my mother was our Camp Fire Girl leader.

Thanks for the happy memories,

Julie

p.s.  I do remember telling Cindy Bickley that there was no Santa Claus and getting in trouble with her parents for doing that.  Cindy chose not to believe me.  So see Cindy, I was right!!!

Correction:  I did go back to Dahlonega a few years later and Cindy Bickley threw me a surprise party.  Thanks, Cindy!

—————————–

March 31, 2016

March 31, 1969

The Day My Spotlight Dimmed

baby Johnny is born_small

Happy Birthday to my Little Brother Johnny

He is 47 Today

(You can see how thrilled I am in the photo above to now have to share that warm and wonderful spotlight with a co-star.)

Julie and baby Johnny_small

Julie and Johnny in Dahlonega,

(birth place of the ‘Golden Boy)

Making baby Johnny laugh_small

But he did start to grow on me.

Julie and Johnny in Dahlonega_small

Julie and Johnny

So happy birthday Johnny, over there in Ireland, I hope your day is great!

Julie

p.s.  I LOVED that faux leather dress.

——————————————

March 29, 2016

Our Easter Weekend

Happy Easter tulips_small

I hope that everyone had a very nice Easter weekend.  Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope yours was a good one.

The Easter Story_small

Our weekend was fun and very busy.  We did manage to sneak in a few episodes of the Free Range Cook, Kiwi, Annabel Langbein, on CREATE TV.  Thoroughly enjoyed the episodes.  See post below.  I am so envious of her lifestyle and her creativity.

Julies pedestal sink outside_small love my outside sink_small

Gordon did finish our final backyard landscaping project for the spring, this outdoor bathroom pedestal sink.

This was all my idea.  I wanted it to do double duty and be a sink for my potting bench, and a fountain as well.

The water drains out the back when used as a sink, or it recycles the water when used as a fountain.

Easter egg pink_small Easter pink and pink_small

AS You Can See, I LOVE Pink!

Julies pottery bench_small

I am so enjoying this new part of our backyard.

Julie and Veronica backyard Easter 2016_small

Veronica and I in our backyard.

————————————

Julie’s Drunken Lemonade

(Pretty much sums up the drink)

lemons limes and lemon balm_small

This Drink Starts off with  lots of Lemons, Key Limes, Limes and Lemon Balm

Julie making our drunken lemonade_small

Making my Drunken Lemonade

Julies Drunken Spring Lemonade_small garnishes of limes lemons and lemon balm_small

Cool, Refreshing, and Delicious

My drunken lemonade drinks_small

Just put them in ice and they are superb!

Add sliced lemons, limes and some of the lemon balm herb.

Excellent drunken lemonade_small

Perfect for Outside

Our new backyard sink fountain_small

Right in front of my new outdoor sink/fountain!

I mean, come on, who else has one??  

Veronica Easter_small Veronica and Brian out back_small

Veronica and Brian

Veronica and Brian Easter 2016_small

——————————————–

We had a duck and a rabbit for Easter dinner.  We really like duck but we had never eaten rabbit before.

  Well, guess what?  I LOVE IT!  I feel so guilty!  Rabbit is so good!

I was hesitant to buy it but then I realized that it was already killed and in this box, so why not?  It’s not like they are killing a new rabbit for me.  The rabbit was already dead.

(The things we justify in our heads, huh?)  

I LOVE rabbit now_small I love rabbit_small

I Did Make the Deviled Eggs

Julie making deviled eggs_small Julies colored eggs_small

Julie’s Deviled Eggs

my deviled eggs for Easter_small

Our Easter Dinner

our Easter dinner 2016_small

This meal could have never happened if it weren’t for Gordon.

Gordon cooking our duck_small

Gordon Washing our Duck

 DSC_0954_small DSC_0913_small

The Best Cook/Chef in the World

My flowers and bench_small

Happy Easter

Julie

—————————————

March 26 – 27, 2016

Easter Weekend

Annabel Langbein_small

Annabel Langbein

Be sure to check out New Zealand Kiwi, Annabel Langbein, on the Create TV.  She will be featured throughout the weekend.

I’ve been reading about her for years in the magazines that my Kiwi friend Trish sends me, The Australian Women’s Weekly, New Zealand Edition.  Now she is showing here in America and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Rarely does someone come along that I get excited about.  I like her, and I love her lifestyle.  She is a very talented woman that I hope to learn a lot from her.  I like that she gives back through charities.  Trish is sending me one of her cookbooks and I can’t wait to receive it.

But until then I can console myself with her beautiful website.  She puts mine to shame.  

Annabel Langbein Official Website

I also posted her Easter Newsletter if you care to read it.

Annabel’s Easter Newsletter

So Happy Easter Everyone,

I will be watching her this weekend, between all the Easter things I have planned.

Julie

Oh, here is the Create TV website so that you can find the channel in your area.

CREATE TV

—————————————–

March 25, 2016

A Tisket A Tasket, Our Dinner’s in a Basket

a dinner in a basket_small a delicious puff pastry dinner_small

This recipe will be on our new ‘Outdoor Easter’ post soon.

coloring eggs 2016_small Julies Easter Eggs and basket_small

Coloring Eggs?  Check!

Have a great Easter!

Julie

———————————————–

March 25, 2016

Flashback Friday

Easter Edition

Julie Easter 1967_small

Me, Easter 1967, Rome, Georgia

Julie Easter Sunday_small

If my mother hadn’t given me these photos then I would not have known this little girl was me.  For some reason I just don’t recognize myself.  I don’t remember any of this.  This house must have been where my mother and I were living by ourselves at some point.  I am so thin.  I wasn’t thin growing up, I was always a bit chubby.  I must have been going through something that I just don’t remember.  A new house, a new school???  Who knows?  There were so many.

Happy Easter,

Julie

————————————————–

March 24, 2016

To Brussels

I’m sorry I haven’t posted sooner, I’ve been very busy.  This is my little contribution to Brussels, Belgium to let you know I am thinking of you.

We are on a few Belgium websites as external links because someone cared enough about us to post us over there.

Jackie DeShannon

jackie deshannon_small

What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love

by Burt Bacharach

Very Respectfully,

Julie

p.s.  I do realize this song is pre- global warming, but it’s still a lovely song.

————————————————

March 20, 2016

Pre-Easter Brunch

Julies potting bench_small

Our New Landscaping Project

Gordon built up this side of our house to adjoin with our outdoor fountain area.  This was my idea to create an area where I could do my outdoor garden work, have plenty of rain water to water our plants without using our sprinkler reclaimed water, and just a lovely area of our backyard.

Im wearing a petticoat_small

I’m Actually Wearing a Petticoat

When shopping around for an Easter frock I discovered this dress for only $39.00 at the base Exchange and it had a petticoat.  I then had flashbacks of childhood Easter’s past, and just had to have it.

Gordon and the timbales_small Timbale dinner on the potting bench_small

Gordon and Julie Potting Bench

hello hungry_small Julie stuffed cabbage timbale_small

Gordon and I cooked 3 Timbales.  These two are green and purple cabbage stuffed with an excellent Italian filling of pasta, Italian sausages and cheeses with our herbs.  Excellent Dinner!  I’ll be bringing this write up soon.

Our stuffed cabbage leaves dinner_small timbales on the potting bench_small

Green and Purple Cabbage Timbales

Stuffed purple cabbage timbale_small garden tool_small

We used a Garden Shovel as our Timbale Server

(It was new and hadn’t been used before.)

Seeds and Easter_small

There will be more Easter to come.  Gordon has an excellent project coming that was all my idea and I am very excited about it.  Of course, all of these ideas are mine.  I’m just lucky that I have a great guy that caters to them.

Have a great week!

Julie

——————————————-

March 19, 2016

Julies Cart at Lowes_small

I had the prettiest cart at Lowe’s last night, just had to take a picture.

Wonder what I will be up to this weekend?

reflection on our garage door_small

Upon reflection, it will be a busy one.

Julie

————————————————

March 17, 2016

Thinking About  Easter

Last year we did an Asian Easter and I LOVED it!

Our Asian Easter

Anyway, I was thinking about last year’s Easter and wanted to post this video.  I love this movie, Karate Kid II.  I also love this song, Glory of Love by Peter Cetera.

This year we will have a big Easter split into two weekends.  It’ll be fun!  It will be a Peter Rabbit Easter.

But until then I am allowed to dwell on my Asian Easter and this beautiful movie with these beautiful people, and this beautiful song.

I just wish I knew people like these.  I know they are characters in a movie but people like this do exist out there, I just don’t know them.  In this day of such political hate, I would just love to know people like this.

I am a bit bummed that Bernie isn’t doing better.  He would usher in change for the good, Hillary will just be the lesser of two evils.  If we don’t elect Bernie there is no other Bernie out there on the horizon.  It’ll be a long time before we have another Bernie, if at all.

Have a good weekend,

Julie

———————————————

March 14, is Einstein’s Birthday

(One of my intellectual crushes.)

Einstein_small

March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955

Believe it or not but I have his birthday written on my calendar every year.  When I buy a new calendar I write down the birthday’s of people that are special to me, and people that I admire, whether living or dead.  And you know that Alfred Hitchcock is featured prominently for August 13th. 

But today is all about Albert.  So I wanted to feature some of his quotes that mean something to me.  I don’t forget about people once they are gone.  Even those that I never met before, but yet they somehow left a mark on me.

———————————————

“I love Humanity but I hate humans”

(I am with you on that one, Al.)

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people that are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

“Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.”

“If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.”

I totally understand that statement.

(Although I have never been rich or famous and I cannot say exactly how that life would be.  I do know the joy of independence and anonymity.  I would not trade it for anything.)

Julie Lancaster-Whann

——————————————————————————————-

I particularly like this one:

During his Zurich stay the woman doctor, Paulette Brubacher, asked the whereabouts of his [Einstein’s] laboratory. With a smile he took a fountain pen out of his breast pocket and said: ‘here’.

— Albert Einstein

————————————————————————————-

March 14, 2016

Waking up the Backyard

and

Starting New Projects

waking up the backyard_small

If you think our yard looks perfect throughout the year then you are sadly mistaken.  Most things live through our mild winters, but most come out looking a bit worse for wear.

still charming_small

Still Charming

the pot that i ignored_small succulents_small

My Succulents

Once Christmas is over with we take a few months off and settle into our very short winter and we let everything go.  We do still water things but the upkeep is put on hold until now.  March is when we wake the yard up, start our projects and get back into the SPRING of things, so to speak.

new backyard landscaping end_small spray painting the gutters and painting the trim_small

Gordon has started a new landscaping project while I’m up on the ladder (wearing my sensible shoes), with a can of spray paint in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, painting the gutters and the trim around the house.   Just freshening everything up.

You will also notice leaves all over the place.  This is when we loose our leaves on our trees, in the spring.  The rest of the country looses theirs in the autumn months, but ours start falling off late January and into March.  It’s a huge mess right now but we are pushing ahead anyway.

cleaning up the back and starting a project_small working on our landscaping_small

Brodie Helping Gordon with the Projects

(When he’s not texting the girlfriend every minute.)

Brodie helping his dad_small texting the gf_small

Building a Patio Area for Working

Gordon and Brodie building_small

completing the project_small design in the project_small

Not yet finished, but it will be excellent when he’s done.

(This was another of my ideas in creating this area for me for when I garden.)

a preview of things to come_small

A Preview of Things to Come

I am ready to start planting_small i went herb shopping_small

I’ve Started My Herb and Flower Shopping

lemon balm_small spearmint_small

Fresh Lemon Balm and Spearmint

replanting my herbs for spring_small

I’ve Started Freshening up the Herb Garden

the dogs are tired and dirty_small

My dogs are tired and so, so dirty!

But what about dinner?  We have that shrimp from Argentina in the refrigerator.  We have to eat that up before it goes bad.

try adding Old Bay to the water_small ice on top of them_small shrimp out of the sink_small

Gordon cooked the shrimp two ways.  He did a shrimp cocktail and added some Old Bay Seasoning to the water that he boiled the shrimp in.  That way it gets seasoning in the cooking.  He then placed it onto a strainer over the sink, packed them in ice so stop the cooking and cool them down.

shrimp from Argentina_small ahh shrimp_small

The second way he cooked them was to sautee them in butter and garlic on the stove top, with some Old Bay Seasoning.

They were perfect!

Ahhhhhhhh_small

So is this!

Money well spent on a foot massage thingy.  It even heats up!

Yeah, right there.  Right there.  Ahhhhhhhh………

————————————————————————-

March 7, 2016

Our New Year Projects Have Begun

Gordon and I have started our projects for our backyard for the spring.  New landscaping projects, plantings, a new water barrel to save rain water, etc.

Our goal is to get this particular area finished by Easter.  Or rather, before Easter so that we can use it for Easter.

I am not posting any photos of any of it until I have the ‘after’ photos.  It looks so bad right now that I guarantee you cannot imagine the end results until you see them.  So when it’s all done I will post photos.

But I will post these photos as spring has sprung in our backyard.

my fountain girl_small

I love it when the azalea bushes are in bloom.

spring is in our backyard_small

our backyard is in bloom_small

I am so loving all of it!

Especially the little green critters that run amok.

my little green friend_small

Pretty, huh?  It’s looking at me…….

Julie

————————————————–

March 4, 2016

Flashback Friday Best Friends Edition

Sand Fun_small

My son Brodie to the left, Justin to the right, and Jason buried in the sand.

It was a fun week at the beach we all had while out at the condo when they were still in high school several years ago.  Best friends since junior high school.

I hope they will always have each other, especially in this day and age.

TGIF!

Julie

—————————————————

March 2, 2016

My Backyard Tenant, or Landlady?

my backyard neighbor_small

I took this photo on my birthday when I took the dogs out to do their “business”.  I was so excited as I love nature.  I love that I coexist with all sorts of backyard critters.  My backyard is more theirs than it is mine.  I’m just glad that they let me enjoy their backyard space.  I will always respect them.

Happy Hump Day!

Julie

————————————————–

February 29, 2016

Leap Day!

Ya know, when I was 19 I was dating a guy that was born on Leap Day.  I was 19 and he was 6.

Anyway……..

Why I am Voting for Bernie

Bernie Sanders 2016_small

Bernie Sanders Official Website

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday.  For those of you that don’t know, tomorrow is the day that Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia vote for their candidate in the Presidential primaries.  (I used to live in 3 of those states.)  The first to vote is always Iowa, then New Hampshire.  We just recently had the voting in South Carolina and Nevada.  (Personally, I think we should all go out and vote on the same day.  That way no one, or two, or three, states can dictate and persuade the rest of America on how to vote.  People tend to flock toward the ones that are leading in the first few states that vote, when they are undecided.  That isn’t necessarily a good thing in the long run.)

 But our system is set up this way because it can be manipulated easier, unfortunately.

So far the polls are trending toward Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R).

I am from a very informed political family that houses  a lot of political science degrees.  We would eat, sleep, and breath, all things politics.  I can name most representatives in congress and the senate.  Name every Supreme Court member and who they were appointed by, and if I were given some time I could eventually recite all the Presidents of the United States, and a few VP’s, though not all of them.  I adore trivia and I can tell you most everything trivia about our former Presidents.

The most ignorant thing that I would always get asked is, “Why are you so “into” politics?”  My reply, “Because all of these politicians make decisions that affect our lives, and our children’s lives, and our drinking water, and our food supply, and our ability to earn a living income.”  Perhaps if more people were “into” politics, then our country would be in a better state than it is.  Most of our politicians are like rats in the dark, scheming and plotting, but when a light is shinned onto them, they scatter!

Our political climate is so toxic that the only people that dare to venture into politics at this time are the people whose favorite room is the bathroom, the stinkier and smellier, the better.  Most of us couldn’t stand to live in that environment, much less thrive.  Kind of like belonging to the mob.  I’m sure there are some mobsters that aren’t as bad as others.  But they are still in the mob, aren’t they?  When my friends in Canada ask me who I vote for, I tell them, “I vote for the lesser of two evils.”  Because both parties are.  But one party is not as bad as the other.  There are a few good people in politics, but most are rotten.  Most are tools for the special interest who fund their campaigns and then expect legislature to then dictate whatever will benefit them, not us.

Right before Christmas Gordon received an email from someone, (that shall go nameless) that was sending out their annual Christmas newsletter to all their family and friends.  But at the bottom of the email, this woman was begging people not to vote for Trump.  Gordon turned to me and told me about that.  I expressed shock, and I believe I said something like, “Really?  When did SHE wake up?”

You see, I wrote a similar email to several people back in 2004 begging them not to vote for Bush.  I then stated my concerns as to why it would be a disaster in my email.  This woman wrote back and defiantly expressed her wishes to vote for Bush and I’m sure that she did.  I also think that most everyone I begged not to, probably did as well.  The funny thing is, had it not been for a Bush, we would not have a Donald to worry about right now. If she didn’t listened to me, then why does she think people will listen to her?

I’m glad people are waking up to the reality of today.  But by the time most people actually see what is wrong, it is usually too late to fix it.  HOWEVER, there is hope in Bernie.  Bernie wants to usher in a political revolution that will forever change politics and have it work for the LITTLE GUY and no longer work for THE BIG GUY!  WE will finally be in charge of our lives and not waiting for whatever scraps the big establishment throws our way.  When you have power over your own body then you have the power to do whatever you want to.  Birth control got women out of the house and into the workplace.  We could all plan our own pregnancies and our careers at the same time!  We were no longer at the mercy of our bodies.  When we have universal health care, we can venture out and start our own businesses without the fear of having to stay somewhere that we don’t want to, simply because we need those benefits.  This is the power that Europe has!  With universal healthcare and the benefits that they have, it gives them more freedom in their lives to travel, start a business, have maternity and paternal leave when a baby is born.  Yeah, EUROPE is better off than we are!!  You know, in the greatest country in the world?  God bless America??  Actually, if HE is in charge then he loves Europe more than he does us.  Just sayin’….

About 4 years ago I was on the base getting gas when I noticed this very short man filling his car up with gas and he was looking at me.  I recognized him immediately.  He is one of the Presidential candidates currently running for the republican nomination.  I turned my back to him and proceeded to fill my car with gas.   He’s not worth my time and he’s certainly nothing to get excited about.  Have you seen their Presidential debates?  What grade are they in anyway?  I haven’t heard that language since Junior High School.

As V for Vendetta says, “People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, government’s should be afraid of their people.”  When the American people finally realize how powerful that they really are, then heaven help anyone that gets in our way.  And I mean power to control our destiny’s.  But as long as you make yourselves sheep, then the wolves will always be there to eat you.

If Bernie ends up NOT being the Democratic nominee then I will vote for Hillary, because she will be the ‘lesser of two evils.’  But with Bernie, we can revolutionize our political system and it will work for us!  This man cannot be bought!  This man cannot be bribed!  This man cannot be intimidated!!  This man can save all of us!!!  If we just support him!

So come on all of my 5 regular readers!!!   (Or thereabouts).  Let’s get out there and support Bernie!  O.K.  so I have more people in France that read my website than America.  But if they could vote I’m sure it would be for Bernie!

I’m with ya Bernie!!!

Julie

——————————————

February 28, 2016

And the Oscar goes to………

Julie black phone and feather_small option phone

Julie Lancaster-Whann for Best Website!!

I Just Got My Phone Call!!!

Oh, my goodness!  Thank you so much!  It truly has been such a journey.  I know that I had some stiff competition!  We will be turning 5 this July.  I so want to thank the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow for her “efforts” in trying her best to put out a popular website.

Gweneth Paltrow for her website, Goop.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop

She is such a soldier for her “attempts” at besting me.  Let’s all give Gwyneth a big round of applause for trying.

I adore you Gwyneth!  Really I do!  You are such a trooper!

But don’t fret, you have that acting career to turn to now.  Yeah, and didn’t you already win an acting Oscar anyway??

You have such a bright future ahead of you, (IN ACTING).

Good luck to you Gwyneth!

With love,

BarefootInFloridaWithJulie.com

(But you can just call me Julie.)

There, there…….

——————————————–

February 24, 2016

My Favorite JUNK food!

all we need are tortilla chips now_small

This is a weakness of mine!  It starts out healthy and then takes a wide turn to the junk side!  But nonetheless, I wanted to share it with you as I think you may like it as well.

a favorite junk food_small my beaten up wok_small

I start out by making red beans and rice according to the package directions.

This is my favorite wok pan.  Gordon is always threatening to throw it out as it is all beaten up and not the best looking pan.  But I make the best chicken tacos in this wok so I keep insisting that we keep it.    I don’t care what it looks like.  But I can cook great things in the wok, so it stays!!

red beans and rice step one_small the ingredients for this_small

When the red beans and rice are finished cooking, I place them into a pie plate.

(BTW:  Beans and Rice are the most perfect meal you could ever eat.)

Next:  I spread sour cream all over the top of the red beans and rice.

spread the sour cream_small McCormicks taco seasoning mix_small

Once all the sour cream has been spread all over the red beans and rice, I then add a layer of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, then I top it off with a sprinkling of McCormick’s Taco Seasoning Mix.

best junk around_small omg good_small

Eat with tortilla chips!

Perfect Weeknight Junk Food!

Julie

——————————————–

February 23, 2016

It’s Tuesday

I know I’ve been a bit ‘dark’ lately.  So here’ a picture of my lunchbox!

decoupaged a box Asian_small

I decoupaged this beauty a few years ago by using some graphics I got off the internet.

Asian Lunchbox_small Green tea wasabi peas and crispy rice treats_small Green tea things_small

I used it to carry mine and Gordon’s lunch over the weekend when we ran our errands.

Julie Gordon lunch_small California sushi_small

Snake thing to the left, and California sushi, to the right.

So don’t worry, all is right in the world.    For Now……..

But life reflects art, and we are living in interesting times and we are facing very serious problems, and instead of us working together to solve them, we have special interests sending out their water carriers to herd the sheep this way, and then herd the sheep that way, so that nothing will get done.  I hate that I brought children into this day and age because I fear for them.  As much as I would like grandchildren I’ve told my children to think twice before bringing any into this world as they will have life so much harder than the rest of us.  Do we really want to do that to them?  After all, having children is a very selfish thing that we do.

As for me, I learned long ago how to work on my happiness.  When you are the new kid in school as much as I was you learn to entertain yourself.  I know how to make myself happy so I focus on those good things and I try and tune out the rhetoric that is all around me in our country.  Which is very hard to do during an election year.  I have a good husband and good kids and some very good close friends, so I turn inward and focus on all the good.

I think that Steven Colbert said it best when he introduced Donald Trump on his talk show as the LAST President of the United States.  

So if I am a bit dark it is because I see darkness around me, and I’m worried.  I don’t have faith in voting machines that have no paper trail with the republican that invented them having the only security codes to access them.  I don’t have faith in very many people anymore.  There is no more honor in people.  I don’t have faith in our politicians to do the right thing.

So sorry, I am a bit worried.  My husband’s job sends him traveling around the world and I want him to be safe.  I have a brother and his children that live in Europe and I want them to be safe.

I do believe in focusing on positive and we do have power over our own happiness.  I want to look toward that, but I also cannot ignore the serious issues either.   So this is a work in progress.  But hey, I’m in it for long haul.  Maybe we can help each other.

Your friend,

Julie

p.s.  And here is a picture of a my Spinach Mac N’ Cheese casserole that I created myself that I will be doing the write up for soon on one of our food pages.  So see, comfort food solves it all!

Julies Spinach Mac N Cheese_small

—————————————————–

February 22, 2016

Bernie Sanders Arrest Photo From 1963, he was 21!

Bernie Sanders arrest photo_small

Chicago Tribune Archival Photo

A young Bernie Sanders being arrested in 1963 protesting for Civil Rights.

Bernie Sanders Being Arrested

This photo says it all!  Bernie Sanders is willing to get arrested and go to jail fighting for YOUR rights!  Fighting for ALL of our rights!  And you have your doubts about voting for him??  This is the kind of politician that we all need!  One that is willing to fight for us and not cave into the “special interest”.

Do you seriously think that any republican candidate is willing to go to jail for our rights?  Come On!

Ever seen Hillary in handcuffs?  Not while giving 6 figure speeches to Wall Street?

I don’t know what kind of President that Bernie would be, but to me, this photo tells me what kind of person that he is, and that is good enough for me!

Feel the Bern,

Julie

p.s.  Everyone of us is descended from protesters.  Make your ancestors proud!

———————————————–

February 21, 2016

RIP

Nelle Harper Lee

Harper Lee_small

April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016

You were ahead of your time.  I admire people like you.  I wrote to you many years ago to your hometown in Monroeville, Alabama.

I first saw To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a small child at the drive- in movie.  I was in the backseat of the car, wearing my pajamas, probably with my grandparents, and scared to death of all the mean people in the movie.  In one scene in the movie when Scout is walking down her neighborhood street, she waves to this elderly woman sitting on her porch and the woman waved back and said to her, something like, ‘Hey there you ol’ ugly girl.’

Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird_small

Scout, actress Mary Badham, the real hero in TKAM.

I can remember being upset by that because I looked like Scout.

Julie Christmas stocking_small Julie Christmas scooter_small

Me, when I was about 4, in Rome, Georgia.

Harper Lee and I had a lot in common.  We both grew up in the racist south and it shaped our lives to become better people, not worse.   I had southern and Yankee blood in me.  Something that was frowned down upon by many a southern family.  If I dared to do something that was a bit, open-minded, then it was always dismissed by some as, “It’s that Yankee blood in her.”  As if that was something of a stain??  

I was so lucky to have been raised in a more independent thinking family.  When my mother was researching our southern roots we just assumed that they must have been all Confederate.  But guess what?  Everyone of them joined the Union Army!  Can you imagine how brave that was?  Growing up in the middle of the racist south but not letting that influence you?

As my mother said, “I guess that’s where we get our independent thinking from.”

Julie

p.s.  I think we need more Harper Lee’s out there.  Problem is, forward thinkers are never appreciated at the time.  They are usually scorned and not recognized as being the special people that they are.

————————————————

February 16, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me and Happy Valentine’s Day to You

Julie Valentine 2016_small

On February 13, I turned 55, that was Saturday.  Then, on Sunday it was Valentine’s Day.  The two usually blur together for me, but in a good way.  Instead of one special day a year, I get two in a row.  Growing up, my birthday themes were always of a Valentine nature.  Oh, I didn’t mind!  Because of that I love all things Valentine’s Day.  And not for the romantic stuff either, for the nostalgia of red velvet, cupids with arrows, paper hearts, roses, etc…..

pretty red dress_small

Me, Age One and a Half

(Wearing something red velvetty.)

I came across a name in Nigella Lawson’s biography of a friend of hers by the name of Valentine Guinness.  I thought that was the coolest name ever and if I were to ever change my name, it would be to that. Except I would call myself, Julie Valentine Guinness.

Julie red dress 55_small

——————————————–

my 55 birthday cake_small

My Birthday Cake, A.K.A. My Diabetes Cake

This was all my idea.  I do think that now it resembles something out of ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’.

I’m so lucky that I have a husband that caters to my wild ideas and goes along with such gusto.

——————————————-

i love my little stick trees_small

I do Love my Stick Trees

I still have holiday things out from Christmas that I just can’t bring myself to pack away yet.

my February trees_small

Yeah, I still love my Disney girls.  Although the focus here is mainly on Belle.

presents_small silver garland_small Pretty Disney tree_small

Belle was my niece Lola’s favorite princess.

Disneys Belle_small

——————————————-

55 birthday cake_small Julie close up option bday_small

I had a lovely 55!

—————————————

remove from oil and place onto a paper towel_small Step 3_small

My “Cake” is an 8 Layer Funnel Cake

Gordon making my cake_small

Gordon carefully making my cake.

pour into funnel type device_small pour into funnel device_small

We used both White and Devil’s Food cake mixes for this.  Although making a funnel cake does require a certain recipe to do it correctly.  Gordon simply added more eggs and egg whites making it more like a funnel cake batter.

it will be very stringy_small it will be a golden brown_small

This is a southern cake.  Most of the time only one layer is done and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

looks like little octapi_small Layer 8_small

I think we did too many layers here.  But it was good regardless.

Step 10_small my 55th birthday cake slice_small

Strawberry Preserves are also added in addition to the powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

my 55 birthday cake_small

———————————————————–

I wanted to write something in regard to my turning 55.

I know it may be odd but, here it is:

Julie Valentine 2_small

I’m so Mean, and I’m so Happy About It

(Please read the whole thing before you judge me.)

I know that is an odd subject heading for me to write, especially when this post is about two happy events, my birthday and Valentine’s Day.  But if you keep reading you will see why I decided to write about this as a bit of knowledge that I have learned along the way, that I wanted to pass along to you.  I said “I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it” to my brother Johnny on Christmas day when he called me from Ireland.  I can’t remember what we were talking about that prompted me to say that to him, but when I did, he understood immediately what I meant by that and agreed with me.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I seem to encounter on a regular basis a certain degree of, for lack of a better word, harassment.   Allow me to explain.  In the subdivision where I live we have ‘no soliciting’ signs before you even enter into our area, yet we, (my neighbors, and Gordon and myself) get solicited quite frequently with knocks on our doors from various companies that are trying to get us to hire them to mow our yard, spray toxic chemicals on our lawns to make them pretty and green, house cleaning services, tree trimming, and the religious, trying to solicit us to come to their church services.  Because this has gone on ever since we moved in to this house almost a decade ago, I went so far as to buy a sign and placed it on our door with the words, NO SOLICITING.

You would think that would do it, right??  WRONG!

 They either don’t know what it means, (it is a big word) or they just decide to take it as a ‘suggestion’, something that can be glossed over, or that it just doesn’t really apply to them and their service they are selling because in their minds, I will want to hire them once I meet them and have spoken with them.  Uh, huh…….

(And I am talking about ‘English as a first language’ people.  Not someone new to our country.)

Most people that ring my doorbell will say to me when I answer, “I’m not trying to sell you anything, BUT….”  Then having said that, they proceed to try and sell me something.  For example, we got a new roof right before Christmas, but for a month or longer prior to that, we had a blue tarp draped over the roof of our house being held down by sandbags.  So around mid-December I got a knock on the door from a man.  I opened the door thinking it was the owner of the company that we hired to replace our roof, but it wasn’t.  The man then said to me, “I’m not trying to sell you anything but I noticed that you have the blue tarp on your roof and I wondered if you needed any help in getting it fixed?”  Being the annoyed person that I was at being disturbed by yet another person trying to sell me something under the guise of NOT trying to sell me something, AND seeing as how it was Christmas and I was in something of a dramatic and theatrical mood, the hidden actor in me came roaring to the surface and I went straight into character for that Academy Award nomination with my performance.  I immediately  exclaimed, “Praise God!  Jesus has sent us a savior this Christmas!  You want to fix our roof for FREE!  It’s a Christmas miracle!!  Wait right here while I call my husband Jimmy Fred and tell him the good news!! You just saved us a lot of money!!   God Bless You!!!  I’ll be right back!”

And the Oscar goes to…………..

That is when he scrambled to his truck to get the heck off our property as fast as he could.  Gordon (a.k.a. Jimmy Fred) and I had a good laugh over that one.  

Now when someone comes to the door and they give me the, “I’m not trying to sell you anything, BUT….”  That’s when I stretch out my hand and say, “Good, so just go ahead and give me my free thing and then be on your way.  I’m busy and you are bothering me.”  To which they usually stand there with this total look of disbelief on their faces because they weren’t expecting that response.  Sometimes I even go far as to insult their intelligence by pointing to the sign and saying something about how I realize it is a big word and I’m not sure how much of an education you received, or that you even know the meaning of it but it means don’t knock on my door to try and sell me something.  Do you understand?  Are you o.k.?  Should I call someone??

Like I said, “I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it.”

The religious people are the worst because they think they have God on their side, and it’s their God given duty to recruit me into their church.  The same group of women have been knocking on our door ever since we moved in.  They come to the door every couple of months.  The first several years I politely told them, “No” and then shut the door.  Some of us in the neighborhood will call each other up to warn that they are here so don’t answer your door.  But after about 9 years of this you start to get a bit annoyed so I started being more firm with them, hoping that would stop them from coming to my door.  Yet they would still come.  And they say the same thing that everyone else says, “We’re not here to sell you anything.”  To which I reply, “Yes you are.  You are selling religion.  You are knocking on my door trying to get me to come to your church and when/if I do then you expect me to give money to your church by tithing.  So yes, you are here to sell me something and to get money out of me.”

Oh, they no longer knock on my door anymore.  You see, the last time they did knock on my door I decided to except one of their brochures they were passing out.  You could just see the excitement on their faces, they were so happy.  They gleefully handed me one.  I then asked to see their driver’s licenses because I just wanted to make sure that they were who they said they were.  They immediately understood and quickly went for their wallets to pull out their driver’s licenses to show me.  I looked at them and quickly memorized their names and addresses on their license’s.  They were smiling and so happy.  Pleased with themselves that they finally got to me. ‘ It was Jesus that helped us to melt this cold hearted woman’, and as they were smiling and so proud of themselves, that is when I went in for the kill.  “Now that I have your church address and each of your names and addresses, I am filing a complaint against all of you for harassment If you dare set foot on my property again.  Is that understood?  Or do you need a letter from my lawyer?  I am a Paralegal by profession, by the way.  Do I really need to get a restraining order against all of you?   Or do you want me knocking on your door for the next 10 years now that I know where you live?”  I then quoted their names and addresses back to them.

Any unwanted or unsolicited attention that we get is called harassment.

Like I said, “I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it.”

You know, my grandmother, if she were living, would be so upset with me writing such a blog post as this.  But she was living in a different time than I do.  When I was born in 1961 there were 100 million people living here in America.  I’m now 55 and they say that we have around 330 million now.  I was raised to be nice to people, be a “good” girl, and treat my elders with respect.  I learned things at church like, ‘strangers are just friends that we haven’t met yet.’  I raised my children to stay away from strangers and not to trust them.  Funny how it went from one extreme to the other in just one generation.

I hate that is has to come to this.  You know whether you agree with my methods or not, I didn’t start out like this.  Being nice and polite just encourages them to continue bothering me.  This is my private property after all.  My home.  I am entitled to my privacy.  This is the one place on Earth that I shouldn’t have to field off sale people.  And BTW, sales people by definition are con artists, the better the sales person, the better the con artist.  They are trying to persuade me to buy their product and they do it through manipulation.  I simply block them in their tracks.  The fact that I have a ‘No Soliciting’ sign on my door, and the fact that they ignore it, means that they have absolutely no respect for me, my property, or my wishes.  So why should I respect them?

I used to feel kind of guilty after I was rude to one of them, but then I realized that I need to quit thinking like that.  I have every right to not be solicited in my own home.  I think that sometimes being a “good girl” just encourages that unwanted attention and harassment.  Predators know which people to target, just like pedophiles know which children can be lured away or targeted.

I don’t know about anyone else but we get anywhere from 5 to 20 telemarketing phone calls per day!  (When we bought our home they were up to 35 a day!)  Here in America, if you get married, have a baby, buy a house, or refinance your home, you are then put on every call list in the country.  Oh, most of the time I don’t answer my phone.  And sure enough, these telemarketers never leave a message.  I was telling Gordon how bad it was with all these people calling all day long and how annoying it was.  But it wasn’t until he was sick one day and missed work, and as he is trying to sleep the phone kept ringing and waking him up.  He angrily got out bed yelling, “Who the hell keeps on calling?”  It was then that he realized how annoying that it was.  Some days I just turn off the ringer and then check messages every now and then throughout the day.  I never run to answer the phone.  Most of the time I just ignore it and if someone I know starts talking then I pick it up.  About a year ago one of those’ for profit colleges’ kept calling us for weeks.  Sometimes as much as 7, 8,  times a day.  Finally one day I did pick it up and let the poor girl on the other end of the phone have it.  I told her that I cannot imagine why she has nothing else better to do than to harass a couple of seniors in Florida that has no intention of ever attending that school to receive such a worthless degree.

(I’m passive/aggressive, if you hadn’t noticed.)

What is so sad about all of this is that this is what I experience in my own home!  I’m not at some shopping mall.  This is MY turf!  My property!  I’m not going to any of these people for their services, they are coming after me. Car dealerships even call us trying to get us to come in and buy a new car.   I’m sure that a lot of American’s probably experience what I do.  I doubt I am unique.  But when I am out shopping and a sales person does approach me I have a lovely line that I use that shuts them down in an instant.  I always say, “I don’t have any money.”  Whether I have money or not, I always say it because they cannot proceed to try and sell me anything when I say that.  There is nothing past that.  They usually just stand their with this blank look on their faces as I walk away.  You see, no one will ever say that.  No one is brave enough to say that.  No one will admit that.  No one wants people to think badly of them, or to know that they don’t have the money to buy that thing whether they want to or not.  But I don’t care what some sales person thinks of me.  And you shouldn’t either!

All of us are being harassed on a daily basis without even realizing it, I think because it has become so “normal” to us.  Maybe that’s why so many of us are so on edge, irritable.  Stressed out.  Overweight.  Yes, even overweight.  Without realizing it people turn to food during stressful times because chewing relieves stress.  Maybe next time you recognize that in yourself then try chewing some gum and not just eating for the sake of eating.

Also sadly I think there is something else at play here.  I think that nice and polite people are perceived as being weak by a certain large segment of our population.  If myself, and my property was given respect and consideration then I would certainly be a more polite person.  So when I say, “I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it,” what that means is that I stick up for myself.  That I don’t let all these people run over me.  There is no honor in these people, so therefor I have no desire to do business with them.  I’m certainly not being respected, so why should I offer my respect to them?

Most of the time no one in my neighborhood answers their door anymore and that is sad to me.  I don’t answer it much myself either.  I live in a very nice and pretty neighborhood.  I guess that’s why all the salespeople are here.  They see us as having money, whether we have any or not.   There are even those food truck companies that sell meats and seafood that drive around our neighborhood trying to get us to buy from them.  I never have, and I never will.  I don’t eat red meat and I research where my seafood comes from before I buy it.

 America is a consumer based society.  If we stop shopping, our economy collapses.  (Or if we elect rotten politicians that remove all regulations, then we collapse as well.  Oh yeah, that already happened in 2008, I forgot.  How’d that turn out anyway?)  Capitalism can only last so long before it no longer works.  We can’t just keep on shopping.  Capitalism means that I can sell this pencil that I have here on my desk for $200.00 if I want to.  It’s legal to do so.  All I need to find is someone stupid enough to pay me that much money for it.  Then I can legally get away it.  It’s called being a con artist and there are laws to protect me and allow me to continue to do it to other people if I want to.  Exactly what rights do consumers have?  Not as many as you think.

“I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it,” is how I protect myself from all the legalized and non-legalized deception that is running rampant in our country.  You know NASA wrote a report a few years ago and it scared the hell out of me.  They talked about the eventual breakdown of our society and how humans are devolving.  There will eventually be lawlessness.  Does it take a genius to see that it has already begun?  Granted, it may not come to full fruition for generations but things always have a beginning.

“I’m so mean, and I’m so happy about it,” is my positive message to you.  Yes, I said positive.  Because it is.

These are different times we live in and we need to adapt to our ever changing environment.  Look out for yourself, stand up for yourself, you have rights to privacy and sometimes you need to fight for them, even if it means being a bit rude.  Maybe the “good girl” needs to now become the “tough girl.”

Perhaps instead of a ‘No Soliciting’ sign I should make my own sign that says something like, ‘Knock at your own peril’?  Or how about ‘Beware of the Bitch’?  Maybe that would shake things up, keep out the ‘snake oil salesmen’ and give us the privacy that we rightly deserve in our own home and on our own property.

  I have a rule, If I can’t figure out which one is the good one, and which one is the bad one, then I stay away from both.

  The best advice I was ever given was from my mother.  She told me, “Stay away from charismatic people because they can get you to do anything.”

The best sales people/con artists are charismatic, that’s why they are the best.  Remember that next time you go into to buy a car from a dealership.  Don’t get the ‘Employee of the Month’ to help you.  Don’t get ‘Salesman of the Month’ to help you.  Get the new guy that hasn’t learned all the tricks yet.  You’ll come out with a better deal.

Good Luck!  I’m rootin’ for ya!,

Julie

p.s.  If I have offended anyone with this blog post then I am sorry you are offended.  But I get no money for this website, and these are my opinions of which I am entitled.  And if I lose you, which does sometimes happen when I write something a bit controversial, then I wish you well, and lucky for you that my website is not the only one out there to read.  But I will miss you.  

Julie turning 55_small

——————————————————-

February 13, 2016

55 Candles!!!

Julie born_small

(As sung to 16 Candles)

Today is my 55 birthday! I was born on Monday, February 13, 1961.

But not to worry, I’m perfectly fine with it.  I woke up feeling great!  I’ve reached such a milestone.  And as I was going for the coffee (Greek) this morning, I saw THIS!!

birthday candles_small

Isn’t Gordon funny???

Cake and party are tomorrow night.

But you know what?  I had the best day possible!

Gordon and I were up at 5:00 a.m. and we hit our favorite thrift stores.  We must have spent a good $300.00 there.  The car was full!

Then we hit Home Depot for some lovely things, a chandelier and light bulbs.  We left shortly after all the cops showed up.  Didn’t feel like dodging bullets on my birthday.  I would like to turn 56…… next year.

(To the rest of the world it’s tragic, to us in America it’s just a Saturday.)

Then we came home, unloaded all of our treasures, then headed for BEST BUY!!!

Got my TABLET!!!!

Look out world!  Julie’s got a TABLET!

(And it’s pretty too, because that is all that matters.)

Then it was off to the Asian Supermarket.

Picked up some goodies for us, and for my nieces in Ireland, and for my children.  GREEN TEA KIT KATS!!  Can’t wait to try them, sort of……

This is the Year of the Monkey so I picked up some Monkey things for my niece Lola and my son Brodie.

Grabbed us some interesting gadgets, some really nice fresh veggies and a big container of garlic.

(I swear.  You really need to shop at your local Asian or Latino Supermarkets.  Everything is so inexpensive.  It’s so ridiculous to spend more money when you don’t have too.)

Dinner tonight is take out from the buffet at the Asian Supermarket.  Couldn’t be more perfect!

Today was my perfect birthday.  I don’t care about fancy restaurants or diamonds and jewels.  I love rhinestones myself.  I even picked up a few at my favorite thrift stores.  I even found a vintage tiara.

I could not have asked for a better day!

Here are a few photos from my past that I thought you might like.

Julie, Turning 3!

Julie age 3_small

I miss the formality of my youth.  It was a big deal when I had a birthday, or it was Thanksgiving dinner, or Christmas, or Easter.

I have that chair that I am sitting in, I have that punch bowl, and those punch cups.

Julie and Mary Keith_small

My mother, Mary Keith, and me.  Look. she’s letting me play with matches.

Julie birthday bedroom_small

Me, in my bedroom with all my gifts.  That headboard is still in my mother’s barn on her property.  We never get rid of anything.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a nice Valentine’s Day!

Julie

p.s.  Don’t wait for someone to send you flowers, go buy them yourself!

It’s no big deal!!

————————————————-

February 9, 2016

Bruce Lee

I published my ‘Julie Loves Asian’ page over a week ago and in it I pay a little tribute to Bruce Lee.

Here is what I wrote:

When I started my website on May 26, 2011, and debuted it on July 6, 2011, I did what Bruce Lee did in Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story.

Julie dropping stone

Me, Dropping the Pebble to Make the Ripples

“You drop a pebble in a pond, you get ripples.  Soon the ripples cross the whole pond.  Drop it.”

Bruce Lee

I know nothing about martial arts.  I don’t think you have to, to realize just how special that Bruce Lee was.  He was talented, smart, wise, intelligent, (yes, all 3 of those are different), and a philosopher and a trailblazer.  I wish your wisdom and knowledge were still around today.

Julie Lancaster-Whann

————————————————————————————

I did drop that stone and it has rippled all over the world.

Thank you to everyone that reads our website.

———————————————————————————-

Oh, I will never be rich or famous.  I’ve never been a particularly ambitious person.  If the other person wins then I’ve always been o.k. with it.  When I was taking tennis lessons in 7th. grade my instructor would always chastise me for not ‘going in for the win’.  He would ask me, “Why Julie?  You had it!  Why didn’t you do it?”

And I would reply, to a much baffled tennis coach, “Because we were having so much fun hitting the ball back and forth to each other.”

My tennis career ended right then and there.  But guess what?  I never wanted a tennis career.

All I’ve ever wanted was to get up every day and do whatever I wanted to, and not what I was dictated to do.

And that is the life I have.  So I have achieved my goal in life.  And guess what?  I’m rarely disappointed.

Who says life has to be a certain way?  A group of self-anointed people that claim to be experts?

I dictate my life, I dictate how I look and I dictate how I dress, and I dictate what I want to do in life and how I choose to live it.

I’ve never been a competitive person and I doubt I am going to start now.  I think life is as good as we choose to make it.  I choose to go through life without worrying about what other people think of me.  That is the most liberating thing that I will ever do.

I hope you find peace too.

Julie

One of my favorite scenes from Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story

Starring Jason Scott Lee, from Hawaii

——————————————————————————————-

The only thing I want my tombstone to say is:

While the rest of you were worrying about coming in first, I was having fun! 

(And to think, there are people out there that think I’M THE STUPID ONE?)

 

—————————————————————————————-

February 8, 2016

We Were Hacked Yesterday!

I wanted to thank Heidi in the U.K., and Ilsa in Germany, and Kelly in Virginia, for writing me to let me know that we were hacked yesterday.  The scary graphics and the ominous music was what we woke up to yesterday before we had even poured coffee down our systems.  We were looking forward to an easy day, prepping Super Bowl food and just being lazy, when we realized that we had better get on the phones to our web hosting company and our website security system, that generally warns us first about these things, however, we were the ones informing them this time.

The hackers took over my entire website, and with a “friendly” warning, explained to us how they got in and wanted to warn us about that flaw in our security.  Thank you??   I guess??  An email would have been nicer though.

They call themselves The B_________ Black Hat Hackers.

Although the “hats” they are referring to in their ominous pictures are hoodies.  Which tells me that they don’t know the difference between a hat and a hoodie.  You should really call yourselves The B_________ Black Hoodie Hackers.  (Just a suggestion).

(I’m not giving out the entire name of the group because I don’t feel like giving them free publicity.  They did after all, take over my site to get their message out.)

In looking at their ominous message, they feature the V for Vendetta mask and someone purporting to be V from Vendetta.

You know, I LOVE that movie.  It is one of my most favorite movies of all time.  So it looks like we have that in common.

They also featured on my website, their Facebook page and an About Us of who they are.

Gordon went to it and was looking at it when he said to me, “Hey, that have your girl on their site.”  I asked, “What girl?”  He said, “You know, the funny one you love so much.”  I then replied, ” Do you mean Amy Schumer?”  Gordon then said, “Yes.”

So what about that?  Yet another thing we have in common.

The hackers also apparently liked our’ The Mummy Halloween’ page and spent some time there.  Even leaving a nice comment, which I posted.  So thank you again.

You know I’m not mad over what they did.  Our web hosting company and our security company, they are mad, because they had to work on Super Bowl Sunday.  It did take at least 9 hours to get our site back up and working from the damage the hackers did.  It also took a long time before they could remove the graphics and music from my site that the hackers left.

So no, I’m not mad at you.  But I am sad.  I’m sad that in your effort to get your word out, that you decided to stifle mine.

My website is my voice.   Just like your message is yours.

According to my security company you are really in China.  China is known for censorship.  China probably created you in the first place, and in retaliation you target people like me.  I am a little cog in a giant machine, just like you.  Except I know what I am.  You will soon find out what you are.

I harbor no ill will towards you.  But you picked the wrong people to target.  I believe in your right to exist.  I believe in your right to have a voice.  I may not agree with your methods, but you deserve a website, and a Facebook page, and twitter and whatever the hell else you are on.  But now you need to respect mine.

You know, this reminds me of the 2008 election here in America when Barack Obama was running for President against John McCain.

I was very excited about the election.  I was excited about Mr. Obama.  Hey, he was born in Hawaii, we had that in common as we lived there for 13 years and I gave birth to both of my children in Hawaii, Shannon Diana Veronica Whann, and Brodie Keith Kanakaleo Whann.

We miss Hawaii to this day but moving forward………

I proudly bought an Obama 2008 yard sign to place in my front yard.  Within 24 hours later several neighbors had put up their McCain/Palin signs in their yard.  I remarked to Gordon, “Look, they are all trying to drown us out.”

Neighbors that used to wave friendly to us when we were outside started glaring at us when they saw us.  We would sometimes wake up in the morning to see our Obama sign ripped up from the ground and stomped on and left looking a bit shabby, just lying there.  But we would proudly dust it off and place it back in the ground.

You see, I respected my neighbors rights to their candidate.  I respected my neighbors rights to their property.  I would never dream of coming onto their property and doing to them, what they did to us.  But we never received the respect that we did give to them.  And that is why I am so sad over this hacking.  In the attempt to get their message out, they destroyed mine.  I don’t respect hypocrisy.

You hackers have a right to exist, but so do I. 

There is very little money that passes through this website.

We do have a Paypal Donations button, but no one in our 4 1/2 years has ever donated a penny to keep our site going.  The website itself is under $20.00 a month.  But the protection that I pay for is almost $2,000.00 a year.

I do list a rental condo in Indian Shores, Florida for rent but that is not ours, it is my mother’s.  I get very little money for managing it.  I’m really not more than a glorified maid.  I clean it, I take care of it, I manage it.  I do that as a favor to my mother.

I’m sad today because it is Chinese New Year and Chinese hackers took over our website for about 12 hours yesterday and now I have had to block the entire country of China from viewing my website in order to protect it.  Half the traffic out of China is good, but unfortunately the other half is bad.  I cannot afford to purchase anymore protection for my website so I have had to block all the good people that read us and like us, in order for us to survive all the bad hacking.  That makes me sad.

I wanted to say, Kung Hee Fat Chow today, and celebrate Chinese New Year.  The Year of the Monkey.

Brodie is a monkey.  My niece Lola is a monkey.  We love your culture!

Even though you hacked us yesterday we still managed to reach 46,000 hits!  46,000!!!

I guess that’s why you targeted us.  More people to read your message.

So congratulations you succeeded.

Julie

p.s.  But you lost us.  I respect people that build things up, not tear things down.

—————————————————————————————

February 4, 2016

Earth, Wind and Fire

I just read that Maurice White, co-founder of Earth, Wind and Fire has died at age 74.

I LOVED Earth, Wind and Fire!

I’m so sad that so many people that helped to shape my life growing up are dying.

Hey, I won many a dance competition at Chilcoot Charlie’s dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire.

I was also in the marching band in high school for 3 years so I especially wanted to post this video of Earth, Wind and Fire being performed in Drumline, the movie.

I didn’t play an instrument, I was in the Color Guard.  And Zoe Saldana puts up all to shame here.

My daughter Veronica played drums in marching band, my brother Ben played drums in marching band, my brother Johnny played trombone in marching band, and my brother Frank played saxophone in marching band.  Band students were always the best students.

Julie

p.s.  There is nothing better than an all black marching band!

———————————————————–

February 1, 2016

My Daily Workout

I don’t belong to any fancy gym.  I do get on my treadmill occasionally, but right now it’s covered in things because we have been going through some renovations and we are about to go through some more.

I do my workout whether I am in the kitchen, or the laundry room, or the bathroom, or the bedroom, or the living room, or the dining room.  Sometimes I just walk around the house doing it.

  I DON’T do it in public!  It is a private workout.

I don’t wear anything special to do it.

I can do it in formal clothing if I want to, or I can do it while wearing my bathing suit.

Sometimes I do it with music, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I do it with a stick in my hand, and sometimes I don’t.

What I do will keep my heart beating and beating and beating.  It is exercising my heart every single day.

I have no formal training in this at all.  The closest experience I have to this was in my marching band years in high school.

So what is it that I do that will keep my heart healthy forever?

(Tchaikivsky Overture 1812)

I CONDUCT!!

I mean look at those conductors?  Most of them are ancient! 

(No offense to any conductors out there.  My goal is to be ancient one day myself.)

This is the greatest heart workout there ever was, and I find it hard to believe that as far as I know, I seem to be the only person that recognizes it.

Happy Heart,

Julie

P.S.  “More Cowbell”!!!

—————————————————

February 1, 2016

Interest in Our The Mummy Halloween

Gordons pumpkin The Mummy_small Gordon Mummy Pumpkin_small

Looks like there is some interest in our The Mummy Halloween and I was asked if I had more photos.  Yes, I do!  We are planning to do a write up of how to carve a pumpkin with step-by-step instructions that we will be debuting soon enough.  But here is a preview.  I even decided to post a rare ‘behind the scenes’ photo.

behind the scenes of the pumpkin carving_small

That’s right!

  It’s me either standing on a stepping stool or a ladder with the camera.  Usually wearing no make up and comfortable clothes, normally a Hawaiian shirt and shorts.

Julie

———————————————————-

January 31, 2016

FINALLY, saw the New STAR WARS Movie

Watching Star Wars_small

Julie, Veronica and Brian.  Gordon taking the photo.

My brother Johnny, who lives in Ireland, called me up on Christmas day and while we were talking, he told me how much he loved the new Star Wars movie.  I told him that I hadn’t seen it yet, but that I would get around to it once everyone else had seen it and I was one of the few sitting in the theater.  I don’t like crowds, I find them suffocating and I like plenty of breathing room.  About the only crowds that I can tolerate are at Disney and even then that can be a bit much for me.

Anyway, I was writing my brother this morning to give him my take on the new Star Wars movie and I decided to just post that portion of the email in my blog post.  I guess I’m just wondering if other people felt the same way that I did?  All I have heard about this new movie is wonderful things.  I haven’t heard one negative opinion yet.  We are HUGE fans of the Star Wars franchise so it’s not like I am not a fan.

But here is my take on the new movie that I wrote to my brother:

New Star Wars movie_small

We saw Star Wars last night.  Me, Gordon, Veronica and Brian.  I just wanted to give my take on it seeing as how so many people out there just love it, and like you say, it is probably the best of the franchise.  But to tell you the truth, I didn’t like it.  I do think it was a good movie, but that doesn’t make me like it. There are plenty of good movies out there that I just don’t like, this was one of them.  To me, the movie doesn’t start until Rey climbs into that cockpit with Chewy and they fly off to find Luke.  So I will probably like the next one better than this one.

Han Solo was a huge disappointment to me.  He never grew up, he never learned anything.  He just reverted back to that same old con artist that he always was.  We forgave him for his past in the first Star Wars when he proved himself worthy and helped destroy the Death Star and went onto greatness in the rebellion and to what should have been something of a bright future.  Especially when he and Leia got together.  That should have been something of a successful pairing.  Yet he reverted backward, smuggling again and ripping off unsavory characters that then come looking for him to get the money he conned out of them.

Leia went on to be a General.  She went on to be the most successful and stable of the trio.  Seeing how her life with Han turned out, the lesson here is not to fall for the ‘bad boy’ no matter how much you think they’ve changed because they never do. Which makes me think that there is something to their rotten son’s anger and hatred toward his father.  Although he is obviously a deranged psychopath in the worst way!  AND he looks like he’s of some Arabic or Middle Eastern Jewish heritage and not their son. So that casting was a bit odd to me.

Chewbacca to me now is nothing more than some pet because he just seems to follow whoever owns him next.

And don’t get me started on those droids.  Shows like Star Wars and Star Trek has human’s coexisting with these robots, all the while treating them politely and with the utmost respect, but in reality we would just treat them the same way we treat an ATM.  Do you thank that ATM when it gives you your money?  All of us barely pay any attention to it, we just want it to do what we want, and then we are finished with it.  Do you think those Japanese men are respectful to those sexbot robots they are inventing over there in Japan?

Finn was at times very annoying but I supposed that he is finding himself.  He’s been so controlled his whole life that he is finding out what it’s like to have some independence and free thought, so his character will probably evolve as time goes on.

I also find it hard to believe that these characters that have known each other for all of 5 minutes are ready to fight and die to rescue each other because they’ve already bonded.

I really did like the character Rey but I think she emulates Kiera Knightley too much.

Kiera Knightley_small Katie McGrath_small

Kiera Knightley and Katie McGrath

(Kiera Knightly was in Star Wars Episode One as Queen Amidala’s bodyguard)

  I find that in a few British/U.K./Irish actresses.  There is this other Irish actress who looks almost exactly like Kiera Knightley, talks like her, acts like her and you have to really study her on screen because you think you are watching Kiera Knightly.  Her name is Katie McGrath.  She was in the new Jurrassic Park movie.  But to me she IS Kiera Knightly in that Dracula series for t.v. where she played Lucy, to Irish actor Johnathon Rhys Meyers, Dracula.  I liked that series but it was only on for 1 season.

Jennifer Ehle_small

Jennifer Ehle

But when you watch Kiera Knightley’s performance in Pride and Prejudice, she is emulating North Carolina born, Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth Bennet to Collin Firth’s, Mr. Darcy in that version from 1995.  So all of this (British acting style that so many are copying) could actually go back to American, Jennifer Ehle.

My favorite character is the Hispanic pilot that I don’t even know his name.  I could never understand anyone’s pronunciation when they would say his name.  He is the most likable, talented, and heroic.  Rey is also heroic but sometimes I just see Kiera Knightley doing the acting and that’s distracting to me.  Just hire Kiera Knightley to do it then?

And Luke?  Living in some cave on some island?  These Skywalkers are the most dysfunctional family in the universe and the only reason Leia turned out o.k. is because she was adopted and raised by more stable people on Alderaan.  It does sort of imply that Rey is Luke’s daughter.  It also implies that she was abandoned on that Jakku planet by her family, that are probably Skywalker’s.

Well, that is my take on the new movie.  I hope the next one is better.  Oh, and don’t think I’m too  harsh on this one, because I liked Episode One.  You know, the one everyone hates?  I love it because to me it is the ‘calm before the storm’ and I like that. You see the point where things went wrong, the beginning, that’s what I like the best, because the middle and the end usually don’t turn out good.

———————————————————————————————–

To my readers:

Don’t send me hate mail!

It’s my opinion and I am entitled to it whether you think so or not.

Have a nice weekend!

Julie

————————————————————————————————-

January 29, 2016

THE MUMMY HALLOWEEN

I know what you are thinking.  You are wondering why in the world am I talking about Halloween right before Valentine’s Day?

Well, I did finally finish the write up of our Mummy Halloween, and debuted the post, and I wanted to share a portion with you, as I am very proud of it.

Here is just a sampling of our MUMMY, the beautiful Anck-su-namum.

Anck su namun_small

The Making of Anck-su-namun, Pharaoh’s Mistress

Mummy 12_small

Patricia Vasquez as Anck-su-namun

Instead of putting together some scary mummy, I wanted to create Anck-su-namun. 

The beautiful mummy.

creating our hot mummy_small

plenty of eyeshadows_small applying the makeup to the head_small

I found the head at Michael’s craft store around Halloween.  I don’t know if it is something they regularly keep in stock, or if it was just around for the holiday, but it was around $5.00 or $6.00.  I used my makeup and eyeliner.  I wanted her to look beautiful, but asleep/dead.

Anck 1_small Anck 2_small

The black gauze I bought at the Dollar Tree for $1.00.  I did buy about 6 of them so that I could wrap the gauze around her body and head.  I also used pins to keep the gauze in place around her head.  The necklace I bought on a sale table for just a few dollars as it was all broken.  Gordon and I mended it with some old jewelry hoops that we had and now it looks perfect.

Julie Adjusting_small

Here I am adjusting a dress that I want to sell in my shoppe soon, but I used this small table and this body mannequin to create our pretty mummy.

Anck 5_small Anck 6_small Anck 7_small

As you can see the table peeking out from underneath the dress at the bottom, in the photo far left.  I have the dress form sitting on top of the table.  Then I took one of my black dresses that is very long lengthwise, then I just started wrapping the black gauze all round it.  Pinning where I needed to, or tying it out of sight.

Anck 3_small

The wig we found at Goodwill for just a few dollars along with the coin looking jewelry that I placed in her hair.

The total cost of creating this mummy, other than using the things that we already had, was under $25.00.

 

—————————————————–

Julie with Anck-su-namun

Julie and the Mummy_small

I was very proud of her and I thought she looked great for Halloween.

————————————————

Julie’s Costume

Julie close up veil_small

Julie and Anck-su-namun_small

My only real expense here was the veil. 

I just wore one of my cocktail dresses that I find at my favorite thrift stores for under $10.00.

Mummy veil_small

Rachel Weiss as Evy

This is the look that I was going for.  Although she looks better than I do.

Julie with the veil_small

I found some pretty sparkly fabric at Joanne’s, and I bought an inexpensive bracelet that I left open, and hand sewed it onto the top of the fabric so that it sat directly under my eyes.

Beautiful Fabric for table_small

I do hope you will check out our

The Mummy Halloween

——————————————————–

Brodie the pirate_small

Oh, and tomorrow is Gasparilla in Tampa so be sure to look out for Brodie.  He will be wearing this!

For those of you that don’t know, Tampa is about to be invaded by pirates.  

It is a recreation of an actual event when Tampa was seized by Jose Gasper and his pirate gang.  Tampa tends to go wild with it and it is our Mardi Gras.

Arrg…

Julie

———————————————————–

January 25, 2016

The New X-Files

Older and wiser_small

X-Files Link

AND

The New Star Wars!

New Star Wars movie_small

This is like Christmas!!

——————————————————-

January 23, 2016

Julie LW_small

Ask The Doctor(‘s) (Daughter)

There is a section in my favorite magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, New Zealand Edition, that my Kiwi friend Trish sends me, where this medical expert, Professor Kerryn Phelps, answers reader’s health questions.

I wanted to respond to one from the December 2015 edition.

Someone wrote in:

I never have time to dry my hair after the gym and have had a lot of colds.  My workmate says it is because I don’t dry my hair, but I think this is an old wives’ tale.  Can you tell me if it is dangerous to go out with wet hair- particularly when it is cold outside?

The reply from Kerryn Phelps:

The research on this is inconsistent.  To catch a cold, you need to come in contact with the virus and be vulnerable to infections.  There are more cold and flu viruses around in the colder months.  The state of your immune system will determine how vulnerable you are.  It’s probably not a problem to go out with wet hair, but I still make my children dry their hair before they go out in cold weather.

———————————————-

I just wanted to add something to this.  First of all, I believe this Professor Kerryn Phelps to offer very good advice to all the people that have written in to her.  I see her as being very professional and very intelligent.  I just wanted to add something to that.

I just wanted to stress that I am not a doctor.  I have no formal education in the medical field.  My only education in contributing to this article is as a doctor’s daughter.

You may laugh if you like but I did just want to point something out that I believe is being missed here.

I grew up around hospitals and I’ve spent plenty of time there.  Usually getting in trouble by racing my step-brother Scott around the hallway’s in whatever wheel chair was sitting around empty.  Running and screaming down the hallways yelling, “Code Blue.  That’s a Code Blue in the ER.”  Hey, I was the doctor’s daughter so it’s not like someone was going to discipline me.

My step-father was a very intelligent man.  My mother and my father were way ahead of their time in most every issue.  When you grow up around smart people then you tend to learn a thing or two.  My step-father would read a book on a surgical procedure that he had never done before, the night before the operation, and perform it beautifully the following day.  When my mother was so sick when she was pregnant and no one could figure out what was wrong with her, my father hit the medical books and after searching many a late night, he discovered the problem, he then had my mother admitted to the hospital and he saved her.  No one else cared enough to do the research to find out.  Turns out, my mother is allergic to being pregnant.

But that is a story for another time.  What I wanted to comment on here was something very important that my step-father pointed out to me about this very topic.  Why is it that we get so sick in the winter and not in the summer?  And wet hair has nothing to do with it.

Think about it.  Hospital’s are kept very cold so that germs cannot grow.  Operating rooms are usually freezing.  So by that definition alone, none of us should get sick in cold weather.  We should be sick in warm weather, but we aren’t.  So what is it that we do differently in cold weather that we don’t do in warm weather?

WE HUDDLE AROUND IN SMALL GROUPS TO KEEP WARM.

Look at it!  Everywhere you go in cold weather you see people all huddled together in small groups to keep warm.  Snuggled up while watching a hockey game.  Huddled around a camp fire.  But we don’t do that in the summer.  We’re hot and sweaty and we want our space and plenty of breathing room around us.

You want to avoid colds and flu?  Quit huddling together with people passing germs back and forth.

Glad I could be of help.  

The Doctor’s Daughter,

Julie

p.s.  I would start a medical column but I doubt anyone would read it.  

———————————————————–

January 20, 2016

Thank you John Lennon

I had an MRI a few weeks ago on my hand.  I have this lump underneath the skin on my right hand that is getting bigger.  When I did my research online I figured that it was probably just a calcium build up, but I did want to rule out something that might be serious so I decided to take my doctor’s advice and get an MRI.

I am not a claustrophobic person and I do tend to be a bit tough, as I did grow up in a medical household with a step-father that was a general surgeon and a mother that was a lab technician.   Hey, we doctor’s kids get neglected.  When your parents are in the medical profession, we are the last to get medical help, unless we are on our deathbeds.  Seriously!

Well, I showed up for my appointment and I was instructed to lay down on my stomach with my right arm outstretched and encased, and my left arm tucked underneath me.  I had to keep my face buried in the towels/sheets during the process.  I couldn’t breathe very well.  I hated the position, but I had to stay that way for 30 minutes without moving while the scan happened.  It was really loud in that machine.  I hated it!

I asked for classical music in my headphones as classical music lowers our heart rate and is healthier for us than any other music.  There was a point in the MRI where I was about to hit the panic button to get me the Hell out of there!  When all of a sudden John Lennon’s Imagine came on in my headphones.  It calmed me down and I got through the process just fine.

Oh, my scan revealed nothing serious.  Just like I thought, a calcium buildup.

But thank you John Lennon for helping me to get through it,

Julie

p.s.  Who knows what you could be helping us get through if you were still around.

—————————————————–

January 19, 2016

Happy Be-lated 51st. Birthday Gordon!

Tarpon Springs Winery wine_small

Our Tarpon Springs  Castle Winery Chardonnay and Sangiovese Wines

This is the only American Chardonnay that I like because it is made with Hungarian Oak, the barrels, that is.

Take out for Gordons birthday_small wine and take out_small

We wanted Greek Ethnic food and that is what we got!

best take out ever_small

Gyros, Falafals, Greek Fries

Brian and Veronica For Gordons birthday_small

Brian and Veronica

Gordon blowing out his baklava_small

Baklava Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Gordon!

———————————————-

January 16, 2016

I wanted to expand on the question that I got from a reader asking me what is the most unusual thing about myself?

  I did talk below about how I never watch the end of a movie.  I also never read the end of a book.  I will get literally to the last 10 pages and quit reading.  (Yes, I have read books to the end but most of the time I don’t.)  I also never care if anyone ‘Loves It or List’s It’.  For those of you that may watch that show on t.v.  Once the reveal is over with and I’ve seen the ‘before and after’ photos then I’m not interested anymore.

So yes, I do watch television sometimes but most of the time it’s just background noise.

I have discovered a channel on t.v. that I am very excited about.  It’s the CREATE Network.  Good quality television that unfortunately distracts me and I end up watching it as opposed to ignoring the t.v.  I’ve also discovered this Australian woman’s t.v. show that I am just dying to find out more about her, she is so interesting.   She is on the CREATE Network at 3:00 a.m.!!  Yuck!  Maybe I can order her shows directly from Australia.  That’s where I buy Nigella’s videos.  And yes, I still watch DVD’s and Bluray’s.

And now for the most unusual thing about me.  Although by now you are probably scratching your head and thinking, ‘You mean there’s more’?

I have 192 texts on my cell phone that I have never read.  My cell phone is a waterproof flip phone that is about 5 years old.  It’s sturdy and I can get it wet at the beach, I can drop it and it doesn’t break, it fits my lifestyle and I have no intention of trading it in anytime soon.  So why so many unread texts?  Because I don’t live my life being at someone ‘beck and call’, and I don’t care to read some cryptic messages.  I’m hoping that the mailbox will fill up soon and then no more can come in, I hate that annoying sound it makes when one comes in.   It is a phone after all.  If anyone needs me they can call.  Just don’t leave a message.  I don’t check those either, I don’t even know how to.  

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am eccentric.

Julie

—————————————————————————-

January 15, 2016

 I’ve been updating our Hawaiian Kalikimaka Posts when I heard from someone asking me what is the most unusual thing about me?

night option 978_small

First of all, these are my Julie Barefoot Cookies that I would like to promote.  

Second, for the most unusual thing about me, is that I never watch a movie to the end.

I always rewind it at least 3/4 of the way through to the end.  I don’t usually watch t.v. as I find it very uninteresting.  There really isn’t any quality on t.v. anymore.  So I put in my DVD’s and Bluray’s.

I always thought it was something that just I did, until I talked with my mother and my brother Ben, and I realized that it was something that they did as well.  It must be in our DNA.

To me the t.v. is like a fireplace.  I like it going in the background but I really don’t pay much attention to it.

But when it starts to get 3/4 of the way through a movie I do rewind it and let it go again.

I guess none of us like endings……

——————————————————-

January 11, 2016

Happy Belated Birthday Gordon, (and Elvis)

January 8th. is Gordon’s (and Elvis’s) birthday.  Gordon turned 51, whereas Elvis would have turned 81, had he lived.

I wanted to honor, BOTH!

I know I am a bit late, I started the year off late and it looks like that is my new pace.  But I think it was Elizabeth Taylor that made it fashionable, so I guess I am in good company.  Or at least, extravagant company.  After all, she made arrangements before she died that her body would arrive at the funeral 45 minutes late.  Hence the saying, “You will be late to your own funeral.”  I love it!

Because we have been so busy we have decided to postpone Gordon’s birthday celebration to this coming weekend, that way we can all be together.  Even then we are very low key.  There will be lots of good food and company and that is all that matters.  But I did want to share some photos of Gordon in the early years.  My, my, how time flies.

Gordon in Yogi_small

Gordon as Yogi Bear

This is where we met.  Gordon worked at Carowinds Amusement Park in North Carolina.  He wore the Yogi Bear costume.  He worked there for 3 years, even opening for acts like Bob Hope, Journey, The Osmonds, etc. as Yogi Bear.

Gordon as Yogi Bear at Carowinds_small

Here is Gordon as Yogi Bear with my little brother’s Frank and Ben to the left, and our Laotian friends, Poit, Oy, Suvat, Chantechan, and Dwainchi.

Julie at Carowinds with little brothers and friends_small

That is me in the back with the pink jacket on, I think the year is 1981.  We were enjoying the park.

I also worked at the park on the log flume ride.  I would sit at the top of the lift and I could press a button to halt the boats before they went over the falls.  Whenever we had a rock group performing at Carowinds they would always ride the log flume as it was the best ride in the park.  So whenever the rock group JOURNEY would ride it I always made sure that there was some reason for me to halt the boat, at the top of the lift,  before it went over the falls so that I would talk to them.   Yeah, I was that bad!

My excuse was that the other boats are backed up so I have to stop you here for a minute or two before I let you go over the falls.

Hey, we would have to do that occasionally, ya know.

My Most Favorite Journey Song

I’ve told people that if I am ever in a coma just put head phones on me and blast every Journey song into those headphones.  But especially this song.

But how Gordon and I met, was because his dressing room trailer was directly below my log flume lift where I would sit several stories in the air.  He would wave up at me and I would throw ice on him as he would walk by from my cup.  Romantic, huh?

We dated for two years before we got engaged by the 3rd. year.  I moved to Rome, Georgia, where I was originally from, to live with my grandmother, and he moved down to be near me.  He rented my Great Uncle and Aunt’s garage apartment just a few houses away from my grandmother’s.  I lived in her basement apartment.

We got married in 1985 and then moved directly to Florida.  Here are some of those photos.

Baywatch perhaps_small

Yeah, I was lucky!!  

Julie at the beach 2_small Julie snorkeling_small

But so was HE!

scuba diving in Douglas Dam Lake Tennessee_small

Gordon is a PADI DiveMaster

Gordon the PADI Divemaster_small

This is when he joined the Navy to be a Navy Diver.

Gordon and Julie Waikiki Beach 1986_small

On the Beach at Night in Waikiki

And this is when we moved to Hawaii so that he could be that Navy Diver.

(Little did I realize but I am pregnant with Veronica here.)

Happy 51 Gordon!

Love you so much!

Julie

———————————————-

As for Elvis………..

elvis_blue_hawaii_small

Elvis on Hanauma Bay, We Used to Snorkel Here

( I almost drowned here.  I went too far out and had a hard time getting back.  The currant was very rough.)

We all owe Elvis a big debt of gratitude.  If it weren’t for him then Rock and Roll would have been a fad, like Disco.

He kept Rock and Roll going and inspired so many artists to get into Rock and Roll.

The Beatles once said that if there hadn’t been an Elvis, there would not have been The Beatles.

When The Beatles came to Graceland to meet Elvis they were so in awe of him that they didn’t say anything.  So Elvis said something like this, ‘Well, if you aren’t going to say anything, then I am going up to bed.’  

He was one of a kind.  That is what I love the most about him.  There will never be another person like him.   I miss those original human beings that we used to produce.  Now people seem to be ‘a dime a dozen’ kind of talent.

Here’s to the originals!!  The one’s that dare to be different!  I will always be impressed!

Julie

———————————————————

January 10, 2016

Just Cause We All Need It!

The Beautiful Ariana Grande

Nothing like the real thing.

  Whitney, you were brilliant.  But like all great poets and artists you were troubled.  But that trouble was what made you great.  Wish you were still around with that wonderful voice of yours.  I won’t ever forget you.

Jack Vidgen

I’m not some big X-Factor or American Idol fan, but this 14 year old Australian boy is wonderful!

Julie

—————————————————

January 2, 2016

HERE is a Positive Message!

After writing my post below I sort of apologized that I didn’t have a better message for this new year.  But then I saw this and it speaks volumes to me!

Christie Brinkley with family posing_small

“Our Christmas tree just fell so… Strike a pose!

Happy New Year One All no matter what! Lol”!!!

Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley Official Website

I think that Christie is referring to an old modeling saying that when you trip and fall down the runway, pose!  Make it look like you intended for that to happen.  

I did my fair share of modeling in my day and walking down a runway was something that I am familiar with.  I think only a model would understand that statement.

But it is a positive outlook.  Life isn’t about what happens to us, it’s about how we react to it.

So next mishap?  STRIKE A POSE!

Thank you Christie for the lesson!

Julie

p.s.  Why is it that you still look so good?  I mean, come on!  Get OLD already!

Oh, and Christie!  I bought one of your wigs!

I wore it here for our:

American Dad Halloween

American Dad_small

Everyone thought it was my real hair just styled differently.  Even my children!  No one knew it was a wig.

Way to go.  You have a good product!

Christie Brinkley Wigs

——————————————————-

January 2, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I know.  I’m a day late and a dollar short but, Happy Belated New Year!

This has been a very low key New Year’s for us.  I think all we had going on the entire month of December just exhausted us and we just wanted some down time.  You know it’s funny, but the mood entering 2016 is different than it has been in the past.  I can feel it everywhere.  There didn’t seem to be as many fire works going off in our neighborhood as there have been in the past.  Gordon and I prepared our large tray of pu-pu’s to eat in front of the t.v. as we usually do, while we watched Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper ring in the New Year in Times Square in New York City.  They even seemed to be more subdued than they usually were.  Anderson did giggle just as much as he always did but it just felt different somehow. ( I hear even Kim Kardashian stayed home.)  Believe me, I’m upset that I even know that!

They say there were about a million people in Times Square on New Year’s Eve but I remember looking at the crowds on t.v. and remarking to Gordon that there ‘don’t seem to be as many people in Times Square as there have been in the past’.

I do wonder if people aren’t a bit anxious about what 2016 might bring for all of us?  What with our political climate here at home and the world happenings, goings on elsewhere.   It is worrisome.  If we get good leadership then we are a good country and we will get through the challenges smartly.

  But if we get bad leadership……  well, it will be ‘here we go again.’

So whether fortunately or unfortunately, it’s up to the American voters to decide that.

I don’t know if you noticed or not but ever since Christmas Day every commercial on t.v. is asking us to send money to feed the poor and starving children around the world, and please send money to save the abused animals, and help WWF to save the elephants that are being killed.

Here it was Christmas Day and we were all happy and enjoying ourselves.  We were all together and life is going well for us.  I know that that won’t always be the case, but this year it was.  We had the t.v. on to a marathon of all our favorite Christmas movies coming on one after the other.  It was great having them on in the background.  Singing some of the silly songs while flitting around the house, setting the table, cooking my dressing for our ham.  Our mood would go from being happy about the day, enjoying an old favorite Christmas movie, to sadness with our happy moods plunging downward when those commercials would come on, what with sad photos of starving children and abused animals.  And or course there is the sad music playing in the background and the sad tone of the commentator pleading with us to send money.

There weren’t just a few commercials, it was EVERY SINGLE COMMERCIAL BREAK.  This went on for over a week!

I don’t mean to sound unkind but after a few hours of this we turned off the t.v. and put in our Christmas movies that we had on DVD or Bluray instead.  You know,  we give money to charitable organizations throughout the year.  Whether they be the ASPCA or The Spring of Tampa Bay, a shelter for abused men, women and children that I am very fond of.  Sometimes I just hand a homeless person on the street $20.00 here and there throughout the year.

My point is that we deserved a happy day on Christmas.  We are those people that give.  We do think about others. There will come a time when Christmas Day won’t be so happy.  Perhaps we may experience loss of some kind and we won’t all be together.  But while things were good, I think that we deserved to be happy.

I also couldn’t help notice that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to put those commercials on t.v. (each one), and perhaps had they used THAT money to feed children and save animals, instead of using THAT money for all those commercials.  How many could have been fed and saved?

If they are looking for 50 cents a day from us to feed a child, then they could fed entire countries on the money spent on those commercials!

You know the American people are doing their best to recover from the looting of our treasury less than a decade ago, known as,

Tax Cuts for the Rich.

It was actually more like a bank heist.

The 1% have more money than the rest of us 99% combined.  So if you are looking for who has the money, then I suggest you start there.

The middle class has been decimated!

The wealthy throughout the world have enough money to save the planet and every person on it and solve all the problems.

If they just would.

————————————————–

The wealthy are not “job creators”.  Giving them money just makes them richer and all they do is stick it in the bank.   They already have money to create jobs if they want to.

If you want to stimulate an economy then you give the money to the middle class and the poor because we will spend it!  We will buy a house, start a business, go on a vacation, pay off our bills and student loans, etc. etc. etc.

It’s never about creating jobs.  It’s only about looting our treasury of OUR money.  We are the ones that pay taxes.  Not them.  If you paid $1.00 in taxes last year then you paid more than a lot of retail chains here in America.

You want change?

Go Bernie Sanders!!!

Go Elizabeth Warren!!!

Then, we will get change.

I honestly wish that I had a better message,

Julie

————————————————–

 

Merry Christmas in my kitchen_small

——————————————————–

December 30, 2015

Photos From Christmas

Julie Christmas Day making the dressing_small

 Making the Cornbread Dressing on Christmas Day

A history in this dressing_small

Traditional Southern Family Cornbread Dressing

I had planned on making my great-grandmother Keith’s, and my grandmother’s cornbread dressing this year all by myself.  I just didn’t like the way Gordon has made it in the past.  He would use their recipe but he would, as I say, “Whann it up.”  And I didn’t want that.  I wanted the dressing the old fashioned, southern way that the Keith women in my family had made it, so I took on that project with great pride.  I even used my great-grandmother’s cast iron skillet, just like she would do.

cast iron skillet of cornbread_small drying out the cornbread_small

When my great-grandmother Keith died my grandmother inherited the cast iron skillet,  and when my grandmother died I got it.  Actually, I was at her house after she died and I walked into the kitchen and took it out of her cabinet and announced to a room full of people that, “This is now mine. I’m taking it.”

Grandmother Keiths cast iron skillet_small it says national_small

My Great-Grandmother Keith’s Cast Iron Skillet

This must be about 100 years old.

It says National

it says 9 A_small

It also says, 9 A on the bottom.

I was very proud of my dressing that I made myself.  I made the corn bread two days in advance in that cast iron skillet and let it sit in a bowl getting stale, just like they would do.  I used cake flour with the corn bread just like my great-grandmother Keith would use.  That makes the cornbread all light and fluffy.

My Keith family traditional cornbread dressing_small

I felt as if I had lots of critical women glaring down on me this day.  But I came through, I did it for me, and for them.

Christmas ham on the table_small

Gordon did make the best Christmas Ham

Christmas Table 2015 6_small

Our Christmas Table

N and N cocktail with cookies_small The naughty and nice cocktail_small

Gordon created an excellent cocktail that he named, The Naughty and Nice.

A piece of licorice represents the coal for when your bad, and the orange is for when you are good.

i do love my camera_small

I DO love my camera!

The shortbread cookies were homemade and mailed to us from New Zealand by our friend Trish.

 Brodie and Veronica Christmas Day 2015_small

Brodie and Veronica

It’s just not Christmas without the Chillen’s

———————————————————-

Trishs Christmas Cake_small

Trish’s Christmas Cake was our dessert.

Thank you Trish!

Love you all,

Julie

———————————————-

December 27, 2015

Getting Ready for Star Wars

We are HUGE Star Wars fans!  We haven’t seen the new movie yet but we are getting into the mood for the big day.  Gordon and I made these to give as gifts for Christmas and I wanted to share it with you in case you might like to try to make one.

Giant Death Star Cookie_small

Death Star Cookie

It’s just a giant sugar cookie baked on a pizza pan.

plastic knife tool_small plastic fork tool_small

I made the sugar cookie dough and froze it until we decided to make them.  Then Gordon just rolled out the dough and placed it onto the cookie sheet.  He used a plastic knife and fork to make the designs and then topped the cookie off with some granulated sugar and we baked it on a 325F oven for about 15 – 18 minutes or so until done.

Death Star presents_small

They were a big hit especially with the movie coming out.

Not only does the recipient get a great cookie, but they also get a nice new pizza pan.

I hope everyone got what they wanted this year.

exhausted Christmas Day for M and S_small

Monk and Sugar tired from all the excitement.

Found my gift_small

Gordon hid my gift in my Disney princess tree.

It was EXACTLY what I wanted!  A Cinderella carriage necklace.

He read my mind!!

Of course I did lay the catalog by the coffee pot 3 weeks ago with the item circled.

Tasso liked his Santa_small

Tasso liked his Santa, he kept swimming by and staring at him.

———————————————-

But our main gift to each other was a new roof that is FINALLY finished!

Sand Dune_small

Sand Dune

Our new roof_small

It was a noisy and messy few days but it’s finally over with.

The neighbors were even driving by giving us the ‘thumbs up’ approval.

At least I think that was their thumb.  

Now it’s time to get ready for the new year.

ttyl…

Julie

——————————————————-

My Julie’s Cinderella Message to All

My Most Favorite Big Bang Theory Episode

The girl’s play hooky from work and go to Disneyland and get their Disney Princess makeovers.

I love this episode!  Even scientists want to be princess’s.  

I will be debuting my Julie’s Cinderella Sequel soon.

Stay Tuned!

Julie

Cinderella sitting option_small

I hope all of you are doing well and are keeping your spirits high.

Julie

—————————————————–

Julie Cinderella Cookie Background_small

Merry Christmas

Gordon and Julie Christmas 2015_small

December 24, 2015

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas……..

Julie and the Cinderella Slipper_small

Gordon has created for me the nicest drink this Christmas.

The Cinderella Slipper_small Merry Cinderella Slipper_small

The Cinderella Slipper

Julie's Cinderella Slipper_small

————————————————

Oh, and let’s not forget Santa.

beautiful setting_small

He gets something very special.

Tea and cookies 1_small

Tea and Cookies

(Cause I’m pretty sure he’s Asian)

———————————————————–

Julie’s First Home Made Christmas Ornament

A.K.A, The Holy Grail

The Holy Grail_small

(I made this when I was 5 years old in Kindergarten.  It’s nothing more than a cork with some glitter, a pipe cleaner for a hook and a red ribbon.)

My children are under strict instructions to risk life and limb to rescue this if there ever is a fire.

And to think, you thought the Holy Grail was a cup.  Honestly!

————————————————

December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Greetings From Our Family of 4

Julie Gordon Monkee and Sugar_small

Sugar, Julie, Gordon and Monk

my little et_small

There is always E.T.

He was our very first date.

Pugs and Kisses,

Julie

———————————————–

Elvis Stamps on Christmas Cards?

Elvis stamps and Christmas cards_small

You know, I’m a bit wishy-washy when it comes to Christmas cards.  I used to send them out religiously, but now I just seem to do it whenever I am in the mood.  I think there are several people that assume that when they don’t get a card from me that I am somehow, slighting them that year.  Not the case.  It never has anything to do with other people, just me.

But I don’t tend to follow rules.

Why can’t I use Elvis stamps instead of some Christmas depiction?

my French book box_small

I can and I will!

I like to keep things tucked away in these hollow book boxes.  I bought this one after the terrorist attacks in France.

I’m thinking about you!

Julie

—————————————————-

December 22, 2015

Our Christmas Gift

a new roof for us_small

A (New) Roof Over Our Heads

Getting a new roof_small

Headed to the Post Office

going to the post office_small

Once I have Maneuvered Through All This!

look what I have to walk through_small

Funny, but every HGTV show that replaces roofs never lets you see EXACTLY how messy it really is.

I swear those men are going to come crashing through our ceiling any minute now!

All the noise noise noise noise_small

Suddenly feeling like this.

Merry Grinchmas!  

—————————————————-

December 21, 2015

chandelier and fountain_small

Just Enjoying Christmas, That’s all.

Christmas Deck in the nook_small fountain outside my nook_small

cookie anyone_small

Cookie, anyone?

my reindeer_small

—————————————————-

December 20, 2015

Setting up my Gift Wrap Station

My winter wonderland at home_small

I love creating a nice environment around me where doing things like wrapping gifts is more pleasurable.  Just standing in the middle of my own ‘winter wonderland’ makes me happy.

Julie gift wrap Christmas_small

I tend to have Christmas all over our house.  Not just in one room.

Kitchen counter Christmas_small working on edible gifts for Christmas_small

Working on Edible Christmas Gifts

I cannot even begin to tell you how many Christmas trees we have in our house.

—————————————

Our Greek-American Edible Gift Care Packages for Christmas

simple or elaborate_small

We put together a really nice Greek-American theme to give as Christmas gifts for family and friends this year with purchases that we bought over the summer from Tarpon Springs, Florida.  The Greek sponge diving community and the largest Greek population here in America.

Greek option_small

I made some of the gifts simple and others more elaborate to suit the tastes of the recipients of our gifts.

Greek Care Package I created from items bougtht in Tarpon Springs_small

I like giving the gift of food mixed with knowledge.

Books about the history of Tarpon Springs, I think, make the gifts more valuable.  For example, see the sponge to the left in the photo above?  Most people would just look at it and think, ‘A sponge?  What kind of a gift is that?’

But when you realize that that sponge was harvested by this historic Greek community the old fashioned way by wearing the full dive suit and helmet, it’s suddenly not ‘ just some sponge.’

——————————————–

You know, if it weren’t for immigration we would not know of these wonderful foods from all around the world.  We would not be cooking with these delicious exotic spices, creating some of our most favorite foods.  Everyone here in America is descended from immigrants that came over here looking for a better life.  We’ve benefited from their journey and struggles to integrate into this American society.  But they not only integrated, they helped to shape and form America into a new world.  For that I am very grateful.

Julie

Oh, p.s.  You can keep your licorice candy though.

I never needed to know this ever existed.

you can keep this_small

———————————————–

December 19, 2015

Looks Like it Runs in the Family

Leilani with Lucia in Ireland_small

Leilani with Lucia

I write in a blog post below about our friend, the somewhat celebrated chef in Australia, Leilani, well here she is doing some holiday baking with her Ireland niece, Lucia.  Looks like I am not the only one with Irish nieces.  They are the best!

Now we know of 3 generations of this family cooking together.

Love it!

Julie baking_small

I too have been baking up a storm for my nieces in Ireland.

Cinderella Cookies Icing and Dragees_small

So Pretty.  I do hope they like them.

colorful frosting for the cookies_small Cinderella cookie making_small

Cinderella Cookies

Colorful Frostings and Dragees

Cookies drying_small cookies for the girls_small

My nieces are under strict orders that when the package arrives they are to eat the cookies while wearing their tiaras.

packing cookies for shipping_small

How else would you eat them?

dolls and tiaras_small

Cookies, Tiaras and Dolls

Cinderella cookie tree 2_small

I put some of mine on this tree that I rigged up.

Cinderella Cookie Tree_small

I always have to have some little Cinderella section somewhere for Christmas.

Cinderella Snow_small

You know, just some small little out of the way section that I can call my own.

My Cinderella Elsa version of an ice palace_small

A modest area in the house where I can just stretch out and honor my Disney princesses.

Julie CC fountain and carriage and pumpkin_small

By no means, nothing grand or anything of that nature.

Just a simple little area where I can…..

not quite sure what to do with the pumpkin_small

By the way, how does this work exactly?

You know, the whole pumpkin thing?

Julie Christmas carriage feet_small

I mean, I get the glass slipper thing.  I don’t really like shoes but hey, glass slippers!  I mean, I’m not stupid!   I could maybe make an exception just this once.

yo I need a ride_small

I could however, use a ride to the ball.  My step-sisters and their mother are not the nicest to me.

Christmas pumpkin_small

What?  Don’t YOU have a pumpkin underneath your tree?  Huh?

Happy Cinderella Christmas!

Julie

 

——————————————————

To Continue Reading Blog Posts……

CLICK HERE

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment