Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Computers - AAH!! What Else Can I Say?!

Stop me before I shoot it! Right now, at this very moment, I hate computers and technology! And that isn't really a good thing since I earn my living working in the ICT Department (Information, Communications, and Technology). In other words, I'm a computer nerd and I make money doing it.

Lately, I've been experiencing more than my share of computer and technology problems at work, and at home. At home, my DSL keeps going up and down, and the phone company insists that it's my modem. I'm really not 100% sold on that idea, so I'm trying to download some diagnostic tools, but, since the DSL keeps going up and down, I feel like shooting my computer!

Maybe, if I truly want to simplify my life, I should find another occupation. Right at this very moment, I hate viruses, networks, computers, cabling, and DSL lines! So, if you've been waiting for a new post to my blog, this is it for now, since the DSL line has gone down five times as I typed this.

If you're my boss reading this, I really do love my job.

Aunt Janet

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Do not go where the path may lead;
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My Godchild graduated today, and I am extremely proud of her. She achieved so many rewards and scholarships that my sister just beams (and, of course, brags)! She is a beautiful young woman with a life time ahead. If I could give one piece of advice, it would be the quote above.

So many times, we take the safe path - the one laid out for us, when, in reality, God nudges our heart to take a different one that is not clearly marked. Lean on Him, and He will make His plans for you visible, and achievable.

Venture into the unknown, make a trail, and seek the joys in life that only come from saying "I did it!"

Aunt Janet's Sayings

I've looked my nieces and nephews in the eye, and have said:

You can do anything that you put your heart into. No goal is unachievable,
if you work hard at it. Sometimes we need help, you just have to ask.
Always remember, you can do anything!


My garden is 95% planted. The tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers plants are in. I've planted carrots, onions, beets, lettuce, spinach, and radishes.
This year, before the insects attack, I am looking for ways to prevent the infestation before it happens. With the zucchinis, I always get vine borers. With the cucumbers, squash bugs, beans, June bugs, cabbage family plants, cabbage worms. So begins my research, my pouring through organic gardening books, and searching online. I would welcome any organic preventative measures that you use.

I am going to try a couple that I just read about, and will let you know if they work. For the zucchinis, their stems are getting covered with tin foil to prevent the borers from entry. For the cabbage worms, I'm going to see if I can find netting, so that the moths cannot lay eggs which turn into these destructive worms.


This is my mother-in-law's recipe, that soon became one of my family's favorite. I've had this at many summer parties.

Broccoli Slaw

1 pkg. broccoli slaw
2-3 green onions, sliced
2 pkgs. beef Ramen Noodles
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. sliced almonds, if desired
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar

In a large bowl, combine broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds, and green onions. Make dressing from the Ramen noodles seasoning packets in a separate bowl. Crumble the Ramen noodles and mix into slaw mix. Then, pour dressing over slaw. Enjoy!

Aunt Janet

Friday, May 22, 2009

Planting Seeds

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
Napoleon Hill

I once read somewhere that it takes twenty positive affirmations to negate one negative comment. When you are angry and don't think before you speak, you tend to say very negative things to another. Instead, count to 100, take a deep breath, or simply walk away until you calm down. Then approach the subject without attacking, accusing, or belittling. For you are planting seeds in the minds of others, and you want them to be encouraged, uplifted, and on the road to succeed.

Yesterday, I planted cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and celery. It's a little late for planting veggies from the cabbage family for they tend to go to flower quicker in warmer weather. I planted them in a location where it's shaded half of the day to try to delay the flowering.

If you have never planted celery, I highly recommend trying it. It can be crowded, and you can harvest a stalk or two at a time.

Now, on to an organic way to fight cabbage worms. Any ideas?

To the garden,
Aunt Janet

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wind Beneath My Wings

I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
Bette Midler

I have a very special friend whose faith flows from her very being. It is awesome to listen to her, because, through all her challenges in life, she truly lives her faith, without wavering or doubting.

She deserves a round of applause because, even though the last 2 years have been the most challenging, today she received her master's degree. I am so proud, and awed, by her. Why? Her faith, and her ability to fly.

See, my friend's son, her only child, was taken from her over a year ago by a young troubled man who shot him point blank. He didn't even see it coming. As I stood in the hospital with her, I saw her take care of not only her son, but her family. She even showed compassion for the troubled young man, wondering what could have happened to him that he would even consider taking another's life, another young man so blessed with the gift of music. I watched her lean on her faith, knowing that God is in control. God did give her time with her son, time to say good-bye. When he passed on, she stood tall, knowing that her son was in God's audience, and in a much better place than we can imagine. And she went on.

She continued going to her classes while she grieved, even though at times it was hard, but knowing that this is what God wanted her to do. Now, more than a year later, she receives her master's degree, an accomplishment most of us never achieve. I applaud her.

And I am inspired by her. I see the faith she has, and, even at her darkest hour, she leans on it, believes in it, and soars like an eagle, knowing that He is wind beneath her wings.

My faith tends to waver at times, but, by her example, I am learning that He is always there, and to be grateful for each and every day. We grow through the hard times, and, by putting our trust in Him, we draw closer to our God. It is a blessing!

Congratulations, Felinda! You go girl! I am so proud of you!

Easy Recipe

You have to check out this blog! She has so many yummy recipes, and the pictures will make your mouth water! It's The Candy Bar blog.

This is such a popular appetizer with my friends and co-workers that I usually make two. Can you guess one of the businesses that I am a consultant?

Cool Veggie Pizza

1 pkg. (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dill Mix or dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of a variety of fresh vegetables: zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, green or red peppers, green onions, seeded tomatoes, seeded cucumbers, etc.
1 oz. (1/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, if desired

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread crescent roll dough onto 13-inch baking stone and pinch seams together (you can probably use a cookie sheet as well). Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Coarsely chop or crinkle cut chosen vegetables. Sprinkle layer of each vegetable over pizza. Top with grated cheese, if desired. Refrigerate before serving. Yield: 8-10 appetizer servings.


I am getting antsy. It's either raining, or the ground has been too wet to plant. Tomorrow, I am determined to plant, even if I get wet and muddy!

I tend to have dirty black nails all spring and summer. I just don't like gloves. A tip that a friend shared with me is to put soap under your finger nails before you dig into the dirt. It works, as long as the ground isn't too muddy!

Another tip - share your plants! If yours die off, you can always ask for plants in return. I share my herbs, hostas, perennials, and berry plants. I am looking for a free hand-out of different variety of hostas. Do you need to break yours up? Can I have a plant or two? Please...

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

I'm suffering from empty nest syndrome for aunts. Here's a new one - "If you really care for someone, you will find time to call." Don't put it off, just call!

You know I love you,
Aunt Janet

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sense of Community

No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be.
John Cougar Mellencamp

Come now, and let us reason together - Isaiah 1:18

I stood on my soapbox today, wobbling, but I stood.

Situation - I live in a small town. You know, the kind that rolls up the sidewalks at 8:00 p.m. The one where people know or are related to their neighbors. The place where people care, and reach out to help one another. Well, a friend, and a lifelong resident of this community, was laid off from his job at city hall. I know many of the old timers on the city council, and I went to give my opinion, to hopefully make them think, not to hurt or embarrass any of them, but hopefully to bring back what small towns are about - community. I like all of them, and I would have stepped on my soapbox for the ones that I am close to, because that's what community is about.

Well, I shaking-ly got on my soap box, and asked, very nicely, where the sense of community was. In today's economy, how could they, as part of this community, lay someone off without notice? He wasn't just a city employee, but he was, and will remain, an active part of our community. I know I rambled, my voice was shaky, and maybe I was literally jerking from all the shaking, but I stood up for him and each one of them, trying to emphasize that we are a caring community that has to take care of each other. Okay, budget cuts may be needed, and I understand about unions, but I would feel terrible for anyone in our community that was laid off without notice, especially now, in today's economy. Is there something we can do without? Is there another way? If personal, would you like it if the roles were reversed? No, why? Because no matter how much my opinion differs from yours, each one of us is vital to make up this caring community, but we need to stand up and do our part.

I work in government, and I understand about budgets and unions. I also know the waste, and that there is always a way to cut the budget without hurting someone. I see how some make too much money for their job, and some make too little. Budgets are budgets, and, lately, government budgets are being cut. You know budgets have to go down if taxes are going to, as we were promised by the higher ups in our country. (snicker, snicker) But in every budget, there are things that are not necessary. You know it, I know it. I also love the government job I have, and will not do anything to hurt any one's position, whether Democrat of Republican, if I know that they are doing the best they can. So, no, I will not tell you where it's wasted, or who gets paid too much! They are good people, trying to do a good job for the people with the resources they have.

Okay, if the position needed to go part time because of the decreasing need, we still need to care about the people, because it's the people that make up the community. Each person, individually, makes up the whole community. Ask yourself how, if it was you, or a family member, or friend, what would have been the best (maybe not ideal) way to handle this budget cut? You might be mad that their position was cut, but wouldn't it have been better, as far as showing we really care, to do anything to help someone, even if the result had to be the same? At least, give him a notice so he has a chance to find other work.

I do not know the city budget, and, due to the show of need to cut the budget, I am going to look and study it. Who knows? Maybe I can come up with ways to cut the budget that they haven't thought about. Or maybe we could have more fund raisers to help the city meet its budget.

As for our city council, I have nothing against any of you. In fact, I really like the ones I know, and I'm related to one of them. I do think that they are trying to do a good job, and maybe, this was not thought through completely or was done in haste. I know that they all care about their community. I just wanted to help them remember what a small town is about - people caring for each other. That's why we each have decided to live in a small town, and not a big city. Okay, everyone knows what everyone is doing, but if you need a helping hand, if someone is in crisis, everyone reaches out and helps. You do deserve a firm pat on the back, but just sometimes, you may need to be reminded of where you come from and why you are here.

If you are a member of the city council reading this, please know that, if I know you, I like you. If I don't, I just haven't been introduced to you yet. I know that you are doing the best job you can, but sometimes it helps if a friend points out something to you, so you can improve. That is all I wanted to do.

Okay, happily, I am stepping off my soap box, and hoping that the shakes stop. But, after more research, I may need to get on that soap box again, because I do believe that the position is essential to our community, and it needs to be held by a qualified individual, whether full time or part time. I'm not saying that the volunteer isn't qualified, because I don't know his qualifications. I'm just saying we need that position held by a qualified person. On to my research...

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

As my nieces and nephew will tell you, this is probably one of my most said quotes. "There's a nice way to say everything, and a way to say everything nice." We can also replace say with do. "There's a nice way to do everything, and a way to do everything nice." Think of how you would want to be treated, and do the same for others. (I think I'm sort of quoting a very important Guy.) We do make mistakes, we are human. It's okay to say I'm sorry, or I didn't mean to hurt you, and find a way to make it better. Just do it!


Famous Unk's Chicken Recipe

A Fryer

And you thought I was going to give it away. hehe

May God Bless Everyone in My Community! Yes, that includes you, my blog community.
Aunt Janet

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Way Too Much To Do

If I look at all the mass, I will never act.
If I look at the one, I will.
Mother Teresa

Ever feel like your world is spinning out of control at a million miles per hour? There is too much to do, and you are totally overwhelmed. You feel like you take one step forward, and two steps backwards. You make mistakes, and everything you touch breaks. All you feel like doing is sitting down in a dark corner, all by yourself, and crying your heart out.

This is the way I feel today. Everything is hitting me at once. I've made mistakes at work. I tried to take care of too many people, and, in haste, made mistakes. I am tired, and all I want to do is curl in a ball and cry. There is just too much to do.

Okay, how do I solve this problem? Instead of looking at the whole, as Mother Teresa teaches, look at the pieces. Instead of helping everyone today, help someone today, another person tomorrow, another the next day, and so on. Instead of tackling all tasks today, break it up.

First, I'm going to make a to do list. I won't put everything on it right now, because then I will have a panic attack. I'll just put what tasks are high priority, and have to be done immediately. I'll number them in order of importance.

So, here goes:

  1. Fax survey to surveyor.
  2. Fax lease and notice to attorney.
  3. Write letter to attorney, and send to attorney.
  4. Call new tenant regarding utilities.
  5. Go to utility web sites and discontinue service in my name.
  6. Figure out how much (or little) I have in my check book.
  7. Pay as much as I can on gas bills.
  8. Email customers regarding orders.
  9. Ask God to take over, once again.

That is all I can probably handle tonight. If I can't finish everything, I'll delegate some to my husband, and add them to my on-going list. I need to rest, relax, read a book, get my mind off of my problems. Tomorrow I'll make another to-do list.

How do you handle having too much to do? I would love to hear your ideas.

Free Stuff

Kentucky Fried Chicken is giving away a 2 pieces of grilled chicken with two sides and a biscuit!!

Free White Castle BBQ Pulled Pork Slider

Easy Recipe

Italian Salad

1 pkg of salad
1 large tomato
1 medium sweet onion
1/2 lb. hard or Genoa salami
1/2 lb. Provolone cheese
1 pkg of Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix, made according to directions

Layer in order of recipe. Let salad marinate for at least 5 minutes. Serve.

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

I know that I've said this more than once, when everything gets chaotic and out of control: Stop the world and let me off! It helps by putting humor into the chaos.

Aunt Janet

Monday, May 04, 2009


We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.
Susan Taylor


Aunt Janet
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