Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Plea

Save the earth;
it's the only planet with chocolate !!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tree Trimmin'

We put the tree up today...I know the pictures all support a statement that Chuck did it, but I really did help!

and here it is finished..without a topper; we have to talk about that yet.

The bottom is purposely left barren; the cat would really have fun otherwise!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'Tis the Season

Sometimes I write about my own life experiences,

sometimes just a few comments on the happenings of the day or about a meal I have had.

Today I am sharing a copy of something I received as an email from Heartlight.
You don't have to be a religious person to "get it" (first is a verse and then the narration)
I hope you do and enjoy as well...

Love Beyond the Ledger, by Ron Rose

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent
his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since
God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever
seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love
is made complete in us (1 John 4:10-12 TNIV).

There was a time, before Television (BT), when families in the US would
gather in their living rooms and listen to radio dramas. "One Man's
Family," "Fibber Magee and Molly," "Groucho Marx," and "Burns and
Allen," were just a few. One of the favorites was "The Jack Benny

Jack Benny eventually made the transition to television as one of
America's most popular comedians. His on-air persona presented him as a
penny-pinching skinflint who would sooner die than part with a dollar.
Yet in real life, his character was anything but -- the flesh and blood
Jack Benny was a generous and kind man who treasured his friends, gave
generously to charities, and dearly loved his wife.

Jack Benny (real name Benjamin Kubelsky) was married to Sayde Marks
(better known as Mary Livingstone, the character she played on her
husband's radio show) for 48 years. Their marriage was far from
perfect. She was a quick-witted, high-maintenance, and a demanding
woman. He was a bit of a philanderer.

After his death, Sayde claimed Benny's signature gesture of holding one
hand to the side of his face came about from his attempting to conceal
scratch marks she inflicted after she caught him on the phone with one
of his female admirers.

Yet despite their shortcomings and imperfections, Jack loved his wife
and wanted her to know his love would last a lifetime and beyond. For
years, Sayde had received a long-stemmed red rose everyday. Then, even
after Jack died in December of 1974, she continued to receive a rose.

When she called to remind the florist of her husband's death, she
learned that Jack had included a provision for the flowers in his will.
One red rose was to be delivered to Sadye every day for the rest of her

Sayde passed away nine years later. Nothing could stop Jack's love.

Too many of us have grown jaded and shallow in our love. We are often
trapped in ledger sheet giving instead of genuine loving. You do this
and I will repay you by doing that. Somewhere in the back of your mind,
are you keeping track of giving and receiving, making sure to keep
everything balanced?

You can see this ledger sheet giving this time of the year. You give me
a present worth $100 and I must give something of equal value. That
kind of giving robs us of the joy. It's void of spirit. We give, but
there is something empty in the experience. Why do we put up with it?

So don't.

Do you really believe it?

God has shown us how to give beyond the ledger sheet ... to break the
mold ... to be an outrageous, unexpected giver who loves people just
the way they are.

Giving up the ledger sheet habit is not easy, but it can be done. God
has shown you how; he pioneered the way. He gave first! If you have
unwrapped the gift of his love, you are a new version of what you used
to be. Call it version 2.0. You now have an outrageous giver inside
you, a generous and grateful reflection of his gift to you.

Remember, he still loves you just the way you are, now it's your turn!

Do you believe it?

Do you really believe it?

Tis' the season! So live as if you believe it!

(c) 2007 FaithFitness and Ron Rose .

I am posting this because with everything I have experienced in life, it is the gift of love that far surpasses anything else.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lakewood Forest Preserve

We met Pattie and Dave for a nice 4 mile hike in the woods. Today they were teeming with deer we counted a total of 31 for an all time record.

We got to an area by a small pond and they clearly don't want you going out on the ice...I think!

Last week Pattie said the forcast was for 62 and sunny for Monday...well I am sure it was somewhere; but not here! Here they are pointing at the sunniest moment we had on the hike

We also met up with a lone horse and rider...see the special shoes for the horse to protect the hooves. They think of everything! double click to see the feet.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's better than Prego

Honest to God, I can't make this up!

That's what Chuck said when he took a taste of my Bolognese Lasagna at Biaggi's.

It was way better than Prego, it was Divine!

He had Farfalle Alfredo...it was yummy too.

We 'dabbled' a little bit with the special oil and variety of breads too.

Free Flight

Today KC got a special treat...free flying all around the house. Wow, this was one happy birdie!

Never above freezing

We met Patti and Dave for a 6 mile hike in Lakewood Forest Preserve. Not surprisingly, we saw no other hikers today but we did spot 15 deer. That was the highest count so far on any hike or bike outing!

I found several (maybe billions!) frozen leaves. Here are some...double click to enlarge.

After all of this we rewarded (?) ourselves with hot fudge sundaes at Culvers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Step two...

Chuck has set the table and gotten everything ready

Nothing to do but wait for the bird and the guests...

This baby is finally ready! Here it is in one piece...
Now it is ready for the table
and...the table is ready for it
Now for a little dessert

Tough to pick just one!

Step one...

Getting everything together in proper sequence is key to a successful Thanksgiving Dinner.
So first get the bird ready and the stuffing...

Then the potatoes and the extra stuffing that did not fit into the bird

Then check to see if everything else around the house is in order; some of us have it made!

I think the cat has the best end of this deal!

Thanksgiving Wishes

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Monday, November 19, 2007

100 Years

The year is 1907. One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1907 :
The average life expectancy was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub. Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles Of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
The average wage in 1907 was 22 cents per hour. The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME . Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which Were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee was fifteen cents a pound. Most women only washed their hair once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars. The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea Hadn't been invented yet. There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." ( Shocking? DUH! )
Eighteen percent of households had at least One full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A . !
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rhymes we didn't have as kids

Mary had a little pig,

She kept it fat and plastered;

And when the price of pork went up,

She shot the little bastard.



Her father shot it dead.

Now it goes to school with her,

Between two hunks of bread.


JACK AND JILL Went up the hill

To have a little fun.

Stupid Jill forgot the pill

And now they have a son.


SIMPLE SIMON met a Pie man going to the fair.

Said Simple Simon to the Pie man,

"What have you got there?"

Said the Pie man unto Simon,

"Pies, you Dumb Ass"


HUMPTY DUMPTY sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the kings' horses,

And all the kings' men.

Had scrambled eggs,

For breakfast again.


HEY DIDDLE, DIDDLE the cat took a piddle,

All over the bedside clock.

The little dog laughed to see such fun.

Then died of electric shock.


GEORGIE PORGY Pudding and Pie,

Kissed the girls and made them cry.

And when the boys came out to play,

He kissed them too 'cause he was gay


There was a little girl who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good, she was very, very good.

But when she was bad........

She got a fur coat, jewels, a waterfront condo, and a sports car.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Too Cold for Biking

Today we met with our full group: Len and Marlene, Dave and Patti and Chuck and me for late breakfast then hiking on the Poplar Creek Trail System.

We stopped today at IHOP and had an interesting mix of meals.

The food again was worthy of memorializing so here they are:
Len and Marlene shared this single meal order...Imagine 3 pancakes, toast, and a country omelet the size of New York City!!
I got the international crepe plate which had eggs, meats and these beautiful Swedish Crepes...They were the BEST!! I ate everything else then had them for dessert with my never-ending cup of coffee
Patti had a great looking Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich w/fries.

After sufficiently stuffing ourselves we hiked for 5 miles through forest and grasslands.

I saw this Paper Wasp nest from the trail and bushwhacked a bit to get this close-up of it.

Here is Chuck waiting for me to 'get on with it'

Towards the end of the hike we found this bench and the Osage Orange...I thought it made a nice composition

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Way

to a man's heart is through the stomach...

braised pork chops with mushrooms, wild rice pilaf, trader joe's string beans and home-made garlic bread

stay tuned for more

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Deer Grove East

It was mountain biking again today and it was still as much fun as the last time. It is easier now that most of the leaves are down and one can see the upcoming trail for a good distance. That is not the case when things are full and green...see each season has its good points.

Here's Chuck with the map, yes we rode every piece of it for a total of 12 miles. This is a shorter than my current average distance of approximately 20 miles, but these were pretty tough miles and in my mind the effort was still equivalent to 20! See? It works for me!
Then the best from all of this activity...I made macaroni and beef for dinner. High calorie but who cares? MMmmm Good!

Poor Aunt Mildred

Aging Aunt Mildred was a 93-year-old woman who was particularly
despondent over the recent death of her husband. She decided that she
would just kill herself and join him in death.

Thinking that it would be best to get it over with quickly, she took
out his old Army pistol and made the decision to shoot herself in the
heart, since it was badly broken in the first place.

Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and a burden
to someone, she called her doctor's office to inquire as to just
exactly where the heart would be on a woman. The doctor said, "Your
heart would be just below your left breast".

Later that night........ Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a
gunshot wound to her knee.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fox River Trail--Crystal Lake to Dundee

We rode yet another section of the Fox River Trail that was new to me. This one was nice and level most of the way and while secluded was only a stones throw from local streets etc.

I was quite surprised to see three deer just beside the trail; of course once they noticed me, they went back into the woods and I missed a nice close up shot of them. Then to my surprise, they came through the woods just a few feet ahead of me and jumped the rail and crossed the nearby road, so I ended up getting good action pics of them instead of still ' posed ' shots! Wow!

Here is a little canoe launch spot along the trail and a view of the Fox River

another 8 or so miles down the trail we stopped at Benedict's for brunch

and it was another great meal. We all ordered something different and it all looked so good I got a pic of each meal!

Chuck ordered the Breakfast Burrito...this one looks healthy; hard to believe!
Dave ordered 'plain old scrambled eggs and bacon' I had to hold myself back from stealing some of that great looking bacon!
Patti got the Fall Salad Plate and it looked scrumptious as well
I got the Asparagus Strada; a mix between french toast, scrambled eggs and a fritata...Yummy!

We sat in the special room that holds a real live tree that goes right up and through the roof... now that is something you don't see every day!
Here are Patti and Dave in the foreground and the tree in the back

On the return trip we passed a cute looking hot dog stand and I can't wait to try it the next time we get another 60 degree day in November!