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Monthly Archives: November 2022

Happy Birthday Mohair!! I hope our special day is wonderful!
Comfort food on a cold winter's night. Chicken & andouille gumbo. Mmmm mmm. Spicy goodness.
Final product! Delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!
Whole lemon & onion, halved; fresh sage, thyme & rosemary; dried (homegrown) sage, rosemary & parsley; and half a stick of butter: going inside the bird.
When your day didn't go as planned... I'm thankful to have stayed on the road and that the weather isn't too nasty today.

Today is my Grandpa’s birthday. I was always excited to celebrate with him. It meant there would be chocolate cake with pecans and black walnut ice cream or, if Grandma was being especially nice, raisin pecan pie. It was his favorite. I’m pretty sure he’s the reason I love pecans so much.

CEW, 1997

Grandpa’s birthday also meant that Thanksgiving was coming as well as another couple birthdays… It was party time!

Now, back to the raisin pecan pie.

It wasn’t like a pecan pie (my favorite pie) with raisins. No, it was like a funeral pie with pecans. I remember watching Grandma boil the raisins to plump them up. Prepare a double pie crust. Assembling and baking it in her cool old electric range with double upper ovens and a cook top that retracted when not in use.

Grandpa sure loved that pie. I haven’t made one in ages. Actually I’ve only ever made it once IIRC. It’s a lot of work and we’ll, if you’re not a raisin lover, I mean really love raisins, it’s gonna take a while to eat that whole pie by yourself. I don’t have Grandma’s recipe anymore, but here’s a close approximation. Just add a whole bunch of chopped (or halved) pecans.

So I’ll not be making his favorite pie today. Just reminiscing about The Old Codger and being thankful for having experienced life with him.

Rest peacefully Nicky Baby.

Homemade blended spiced chai with maple flavored whipped cream.
It's been raining for two days. All of the snow on the roof is slowly inching it's way down. Everything is icy. I'm not venturing out today on these slick roads. #hibernationmode #notaniceroadtrucker

Today is the day that we as a Nation give lip service to those serving in our armed forces.

Is that too harsh? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Veteran Stats:

Increased suicide rates in Post 9/11 war personnel. More vets have died by suicide than we’ve lost in the War on Terror. Was it worth it?

An estimated 30,177 active duty service members and war veterans of the
post 9/11 wars have died by suicide, significantly more than the 7,057 killed in
“Global War on Terror” military operations. This marks a failure by the military and
U.S. society to manage the mental health cost of our current conflicts.

U.S. Department of Defense. (2021). Casualty Status as of 10 a.m. EDT May 10, 2021.

Homelessness Current numbers for homeless veterans hover around 37,000 individuals.

…because of veterans’ military service, this population is at higher risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most substantial risk factors for homelessness.

National Alliance to End Homelessness

Unemployment. Veterans have seen a slight improvement in unemployment rates recently but keep in mind this factor is often influenced by those whose benefits are expired and not necessarily employed.

Unemployment Rates by Gender
Annual Unemployment Rates
November 2021 – October 2022 Averaged
Women Veterans 3.1%, Women Nonveterans 3.7%, Male Veterans 2.9%, Male Nonveterans 3.7%

Veteran’s Employment and Training Service

Difficulty in returning to Civilian Life Military life is rigid and ordered, and ordered for you. Returning to taking charge of your own purpose and existence can be daunting for some.

,,,while a series of studies conducted by USC’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families (CIR) at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work show that the majority of veterans look favorably on their military experience, the majority also report having difficulty adjusting to civilian life, which can lead to larger problems such as joblessness, homelessness and untreated mental health conditions.


Personnel go to a rigorous Basic Training to learn what’s expected of them in Military life. Perhaps we should do something similar when they are returning to civilian life. As a Nation, we can do better and we have a responsibility to do better.

As an individual, other than saying thank you to service members (which is a nice gesture) what do you do to facilitate a culture of honoring those who’ve made the sacrifice to serve? There are so many options. So many ways to make a difference.

Do you support veteran focused service groups or charities? Do you vote for pro-veteran public servants? Do you employ veterans? Maybe give them a discount at your business? Perhaps you live in a pro-veteran state, as I do, where the policies benefiting Vets are more visible. If you don’t, are you contacting your representatives to affect change?

We could even be more personable and talk about relationships with vets. Do you help out an aging neighbor who served? What about the significant number of unhoused or homeless vets? Do you take action when and where you can?

If you do, and I know many who do and are doing so regularly, my heartfelt thanks to you. If you’re not, let me challenge you to step up your game. You never know what your small gesture of kindness can do for an individual. We owe our Vets more than a day of celebration. Keep up the good work!