Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 So Far

Whatever happened to "Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to Men?

"Peaceful Country Home"
Other than getting more rain than we have received in one year for about ten years, things are pretty much as usual, whatever that is.

I personally don't make "new years resolutions." I really don't see what good it does for most people to do so either, as most only work on their resolution for a few weeks at most. They may start out all enthused and earnestly working to fulfill their attempts to change whatever they wanted to do, only to fall back into whatever their previous routine happened to be.

While many are satisfied with their lives, others are concerned about the lives of those who are manufacturing products we buy from countries who use young children to manufacture products they sell and ship all over the world.  How would you feel if it was your child being used as forced labor, and who only make maybe enough to eat for the day, and little else?

World news reports more instability in many countries, and there have been more natural disasters, with Australia apparently in the cross hairs of some very serious rain and major storms.

Egypt is having civil unrest, seeking to oust their life president. So far, more than one hundred lives have been lost in the riots, many of those killed are reportedly policemen. Many people are concerned that similar action could occur in other countries, including the United States. Last evening, I heard on the radio that F-16s are flying over the area in question. Is this involving this country in those people's problems? That remains to be seen, I suppose.

Riot Squad
Riot Ready

 In my little corner of the world, while many are out of work and many more are still losing their homes, some are satisfied the way things are, at least for them personally. Did you know that California is the biggest welfare state in the United States? Many business are leaving this state in droves, as they can no longer afford to run their business here. Many claim they are being taxed out of business. They are either going out of business, or leaving for other more "employer friendly" states.

As for me, my property is still on the market, and with real estate being is such a slump, it may or may not sell. Time will tell.

I never wanted to live in California in the first place. You really don't have much choice when you are ten years old. The climate in California is nice enough, and offers just about any type of climate you like. But it's so polluted, and even the ground water in many areas contain heavy metals, and arsenic.

There are many areas in California which are still not over-developed, but it seems that when you relocate to an area that is more rural, and country-like, something happens that alerts city dwellers that there are cheaper places to live. They are not really country folk though. When they relocate to the rural areas, they turn these areas into pretty much the same kind of place they left. Maybe there are no high-rise buildings, but they bring with them the gangs, and crime increases, as does traffic, and noise pollution.

As you may already know, I am presently connected with a small group of animal activists, who are working to organize and get funding for a new low cost spay/neuter clinic in this area. It seems that with so many new and affluent people moving into this valley over the past twenty or so years, most veterinarians who did run affordable clinics to spay and neuter people's pets, have opted to raise their prices way beyond the financial capacity of many families with moderate or low incomes.  The only places now that are still affordable are  a thirty to fifty mile drive, each way. While our local privately run animal shelter initially planned to offer such services, when it came to having to cut costs, the first thing that was dropped from the list of new construction was that low cost clinic.

After Surgery
Potbellied Pig Pets
Spay & Neuter
That's the Ticket
 Even this shelter transports their animals to those same far away clinics for spay/neuter. They occasional will transport resident's pets to the clinics for a small fee to help cover gasoline costs. Yet, they only have limited space, as the animals from the shelter which have been adopted to new homes must by necessity have priority.

Now a Certified Service Dog
©2009 PK Hawk
Former Feral Kitten
©2010 PK Haawk
Hopefully this up and coming 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization will be able to fulfill their plans to bring to this area a reasonable priced option for more animals to be spayed or neutered, thereby helping to eliminate more unwanted and homeless dogs, cats, and yes, even potbellied pigs.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Different Recipe I Ad Libbed and Mastered

Chicken L' Orange, my way.

"chicken l'orange"
I think this one was about thirty-five years ago. I kept hearing about "chicken l'orange," and though I had never seen it, much less eaten or prepared it, I decided it couldn't be all that difficult. Chicken and orange juice, and some orange zest, along with mushrooms, and some oriental style vegetables. OK, I just played it by ear, and took my hints from the aroma and the appearance, and to this day, I have not eaten "chicken l'orange" from any other source. My family liked it. I liked it, as did my friends. So, I still don't know if I made it like a real chef would make it, but it satisfied us, and still does every now and then.
Fresh Oranges
Kitchen Experimenting

I must apologize for photo, as I don't think this is very appetizing in appearance, but it's the only photo that showed up when I entered chicken l'orange. I even searched my computer, hoping to find a photo that was a little more pleasing tot he eye, but no such luck, as they say. So, I guess you will just have to use your imagination.

Play it by nose and ear
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The Most Adventurous Recipe I've Mastered

Homemade Cream Puffs
I seem to remember that one of the most challenging recipes I ever decided to tackle was when I was probably about fourteen to sixteen years old. It was homemade cream puffs, from scratch, including the cream filling.

I had occasionally eaten cream puffs, and always wondered how they managed to get the pastry hollow so as to be filled with the decadent cream filling. Funny thing; when I made cream puffs, they were not the sort that are sliced in half, and filled. These were filled through a hole in the side, much as Hostess Twinkies are filled while leaving them intact. Please, don't think I am comparing Twinkies with cream puffs, because the only similarity is the fact that both were filled through a single hole, instead of being cut in half and filled much like a sandwich.

My mother had a "Joy of Cooking" cookbook, where I had previously discovered my first challenge when I was ten years old. Then, I made a from scratch chocolate two-layer cake, with a simple frosting make from simple syrup and egg whites.

Chocolate Cake
Berries and Cherries
 on top.
But, although the cake turned out great, and we usually had that cake about once a month, it took me several more years before I decided to delve into the cream puff recipe from the same "Joy of Cooking" book.

Astonishingly, my cream puffs also turned out pretty good, but I guess I really didn't care as much for cream puffs as I did for that homemade "Rombauer Special" chocolate cake.

Thought I am by no means a professional or master chef, when I set my mind to wanting to learn about how to create some recipe I have never attempted, usually, but not always, it turns out pretty well.
Cherry Crepes

I think the most recent challenging thing I made, without a recipe, was my homemade cherry crepes. About thirty years ago, I would occasionally go to an iHop, and have their Cherry crepes, and that became my very favorite dish which I had as often as once a week.

Then, we moved a bit too far away from an iHop to be able to go every week. Between he cost of eating out and the fact that I wanted to make something special for my family for weekend breakfast, I sort of figured out my own recipe, which rivaled the one served at iHop. Now, for the most part, iHop still serves fruit crepes, but seldom do they offer crepes made with cherries.
Cherry or Berry Filled Crepes

I even have published my cherry crepe recipe on

In case you are curious or would like to try my recipe, here's the link to the one I wrote on

You can make your crepes to look like either of these photos, as people do have differing tastes.  Personally, I prefer the one that are filled similar to a burrito, and with more of the topping which is also the filling.  I just love cherries, as well as the filling that I created.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Fitness Routine?

Steep Mountain Horse Trails
Since I am somewhat limited in what I can physically do, how about I tell you about what I would be doing, rather than just the simple walking, etc. that I am more or less now restricted to.

Until my ol' body got all wrecked up, I rode horses a lot, often for fifteen hours at a time. I threw around bales of hay, and fifty pounds of horse feed, dog food, etc. I loved doing physical things, such as hiking, and even occasionally wrestling, for fun only, of course. I loved fishing, and even occasionally doing my own mechanical repairs, when I had the time.

When I say I rode horses, I don't mean simply sitting there and letting my horse do my walking for me. I loved riding distances, and really moving along.

My mare, Dusty, was an appaloosa horse, that really stepped out, and was nearly always leader of the pack, so to speak. She loved our outings as much as I did. When we rode to higher elevations in the nearby mountains, we packed food and drinks along to take us from about 5 AM until maybe 10 or 11 PM. There were times when we trailered the horses into the mountains, so we would be able to ride deep into the interior, following trails that were way too narrow for any four-wheeled vehicles, and too rough for bikes, even mountain bikes or motorcycles. It was either hike in, or ride a horse or mule.

I don't have any photos of Dusty, as they are in an album which I cannot seem to locate.  It's got to be here someplace, but I can't seem to locate it. That was in the days before I had a computer and before digital cameras.

Nearby Mountains
Where I Loved to Ride My Horse

©2010 PK Hawk
There was a beautiful waterfall there called Tenaja Falls, which drained into a natural rock pool, somewhat similar to a good sized jacuzzi, where my nieces loved to play and rejuvenate themselves after a good long ride.
Mountains I've Ridden In
©2010 PK Hawk

We all sat, resting under lovely oaks, munching on our provisions, eating such things as homemade trail mix, fresh fruit, and enjoying plenty of fresh water, and an occasional beer, or maybe a Pepsi.

I used to ride Dusty about halfway up the mountains, and along wildlife trails, from where I lived to another part of the area, where my sister lived, which was about five of six miles from my home. Dusty and I would stop and gaze out overlooking the valley, and the local lake, just taking it all in. No traffic, or people were up there, just us. It allowed time for reflection, and let the stresses of life just fade into the distance.

I loved camping, hiking, even more so if I had my horse to ride while there, too.

Now, since I can only occasionally take walks of any decent distance, I don't get nearly as much exercise as I should.
My Sister's Paint Stallion
©2009 PK Hawk

"Journey" (Paint) & "Jessica" (Quarter Mare)
"Journey" is the daughter of Savanna

Journey is a certified posse horse
Jessica was a quarter brood mare.

©2009 PK Hawk
Due to shoulder injuries she sustained as a foal,
Jessica was not ridable, but was a wonderful horse and had some fantastic offspring 
Buckskin Quarter Mare

©2009 PK Hawk
Chula lived to be 37 years old.
She was a working cattle horse, as well as a certified mounted posse horse.
She also belonged to my sister.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Principle Upon Which All Laws Are Based

©2010 PK Hawk

You Must Love Your Neighbor As Yourself!

With this law, there would be no need for any other laws, as it is all encompassing.

This is what every law in the Bible is based upon.

If everyone practiced this very simple law/concept, there would be no wars, no hunger, no physical abuse, no abortions, no murder, no robbery, no reckless driving, or any other things such as greed, or people dominating other people. There would be no animal abuse, or wanted slaughter of helpless creatures, no more feed lot killers and no puppy mills or unwanted pets being bred simply for financial gain.

Helpful Neighbor

The things that would no longer pose problems would be endless, if everyone did a Christ Jesus did, by showing compassion and love to everyone with whom he came in contact.
Good Friends

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Idolize or Admire? There is a Difference

Example of Idols
Some of These Are Even Worshipped
 or Bowed Down To

I have never idolized anyone that is human. There is a huge difference between idolizing someone or something and in admiring them. Christ Jesus himself said we were not to worship idols, or be induced to bow down to them or to serve them...

All through the Bible, it is definite on the subject of idols. If your Bible has an index, look up the word "idol," and see for yourself. The God of the Bible repeatedly warned his people to never even create an idol to bow down to, or to worship. He destroyed thousands in the wilderness for making and bowing down to an idol.

Definition of "idol or idolize" from Wikipedia:

An idol can be defined as an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.[1]

Hindu Idol of Worship
 More specific terms include:

Cult image, a religion-neutral term for a man-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents.
Idolatry, a term used in monotheism for the worship of cult images, termed idols, perhaps tending towards iconoclasm, the destruction of images.
Idolization, (verb: to idolize): as an excessive admiration, devotion, envy or attachment to a person or thing.
Idol of Buddha

Murti, a point of focus for devotion or meditation in Hindu and Buddhist religion (not always man-made).

Just ten days ago, the thirteen year-old son of his neighbor was killed while riding his bicycle along the street. He died of massive head injuries.  Would you even consider praying to or otherwise worshipping the bike on which he was killed, or the car that hit and killed him?  
A Primary Idol of


I have admired many people. There is always the obvious, Jesus Christ, as he was God's own Son, and though being human while on earth, he was perfect, in mind and in body. He left his followers many examples of what were not only acceptable but also necessary for humans to aspire to, in order to please his heavenly Father. He was the perfect example of demonstrating love and compassion to his fellow man, as well as showing and explaining things which were unacceptable to his Father, and to him, since he was the perfect reflection of his Father in heaven.

 Even today, there are many people I admire, as they are kind, decent and caring people, who would never deliberately hurt anyone, or try to cheat anyone out of anything.

While it is impossible for imperfect people to never err, we can still refrain from deliberate sinning.

Definition of "admire" from Miriam Webster's Dictionary (online):
ad·mire verb \əd-ˈmī(-ə)r\


Definition of ADMIRE

transitive verb

1: to regard with admiration

2 archaic : to marvel at

intransitive verb

dialect : to like very much <I would admire to know why not — A. H. Lewis>

— ad·mir·er noun

— ad·mir·ing·ly adverb

See admire defined for English-language learners »

Examples of ADMIRE

We gazed out the window and admired the scenery.

 Origin of ADMIRE

 Middle French admirer, to marvel at, from Latin admirari, from ad- + mirari to wonder, from mirus astonishing

First Known Use: 1566

Related to ADMIRE

Synonyms: appreciate, consider, esteem, regard, respect,

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Book that Changed What My Life May Have Been

Who Left Us an Example to Follow?
Though I have always been a person who hated evil, I have learned that it is not my place to punish others for their wrongdoing. I taught my children to be decent, law-abiding people, and to treat others as they want to be treated. I only have the power and ability to try to reach people's hearts, and hope that they will make necessary changes in their lives, for the betterment of themselves, their family, as well as those with whom they have contact in their lives. If they choose not to listen, that is their choice, and they will have to accept the responsibility for their own actions, good or bad, or completely evil.

This may sound a bit like a cliche' to many of you. But, if I did not have the Bible to guide my path through life, I don't even want to think what sort of person I would have become. The scriptures and the example that Jesus left for his followers has helped me control what may have been an out of control temper, and taught me what our heavenly Father requires of his earthly children. I have also learned that God has always had a plan in place to return obedient, and faithful humans who follow his son's example, to perfection, so they could live forever here on this cleansed planet earth, as he originally created mankind to live.

After all, doesn't the designer and maker of machinery, tools, buildings and factories, know more about how it is supposed to be cared for and maintained, than people who work there? Don't you receive in instruction manual for your new car, computer and new appliances, which tells you how to avoid damaging them during use, and how to avoid overloading them, which very well could shorten their productivity, and useful lifespan?

Though Christ Jesus was a perfect man, he also was the Son of our heavenly Farther and our Creator, Jehovah God, the Supreme Ruler of the entire universe. Even Jesus said that he came to do his Father's will, and that everything he did was what his Father wanted him to do. Jesus died faithful to his Father, and refused to be tempted by Satan and his offer of giving him all the kingdoms of the earth. He also refused to put his Father to the test, by hurling himself down on top of many stones. Each time, he quoted scripture to Satan, telling him that we are not to put our heavenly Father to the test, and that it is Jehovah our God to whom we are to worship, and to render sacred service. Did you know that Satan even quotes from the scriptures? Only he twists them, to suit his own desires.

Adam & Eve Lost Perfection
and Lost Living Forever For Us All
But, Our Creator Has the Remedy
He Only Asks For Us to be Faithful,
and to Obey His Laws

The same thing goes for humans as well as the earth itself, and every living thing upon the earth. God knew what he was doing, and made it all function as a unit, with the various systems supporting each other and everything alive on the earth. God never makes rules for no reason, but for our own benefit, to help us stay healthier, and to live happier lives.

He has also even sent his only begotten Son, in Jesus, to die as a sacrifice in order to redeem mankind from the sin and death we inherited from Adam due to his falling into sin, and death. Adam had freedom of choice, yet he knew the result of disobedience would mean loss of his perfect life. Still he and his wife Eve fell from perfection, because they sinned, by stealing something which Jehovah God had already told Adam to not even touch, as that tree belonged to his heavenly Father. Yet, they chose to listen to a liar, Satan the Devil, who claimed that God had not told them the truth about the possibility of them dying if they ate from that tree.

As parents, don't we often warn our beloved children not to do things that could or would certainly lead to injury, illness or even death? They may not understand our reasoning, until many years later, but don't we correct them, even punishing them at times in order to help them to learn we are only looking out for their welfare? Christ Jesus was always obedient to his Father, and left us a perfect example for us to follow his steps closely. He and his Father know we are not perfect any longer, but they also know that if we use our freedom of choice to make wise decisions, we will be better off.
Father Teaches His Son

The Bible has many places which warn about immorality, and that if we choose to live an immoral lifestyle, we are actually sinning, not only against our Creator, but also against our own body. Immorality causes many illnesses, many of which can ruin our lives, and lead to sterility, and even death due to the resulting conditions we may acquire from that temporary pleasure.

Obedience to our Creator, and following his Son's example can only make our lives happier and keep up healthier, as well.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Some Forms of My Creative Expression

Rescued Great Dane, 100 lb. Black Lab/Shepherd-X 
& My 6' Tall Grandson (Vet Tech.) 
©2010 PK Hawk
I really do have a creative side. I love writing, as well as photography, and when there is time and money for it, I also like to paint, and create things out of clay.

Once, about forty-five years ago, I was just working with a small pile of clay. I really had no idea what I wanted to do with it, so I let it tell me what to do. It ended up being a ballerina in a action pose with a long flowing dress. I never did have it fired, and eventually it got broken. One day, I think I will probably try to make one similar again,' one day.' I also have painted several small nature scenes, some on paper, and others on wooden plaques such as you might buy at "Walmart" or at "Michaels." I have to use either water or acrylics, as I am allergic to petroleum distillates in oil paints.
Palms at Midnight
©2010 PK Hawk

Once, and this was before I really knew I could paint a decent picture, my oldest daughter came home from school with a project she had for school. They were supposed to paint something about ecology, and the natural world around us. Parents were encouraged to get involved, and yes, even to help with the painting, as well.

After some discussion, we decided to create a picture from the scriptures, Isaiah 11:6-9 specifically. You know it, the scene that has the wolf and the lamb, and a lion and lamb sort of scene. We decided it needed to be a large piece, so rather than chance ruining a large canvas, we went to our butcher, and asked for some butcher paper large enough to paint a easily seen scene that could be hung up at school for the class to see from their seats.

We created a lake being fed by a stream, with plenty of pasture all around, and mountains in the distance. There were herds of sheep, and several horses, and a few elephants, all peacefully coexisting. There, together with the sheep and antelope, were several lions peacefully enjoying the sun and water along with all the other creatures. It was actually another thing my daughter and I created together, which we kept for many years, that is until it eventually became lost in a move, when it was torn too badly to try repairing.
From Under the Overhang
©2010 PK Hawk

I love photography, as you may also know, since I do use some of my own photos online, when they fit the article I have written.

I love singing, though I can no longer sing as I once did before my second neck surgery wiped out my lyric soprano voice.

I guess there are really many ways I like to express my creative side, though it was only within the past twenty or so years that I really discovered I actually have a creative side. If no one else likes the things I create, I still do, and I also enjoy painting small scenes of mountain cabins nestled among large trees, with a few flowers scattered around. I also like to create scenes of the desert, with dry gulches, and wagon trains, and people trudging along, as when the settlers were traveling across the plains westward. I like to make small plaques with little adobe huts like ones I have actually seen deep in the deserts of Old Mexico when I was about ten years old. We lived in El Paso, Texas at the time, and my father liked going over the border into Cuidad Juarez from time to time to buy gallon cans of jalapenos and serano peppers. We often would just go for a drive into the deeper parts of the surrounding desert. It was then that I saw many scattered adobe houses, with probably only one or two rooms, where poorer families lived, just sitting out in the middle of nowhere. There would occasionally be a small corral with a couple of horses, and may be a goat tied out, which I assumed was for milk.

Freeway Tieup
©2010 PK Hawk
Sometimes, I could even see a skinny dog, either lying in the shade of the little house or just wandering as if it might be looking for something it could catch for a bite of food, such as a lizard or even a tarantula, which many people actually do eat.

Sometimes, it's a good thing to contemplate one's creative side, as it can actually encompass much more than one might actually realize. Mental meandering can and often does open up entirely new ideas and opportunities to express one's creativity.
Sleeping Furby
©2010 PK Hawk
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

If I Could Work from Anywhere, I'd Live in...

Mountain Home
While I am fine with where I live, I would rather be living in another state rather than in California. I have lived in Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and for a short time, even in Rosarito Beach (Playas de Rosarito, B.C., Mexico). I have also stayed for a short time in Acapulco, and in Mexico City, as well. 

Mexico City has an interesting history, and many rather ancient ruins, it also has way too many people and traffic for my taste. I really liked Acapulco, and hated leaving there. we were there in August of 1979, so I am sure things have changed a lot since then. In Acapulco most people had coconut trees in their yards, which produced fruit, and even banana trees, as well papaya trees with wonderfully large fruit. The papayas there were much larger than what we can buy in our markets. Mangos also grew larger there as the weather and humidity was much more tropical there.

Happy Horse
Where would I like to live if I did not stay where I live? Once not many months ago, I wrote to a prompt about where I would like to live if I had a choice of places. It really doesn't matter what state it would be, as long as I had a few acres on a slightly higher elevation. I would love a place with some hills, and area to raise my own vegetable and fruit, including apples, oranges, avocados, lemons, as well as berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, as well as many more species of fruit and berries. I would also like a cellar for storage of tubers that I had raised, and a place for my horses and sheep and goats to graze, so they wouldn't have to eat stored hay so much as most livestock now does.

I would love to have a small river or stream running though my property, as well as a small lake to provide plenty of drinking water for my livestock, and a wonderful place to swim and/or take my small boat. I would maybe still do my online writing, as that could be sent by a satellite connection. I would be off the grid, having my own solar and wind driven source of electricity for my needs. I would also have space for friends and family to live, just far enough away that we would each have our privacy, yet be close enough to visit and share good times, with family gatherings, and some meals together, while sharing crops we would have grown.