Tips to Keep Bugs OFF Your Vehicle

You can keep bugs off your vehicle with an easy method.  Read on.

You can keep bugs off your vehicle with an easy method. Read on.

If bugs are bugging your vehicle, don’t be frustrated when you attempt to clean them off. They stick as if they found a way to embed themselves forever.

I’ve discovered a method that works.  I’ve used it on jeeps, my old convertible, RV’s, trucks.

Summer is the time when the living is easy.  WAR against these flying critters is frustrating and not the way to live.

Here’s what you do.  You get down to cleaning off the vehicle in whatever means you use: Soap pads, heavy duty detergent in water, etc.

Then, find a tall can of WD40.  Spray that waxy substance on the grill, bumper, license plate, car hood, mirror backs.

After your vehicle returns to home base, just wipe off the waxy ingredient and reapply.

Fans of Skin-So-Soft say that works, too.  You can make your summer more fun instead by eliminating the frustrating work of cleaning off unwelcome bugs.

The Specialist — The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – The Specialist – shows the trial of a top Nazi who directed the transport of victims to concentration camps in WWII.

Watching Eichmann, a thin, precisely-speaking and dogmatic villain as he presents his innocence is not only compelling but chilling to view.

He was captured by Israel’s intelligence agency, The Mossal, in Buenos Aires with the alias Ricardo Klement.  The shape of his ears from his SS files concluded that his appearance had been altered but he was the same as Eichmann.

Asked to identify himself when he was kidnapped and taken to a safe house in Buenos Aires, he first gave his name as Klement, his alias.  On the third time of asking he responded in his usual arrogant manner, “I AM Adolf Eichmann.  This is indeed my name.”  Then he asked for a glass of wine.

He was charged with fifteen counts of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against  humanity, war crimes and membership of a hostile organization.

An elaborate plan spirited him out of the country without alerting Argentinian authorities.  An El Al plane brought an official Israeli delegation to the city as a cover for taking the high-value target back to Israel.  He was passed off as a sick airline employee, dressed in an El Al uniform and heavily sedated in first class.  (If he had been alert, he would have FELT it to be only way to travel.)

The film, The Specialist, is of his trial in Israel in which 99 Holocaust victims gave evidence.  He was sentenced and hanged in May l962, the only time in Israel’s history that the death penalty has been enacted.  His body was cremated and the ashes scattered at sea beyond Israel’s territory waters.

One interesting piece of the Eichmann story is that Himmler’s daughter helped plan and execute the plans of many Nazis in major positions and gave them the means to escape with new identities at war’s end.  Every year on her birthday, they return to honor her.

Eichmann was identified by a Holocoust victim whose daughter was dating Eichmann’s son and became suspicious of the boy’s father.

The Specialist is not to be confused with another film, a thriller, with the same title where Sylvester Stalone and Sharion Stone give excellent performances in l994 and in which she wears exquisite designer clothes, even by 2015 standards.

Anyone interested in WWII may be interested in viewing “The Specialist, Trial of Adolf Eichmann.”

Presenting the Perfect Pie

No doubt, making this pie is one of the most memorable things I've ever done.

No doubt, making this pie is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.

I’ve been baking pies a long time.  I even won a medal once at Waterloo Iowa’s Dairy Cattle Congress for an apple pie, but this recipe for rhubarb pie is so incredible in all ways, that I must share its secrets.

The pie is so tasty, the balance of tart and sweet to perfection, the crust golden in color and depth, that I still sense the flavor two days later.  As soon as it came out of the oven, it had the persona of perfection.  Two days later I can still sense the taste and will be making it again this morning before it gets too hot outside.

You see I sacrificed the last remaining piece. I gave it to my pie-discerning neighbor Bob Yoder who pays big bucks for a pie at pie auctions.  Before I knew it, he’d returned with a pile of rhubarb from his garden and left it on my back deck.

Life is all about presentation: the way you dress, your hair style, the way you even arrange dishes in your dishwasher or on the sink, prepare flower arrangements, organize your home.  This pie is lives a life of perfection.

4 cups fresh rhubarb  (cut in 1/2 pieces and do USE fresh)

4 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca

l egg

2 teaspoons cold water

Pastry for double-crust 9 inch pie (I use half butter and half lard)

1 tablespoon butter

Place rhubarb in a colander and pour the hot water over it in a big bowl and set aside.

In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and tapioca.

Drain rhubarb.  Add to the sugar mixture and toss well.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

Beat egg and water.  Add to rhubarb mixture and pour into bottom pastry. Dot with butter.

Cover with remaining top pastry and flute the edges.  Cut slits in top crust.

Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 for the remaining 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Attention Men: The Color of Your Sox Is Important

She knows what a woman prefers.

She knows what a woman prefers.

My independent poll of a few men did confirm the reality of the color of a guy’s sox choice.  I asked, “Would you wear sox with crazy patterns and colors?”  A firm, ‘No,” was the immediate response.

A guy recently asked Amy Alton, the Advice Goddess in Santa Monica, “I’m a 31-year-old straight guy.  I dress boringly- except for my sox.  My buddy says my crazy pattered sox make me look weird and less manly.  In other words, do women prefer guys who wear black, brown or gray sox (or, white for sporting events)?

I agree with Amy’s answer, that yes, guys, your sox are costly signals.  To wear certain sox, she says, can be risky for any man.

I remember that when I was dating a guy in Iowa who was a flashy dresser, when he came with a hole in the back of one of his sox, his appeal dropped significantly, or I never wanted to see him again even if he wasn’t wearing Superman insignia with little red capes.

As for insignia on a guy’s underwear, that doesn’t count.  It’s not up for public view.  It’s his right to wear, especially if it is a gifted garment bearing a significant message such as ‘Temptation.’

Breakfast Treat

This recipe is unique in today's world.  Somehow it got lost back in the l930's.

This recipe is unique in today’s world. Somehow it got lost back in the l930’s.

Mother would make this light, fluffy cake after Dad left for work.  The neighbor ladies were stay-at-home moms so they could come over to enjoy the coffee cake when it came out of the oven.

Somehow the recipe seemed the perfect thing to serve guests this week.  I had included it in the first of my three little recipe books.  Mable, who is a member of a blue grass band and who loves to quilt and who has an orchard in Libby, Montana, with 400 fruit trees, asked for more!  As we discussed unique recipes she said she’d send me her recipe for BAKED OATMEAL.  Now that’s one I really want to try.

FILLED COFFEE CAKE

Sift 1 1/2 cups flour and 3 tsp. baking powder with 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Cut in 1/4 cup shortening (I used butter).

Blend in an egg that has been beaten with 1/2 cup milk.   Then, add 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

THE FILLING

Mix the following together in a small bowl and sprinkle on top:

1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Pour dough into a greased pan about 6 x l0 and spread with this filling.  Then, spread with dough again and top with filling.

(Dough is difficult to spread, but can easily be done with your fingers.)

BAKE 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Are You As Adventuresome?

This man loves the toughest and most austere ancient lands for his research.

This man loves the toughest and most austere ancient lands for his research.

If there were a contest for the best authentic Indiana Jones alive today, this guy would be on top of the pile of candidates.  As we traveled the sites of the ancient Pueblos in the Southwest, I asked a couple archeologists if they knew him.  One archeologist who was restoring a wall at the Aztec site, said that he’d run across Craig Childs during his the ten years work in the Canyon of the Ancients preserving the past before the dam was in place.

I’m glad Craig is real.  I was fortunate to pick his book, House of Rain,  in the Chaco Culture Center gift shop.  It was a great adventure for me just to follow his description of how he made his way through impossible territories we were viewing.

Here’s one example from his book:

“It was a route I had used off and on over the past ten years, a thin outcrop of rock over a free-fall drop, the only way through. it is the checkpoint through which all travelers must pass when moving from one region of Canyonlands into the next.

“Dangling off this rock shelf, I would have to cross it, then jump down to another ledge below.  I took off my pack–no room to climb down with it on my back–and as I turned to make my jump, I noticed above me pieces of a ruin I hadn’t seen before, simple stones neatly placed, the grin of a low wall in an overhead cliff.

“I scrambled up to see if a human hand had really made this place.  Teetering on the tips of my boots, trying not to leave footprints in the dust, I found a chamber filled with rubble, many of its stones having fallen away.  It was Anasazi.  Right above this pinch, they had built a guardhouse from which they could see anyone coming, a natural bottleneck controlling the entire region.

“Among the archaeological sites I have seen in Canyonlands, many are positioned in a way that makes me think the Anasizi were constantly checking their backs, keeping an eye on movement in these canyons.  Pressed by the thrust of war and overcrowding in the thirteenth century, they vanished into this hard, convoluted desert to escape the burning pith of their civilization.

“If you wanted to hide somewhere, guaranteeing no one would follow, this would be the place to go.

“I turned around and shot down from the ruin, jumping over the edge of the pinch.  I reached back with the full extent of my fingertips to grab my pack, then disappeared down the deep, stone rabbit hole below.”

Craig roams in the worst of weather, rain, sleet, snow, extreme heat, often setting caches of water along a proposed route.  Not only does he do what seems impossible, he puts a reader right beside him.  As an added bonus, he adds his knowledge of the area, the people and their lifestyles.

Exciting stuff in a world with so few heroes.

Unforgettable

Canyons of the Ancients windswept mesas and ruins hold secrets from the past.

(Look closely at this photo and you’ll see the Hovenweep campground with wind breaks placed behind each picnic table within each camp site.)

Unforgettable, that’s what you are.” You can almost hear Nat King Cole signing as you drive across the vast mesas where once lived thousands of Pueblo People, more commonly known as the Anasizi, to drive the many miles it takes to reach it.

When the traveler finally reaches the campground and continues by foot to the canyon rim, the sites below or across the canyons beckon. The faint of heart, however, view the massive cave dwellings from above and watch hikers make their way below into the canyons.

The wind here is such a constant that wind breaks are needed for campers. A Mormon first reported these impressive sites in southeastern Utah when he was leading an expedition in 1854.

Photographer, William Henry Jackson, in l874 first used the name: Hovenweep, which is the Ute/Paiute for ‘deserted valley.’.

Say the name, Hovenweep, out loud. If you do, it may stay with you. The tall towers, outlines of multi-room pueblos, shaped stones, small cliff dwellings, rock art lie scattered across the landscape and leave little doubt that a huge population once lived in this high desert.

Despite the marginal growing conditions (and the wind, of course, which never seems to stop), the ancient ones raised corn, beans, squash and other crops in small fields and terraces and built little dams for irrigation. Their wisdom of astronomy helped calculate growing seasons.

Like the wind, severe drought came They fled to the Mollogon rim with its forests and better water. Some historians believe that aggressive people arrived. The terrible climate change brought them from the north here to wage war and disaster.

Many Pueblo ancestors believe this is sacred land and that one day they may return to live here again.

Things Go Missing

Twin Rocks Cafe Bluff Utah

Objects disappear when traveling.  On our recent trip to the Southwest in the Pleasure Way van pictured above, the biggest loss was a hundred dollar bill. You can’t lose one of those without a little concern.

I had the bill in my hand and was making my way to the front of the van when traffic was stopped in Farmington by students who were taking a collection from passersby.  It was as if I were a magician instead of someone who had been asked to take it into a store to make a purchase to change a large bill.

The Skipper of the rig pointed to one of the eight small cupboards and said, “Where did you put the computer cords?  I always keep them right here.”

“You’re right,  They aren’t there,” I fretted, running my hand among the items in the ledge over the door.  It was where I put them for you last night.”

How do things go missing on a trip?  The cords vanished just like a box of oatmeal that Skipper had taken from the large box behind the van and put, he thought, in the entrance.

None of those things ever showed up.  Any more than the campfires and warm weather I had envisioned for the ruins of Chaco Canyon, the Arches, Mesa Verde.  Upon arrival, it was either too late at night, too windy or cold.  The Four Corners region can feel unfriendly when it comes to weather.

At one campground, we met a retired pediatrician who was a good organizer.  “My wife and I worked things out our first days on the road.  She has her places and I have mine.”  The couple had rented their home in the East and were touring to find a place to relocate.  “Does this mean that you are full timers?”  He frowned at the thought.

For a review of the Twin Rocks Café pictured above, check out my next blog.

Cafe Has a Special Twist

Twin Rocks Cafe Bluff Utah

A Utah park ranger mentioned this café in his line up of the Anasazi ruins we should see.  “President Clinton gave the people of this area a dam and in exchange received miles and miles of mesas with ruins.  He gave archeologists ten years to study the ruins which would be covered by water.  The artifacts they uncovered are here at this museum.  In Bluff, you might like the Twin Rocks Café.  I go there all the time.”

Skipper, the driver of the little Pleasure Way van in which we were traveling, said, “Why do you want to go thirty miles each way out of our way to go to a café?”

“With so few restaurants in this remote area, it might be as big a tourist attraction as any ruins.  The Anasazi sited their villages in twin fashion, from entrances to their religious kivas to the places they chose.  I’ll bet this café is similar site worth seeing.”

I chose pancakes with fruit topping and sausage.  Skipper delighted in a breakfast burrito called a “Supper Burrito.”   The food was creatively served and hot off the griddle.  It was delicious.

An exquisite gift shop attached to the café had the most expensive jewelry I’d seen in one place.  My favorites were a six thousand dollar very light blue, almost white, bracelet of turquoise blue.  Other designers displayed thin bracelets of silver with little gold raised figures of horses.  Oh, my, if I had dollars to spare, this would have been the place.

I left happy with a turquoise top with a silver horse design and a memory of meal never to be forgotten.

Their Sandals Left Messages in the Sand and Dust

They came here by the thousands to build the massive cities and kivas and left their tracks in the sand and dust.

They came here by the thousands to build the massive cities and kivas and left their tracks in the sand and dust.

They were walking people, these ancient ones who lived on the Colorado Plateau in the early centuries.

I saw several of their sandals in two fine museums, Anasazi and Edge of Cedars.  I marveled at the delicate and woven patterns raised slightly along both soles.  I thought, “They are leaving a message through the  zigzags and square-edged spirals in the sand and dust.  Wherever their feet went, they  said where they were going, or why they were going.”

A National Park ranger at Mesa Verde told us she saw a turkey feather blanket at Edge of Cedars.  “I could picture a woman with such cape over her shoulders as she was on her way to a kiva to a ceremony,” she said.  “They raised turkeys for feathers and food.”  When I saw this blanket, I could, too.  The weaving of such a lovely and practical garment took someone very accomplished.

Even more astounding was reportedly the only one of its kind in the world — a sash woven of feathers of tropical red parrots.  Who today can weave such lasting wonders?  The feathers remain intact.  They are almost as bright and vivid today as they were centuries ago.  How did they get and raise parrots?  Did their wide roadways of stone and mud curbs, still visible through the mesa and hand-holes over mountains, connect their sites with the people of pyramids in Mexico?

More in my next blog about ceremonial kivas and the amazing reconstructed beautiful one at Aztec, New Mexico, a special site with peace and tranquility, unlike so many others with stranger tales to tell.

Turkey Feather Blanket