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Educate Yourself on SOPA & PIPA. Also Why My Site Isn’t Going Black Today.

18 Jan

So yesterday I worked on a lovely new recipe for all of you.

Something quick and simple.

Suitable for a weekend snack or tailgate party.

I almost had it ready to publish and the more I thought about it I just couldn’t.

I need to talk about something else today.

You may have noticed that some of your favorite blogs and websites aren’t up.

They’ve gone black.

You can read about it here and here and I’m sure many other places around the web.

This is all in protest of an online piracy bill. SOPA.

I’m not that tech savvy so instead of taking my site down for the day (and fearing I may not be able to bring it back) I though I’d take the opportunity to add my two cents about this bill.

Youtube videos like this one are easily found with a simple SOPA search and offer some easy to understand explanations.

What is SOPA?

SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act.  It is the sibling bill to PIPA, which is the Protect IP Act.

These bills are written in a way that makes them basically look good on the surface.  On the surface they want to wipe out online piracy sites that offer illegal downloads  of media such as music, software, videos, etc.

The scarey part is this opens the door for ANY site to be shut down even if the person is doing noting wrong.

For example. …

I’m I huge fan of the Joy of Baking website.

The recipes are wonderful and with each one you get a history and back ground information on the recipe.

This was part of a recent status update from their facebook page:

This week a major cookbook publisher issued a demand to our server company to take down a recipe alleging we were infringing with one of their books. We were forced to take down the page while we appealed this baseless attack on us. Not only was the recipe significantly different, but recipes aren’t even copyrightable under US law. All we did was referenced the author and the book that we used to help us develop our recipe. This is perfectly legal and what all cookbook authors do. But that didn’t matter, we are guilty until proven innocent. We have appealed and expect to have the recipe back up this week, but this was a huge wake up call for us and it should be for all of you.

With SOPA/PIPA it wouldn’t have just been the one recipe that was taken down.  The ENTIRE SITE would have been taken down.  It would have cost them time and money to appeal the governments decision.

For most of us who blog, we are NOT million dollar corporations.  We do not have the funds or resources to fight if our sites are taken down unfairly.

If this bill is allowed to pass it could truly change the internet and our freedoms of speech as we know them.

The most recent news is that the White House reaction to SOPA has tabled it, but there’s no reason why it can’t pop up again with a different name or a couple of simple changes and it would pass through silently.

Please go to house.gov.  Enter your zip code. Find your representative. Let them know how you fill about this bill.

**Update:  Google is hosting a petition against SOPA. You can it here.

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Mexican Lasagna

13 Sep

The other night I dreamed about my Grandaddy.

In my dream we were at the ball field.

Just outside of the dugout.

I looked across the crowd and he was just standing there….

taller than everyone else.

and when I went to look for him he was gone….

Maybe I’ve seen one to many pictures of kids at the ball field and it has me all nostalgic.

Maybe I’m just missing my Grandaddy.

Maybe I know my sweet Granny isn’t well and is really missing him too.


Whatever the reason having him on my mind makes me feel closer to him.

I know if he was here he’d give me a hard time about not visiting enough.

Then he’d tell me how proud he is of me.

and that I should keep sharing yummy things with you.

this picture ran in our local paper. this was a church softball game. my grandaddy was actually there with the other team. he told me later even though he was there with the other team he always wanted my husband to do well. even if he was playing for the opposing team, lol.

You wanna know how to make this Mexican Lasagna?

I think Grandaddy would approve.

Mexican Lasagna ~ (adapted from Woman’s Day)

1 lb. ground beef
2 poblano chile peppers, seeded & diced
1 sm. onion, diced
2 T. chili powder
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (15oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (10oz.) can enchilada sauce, mild
1/2 C. cilantro
4-6 flour tortillas
2 C. tortilla chips, crushed
1 C. cheddar cheese
1 C. mozzarella cheese

Prepare your casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray. I used a 2.5 qt. dish. Set aside

Cook beef, onion, and peppers in a skillet until beef is browned, onions are slightly translucent, and peppers are tender. Stir in the chili powder and taco seasoning. Cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, and enchilada sauce. Allow to simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Start by adding a tortilla shell and crushed tortillas to the bottom of your baking dish. Top with some of the beef mixture and cheese. Continue until fully assembled. (You can also divided this into two dishes and bake one now and freeze one for later. Will keep wrapped in plastic wrap and foil for 2 months.) Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.

Confessions

12 Aug

Shhhh….

Can you keep a secret?

See I have this addiction.  It’s an obsession really.

I love recipes…

My house is literally over flowing with them.

They live on top of my microwave…

And clipped to the side of my refrigerator…

I bookmark them on my computer.  I run my printer out of  ink printing them.  I have folders and binders stuffed full of them.  I scribble them on random scraps of paper and into spiral bound notebooks.

I have shelves filled with them….

I dog ear the pages in magazines of things I want to make….

Then I just get tired of having all the magazines sitting there taunting me with all of the things I haven’t made yet.

So I rip out the pages I want to keep and stuff them in a file folder….

Clearly I have issues…

A sane person would find a better way to organize all this chaos.   But see, here is my issue.  These scraps of paper are disposable.  For me to commit ANY of these scraps of paper to my more permanent collection.  I have to have cooked it.  And loved it.  With these scraps of paper If I don’t love it I can just toss it out.  I don’t have to revisit it.  The problem is I never seem to get around to cooking anything on these scraps of  paper.  Sure maybe every so often one is made.

So here is what I think we should do.  I’m going to start cooking my way through this collection of papers and sharing them with you.

Deal….

Good.

Now go have yourself a huge glass of this…

You can find the directions to make it here.

She does a much better job of explaining the process than I ever could.

P.S.  I drink mine with fat free milk, a packet of Splenda, and a tiny shot of Hersey’s chocolate syrup.  If you like coffee you need this in your life.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me for it.

Growing

4 Aug

I’m having one of those times as a parent…

You know the ones where you’re happy and sad and scared and nervous and anxious all rolled up into one, but mostly you feel like your heart might just be breaking a tiny bit….

Yeah one of THOSE moments….

The ones where part of you wants to hold on tightly with all you might.  Part of you wants time to stand still or even move in reverse and almost all of you wants to deny you have to let go “just a little bit.”  Your baby isn’t really a baby anymore…and what’s even more terrifying is you KNOW this is only the first of MANY of those times.

“THE LETTER” came in the mail about a week ago.  Up until then I was doing pretty good living in denial and enjoying summer vacation with my little man.  (Well obviously not so little if we just got a middle school letter)  I put all things Middle School out of my mind and if it did start to creep in just a little I shoved it on back.

Tomorrow is the first day.  Tonight is orientation. Today I’m on the verge of tears.

I blame it on this: 
My friends little boy is here today.  He’s 4 and totally addicted to The Land Before Time.  So we dug out the old VHS tapes my little guy watched and had a movie marathon.  The song almost did me in this afternoon.  Crazy Right??

It’s makes me nostalgic for my own quiet little 4 year old who played with dinosaurs and loved Thomas the Train.  The little boy who would could spot a lizard from a mile away. The one who loved to bake brownies so he could crack the eggs and lick the bowl when we were finished. The one that stayed right by me, safe and protected.

Tomorrow morning I’ll put my brave face on as I drop him off for the first day.  I know he’ll do great.  He’s ready for this.

For my part I’m going to savor every moment.  He may not be into dinosaurs and Thomas the Train anymore but he’s an amazing kid who’s growing into an even more amazing young man.  I know this next chapter is going to be great.

Now where’s my Kleenex??