What do the Simple folk do #5? They Go hiking for Flowers!

Even as some persons get the COVD-19 Vaccine shots, there will still be a need to distance from others until we have a giant chunk of the US population protected from the Virus. So, those of us in the 65+ age bracket in Oregon are continuing to take to the hills during the spring weather and get out to see the blooming newly sprouted spring flowers. Hikes of 3 – 5 miles can take you off the beaten track or through some great cross country in the Columbia Gorge to see some of these beauties. Here are a couple of my favorites from the past couple of weeks near Hood River, Oregon!

Memaloose/ Marsh Hills area, Oregon: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/Yvgwj1yvA3EMUij8rnYfGjZn

This is a great hiking area which can be easily started from the East bound Interstate 84 Rest Stop just 3 – 4 miles past the Mosier, Oregon Exit, or, you can go off at the Mosier exit, and take old Highway 30 East out of Mosier up to a viewpoint about 2 miles east and park your car there and walk on the trail which takes off just across the road heading south through the hills. (See my post on the Bat House Hike from earlier in the year for other sites in the area as well. Lots of great flowers to see this time of year!

A Chilly Day, but flowers don’t mind! Yellow Bells, Buttercups, Grass Widows (purple and white) Or, on the Washington side of the Columbia there is another great place to see Spring in action.

Catherine Creek, Washington: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/JXq0zOxOrraOodx9PoZ9icAe

Trails and maps, cliffs and vistas, desert parsley, and shooting stars!

If you like hiking, and get to this part of the USA, then you should definitely visit the Columbia Gorge and bring a good reference book. I recommend:

Gerry Frank’s “Oregon” ISBN: 978-1-879333-23-9

and Rhonda and George Ostertag’s book: 100 Hikes in Oregon ISBN: 0-89886-298-1

Enjoy!

Recipe for: G.F. Muffins (Blueberries optional)

Now that my first picture has your mouth watering – This morning I got up with another Cooking attack that led to a Breakfast of G.F. Blueberry Muffins.

If you can’t stand blueberries but like muffins, then this recipe will still work wonders for your gastronomic anatomy!>) If you can’t stand muffins, then this blog is not for you, just go and sulk over your bowl of blueberries.

Materials? Right here! Note the two bowls, one for wet ingredients and the other for dry stuff. Coffee maker to the right is not needed, but is making my beverage to go along with the goodies.

OK enough yak, here’s the Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 400F while you are putting everything together.

Combine in your Dry Ingredients Bowl: 2 Cups of G.F. Flour (any kind will do) This batch used “Krusteaz” Flour, but often I just use the regular generic baking G.F. flour found in bins. 1/4 Cup Sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.

Combine in your wet Ingredients Bowl: 1 and 1/4 cups of Buttermilk, 3 tbs of Canola or Olive oil, 3 large eggs or 4 small eggs (The eggs are a binder and add a slight bit of liquid).

Beat the Wet ingredients well to get everything to a smooth frothy mixture.

NOW! BEFORE YOU MIX WET AND DRY: Get out your muffin tins and grease them! (2×8 or a 12 and an 8) This is one of the places I fine a spray Canola Oil works better than trying to smear olive oil or butter or even Canola around each muffin hole with a piece of paper towel. A single “POOF” of oil into each hole is plenty.

You do this, because once you get the Wet and Dry Ingredients together, you will want to put them in the pans and directly into the oven right away!

Now Combine your Wet and Dry Ingredients, mixing them just enough to get a smooth batter.

Immediately, fold in your Blueberries. You will already start to see the batter rising a bit as the acid in the buttermilk combines with the baking soda to release Carbon Dioxide.

Keep Moving! Fill each cup in the tin 2/3 full of batter. I find that a 1/3 cup of batter is plenty for this. You will fill 16 – 18 muffin cups this way.

Put your tins in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 23 minutes.

At 18 minutes, check the muffins. I find that this is a good time to turn the pans around in the oven so that any browning is nice and even. You know your own oven so you may not have to do this.

At 20 minutes, check the muffins for brownness.

If they look golden brown take them out! If not, Check again at 22 minutes. DON’T LET THEM BURN!

Remove your two tins, loosen the muffins with a spatula and tip them so they breath for a minute.

Select your 3 – 4 muffins, add a slice of butter and feast your heart out! Add Jam if you didn’t add berries!

PS: IF YOU DON’T HAVE OR LIKE BUTTERMILK – 2 WORKAROUND FIXES

A. Use Regular milk or Almond milk instead of buttermilk, Add 2 tsp of lemon juice to your batter as you are combining the wet and dry mixtures. NOT BEFORE THIS OR THINGS WILL CURDLE! The lemon juice provides the acid to get the Soda working for initial carbon dioxide.

B. NO LEMON? Use Regular milk or Almond milk instead of buttermilk, Leave out the Soda! Add an extra tsp of Baking Powder. This will give you ample rising once the batter is in the oven and the heat and moisture work on the Baking powder to release carbon dioxide.

GF Pancakes (Blueberries are Optional)!


In case you are looking for more GF recipes: Look at this one!

Here is what I use once a week for making my  GF pancakes (Blue Berries optional).
While you are making your batter, you can put your favorite cast iron frying pan on the burner to heat up slowly to about # 5 on the electric stove burner setting. If you put your oil into the pan, you will see if the oil begins to smoke that the pan is getting too hot and you can remove it to cool slightly so you don’t cook the pancakes too quickly and burn them.

I use two bowls:Bowl A – dry ingredients1and 1/4 cups of GF Flour1 tbs. sugar (this is to make the golden brown color in the pancakes, can be omitted)1 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Bowl B – wet ingredients3 eggs – this helps bind the batter since there is no Gluten1 and 1/4 cups of buttermilk3 tbs. olive oil or canola oil
Beat these ingredients together well so that it is a smooth yellow creamy froth.
Combine Bowls A and BBeat together just long enough to mix the ingredients well and get the flour mixed in well.
Don’t beat so long that it beats the bubbles out of the mixture!

If you are making blueberry hotcakes:  fold in 1 – 2 cups of room temp. blueberries.

Using a 1/4 cup ladle, put your dollops of batter in the preheated pan and fry per usual.

Makes – 20 – 24 pancakes.Hint – If you don’t want to eat them all, cool in open air for 30 minutes, put into freezer containers in meal sized amounts and freeze. Reheat for 1 minute in the microwave for a great meal the next day!
Caution – GF seems to over-brown easily so don’t let your pan get too hot! 

Enjoy with your favorite butter and syrup or jam! Emoji

Rick McBee

The Undefeated! A tribute to Black Heroes through History

I thought this site with it’s great short Biographies of Black heroes in our country over the past two and a half centuries was great. Enjoy your reading! https://theundefeated.com/features/the-undefeated-44-most-influential-black-americans-in-history/#stevie-wonder

Civil War history: “rough Enough” by Richard H. McBee Jr. reviewed in Civil War Round Table of D.C.

Paperback: https://author.amazon.com/books/bookDetail?book=B01FEPVWPM&marketplace=ATVPDKIKX0DER Kindle:https://author.amazon.com/books/bookDetail?book=B00HCQNBB0&marketplace=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Jim Gallen, Chairman of the Military History Club of the Missouri Athletic Club, has reviewed Richard H. McBee Jr.’s book, “Rough Enough” which includes the letters and portions of a diary written by McBee’s great grandfather, Richard Clow during the ten year period, 1865 – 1875.

The review has just been published in the prestigious Civil War Round Table of The District of Columbia.

See it Here: https://cwrtdcreviews.blogspot.com/

Richard H.Clow on his first Enlistment, 1865

Reviewer Jim Gallen, a lawyer in St. Louis Missouri, is also a member of the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable and the Ulysses S. Grant Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. As such, Mr. Gallen himself has a lifelong interest in the Civil War and works to further knowledge of that war throughout the U.S.

For those of you interested in the CWRTDC, more information can be found at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cwrtdc/ The Round Table meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club, Patton Hall, 214 Jackson Avenue, Fort Myer, Virginia, 22211 (in Arlington, VA) or at a nearby location Its meetings include dinner, (See their programs at: https://jbmhh.armymwr.com/programs/patton-hall ) Programs have speakers who will present a topic related to the U.S. Civil War. They also sponsor field trips, tours, and other events with noted Civil War authors and scholars. Their is to further and to stimulate interest in the history of the United States and particularly the Civil War.

Autographed Copies of “Rough Enough” are available at a reduced price during the COVID Pandemic, directly from the author, Richard H. McBee Jr. Contact him at: rmcbee.44@gmail.com rmcbee.44@gmail.com with your email address and he will send you the particulars of ordering through Paypal.

Enjoy your read!

Which party’s presidency brings the best stock market returns?

Which Party brings the best overall returns to the Stock Market?

Opinions – Opinions – Opinions

Isn’t it amazing that this question keeps popping up time after time when the information is out there publicly?

The rumor Pundits tend to say…………………”The Republicans” …………………. But are they right?

Check out these sources on the economy and stocks for past Presidents!

Market Watch: – Trump and other Presidents! … https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/how-trumps-stock-market-performance-stacks-up-to-other-presidents-51611150990?mod=newsviewer_click

Market Watch: – Economy and Stocks better with Democrats! … https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-economy-and-the-stock-market-tends-to-do-better-under-democrats-11611158787

Motley Fools – 10 Best: Clinton is #1 then…. https://www.fool.com/slideshow/10-presidents-best-stock-market-record/

Kiplinger’s 23 Best and Worst … https://www.kiplinger.com/investing/602099/the-best-and-worst-presidents-according-to-the-stock-market

So, Democratic Governments have a dang good record on the Economy and the Stock Market.

Be careful with what you hear from the Pundits!

Watch the market, Do your own research and above all, Check with your financial advisors on the best investments for you.

Don’t Trash your ECIP Card!

Have you trashed an envelope like this?

No Return Address!

No Logo you can read with 76year old eyes!

Nothing in the Red print on the envelop that tells you this is from the US GOVERNMENT!

That it might be your STIMULUS!

I thought it was a SCAM! When I opened up the envelop yesterday, January 12, 2021 , I fortunately didn’t rip it all up and dump it in the trash. INSIDE IS A CARD THAT LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THOSE OFFERS FROM A BANK TO GET A NEW CREDIT CARD.

In regular print it says “Here is your Economic Impact Payment Card enabled by Money Network….

Who is Money Network…?

What is an “Economic Impact Payment Card?”

I just about ripped it up and tossed it as another way to SCAM old folks – a COME-ON!

Then below that I SEE A CONTINUATION OF THE SENTENCE: “from the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the covid-related Tax Relief Act of 2020

COULD THIS BE MY STIMULUS?

When I explained it to my Zoom meeting with similarly aged members, they warned me.

It could be a SCAM! They said.

Fortunately I went to IRS.gov

Guess what? IT IS THE STIMULUS!

Once I activate it, I can go to the bank and deposit the money. If I use the card to buy things directly, then I GET CHARGED A FEE! OOPS!

SO DON’T THROW AWAY ALL THAT TRASH MAIL WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT CAREFULLY!

See you at the Bank!

Evil Desecration of a Church in D.C. by rioters and a time to remember how Evil in WW2 destroyed nations

The Rioters in Washington D.C. didn’t just desecrate the Halls of Congress and our National Flag, and the Flag of “Support the Police” and the Flag of “Jesus”, by waving them as they broke into Congress and killed police and chanted “Lynch Pence” and Threatened out National Government.

They also desecrated the ELCA Lutheran Church in D.C. as told here by Bishop Leila Ortiz on the Wednesday morning prior to the riots at the Congress. They broke into a prayer vigil for BLM at the church and reenacted the killing of George Floyd in front of the congregants. https://www.facebook.com/metrodcelca/videos/827487214464232

Evil knows no boundaries whether secular or religious. The lies spread by Evil must be opposed at all cost!

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tells of growing up in Austria following WW2 and the aftermath of the hatred and the effects on the people who saw or did terrible things and the people who stood by and allowed things to occur but remained silent.https://twitter.com/Schwarzenegger/status/1348249481284874240

America can no longer allow the rot of lies and evil to tear our country apart. Support our next President, Joe Biden and work for unity in our nation to stand up against and help repair the damage done by the lies and riots of January 6, 2021.

I speak for Democracy – Roman and Texas viewpoints on “Lines in the sand!”

Our Democracy of the United Sates in America as of yesterday, 6 January 2021, been brought on the sudden realization of how we have slipped into enabling bad behaviors and the acceptance of inflammatory remarks and falsehoods in only four years. These behaviors are bringing dire consequences for our nation, they bring out the worst in all of us, and they threaten our Democratic form of government by the people and for the people. We are standing at a Line in the Sand! See how our law enforcement views what happened.: https://www.yahoo.com/news/hogan-feds-delayed-maryland-national-231416221.html

We didn’t have to be here! I’ve written to the President several times during his term and received acknowledgement: 8/18.2017, 8/23/2017 and 12/26/2018. Each time I tried to give positive suggestions that would help him do his job better. I hope you have written with suggestions as to what he could do for America

The Line in the Sand phrase comes from 168 BC, when a Roman Consul named Gaius Popillius Laenas drew a circular line in the sand around King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire. The intent of the line being that Antiochus needed to make up his mind whether to depart from Egypt or go to war with Rome before stepping over the line and out of the circle. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_in_the_sand_

I personally have known for a longtime that there are forks in the road of life which require decisions that cannot be then backed away from without consequences. My enlistment in the military, my volunteering for Peace Corps, my volunteering to be a Missionary, and my signing of numerous contracts for teaching and administrative assignments were all commitments with obligations.

In Texas where my sister lives, a line in the sand has lead some Texans to immortality as seen in the 1969 John Wayne film “The Alamo.” The film reenacts the choice Heroes of Texas made after being given an ultimatum by General Santa Anna. According to legend, on March 5, 1836, Col. William Barrett Travis drew a line in the sand and the Heroes of Texas step across it knowing that a fight to the death will follow. http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/Line-in-the-Sand-Alamo-History.htm

But by the same token, crossing the line in Texas can lead down the road to infamy. This path is the insidious tral we are tending towards in our nation. On this trail we tend to slip unconsciously towards a hell on earth as seen in the western “Lonesome Dove.” Here, crossing of the line between good and evil becomes figurative as Jake Spoon who joins up with a gang for security, but then gradually becomes complicit in crimes until he helps massacre a frontier family. When captured, Jake pleads for his life, but his friend and former Texas Ranger, Gus, says “You know how it works, Jake. You ride with the outlaw, you die with the outlaw. Sorry, you crossed the line.” https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/the-top-12-lonesome-dove-quotes/

This almost imperceptible insidious line to infamy is the one the United States has been flirting with for the past 4 years as President Donald Trump has sown messages and publicly approved of acts of violence, bullying racism, and religious intolerance, while venting anger publicly to a group of Americans who at the beginning of the Presidential road believed that he would truly “Make America Great!”

The effect of mob violence on a Democratic form of government is no different in the U.S.A. than anywhere else. What I saw in the bombings and “Paro Armadas” during Sendero luminos’s failed attempt to take over Peru; what I saw in the mobs that supported the rise and maintenance of power for Hugo Chavez’s dictatorship in Venezuela; and what I saw in the actions of the Terr’s who roamed Zimbabwe-Rhodesia during the attempts to foil the elections of a legitimate representative government were all the same vicious uncontrolled anger of humans directed by presumed higher authorities to attack peaceful persons of their own nation. None of these countries were any different in their display of directed anger which caused a failed government than our mobs, orchestrated by Mr. Trump in the past 48 hours.

History and experience show that mob violence always ends up the same if not stopped in its tracks. The radicalized Left or Right Wings (it doesn’t matter which tribe or political party you belong to) will continue to push the limits of violence further and further. Eventually the majority in the middle decide to will give control to some one single person or one single political group whom they feel will stop the chaos and bring control, or peace, or food, or greatness or wealth ….. It doesn’t matter what the lie is, the people will buy into it because they don’t realize that the person taking control is the one who orchestrated the violence and chaos in the first place.

Whether the government then ends up being a Dictator like Chavez in Venezuela or Mugabe in Zimbabwe, or a one party system similar to that of left wing Communist China or Socialist/Communist Russia, or is a right wing Fascist group as in Hitler’s Germany, or a particular sect of a religious group like in Iran, the result is immaterial. The ultimate power placed in the hands of a few will bring total control over the lives of all the people. We will lose freedom of the press, speech, guns, … unless we are in the favored power group. Then, in order to keep those guns, orthe right to speak, or the right to publish we will have to show full obedience to the will ofwhiome ever in the Supreme Leader. This won’t be the freedom we thought we were going to get. It will be coerced Slavery and Misery which we brought down upon ourselves.

There is only one way out for the United States. We need to agree that a strong two or three party political system is always more important than going for one party. The parties must agrees to disagree at times but agree to compromise and share power always.They cannot pander to the radical fringes of the left or right, they cannot allow outright lies and twisting of the truth to propagandize one side or the other. They can’t blame the nation’s problems on the other guy. It’s all our nation, it’s all our government, it’s all fault! The parties are going to have to figure out how to communicate a very strong centralist viewpoint while working on a broad spectrum of Infrastructure improvements, economic, social, and political compromises for all Humans.

We must select out leaders for political wisdom, experience and the ability to work with one another and make compromises for the best of the Social Contract written in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.The goals of our nation and political; leaders must be broad enough for the majority of Humans, not for special interest groups, not for a wealthy minority of humans or for large multinational corporations who have fabricated some kind of Person-hood. If we can’t control our communication of falsehoods on the internet, then we will certainly go down the path of infamy and failed Democracy. The goals must include figuring out how to have and maintain fair elections and how to communicate those results to all with an understanding that we must learn to accept the winner of elections because that is the Social Contract!

I can only pray that our two major political parties can see a shared middle road that lies ahead clearly enough to realize that we are standing at the “line in the sand” right now. Every additional step over that line means a descent away from Democracy, a failure of a system that should give voice to truth and a voice by the people and for the people in the governance of this country.


I tried Three Times: I wrote to the president – 18 August 2017

Dear Mr. President, 18 August 2017

Thank you for the letter you sent acknowledging my previous letters.

        I note that you continue to tweet on topics which are best to ignore, thus creating an appearance of chaos in your office.  This is building your stress levels to a point that is unsustainable and not good for the country.  Thus, I hope that in order to get a handle on this tendency for outbursts, you simply cut yourself off from all internet activity for a month or two.

Take only meetings on specific topics relevant to national priorities as set by your very competent Chief of Staff. Let your press secretary handle the daily press conferences, to explain to the media what the President is concentrating on today with names of persons and the points of discussion.  Start a weekly cycle, one topic a day,  of presentations about your highest 5 priorities of government, which I am presuming include:

  1. Improving the Affordable Care Act,
  2. Improving the infrastructure of our roads, railways and electrical grid, International affairs,
  3. National Security and:
  4. National Budget, Economy and Tax Code. 

Stay away from watching the TV specials or from unscripted talks on the teleprompter and have each of your secretaries of commanders write you a couple of short paragraphs that you can quickly edit and read about the day’s progress on the topic at hand. This will then give your communication more flow from day to day.

Then on a daily basis write a two to five sentence hand-written memo to each of the main staff members you work with that day. Have your Chief of Staff let them know they are moving forward now in a planned operation to, “make America great again.” 

Don’t deviate from the plan. Trust your chief of staff and the other professionals, and make them present “best practice evidence and recommendations” even if these seem counter to your current thinking.  Use the term “best practices” when describing how you want to accomplish anything and have your staff call on experts, regardless of ideology who know these things.

Make Congress use “best practices” recommendations in writing their laws. Then do everything in your power to always look calm, in control and unruffled and be a happy family man. If you do this, you will be able to regain control of the helm of the nation and move it forward with an approval rating that will soar rather than sour in the next 12 months. 

Sincerely, Richard McBee

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