Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Movie Blog - Baseball Movies

Welcome to the Monday Music Blog on Chief 187 Chatter. The weekend started off in a very exciting manner when the St. Louis Cardinals, my husband’s favorite baseball team since

childhood, won the 2011 World Series after coming from a deficit and taking the series to seven games. Now that baseball season is officially over until Spring Training, a void needs filled. While waiting for the crack of bats next year, movies can help fill the time.

This week’s focus is movies about baseball. List your favorite movies about baseball. Be sure to include a list of stars as well as a brief synopsis or review of the film.

To access archived Monday Movie Blogs simply type “Monday Movie Blog” into the search feature located on the upper left hand side of this page. Please feel free to add your selections to the topics you see as this resource is an ever growing one.

I want to wish my husband, my partner, my lover, my best friend, my driver, and the father of my children the very best and Happy Birthday. He is my life’s most wonderful and complete Simple Joy.

I invite you all back here tomorrow for what is consistently the most popular post of any week, Simple Joys.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Music Blog - Halloween Edition

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187 Chatter. For those of you unfamiliar

with me, I am a holiday fanatic. I believe in celebrating each one that comes along with gusto and fanfare. From decorating to food I throw myself into the season and create a grand event around the special day. As Halloween is my husband’s birthday it gets treated with extra bravado and ceremony allowing for an even more fantastical celebration. Like all times in my life, music plays a huge part in these events.

This week’s focus is songs or music that puts you in the Halloween mood. List the song and the artist that harkens this late October celebration. Whether novelty created for the occasion or simply a song that meant something to you at this time of year, list all that apply to the category in your terms.

The weeks are accumulating at lightning fast speed. Each Friday I task myself with offering up statistics and news about Chief 187 Chatter. This week I’m deliriously thrilled to post

that the pageviews far surpassed 31, 000 and show no signs of slowing down! I am overwhelmed and genuinely pleased that my Simple Joys still resonates loudly with you all and my “I Know” Wednesday freestyle piece found a far reaching readership. Many of you were so kind and generous to offer your warm comments and loving support. And whether you have been with me from the beginning like Racer 187, Grumpa, Jules, J.D., and Art Tidesco, or you joined me sometime in the last fourteen months, you are all vitally important to me and I value you one and all.

Please continue to check with this blog today and throughout the weekend for more responses to view and take the time to read or reread this week’s blogs. I then invite you to join me on Monday when I begin another week of all new and original blogs to share.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tantalizing Thursday - Halloween Edition

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187 Chatter. Halloween is upon us and I

am thrilled. This holiday is special not only because I have three children who delight in all of the festivities associated with the day, but because it is my husband’s birthday! We get to

have an extra celebratory time during Halloween complete with cake and presents. But mostly we keep the day for the children and commence with the Trick-or-Treating as soon as dusk falls. Before we hit the streets we first carve our pumpkins and turn them into Jack O’ Lanterns. To prepare the gourd we scoop out the “guts” which includes the stringy orange pulp and the numerous seeds. I painstakingly collect the seeds and try to “depulp” them in an effort to prepare them for this, a most favorite and simple recipe in our household.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Procedure by:

1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you've removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Even with three large pumpkins filled with seeds, my husband and boys devour this treat before the next morning! Lightly salted, distinctive flavor and addictively good, roasted pumpkin seeds are an annual Simple Joy in our household.

Of course, the children need to eat a meal before they start Trick-or-Treating. Most are too anxious and excited to want to sit down for a meal, but if it is a fun, engaging, and interesting one, they will! I recommend pizza! But not traditional pizza, although that is always acceptable, but Taco Pizza with a Jack O' Lantern motif!

Jack O’Lantern Pizza
Recipe by:


1 pound lean ground beef
1cup Old El Paso® salsa (any variety)
3/4Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
1/4cup water
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/3cup very hot water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
Toppings, such as orange and green bell pepper strips, sliced ripe olives and cherry tomato wedges, if desired.


• 1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Cook beef in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain. Stir in salsa, corn and 1/4 cup water. Heat to boiling; remove from heat.
• 2. Mix Bisquick, 1/3 cup hot water and the oil until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 20 strokes. Let stand 5 minutes. Press dough in pizza pan, using fingers dipped in Bisquick; pinch edge to form 1/2-inch rim. Spread beef mixture over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
• 3. Bake 11 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Arrange Toppings on pizza to form jack-o’-lanterns.

Crowd pleasing, full of protein, fiber, and fun, these pizzas make dinner on Halloween night palatable! To make the dinner go even easier, use a prepared crust such as Boboli brand pizza crusts. Swap out the vegetables your family won’t eat for the ones they will. Prefer to spice it up? Make two pizzas, one for the mild taste buds and one for the fiery ones! Substitute the cheeses, salsas, veggies, and toppings that work for your family and indulge in this tasty Halloween Night treat.

Wondering about dessert? That’s what the Trick-or-Treating is for, so indulge!

Happy Halloween to you all and a very Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband! He makes every day a treat!

Please join me tomorrow for the holiday-themed Friday Music Blog to cap the week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Know

Recently I wrote about a writing opportunity that had come my way, I was very excited about, and ended before it ever began. In my heart I knew that things turned out the right way, but at the time it smarted nonetheless. While licking my wounds and repairing my ego I found out a bit about myself. I had recently written “You Know” and “He Knows” to a rousing and approving readership. After my disappointment in my situation ebbed my indignity surfaced. I found out what I know. I share it with you now.

I know that he said although I was “attractive” I was “too matronly”. My looks did not “test well” and thus I needed a “change”. At first I was caught up in the idea of getting pictures taken with a high-priced photographer, but then I thought, “What’s wrong with the way I look?” Which grew into, “I am matronly because I am a mother!” And lastly, “I am a writer so what difference does it make what I look like? And, as a mother writing about family, why should I want to erase the image of being a mother?” My husband, in fact, proved to me in ways that I am too much of a lady to write about in these pages that I am not “dowdy” but very sexy. I know he means it.

I was told to lose a substantial amount of weight. I know that I could stand to lose some pouinds and I’m working on doing that. But I also know that my body carried three extraordinary babies, nursed them, and still cares for them. I know I run and play, scoop up crying children,

dance in the rain, and swim in the sunshine. I know that I need to find a healthier weight but, in the meantime, my husband still chooses me.

I was told to be more polished in my overall look. I know that other women have glamorous long nails, get them done professionally weekly, and change the color to match their outfits. I know that and I think that’s wonderfully luxurious for those women. But I know I need to keep my nails short to change diapers, bathe children, and attend to them without “claws”. From doing dishes to mending clothes, I know short nails are not glamorous but they are a necessity, including for typing on my trusty keyboard!

In addition to nails, I was told my hair was “too old”. I know I wear a style that affords me extreme ease of preparation on mornings when time is of the essence. I know that when time permits itself I can create a coif that is spectacular on me. I know that I am blessed with naturally wavy hair so I work with my hair instead of doing things to fight it. I know that it isn’t what is "in style", but I know it is a style that works for me.

I was told that my writings were not all up to snuff. I know that my writing is good. If it wasn’t this prospective business deal would never have been pitched to me. But, more than that, I know that because my readership tells me so. With each pageview, each comment, and each share/Retweet of my work, I am validated as to what kind of writer I am. I was told that the work I was doing was not always universally appealing. That may be, but it is definitely appealing to my readership and that’s what matters to me. I know that if I was to have been allowed to do what I do best the readership would have been there. I know, but he didn’t.

I was told that the work I would be doing I would not be paid. I know that I am worth being seen and thus paid as a professional. I was being wrangled into a situation that was a lot of work for no pay. Jobs were being divvied out to me that others get hired to do. When I inquired about reasonable compensation the deal fell apart. I rehashed the way I went about the situation, but can come up with nothing more than they were trying to get a lot for nothing. I know that I have too much self-worth to let myself be taken advantage of in this business.

I know that I am so blessed to have my family.

That they are the reason my writings are so well received and resonate with so many. I know that I am lucky to have the man I love by my side each day and each night, to walk this path and light my world. I know that I am given a gift each day my work is read as it used to sit in journals for only my eyes to see. I know I get to create works that now get to be consumed by readers, eager for the words, delighted by my sentiments, and longing for the positivity. I know that no matter if another business deal comes down the pike or not, I am paid in the highest form of currency and that is feedback. Having Chief 187 Chatter, a site with my name on it, a place to showcase my words, strengths, fears, weaknesses, character flaws, enthusiasm, passions, and loves is payment enough. Add to that this amazingly loving readership who supports me and my work and I know I am the richest writer in the world.

I know. And I thank you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. I learn so much about myself and the human condition writing this post. It is, bar none, my favorite to express myself in a positive way. The feedback I receive from this post weekly encourages me to continue on this path indefinitely. The core message is always the same; we have the power to experience Simple Joys all throughout the day every day if we simply open our minds and heart to the possibility. And, the more Simple Joys welcomed, the more that follow! It is a very simple formula that I have oft repeated on these electronic pages, week after week, but it bears repeating regularly. Like children, we learn best through repetition. If it takes me a lifetime of Simple Joys posts to make the world a little better place, especially my own world, I will do it! And now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.

Cub Scout Hike. There are many aspects of being a den leader for my son’s Cub Scout Den that I enjoy and others that are a bit more tedious (i.e. paperwork). Fortunately my co-den leader planned a fantastic hike in a nearby local state park for us to traverse while working on several different requirements; a joy to partake in such a fun-filled and educational activity. The weather was “seasonal”, flirting with 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the foliage beginning to reach peak colors. There were several different kinds of trees to identify, as well as plants, insects, and, a bonus for the boys, a tiny airport adjacent to the park that afforded them an up close and personal look at private planes taking off and landing! Mostly I saw these young men, fourth graders and WEBELOS I’s, who were wholly different than the Tigers (1st graders) we had last brought to the same sight three years ago. Taller, baby-weight shed, front teeth grown in, and more independent, these boys still showed wide-eyed wonder, but were so much more confident and comfortable in their skin. Afterwards we parents treated our boys to lunch at the McDonald’s and, unlike the last visit, saw the boys sit together sans parents. One of the parents snapped a picture of the boys and lamented that we’ll certainly see even more of a change when these young boys become young men as seniors in high school. Being a part of my son’s life, his development as a thinking creature, and being able to witness it at this close proximity is a much cherished Simple Joy.

Pumpkin Picking. Annual pumpkin picking is one of the highlights of the season for my family. My three children still delight in a hayride, choosing and cutting their own pumpkins lose, and displaying them at home. We often go with dear friends who have two little girls. Another close friend is the farmer who owns the pumpkin patch we frequent. We purchase gorgeous pumpkins, interestingly-shaped gourds, bags of crisp, freshly picked apples, and magnificent and vibrant mums to display. Having annual traditions of this fun nature to share with our family while hanging with our friends is a satisfying Simple Joy.

Time with Friends. When I was a young woman a British family moved in next door to my parent’s house. They had a son who was three years ahead of me in school. Although not overly close nor even romantically involved, we were nonetheless compatible and truly enjoyed one another’s company. Our paths diverged and not until more than twenty years later did they cross at a school reunion for those involved in the music department from several different years. I bumped into this man and his bride and was taken with how wonderful it was to see this face from the past. Shortly thereafter we were invited to the man’s fortieth birthday party; naturally we accepted. From that point on our relationship was rekindled! He knew my husband and liked him quite well and I adored his lovely young wife! We’ve been friends ever since and socialized regularly. Last winter our friends moved to Florida, but returned this week to visit. They saved an entire afternoon and evening to spend with us and the magic of friendship was still present! The conversation never lulled, the laughter rang out, and good food was ingested! They adore our children and we pray they’ll have their own soon. As we parted we realized that the kind of friendship we’ve developed was truly strong enough to be considered family. Having this couple in my life as my extended family is a blessing and a priceless Simple Joy!

Freestyle Wednesday. I enjoy all of the writing work I do. From NASCAR to Mixed Martial Arts, and from movies to music and Simple Joys, they all turn me on and give me great pleasure. But, recently, I have found my Wednesday Freestyle day to be the most creative. I go back to the roots of Chief 187 Chatter when every day was freestyle; a time before the Monday Movie Blog and Tantalizing Thursday. I am able to put a topic in the spotlight that impassions me and that is my absolute favorite way to write.

Already Simple Joys has taken hold of my life and offered perspective when things have started to spiral out of control. The act of writing this piece weekly gives me an opportunity to keep my mind trained on all of the positive that enters my life. Like many, I was not always looking through life with optimistic, joyful glasses, but by embracing this concept that has all changed. My hope is that by reading my Simple Joys you will be inspired to find yours. Whether you write them down as I have or simply click them off mentally, by identifying them you make it possible to find more!

Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic on yet another entirely new subject.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Movie Blog - Halloween Edition

Welcome to the Monday Movie Blog on Chief 187 Chatter. Halloween is one week away.

Movies have often set the tone for how this holiday should be witnessed. When one is scared the adrenaline streams, the heart races, and the pulse quickens. Scary movies are ideal for making that all happen from the comfort of your theater chair or couch!

This week’s focus is horror/scary movies appropriate for Halloween. In addition, for my benefit, list any movies appropriate for Halloween that are not scary but fun for younger viewers! For

any of these options please leave a list of actors in the film as well as a brief description or review.

To access archived Monday Movie Blogs please type “Monday Movie Blog” into the search feature located in the upper left hand corner of this page. Feel free to leave new selections for any of the topics as this resource is best when it continues to grow!

Please join me tomorrow for Chief 187 Chatter’s most popular post of the week, Simple Joys!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Good Sam Club 500

Earning Richard Childress Racing its 100th win in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Clint Bowyer took the

checkered flag in Talladega on Sunday for his first win of the season and fifth of his career. This win caps the end of his time with RCR as at the end of 2011 he is parting ways with his team and owner to begin an association with Michael Waltrip Racing starting in 2012. Utilizing the slingshot move in the final seconds of the race, Bowyer shot passed his teammate Jeff Burton to edge out a win by .018 seconds.

Tandem racing was again the order of the day at the Talladega Superspeedway for the running of

the Good Sam Club 500. Behind the one two finish of RCR teammates Bowyer and Burton, Dave Blaney

was powered to third by Chaser Brad Keselowski who took fourth. Teammates for Red Bull Racing Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne managed a fifth and sixth. Chasers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin pulled off seventh and eighth, while Michael Waltrip teammates Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. sewed up ninth and tenth. Pole sitter Mark Martin finished in twentieth while his Hendrick teammates, all of whom are in the Chase, clustered their finishes in 25th for Dale Earnhardt Jr., 26th for Jimmie Johnson, and 27th for Jeff Gordon.

After Talladega’s crap shoot the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase points find Carl Edwards in the lead

with a fourteen point advantage over second place sitter Matt Kenseth who picked up one position. Brad Keselowski jumped three spots to land in third, eighteen points behind Edwards. Tony Stewart edged up one position to be in fourth, nineteen points back from the lead. Kevin Harvick dropped three spots to fifth with a deficit of twenty-six points. Kyle Busch tumbled two spots to sixth forty points in the hole. Five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson bettered his position by one to inhabit seventh, fifty points behind Edwards. Kurt Busch fell one spot to eighth while Dale Earnhardt Jr. held firm at ninth. Jeff Gordon gained one spot to tenth and Denny Hamlin, out of last place for the first time since the Chase began, gained one spot to sit in eleventh. Ryan Newman fell two positions and found himself sitting in twelfth.

Next week the action returns to short-track racing in Virginia for the Tums Fast Relief 500 run at Martinsville Speedway. The broadcast will be on Sunday, October 30th at 1:30p on ESPN. Be sure to tune into the race and then return here for the Race Recap at this site!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Music Blog - Peaceful Songs

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187 Chatter. This week has brought out

a host of emotions. On Sunday we mourned the death of 33 year old racecar driver Dan Wheldon.

But, throughout the week, I was surprised and humbled when, inspired by that aforementioned event, my readership went through the roof and strangers were writing to tell me how much my

words mean and thank you for writing about Dan Wheldon and death. It may seem weird, but I am still awed and taken aback to find how far reaching my work gets on the Internet!

This week’s topic is songs that bring you peace. Songs that, no matter how frustrated, lonely, sad, or mournful you are, bring you a sense of calm. Please remember to include the artist.

It is my great pleasure to announce that once again Chief 187 Chatter’s followers number increased and is now at 77. In addition, we are a breath away from 30000 pageviews! 30000! I am

so excited. It is such a wonderful thing for me, each milestone, each pageview is hard won and is appreciated. The fact that, more than a year after beginning this site, people are coming to read my work still floors me. I am so encouraged and, thankfully, have so many more topics I look forward to exploring with you.

Please be sure to check on this blog throughout the day and weekend as new responses trickle in all of the time. Also, feel free and comfortable to enjoy all of the archived articles on Chief 187 Chatter. On Monday I begin another week of entirely new and original blogs for your enjoyment. If you like what you see here, please share the link. If you are not already, please feel free to follow me and contact me via Twitter; I am @Chief187s (note the final “s”). Enjoy your weekend!