It’s Spring and the Horses are Running

February 21, 2023 Category :Generals Off

When spring returns to Kentucky, so do the Thoroughbreds (I’m talking horses). Native Kentuckians say that Kentucky is the home of beautiful horses and fast women and great Bourbon. Anyone who has ever lived in Kentucky knows that spring is Kentucky’s best time of the year. The forsythias, azaleas and dog woods are in bloom, the temperature is perfect and the grass that gives the Blue Grass State its name will soon be going to seed. It is at this time, that the blue of the grass is most apparent to the eye.

Given all of the above, the biggest event of spring in Kentucky is the opening of the racing season which starts with Keeneland’s Spring Meet (Lexington, Kentucky) in mid April followed by the running of the Kentucky Derby (Louisville, Kentucky) on the first weekend of May.

I particularly love going to Keeneland not only to watch the races but to see the ladies of Lexington dressed in their finest, wearing hats that would make the Queen of England weep for joy.

If you are lucky enough to be in Lexington during the spring meet at Keeneland, you should plan to get up early in the morning when the dew is still on the grass and go to the track. Admission at this time of the day is free and you will be allowed to visit the horse stalls to see the Thoroughbreds who will be running in the races and will possibly get a chance to talk to the owners, the trainers or even the jockeys. You will be able to observe and time the early morning work outs of the horses. Finally, you will be able to go the cafeteria to eat along side the men and woman who make racing the Sport of Kings. The atmosphere in the restaurant is warm (a nice change after walking around the field in the cool of the morning) and cozy (or crowded, depending on your definition). The breakfast menu is a complete working man’s meal in the true cafeteria tradition: greasy and tasty and the conversation (if you care to listen in to the surrounding buzz) can be salty, informative and hilarious (and perhaps you’ll pick up a hot tip for the race). And the check for all this is CHEAP.

On the other hand, if you are in Kentucky for the running of the Derby and do not have tickets to the Grandstand at Churchill Downs, I would advise you to visit this historic track on a day when there are no races or when the races are not of great import. During Derby day, the track is as crowded and as crazy as Times Square (NYC) on New Year’s Eve. You will not be able to see any significant part of the race. You will not be able to find a bathroom quickly and when you do find one you will wait and wait and wait for the opportunity to relieve yourself in private (a particular problem for women). You will not find a place to eat although there are vendors on the outside of the track where you may purchase a hot dog (the heart burn that sets in later is part of the charge). However, if you are in the mood to mingle with drunken frat boys and their girls, (the campus of the University of Louisville is a short walk away) the in-field may be your cup of tea. Otherwise, you can see the race on TV or you can get yourself invited to the ubiquitous parties that are held by native Kentuckian’s all over the Commonwealth. Don’t worry about finding an invitation to one of these since you can just start a casual conversation with any native and you’ll probably find yourself invited to one. No matter where you see the Derby, don’t forget to catch the singing of “My Ole Kentucky Home” at the end of the race (guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of any listener, especially if you’ve been drinking Mint Juleps. Mint Juleps are a particular tradition on Derby Day in Kentucky).

When you are in Lexington, I would advise you of the following: go to desha’s (a restaurant in downtown Lexington) and get a piece of their Cornbread with Honey Butter (recipe to follow); and make sure you go to Roger’s Restaurant (a bit out of downtown on Harrodsburg Road) for their Wilted Lettuce Salad (recipe to follow). Roger’s is an old Lexington landmark and a favorite with old Lexingtonians and some in the race horse industry. I am really not recommending the food in general, although I’ve had worse…but I really like that salad.

While in Louisville, treat yourself to a meal at the Brown Hotel. This is an old Louisvillian landmark and a fabulous Hotel with a good restaurant. It is also the creator of the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich (recipe to follow). I’ve never seen the Hot Brown served outside of Kentucky, but it is a great sandwich which can be had in just about any restaurant in Kentucky.

And finally, while I am sharing recipes I will offer one for the Mint Julep (see below). This particular recipe comes from an old Kentucky family’s private recipe file and as this drink goes this is a pretty good recipe (although to be truthful, I don’t really like this drink), but, as I said, it is a Kentucky Derby tradition and as they say: “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do” or as they do in Lexington and/or Louisville, Kentucky.


desha’s Cornbread

3 cups self rising corn meal

1/3 cup sugar

6 eggs

1½ cup vegetable oil

3 cups sour cream

2 and 2/3 cups cream style corn

1¼ cups softened butter

½ cup butter

Combine first 6 ingredients in the order listed and mix well. Pour into greased 9 by 13 inch greased pan and place in preheat oven (350 degrees F.) and bake for 30 about minutes. Makes 12 good sized squares.

Honey Butter
Mix equal amount of softened butter and honey together. Serve with warm cornbread.

Wilted Lettuce Salad

6 generous handfuls (about 12 cups) fresh leaf lettuce

2 green onions, sliced thinly

6 slices thick-sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and dry the lettuce thoroughly. Place the lettuce and onions in a serving bowl. Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon drippings warm in the skillet over low heat. Add the vinegar and sugar to the bacon drippings, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook the mixture until it is very hot, but not smoking. Pour the hot dressing over the lettuce and onions, tossing to coat and wilt the greens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately after pouring the hot dressing over the lettuce and onions because once you do this step, the salad won’t keep. Makes 4 servings.

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich

6 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, room temperature and beaten

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup prepared whipped cream

8 slices toasted white bread, crust trimmed off

1 pound cooked turkey breast, thinly sliced

Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained (optional, I don’t like pimientos)

8 bacon slices, fried crisp

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and free from lumps. Gradually stir in milk until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and well blended.

In a small bowl, beat egg. Gradually add 1 cup of hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time, to the egg, stirring constantly. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended; add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in whipped cream.

For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, sprinkle with diced pimientos (optional, as I said, I don’t like pimientos), and cross two pieces of bacon over the top of the sandwich, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings of two open-faced sandwiches each.

Mint Julep (special thanks to k.a.s., of Oldham County, Ky.)

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water (branch water is best)

Fresh Mint (this grows like a weed in Kentucky gardens)

Crushed Ice

Kentucky Bourbon (2 ounces per serving) (Note: I like Jim Beam, but any good–and they’re all good–Kentucky Bourbon will do).

Make a simple mint syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes; cool. Place in a covered container with 6 or 8 bruised mint sprigs. Refrigerate overnight. This makes enough syrup for about 44 juleps. To “bruise” mint: Put some leaves or sprigs in a cup and press the leaves lightly, a time or two, with the bowl part of the spoon. This releases the minty fragrant of the leaves).

Make a julep by filling a julep cup or glass with crushed ice (NEVER ICE CUBES), and then add 1 tablespoon of your mint syrup and 2 ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost outside of cup or glass. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Mint Julep Tips:

1. Always use premium Kentucky bourbon (I can’t stress this enough)

2. Use crushed or shaved ice and pack in cup (Never, never Ice Cubes which would be Barbaric).

3. Add a straw, cut to protrude just above the rim of the cup, and serve. You should be able to get a faint smell of the mint sprig when you’re sipping.

4. Keep the covered syrup in the refrigerator (after removing the mint leaves) if you don’t plan on drinking all the servings.

When Love Comes Softly to Your Heart

February 21, 2023 Category :Beauty and Cosmetics Off

When love comes softly to your heart, it may knock so gently you just might overlook its tap! There are those times in life, when we consider a relationship to be anything but the one that would become a lifelong commitment, only to find that that is its exact destiny!

When asked what love is, the answers vary so greatly one has to believe it is different for each human being alive! To one person it represents a devoted companion who is a constant in ones life, while to another it represents a wild and crazy train wreck of emotions, being crashed together and entangling every aspect of their lives, never to be apart again.

Love affects the emotions, the physical being, and the spiritual personality! In the true sense of the word, love is defined as patient, kind, …, the Great I Am! We can only begin to understand why one person may respond to love much differently than another.

When you look at two people who say they are in love, do you dare to judge that love? I would like to present one reason you may find yourself in the position of judging. If you have a mindset for what love should look like, you may or may not be satisfied with where your love life is at current. Thus, you look at the relationship of others and point out what you feel is wrong with their style of love, to move reflection from your own dissatisfaction in love!

Learning how to accept love for what it is, helps us to become more tolerant of the relationships in which we find ourselves. Love is patient, do you have someone who is patient with the shortcomings you exercise? This is a form of love, just as is the act of kindness, for some it is enough that the other party to the relationship does not act unbecomingly, or embarrass them in public.

Love is to be desired, love is not to be ignored nor abused. When you find yourself in a relationship where you feel as though you have settled for less than the optimum situation, ask yourself what you saw in this person in the beginning.

Make a list of the qualities of the person to whom you are attached, check this list over does this person possess the qualities of love? Are you viewing this relationship from the eyes of one who wants to be happy in love?

How you start out your approach will have much to do with the results of your findings! Did love slip in softly to your heart, is it enough to build a lifelong relationship on? It does take two people to maintain a relationship, however, one can have a very great influence on how that relationship matures.

What sort of person are you? What can you do to enhance the beauty of the love in your relationship? Wouldn’t you agree that you have had your share of allowance for any blockage that has occurred between yourself and your loved one?

For the many forms of love, we can find reasons to stay bound to another, how much more fun, however, to desire to stay, because we recognize the potential for love this person possesses.

When love comes softly, don’t take it for granted, it is as viable a relationship as any other. Seize the opportunity to turn that love into whatever your vision or dream relationship could be!

Judo – 4 Out of 5 Enjoy the Frequent Flier Miles!

February 21, 2023 Category :Generals| Industrial Goods & Services| Mental Health Off

You have some questions about judo? In this article I am going to cover the most basic ones, like where it was founded, aspects of the sport, and ways to win among other things. Like wrestling, judo is quite demanding. Often takedown sparring, referred to as nage-waza, is basically an hour or more of throwing other humans over your head or taking free flights onto a crash pad. Many people believe the best fighting art or self-defense art is judo due to the fact that if you execute a throw properly, the attacker will be going for a ride and landing on their head on the ground. Training in judo will make you strong, determined, and well conditioned. It will also make you sore, destroy your hands, and deform your fingers if done properly.

What is Judo?

The meaning of judo is “gentle way.” It is anything but gentle. The sport is downright rough. I figure “gentle way” really signifies the way in which you utilize your energy and momentum. Ideally, you use the momentum of your opponent against themselves which reduces the amount of work you have to do in order to throw or submit them. You’ll see below but Kano phrased it maximum efficiency, minimum effort.

Judo is an Olympic sport and also now plays a fairly large role in the development of today’s mma fighters. Judo is said to have been created in Japan by Jigoro Kano in the late 19th century. The objective of judo is to throw your opponent to the ground, control them, then you can either subdue them with a pin, or force the opponent to submit with a submission such as a joint lock or choke. Striking, as well as weapon defenses, are a part of more traditional judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata.) These pre-arranged forms are not allowed in competition or free practice (randori.) I didn’t even know judo had katas until 2-3 weeks ago.

Brief History of Judo

Judo practitioners are referred to as judoka. The philosophy judo was developed with became the model for other modern Japanese martial arts. This has led to the development of Sambo (a Russian martial art of self-defense) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Yes, bjj and judo are very closely related with bjj descending from judo. Jigoro Kano, a person of great learning in several fields of study, was born into an affluent family. Central to his vision for judo were two principles; “maximum efficiency, minimum effort, mutual welfare & benefit,” and “gentleness controls hardiness”. In other words, if opponent A is resisting opponent B, the more powerful opponent B is will result in A’s defeat. If opponent A adjusts to, modifies his game plan, and evades opponent B, that will cause B to lose his balance, his powers will be reduced and opponent A will defeat him. Very basic principles right? It seems like the creators of martial arts, Kano, Helio Gracie, all have very similar character traits. It’s almost as though they can see something about the human body that we can’t.

I found this to be an interesting tidbit about Jigoro Kano. When he went to boarding school at an English-medium school in Tokyo, there was a bullying endemic at the school. Sound familiar? This caused Kano to seek out a jujutsu training gym where he could train, in hopes to stand up to the bullying going on at this school. Finding a trainer was more difficult than he thought, and it took a while to find a willing teacher, until finally he located Fukuda Hachinosuke, a teacher of jujutsu and also a bone setter. He had a 10 mat dojo located near the temple, where he was teaching five students. Kano came to believe that jujutsu was not the right term for his art, mainly because of the principles he lived by. But also due to him realizing that this one way he had been learning was not all encompassing. He recognized that to defeat anyone, just training harder wouldn’t cut it. Kind of like what Bruce Lee would do 100 years later, Kano sought to take what was best and what worked from various styles. So he changed the term to ju-do meaning way, road, or path.

Techniques, Rules, & Recent History

There are three categories of techniques in judo, which were mentioned previously; throwing, grappling, and striking. Judo is well known for nage-waza, throwing techniques, and katame-waza, grappling techniques. The person who performs the technique or motion is known as the tori or taker, and the person to whom it is performed on is known as the uke or receiver.

In 1899 the first formal set of contest rules for judo were created. Competition lasted for 15 minutes and was judged on the basis of nage-waza, throws, and katame-waza, grappling. The winner would have been awarded two ippons, one full point, the highest score a judoka can achieve. Throwing the opponent onto their back or pinning them on their back for a sufficient amount of time or by submission are other means of victory. Submissions can be achieved through shime-waza, a judo choking technique, or kansetsu-wasa, joint locks. These locks were designed to put severe, disabling pressure on the joints. Finger, toe, and ankle locks were prohibited.

Judo’s international profile was advanced at the introduction of the World Judo Championships in 1956. Thirty-one athletes from twenty-one countries competed in this event the first year. Judo was introduced as an Olympic sport for men in the 1964 Games in Tokyo. Then, about 20 years later, the Women’s World Championship was introduced, in 1980, mainly as a demonstration event. In 1987 the men’s and women’s championships were combined. In 2011, participants numbered 871 competitors from 132 countries.

Judo as an Olympic sport met with some protests. Quoting Kano about the potential of judo’s inclusion in the Olympics – “judo in reality is not a mere sport or game. I regard it as a principle of life, art and science. In fact, it is a means for personal, cultural attainment. Judo should be free as art and science from any external influences, political, national, racial, and financial or any other organized interest. And all things connected with it should be directed to its ultimate object, benefit of humanity.”

Pretty heady stuff wouldn’t you say for a martial art designed around flipping people upside down? From its throwing techniques to its submissions on the ground, judo is no walk in the park. Judokas are some of the most dedicated athletes in the world, they receive very little to no recognition unless they can somehow make it to the Olympics or find a career in mixed martial arts. If you are looking into martial arts and have always wondered about judo, this is its history in a nutshell.

To the Giving of Gifts There is No End

January 20, 2023 Category :Automobiles & Motorcycles| Electronics and Electrical Off

*Name changed to insure privacy

I am of the opinion that we live in a society where unfounded gift giving has run rampant. Nonetheless, my wife, Maria, – who, incidentally, lovingly doesn’t agree with me on the issue – is a liberal gift giver. I claim that I am a conservative in that area. I use the word “conservative” in order to avoid using the terms “stingy” and “tight-wad,” terms some may think appropriate to describe my attitude on the topic.

Now, in fairness to me, let’s be candid on this point. We are expected to give gifts at almost every turn in our lives: Engagement gifts, shower gifts, marriage gifts, baby gifts, Christmas gifts, Easter gifts, birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, house warming gifts, employer gifts, employee gifts, get well gifts, farewell gifts, welcome gifts, monetary gifts to the families of the deceased (something I find a warm, caring gesture), to name a few. However, the list is much longer than this.

But even in the caring gesture of giving monetary gifts to the loved ones of dearly departed souls who have gone on to their reward, some get carried away. As an example of this, *Mario, one of my brothers-in-law, will go to extreme lengths to collect money for the families of relatives, friends and acquaintances, who have suffered the loss of a loved one. It’s a considerate, touching gesture, and one to which I always have generously responded – until Mario heard that one of his third cousins, who lived some 1,500 miles from us had passed away. Mario, himself, had met the man only once; I had never met him – didn’t even know he existed. That made no difference to Mario; he hopped in his Buick and visited all those on his long “come-on-let’s-give-list,” including his nearby first, second and third cousins, and his siblings, leaving Maria and me for last.

“Now look here, Mario,” I remonstrated, “I don’t mind contributing to the families of those I know. But I draw the line at contributing to the funeral expenses of someone I’ve never heard of, whose family lives 1,500 miles away.”

My protest didn’t faze Mario. As the eldest of Maria’s siblings, and my senior by several years, he evidently felt it our duty to imitate his example in dealing with distant relatives when it came to gift giving. Mario is a determined, persuasive brother-in-law; I contributed.

Sincere believers sometimes are at a loss regarding how to view the practice of gift giving. The Bible offers the answer. God, himself, was the first Christmas gift-giver. In 2nd Corinthians 9:15, the Apostle Paul exclaimed, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” The gift to which Paul referred is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word “gift” in this scripture finds its root in the Greek word, “dora.” It literally means “a present.” Therefore the three Magi did not give the first Christmas presents. God the Father gave the very first Christmas present to humanity in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible further reveals that all three Persons of the Godhead are gift givers and salvation, itself, is a gift from the Triune God to us (Ephesians 2:8).

Referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 4:8-14 records that, “When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts (presents) unto men.” The presents Christ Jesus gave to the Church are ministerial in nature – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (some Bible scholars link the last two together as pastor-teachers).

Christ gave these ministry gifts for a definite purpose (verses 12-13): “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith . . . unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

The Holy Spirit not only is a giver of gifts, He also is a gift to us. According to Acts 2:38, the Apostle Peter refers to the Holy Spirit as such: ” . . . ye shall receive the gift (present) of the Holy Spirit.” In Acts 8:20, the Holy Spirit is called ” . . . the gift of God.”

Jesus promised He would send us the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit. It is evident then, that the Holy Spirit is the gift given to us by God the Father and by Jesus Christ His Son. Both have made us a present of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is a giver of gifts. 1st Corinthians 12:4 records that “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” In this passage the word gifts is rooted in a different word than “dora.” It derived from the Greek word “charisma,” defined as a “gratuity, a freely given favor.” In giving us His gifts, the Holy Spirit has granted them gratuitously – as free favors,

God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and the blessed Holy Spirit are the ultimate, supreme gift givers. Therefore, in presenting gifts believers are following a pattern established by the Supreme Godhead. As we emulate their example in this, we should also emulate their attitude; that of being openhanded, generous and loving, remembering that “God so loved the world that he gave . . .”