Category Just For Fun

I never thought I would be a huge coffee drinker as an adult. I was never a fan growing up in as a kid or in high school. My parents had Folger’s crystal that you just put in a cup and filled with hot water. I’m still not sure if that was ever really coffee. In college, I drank the high octane caffeinated sodas designed for those late-night study sessions — way before the invention of Red Bull or Monster or other “energy” drinks.

Now as an adult, my day doesn’t start off right unless I have my daily cup. Now I’m no coffee snob, however, I am picky about my coffee. It must be dark roast and it has to be ground pretty fine, not quite espresso ground, but close. I’m not that particular about the bean either, but I trust my local coffee roaster, Rick, to set me on the right path. He owns a small coffee shop in my town and roasts his own beans. I’ve had the good fortune to drop in for a cup or a sandwich just as he’s roasting, and the nutty, fruity and almost burnt aroma hits you like a walk of bricks as you walk into the front door of the building. It’s almost hard to describe, but there is nothing like fresh roasted coffee to make me want a cup. I’ll even wait until his latest batch is finished cooling to take home the warm bag of fresh roasted coffee beans. I try a different region each time I visit. He carries Costa Rican, Ethiopian, Jamaica Blue Mountain, Guatemalan and dozens of others. If you want one of his variety of coffee drinks, he’ll even let you choose the bean to make your cup.

Now for coffee makers, I’ve tried them all. I know all the coffee aficionados encourage the fancy $12,000 Italian coffee machines like Starbucks. Nothing wrong with that, but not in my budget. The one that I’ve found to be my favorite in the Hamilton Beach 12 cup BrewStation Summit. It brews just like a normal automatic drip coffeemaker but stores the brewed coffee in an internal tank instead of a carafe that can stay on the heating pad and scorch the bottom of the pot and alter the taste of the coffee. The
best feature I like is that it can brew the coffee either bold or regular flavor. I like my dark roast brewed bold because I like my coffee strong. When my wife is around and makes the coffee I know she prefers the regular strength. We have the luxury to change brew strength if we choose. She knows I like my coffee strong enough that a spoon can stand upright in the cup. She calls it my Navy coffee or better yet a cup of tar.

I can’t wait for Spring to arrive where I can start having my morning coffee on the back deck and watch the sunrise over the eastern sky. I can read my morning paper and prepare for my day. Good bad or ugly, I know my day started with a good cup of coffee and warms my spirit as much as my body.

Read More

I’ve been selling Rubbermaid products for the better part of 17 years. If Rubbermaid had made it, I’ve likely sold it – From maid’s carts, to toilet brushes, ice chests, water coolers, sheds, benches, waste baskets, garbage cans, mop buckets, food storage containers and water pitchers. You get my drift. Nothing fancy or noteworthy; at the end of the day, it’s all just plastic “stuff”.

One day a few years ago, I get a call from a guy that he needs some Rubbermaid roughneck totes. This is a simple bin – that varies in sizes from 3 gal to 18 gal and is available in a variety of colors. I’ve sold tons of these. I ask the simple question, “What do you do with them?”. I get a simple response back, “We’re ending hunger”.

“Wait…What did you say?” I ask, thinking I heard this wrong. The reply again, “We’re ending hunger.” The voice on the other end explains that he is with Stop Hunger Now (now known as Rise Against Hunger) and he uses the totes to store product and then and use as part of their food packaging event where they weigh and portion specific meals that they then ship across the world to provide food in countries where the population is meal or nourishment deprived. 815 million people in the world are impacted by hunger. Rise Against Hunger wants that to be zero in the next 12 years.

Last year I was able to finally see the totes I sell in action. I was able to participate in a Meal Packaging
Event in the community where I live. My wife and children had been involved the two years prior and I
was finally able to make it this time. What a hectic, crazy, impactful and moving event. Tables upon
tables of individuals and families, taking specific ingredients, measuring and portioning all the different
items into a plastic bag and sealing them and packing them in master cartons. Scores of people, playing
their part to package over 61,500 meals that day. And there on every prep and packing station were
Rubbermaid totes. I was extremely proud that day knowing that what I do in my work life really does
have an impact on others in the world. I’m so glad I asked what they were going to do with them. Just
simple totes that will hopefully help end world hunger by the year 2030.

Read More

The Bradford pear and cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom and I’m taking my allergy medicine every day now. This is a sure sign that Spring is on it’s way and outdoor family gatherings are about to begin. When my siblings and I started having children, we decided to host a monthly get together we called Douglii events (a word invented to identify multiple Douglas family members being together). It’s a tradition we’ve been doing for the better part of 18 years. Whether it be tailgate events in the Fall at the University of Georgia, birthdays, family picnics, beach vacations, or the like…one thing has always been a constant and must have for all occasions – Mom’s spinach dip.

Growing up, this was a recipe mom would fix anytime there was a party, which she served with tortilla chips or Bugles. Now that we are older (and rounder), my sisters always provide veggies as the “healthy” alternative for the chips. Carrot or celery sticks, grape tomatoes and cucumbers slices seemed to be the favorites. Everyone takes turns preparing and bringing it to the Douglii events. Not necessarily difficult to make but sometime a pain to transport, I’ve found that the Rubbermaid Party Platter is convenient and easy to prep, store and transport the dip and sides. The clear outer container can hold up to all kinds of veggies and chips and the dip container can hold 2 cups and has a screw tight lid that stores inside the container and doesn’t spill or leak. Large enough to hold a good bit of food and small enough to load it into a Rubbermaid ice chest to take outdoors for picnic or tailgate areas. Also found out these are easy to clean and dishwasher safe and ready to reuse time after time.

Mom’s Spinach Dip
1 container sour cream (16 oz)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.
1 package vegetable recipe mix (we generally use Knorr brand)
Mix all ingredients together and store in refrigerator for at least two hours before ready to eat.

Read More