Category Archives: Maggie AAR

I Could Drive 55


This past week I passed the aftermath of a fatal accident on a highway. The next day when I looked up the accident report I learned that the victim was a thirteen year old boy. He was travelling with his dad and brother. According to the news “Troopers say (the father), was driving a Honda Civic when he came up behind the slower moving tractor-trailer. The(driver) started to change lane, but hit the back end of the rig, sending his car into a skid across the median.” The posted speed limit for the area is 70 miles per hour. It is believed he was going slightly in excess of that while passing.

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In or Out?


I cook a lot, especially during the summer. Weekends find me doing breakfast (egg sandwiches, biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs or some sort of casserole), lunch which can be anything from sandwiches to a full four course meal and dinner, which normally comes from the crock pot. I also customize a lot – adding mac and cheese to the menu to accommodate a fussy eater or cooking a quick pizza for the kids while my husband and I eat Thai food.

All that cooking means when I get the chance to eat out I am delighted. However, in a recent conversation with some new friends my husband talked about how he really didn’t enjoy eating out. He far preferred to eat at home, even when the at home meal was just sandwiches and a side. Part of that might be that he rarely cooks :-) But I do have several friends whose husbands also feel that way. For them the wholesomeness and simplicity of home fare wins out over polishing off their company manners and heading to a restaurant for fancier fare.

Even among my friends that do enjoy eating out there is some debate about what kind of meals should be eaten when away from home. I don’t eat burgers that aren’t homemade and won’t even eat a salad from McDonald’s. Their food just doesn’t agree with my digestive system and I prefer to eat a quick sandwich at the house than eat there. One of my friends recently went to one of the more pricey restaurants in our town and disliked the way everything was a la carte. I hate to experiment with my food and tend to eat only dishes made from familiar ingredients and spices. I like family restaurants such as Olive Garden or Red Lobster. I rarely feel like truly “fine dining”.

So, different strokes for different folks. What about you? Do you prefer to eat in or go out? What restaurants do you like?

– Maggie AAR

Summer Recipes: Maggie’s Cold Spaghetti Salad

spaghetti salad

This is not my recipe. One of my coworkers used to bring this dish to every pot luck our company had. Knowing how much I loved it (I would rave every time she came through the door carrying a bowlful) she made sure to give me the recipe when I left the company. I am not sure the recipe was hers either since I have seen numerous variations of it on the web for several years now. Regardless of where it came from it is one of the treats I most look forward to in summer.

One reason I love it is that I am a complete pasta addict and this is a wonderful, cool way to enjoy spaghetti during the hottest months. Another reason is that pasta salads are a nice way to add variety to the summer picnic table. But the main reason I love it is that it tends to be a big hit with children.

Cold Spaghetti Salad

1 pound thin spaghetti, cut into quarter lengths and cooked
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can of black olives, drained
1 small carton of fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian dressing
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 TBSP McCormick Salad Supreme
½ lb. Mozzarella Cheese, cubed

Combine all ingredients. Let sit in refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours.

– Maggie AAR

Bellini Iced Tea


Summer time is often iced tea time at my house. Simple sweet tea is most often offered but as a treat I love Bellini Iced Tea, a drink I first “discovered” at Olive Garden. It is extremely easy to make.

Bellini Iced Tea

1 Quart Chilled Tea (Olive Garden uses Earl Grey but Lipton Specially Blended for Iced Tea Bags work fine)
1/4 to 1/2 cup Torani Peach or Sugar Free Peach Syrup, according to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup Torani Raspberry or Sugar Free Raspberry Syrup, according to taste
Fresh peaches and raspberry for garnish if desired

Combine tea and syrups. Add Garnish of sliced peaches and a handful of raspberries if desired. Serve over ice.

– Maggie AAR



Some of my favorite heroines have kept diaries. And one of my favorite book series Sorcery and Cecelia is written in the form of diaries and letters. The end result of all that reading about writing has been that I have long wished to keep a journal. I have literally dozens of blank books all waiting for me to write something brilliant in them. They were probably destined to remain blank. My attempts at journaling just never stuck. The fact is my life is pretty bland, my thoughts not really all that scintillating.

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You Call This An Apology?


While listening to an oldies station recently I happened to come across this song(Second Chance, 38 Special). I made the mistake of listening to the lyrics and what a surprise! This is (I think) meant to be a loving plea to a wronged lover. All I can say is I hope this poor woman didn’t take him back. I mean, she was willing and that’s all there is to say? Really? So let me get this right. You cheat on me, you don’t even have the decency to care about the person you cheat with and the only defense you can come up with is that she was willing? Should I congratulate you for not messing around with the unwilling ones?

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Inspector Lewis


Ispector Lewis, called Lewis outside of the States, is easily one of my favorite TV shows. Chronicling the adventures of Detective Inspector Lewis and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway the show follows the two as they solve crimes around Oxford, both the town and the university. Many of the crimes are deeply intellectual, giving a nod to the learned inhabitants of the area. The concentration for the show is not on the gore and violence (a problem many an American cop show has) but on the resolution.

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Summer Movies I Want to See

Summer finds my family in two places: the pool and the movie theater. This summer I will probably be dragged to several films I have no desire to see. The following is my list of the ones I definetly want to catch:

May 17 : Star Trek: Into Darkness

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AAR Goes to the Movies: Oblivion


The last super bowl was played in 2017. Then Earth was attacked by aliens. According to soldier Jack Harper, “We won the war but they destroyed half the planet. Everyone’s been evacuated, nothing human remains.” Jack and his communications officer/eye in the sky Victoria are an “effective team”, doing what Jack calls “mop up” work. Essentially, they guard ocean rigs that drain the world’s oceans and send the water to a massive tetrahedral space station called the Tet. The Tet then sends it on to humanity’s new home, Titan, a moon of Saturn. Much of the water from the planet is gone; what remains should be drained soon.

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